Sunday, September 30, 2007
Saturday, September 29, 2007
I am however, going to take a minute to make a few comments on the messages and the delivery of the message, which is something that you might not get from the Liveblog mentioned above.
A few key things popped out at me. The first is the immediacy of the internet. I have heard over the years so much about controlling the news cycle - timing press releases just right so that they hit the TV and print media at a time so that they have the greatest impact. Well, the internet changed all of that. I am sure that folks in the media or in any lines of work that involve the media know how important it is, but those of us who are outsiders are not as plugged into that dynamic. I had never really thought about how much life has changed with the advent of the internet (along with cell phones) until a few days ago. Mrs. Edwards mentioned that there was an immediacy to blogs, and man is she right. Once it goes up, it is out there for everyone to see. There's no taking something back once it is out in the Blogosphere. She was referring specifically to her response time to a post by one of the Chicago Moms Blogger, and that she happened to pick up the post about her almost immediately due to the fact that she was online shortly after it was posted. She mentioned that this is not always the case, but it does make you realize that the words that we put out there are out there for real. No longer does someone have a meeting, then a reporter writes a story, gets his editor to peruse it, and it gets published. I'm not sure of the path to print, but the bloggers basically get information up almost immediately. Our live blog of the meeting with Mrs. Edwards is one example of this. This demands a new level of responsibility, not only from the media, but from any person posting information online.
The next thing that struck me was the idea of public health clinics in Elementary Schools. Not sure how this would work exactly, but the idea is a good one. If you can't get people to the clinics, bring the clinics to the people. Again, don't know if this is a new idea, if someone has tried this already, or if it would even work, but it was novel to me and I think it is worth pursuing.
When asked how our lives will change if her husband gets elected, Mrs. Edwards touched on a lot of areas where Sen. Edwards hopes to affect change. The metaphor that struck me was the idea that the government cannot climb the ladder for you (or for that matter push you up the ladder), but it can make sure that the ladder is there for you to climb. She referred to this idea in several instances - and I like the image that it evokes. Too often we talk about individual responsibility, but for some that is a tough concept to grasp. This is a very good way to talk to people about their role in many issues. I applaud her for using such a great metaphor.
She also spoke about re-establishing our "moral authority." She said that we need to change the way people think about us, and man, once again, she is right. She had a few suggestions as to how to go about doing this, but the idea itself is a good one, and we all need to take steps to make a difference. In the end she wrapped up by saying that we won't get the change we want unless we work for it. In this case, she was referring to electing a new president, but it also applies to changing the way others think about the US. In order to avoid the status quo, we need to go out and DO something about it, sage advice for any goal in your life, honestly.
All in all it was a very nice meeting with Mrs. Edwards. Not sure if I'm jaded or if I'm not quite tuned into the reality of the election yet (that's probably the case here), but I was non-plussed overall by what she had to say. I respect her immensely for supporting her husband in the midst of her personal health crisis (she did mention that there's been some research that shows that there really is some validity to "chemo brain") and really appreciate her taking the time to visit with us. A lot of the info I've heard before, and it often sounded like she was pulling out catch phrases and speaking in sound bites. I can't imagine how difficult it is to come up with new language though, city after city, meeting after meeting. So maybe this is what an election has come down to - truly capable people reduced to showing up and plugging in sound bites. I understand the boundaries that Mrs. Edwards must stay within, and I appreciate that it is often safest to resort to the campaign script.
Thank you Mrs. Edwards for taking time to come talk to us - even this slightly jaded blogger recognizes the sacrifice you made to be here with us.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Monday, September 24, 2007
Do we hit the mall along with the thousands of other kiddos? Do they even do that here at the malls? We went one year in Texas because they were forecasting very heavy rain and the mall Trick or Treating was a few days before Halloween Day. So we hit the mall, it didn't rain on Halloween, and we went again. It was a cool double Halloween treat for the boys.
Do we host a party? I remember going to lots of Halloween parties when I was growing up, and it was always fun. There was one family who hosted them regularly, and all the neighborhood kids went. But the boys are still kind of young for that, so I'm not sure how they and their friends would do. And I'm also not sure that I want to host a party - that's a lot of work.
Do we hit another neighborhood? Do I throw the kids in the car and head out to a nearby neighborhood to Trick or Treat? How weird is that? I guess if you live in a place like ours where you don't have any other good options, that you do head out to someone else's neighborhood. Oh, well. The kids don't care, so we'll be good.
We are heading to Boo at the Zoo again this year. This time I won't forget the costumes (thank goodness for really cold weather last Halloween and heavy jackets). You couldn't tell, but my kids were in jammies last year at the Zoo, and their costumes were on the couch at home, all laid out nicely. Sigh...
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
2. Monthly dates with Tom
3. Spend at least one hour each week in each kid's class
4. Exercise three times per week
Monday, September 17, 2007
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
About a week ago Sam announced that he wasn't going to preschool at all. He just didn't want to and while I wasn't panicked, I was sorely disappointed tha the wasn't as excited as I was about this whole thing. He changed his mind once Max started filling him in on all of the cool stuff that you do at preschool - arts and crafts, recess, meeting new friends, and he went on and on. After this both Sam and Ian were quite excited about it - even telling the lady checking us in at the gym that they were starting preschool. I breathed a little sigh of relief.
So off we went today to the preschool for the orientation. It was more like a "here's your room, your teachers, some of the cool stuff in the class, and your cubby" kind of orientation. Yes, they even have their own cubbies with their names right on them. Pretty cool if you are four...or 35 for that matter. They got school bags that they brought home and decorated today to take stuff back and forth to school. Sam walked right in like he owned the place (after not really wanting to step through the front door and being coaxed in by the teacher) and Ian really didn't want to play with anything until Tom coaxed him into it. The guys are in two separate classrooms - they will cause less trouble that way. ;)
Anyway, I am so freaking excited about this I can hardly contain myself! Don't get me wrong, I love my kids, but man oh man. It's been SEVEN YEARS at home with kiddos all the time. I am going to have almost three hours four days a week at home to do whatever I want (probably sleep some and maybe even *gasp* scrapbook some). This will let me catch up on stuff that has been sitting and waiting. And hopefully this will allow me to go to bed earlier - no more staying up late at might working on random stuff.
If I'm this excited now, can you imagine what it will be like next year when they go to full day kindergarden?
So tomorrow we'll have actual first day of school pictures, but for now here are a few snaps of orientation.
Monday, September 10, 2007
Saturday, September 08, 2007
Friday, September 07, 2007
So we took our first steps toward better vision on Thursday. I took the little guys to the eye doctor for the very first time. They had toys in the waiting room, so they didn't "explore" the hundreds of pairs of glasses they had near the waiting are. Good first step. The boys got to ride up and down in a cool chair before the nice man measured something about their vision - and both got to see the other's GIANT eyeball on the screen. Now if that isn't cool I'm not sure what is.
Then we went back to the toys and played some more, this time only mildly irritating a couple that was waiting to have their ride in the cool up and down chair. You see, we didn't choose the quiet toys or books, we chose the Jack in the Box, the old fashioned kind, and played it over and over and over and over again. (I know - my kids were deprived of this Oh So Annoying toy as little guys.) Yeah, good waiting area, and still no broken glasses.
So it was finally our turn and we went into the room where the doctor did the eye exam. She was a pro. She has four kids of her own and knew exactly how to get and keep their attention. Sam went first and then Ian followed. Both did a great job and again got to ride in a cool chair. She had them look at a 3-D fly, which really fascinated Sam, and read lots of numbers and letters, and even some shapes. She looked at their eyes through the microscope (and showed each of them the other's eye) and they thought the entire thing was, well, ho hum. Problem is, going to the eye doctor just isn't so exciting.
The exciting part for me though, is the complete lack of pain. Neither child needs glasses, and we didn't pay a penny for the visit. So, while Tom and I are pretty much both blind as bats, so far so good on the little guys.
Max heads out there in two weeks, but I'm not holding my breath. A few weeks ago he said "Hey Mom, I can't really see out of my right eye." Geez kid. This is the stuff that you are supposed to tell you mother well before school starts...sign...and so he pain begins...
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Prolific Tenor Pavarotti Dies
Copied From E News
Pavarotti, the literally and figuratively larger-than-life tenor whose recordings sold more than 100 million albums, and whose voice boomed everywhere from the Metropolitan Opera to Johnny Carson's Tonight Show, died at 5 a.m. Thursday morning, local time, at his home in Modena, Italy, after a yearlong battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 71.
Dubbed the King of High C's, for the showiest chandelier-shaking note in his repertoire, Pavarotti was hospitalized last month. Earlier Wednesday, it was reported that his condition had taken a turn for the worse.
The singer underwent cancer surgery last year. It was the latest in a series of health setbacks that plagued the enduring performer in recent years.
"The Maestro fought a long, tough battle against the pancreatic cancer which eventually took his life. In fitting with the approach that characterised his life and work, he remained positive until finally succumbing to the last stages of his illness," Pavarotti's manager, Terri Robson, said in a statement to the Associated Press.
Even during his most recent hospitalization, Pavarotti's wife insisted he would sing again. It was a message Pavarotti himself likely approved.
"I think the important thing is to sing very well until you sing, and have the fresh voice like my father did," Pavarotti told the BBC in 2005. "My father was a great tenor. Beautiful voice. And he was fresh until two weeks before he died at the age of 90."
Pavarotti's father, Fernando, was a member of the local choir in Modena, Italy, where the future opera star was born on Oct. 12, 1935. Pavarotti would follow in his father's footsteps—and then forge a whole new path.
The turning point for Pavarotti came when he was 25—and had a day job.
"Let's say, [in] the beginning, I am an elementary school teacher," Pavarotti told the BBC. "And on 21 April, 1961, I became a tenor."
That's when Pavarotti, fresh from winning a key competition, made his professional debut on the Italian stage in a production of La Bohème.
From there, Pavarotti embarked on a career that made him the world's most famous opera singer, able to command the attention of 500,000 in New York's Central Park, as he did in 1993, or recruit stars such as James Brown, Sting and Bono for his annual Pavarotti & Friends benefit concert.
"He knows the public loves him for himself, not only for his voice. If he lost his voice tomorrow, they would still love him," the late Terry McEwen, a record executive and opera director, said of Pavarotti to Time in 1979. "He could go on performing, he could be a different kind of star."
A different kind of star is exactly what Pavarotti was. He was overweight, lived in a tux and sang in tongues foreign to most casual Saturday Night Live viewers, and still his fame transcended the opera house, making him right at home before, yes, most casual SNL viewers. (He dueted with Vanessa Williams in a 1998 episode of the sketch-comedy show.)
Pavarotti won five Grammys; earned a night at the Kennedy Center Honors alongside the likes of Jack Nicholson, Julie Andrews and Quincy Jones; starred in his own Hollywood movie, the 1982 romantic-comedy Yes, Giorgio, a flop; and fronted who knows how many local PBS pledge drives, thanks to his popular concert videos with Plácido Domingo and José Carreras, known jointly as the Three Tenors.
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Monday, September 03, 2007
Edited to Add: Man, that didn't go down as badly as I was expecting, and surely the Seminoles could have pulled it out at the end as they did show up for the second half. Geez man - typical FSU game. They begin by making you want more (LOTS more) then they start giving you little tidbits of their greatness (or mediocrity in this case) and they lift you up thinking there might be a chance, then BOOM! They drop you and you smack back down to earth and the reality that they just can't pull it off. Oh well, there's always next week...and the University of Texas...Hook 'Em!
Sunday, September 02, 2007
Saturday, September 01, 2007
Take today for example. We headed off to Home Depot so the kids could make these cool football peg board things. They got to hammer and nail and glue (and I hammered a nail that I now need to go get repaired), and had a good old time. Then, we ran a few errands - not so fun on their part, but we did get lunch in there as well as a few Star Wars Stamps. The boys needed new shoes (I even got a pair of cool sneakers!), I needed to mail some letters, and we needed to pick up the cool new pictures that I put in the first floor bathroom. They aren't exactly framed, but more like shellacked onto some fiberboard - they are now sweat proof. I found these prints here and loved them for the bathroom but wasn't quite sure how to get them in there without ruining them when I took my excessively long showers. So, they are now safe and secure hanging up in the bathroom!
Anyway, in the midst of running around I decided that we needed some ice cream. I plugged those exact words into my phone and up popped Dairy Queen, Cold Stone Creamery, and Dippin Dots. Let's see...easy choice there. Sam wanted marshmallows - didn't really care what kind of ice cream, but it MUST have marshmallows. Ian got vanilla with sprinkles - two of his favorite things, and Max got chocolate with gummy bears. Little kids heaven. But honestly, it was my kind of snacks too - I got some bright blue Cotton Candy ice cream in a waffle cone bowl. Man, I though the sugar rush was going to take me out for good, but it was worth it! Tom enjoyed mint ice cream with chocolate chips - the little ones! Guess he wanted to step out of his "vanilla box!"
So, after some errands, some hanging out, and some ice cream, we headed home. It was another great Saturday, and another day spent enjoying family.