October 31, 2008

Standing Up Against Hate

So blogging was light this week, I realize. But the only thing on my mind is the election. Other people have pretty much got the blogging end of this race covered, plus I have other outlets on a daily basis for having election interaction with like-minded people, so I haven't felt compelled to write about it here.

For the Presidential race, that is.

But as important as that is, and believe me, it's bloody freaking as important as anything I've ever voted for...except for voting against Proposition 8 here in California. The idea of the sheer hypocrisy of people voting -- actually going out there and making a conscious choice to cast a vote -- to change our state Constitution in order to TAKE AWAY A RIGHT from another person, based on intolerance, hate or dogma, whichever you chose, makes me almost physically sick.

It is discrimination, no matter what way you slice it, and the fact that my state might actually sanction discrimination leaves me inchoate. Does anyone even remember how as a country we were disgusted by the idea of apartheid? People demonstrated and protested and railed against an unjust treatment of a group of people a half a world away; the idea of that kind of subjugation of black people was simply repugnant. But somehow it's okay to just decide that because some people think being homosexual is "wrong" they have the right to say an entire portion of our population can be subjugated in this way? Who the hell do you think you are? Do you even think through what it is you're saying about yourself? About our country? How can you have that little respect for another human being?

And before you even dare throw around the word "sanctity" or bring up any variation of "it's in the Bible" -- save it. There's such a double standard around every one the religious arguments and I'm not having it. There's plenty of other places for you to share your particular brand of "faith," please go find one. You don't get to decide that only some people are worthy of the love of fellow man that your belief system puts forth.

If you have even a shred of doubt about the negative impact of taking an action like this, I implore you to learn more and vote No on Prop 8 if you live in California. Please. We are better people than that.

Now, as bizarre a transition as this may be, I have to put my picks up for the Blogger Football League. I certainly know that the Commish will understand because she is just as firmly and vocally opposed to Prop 8 as I. (It just took me longer than her to put my thoughts in order to express here.)

This week, no colors; my picks are in all caps. I'm so tired of our country being divided by "color" that I just can't bring myself to do it.

Detroit @ CHICAGO
Jacksonville @ CINCINNATI
Baltimore @ CLEVELAND
TAMPA BAY @ Kansas City
ARIZONA @ St. Louis
MIAMI @ Denver
Dallas @ NY GIANTS
ATLANTA @ Oakland
NEW ENGLAND @ Indianapolis

Monday Night Football
Pittsburgh @ WASHINGTON
Tiebreaker score: 40

If you have a blog and you want to participate, just make and post your picks, then go visit Insta-mom's site to link up your post before the first game of the week on Sunday. Good luck to all my fellow BFLers.

October 28, 2008

One Week - Hope over Fear

Tune in at 8 p.m. ET on NBC, CBS or FOX tomorrow (Wednesday) to hear what the campaign is calling “The Closing Argument.” And don’t forget to vote next week. Or, better yet, find out where you can vote early and do it this week.
Picture & quote courtesy of Amy in Ohio. Text courtesy of PsychMamma. They are my sisters in hope.

October 24, 2008

Football and Fealty

I've figured out my football pool mojo -- I win on even-numbered weeks. This is week 8, so that badge is coming home again this week. This week I'm not going to try to pick a special color, just something that show up decently against all that purple.

Oakland @ Baltimore
Arizona @ Carolina
Tampa Bay @ Dallas
Washington @ Detroit
Buffalo @ Miami
St. Louis @ New England
San Diego @ New Orleans
Kansas City @ NY Jets
Atlanta @ Philadelphia
Cleveland @ Jacksonville
Cincinnati @ Houston
NY Giants @ Pittsburgh
Seattle @ San Francisco

Monday Night Football
Indianapolis @ Tennessee
Total score tiebreaker: 40

Byes: Chicago, Denver, Green Bay, Minnesota

OK, so the picks part is out of the way and it's time for the links part. Last week I got slapped on the wrist from the Commish because I didn't link to her in my picks post. I was tired. I apologize. But I was really tired. This week, I'm not tired and even if I were, I'd still pay my way in the currency of blogs and show the appropriate link love.

So, please, if you are interested in participating, post your picks on your blog, then go visit the one, the only, the amazing INSTA-MOM and join our merry band of football freaks. But really, you should go visit her anyway -- now -- and read every word she has ever written...or at the very least check out her most recent post where she has hot guys from the NFL there for your viewing pleasure. One of the selections is mine. And she chose a HOT picture of him that made my knees sweat just a little. I'm not going to say which one, but if you go visit her to see for yourself -- NOW -- I bet you can figure it out. Ooh, just posting that link singed my fingers, he's that hot. (And, to paraphrase the words of the very fabulous Insta-mom herself, it was hard not to slap myself silly after writing that.)

Let me close by paying obeisance to her right here and now in such a way that she will never, ever again be able to doubt my devotion to her, links or no links.

I - is for the Inspiration, which she provides daily
N - is for Nurturing, a quality she shows even to a fish she didn't want
S - is for San Diego, a place she loves and the team she roots for
T - is for Tolerance, since it's an attitude she embodies
A - is for AllMediocre, because that's where we met
M - is for Males, as she is surrounded by them at home
O - is for Obama, whom we both strongly support
M - is for Mom because, duh, she's a great mom

What's that spell? A great friend whom I'm going to meet eventually. ☺

October 23, 2008

I'm baaaaack!

It was an interesting experiment, being part of Alltop. It's a great idea, but the Ping just didn't belong there. How do I know this? Because in the three months since I was listed there, I haven't receive a single visitor from it. But during that same time, I became even better friends with the AllMediocre bunch and continued to have people visit me from AllMediocre even though I wasn't a member anymore.

So at the big dinner in DC (which was, by the way, a.k.a. AllMediocHer '08, and I hope there are many more to come), I announced my return to AllMediocre as a member. I've sent in my resignation, so to speak, to Alltop with my thanks for the experience (and literally just received an email from Guy confirming it) and I've come home to my AM peeps!

To celebrate, I created my own AM badge, which now graces my sidebar in spectacular fashion, if I do say so myself. (Because the other ones? Not enough purple.)

So I'm back, bitches. Let mediocrity reign once more!

October 20, 2008

In Which I Steer My Way Through a Sea of Glass

My poor blog. I've been neglecting it horribly and boy do the numbers reflect it. Well, we'll be football-less until Friday, since I didn't come close to winning the badge this week, I'm afraid. Congrats to Tom on his fantastic picks and great win!

So, where does that leave us? I suppose I'd better get on with the Chihuly pictures before too much time goes by and I forget what I'm talking about. When last we were at the exhibit we were in the Reeds, and now we move on, fittingly enough, to...


The first of the two old, wooden rowboats was filled with pieces known as Floats, like large marbles of every color and size. Not surprisingly, they resemble the glass marbles Chihuly was enamored of as a child. Having a boat filled with Floats has a bit of a double-meaning, since the pieces are actually based on Japanese fishing floats and they have been literally floated in other displays. I think I'd really like to see them in water sometime, as it would have a more organic feel.

The two boats were placed stern to stern, adrift in a big, black, endless shiny sea. The next boat was filled to bursting with pieces of Ikebana, also of every color and description, which made up for the lack of pictures back in the second room.

It was hard to get a bad shot, but equally hard to get a great one. The official shots of the exhibit had better lighting, if you want to check them out. It was a very static part of the exhibit in a way I can't really explain. Oh, and the room was packed with people, so it wasn't quite as enjoyable a part of the experience, though I loved the explosion of color.

October 16, 2008

Calling on the Luck o' the Irish

It seems as though I no sooner get my MVP badge up and it's time to make the next week's picks! It's just so unfair -- there's really no time to sit back and enjoy the glare of attention...as though there were any...

So, here we go again, in yet another color: a little lucky Irish green.

San Diego @ Buffalo
Minnesota @ Chicago
Pittsburgh @ Cincinnati
Tennessee @ Kansas City
Dallas @ St. Louis
Baltimore @ Miami
San Francisco @ NY Giants
New Orleans @ Carolina
Detroit @ Houston
NY Jets @ Oakland
Indianapolis @ Green Bay
Cleveland @ Washington
Seattle @ Tampa Bay

Monday Night Football
Denver @ New England
Total score:38

If you want to know more about the BFL, please just scroll down to the last set of picks because, really, I'm tired and I'm not up for linking everyone up again! Please wish me luck, the competition gets a bit more intense every week.

P.S. I had to post this twice, because the first color green I picked was nearly impossible to see. Sorry if it showed up in your reader twice.

October 14, 2008

Bratty McBratty Pants Shares the Wealth

Woo-hoo! I had a good week in the BFL and I get to share this week's honors with RadioCarla -- we tied right down to our choice of score for the Monday night game. Ms. Carla is making a habit of tying for the top spot.

Next week? I'm shooting for being the sole winner. If you think you can best me or, you know, Carla, step on over to Insta-mom's and take on the BFL's finest. And Amy In Ohio. (I had to, she's the one who named me "Bratty McBratty Pants" after all.)

October 12, 2008

Memeing It Up to the Power of Six

This past week, I was tagged for two different memes by two of my mommy blogger friends. I believe in multitasking, and they're somewhat related, so I'm going to tackle them both at once here.

First was the always-entertaining and mysterious Marinka. If you aren't reading her yet, get started. I'm pretty sure she's Russian royalty in hiding in NYC, but she will neither confirm nor deny. She's a fan of my photography so she's pretty OK in my book, no matter what's behind that gauzy veil. She tagged me with the six odd things about me meme.We'll get to that one second...since that's kind of one of the odd things about me.

Next, the marvelous and magnanimous Mama Ginger Tree sent me a candy-gram from the Candy Cane Forest and tagged me with the Sixth Photo meme. The rules are to choose the sixth photo from your sixth album and post it along with a description or the story behind it. I don't really have any photo albums, so I took the CDs I've burned my photos onto -- which I spent a great deal of the weekend working on -- and picked the sixth one in the stack, then went to the sixth photo on it. Here it is:

It was taken in January 2005 in Hope Valley, near Tahoe. As you're probably not familiar with it: Hope Valley is a gem of a spot about a half hour from the south shore that's a popular area for cross-country skiing and sled dog training. I found a nice article about it that can tell you more if you're interested. You can see the tracks on the snow from people skiing and traipsing around, but you can also see that it's uncrowded and unspoiled.

It was a beautiful, clear day and this was taken during a break from snowshoeing. I like cross-country skiing, too, but I've found that snowshoeing is just as good a workout but a lot more enjoyable (i.e., less falling over). One of the photos that came after the one above is a favorite of mine, and it's related, so I thought I'd share that one, too.

On to the six odd things about myself.

1. I'm not a fan of doing the expected. I've mentioned here before that the more popular a book is, the less inclined I am to read it. Or if everyone else is turning right, I'm probably going to turn left. I'm not a non-conformist, really, because I do like following the rules, but if you have something with choices, I'm probably not going to take the one everyone else does.

2. The way I know I'm sick, like with this cold that's still dogging me, is when the roof of my mouth starts to itch.

3. I have an irrational fear of skunks. I can't explain it, I can't figure out why, and there's no good reason for it; I've never been sprayed. Spiders? No problem. Snakes? I think they're pretty cool, actually. Mice? No squealing here. But a black and white striped bit of vermin? I completely freeze up and my mind goes blank.

4. I pretty much won't answer the door or the phone if I don't have to. If I'm not expecting you to come by my house -- or you don't have a warrant to search the premises -- I will probably not even open the door. When I lived alone, I almost never answered the phone because no one who called it was someone I wanted to talk to; everyone else had my cell number.

5. I can flip my tongue over both ways in my mouth. Try it, it's not easy. It comes in handy for my one and only bar trick: quickly tying maraschino cherry stems with my tongue.

6. I am fond, really fond...really, really fond of ice in my beverages. "Ice is nice" is pretty much the motto I live by. Friends and family have become accustomed to my ordering extra glasses of ice, repeatedly, pretty much everywhere I go.

So, there you have it. And because I don't like to do the expected, I'm not going to tag anyone in particular for either of these memes (I'm supposed to pick, you guessed it, six people for each of them). If you want to do either or both of them, just let us know in the comments so we can come by and see; self-tagging, if you will.

October 10, 2008

Picks and a Plea

So, I've been a slacker in the posting department lately. Sorry about that. I was off partying in DC from Thursday through Monday, and I came back with such a special gift from that trip: a cold. Tonight is the first night that I've felt capable of posting and I've got to post my picks for the BFL today so that's what you get.

Last week my results were pretty middle-of-the-road and Amy In Ohio, my DC roomie, took the MVP badge away from me right in front of my nose. Let's see if we can't bring that baby back home with some picks in hot orange!

Baltimore @ Indianapolis
Detroit @ Minnesota
Oakland @ New Orleans
Cincinnati @ NY Jets
Chicago @ Atlanta
Carolina @ Tampa Bay
St. Louis @ Washington
Miami @ Houston
Jacksonville @ Denver
Philadelphia @ San Francisco
Green Bay @ Seattle
Dallas @ Arizona
New England @ San Diego

Monday Night Football
NY Giants @ Cleveland
Points Total: 37

Please go see my good friend, Insta-mom, to see what picks the other BFL members have made or if you want to join in. Feel free to trash talk them on my behalf while you're there; they can take it.

I've got about a million pictures from DC to look through, and I'm planning to post some of those, plus I'm not done with my tour through the Chihuly exhibit. It looks like I've got a lot of resting ahead of me this weekend so that I can kick this cold, and I plan to spend some of that time here getting those posts ready and doing some site cleanup.

In the meantime, a small plea from me: Are you an American Express cardmember? If you are, please go here and vote for Kiva to win the Members Project competition. They've made it to the Top 5 organizations vying for the $1.5 million award to further their mission. There are just three days left to vote in this final round and I'd really love to see Kiva be able to expand its worthwhile operations. I've been a member with them for over a year and, as you may have noticed from a couple of their things in my sidebar, I'm a pretty big supporter of their cause. If you've voted in the prior rounds, all those are wiped clean and you get to vote again for one of just these five organizations. It's a super-easy way to do a good thing. Thanks!

October 02, 2008

The MVP Weighs In On Week 5

Here we go again, kids! I feel like my beautiful badge down there just got here, and already they're trying to take it away from me. Well, I'm not going down without a fight. I'm still MVP until the end of the day on Monday and I'm going to enjoy it.

I'll be going away for the weekend, to kick up my heels with a kick-ass group of ladies, and I don't know if I'll have reliable Internet access. So, here are my picks for this weeks match-ups, a little early.

Buffalo @ Arizona
Tennessee @ Baltimore
Kansas City @ Carolina
Indianapolis @ Houston
San Diego @ Miami
Chicago @ Detroit
Atlanta @ Green Bay
Seattle @ NY Giants
Washington @ Philadelphia
Tampa Bay @ Denver
Cincinnati @ Dallas
New England @ San Francisco
Pittsburgh @ Jacksonville

Monday Night Football
Minnesota @ New Orleans
Points total: 44

My picks are in that rather lurid shade of aqua. If it looks crappy against the purple, I'll change it. Maybe. Doesn't really matter, because regardless of what color they're in, my picks are going to make the others cry.

You know the drill: You can join us at Instamom's site. (And while you're there, read about feeling your boobies.) Post your picks, grab a badge, link up with us and talk some smack on Sunday.