Monday, June 30, 2008

Twitter Mini-Posts

Here are some things I have been up to lately as dictated to Twitter, since I havent been blogging as much, I thought I would provide the twitter account of what has been on my mind. So if you missed my witty blog posts, feel free to follow me on Twitter, although I make no guarantees on my wittiness.

Some from post-Beach (reverse chronological order):
choc cake and Wiiiiii.
b/c of the line at Eppies, I looked at the menu & ordered something different-pasta with pink sauce- delicious & tons of food. Yummy/so full.
Fair warning to all I hate answering the phone- b/c usually it means 10 people call while I am already on the phone.
Harold and Kumar- the original, I love having satellite- I appreciate more b/c we only get it for 3 mo a year.
I (heart) Jake Ryan...those dimples, that hair, and the eyebrows.
husband has never seen 16 candles, I wonder how many other boys havent seen movie
onto sixteen candles, classic.
love Chandlers ice cream, but they really need a sink to wash up afterwards.
fabios is fabulous.
to the weekend- pool, picnic and fun but how is it the work to do list never gets shorter? next week discovery!!
sometimes I sound more aggressive than I mean to, I gotta watch that.
off to the country store for lunch. yummy salad
Now that I have an IPOD I think it has jumped the shark- I still love it though.
:) I haven't been drivin to work, the exercise has helped my sanity.
phew glad that is over. Now onto the significant amount of other work.
sweating after riding bike to work, but at least I didnt wear my suit on the bike. Preparing for two court things today.
rode my bike back to work, something is clicking on it. Swamped with work, that is good.
beautiful day for a ...CLE? ugh.
I think I will be done for the evening, finally. Good conversation with neighbor this evening, I love it here.
I love Flickr. It is a good way to share photos without emailing them.
having most delicious salad ever from Blue Ridge Country Store. Finally a moment
walked to work today. feeling more productive at work as a result, still need to go to grocery store- no food in house after vacay.
Mellow Mushroom at 7:45- boys finally in bed, busy week ahead.
instead of cookin dinner: clean fridge, put up ceiling fan...very hungry and sweaty now.

Beach Week (6/12-6/20) Tweets:
hanging on the deck at beach
ready for a bike ride, wish I hadn't been so sick, this is only 2nd of week
I just finished the book "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert. A good read wonder if this is a new genre of memoir?
time for another nap...second of the day
feeling slightly better, save for the sun induced itchiness.
awaiting eggs made by dboy and daddy
word girl is so much better than fox 'news'
help- Fox News is on in the room and its driving me crazy.
need more tissues...and its not from watching a sad movie
it throws me off when a client gets arrested, I know I am not meant to be a criminal defense attorney
beautiful beach day, lots of work to do
working at the beach, cant be bad right?

Fundraising deadline

Only one hour left till the end of the quarter- support your favorite candidates by going to their website and contributing today (even if it is after June 30- they will accept your money anytime).

Thank you.

Landis Guilty of Doping; Loses Title

The day Landis climbed and climbed and climbed into first place and the winner of the Tour de France in 2006 is a lie. The process has spoken, no one believes his theory of the case, in fact according to the decision of the doping court "Appelant's experts crossed the line, acting for the most part as advocates for the Appelant's cause, and not as scientists objectively assisting the Panel in the search for truth" (sic). I have to believe in the system, sure everything could be corrupt, but even my conspiracy theory brain recognizes its more likely that one person is corrupt than multiple levels of an administrative and testing process are corrupt. I will apologize personally if Landis is an innocent victim in all this. For the moment I know that the fans are the ones being victimized-

That historic day as described in Wikipedia
"On the following day's Stage 17, Landis stunned the cycling world with a 120 km solo breakaway attack that has been called "one of the most epic days of cycling ever seen".[9] The performance earned Landis comparisons to the famed rides of Eddy Merckx. At one point on the course, he was 9 minutes 4 seconds clear of Pereiro. Landis ultimately won the stage by nearly six minutes over Team CSC's Carlos Sastre and took more than seven minutes out of Pereiro's lead. At the end of the day, Landis sat in third place overall, 18 seconds behind Sastre and just 30 seconds behind the Tour leader. The next stage was a 57 km individual time trial, and Landis' strength in time trialing put him well within striking distance of regaining the tour lead. Landis finished third in the time trial of Stage 19, 89 seconds ahead of Pereiro and 3 minutes 31 seconds ahead of Sastre, to reclaim the yellow jersey with a lead of 59 seconds. Landis retained the lead through Stage 20, the procession into Paris, to win the 2006 Tour de France by 57 seconds.." As a sports fan, that day was one of the greatest in sports history- to have it all questioned a week later, I can still conjure up the heartbreak of the day the allegations of testosterone use came out. We fans lost and continue to lose when cyclists dope and sponsors let them.

The Tour starts again on Saturday. Will I allow myself to be victimized again by this event I love so much? My favorites are all gone from the Tour- Basso, Hamilton, Landis, Ulrich, Mancebo, Boonen, Vino, Contador, Levi etc. They are gone- some legitimately disgraced because of doping, others because of the knee-jerk reaction of the governing body of the Tour. Lets face it no one is innocent- even I know my hyperbole surrounding the epic day in the 2006 Tour feeds cheaters, advertisers, sponsors and the sport itself- if that drama doesnt happen- will I still watch? I will, but maybe others will not.

A whole team is out of the Tour because of last year DESPITE practically everything about the team having changed since last year. Astana has last year's winner on it- Alberto Contador- so he is unable to defend his title because members of last year's team (he wasnt on it) got caught up in a doping scandal.

There are bright spots and I hope this is a clean month for the Tour so next year we can begin to put the scandals behind and focus on the REAL drama, hard work and emotion of this incredibly demanding race.

Be the change...

I have been rained on twice in the past week- and I dont care a hoot. But other people really care- do you want an umbrella? are you sure you dont want a ride? Some folks think I have lost my mind walking in the rain, you should try it though, I find it delightful.

Given the primary experience of Hillary and the vocal cries of sexism in the heat of the campaign, I have been trying to be more cognizant of my own and other people's biases. It's depressing to pay attention. I have been more offended in the past week than I have been in quite awhile (and I work at not being offended).

I keep repeating the mantra of "be the change you want to be" to myself. I want politics to be about civil discourse recognizing reasonable people can disagree. Every time I turn around I am being tested- admittedly I want to rant and rail against people who are haters of the things I believe in. While that is the path of least resistance I recognize I have a greater obligation to civil discourse- I will work hard not to demonize those who disagree, but rather substantiate why I disagree. I may be snarky (sarcastic) at times, but I will try to be fair.

I want this presidential election to look different than previous ones. I despise Juvenile Court because of its ambush nature - I dont think presidential politics should be on who has the best oppositional research, it should be on legitimate policy differences.

John McCain and Barack Obama are extraordinary men, while I have a strong opinion about who should be President, its not because of a lapel pin, race, military service, or even their wives but on my opinion of the way the country should move forward. And it is that, an opinion, I expect some to disagree. Just do so respectfully and dont try to make me think my guy is bad, it wont work and you may have been misinformed.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Almost the end of the quarter

Fundraising kicks into high gear at the end of the quarter, and June 30th is the next deadline. Support my candidates by giving generously before the 30th of June.

I received the following statement upon contributing to Sen. Deeds campaign today, which neatly encapsulates why Creigh Deeds should be the next Governor of Virginia:

"I’ve spent my career as a listener and a consensus builder—fighting for your values and delivering results. But despite all the wonderful things happening in Virginia right now, I believe there is still important work to be done. With the right investments in our colleges and universities, we can create a research-based economy that develops new sources of alternative energy. We need to get back on the road to building a modern transportation system in Virginia that allows our state and our economy to grow. And, it is imperative that we retool our community college system so that we can train our workforce for the jobs of the 21st century. These are just some of the challenges I hope to tackle as your next Governor and I welcome your input and advice on how we can continue to make Virginia the best place to live, work and raise a family—the best place for all of us to call home." (emphasis mine).

Also, some of you may have received Tom Perriello's video today either via email or facebook (or both). I applaud Perriello's bold goals- $900,000 for this quarter? I genuinely believe he can win because he has the audacity to fight, fight, fight (that is my favorite line from an Ani DeFranco song Gravel). Its impressive to see someone follow through on their commitment to serve those who feel unrepresented here in the 5th.

Last, but not least, Obama is also seeking our support, and offering a t-shirt in return. From an email: "The financial reporting deadline for June is coming up this Monday at midnight. This will be the first test of our grassroots fundraising program since we declared our independence from the broken campaign financing system. We need to show that a campaign funded by ordinary people giving only what they can afford can go toe-to-toe with John McCain and the Republican National Committee. Make a donation of $30 or more by midnight on June 30th and receive a special edition Obama logo T-shirt: https://donate.barackobama.com/logotshirt"

Cindy McCain

Newsweek's cover story on Cindy McCain is worth a read. Cindy McCain is no longer someone I can overlook as trophy or minimize. She is, in my opinion which is not worth a lot, a strong woman who has endured despite some pitfalls AND has really walked the walk with respect to service and giving back. Not that I am voting for John McCain, but it is certainly not because of his wife. Luckily for the electorate either Michelle Obama and Cindy McCain will make excellent First Ladies.

I say luckily because we are not electing First Ladies, both nominees have married extraordinary women who are committed to their children, work and service. I am proud that both nominees have not married wallflowers but real strong women.

So take a look at the article if you dont know anything about Cindy McCain. Also media dont mess with any politician's children- that is just wrong.

Depression & Hollywood

Heather Locklear has admitted herself into treatment for depression and anxiety. Normally I would have nothing to add to this. However, I was pretty horrified when the boys and I were driving to the Belmont Spray Park last night and the commentator on the radio (107.5 which I promptly changed the station) stated "oh it must be so difficult being beautiful, even at her age, working and rich..." as though those things disqualify her from depression.

Depression is an illness, it is not related to your lifestyle or all the trappings in it. With respect to Locklear- it is easy to see how depression could have been triggered- her (now ex) best friend began dating her husband as soon as HeatherL separated from Sambora.

Seeking treatment for depression is commendable, not something to be mocked. Moreover, pain is completely individual - we are in no position to judge another's mental status or just as we are unable to determine whether someone has an invisible physical illness. I prefer to support someone who is depressed, not marginalize depression for entertainment value, even if the person who is ill is rich, beautiful and otherwise fortunate (maintaining the facade can be even more troubling for those folks).

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

No recycling in rentals

Sandbridge is lovely- I love Virginia so I particularly grateful to be able to vacation in such a wonderful spot. We have been coming here for a ridiculous period of time, like 18 years or something like that.

Needless to say, much recyclable material is created while we are here. When we started coming here, Sandbridge had a place to go to recycle, so every other morning or so, someone would venture over there with our glass, aluminum etc. it was not the best task, but everything is better on vacation anyway.

They closed the place to recycle, so we didnt recycle for a few years and never really understood why they closed it.

Blue trash cans came to Sandbridge awhile back and recycling came to the curb and recycling was easy.

This year, the blue trash can is here- but the recycle trucks dont take recycling from rental homes because too many people were putting trash in the blue cans.

We are at the beach- I think of the beach as the front line on environmental issues and we cant recycle at our curb? For a long time, I thought it was a pain in the a$$ to recycle, but Chris has positively influenced me and now I can say it is obvious we should be recycling. Charlottesville's system has helped too- since we pay per trash can and recycling is free, the difference between recycling and not, is dramatic.

I am sorry but I cannot bring the recycling home- its a lot and the cars are already small and loaded.

To think in problem solving mode for one minute- the blue cans look similar to the black cans- so why not make the recycle containers different? In cville, the smaller bins are for recycling and while it may not be as easy for the operator of the trash truck, I suspect the value of recycling over the long term would be greater. I am not some great mind or anything like that, but it seems like the City of Virginia Beach or the rental companies or the solid waste disposal companies could bring recycling to vacationers, making all of us better citizens as a result.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

what I learned at Rotary

Last night's topic was somber- "The War Tapes" a documentary told from the inside out. It was shown at TED a filmmaker's honor.

Soldiers received cameras and their equipment had mounted cameras on them. I watched the trailer and the directors talk at TED. Needless to say it was very moving.

what I learned
1. itunes has the documentary for $9.95
2. positive news coverage for theses soldiers is that the soldiers helped when told not to and this is the seriously under reported story of the war. If a bombing happens outside the fence and hurt Iraqis, it is the US medics and troops responding in these crisises. they don't have to, the humanity demonstrated by these soldiers everyday far outweighs the treachery portrayed by the media.

so I will get the documentary and learn more, and find a way to make a difference. The presentation reminded me of a recurrent thought I have:

"mommy, what did you do during the war?"

Annual 5th CD Dem Dinner

I copied Gordie since he laid it out so well (thanks).
The 5th District Committee is holding their annual dinner nearby in Lynchburg. Here are the details:

here: James River Conference Center
5th and Court Streets
Lynchburg
WHO: Tom Perriello 5th District Candidate for Congress

David Toscano
57th District Delegate (Charlottesville)

Shannon Valentine
23rd District Delegate (Lynchburg)

Brian Moran
92nd District Delegate (Hampton)
Chair, House Democratic Caucus

Ward Armstrong
10th District Delegate (Martinsville and nearby counties)
House Minority Leader

Cost: $45 per person contact Jennifer at jlm2z@hotmail.com

Transportation: If you want to save gas, Fred Hudson has rented a bus.
This is not your normal bus that you used to take to school. This is a very nice bus, well fitted out with very comfortable seats, that is really a first class way to make the trip to Lynchburg. Also, there will be wine available at not cost to the riders. And you get all of this for $20.

Parks&Rec

Some notes on the Parks and Rec Dept.
Washington Park pool is open 10-8 M-F- be there or be square.

Belmont Spray Park is up and running. Some who have attempted to use it may have been disappointed to find it closed, but since the heat wave it has been open. We look forward to seeing you there!

GreenLeaf Park has its own spray park. I can attest to the fun of it. We had Dboy's bday party there, it was awesome (but brutally hot for us adults who hung out in the shade-luckily there is plenty of that at Greenleaf).

Meade Park's pool will be demolished at the end of the season so that a new pool can be built by the beginning of next year.

Its almost July so it must be drugs

UPDATE: Boonen will not participate in the Tour this year as a result of his positive cocaine test last month. The governing body ASO states this is not a doping case- then what the heck, let the man ride.
All of the best looking, talented cyclists are out of the Tour this year, my heart is broken.

I am looking at my groups on Facebook, I am in the group called "Cycling dominates my month of July" or something like that. All this talk on the message board about Tom Boonen, who is my second favorite sprinter (Robbie McEwen is my first favorite).

Well Tom tested positive for cocaine last month prior to the start of the Tour of Belgium. Phew- dodged a bullet there. He will not be sanctioned by anyone, the Tour de Suisse may attempt to keep him out of its race, but that decision may be overturned. All of this I found out when I stopped by cycling news. Apparently reading cycling news once every two days in June is not enough. The website doesnt think anything bad will happen to Tom as a result; isnt cocaine a performance enhancing drug? Why wouldnt that be banned. I like Tom, but if he is doing cocaine, might it be possible that he is doing other drugs?

We have our tivo all ready to start the Tour de France, but for now it is mostly the boys catching up on all their favorite Noggin shows, luckily we arent home much.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Its only a speech...

But I know how important speeches are to the American people. Today Clinton will mercifully concede. CNN is reporting that her speech will be crucial to uniting the party and moving beyond the bitterness of the primary.

When Al Gore gave his concession speech in 2000 after the Supreme Court decision in Bush v. Gore, he set the tone of reconciliation that Bush propounded during his campaign (a whole book could be devoted to how he has failed in every respect).
Mr. Gore really demonstrated his leadership abilities in the moments he made that speech and he helped the country begin to heal. Obviously what we ended up with was less than satisfactory for the majority of us who voted for Gore, but the truth of the matter is- it was no longer about him, it was about moving the country forward. Today, I hope to see a generous and sincere Clinton graciously concede so that we can move forward as Democrats and a country.

Friday, June 06, 2008

VP for Obama

I am on the Webb for VP bandwagon. Obviously, Obama should choose a running mate based on who he feels comfortable, has needed experience and will serve him loyally. During the campaign, I was absolutely, 100% against Clinton being Obama's running mate. I see her a bit more softly now. Even while criticizing her, I have been hoping she would generously and humbly concede when she in fact concedes. If she admits that Obama won this primary, it will go a long way to mending my relationship with her. I know she is real concerned about our relationship - NOT.

What I am saying is if she is willing to concede she may not be the self-serving, Rovian page book borrower that I thought in the heat of the campaign. In that event, she may not try to undermine Obama at every turn as a Vice President. If I could believe that then I believe she might make an excellent VP selection (just dont tell my dad I said that- I might get kicked out of the family).

Finally, I dont think Obama should be pressured to pick anyone, so while I support Sen. Webb, I know I dont have a vote in that decision until well after it is made.

Buddy the dog

Our dog is sick, so sick we didnt even care that it would cost an arm and a leg. He has allergies- always has, so he frequently is scratching himself. But when he started getting a runny nose and sore joints, we had to take him to the vet. He has a 105 degree temp, he could barely walk and had awful skin issues on his tail. Poor dog. The vet was real worried about him, which made us freak out more too. The antibiotics, IV fluids and other treatment turned him around quickly. He tested positive for a tick borne disease which in dogs are relatively easy to treat. The deterioration happened so quickly- on Wednesday he was fine, by last night we thought we should take him into the emergency vet. We waited till morning and took him to our vet. He has to be quiet this weekend, and if he doesnt stop scratching he has to wear boxer shorts (so far, so good though). I wouldnt have imagined such a quick turnaround, but he even jumped on the bed to sleep tonight, this morning he couldnt walk. Phew.

New firm - so refreshing

Working in an office is so good. This week because of the heat one member of the firm whipped up a tuna salad for the rest of us so we wouldnt have to venture into the heat to get lunch. How nice. I am constantly grateful for the interaction with people, the conversation range from silly to serious and are respectful.

The last time I started at a brand new job it was 8/27/2001. Two weeks later, Sept. 11, happened and I sat aghast as the staff used racial epithets in front of me. I firmly (but carefully since I didnt know them) told them not to use that language in front of me. I ended up being the target of the staff after that episode- I was grateful to leave that awful environment. I feel pretty fortunate not to have been offended or offended anyone in the past five weeks. w00t

The firm I work with is so refreshing and a welcome change from my previous isolation.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

parents as grandparents

My parents are so different as grandparents. Things are a lot more secure for them than they ever were while my brother and I were growing up, so obviously that helps. But being around them, I get the distinct impression that the joys of grandparenthood are the hidden secrets of parenthood. I say this as my boys eat plain pasta and veggies for dinner (parent of the year here).

David will be 5 this week- Andrew will be 4 in a month. I am the luckiest mom around because my mom and Pauline take such pleasure in babysitting my boys three days a week. The really awesome part is how excited the boys are to spend time at grandma's house- every week, three times a week. When the boys were younger, someone told me that mothers really suffered from the mobility of the nuclear family- no longer were we so close to a family support network. In my case, I am in 100% agreement. My family has been able to thrive as a result of my mother's sincere desire to spend a lot of quality time with my children.

Now my dad is moving to Texas for at the most 5 or 6 years. Never mind my own denial and sadness. My dad, living in Baltimore for the past decade or so, has visited at least once a month, or more, since the children were born. His wife, "grandma' Sherry is a favorite of the boys too since she plays computer games with them and has an seemingly boundless amount of energy to play with them. The boys love it when they come visit- so much so, that David just assumes we are going to Texas with them when Grandpa and 'grandma' Sherry move there. David likes the idea of traveling by plane to Texas too, in congruent thoughts but he is only 4 still.

I leave out Chris' family in this discussion but I dont mean to suggest they are irrelevant- Chris's mom frequently brings my boy's cousins to play and plans her days off to coincide with time she can help us out and spend quality time with the boys all this while living three hours away.

Finally, my parents do not seem old at all to me (their bdays are this month too-nor are they imho). I remember vividly thinking my grandparents were elderly. I get the distinct impression my children dont think of my parents (or Chris' mom) as elderly because of the very active and important role they have played in their upbringing. Of course, some day when the children are older, they will tell me their impressions (as my brother and I constantly amaze my parents with our impressions). Today I know they are so loved and engaged by their grandparents- and obviously I am very grateful.

Turn VA BLUE!! Obama in Prince William Thursday

Virginia is in Play- we should get used to going places in Virginia and supporting the Democratic nominee for President!
From the Obama Campaign:
Please join Barack Obama for a Rally in Prince William County, where he'll talk about his vision for bringing America together and creating the kind of change we can believe in.

Rally with Barack Obama

Nissan Pavilion
7800 Cellar Door Drive
Bristow, VA

Thursday, June 5th
Doors Open: 3:00 p.m.
Program Starts: 6:00 p.m.

http://va.barackobama.com/bristow

The event is free and open to the public. Tickets are NOT required, but an RSVP is strongly encouraged (use link above). Admission is on a first-come, first-served basis.
For security reasons, do not bring bags. Please limit personal items. No signs or banners permitted. No outside food or drinks are permitted on property, with the exception of clear and sealed water bottles.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you cannot make it to this event but would still like to support Barack, you can make a donation here:

https://donate.barackobama.com/wecan

Sunday, June 01, 2008

New RPV Chair

Waldo's take on the Republican Party of Virginia squabble is biting. This weekends convention helped solidify the RPV intent on becoming irrelevant to a majority of Virginians and helping me elect more Democrats. Thanks.

The Virginia Republican seems to be promoting the opposite of what the Sorenson program seeks to do: promote dialogue bipartisan(ly) so that we can be pragmatic in finding solutions to Virginia's problems.

This evening (6/1/08) Event

Tonight in Scottsville- the Hackensaw Boys and Sons of Bill are playing in Dorrier Park. Its free. For more information- check out this website.
This is quite a lineup for a free concert. The only problem I have is that it is a long drive and it is Sunday. Tune in to see whether I actually go, and if you go, tell me about it or say hey.