musical meme

My fellow Bored Housewife, Melissa, has tagged the rest of us with this meme.

List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they are any good, but they must be songs you’re really enjoying now. Post these instructions in your blog along with your seven songs. Then tag seven other people to see what they’re listening to.

Well, I have to say that there are two cds I’m really digging right now, and they’re a kind of strange combination. The first is Jack Johnson’s Curious George soundtrack, which I bought for the Potato, and we’re listening to around the clock here. It’s a really good album, though, so I don’t mind at all. Three songs from there: “Upside Down,” “Talk of the Town,” and “With My Own Two Hands” are my personal favorites.

The other album is Mary J. Blige’s The Breakthrough, which landisdad gave me for Christmas. Of course, there’s the current single, “Be Without You.” And then there’s the cover of U2’s “One,” which you may have seen her perform with Bono at the Grammy’s. And finally, there’s “MJB Da MVP,” a song I fanwanked about months ago, when I first heard it in a pre-release version that was leaked to a local radio station. This is the song that makes me actually dance around the house looking like an iPod ad. It only got better, over the eight months I waited for it to come out.

The final song is a little number by Tracy Chapman called “Change.” I’m embarrassed to say that I first heard this song on an HBO ad while I was blogging and watching TV, and I thought, ‘that’s Tracy Chapman!’ so I went to iTunes and downloaded it instantly. It’s a good tune, despite my nerdly acquisition.

The tagged? You’re it:

Elise, Suzanne, Leggy, Comfort Addict, Alala, Moonface, Fidget

February 28, 2006. memes. 7 comments.

siblings, meet rivalry

Lately, our kids have been racing each other every night to turn off the tv, and having a big fight when they get there (and hell no, I haven’t taught them how to use the remote. Are you mad?).

This has to be one of the stupidest things I have ever seen two people fight over.
I’ve attempted to slice through this Gordian knot by decreeing that the child whose turn it is to pick the tv show that night is the one who gets to turn off the tv, but that hasn’t worked. They’re still fighting over it.

We’ve been having a lot of these situations lately, and it’s almost ridiculous, the kinds of things that they have conflict over. The Potato in particular is starting to have some very definite ideas of how things should work–who should go down the stairs first to have breakfast in the morning, who should turn on the bathroom light. Part of this is related to his control issues that I blogged about a few weeks ago. Part of it is that his sister spends a lot of time telling him what to do, and he’s just trying to get some of his own back.

Landisdad and I were talking about it last night, and it made me wonder–for those of you with more than one child, what’s the stupidest thing that your kids have ever fought about?

February 26, 2006. growing up. 17 comments.

sigh…

Work continues on the basement, and I’m getting a little tired of it.

It’s not the approximately sixty-seven boxes that are stacked in the dining room/my office.

It’s not the layer of dust coating every surface in our house.

It’s not the parade of inspectors and sub-contractors.

It’s not even our contractor himself, a lovely guy who has been upfront in all his dealings.

It’s the fucking cat litter in the bathroom that’s really getting to me.

When landisdad and I bought our house, one of the things that I was most excited about was the ability to put the cat litter in the basement. The people that we bought our house from had cats, and there was already a cat door cut into the basement. I thought, “huzzah, no more accidentally walking on spilled cat litter at 2 in the morning! No more having to sweep the bathroom floor every day!”

At least (knock wood), the Potato hasn’t decided to ‘investigate’ the box yet, if you know what I mean.

February 24, 2006. random other things. 12 comments.

why can’t the US fix health care?

I’ve been doing a lot of reading about health care policy lately, and stumbled across this site. If you’re a US resident (I don’t think you have to be a citizen to participate in this) who’s concerned about health care, get yourself over there and give Congress some feedback about how to fix our incredibly broken system. Since US health care costs are projected to rise to over $4 trillion by 2015, it’s pretty clear that we have to do something different really soon.

The questions that this Working Group are asking seem pretty biased toward continuing a system of private insurance, as opposed to some kind of national health system, like many other countries have. That seems foolish to me–if we need to perform major fixes, why can’t we question the basic assumption that we should have private health insurance, as opposed to doing a National Health Service-type system?

In a country as prosperous as this one is, it’s pretty appalling that we’ve still got nearly 45 million uninsured people, and that those people don’t have routine access to medical care. Sometimes I wonder what the tipping point will be, from a public health perspective. I mean, surely even a person who has health insurance and doesn’t believe in ‘socialized’ medicine must see that they themself are more at risk of getting sick if, what, 50%? 60%? 70%? of the population is never going to the doctor, never getting routine childhood immunizations. What percentage of the population has to be uninsured, before we do something?

February 22, 2006. politically motivated. 8 comments.

still working out the kinks in wordpress…

Alina Feb 06.jpgIsaac Feb 06.jpgKids Feb 06.jpg

but I finally figured out how to post pictures. It’s not that hard, but did I mention I never read the directions?

February 20, 2006. the cutest kids ever!. 4 comments.

a bat, a ball, and thou

The Bee and I went out into the backyard today and practiced baseball. We couldn’t find the bat, so we just used a cardboard tube. In my first at-bat, I hit the ball so hard that the tube broke, which the Bee found hilariously funny. We fixed it with some strapping tape, and headed back out into the yard, where she ‘beat’ me, 12 to 5.
I hate exercise, but the one thing I can’t do is have my kids grow up knowing that. The down side of being a lifelong reader is that I find it really hard to motivate myself to exercise, because it’s just so damn boring. I’ve never been able to read while exercising, and I find that so incredibly disappointing that I almost never do any.

I struggle to find ways to exercise with my kids, so that they will think of it as something important and fun. It’s hard, since I don’t find it fun at all, but I don’t want them to know that. And it’s more fun to play with my kids than to ride on the exercycle, or do wretched exercise tapes. I tried to get the Bee interested in doing yoga at one point, but it didn’t really work out.

It’s funny, because my dad was one of the original runners. Before people ran, before jogging was a common form of exercise, my dad was a runner. My dad always ran in the morning, before he went to school. He’d get up at like 4 a.m., put on his clothes (including some amazing ensembles in the winter), and run for miles. My dad always went to work really early, but on weekends, he’d run later, and he’d come back when we were all sitting at the kitchen table, eating breakfast. He’d be all sweaty, no matter the temperature. In the winter sometimes he’d have icicles on his mustache.

All of my brothers were distance runners, but I was only ever a sprinter. An early case of asthma kept me from cross-country (and just might have something to do with my lifelong aversion to exercise), but I was decent at the 50- and 100-yard dashes (yes, they still measured in yards, back in the day). I did a lot of field events, particularly the long jump. As a kid, I played softball and basketball, and my brothers played soccer.

I’m thinking about asking the Bee if she wants to play tee-ball this spring. It’s only a matter of time till she’s actually better than me, and she might as well use that to her advantage.

February 19, 2006. random other things. 9 comments.

Anne at the Barely Attentive Mother has an interesting post up about an experiment she’s trying out called The Momorandum. Basically, it’s an attempt to track the many posts out in the parenting blogosphere that overlay politics and parenting. Go on over there and check it out, and if you like it, link it.

Those are some of my favorite moments in reading other people’s blogs–the conversations that go on about things like the domestic politics of how housework gets divided, or who still takes off the most time with sick kids. If you’re interested in those topics too, check out Elizabeth at Half Changed World, Chip at Daddychip, the writer mamas of MamasInk, Miriam at Playground Revolution, and the eponymous writer of Bitch PhD (although I find it hard to believe that you’re not reading her already, given her ability to get hundreds of comments in the space of hours).

February 19, 2006. meta. 1 comment.

camping out

I was trying to remember, earlier today, when it was that I first slept out in the backyard, as a kid, trying to imagine how old the Bee will be when she wants to camp out. My 11th birthday party was a sleepover, and happened when Skylab was falling to earth. I spent the whole night looking up at the stars, convinced that a huge piece of metal was about to fall on my head.

There was something magical about sleeping in a big tent in the backyard with three of my friends, running around in the backyard with a flashlight and giggling outside where no adults could hear us and say, “it’s time for bed, now go to sleep.” My parents had a ton of camping equipment, and back in those days, I still thought sleeping on the ground was fun.

Interestingly, tonight the Bee dragged all her blankets onto the floor and made herself a bed there. We’ll see how long it lasts–I don’t think that sleeping on hardwood floors are all that comfortable, but maybe she’ll make it through the whole night there. She and her best friend have been on a big imaginary play thing lately–last weekend, they made a tent out of some chairs and a blanket, and then a few days ago, they put all the blankets on the floor so they could float down the Nile, as Egyptian princesses. (Okay, that was sort of my suggestion.)

It’s too cold now for the outdoor camping experience, and I don’t think that the Bee is really old enough to do it yet anyway, but I think she’s gonna love it when the time is right.

February 16, 2006. growing up. 8 comments.

thanks

To whoever nominated me for not one but two blog awards over at One Woman’s World. Leave a comment, so I can thank you personally!

February 16, 2006. random other things. 3 comments.

nadie es illegal

I’ve been following the debate about U.S. immigration reform for some time. Yesterday, in a bunch of East Coast cities, immigrant organizers declared “A Day Without An Immigrant” and encouraged folks to stay home from work, essentially a massive work stoppage by immigrant workers. The strike is in reaction to a pretty horrible piece of legislation that passed right before Christmas that would raise the stakes on both folks who entered the country illegally, and potentially those who aid them, by criminalizing the act of illegal immigration.

It’s pretty amazing to me that this bill has drawn the ire of almost everyone on the political spectrum (except the Minutemen, who, sorry, I’m just not willing to give a link). The idea that a priest or a social worker could be arrested as a smuggler for helping undocumented immigrants in any way is reprehensible to me.

There is no doubt in my mind that the current system is broken and needs repair. But any politician who thinks that rounding up and deporting the eleven million undocumented people in the US is a meritorious plan is just showboating for political payoff. I believe in protecting our borders, but a system that forces that many people to live in the shadows–people who, for the most part, are here to work and earn enough money to support their families here and abroad–is a failure. For the 99% of those eleven million people who want to be here legally, who want to live without fear of an ICE raid, we need to give them a path to legalize. Sensenbrenner, by writing a bill that just gives that 99% another thing to fear, has made himself part of the problem, not part of the solution.

February 15, 2006. politically motivated. 7 comments.

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