Saturday, January 19, 2008

Yellow Rose Peace Bus

I don't know how many of you heard the story of the Yellow Rose Peace Bus but I first heard about it here. (Thanks Carol) Jim and his bus are great soldiers for peace. Jim recently lost the bus to fire. You can read about it on his blog Yellow Rose Peace Bus. Just scroll down a bit to get the story. There is also a great radio interview that is well worth the listen. He's the kind of American you can really admire. Stop by and show him a little love.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Chaos ensues

I venture out of the misery that is the office only to find this-



The guilty one is easy to spot. His error (he used regular old liquid dishsoap) was thrilling to him as he'd only seen this kind of thing on sitcoms. P.S- Everyone should have a shop vac. It gets us out of more situations where we don't know what to do.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Synchronized snoring

I am deep in the crap that is John's office in January. Thankfully this little tiny office is across the driveway but I hate every minute I spend in it. My neck it tight and my shoulders are sore. January is my least favorite month. I must get the business taxes done, my taxes done and then hand all that info to Lisa's future college. So for now I am MIA. But here is a silly video my daughter took over the holidays. It had me in hysterics then and even now without the benefit of the alcohol consumed that night, I have to laugh. When we got home from a night out Taylor's BF and my husband laid down on the couches. Taylor and I left the room momentarily and came back to this...



John is still denying that he is in that video as he had the benefit of being on the unlit couch. Take my word for it- he is the snorer with the deeper pitch in the dark part of the room. Pity me.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Did I mention The Wire yet?


I just finished season 4 of THE WIRE. If you are not watching this show then you are missing out. My brother-in-law turned us on to this and we have been watching as fast as we can get our hands on a new season. The 5th and final season has just started so we we are caught up.

The writers on this show get it SO right. It is so compelling. The characters are so full. The good guys are bad guys and the bad guys are good guys...it just crosses back and forth. It is such a commentary on society and the dysfunction of the system. Each season takes you through another piece of the dysfunction and they all connect. It's quite an education. A really smart and brilliant show. I'm not good at this so just trust me and watch it.

Update:
(Sornie, this is for you.) I took this from the HBO link for the show which I have above. Here is just part of what they have on the "About the show" page.

The first season of 'The Wire' (2002) concentrated on the often-futile efforts of police to infiltrate a West Baltimore drug ring headed by Avon Barksdale and his lieutenant, Stringer Bell. In Seasons Two and Three, as the Barksdale investigation escalated, new storylines involving pressures on the working class and the city's political leadership were introduced. Season Four focused on the stories of several young boys in the public school system, struggling with problems at home and the lure of the corner - set against the rise of a new drug empire in West Baltimore and a new Mayor in City Hall.

The fifth and final season of 'The Wire' centers on the media's role in addressing - or failing to address - the fundamental political, economic and social realities depicted over the course of the series, while also resolving storylines of the numerous characters woven throughout the narrative arc of the show.


Explains series creator David Simon, "It made sense to finish 'The Wire' with this reflection on the state of the media, as all the other attendant problems of the American city depicted in the previous four seasons will not be solved until the depth and range of those problems is first acknowledged. And that won't happen without an intelligent, aggressive and well-funded press."

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Walk away

“Order is a lovely thing; on disarray it lays its wing, teaching simplicity to sing.”




I love order. In this case though I just have to walk away.

My NYE

It was a fairly quiet New Years Eve here. John's mother and father came as well as 2of his brothers.




My sister Rita...




and my friend Maggie.



That's a pretty small crowd for us. To be honest I wasn't really on top of the invites like I should have been. Tired I guess. I don't know. I always have a sit down dinner on NYE. I think if I changed that up to just food put out I would invite more people.

Michael and his friend hung around until about 9 which was great. Poor kid was THE photo opportunity the whole time he was home. Everyone has photo w/Michael.




Lisa also hung out for a while then departed for a more exciting party. SO pretty! And rocking some new red shoes.



A couple cousins around and Johnny also...





I didn't even get the noise makers out. I'm lame. In fact this post is boring the shit out of me. But Carla, look how good Rita looks.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

McGovern calls for IMPEACHMENT

"A President, any President, who maintains that he is above the law -- and repeatedly violates the law -- thereby commits high crimes and misdemeanors."
Elizabeth Holtzman

In case you didn't catch THIS article in WaPo today (Why I Believe Bush Must Go)


"As we enter the eighth year of the Bush-Cheney administration, I have belatedly and painfully concluded that the only honorable course for me is to urge the impeachment of the president and the vice president." - By George McGovern

All I can say is what the hell took you so long?

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Getting serious about recycling

I have called my local recycle center and I know exactly what they don't accept. They DON'T accept a lot of things. Here is a great list put out by Co-op America of 21 things you didn't know you could recycle.

(Co-op America Fall 2007)
Garbage. Americans produce more and more of it every year, when we need to be producing less. Even the most waste-conscious among us can feel overwhelmed by the amount of household waste that goes beyond what municipal recyclers and compost bins can handle. That’s why our editors spent the summer of 2007 investigating the state of waste management in our country, putting this list togther for you, explaining how we can get serious about the three R’s – reducing, reusing, and recycling — and divert more waste away from landfills. (To download the entire recycling issue of the Quarterly, visit our archives page.)

1. Appliances: Goodwill accepts working appliances, www.goodwill.org, or you can contact the Steel Recycling Institute to recycle them. 800/YES-1-CAN, www.recycle-steel.org.

2. Batteries: Rechargeables and single-use: Battery Solutions, 734/467-9110, www.batteryrecycling.com.

3. Cardboard boxes: Contact local nonprofits and women’s shelters to see if they can use them. Or, offer up used cardboard boxes at your local Freecycle.org listserv or on Craigslist.org for others who may need them for moving or storage. If your workplace collects at least 100 boxes or more each month, www.UsedCardboardBoxes.com accepts them for resale.

4. CDs/DVDs/Game Disks: Send scratched music or computer CDs, DVDs, and PlayStation or Nintendo video game disks to AuralTech for refinishing, and they’ll work like new: 888/454-3223, www.auraltech.com.

5. Clothes: Wearable clothes can go to your local Goodwill outlet or shelter. Donate wearable women’s business clothing to Dress for Success, which gives them to low-income women as they search for jobs, 212/532-1922, www.dressforsuccess.org. Offer unwearable clothes and towels to local animal boarding and shelter facilities, which often use them as pet bedding. Consider holding a clothes swap at your office, school, faith congregation or community center. Swap clothes with friends and colleagues, and save money on a new fall wardrobe and back-to-school clothes.

6. Compact fluorescent bulbs: Take them to your local IKEA store for recycling: www.ikea.com.

7. Compostable bio-plastics: You probably won’t be able to compost these in your home compost bin or pile. Find a municipal composter to take them to at www.findacomposter.com.

8. Computers and electronics: Find the most responsible recyclers, local and national, at www.ban.org/pledge/Locations.html.

9. Exercise videos: Swap them with others at www.videofitness.com.

10. Eyeglasses: Your local Lion’s Club or eye care chain may collect these. Lenses are reground and given to people in need.

11. Foam packing: Your local pack-and-ship store will likely accept foam peanuts for reuse. Or, call the Plastic Loose Fill Producers Council to find a drop-off site: 800/828-2214. For places to drop off foam blocks for recycling, contact the Alliance of Foam Packaging Recyclers, 410/451-8340, www.epspackaging.org/info.html


12. Ink/toner cartridges: www.Recycleplace.com pays $1/each.

13. Miscellaneous: Get your unwanted items into the hands of people who can use them. Offer them up on your local www.Freecycle.org
or www.Craigslist.org, or try giving them away at www.Throwplace.com or giving or selling them at www.iReuse.com. iReuse.com will also help you find a recycler, if possible, when your items have reached the end of their useful lifecycle.

14. Oil: Find Used Motor Oil Hotlines for each state: 202/682-8000, www.recycleoil.org.

15. Phones: Donate cell phones: Collective Good will refurbish your phone and sell it to someone in a developing country: 770/856-9021, www.collectivegood.com. Call to Protect reprograms cell phones to dial 911 and gives them to domestic violence victims: www.donateaphone.com. Recycle single-line phones: Reclamere, 814/386-2927, www.reclamere.com.

16. Sports equipment: Resell or trade it at your local Play It Again Sports outlet, 800/476-9249, www.playitagainsports.com.

17. “Technotrash”: Project KOPEG offers an e-waste recycling program that can help you raise funds for your organization. Use Project KOPEG to recycle iPods, MP3 players, cell phones and chargers, digital cameras, PDAs, palm pilots, and more. Also, easily recycle all of your CDs, jewel cases, DVDs, audio and video tapes, pagers, rechargeable and single-use batteries, PDAs, and ink/toner cartridges with GreenDisk’s Technotrash program. For $30, GreenDisk will send you a cardboard box in which you can ship them up to 70 pounds of any of the above. Your fee covers the box as well as shipping and recycling fees. 800/305-GREENDISK, www.greendisk.com.

18. Tennis shoes: Nike’s Reuse-a-Shoe program turns old shoes into playground and athletic flooring. www.nikereuseashoe.com. One World Running will send still-wearable shoes to athletes in need in Africa, Latin America, and Haiti. www.oneworldrunning.com.

19. Toothbrushes and razors: Buy a recycled plastic toothbrush or razor from Recycline, and the company will take it back to be recycled again into plastic lumber. Recycline products are made from used Stonyfield Farms’ yogurt cups. 888/354-7296, www.recycline.com.

20. Tyvek envelopes: Quantities less than 25: Send to Shirley Cimburke, Tyvek Recycling Specialist, 5401 Jefferson Davis Hwy., Spot 197, Room 231, Richmond, VA 23234. Quantities larger than 25, call 866/33-TYVEK.

21. Stuff you just can’t recycle: When practical, send such items back to the manufacturer and tell them they need to manufacture products that close the waste loop responsibly.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Mary, Mary, quite contrary, where the hell have you been?

I don't know how people fit it all in. I was busy before the holidays rolled around but w/all the extra stuff to do I have to go into hyper-speed to do it all. When it's over I am exhausted.

My first mistake was starting that mosaic right after Thanksgiving. That wore me out. Plus I didn't think it would take so long so I was behind on starting things I should have been doing for the holiday. Or maybe I was just avoiding those holiday chores because when I finally finished the mosaic I decided to redo a rocking chair that had been sitting around for a couple years. I stained it and gave it something you could lean and sit on and then made a little pillow.





Maybe I couldn't get my head into the holidays until Michael was home and the rocker was my plan to kill time until he got here. And he did finally get here. Time seems to have flown since then. He flies back to Germany today. I have been very sad about that all week.

December was a crazy, busy month. Johnny is on the HS wrestling team. I had no idea it would be so time consuming. He practices every day. Even on Saturdays. And travels to meets or matches (whatever they call them). I haven't been to one yet but John has. He wrestled in school for a short time. I'm guessing it was Jr. High because he recently told a story where he wrestled in school UNTIL they told him he had to wear the singlet. At that point he quit. Johnny doesn't know that story but if you knew my John you would be laughing your ass off. Anyway Johnny is doing quite well.



December was a great time for our family to reconnect. It had it's ups and downs. But just when I felt like Michael was relaxing into it, it's time for him to go. My biggest joy was having all the kids together. Even their bickering ( and man did they bicker) gave me joy. It was just like it used to be. I would just have to laugh. Anyway I have more pictures than words so I will share a few.

We had to go to dollar taco night at La Ha (short for La Hacienda). It's a Thursday night tradition. I think the taco's are more than a dollar now but that's what we still call it. Nobody ever gets taco's anyway though they are very good.



My daughter Taylor and her boyfriend Sheldon came for a nice long visit and we went and had a nice dinner before joining Michael at his bar du jour that night. We couldn't get him to join us for dinner.







Oh yeah, Michael got a new tattoo while he was home. Isn't he sweet?



It was great Christmas morning having all the kids there. Plenty of gifts. And Lisa came home from ER the night before with pain killers so we were all there. I really can't tell you how great that was.



Johnny got a t-shirt and hat, John got a bottle of Patron and I got...



a jumbo cocktail shaker. That works for me!



Aunt Carla and Uncle Scott came and we all had a great time.



Lisa, feeling no pain.





There is way, way more but I will stop right here for now. Lisa is doing fine and is going to be fine. She isn't in pain any more but does have a few more hoops to jump through before we are out of the woods. Thanks for all the well wishes for her health.

I have to go see Michael off. Life sucks sometimes.
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