Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Did you know?

GI Bill Falls Short

In the WaPo today there is this.

"...Decades after the GI Bill transformed American society after World War II, another generation of veterans is returning home -- more than 800,000 as of last summer. What they find is quite different from the comprehensive benefits that once covered all the costs of an education, from undergraduate straight through Harvard Law. The current GI benefit covers just half the national average cost for tuition, room and board, veterans' advocates say. "It falls dramatically short," said Eric Hilleman of the Veterans of Foreign Wars..."

Then there is this part of the article...

"..."These are people . . . who served the country at a time when very few people did," said Sen. James Webb (D-Va.), who is pushing a bill that would expand benefits for veterans, including active-duty National Guard troops and reservists, to cover the cost of the most expensive public universities and to match contributions from private schools with higher tuition, for four academic years. "We should give them the best shot at a good future."

An earlier version of the bill stalled in Congress; the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs opposed it as (my emphasis) too expensive, too complex to administer and too likely to tempt troops to move back to civilian life. The bill, substantially revised, now has 58 co-sponsors, including both Democratic presidential candidates.

You wouldn't want them going off to college before they've been completely used up by the military would you?

Saturday, April 26, 2008


I have been SO sick this week. Thursday and Friday I could barely get out of bed. I feel better today but definitely not 100%. The weather has been beautiful though and I have been holed up in the house so I'm going to go for it and try and get out in the garden if it kills me.

I did watch a couple of movies. One was Jimmy Carter: Man From Plains. Carla, there were many makeup artists who got film time but YOU were not one of them. What is up with that? The film follows Jimmy on his book tour for "Palestine Peace Not Apartheid". You see how his credibility is called into question. He is unwavering on his stance and his quest for PEACE.

The second movie I saw was Surfwise. THIS is a thought provoking film for sure. Here is a man who takes his family off the beaten path in a big way. There are good things and bad for sure. Everyone has good and bad in the upbringing right? And it's not like following societal norms is working. I think things were too extreme sometimes. I also think everyone deserves an education. It's hard for me to reconcile in my mind a man who had the benefit of a PhD in medicine denying an education to his children. Still there is a lot of beauty in this family. Alot.
I watched this on pay-per-view. Try to find it. I am interested to hear what everyone has to say.

Here is a synopsis from the movie website:

Like many American outsider-adventurers, Dorian “Doc” Paskowitz set out to realize a utopian dream. Abandoning a successful medical practice, he sought self-fulfillment by taking up the nomadic life of a surfer. But unlike other American searchers like Thoreau or Kerouac, Paskowitz took his wife and nine children along for the ride, all eleven of them living in a 24 foot camper. Together, they lived a life that would be unfathomable to most, but enviable to anyone who ever relinquished their dreams to a straight job. The Paskowitz Family proved that America may be running out of frontiers, but it hasn’t run out of frontiersman.

Friday, April 25, 2008

A related subject...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Just for Carla

My sister Carla and I have a thing for Grey Gardens. We saw the documentary and the Broadway show. We love a character and these women were indeed characters. Recently Carla, who is a makeup artist, (and does a dead-on imitation of little Edie) realized she was doing the makeup of the current owner. Obviously they have completely redone Grey Gardens and wouldn't the two of us like to see it. I stumbled on this youtube that gives us a little peek of the refurbished Grey Gardens. Carla I know you are going to be just as excited as me to see it.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Getting a few things done anyway...

I have been BUSY! I know you must be sick of hearing about it. I am too!

Monday night we attending a wrestling awards dinner. Johnny received MVP on JV and a varsity letter. They said he is going to be a MONSTER next year. Wow! Just what every mother wants to hear. Looking forward to that. Here he is with his friend who is holding the award.

We went to NYC for the day yesterday to enroll Lisa in school. I felt it was necessary to have John sit in front of a human in hopes that he would grasp the whole tuition thing. He was very quiet. It's not like I haven't been telling him but you know you don't always listen to your spouse. The woman in financial aid who helped us was laughing as we left. There was NO SHOPPING on this visit. We were 2 hours into the drive home before he started talking about it. Shell shock. Anyway I am excited for Lisa. She's happy too.

I have been working in the studio but I've been getting side-tracked so things are moving slowly. I managed to get one mirror out to get a picture but I think I need to retake it in some sunshine. I will try again today.

I haven't stained the frame yet. I have that and much more to do so I better get going.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

A little nostalgic today

Ugh! Spent another day driving to Washington and back! Got the thumbs up on Lisa from the doc. She's good to go. I have so much on my plate for today I shouldn't even be sitting here writing this. But I want to real quick post a couple pics for my family.

On the way home from Washington I stopped by the house we lived in a long, long, long time ago. Right after I was born. I lived there until half way through the 5th grade. I have fond, fond memories of this neighborhood. Playing in the woods, ice skating on the swamp and the lake. Sledding at the mansion. Buying penny candy at the J-mart. Oh and having to get your permission slip signed by your parents before you could swim in the Moomey's above ground pool. It was traumatic for me when we moved away.

My Dad kept the yard immaculate. He planted the magnolia tree and the hedges. He put up the white picket fence. There were grapevines, a cherry tree, a peach tree and I think an apple or pear as well as a vegetable garden in the backyard. I would have loved to walk back there and look. Too chicken. Of course it was nothing like my father had it. When we lived there there wasn't a weed anywhere. He used to line all seven (maybe not Carla) of us across the lawn and set a timer. We would weed until the timer went off. Then it was freedom for us and he'd sit on a lawn chair in front of the garage in his v-neck white t-shirt smoking a Winston and drinking a Tab from the grey smoked glasses collected with a fill-up at the gas station.

The place isn't tidy any more. The fence isn't exactly white. You know...you can't go home. I went by the elementary school and there was graffitti on the fence. As I drove past the homes I could remember all the families names who had lived there. The Angelo's (who were in witness protection supposedly), the Delala's, the Dean's, the Walkers, the house where King the biting dog lived, (remember to give wide berth when walking by),the Kinter's, the Pittinger's (One of whom lit the house on fire one night I think by playing with firecrackers in their room. I can remember watching the fire from the upstairs bathroom window. The bathroom had wallpaper with pink poodles sitting on a chair talking on the phone.) I went by the mansion to see if those good sledding hills were still there. They didn't look as pronounced or big as I remember but they were there. The MANSION, which when I was a kid was Town Hall, is now a museum. I tried to go in but of course they were closed on Monday.

I definitely wanted to go to some of the old stomping grounds. Take the old road to the woods. Look and see if Frankensteins grave was still there. Cross the highway and see if I could find the swamp (Rita was that a hockey puck that gave you the concusion or did someone throw a rock at you?) and J-mart. Walk to Foxhill park.... Good memories.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Six-Word Memoir

Fellow local blogger Oceanshaman has given me what has turned out to be quite a task:

1. Write a six-word memoir.

2. Post it on your blog (accompanying pics, art, music, etc. optional).

3. Link to the person that tagged you in your post.

4. Tag five more blogs with links.

5. Leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to engage.

Umm, it's weird because I can usually say it easier in any other amount of words but six. Bottom line is even given all the words out there I couldn't put it in words. It is was it is. (See that's 5). After thinking about it all day I came up with:

Laying in the bed I made.

My daughters thought that sounded so depressing which is not what I meant. I meant I take responsibility for my actions. I do what I have to do. I'm USUALLY happy with that. I'm a realist. That's what I came up with!

The criticism took me back to the drawing board.

Happy with how things are going. (Lame)
Making the most of my life. (?)

Hey! How about "Getting what I want for myself!"
To me that sounds just like laying in the bed I made. That is the major lesson I have learned in this life. Taught to me by my mom and dad (though not consciously I don't think). A learn-by-doing-kind of thing. It's not depressing to me it's REAL. Help yourself. No one else can be counted on although it could happen (I don't want to seem like I'm not optimistic) but don't count on it. You're better off if you just do it yourself.

Okay enough of this. My brain hurts. I'm going to make some art.
Oh yeah, there are quite of few of you I'd love to hear from on this. I think almost everybody is more clever with words than I am. What is your Six-Word Memoir?

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Ist Place

While Lisa was convalescing at home last week her art teacher entered a piece from her portfolio in Women's Art Women's Vision Art Show without Lisa knowing. Turns out she got first place in the High School division. She had not wanted to go back to school on Monday but I felt like she needed to get UP and MOVE. As a senior she only is in school a couple of hours so I knew she'd be fine. The big win definitely put a smile on her face. She needed that. I have to wait for her to give me the CD she has her portfolio on so I can post the winning piece of art.

Free Hit Counters