Friday, October 2, 2009

Moms Against....

Someone give me an acronym please.

I need to form a group against bullies in schools - against hazing, against teasing and outcasting. How do I go about this?

I was a victim of many - and I've heard I had a few moments on being the assailant as well. I don't really remember any of these. We, as humans, remember being the tormented, but not the tormentor. How convenient!

Either way - we've all seen it - and any of you head cheerleaders out there may see it otherwise - but let me tell you - GIRLS are horrific to each other in school - and I'm sure boys are no picnic. If you don't remember being teased or picked on - guess which side of the fence you were on? Yes, there are a precious few who balanced on that thin line in between - tell us your secrets...

So where do we go from here? As a parent - I'd like to teach my kids how NOT to be a bully - but how do I teach how not to be BULLIED? Shouldn't the parents of the bullies do that? Are they even aware that their children are bullies? Were THEY bullies and this is "normal" to them? think "oh jeez - they're just being kids.." No, they are being animals. What? You say it's a right of passage? Tell that to the kid sitting in the corner by herself in 3rd grade - yes, that would be me - who has grown up enough to understand but not forget.

There needs to be a forum for discussion between parents at local schools - and it should be mandatory that parents be involved to some degree.

My husband says people think I'm crazy when I talk to their kids after school and at the playground - why is that crazy? If I get to know them, isn't that creating a community? Isn't that what we need - a community? There aren't many of those left today - and this Mom is against that - are you?

It's time to take our kids back, be responsible and make them GOOD PEOPLE.

And please - lets get the cell phone companies to give us the option to get our children cell phones WITHOUT cameras! If I ever see a photo of my kid on the news with blurred out parts... gag... oh I think I was just sick....

Acronyms.... think of a few will ya?

How about MACE: Moms Against Community Erosion
Or MABA: Moms against Bully Abuse

Help me out!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


So, if you have read my other posts, by now you know I just blurt out whatever is in my head. I take a chance that people will understand that this is therapy for me - a way to sort out my thoughts and possibly get feedback to set me straight. I have said before - I am not perfect, and I am totally ignorant to so much, but I'm open to learn - and if anything I write makes you want to shake me - SHAKE ME - for God's sake I need enlightenment!!! Which is what I got today.

When we all try to learn something - we struggle with the learning curve. Sometimes we get frustrated, fight the change, or just plain give up. I remember the day I learned to ride a bike - vividly. Not because I was so proud - I was scared out of my mind. My brother, who I am sure was sick of his little sister whining "I can't do it" over and over, took me to the top of a hill at a local parking lot. I remember it being steep and long and so so scary. He sat me on my bike, told me to pedal, and pushed me down the hill. Now, I don't think he really thought this through to the point he realised that my fear would force instinct to kick in and I would just pedal, and learn - almost immediately. I think he just wanted to see me wipe out and stop whining. Whatever he thought - I learned. Since then so many things, after a brief struggle have been like that - learning to ski - one day it just "clicked" on how to cut into the snow just right to make the turn, swimming: "click" RELAX and you will float and be a better swimmer, Calculus - ummm.... yeah - maybe that isn't a good example....

All that said - I had a "click" today - a sort of epiphany thanks to a friend. Since meeting my husband, I have struggled with race issues. My pasty white skin just plain doesn't match his chocolate brown in some peoples eyes. I usually don't give a crap about what others think so it didn't bother me for a long time, that is, until we had our daughter. I started to worry about her, how she will be treated, how she will be treated differently from her sister, the things she will have to live through that I have not lived through. My husband has been so nonchalant about all of this it made me crazy. How can he not WORRY about this?

To be brutally honest, my in-laws have made this even more difficult. My entire life I have had the unconditional support of my Mom. When I need advice I go to her, and she is the first one to straighten me out, or send me to someone who can. Many times she has been at a loss and couldn't guide me, but knowing she would support me always got me through. Isn't this how everyone's family is? I will admit, I am dumb enough to think this is true. That everyone's family is just like mine - dysfunctional in a good way - sometimes. (ha!) But sadly, this is not the case with my in-laws - with the exception of one. At one point I was shocked that they had such racist views when I thought they would be the ones to enlighten me - to straighten me out, to teach me about the things my daughter may face. I just ASSUMED this would be the way. But, I never expected what I got which was quite the opposite of what I hoped for, and I suppose still hope can be, but for now - I go it alone.

So here I am - blogging away about these issues hoping that one day I would have a bit of clarity - that I would have all the answers - that someone would tell me the secrets that have been kept from me. Today I got just that.

A friend made a comment to me about his parents. He said "If my parents taught me anything it was through their own example. 'I am defined by what I do and how I treat others, and not by what I look like'".

Now you may want to say "Maria, haven't you heard that before?" Well sure. I have heard similar quotes for a long time. My own Husband tells me that what we look like doesn't define us. You read it in articles, you see it in movies, you hear people discussing it. And I have always heard the words, and understood their meaning.

What got me, today, was "If my parents taught me anything it was through their own example" and, the fact that this came from a man who IS biracial - a man I have met personally and have known to be a good person and someone I am proud to consider a friend. If my daughters have people say that about them when they are older I have done my job - and done it well.

All at once I had clarity. All of these websites I've searched, all of these questions I've asked, all of this knowledge I seek is a waste of my energy. What he taught me today is to be a good example to my kids. Now there is something else you may say - "well, no shit Maria", and I agree.

My epiphany is this: In my desperate search to be a better parent I was being selfish and a bad parent. All of the hours I have spent, all of the words I have written, all of the tears I have shed - a waste of the precious time I could have been spending on just plain loving my kids. Showing them how to love and be loved. How to love other people, how to be a good friend, a good person - and a loving family member. All I have to do is be the person MY Mother taught me to be - to be like her.

I love my Mom. She taught me by example.
My friends parents taught him by example and he turned out great.
It is so simple I am overwhelmed that I never saw this before.

All I need to do - is be me.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Facebook Friends

Ahhh.... It's September 11th and maybe I should be thinking more of THAT, but, I'm getting my mind off the day for a moment to be bitchy. Bitchy is easy for me so I'll just get right to the point. How many "friends" do you have on Facebook? Plus or minus 100? I have to admit - at one point I thought I was little miss FB Popularity until I realised half of my "friends" friended me because they wanted to share nests for egg collecting. If you have never played Hatchlings - don't start - it's addicting and I have beaten my addiction and moved on to blogging... so in truth, I'm just as big a loser as the next person.

ANYWHO - when I realised the "loser" truth, I decided to be honest and thin the friend list. I kept a precious few "eggie" friends because I had gotten to "know" them through Facebook. I was under 100. **GASP** could I stand that? Would people JUDGE me? I don't give a shit really - judge away.

As I thinned, I started feeling guilty and keeping some people I really don't "need" to keep - like my first "real" boyfriend. Why? I don't know - he dumped me without a word in 10th grade and I really don't think knowing him now through Facebook is going to change the world, but my kids are cute so you know what? He can see my pics and realised what he threw away! (This of course would be more effective if his kids weren't equally adorable) and there is always the few high school friends who you always thought hated you and they friended you, the friends of friends who you met once at a barbecue, and some neighborhood people you didn't feel confident enough not to accept the friend request in fear you won't be invited to that block party that never happens. Whatever - you never know when networking may pay off right?

Now, I have thinned it down to people I really consider Facebook Friends - which doesn't really mean "real" friends now does it? Is this too complicated? Well if you think so, there is an Application of Facebook called "Best Friends" so you can sort out the best ones, and leave the others feeling like the last ones chosen at the dodge ball game. So for that I don't list "best" friends - just to save feelings, like some others I keep as friends so they don't one day notice I'm not on their list anymore and they feel so rejected they can't eat for a week.

The biggest things that baffle me are:

Photography: I have to think long and hard about some of my friends who love to take pics of themselves positioned in front of the bathroom mirror looking sexy with their boobs hanging out, tousled hair and kissy face lips. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE. If you are one of these, and remain on my friends list congratulations - there must be something I love about you to keep you around because some of these photos make me cringe for fear of your future - but c'est la vie! Your page, your pic, your choice.

Language: Often I have to rethink friends for their colorful commentary and use of improper or vulgar language but shit - whaddaya want frum me anywayz? I ain't no friggin' scollar! (for future reference - I usually forget to spellcheck before I post so I'm sure that last statement will blend in with the rest of my butchery of the English language).

THEIR friends list: What is their crowd like? Do you want to peruse their list before accepting their friendship? Are they the "cool kids" are their people on the list you don't want to know YOU exist? Are there people on their list you WANT to look at or hear from? Of course these same people may have already blocked you so you may have no control over that.

My favorite person I did NOT friend is "a guy I once knew" no - not an ex boyfriend - and old acquaintance of my husband. This person who is so extremely full of himself and thinks he is so wonderful, and in reality - he is a shithead. YES I DID say that. I've heard enough and listened to him talk just enough to know this is true. I saw him on a friend list of a friend (I'm now wondering how many times I've put the i after the e as I write friend a million times here with my dyslexic typing skills...) I click on him out of curiosity - you do it too - admit it - and he had 700+ friends - I just looked and he's down to 500 some odd and I'm wondering if he too thinned his list or people are just catching on.... but my point - he must LOVE being in the 500+ club - but sadly, most of those people friended him to see WHO these people are that he considers FRIENDS. I am proud to say I am not one, and not so proud to say I check his page out occasionally to make sure I made the right decision... and things remain the same....

SO - for those of you with kids, relatives, coworkers, or associations who should be kept safely away from sexual references, bad language and the like - or just shitheads - choose your Facebook friends wisely - many of us forget who we friended for the sake of Facebook popularity and just plain don't know how to censor ourselves - or, use spellcheck.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Hate Bush?

OK - so I was asked about my blog, realised I hadn't been blogging, so I have 10 minutes.... OK 7 - so here I go.

What the hell is up with everyone Hating on the Bush family? OK - so we aren't racing to Rushmore to carve out a huge "W" but recently I was involved in a brief conversation with some Liberal folk about the Kennedy Royals... uh... I mean family.

Now, I love the Kennedy's like any other people I have never met, and they did wonders for my hometown - but you know what? They aren't pristine people....

That said - the comment was about why Bush Senior wasn't at Ted Kennedy's funeral - and how horrible was that sending "W" as a rep of their family. And then the jokes about him sittin gnext to Hillary and poor Hillary.... How about POOR BOTH OF THEM having to sit next to each other and giving more things for people to waste their breath speaking about?

Well.... I said "maybe he's sick or something - the man IS old afterall" Now - I got ripped on about that - because he "should have been there".

Now I'm not tooting my own horn or anything but the news today said something about Bush having hip replacement surgery last Wednesday and how much pain he had been in.

Um - HELLO PEOPLE there's your answer.

And the worst part - no one is talking about it. Had it been the other way around, the Mayo clinic would have been surrounded by reporters and rows of flowers and well wishers for the Kennedy family - but if your name is Bush....

The man was our President and deserves respect - more than a Senator? You be the judge of that - all I'm sayin' is think about the reasons YOU haven't gone to a funeral - are they as good as a Hip replacement?

Glass Houses.

OK - my 7 minutes are up!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

late night lunacy...

Ok - so I've been dealing with a major bout of PMS (sorry guys) so what do I do? I watch a movie I've never seen before about Apartheid called "The Power Of One" Have you seen it? What a CRAPPY trailer for a great movie. I will admit the last 3 minutes of the movie left me with a "what?" but....WHAT WAS I THINKING? As great as it was - it was a real heart wrencher. I'm on a spiral now of non sleep mental obsession about everything.

Race being at the top of the list (as usual). I don't get and could never get and never will get why a color of someones skin makes a bit of difference anywhere. Of course history doesn't agree with me. And neither do so many people in this world. No matter how much I read, see, learn or hear I just can't wrap my head around it. Am I ignorant? Hell yeah! Of course I am.

In my quest to "learn" more so I can better understand what the future holds for my biracial daughter, I have been told many things - the worst of which was "you'll never know because you live with white privilege" and then I got jumped on by a bunch of people who really just wanted to hate the white girl in the room - and teach her a lesson. But you know what people - TELLING me why it is what it is, and how things got to be this screwed up, and why I am part of the problem because I'm white and I have a job (yes, someone said that - I suppose I'm not the only ignorant nut on the tree afterall) it's somehow my fault is NOT A SOLUTION. This is treating in some thick, greasy, tar-like, deep as the ocean water. I've said it before and I'll say it again - I'm ignorant to many things - but I'm open to learn and better myself - are you? How can bitching and complaining be a solution?

I'll expose myself here because, well, if you know me you know I have no skeletons in my closet - and if I find one it's because my children have eaten my brain and i just plain forgot it was there... but let me ask...

Have you ever been pick pocketed?
Have you ever been mugged at knife point?
Have you been a victim of sexual harassment?
Have you been a victim of a sexual assault?
Have you ever held the hand of a good friend while he cries about a terminal diagnosis?
Have you been accused of racism?
Have you ever picked up a loved one off the floor after a sexual assault?
Have you been laid off?
Have you been a complete outcast in 3rd grade? So bad you considered suicide in 4th?
Have you ever prayed that something would kill you so that people would notice what the truth was?
Have you ever brought a loved one to the ER for a severe PTSD episode and had armed guards watch you?
Have you been divorced?
Have you sat your child down and explained why Daddy isn't there?
Have you been a single Mom?
Have you seen your parent die?

If you said yes to any of these things - there is a SLIGHT chance I may know where you are coming from, and you me - and you know what? These things effect everyone differently so the slight chance becomes even smaller. My list could be longer - and yours may be longer than mine - but WE ALL HAVE LISTS. Out future is carved by how these lists effect us, what we hold onto, what we let go, what we use to grow from. (What we spend thousands of dollars in therapy to stop obsessing over)

So - telling me because I am white I have no idea what pain is - and discounting my honesty in wanting to learn and understand just plain pisses me off. (I'm tired and can't think of a nicer way to put that) No, I have never once in my life had skin darker than a fish belly. But Have you ever had fish belly skin? Takes one to know one? Walk in my shoes? Spend a day in my life? Sound familiar? How long can we go on with this one? Another couple of centuries maybe?

So what to do? Who decides it's time to draw a line in the sand and step over it? To stop drowning in the past and make a better future for everyone?

On the radio the other day a talk show host said something to the effect of: "we try to teach our children everything we have learned so that they don't have to learn those lessons the hard way - to have a head start - and hopefully be better than we are".

Teaching kids to hate, supporting their hatred in any way shape of form is what I can not understand. Why can't I be in the generation that makes a change? (I won't get all Obama on you trust me) But seriously - If we constantly look back how can we move forward?

Now, back to the program - the MOVIE (remember the movie?) This movie struck me so hard because this boys life was in turmoil because of race - and because he was raised "colorblind" he is somewhat like me - never understanding why. I certainly wasn't raised in a mixed community - but my classes were - I, once again, being my ignorant self, just thought kids who lived in Boston were black - so what? People in my neighborhood were Italian, and the people on the other side of the pike were Jewish, and so on, and so on... But the bottom line is I wasn't raised to hate. I'm not quite sure how my Dad would feel about that, but he's been gone for so very long and my Mom was a big influence for me. She was honest when I told her I was dating a black man (not the first time) and told me she was worried about how people would treat us. And I have seen some of that. My husband tells me the best way to handle people like that is to be a loving happy family and people will learn. Words of wisdom.

So, now that I've got all of that out of my system - I'm going to let you all weigh in. If you want. Tell me I'm ignorant - it's OK - I can take it - and I already know I am EXTREMELY ignorant in many ways - but I'm open to change and grow with my children's interests at heart.


Monday, August 17, 2009


How do you "greet" people? Do you consider it? Do you run and say hello to newcomers when they arrive, or wait until they come and greet you?

I recently went to an event where I was not a "primary" group member. In my groups, we all say hello when we see a new person has arrived, even in some cases when we don't know that person, we introduce ourselves. Isn't this what you are supposed to do?

So I arrive, and no one greets me. I greet some, make a general "hello" to everybody - all of whom know me, and I know them, yet still they all staying in their places, talking to their neighbors, and not wasting their time by breaking their normal ways of being by associating with me.

Did I smell?
Was I rude?

Nope - this is the way this group survives, and why I don't run to their gatherings as quickly as I might others. I only go for a few precious people who ask me to be there.

So I went, I stuck around, and I left without a word to anyone who didn't have the time for me.

I also left feeling very lonely and hurt even though I know this is just the nature of the group, and I expected it.

How is it that people, who are decendants of group loving social animals can behave this way? Is this the future of humans? I certainly hope not...

So when you are at your next function, gathering, or tea party - make an effort to introduce yourself, say hello to people as they arrive - take a minute to make someone feel welcome - it's good for your kharma.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Health Care Reform Homework

In efforts to educate myself I looked into the proposed bill...I suggest everyone consider it.


Item 4 Part C on page 59"enable electronic funds transfer, in order to allow automated reconciliation with the related health care payment and remittance advice"

Also See Item D on page 58 for eligibility of care based on financial responsibility

Now I have quite a headache, and I know you can't pull a few lines out of 1,018 page document - but I find it scary that these needles live in the haystack - and who decides how it is translated? I am trying to do my homework to make an informed decision, but man... this is not easy reading.

Here is an overview (someone else made the comments)
Pg 22 of the HC Bill MANDATES the Govt will audit books of ALL EMPLOYERS that self insure!!
Pg 30 Sec 123 of HC bill - THERE WILL BE A GOVT COMMITTEE that decides what treatments/benefits you get
Pg 29 lines 4-16 in the HC bill - YOUR HEALTHCARE IS RATIONED!!!
Pg 42 of HC Bill - The Health Choices Commissioner will choose your HC Benefits for you. You have no choice!
PG 50 Section 152 in HC bill - HC will be provided to ALL non US citizens, illegal or otherwise
Pg 58HC Bill - Govt will have real-time access 2 individs finances & a National ID Healthcard will be issued!
Pg 59 HC Bill lines 21-24 Govt will have direct access to you banks accountsts for electronic funds transfer
PG 65 Sec 164 is a payoff subsidized plan for retirees and their families in unions & community orgs (ACORN).
Pg 72 Lines 8-14 Govt is creating an HC Exchange to bring private HC plans under Govt control.
PG 84 Sec 203 HC bill - Govt mandates ALL benefit packages for private health care plans in the Exchange
PG 85 Line 7 HC Bill - Specs for of Benefit Levels for Plans = The Govt will ration your Healthcare!
PG 91 Lines 4-7 HC Bill - Govt mandates linguistic appropropriate services. Example - Translationfor illegal aliens
Pg 95 HC Bill Lines 8-18 The Govt will use groups i.e., ACORN & Americorps to sign up individuals for Govt HC plan
PG 85 Line 7 HC Bill - Specs of Benefit Levels for Plans. #AARP members - your Health care WILL be rationed
PG 102 Lines 12-18 HC Bill - Medicaid Eligible Individuals will be automatically enrolled in Medicaid. No choice
pg 124 lines 24-25 HC No company can sue GOVT on price fixing. No "judicial review" against Govt Monopoly
pg 127 Lines 1-16 HC Bill - Doctors/ #AMA - The Govt will tell YOU what you can make.
Pg 145 Line 15-17 An Employer MUST automatiocally enroll employees into pubic option plan. NO CHOICE
Pg 126 Lines 22-25 Employers MUST pay for health care for part time employees AND their families.
Pg 149 Lines 16-24 ANY Employer with payroll of 400k & above who does not provide public option. pays 8% tax on all payroll
pg 150 Lines 9-13 Business payroll between 251k & 400k who doesn't provide public option pays 2-6% tax on all payroll
Pg 167 Lines 18-23 ANY individual who doesn't have acceptable health care according to Govt will be taxed 2.5% of income
Pg 170 Lines 1-3 HC Bill Any NON-RESIDENT Alien is exempt from individual taxes. (Americans will pay for their health care)
Pg 195 HC Bill -officers & employees of health care Administration (GOVT) will have access to ALL Americans financial/personal records
PG 203 Line 14-15 HC - "The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax" Yes, it says that
Pg 239 Line 14-24 HC Bill Govt will reduce physician services for Medicaid. Seniors, low income, poor affected
Pg 241 Line 6-8 HC Bill - Doctors, doesn't matter what specialty you have, you'll all be paid the same
PG 253 Line 10-18 Govt sets value of Dr's time, professional judgment, etc. Literally value of humans.
PG 265 Sec 1131 Govt mandates & controls productivity for private health care industries
PG 268 Sec 1141 Fed Govt regulates rental & purchase of power driven wheelchairs
PG 272 SEC. 1145. TREATMENT OF CERTAIN CANCER HOSPITALS - Cancer patients - welcome to rationing!
Page 280 Sec 1151 The Govt will penalize hospitals for what Govt deems preventable readmissions.
Pg 298 Lines 9-11 Drs, treat a patient during initial admission that results in a re-admission- Govt will penalize you.
Pg 317 L 13-20 PROHIBITION on ownership/investmen t. Govt tells Drs. what/how much they can own.
Pg 317-318 lines 21-25,1-3 PROHIBITION on expansion- Govt is mandating hospitals cannot expandpg 321 2-13 Hospitals have opportunity to apply for exception BUT community input required. Can u say ACORN?!!
Pg335 L 16-25 Pg 336-339 - Govt mandates establishment of outcome based measures. Health care the way they want. Rationing
Pg 341 Lines 3-9 Govt has authority to disqualify Medicare Adv. Plans, HMOs, etc. Forcing people into Govt plan
Pg 354 Sec 1177 - Govt will RESTRICT enrollment of special needs people!
Pg 379 Sec 1191 Govt creates more bureaucracy - Telehealth Advisory Committee. Can you say health care by phone?
PG 425 Lines 4-12 Govt mandates Advance Care Planning Consult. Think Senior Citizens end of life
Pg 425 Lines 17-19 Govt will instruct & consult regarding living wills, durable powers of attorney. Mandatory!
PG 425 Lines 22-25, 426 Lines 1-3 Govt provides approved list of end of life resources, guiding you in death
PG 427 Lines 15-24 Govt mandates program for orders for end of life. The Govt has a say in how your life ends
Pg 429 Lines 1-9 An "adv. care planning consult" will be used frequently as patients health deteriorates
PG 429 Lines 10-12 "adv. care consultation" may include an ORDER for end of life plans. AN ORDER from GOV
Pg 429 Lines 13-25 - The govt will specify which Doctors can write an end of life order.
PG 430 Lines 11-15 The Govt will decide what level of treatment u will have at end of life
Pg 469 - Community Based Home Medical Services=Non profit orgs. Hello, ACORN Medical Svcs here!!?
Page 472 Lines 14-17 PAYMENT TO COMMUNITY-BASED ORG. 1 monthly payment to a community-based org. Like ACORN?
PG 489 Sec 1308 The Govt will cover Marriage & Family therapy. Which means they will insert Govt into your marriagePg 494-498 Govt will cover Mental Health Services including defining, creating, rationing those services

UGH... I should delete all the Acorn references where this person is obviously not a fan... but he is military and defending our country with his physical life, so I'll leave it the way he wrote it.