March 21, 2005

AARG...

Spam comments and pings deleted this AM is 109.
I do have better things to do with my time. :-(

Posted by Judi at 12:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 19, 2005

Damn Spammers

I spend way too much time on the computer deleting Spam!
It doesn't leave much time for anything else.
There has to be a better way!

This morning's Spam Comment and Ping count was 203.

Posted by Judi at 1:24 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 15, 2005

THE ORIGIN OF THE NAME OF THIS BLOG

This is how it happened.

Little obscure tidbits of information have always fascinated me. I am one of those people who often can't remember how to do basic computations, yet unusual little facts will fix themselves firmly in my memory. Of course, I shared my findings with my boys.

When they were small, my little sons seemed interested in my offerings. At some point however, this habit began to elicit more guffaws than attention. This did not stop me from alerting my men when something of 'importance' caught my eye.

By the time the boys were in their teens, they were quite sure that they had simply passed me by, and that I no longer had much to teach them. Usually then, whenever I would attempt to inform them of some wonderful piece of information, someone would laughingly say; "Mom's on the alert."

Each in turn, the boys went off to college. I began the habit of sending them articles I had clipped from the newspaper which I thought would be of particular interest to either Mike or Matt.

Mike came home to LA after college, but Matt moved to DC after graduate school. Now, I could just call Mike and suggest he look at the article in that day's LA Times. However, I continued clipping articles and sending them to Matt. Then the boys started blogging.

One day, I mentioned to Mike that it might be fun to have a blog of my own. That is all it took. Mike started to press me to choose a name for my blog. I could not think of one. Mike kept asking.

One day, as I was clipping yet one more 'fascinating article' for Matt, I wondered if he would really read it. Then I remembered the levity that this habit used to engender and I started to laugh. I called Mike at work to tell him I had thought of a name.

He called back a little later to let me know that my blog was now on the internet. A short time after that Matt came home for a visit and did the design.

Of course, I still don't know what I'm doing, but I've got good boys.

Posted by Judi at 7:16 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

March 13, 2005

Let us be fierce in our Love.

In the days following the election last November,
a great rage grew within my heart.
I became furious.

I could see the anger.
Red. Molten.
Powerful beyond measure.

It was eerily beautiful.
Horribly Wondrous.
Frightening beyond measure.

I was afraid of it.
For the first time in my life,
I could see myself as Destroyer.

Who was this woman
who could burn the world with her rage?
She was not the person I had planned to be.

I secluded myself,
afraid of the fire within.
I didn't trust myself.

If I looked in the mirror, who would I see?
Certainly not the nurturer, the peacemaker.
Could this be a loving mother?

After a period of time,
when I thought I might trust myself again.
I ventured out of my seclusion,
and distracted myself with the busyness of the holidays.

Since then, I've been halfheartedly going about my days.
My enthusiasm for life diminished.
My hopefulness reduced.

I've gone through the motions.
And, pretended.
But part of me felt empty.

I blamed my mood on the weather.
I blamed it on my ailing body.
I felt vulnerable.

But mostly, I feared.
I feared for the children.
I feared for my country.
I feared for our world.

I was appalled by what this government is doing our name.
I was appalled that so many of my fellow citizens went along with it. Willing to destroy our beautiful earth in the name of profit. Willing to risk our children's heritage in the belief that this is the 'End of days."

I am even more appalled now.
I am still angry.
Angry at those who so righteously preach hate,
in the name of God.

And I want to ask; What God do you worship?
Did it ever occur to you that you are the ones who are following evil? Aren't you getting signals from your heart that something is very wrong?

How can you follow a leader who claims
to follow the Path of Love, but is so unloving?
How can you see such separation between "us" and "them"?

Don't you know that God is present in all?
Whatever path each may walk.
Don't you know that we can not be cut from one another.

Now is the time for us to face our fears.
Now is the time for strength.
Now is the time for the fierceness of our Love

Let us be the protectors of our children.
All of our children. Wherever they may live in this world.
Let us all stand forth in our love.

Please take the time to view the video of Marianne Williamson's Keynote speech made at the Washington National Cathedral on February 19, 2005. Look to your right on her website.

I understand my feelings a bit more now.
Thanks, Glorianne, for sending this on to me.

Posted by Judi at 8:54 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 12, 2005

Waving signs.

I'm involved again. The interim president of our new Democratic Club talked us into holding a demonstration to protect Social Security. I wasn't so sure that this was the best use of our time, but the majority of the organization decided to give it a go.

The demonstration was held today between 12:00 and 2:00 at a nearby busy street corner.

I did not go to the sign making party last night, but I thought I might at least lend my support by bringing some water to the demonstrators. I was not going to hold a sign.

When I arrived at the intersection, I was delighted to discover that there was a wonderful turnout of people who willing to give up a few hours of their precious weekend to speak out. All four corners were full of demonstrators holding signs.

I parked my car and grabbed some water bottles to offer to my fellow clubmates. One of them accompanied me back to my car to help me carry the rest of the bottles to anyone who was thirsty.

We brought our offerings to every corner. At the last one, I was handed a sign. So there I stood, at the corner of Crenshaw and Pacific Coast Highway in Torrance, brightly dressed in yellow and holding a sign saying "Honk if you want Bush to keep his hands off of Social Security." I held the sign up with one hand waved to the passing motorists with the other.

I was rewarded with loads of people honking horns and smiling and waving from their cars. Next time, I am going to hold a sign saying either "Don't Gamble with Social Security" or ... Social Security, Fix it, Don't Nix it.

Here I go again.

Posted by Judi at 7:58 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 10, 2005

A gift for Jamal

OK. I was going to rant a bit about our irresponsible president and his ill thought-out economic schemes. But, I don't have the energy or the time to do that now. Instead I am going to let you know about the work of one wonderful non-political organization.

I have been a Save the Children sponsor for a few years now. At the time I signed up to send in a monthly stipend to help a child somewhere, I was asked some questions about my preferences.

I could choose either a boy or a girl ... and ... I could choose whatever country or part of the world from which that child was chosen. I had no preference at the time, so the representative said that I could designate wherever there was the greatest need. That was cool.

Not long after, I received notice that the child selected for me was a boy named Jamal who lives right here in the United States, in the Mississippi Delta Region. Since then, Jamal and I exchange occasional letters.

In the craziness of December's holidays, I neglected to send a gift to Jamal or his family. My failure to do this, was one of the many things which got stored away in my giant guilt file. My plan was to send a New Year's or Valentine's gift.

It is now March, and this usual joyful task remained unaccomplished. Looking at my calendar, I remembered that Jamal's birthday is in March. At the end of this month Jamal will be 10 years old.

OK. I was given the perfect opportunity. But, what do 10 year old boys want these days? Things have changed since my boys were little. My mind was a blank. I started asking around for ideas. My feeble online search proved futile.

I asked my granddaughters.
Zoe suggested Super Hero Action figures.
Mira suggested a walkie talkie.
I talked to Mike.
He suggested a Razor Skater or skateboard.

I wasn't sure about the action figures.
Pete said "no" to the walkie-talkie. "It would need batteries!"

I couldn't remember whether we had sent him sent him a skateboard or inline skates the year before.

Last night, I talked with Matt and asked for his suggestions. He said that all the young boys in the DC area seem to like team jerseys but suggested I find out Jamal's favorite team or player before I chose one for Jamal.

This morning, I called the Southeast Area office for Save the Children and the woman I talked with was happy to help. this wonderful woman told me that she would contact Jamal's field representative immediately, and would call me back today.

A few moments ago, this lovely lady called back equipped with a whole list. I now know Jamal's clothing and shoe size, his reading level, as well as his music, game and reading preferences.

Anne also told me that Jamal's favorite team is the LA Lakers. That should be easy!

Armed with this information, I went shopping. Whether you like shopping or not, this kind of shopping is fun! I actually bought Jamal a few things. After all, I did miss Christmas. When I came home, I promptly wrapped the presents and boxed them for mailing. A quick trip to the local Post office and the package was on it's way. I am happy.

You know, it only costs $28.00 dollars a month to sponsor a child through Save the Children. Look here for what they do. You can arrange for automatic payments using your credit card. Twenty-eight dollars a month is less than one dollar a day. Most of us hardly feel it. But this money can help raise a child out of poverty and ignorance.

You can help a child, somewhere in the world, with his or her basic needs and with an education to help himself. But more than that you can let a child know that there is someone they don't even know who is thinking about them and who wants them to grow up healthy, happy and educated.

So, give yourself a gift today and help a child move out of poverty. This will make you feel good, and may also get you a great pen pal.

Posted by Judi at 3:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 3, 2005

Oh my God, we're old!

I went out of the house today. I was gone a little over two hours. When I came home and opened the door I was assaulted with the odor I remembered from my paternal grandparents house. I used to refer to it as the 'old' smell. I went around and opened all the windows, even though it is a little chilly this afternoon.

I never understood what caused this odor. I'd always assumed that it was just that everything in the house was old. The house was old, the belongings were old, and the people who inhabited the house were old. The smell is something more than stuffy.

My Dad's parents were the parents of nine children, grandparents of fifteen, and already great grandparents of more by the time I was born. Once they moved to California, my grandparents lived in an old but pleasant neighborhood in downtown LA.

Whenever I picture this grandfather I see him as wearing a suit. I don't know if this was his usual mode of dress or because every picture I have of him shows him dressed in this manner. I was told that he was a learned man. And that he spoke several languages. Well, I know he spoke at least four. Yet, there seemed to be little communication between us.

The visits were rather formal. Neither my grandmother nor my grandfather seemed very interested in me. Looking back, I guess these visits were 'duty' visits. I don't think my Mom and my grandmother had the best of relationships.

I was usually bored when I went over to these grandparents's house. There was nothing to do. We usually sat in the living room and the conversation was stilted. So very different than the lively discussions I remember my other grandparents house.

My Mom's parents seemed so vital and alive, but more than that, it was apparent that I was important to both of them. I didn't have to watch my words. I was more cautious with my Dad's parents. Why this was true I don't really know except that apparently I hurt my grandmother's feelings when I was four.

Even after all these years, I remember this incident. Apparently my grandmother had a habit of asking me some awful questions when I was little. She would ask me who I loved more, my Mommy or my Daddy? When my Mother overheard these questions she was horrified and pointedly told my Grandmother not to ask me such things.

However, this did not stop the behavior. As I remember this particular incident, I was talking to this grandmother on the telephone. She asked me "Which grandparents did I love more, my grandma and grandpa Roston, or my grandma and grandpa Chodos."

Well, that was an easy question to answer. I answered as only a four year old would answer. Truthfully. My Mom's parents won hands down. My grandmother was hurt by my answer. And did not leave it there.

When word got 'round of what I'd said, my mother made me call my grandmother to apologize. I still remember this call. And, I remember my mother muttering under her breath. 'I told her not to ask such questions! I told her one day she might not like the answer!"

What all this has to do with the 'old' smell, I don't know. I just don't want my house to have it.

Posted by Judi at 7:41 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack