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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My President is HOT!

Just one more note before vacation...President Obama is one looker! My President is HOT!

Hoilday Travels

Well, tomorrow I'm off to my parents in Vegas for a week with the monkey. My husband won't be going with us because he wants to stay with his mother, nephews and niece for their first Christmas in Florida. However, that means that he will miss his son's first Christmas. I'm not upset really, Monkey doesn't really understand it anyway. Besides I have NEVER spent a holiday away from my parents- and they don't get to see my son very often so we did the math and it was more economical for me to travel there on frequent flier miles versus my parents buying two tickets to come here, which is always expensive due to our small airport.

I don't know if I told you this but my mother and I have a very contentious relationship. She is very opinionated and likes to be extremely involved in my life. I am an only child, so all of her interests, care and worries are rolled into me- and it can make for a very stressful situation. Especially since I am VERY independent almost to a fault and HATE to ask for help with anything. I like to do it on my own if at all possible. My mother on the other hand tends to treat me like I'm still in high school- in need of a curfew and an allowance (she asks all the time how much money we are spending and what we spend it on, etc.), which has the tendency to drive me NUTS. My father is the complete opposite and just lets me handle my own things without any grief or interference. He just likes to know I'm alive and well and really doesn't care about the particulars, he definitely doesn't want to argue about them.

My parents haven't seen my son since August, so they should be happy to see how much he's grown. I am a little disappointed that my husband won't be there, but it's just a week and he's not really big on holidays anyways. He's not a scrooge, but he doesn't treat it like it's a massive extravaganza either.

So, I'm going to visit and hopefully a yelling match will not breakout. She says that she has a surprise for me/something to tell me for when I get there. It's probably going to be a membership to Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig because she is a total weight Nazi- and thinks I have been over weight for too long since the baby. I do have an extra 20lbs. to lose, but her pestering me about it everyday is not working. "How's your weight coming?" are words I've grown to despise.

I probably won't be blogging much during my visit- and will start fresh upon my return.
Happy Holidays- and a Joyous New Year.

Monday, December 22, 2008

RIP Caylee Anthony

As many of you have heard on Friday(12/19) confirmation was given that the remains found on December 11th were that of little Caylee Anthony. Although many expected this to be the case, it is no less sad to have such a grim and final conclusion to this 6 month search.

I write this as an offer of condolence to little Caylee Marie Anthony.

We may never know what happened to you. We fortunately may never know what terror and fear you must have suffered in the last moments of your life. I am sorry that you will never get to grow into a young woman, get married and maybe have children of your own. I am sorry that your potential was cut so short and someone felt that your life was not worth sparing. I hope that you are now reaping the benefits of heaven. I hope that you can forgive whomever did this to you and rest in peace. Your story has touched the hearts of millions and I think I speak for all of them when I say I hope there is swift justice for you in the near future.

May God bless your soul.

Now to Casey Anthony -

I am not sure what happened, and we may never know, but I hope that you receive a punishment fitting of your behavior. I cannot out right claim you guilty because everyone is afforded the presumption of innocence, but I must say the evidence against you is pretty overwhelming. The lies and lack of urgency to find for your child are criminal enough in my opinion. As a mother, the only explanation for why you would mislead those who were trying to locate your child is because you had something to hide with regards to what you did to her. In your shoes, I would do everything I could to find my child- including helping with the search, which I also find odd that you did not do. If you did something to her, even if it was an accident you acted with complete disregard for your daughter's life. You placed yourself over your child- an action that many mothers find unfathomable. So, I would say to you: You failed your daughter in life, so in death, you should do the honorable thing and admit your wrong doing so Caylee can at least know that her mother cared enough about her to seek forgiveness and allow her to rest in peace.
I hope you get the harshest punishment available- short of death- because I think you should have to live the rest of your life remembering what you did and suffer everyday of it.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friendly Cities/Regions

Does anyone know which cities/regions are particularly friendly to law graduates who went through an evening program?

Washington D.C.'s employment arena is fairly accustomed to hiring part-time students are there any others you know of?

Part-time Student Class

How do they decide which "class" a night program graduate is in? Is it based solely on the year you graduate in?

Summer Associate Work

I recently read a statement that a part-time law student who is unable, for whatever reason (work, family) to work as a summer associate during law school is under a MAJOR handicap when looking for work after graduation.

Is this true? What do you think?

Typical Day

What's a typical day like in your life as a working mom, who attends law school?

What time do you get up?
Time spent with kids/husband?
What time do you get home in the evenings?
How do you work out dinner arrangements?
When do you study?
Do you have time to workout?
Can you participate in activities with your kids?
What's your work schedule like?

And any other tidbits to offer to a future working- law student- mom.

Things I've learned from Law Students

1. They are mental basket cases [sorry, but from what I've deduced, it's true]
2. They desire 48 hours to be in a day
3. Final Exams are the devil
4. Working, law students are even more basket cases
5. Working, law student, moms are certifiable, and one step away from a rubber room and a straight jacket
6. Do not talk about your exam answers after the test. This is grounds for an immediate a**kicking
7. Showering is optional
8. If it weren't for blogging, studying would be a much more productive task
9. Everything is a viable distraction from studying, even picking lint from your belly button
10. Law school is a decision regretted until graduation!

I'm now oh so excited, with a large dose of fear!
Thanks everyone, I've learned a lot.

Law School Friday Queries

Today I am going to ask questions that I have received from others interested in pursuing a law school life while also balancing a family and work. These questions are geared towards part-time law students who attend classes in the evenings- although anyone is free to comment.

Please feel free to reply to any of the questions. There will be a flurry of queries posted throughout the day. Thanks for you input.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bush Admits to Failure

Not, with his entire Presidency, although that should be the first admission on his list. But he does admit that when he was elected President in 2000, he had a goal of changing the tone of politics in Washington. Now after eight consecutive years in the White House, Bush admits that he did not do a good job of completing that goal and considers his efforts a failure.

I feel this is just Bush's attempt at setting the tone for his legacy as President. He would like us to believe that he was a reflective, earnest and now, remorseful diplomat (owning up to his shortcomings) and not at all what he actually was: A bull-headed, stubborn, authoritarian who ruined and disgraced the country.

-Nice try Bushy, but I'm not buying it!

Complete article here.

Alienated Obama Population

A key group that was influential in electing Barack Obama is upset today after it was announced that Rick Warren, an Evangelical Pastor, will conduct the inauguration benediction.

Warren draws this opposition from gay rights groups who are angered by his support of Prop 8, in California (the gay marriage ban).

However, Obama had these words to say in response: "America needs to come together, even when there's disagreement on social issues. That dialogue is part of what my campaign is all about." He also adds that he will continue to be a champion for equal rights including those of gays and lesbians.

The Human Right's Campaign, a gay and lesbian civil rights group, wrote Obama a letter stating its disagreement with his choice and urged him to reconsider. They also said: "We feel a deep level of disrespect when one of the architects and promoters of an anti-gay agenda is given the prominence and the pulpit of your historic nomination."

You can find the complete article here.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Monkey, Welcome to Month 8

To my darling little Chunky Monkey,

Today you enter you eighth month with us, and I have to say the moment is bitter sweet for Mommy. The joy I feel to see you grow up cannot be denied, although, I can't help but to feel sad that you are growing so fast and soon these precious infant moments will be gone. Everyday you delight your father and I with your ability to make us laugh. Now, you are coming into your own and your personality is beginning to shine through and what a joyous boy you are. You are always happy and are a big ball of energy. Your inquisitive nature is overwhelming and you are definitely a product of your father, complete with his persistence and stubborn nature. It is no secret to those that know me that you were a surprise to us, and I was somewhat ambivalent at the prospect of being a mom. I didn't know if I had what it took to be a good mother and I honestly was scared that I didn't have the patience to learn. But you sweet boy have offered me the greatest gift and showed me that you are truly the most spectacular thing I have ever accomplished. Everyday I thank God that I was given the gift of being your mom and I look forward to being apart of the rest of your life. So, thank you chunky monkey for taking this journey with me.

Here are few things mommy has learned about you over these 8 months:

Nicknames: Man-Man, Chunky [Monkey] and Sumo.

Milestones: Two teeth, Cruising- you love to cruise back and forth of the couch, can hold your own bottle, a crawling machine, and loves to talk-mommy just wishes she knew what you were saying.

Likes: remote controls, prunes, squash, blowing bubbles with your mouth, being free to explore, playing rough with Daddy, and bath time/water, music, and standing (you'd rather stand than sit).

Dislikes: Being confined, getting your diaper changed, putting clothes on (you love to be the naked baby), rice cereal, taking naps/ going to sleep period- you act like you are going to miss something, sleeping alone- something we really have to work on...Mommy and Daddy like to be alone sometimes.

So here's to you Monkey- a truly wonderful little man.

Question/Poll...Are you Born Gay?

After sharing with my husband an article I read about Gov. Palin supporting a group who desires to change gays into heterosexuals, called the Love Won Out conference, he and I had a heated debate about the prevalence of homosexual culture in today's society and the root of it all. **Now before anyone gets their boxers/panties in a bunch, there was no malice within the conversation- we just debated the topic. We've had this conversation before and know that we both share different views on the subject. **

My husband believes that homosexuality is something that a person chooses for themselves and is a phenomenon that we (as a society) are teaching to be acceptable. Through acceptance and tolerance, our society has sent the message that it is OK to be gay, and you have the right to choose to do so. In his mind homosexuality is unnatural and something that should be urged against. He's not a proponent for discrimination or ill treatment, but he believes that homes should be teaching their children that homosexuality is not right. He does believe that there are a small percentage of individuals that have a biological predisposition to being gay, but that the majority are choosing the lifestyle out of pure curiosity, frustration with the opposite sex, or lust. As a result he is against gay marriage and adoption because he feels it is a lifestyle that is taught and not all practicing homosexuals can be blamed on biological mistakes from GOD.

I, on the other hand, believe that most homosexual people were born being attracted to the same sex and if given the choice would not opt such a difficult road in life . I pointed out that I never pondered whether or not I was straight, it wasn't a choice, I just was, and I believe the same to be true for most homosexuals. And if that is the case, it can't be turned off and you can't be taught not be gay. It also shouldn't be discriminated against and those individuals should have the same rights and privileges as everyone else. I don't believe that being gay is being taught as an alternative lifestyle, I just think our society has acknowledged a part of our culture and made it OK for those who are gay to feel more comfortable. And since I don't think being gay is taught, I don't think that gay couples should be stopped from adopting or having children, and of course I believe they should be able to marry.

So, as a result of this debate I am curious to know what others think. Do you believe as I do that you are born gay? Or do you believe as my husband does, that it's a choice?

You can vote in the poll conducted at the top of the page.
- Thanks for offering you thoughts and helping satisfy my curiosity.

Hump Day News Mix

So, here's what I found most interesting in the news over the past week. Some are the usual headlines found everywhere and a few are some fascinating tidbits I found along my news travels.
Here goes!

1. In a plot twist fit for the best of TV dramas, it has been reported that Jesse Jackson, Jr. (JJJ) has been an informant to the US Attorney's Office for at least a decade. Yes, that's right, he has been a snitch for 10 years. WOW! His informant career began when, in 2002, Blago (then running for Gov. of Illinois) tried to solicit $25,000 from JJJ, which he did not end up getting. Around the same time JJJ's wife, Sandi, was pursuing the Director of the States Lotto Commission job, a post she did not get. Blago later told JJJ, "you see what $25,000 would have done?"*Gross* Which prompted JJJ to inform the US Attorney of the attempted shake down.

Blago is just disgusting- aside from his hair that makes me want to bring out the rodent traps- I am thoroughly disgusted by this guys arrogance and complete stupidity. Yes, I am aware that this sort of wheeling and dealing (as despicable as it may be) happens all the time in politics, but it is usually done with at least a hint of indiscretion and humility. This guy is just unbelievable, not only for his past actions which caused his arrest, but his utter refusal to resign *ugh*. Yesterday the impeachment panel convened with no solution met, and Blago made a decision to finally speak to the public about the scandal. He says he is ready to tell his side of the story. While being asked about when he will comment the arrogant a** offered these cocky and flip words, "To quote Elvis, hang loose, Now can I get a run in, do you think?" *Jackass*

2. The Republican party showed glimpses of morality and sanity when a highly influential member and potential candidate in 2012, Newt Gingrich, spoke out about the RNC attacks being lodged at President-Elect Obama with reference to the Blago scandal. Newt Gingrich and other Republican party members are not jiving with the current mode to trash the incoming President with character attacks and ads questioning his honesty and transparency within Blago-gate. Newt Gingrich sent a letter to the chairman of the RNC, where he had these words to say:

"I was saddened to learn that at a time of national trial, when a president-elect is preparing to take office in the midst of the worst financial crisis in over seventy years, that the Republican National Committee is engaged in the sort of negative, attack politics that the voters rejected in the 2006 and 2008 election cycles.
The recent web advertisement, "Questions Remain," is a destructive distraction. Clearly, we should insist that all taped communications regarding the Senate seat should be made public. However, that should be a matter of public policy, not an excuse for political attack."

And the RNC may be listening, offering a response stating their agreement with President Elect Obama that the current vacant seat belongs to the people of Illinois and the only way to end the taint of Blago-gate is to hold a special election. *I'm glad to see they can learn from their mistakes. I mean don't they understand that one of the main reasons they are no longer in power is there consistent use of divisive politics. It's just not needed, especially in our current trying times- I commend you Newt (and I never thought I would EVER say that).

3. Just when I thought that we had reached the bottom of the unscrupulous Wall Street barrel, Bernard Madoff rears his ugly head and gets his dirty laundry aired and is arrested for it. This is another scum bag that makes my skin crawl. I mean this guy should be placed underneath the jail and all his money given to charity.

So, as a result of this man, and the SEC - who admits to not taking the tips they received about this potential fraud 9 YEARS AGO, seriously- several charities and foundations are having to close their doors because their entire endowments have been wiped out due to the basic Ponzi Scheme perpetrated.
An act where initial investors are paid off with money from later investors, until no more money can be raised and the scheme collapses. *Despicable*

Now, about $50 billion has been lost, which constitutes one of the largest frauds committed in history. *Gross* And what is the grossest of the gross, is Mr. Madoff used to serve on a Government Committee established to protect investors by ensuring accurate and full public disclosure of information to them, all while he was cooking the books and defrauding individuals, non-profits and foundations of their money. If I was a proponent for torture, he would be a prime candidate.

4. What Women Want? A question asked by the YWCA, towards young women, especially African-American young women, about what they would like to see from the incoming first lady and the Obama Administration.
In a recap: Generation Y women want a first lady that is an example of current leadership who champions for civil rights, equal pay for women and creates change we can see in our everyday lives.

Some responses offered:
Generation Y women (aged 18-29) are likely to be more demanding of the new
administration than older women. Significantly more young women say that the new
administration must make several domestic issues “top priority” in the first year than older
women, including health care reform (87% v. 76%), quality and cost of education (85% v.
76%), the housing crisis (83% v. 69%) and HIV/AIDS (66% v.45%).

• Women say that lack of jobs and other economic uncertainties are potentially the
greatest barriers to progress for women over the next ten years. Women say the top
barriers to progress for women like them are:
o Lack of retirement savings (70%)
o Major illness or medical expense (68%)
o Lack of jobs or layoffs due to jobs sent overseas (63%)
o Cost of college (60%)
o Lack of affordable and accessible childcare, tied with unequal pay (59%)

• Most American women (57%) want the next First Lady to take a visible leadership role
and champion issues that are important to her. Older women, aged 63 to 70, would
prefer that she stays behind the scenes.

Check out the video on the this topic. Generation Y is thought to be a demanding and changing force for the new administration.

5. Last off, a story about the New York Governor's attempt to punish those who choose to drink non diet or sugar free drinks. The Governor has proposed an 18% tax, named "the obesity tax," be added on to the current sales tax for all non-diet pop (soda) and fruit drinks that contain less than 70% natural fruit juice.

Excluded from the tax would be all diet soft drinks, coffee, tea, milk or bottled water. *which should be taxed for its environmental hazards*

This tax is estimated to raise approximately $400 million in its first year of use and over $500 million the second.

Those for the proposed measure say this type of tax worked for reducing cigarette purchases and is worth trying since soft drinks are associated with obesity. Those against the tax have said that combating obesity requires changes in lifestyle and education, and taxing food doesn't change long term behaviors related to weight gain/loss. Others against it have said that this is just an attempt to grab money from hard working New Yorkers and could hurt pop sales and eventually endanger jobs. Maine is another state participating in such a tax.

This could be a good idea and may work. I know obesity is an important issue
, I mentioned it yesterday- but being slim is not the law. Punishing the public and forcing them to pay extra for regular drinks is a bit much, and possibly steps over a line in my opinion. I personally am not obese, I'm still trying to lose about 20lbs. of gained baby weight, but I'm not obese. I also HATE diet anything, the tastes makes me want to gag- and the lingering after taste- forget about it. So, I would be highly upset if I was forced to pay extra for what I liked, just because someone thought it was bad for me- that's my choice!

And that's the news. Feel free to comment.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

SALAD, glorious SALAD

That last post I made me want to comment on something else. I don't know if I have mentioned this, but I am in LOVE with salad. I mean I like salad more than any other food. I eat a salad a day, if not more. If I ate chips or cake as much as I ate salad I would definitely be a prime candidate for gastric bypass surgery. It's often my snack, my lunch and my dinner. Now, I do like to indulge my salads with all types of fixings, which don't always make them very healthy, but oh, are they good. I have had a salad from most restaurants around- and I can honestly call myself a salad directory- I can tell you what salads are offered where and who makes what the best, but I love to make them at home-Like my Greek salads:

I start with a large mound of romaine lettuce, cut very finely...I hate large chucks of lettuce that won't fit into your mouth. Then I add fresh feta cheese and cherry tomatoes, red onions slices, and rings of yellow, and red bell peppers. I don't like olives, so those are omitted, but I do like a little crunch, so I add chow mien noodles ( you know the crunchy kind) instead of croutons. Then I place some nicely marinated grilled chicken or salmon on top, and finish it off with Ken's Steak House (and only that brand) Greek vinagarette and I have the perfect meal. Oh, my mouth waters just thinking about it, but alas I just had a small one for lunch today, so I can wait until I get home to have another.

I also like to switch it up and go for a Cobb Salad effect, with bacon bits, fancy shredded cheddar cheese, garlic toasted croutons, again with the onions and bell peppers, but topped off with Ken Steak House Buttermilk ranch dressing.

And the list continues, I use crab meat, shrimp, mandarin oranges, nuts, even crumpled Ritz crackers as toppings. I love almost all of Ken's dressing choices and even if I don't have any left I will use vinegar and oil- yummy.

The obsession and need for salad continues even if the only thing I have is lettuce. I've come across times when there were no other fixings to go on top and I had to result to just lettuce and dressing- and the funny thing is, it wasn't bad at all. Oh, SALAD, I do LOVE you SO.

Don't you think

With an obesity epidemic raging through this country that grocery stores would be inclined to charge less for fresh produce. I went to the grocery store last night and I spent 4.99 for a pack of romaine lettuce- almost $5.00 for three stalks of lettuce hearts. I was crushed. The tomatoes were no better, $1.69 per pound for tomatoes. Something my parents grew in the backyard in the summer time. And don't get me going on the price of a bell peppers- and I tend to like red, orange and yellow peppers which really required a loan application at checkout. I can't believe it. Fresh produce can bring you to the poor house, but you can get a hungry man dinner, complete with mashed potatoes, a whole chicken, corn and bread for about $3.00. NO wonder people can't eat healthy, they can't afford it.

Now if I chose to sacrifice the quality of my lettuce and other vegetables, I could go to Wal-mart and get them cheaper, but my Wal-mart has AWFUL produce and there are always flies and such buzzing around that it makes the whole produce section look the back alley of a restaurant. So, I refuse to buy wilted lettuce leaves which will inevitably ruin my entire salad experience, so I am forced to be robbed without a gun at the local "designer" grocery store. It's just a real; shame.

Corporations and the Environment

OK. , I'm not one of those super obsessed environmental folks that won't buy anything unless its recycled, has a compost pile in my backyard (mainly because I don't have a backyard) or clogs the rear bumper of my car with environmental dooms day stickers about how our children will need to wear gas masks to go out and play, and save the Polar Bears. It's not that I don't care about the environment, it's not that at all, but for one thing, I can't afford to just go out a buy a hybrid because its energy efficient, I can't swap out all my appliances for new energy savers no matter how much I would like, and frankly I can't always remember to carry in the cloth bags into the grocery store in addition to the diaper bag, car seat, oh! and the baby of course. But I do try to be conscious of my environmental footprints and monitor my energy consumption. My husband and I carpool, I try not to get plastic bags when it can be avoided- like when I'm shopping by myself and I just can't manage the monkey, his diaper bag and a paper bag I need carry. I stopped buying bottled water, which isn't really that big a deal since I hate water, and I recycle the plethora of aluminum pop cans (I'm from the mid-west and you will never hear me say SODA) I consume during the day.

Now, to the reason I explain all of this. My job uses an inordinate amount of paper, and I mean massive, extraordinary, mind blowing amounts of paper. My boss alone kills about a rains forest a day due to her compulsive need to print every single email she receives and attachments everyday, which amount to the hundreds. She prints so much she needs a printer in her office and still sends about 3 massive print jobs for me to print out per hour *yes she has made me an accomplice to this carnage.* The rest of the corporation is no better. Every month there is a board meeting, which consists of 9 members and everyone of them receives this large Webster dictionary sized booklet on the corporations action and consent items. The people don't even read the thing- every month. What really baffles me is the information is published on our website and can easily be viewed from a laptop. I mean people will copy large sets of papers and find an error in them, chuck them in the recycling bin and copy them all over again. It's good that they recycle but, I'm willing to bet that we are adding to the air pollution with the massive amounts of energy required to breakdown all that paper. Last time I checked, recycling took place in a large factory with most likely large amounts of coal emissions. I've tried to speak up and mention that maybe instead of copying all this paper, each board member be asked to view the docs on their corporate laptop decide what they want to print out, if anything. Then it wouldn't be the fault of the corporation, but I was quickly dismissed and hailed an environmental nut bag, which we have already determined is so not true.

If all corporations are as wasteful as mine, we are never going to make the kinds of environmental leaps that are needed to help this planet, without some serious legislative and legal requirements. Just my opinion.

Monday, December 15, 2008

300 and counting

It's only been 14 days and I have 300 views. That's not an astronomical amount but it's pretty good.
Thanks for tuning in and here's to many more.

America's Next Top Law Mom

Good News on the Female Frontier

There is a credible female option for the NY Senate seat that will be vacated by current Senator Hillary Clinton, with Caroline Kennedy seeking the seat.

Not that Fran Drescher lacks intelligence, but her credibility as a senator is lacking- you all remember that debacle called "The Nanny" and that laugh, can you imagine listening to that on the Senate Floor, Oy vey!. I think she is best suited to continue to champion for cancer research.

Caroline Kennedy has decided to forgo her life long ambition to avoid the public spotlight and put her hat in the ring for one of New York's highest posts. Congrats and Good Luck to Caroline!

* And a small prayer that the Kennedy curse is officially dead*


If you are a fan of MSNBC like I am, you will be intrigued to know that David Shuster will be replacing David Gregory at the 6:00PM, 1600 Pennsylvania, time slot.

This, in my opinion, is a suitable replacement. Although, I do find it very hard to concentrate on what this guy is saying because of the weird motions he makes with his mouth while talking; he always looks like he's straining to pass a gall stone or something. Really weird.

For those of you who watch him, you know what I'm talking about.

Oh, how the tables have turned...

McCain is being quoted as not promising to support Gov. Palin, if she should run for President in 2012. Wow, just two months ago, she was his running mate, and being touted as a true leader and fellow "Maverick." Now the woman can't even count on his support? He tries to play it off and claims there are plenty of promising young governors to put support behind, so he won't claim allegiance to Palin at this point in the game. But regardless, this is not a ringing endorsement for Palin. It's a rough road ahead when your previous running mate won't support you.

My only question is: If John McCain won't even vote for her, why in the world would he pick her as the person to take his place should something happen to him?

Politics, go figure?

Stop petitioning the Supreme Court

I wish that everyone would just get over it and accept that Barack Obama will be their President for the next four years (and maybe eight) and stop petitioning the Supreme Court to challenge Barack's eligibility to be President. Apparently the argument is because he was born to a British subject (his father) he is therefore a British citizen, and not eligible for the Presidency.

* A second petition was presented to the Supreme Court and subsequently denied- following the one ruled on last week*

Once and for all, Hawaii is a part of the United States, and as a result anyone born there is a United States Citizen, regardless of the parents origin. And if you don't take my word for it, why don't you take a glimpse at the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, it reads:

"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

This should deaden the issue for good, geesh!

Bush gets Shoed!!

This had to be the funniest thing I saw yesterday... Bush actually got shoes thrown at him. You can't right better stuff than that! How's that for your legacy, Bushy!
Check it out- I surely can't get enough.

It's also at the bottom of my page. This clip deserves to be added permanently for a while.

Monkey Scared Me

My son(monkey) scarred me real bad this weekend. On Thursday night, his father picked him up early from his mothers because she said he wasn't feeling well. I got home and took his temp and it was 102.9 *scary* He has never been sick before so, I really didn't know what I should do. My first instinct was to go immediately to urgent care, but I calmed down and called the doctor on call that evening. She called back a 1/2 hour later and I explained his symptoms- the previous week he had some congestion and a runny nose, and the day before my MIL said he had a case of diarrhea(TMI), and now this fever. He was still pretty happy, not as much energy, but not irritable or anything. The Dr. told me that I should just give him some Tylenol to reduce the fever, watch him and give him fluids so he doesn't dehydrate. I asked her when I should worry, at what temp.? *And this is when I got a bit upset* The Dr. then laughs at me...yes, no need to read it again, she laughed at me. and said, what are you worried about brain damage and seizures or something? I said well, honestly, yes. What's a dangerous temperature for a 7 month old. She then chuckled again- as if I went to medical school or something and proceeded to tell me that an infant who is neurologically sound will not let his temperature raise to a level that is dangerous to his health. But if you think it will help**the gall of this women, I wouldn't have asked if I didn't think it would help**a dangerous temp would be around 108-109, and we generally like to see the baby if he gets a temp of 104-105 *good thing I asked because he was basically one degree away from that range*. She said there was no need for me to go out and sit in the ER, because there's really nothing they can do- his body is just trying to fight off an infection. If it doesn't get better within 2-3 days, bring him in to be looked at.

So, I hungup with Dr. Unsympathetic and watched the little monkey very closely, taking his temp every hour and making sure he got plenty of fluids and rest. I took Friday off and his temp teetered around 101-102, still scared. On Saturday morning he was still at about 101- and I was all set to take him in, but he seemed to have a little more energy, so I thought I would give it until about noon, and to my relief, by about 11:30 he was down to 99 and by 2:30 he was back at a cool 98. I was so relieved. His energy came back and he was back to banging on the couch cushions. For my first bought with a sick baby, I think I faired pretty well.
After almost 8 months (on 12/17), I still have never had to clean up any vomit- my child has NEVER thrown up, not even a little spit up when he was really little. Once it goes in, the food only comes out the other end, so I think I'm pretty lucky in that respect.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Lawyers CAN have it all

Read this story about a working mother who doesn't just dream of having it all, she did it.

Lawyer Redefined: Meet Stephanie Himel-Nelson, Blogger, Entrepreneur

FYI...to all entrepreneurs

"Shark Tank" - A new show by Mark Burnett (Apprentice, Survivor)

Are you trying to start a business but need an investor?

Do you have an existing business but need financing to take it to the next level? With the credit market frozen, and banks in trouble, we could be what you need!

New major television network pilot (to air) seeking entrepreneurs who would like to pitch their idea to a panel of five multi-millionaire and billionaire investors!!!

Get the chance to pitch on national television, giving your business valuable exposure plus the opportunity to pitch to 5 potential investors at once!!

Hurry - We are under serious holiday deadline and need all submissions ASAP.

Email a brief paragraph with your non-confidential business idea, a recent

photograph and contact information to: csimonian@markburnettprod.com

Another Gen Y perspective...from annaivey.com

Gen Y: Too Much Focus on Process vs. Outcome?

December 3rd, 2008

I had an interesting discussion with a friend of mine who works (as I do) with lots of twenty-somethings. When we got around to the gratuitous praise to which Gen Y/the "Praise Generation" has become accustomed (phony praise that inflates their sense of achievement and rewards them for process rather than outcomes), he had this observation to share:

On all of this, I'll point out that, having worked with a literally never-ending stream of recent college graduates--half of everyone is 22 in my world--I notice that the people who consistently are the best to work with are ex-elite athletes. If you spent a substantial chunk of your life in sports, how could you:

  • Think fairness is relevant? Losers talk about fairness.
  • Fail to put stock in hard work, hoping to hide in the pack instead?
  • Think hard work guarantees success?
  • Fail to appreciate the importance of natural talent?
  • Fail to focus on outcomes?
  • Over-focus on process to the detriment of outcomes?
  • Get confused by multiple goals and so fail to achieve any of them?

I say this as someone who frankly is more committed to the arts than to sports, but it has become clear to me that those who live a life in the arts and/or academics are prone to *ALL* of the fatal mistakes outlined above, and these are failures of outlook that wouldn't last past your first varsity season in high school, let alone college.

The difference is simple--top athletes are trained to focus on outcomes, period. Everything else is whining. Business is about outcomes, period. Non-athletes are shocked by that.

As an addendum, I was amazed when I got to [college] how many kids arrived there believing they had genuine artistic talent. They were going to be performers, or artists, for a living. They thought themselves that good.

No similar problem with sports. But in the arts, it's subjective. If you are the best in your high school, well, as far as you can tell, you're Kristin Chenoweth. There's no mechanism -- or incentive -- to level-set. In individual sports, there's no chance of this at all. In team sports, there's a little self-delusion, but not too much. [Anna asks: But what about teams where everyone gets a trophy? Helicopter parents invented that rank stupidity. Makes sense though that *elite* athletes don't suffer from this syndrome.]

Can I speculate that this problem is more an issue in law school, where kids majored in subjective disciplines like Poli Sci, Religon, and other stuff, and that math and physics grad programs don't have these problems? Even med schools probably don't have the problem as much?

Fascinating. Thoughts? Please comment.

Books I wish I had time to read...

“Ivy Briefs: True Tales of a Neurotic Law Student,” by Martha Kimes.

"The Audacity of Hope," by Barack Obama...Again

"Dreams From My Father," by Barack Obama...Again

"Cross Country," by James Patterson

"The Private Patient
," by P. D. James

"Dashing through the Snow," by Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark

"A Mercy," by Toni Morrison

"The Rise of Barack Obama," by Pete Souza

"Midnight," by Sister Souljah

"Outliers," by Malcolm Gladwell

"Why We Suck," by Dennis Leary

"The American Journey of Barack Obama," by The Editors at Life Magazine

"The Pagan Stone," by Nora Roberts

"The Appeal," by John Grisham

"The 6th Target," by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

"Deadly Gift," by Heather Graham

And many, many, more.

In love with Bookworm

If anyone is not familiar with the internet game Bookworm, you should get familiar and fast. I am so addicted to this little game.

*Just a small description*
You are given 3 minutes to find as many three letter or more words that are located within a block of scrambled letters. you gets points for the amount of words you can form and bonus points for words that contain more than 5 letters.

I know it sounds elementary, but it is sooooo addictive and a blast to play. Much better than solitaire. You can find it here. Worldwinner.com is a pay to play site, that I have joined but you can probably find it free somewhere- the internet is very plentiful.

It's just a name, get over it.

As I read the news yesterday, it was astonishing that one of the major stories plastered across several headlines was that Obama planned to use his middle name in the inauguration oath. After seeing this, I immediately began reading reactions to the story from various readers, and frankly I was appalled at a majority of the reactions. As I suspected this revelation was just enough bait to bring the unenlightened nit wits out of the holes they dwell in long enough to spew a little hate and intolerance among us.

One of the comments that tickled me the most was this:
"Barack Hussein Obama....President of the United States.
What a disgraceful day for this great country. Let's just hope we can survive the Obama administration. "

This prompted me to go off on a mental rant about how intolerant America can be and it's lack of acceptance of anything different. The thoughts were racing so fast, that I new I had to make an entry about it.

Referring back to the comment above. I am amazed that anyone would think that because this man, who is named after his Kenyan father, is any less competent or decent because he has a name that differs from what main stream "white" America deems normal. Hussein happens to be a popular name in 2/3 of the civilized world, held by clergy, doctors, lawyers and politicians- most of good moral character. Barack Obama sharing the name of Saddam Hussein does not make him any more evil than a person named Chuck Bundy sharing the name of the infamous serial killer Ted Bundy. It's just a name and of no reflection on the man. *I'm sure the same people who are disgraced by Barak's name are all too happy to embrace the ridiculous monikers of Apple, Zuma, and Denim- given to some of celebrities offspring*

On another note...
As a person who's ancestors were brought here on slave ships and not considered full human beings, denied the ability to vote, and morally, physically and emotionally degraded for hundreds of years; my perspective of this country is slightly different than the average Caucasian American. I can honestly say it is a real life love/hate relationship. America is, hands down, the best place to live in the world and I am very fortunate to have been raised here. I consider myself extremely lucky to be an American citizen. With that said, I also see the many flaws of this great nation from the past and the present. America has spent the majority of its history hating one group or another, which is ironic because this is supposed to be the land of the free. Free to be who you are, believe want you want and say how feel. But it appears that in this country you are only free to believe in Christianity, practice heterosexual relationships, never criticize your country and contain names like Bill, John, Sarah and Jane. To think, some people find that questioning one's country and constructively critiquing areas in which it could be improved to be unpatriotic. But these are the staple principles of a functioning democracy. Isn't that what we are fighting for in Iraq, so they can be free to question there leaders and live how they please?

I think back on the whole Jeremiah Wright controversy during the campaign. Yes, his comments were shocking and to some UN-American, but what I think is that although his words were not the most tactful, the ideas are some that are shared by many minorities. This country has only legally befriended African-Americans for 44 years. My father is older than how long it has been legally enforced to treat blacks equally in this country. So, how can anyone not empathize with the fact that some people (African-Americans, Arab Americans) might be leery of the intentions of the US and not be all that sold on the idea that America has changed, that America may be reaping what it has sowed( 9/11) for so many years ( a Christian adage). And now it's the Arabs turn. They are now treated as blacks once were. Since 9/11, it has been culturally accepted to consider anyone of Muslim faith or Middle Eastern decent to be a terrorist [sympathizer]. They are shunned from society, targets of bigotry, and not worth treating with human decency.

We are supposed to be a tolerant place for the huddled masses. We are supposed to be the melting pot of the world, who accepts everyone. There are no native people to this land except the American Indians. Everyone has immigrated from somewhere, so really no one has more claim to this country than anyone else- exception again given to the native Americans. Everyone should be able to practice there own religions or not believe in any form of religion without ridicule (not all Muslims are bad, not all Muslims are dangerous and atheists are not the devil). Everyone should be able to love who they choose- gay or straight. Marriage should be allowed by anyone who desires to do so. Not everyone believes in God or worships the same and no one should be banned from a civil act like marriage because it offends someone elses' religious beliefs. (Gays getting married is not going to dampen or take away any evangelicals faith or harm there religious practices in any way.) No one race or gender is superior to another and everyone regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, creed and now, regardless of your name, should be afforded the same rights and privileges as everyone else.

No one way is right or wrong, and America is not supposed to be a place where "us versus them" mentalities are accepted. And I just have to add this. It's usually the least educated and less informed individuals who have never left America, that claim that our way is the only way- and it's these morons that make it bad for the rest of us- and give well intentioned, tolerant Americans a bad name. So, with that said, I just ask that anyone who thinks that Obama using his middle name is offensive to this country, or believes any other nonsensical racist, separatist or bigoted thoughts, please stop and ask yourself these few questions:

1) Did you have any choice in your name? Probably not, you were given your name and in no way does the name you were given shape who you are.

2) Since when did being Muslim or having a Muslim name become a crime in this country or make you less American with something to be ashamed of?

3) Yes, some Muslims smashed plans into the World Trade Center, but does that make all Muslims bad? If so, then I should still be mad at all white people for the few white men that hung my great great grandfather because he was black, but that's not how it works, right?

4) What makes you think that old, white, Christian men named George, John, or William are the only ones capable of being President of the United States. Why not a woman, a Jewish person, a Hispanic, or...dare I say it... a Muslim?

5) Don't you think if we stopped hating so many others, maybe they would stop hating us so much?

6) Doesn't all that hate make you tired?

Just a few thought from my corner of the world.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Bush Missteps Chronicled

On Davidcorn.com there is a story about all the missteps that took place during the W years.

Here's what he had to say.

From the Center on Public Integrity comes a report entitled Broken Government that lists 125--count-'em!--"systematic failures across the breadth of the federal government" that have marked (and marred) the eight-year tenure of (now-disappearing) President George W. Bush. From the press release:
Among the examples:

* a Food and Drug Administration unable to guarantee the safety of food or drugs
* a National Aeronautics and Space Administration inspector general who blocked multiple investigations
* a budget deficit that ballooned to $455 billion for fiscal year 2008, and could reach $1 trillion in fiscal year 2009
* an Environmental Protection Agency that ignored and underutilized its own office and task force on children's health
* a Securities and Exchange Commission that sat largely on the sidelines, allowing little-understood new financial instruments to undermine the pillars of the economy
* a Federal Labor Relations Board with neither a general counsel nor the quorum needed to handle hundreds of complaints regarding unfair labor practices
* a terrorist detention system based at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, whose legality has repeatedly been challenged by the courts

Many of the failures are rooted in recurring themes: agency appointees selected primarily for ideology and loyalty, rather than competence; agency heads who overruled staff experts and suppressed reports that did not coincide with administration philosophy; agency-industry collusion; a bedrock belief in the wisdom of deregulation; extensive private outsourcing of public functions; a general failure to exercise government's oversight responsibilities; and severely slashed budgets at understaffed agencies that often left them unable to execute basic administrative functions.

I know, I know. Most of this will not come as a surprise to anyone who has not been in a coma for the past eight years. The Government Accountability Office, as we reported recently at Mother Jones, has put together its own list. Chronicling the damage of the W years is an important job. And, alas, it won't be over any time soon.

***Truly amazing, I don't think my 8 year old nephew would have messed things up this bad.***

Favorite Blog of Today

A blog topic I found on The Livingston Buzz touched on a topic that I mentioned in a post made yesterday.

I spoke about how Generation Y could be the answer to the current struggling economy and there is hope to be had that things can and will get better with the transition of power (in both the White House, and with the entrance of a new generation coming of age).

This blogger offers a fairly different spin on the subject, asking if Generation Y will have to adapt to the current economic trends, and sacrifice some of the perks they have come to expect. There is also some really good back and forth commentary.

Check it out.

Top 5 News Mix...My take on stories in the news

  • Don't Blame Obama for Blago's Mistakes.
"For Obama and his team, the Blagojevich scandal is a stink bomb tossed at close range.

Legal bills, off-message headlines, and a sustained attempt by Republicans to show that Obama is more a product of Illinois’s malfeasance-prone political culture than he is letting on — all are likely if the Blagojevich case goes to trial or becomes an extended affair."

The above quote from an article published by Politico demonstrates the potential to make this Illinois Governor scandal a reflection on President Elect Obama. Despite the fact that the prosecutor seemed to give Obama a gold star for his conduct, and the Governor has been caught on tape making statements that Obama was not interested in crooked schemes, and complaining that the President Elect wasn't giving him anything. Obama is, to the allegedly deeply corrupt governor, the “mother***er” who was owed no favors and a lily-livered reformer."

This type of story is perfect fodder for Obama critics to jump on and lead a crucifixion mission (much like the blow job trials and White-water scandal of the Clinton era). I tend to take Obama at his word when he says that the two Illinois politicians were not close. Yes, I am an Obama supporter and probably expected to do so, but placing support aside, I am a strong believer that there are two forms of relationships when talking about politicians.
1) The professional kind that puts you in proximity to various characters you may otherwise distance yourself from.

2) The personal kind with people you are close to and would spend time with on a Saturday night.

Just because the Governor and President Elect appear to have been linked professionally in some instances does not mean they are like minded and share personal character traits and ambitions. Republicans; however, smell blood in the water and are determined to beef up the pressure, demanding the release of records and more transparency. There are also swirrlings about the conversation contradictions, where Obama states that he never spoke to Blago regarding the vacant seat and the subsequent explanation offered by Axelrod about his suggestion that the President Elect and Blago had spoken on the issue.

For now, Obama is not all the tarnished by this mess, but I appeal to others no to trash our new President for the mistakes of this nit wit Governor. Politics puts you in contact with all kinds and apparently that is especially true for Chicago politics. But that's not to say that Obama is of the same ilk as the corrupt Governor and impossible of being above the fray.

  • President Elect on Energy
Obama released a statement yesterday about our energy and climate crisis after a meeting with Vice-President Al Gore.

"The time for denial is over" says President-elect Obama.

This is good news to hear because our exiting President walked through his eight years with blinders on with regards to the climate crisis (among others). It's reassuring to know that this new administration has deemed energy and climate to be an urgent matter of national security. But this statement does not just harp on the problems we face but highlights the possible opportunities available.

And now to our President..." We have the opportunity now to create jobs all across the country in all 50 states to re power America, to redesign how we use energy and think about how we are increasing efficiency to make our economy stronger, make us more safe, reduce our dependence on foreign oil and make us competitive for decades to come- even as we save the planet."
- Way to go President Elect.

  • Auto Bailout Agreement Reached
An Agreement has been reached for the bailout of the auto makers, but of course the exact language must still be worked out to ensure that both the Congressional Democrats and White House are satisfied. The major condition of the bailout stems on the idea that the Automakers must prove their viability after receiving the funds. If after a point they cannot do so, the loan will be recalled ***but if they squander the money and eventually go under, where will the money come from to repay the loan?***

To ensure the automakers don't fail, an auto czar would be created. This person would have the ability to force the companies into Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization if they cannot create a plan for long term sustainability by March 31st, by which time the automakers must present "a positive net value and ability to payback the government loan". S/He would be the point[man] for negotiating with auto companies, dealers, unions, creditors, and suppliers for long-term sustainability.

One issue preventing the agreement from moving forward is Republican opposition. Keeping in step with divisive politics many Republicans are not in agreement and may not support the deal- opting to let the automakers fail, which I have stated in previous posts, could have devastating consequences for our economy.

Let's keep our fingers crossed for a successful passing of this initiative. Our current economic downturn will be nothing compared to what it will be if we let the automakers fail. If the automakers do fail, I hope there is a plan in effect to help the mid-west region stay afloat because it's definitely going to need it, but I highly doubt there is.

  • Conspiracy Theories from The Right
The very opinionated Bill-o and Karl "should be in jail" Rove have been in the dungeons cooking up a new conspiracy theory aimed at the media and our new President. This one is full of grandiose delusions and sets the stage for their "blame Obama" campaign to commence on January 21st.

Immersed in fairy dust and drunk off la-la land juice, Karl Rove and Bill O'Reilly have decided that the main stream media, fresh off inflating the economic crisis to help elect Barack Obama, are at it again and are still conspiring to make people believe the economy is in dire straits, and are still doing so for Obama's benefit.

According to these yahoos, the "liberal media" is making it seem as though we have hit the floor, with nowhere to go but up and once Obama takes office, any gains or improvements will be to his credit. But as another blogger suggests, maybe the media is reporting that the economic crisis is severe because it's actually a severe economic crisis.

Based on Rove's logic, ( and I use that term lightly) the same level of urgency and language that was used to describe the dot com bubble burst should be used to describe today's situation. Although, here on Earth, we realize that the two situations are in no way similar. With the dot com situation quite a few people lost a lot of money. But in no way can you compare that to countries going bankrupt, a global credit freeze, record unemployment rates, huge banks collapsing, record foreclosure numbers, and the potential end of the American Auto market all occurring at the same time. I don't know about anyone else but that's a real crisis in my opinion.

These two men are so out of touch that it's scary and appalling. They must live in their own little bubble, with their own news because there is no way we could be viewing the same world. Republican or Democrat there is really no dispute that we are in a crisis and for those two misfits to go on TV and spew anything but that- while simultaneously trying to tie the conspiracy back to an attempt to advance the political career of President Elect Obama is just irresponsible and down right tasteless.

People are losing everything they have, times are tight and just because they are living high on the hog, it's no excuse to make the rest of us feel like we are crazy for admitting the economy is struggling...and we don't even know if we've hit the bottom yet.

And lets not leave the always insightful (insert sarcasm here) Rush out of this, who told Barbara Walters there may be a recession, but he just chooses not to participate. I wouldn't either if I just got a $100 million signing bonus for a new contract, jeesh these guys make me ill.

  • "Lars and the Real Girl"- Not just a movie
(this story is laugh out loud funny and a bit Creepy too!)

A man too busy to find love decided he would build the perfect mate instead. This Canadian genius, named Le, created Aiko - a fem-bot, who does light cleaning, household chores, remembers his favorite drink, and balances his personal budgets. Le claims the bot is not used for sexual favors *yeah right* but could be programmed to orgasm, play hard to get or get it on quick fast and in a hurry. She also responds to personal touch and reacts emotionally to feel sad, or hurt. The former programmer has liquidated all assets and leveraged large amounts of credit card debt to perfect his creation. He wants her to appear as "life like" as possible, in addition to being the perfect companion. *creepy and a bit gross*

Le takes Aiko out in public, on drives through the country *coo-Koo* and they eat dinner together at the dinner table *Although Aiko just pushes the food around the plate*

Aiko speaks English and Japanese and understands 13,000 sentences.

Understandably, Aiko draws mixed reactions. Some love her and are intrigued, while others find it creepy *that's me* and some think Le is playing GOD with his creation and are angered.

Le has said this about his "friend", "She doesn't need holidays, food or rest and she will work almost 24 hours a day" *I guess she has to be recharged sometime* "She is the perfect woman" *Yeah- if perfect is a woman who only works for you, can't really speak, and can be programmed to come on command- wait, I guess that would be a man's idea of perfection*

This guy needs to really get out more. He recently had a heart attack by "working to hard" on perfecting his creation. Personally, I think he was probably "riding" his buddy too hard while he enjoyed her "real life personal touch", which created an arterial overload. He even programmed her to slap you if you touch her in the wrong way. IF THAT'S NOT KINKY, I DON'T KNOW WHAT IS.

That's the news according to me, have a nice day.
*this is a new feature I am experimenting with on Wednesdays- a recap of my favorite news stories- let me know what you think*

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Not enough hours in the day

Wow, I could literally read and evaluate other people's blogs all day. There is so much information out there and so many interesting people in the world with interesting takes on what's going on in the world. Even the mundane everyday blogs about a dad cleanng up his daughters puck in the middle of the night has me captivated. If only I didn't have an actual job to do, or a child to take care of, or dinner to make- I could read this stuff all day. It's so addicting.

Maybe it's because I was so anti- social networking sites and blogging that now that I have finally been converted to a participator, I am just purely addicted-like a kid with a new toy on Christmas. And just like that kid, I could possibly be burned out on the whole thing in about a month, and really never mess with again. If that is the case, I am having fun now and enjoying my new cyber toy. On the off chance that the bug has bitten me for life, then I look forward to indulging my verbal voyeurism for many years to come.

Happy Blogging.

Call to arms, and a glimmer of Hope

In a recent article published by Market Watch, it was stated that the Millennial Generation (aka Generation Y) will be the key to rebuilding the economy, if only because we are young and just beginning our lives in the real world.

As a member of this influential group, I am taking a stand and asking that my fellow Y'ers take a proactive role in ensuring that we make the most of this powerful responsibility and become active in our economic future. Our parents, the Boomers, have hopefully raised us right and set us out into the world to make our mark. We also have a new President who has the ability to offer this generation a powerful head start in life, ( home purchase assistance, education tax credits, workforce innovation, etc.) if we hone in on the opportunities. We are coming into power and as the article states, are not stressing as much about the current economic downturn because we don't have the much time or as many resources invested in the issue.

The number of people between the ages of 20 and 30 are staggering, which has exceptional economic implications. With so many individuals in this age range entering the workforce, there is the potential to see large job growth, and with the current job shortage this generation can demand higher wages, which will aid in our desire to spend money on clothes, new technology, eating out and other social life treats. Not to mention we are going to be the next generation to be getting married and starting families, so naturally we will eventually want to acquire large assets like homes and cars. This speaks well for the future of our economy.

Even though times are tough and things look bleak, look towards the future leaders of this world and have faith that with our shear volume and blind ambition and energy, we can help save the day. So, all you Millenium babies out there, go out and prosper, your country depends on it.

"The Millennials are on the move, and like their Boomer parents will be an unstoppable force in American economic and social life for decades."

Monday, December 8, 2008

WARNING- I'm a really open person

For anyone who may be lurking around my site, I want to let you know that I am extremely blunt with all areas of my life. I need an outlet to get these thoughts off my mind somewhere. So, if you are not interested in hearing all aspects of my world, this may not be the place for you.

I love my husband very much, but I am angry with him a lot, so I talk it about it a lot- we are true opposites attract. I love my mom to death, but we often butt heads and I speak about that too. And other areas that I have a strong love/hate thing going

I am very opinionated and don't like to bite my tongue, so be aware, and feel free to comment if you like. I can take whatever you got. I promise. And if I can't well, there's always delete.

And of course, I am anonymous for all intense purposes, so what's the harm.

Good News

The national student loan data system finally corrected my student loan information which decreased my debt service by about $10,000. Hooray! I have been asking them to do this for months now. I told my school repeatedly that I was not responsible for funds that I did not get disbursed or ask for so could they please send an updated report to NSLDS to reflect how much I actually owe- and three months later they finally did it.

This eases a bit of my anxiety- I owe less money somewhere! And it's frees up more money towards my student loan cap, which will be needed when I start law school- all good news!
My husband and I are just not seeing eye to eye on things these days and I am so angry about it. He thinks I'm just complaining about everything, and I just want him to be more considerate of my feelings on the subject of money. I admit I am not the best person to take along if you want to take a risk with money. That's why the stock market is way too scary for me- and as things look nowadays I was about right.

But he just wants me to have faith that all will work out in due time, but it's hard to feel that way, when everyday it seems like it's something else-bad- is happening. And to me this is not the time to be taking a risk with anything. Yes, his business is breaking even and covering the expenses at the lab, but our household has paid a high price because there has been no extra to contribute at the home front.

We agreed that would do whatever we could to make this venture successful for one year. And that year is up in January. I don't want to seem like a dream crusher, especially when we are going into debt to pay for my advanced education, but I just can't take the up and down stress of the whole situation. I'm not cut out for it. Plus, I feel like I was better off in my life 10 years ago. Life is supposed to get better with age, not worse. And I know that you have to make sacrifices for what you truly want in life, but for how long.
I mean our essentials are paid for, but I'm not used to just "making it". My parents have since told me that they did have to struggle sometimes when I was a kid, they just didn't let me know about it, so I hope I get to do the same for my son- or by that time we won't even be in this situation. And I guess when I phrase it like that I'm just complaining about the extras I don't have anymore, which can sound rather selfish and bratty, but I can't help it. Plus, I know times are tough for everyone, and there are others a lot worse off than me- but I can't help but to feel angry for my situation. It's a vicious cycle of anger and guilt that I'm just tired of.

Monkey Update

The little monkey has outgrown his crib. We have to lower the mattress so he does not go careening to the floor. It's so amazing to me that just 7 months ago he was this little bundle that barely moved or made a sound. Now, he wouldn't sit still save his life and is a babbling machine. I watched him last night roll and tumble around on the couch and I was just struck by how much and how fast he has grown. He wants to walk and talk so bad- it's almost bitter sweet how fast the time is going, ALMOST makes me want to have another one. But only almost.

Law School question

I don't plan on actually attending law school, until the fall of 2010- about a year and a half from now. But I was wondering would my chances be hurt then if I applied now, just to see if I would get in? I am anxious to see if I could get in now, with my current GPA and LSAT scores.

What the Future holds

I wonder, with the current state of things, will our children be less off then we are today- hell, will I end up being less off then my parents?

Could we be entering an era where prosperity for the middle class is a thing of the past?
I worry that my son will not be able to have the same advantages as I was offered. I know that I am still fairly young, 27 and all, but now being in the workforce and seeing how the economy is treating some of my peers, I could honestly see how the prosperity that my parents have enjoyed would not be an option for me and my family. As I contemplate my future law career, I wonder if being a lawyer will amount to offering a successful and comfortable life as it once did. I have watched as a bachelors' degree was diminished to the equivalent of a GED, and a Masters gets you as far as a high school diploma, so what will a law degree be able to afford me? Jobs are constantly asking for more experience and education with less and less pay.
And the people who get those advanced degrees are finding that they have expelled all this time and energy on gaining training in a certain area- only to get a job that will not cover the student loan they incurred.
So, I ask again, what is in store for my child? Will he have to earn 3 Ph. D's just to make ends meet? Will he even be able to pay for college with the current bailouts hanging around his neck?
This makes me very nervous.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Monkey hates to sleep- help

For all mothers out there of infant children and those who have been there and done that, please help.

My son absolutely and positively hates to go to sleep. I mean he is just way to curious and attentive to let his little body relax and fall asleep at night. He literally plays, babbles and pulls up on things until he passes out. He will take a nap during the day, but not at the same time and never if you just lay him down to go by himself. Part of this is my fault, because he still sleeps in my bed, which I feel absolutely awful about, but I also can't bring myself to let him just cry for hours and hours until he falls asleep- he is very persistent and can cry for hours without the hint of being tired. He also spends the day with his grand mother (my mother -in-law) who loves to lay with him when he takes a nap, so not only does he get it from me, she contributes to the problem as well.

We have a pretty steady routine, I get home from work and we play together, and then I let him play in his pen, or walker, while I fix dinner. At about 8:00pm he gets a bath and a bottle and after that he is more awake then ever. He usually does not end up passing out until about 12:30am. Routinely. The only way to get him to bed earlier is to rock him to sleep and I don't want to start another bad habit, so I let him run out his energy by himself.
I've tried putting him in his room after his bottle, but as I said earlier he just cries and cries and cries and cries, still being up until late in the evening.

Anyone else have this problem and what did you do? Is it all my fault? Don't worry I can take it.

Questions- Seeking advice

if anyone has become to frequent my little part of the world, please feel free to offer your views or supply answers to these questions. I am constantly coming up with new ones, so this will be a frequent installment.

1. For those of you who attend classes part-time (law or any other grad program), work full-time and have kids, can you please offer an example of your day and the amount of time you spend commuting, with your kids/spouse, preparing meals, keeping up with housework, and any after school obligations. I am curious as to how different people handle this situation.

2. Has the relationship with your family been negatively affected?

3. Do you ever have time for yourself?

4. Is it worth it?

The little monkey

My son is growing so fast, and when I have just posted something so negative about one part of my life, I would also like to post something extremely joyful about my son, who always brings a smile to my face. He is now pulling up on things and able to cruise around. Last nigh he was feeling very adventurous and held on to the coffee table with just one hand while he held a toy in the other. He was bopping around and laughing feel oh so good about his new accomplishment, until he overdid it a bit and crashed to the floor on his butt- it was so very cute. He picked himself right back up and tried it again, making note to use a little less enthusiasm when holding on with one hand (he's such a bright little guy). He will be walking before I know it.

I am just enjoying seeing the world through his eyes, I know this period won't last long, so I'm trying to cherish every little milestone with him. Although the whole teething thing is something I won't be sad to see go bye-bye.

Completely Frustrated

This folder may fill up faster than any other, because I am always having some frustrating emotions about my personal life. Mainly how financially strapped we are, because we have dumped all of our savings and money we don't have into establishing my husbands new business.

*A little Background
My husband is a very creative man, and last year he decided that he would open a media engineering studio for others to use to express themselves creatively with music and video. We understood that this was going to take a lot of upfront investment - with all the equipment needed and personnel. We also went into this with the knowledge that it takes about 3-5 years for a business to become fully operational and successful- operating in the black. But we didn't anticipate the economy to just fall to pieces, so obtaining a credit line to supplement the operation of the business is extremely hard, and people just don't have the discretionary money to spend on creative outlets, like family photo shoots and recorded personal greetings, or songs for their spouses or loved ones. So, that has placed us in a bit of a jam; not to mention that we have moved my mother in law to live near us, so that we can help her manage the 5 grandchildren she has custody of (my sister-in-laws kids) and she can watch my son while my husband and I work. She lives on a very fixed income, so we often have to help her with making ends meet as well. With my husband working for himself, his income is not always steady, and in the current economy, like I mentioned, it is getting harder to cover his expenses at the studio and be able to contribute to our home. Therefore, I am responsible for the majority of the bills with my income. *

I am frustrated because 2008 has been a year of extreme ups and downs with only one major up, the birth of my son. Other than that we have plunged ourselves into debt. We have had to scale back tremendously at home- no frivolous extras at all. My car was stolen, so we are only down to one vehicle, which is also in need of extensive repair- because it just hit 100,000 miles. And I am constantly dealing with building resentment because of all I have had to sacrifice - which makes me feel awful, but everything I enjoy has been eliminated- hair and nail appointments, casually going to the mall, those extra little snacks from the store I like, having my own car, my gym membership, and a land line telephone with internet access at home. All gone. And today, I just found out that because my mother -in-law ran up $150 worth of internet charges on her cell phone and my husband lost a phone last month which created a $50 deductible ( we are on a family plan together) the phone bill is now over $400, which we cannot afford. I just feel it is always something. Problems that I have to deal with, that I don't create. Selfish I know, but that's how I feel. My husbands life really hasn't changed that much- we have to ensure that his business stays a float, so any extra money goes towards his business, which is his only passion .
I am just looking for a little relief and I don't want these problems we are having today to affect my ability to accomplish my goals in the near future.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Feeling the itch

I have such a long time until I actually begin law school, granted I even get in. I won't start until the fall of 2010, but I am so ready now. But it's not the right time. I want to go to a school in Georgia and I am currently in Florida. I also am not foot loose and fancy free anymore. I have a family to consider, not to mention my mother-n-law and I need to find a job in the area, figure out what to do with our house here, rent it out or sell it, find a place to live in Georgia, and on it goes. So in reality with all that has to be done, the time will fly I just want to begin this part of my journey now.

But for now, I will settle for completing my Masters in Criminal Justice and preparing to do better on the LSAT.

But in good news I have finished my personal statement, and I think it's damn good.

Bail Them Out

Yesterday I offered my thoughts on the auto bailout. And I mentioned that I was conflicted in my thoughts, well no more. The love for my hometown and the knowledge that the auto industry is what holds the mid-west together has led me to be a champion for the bailout.

Michael Moore said it best last night on Keith Olberman when he said the auto executives are being treated like red headed step children and having to prove themselves to Congress that they need the money and will know what to do with it (which I am not totally against, because there has to be a plan, and the companies have to re-tool and improve) but the Wall Street "thieves" as he called them, were just basically written a blank check with no conditions (and that's why it's not working). He equated it to the fact that the auto makers represent blue collar America, the part of the country that has been forgotten, and the part that Obama is championing we fight for, and Wall Street represents the elite and rich, so they are considered more worthy. It's tantamount to the Bush tax cuts, where we continue to help those that least need it and pad their pockets even more, while the middle class struggles and morphs into the low income bracket.

Just think of the trickle effect that will occur if the auto makers go under.
There will be no cars to produce--> plants will be closed-->people will be unemployed-->therefore unable to afford there homes, adding to the housing crisis--> auto suppliers will also go under, glass, audio, and other car trinket suppliers, putting more people out of work--> no cars to deliver, so less truck drivers will be needed, towns where plants reside will feel the hit, grocery stores, restaurants, clothing stores, etc. all run the risk of going under because the plants are what drive the economy in most cities of the Midwest- especially Detroit And on and on it will go.
So I say end the class warfare that is forming in this country and help the auto makers survive and keep America as a major producer - not to mention saving millions of peoples jobs.

I'm so Excited...

to see what this new administration is going to bring to our society. I hope that we can finally close the book on this G.W Bush era and officially turn the page and get back on the right track. I am astonished when I hear our current president (for only 40 + more days) talk about how in the future when he is looked upon through the eyes of historians, he will be seen as a successful President, are you kidding me? Even if you can count the current reduction in violence in Iraq, due to the surge, a success- which I don't (because we are still there, we have won nothing, we have accomplished nothing, and we left the country worse off then when we found it. The only reason there is even a reduction in violence is because we paid the extreme factions off, we bribed them to stop killing each other) you cannot discount the hundreds of other blunders that occurred over the past 8 years on his watch
To name a few:
- Continuing to read a book, when he was just told "The Country is Under ATTACK"
- Katrina (good job Brownie!)
- The complete abuse and disregard for the Constitution
- The allowance of Torture
- The complete abuse of the Patriot Act, and the obliteration of personal privacy
- The attorney general scandal
- Trying to slip in another unqualified person to the Supreme Court (Harriet Meyers)
- The first 41/2 years of the Iraq war
- Invading Iraq in the first place
- Ignoring Afghanistan completely
- His refusal to use diplomacy ( can't leave Chaney and Rumsfeld out of that one)
- and his constant arrogant addresses to the public (complete with butchering the English language) where we were left feeling even more uneasy while he walked off like he just hit a home run.
How can any of that be looked upon as successful?

I know Obama is not perfect but you can't sink any further than the floor, and that's where we are right now, in relation to leadership.
Here's to 2009- and a replenished and restored America.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Concerns for my aspirations

For anyone who cares to know, I am intently interested in social service fields, like policy reform or juvenile justice, or community action and civil rights. Those areas are the reasons why I decided to become an attorney and what I feel I would be most good at. The only problem I have is that those fields typically pay the least. Everyone knows that working for the government is not going to leave you rich- Hell, in this current economy, working for the government might just barely leave you at middle class status. Couple that fact with the massive amounts of student debt I will be faced with and I will be lucky if I will be taking home much more than I am now- which ain't much at all. Plus who knows what this economies financial and economic status will be four years from now when I finally am looking for a job as a practicing attorney? Will there be any jobs available? Let's hope so!

What pains me the most and has me the most conflicted is that I have entertained the idea of working for a corporate firm and putting in the time to get the money for a short time, so that I could at least see my way out of the financial hole I will be in and then moving on to what I'd really like to do. I just fear that once I walked that road for money it will be really hard to walk away from and my call for service will eventually become a distant memory.

Just something that was floating around in my head...

Current State of Affairs

Every morning when I wake up I turn the channel to Morning Joe - although I find Joe himself to be a pompous, arrogant, and sarcastic man, who believes his years in Congress have made him a Czar on all subjects which causes bad cases of diarrhea of the mouth, the other members of the show and the guests are pretty well tolerable. Besides it's the only news program in the morning that has primarily political and economic commentary and is not set on a news cycle loop like Morning News with Robin Meade- if you have to get ready for more than 25 minutes while listening to her, you've heard the exact stories in order about 3 times. And the Today Show and GMA contain too many puff pieces for my liking- but I digress. While I get myself together and feed and dress my son, I listen to the state of the countries affairs and listen to the pundits place their two cents on the topics. This morning the major event that compelled me to write was the Auto Maker bailouts. Last week the automakers (after arriving in individual private jets) were told to leave and come back with an actual plan of action versus the "just give us the money approach" they initially tried. So they returned, this time by motor vehicle, and detailed a plan that would require they receive a total of about $34 billion. As I listened to this number I was immediately taken aback by my reaction- "That's all" Leading me to believe that I have become somewhat desensitized by the astronomical amounts of money that have been quoted recently.

Being a person who grew up in Detroit and who knows how important and vital to the city and the region the automakers are ( I mean everyone I knew had a least one relative, if not more who worked for an auto company) I am torn by what to do with this current situation. With the banks, I was intently against the bailouts as I believed whole heatedly that this infusion of cash would do nothing to change much in our economy, the recession would still be here- or come, for those that have been in a time warp lately and say it just arrived this week- and the housing crisis would still remain, which means foreclosures would still be running rampant. Jobs would still be lost everyday and no new ones would be created. Basically the bank bailouts would bailout the people who ultimately caused the problem in the first place and secure their golden parachutes- but I digress again. When it comes to the auto industry and knowing how intricately the Big 3 are weaved into the fabric of the city, part of me cannot help but to feel for my hometown and immediately react with "SAVE THEM NOW". On the other hand the practical side of me has to remember that the Big 3 have their issues and have not done a lot to save themselves. I have to remember back when I was a kid and my father used to say that American cars are crap and aren't worth the money. Which is an opinion shared by many. They also have way too many options and car brands that have been acquired, non of which seem to cater to the current consumers needs. They are swamped with large SUV inventory and not enough fuel efficient and economy based cars, something the foreign car makers have capitalized on. They also carry way too much loyalty to their previous employees when it comes to health insurance and retirement benefits. (An issue that could be easily rectified if everyone had access to affordable health care, outside of an employer based program- but that's another issue all together, and something our President will be able to take care of soon). So, with all those negatives against them why would we save them, when they obviously haven't done anything to save themselves thus far. So, let them go- and America will have to find another item to produce (like clean energy, perhaps?) to embark on and usher in a new era.

This entire financial crisis has me just uneasy. Although my life has pretty much remained the same, and neither my husbands work or mine is in jeopardy, I can't help but to wonder what's next? These bailout figures keep getting larger and larger, to the point where I can't even fathom the amounts and where the money will come from. It's almost like the world has turned into one big monopoly game and we are all running around with fake money, constantly raising the stakes.

And who I feel sorry for the most is our President Elect, because he has just inherited an enormous mess of a situation, which threatens to undermine some of the major ideas and programs that drove me to vote for him- like health care, education, and governmental spending reform. I know the term socialism is a dirty word in this country, but with the current state of affairs we are in today, we could stand to adopt some of those principals for the next few years until we are in much better shape. I heard a great idea today, which oozed of socialism, but sounded great to me. The oil companies should take some of their record profits they've earned while everything else went to shit- and bailout the auto industry, since the Big 3 are the ones who produced the majority of the gas guzzling machines that the companies got rich from. That way my grand kids won't be placed in further debt and live a life that's similar to the depression era. And I'm also going to say it- we NEED to raise taxes. If that would mean that everyone in America could have health insurance, and our educational system could be improved to competitive standards, in addition to not being a credit based country indebted to China and reliant on foreign oil from the Middle East then I am all for it. Joe Biden was right, it is patriotic to pay your taxes and if they have to go up for the betterment of our country then so be it, EVERYONE should be willing to contribute. If a soldier is willing to give his life to protect our freedom, then those of us at home should be doing all we can to ensure that those soldiers some home to the BEST AMERICA possible.

But that's just me!

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