January 31, 2006

Four Things

Not sure if this is all I have to do, but Mike tagged me. So here are My Four Things

Four jobs I've had:

1. Store Detective
2. Veterinarian's Assistant
3. Gift Wrapper
4. Adjudicator
(These were the real job titles!)

Four movies I can watch over and over:

1. Monsoon Wedding
2. Pride and Prejudice
3. A Midsummer Night's Dream
4. Four Weddings and a Funeral

Four places I've lived:

1. Saint Paul, Minnesota
2. Minneapolis, Minnesota
3. North Hollywood, California
4. Encino, California
5. La Puente, California
6. Torrance, California
7. Harbor City, California
(So sue me. I got carried away)

Four TV shows I love:

1. Commander and Chief
2. Desperate Housewives
3. Grey's Anatomy
4. Sex and the City

Ten highly regarded and recommended TV shows that I've never watched a single minute of:

1. American Idol
2. CSI Miami
3. NCIS
4. CSI NY
5. Criminal Minds
6. The Shield
7. Rescue Me
8. Numbers
9. Deadwood
10. Good Eats

Four places I've vacationed:

1. Yellowstone Park, Wyoming
2. Big Island, Hawaii
3. Washington DC
4. Kansas City, Kansas

Four of my favorite dishes:

1. Chicken Mole
2. Red Beans and Rice
3. Bengal Curry
4. My Beef Stew

Oops, I forgot Mike's Smoked Brisket and Matt's dumplings. So sue me again, that's six.

Four sites I visit daily:

1. Cruft
2. Orangeguru
3. The Rants of Mister P
4. Crookdimwit

Four places I would rather be right now:

1. No place (I like it here!)
However, I will pick three places I would like to go tomorrow:
2. Washington DC
3. Outer Space
4. In the mountains

So now it is my turn to tag four people. You're it!

The Michael who Rants
Heidi
Dieter I dare you.
JustJenn

Posted by Judi at 11:34 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 29, 2006

GO BARBARA!

Now, if more Senators and Members of Congress thought like the Honorable Barbara Boxer, I might be able to sleep better at night. When I think too much about what is happening in this country, I get really depressed.

Fear about adding another Right Wing Justice to the Supreme Court, makes me shiver. It makes me feel better to know that Barbara Boxer is out there trying to preserve our freedoms.

You can read the whole letter by linking here or looking below.

Today, I am announcing my opposition to the nomination of
Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court of the United States.

According to Article II of the Constitution, justices of the
Supreme Court may not be appointed by the president without the
advice and consent of the United States Senate. So it is our
solemn duty to consider each nomination carefully, keeping in
mind the interests of the American people.

And this nomination is particularly crucial because the stakes
have rarely been so high.

First, consider the context in which this nomination comes
before us. The seat that Judge Alito has been nominated for is
now held by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who came to the Court
in 1981.

For years, Justice O'Connor has provided the tie-breaking vote
and a commonsense voice of reason in some of the most important
cases to come before the Court, including a woman's right to
choose, civil rights, and freedom of religion.

Second, consider the tumultuous political climate in our
nation. President Bush understood that in 2000 when he
promised to govern from the center, and be 'a uniter, not a
divider.' Sadly, this nomination shows that he has forgotten
that promise because it is not from the center and it is not
uniting the nation.

The right thing to do would have been to give us a justice in
the mold of Justice O'Connor, and that is what the president
should have done.

Let me be clear: I do not deny Judge Alito's judicial
qualifications. He has been a government lawyer and judge for
more than 20 years and the American Bar Association rated him
well qualified. He is an intelligent and capable person. His
family should be proud of him and all Americans should be proud
that the American dream was there for the Alito family.

But after reviewing the hearing record and the record of his
statements, writings and rulings over the past 24 years, I am
convinced that Judge Alito is the wrong person for this job.

I am deeply concerned about how Justice Alito will impact the
ability of other families to live the American dream -- to be
assured of privacy in their homes and their personal lives, to
be secure in their neighborhoods, to have fair treatment in the
workplace, and to have confidence that the power of the
executive branch will be checked.

As I reviewed Judge Alito's record, I asked whether he will
vote to preserve fundamental American liberties and values --

Will Justice Alito vote to uphold Congress' constitutional
power to pass laws to protect Americans' health, safety, and
welfare? Judge Alito's record says NO.

In the 1996 Rybar case, Judge Alito voted to strike down the
federal ban on the transfer or possession of machine guns
because he believed it exceeded Congress' power under the
Commerce Clause. His 3rd Circuit colleagues sharply criticized
his dissent and said that it ran counter to 'a basic tenet of
the constitutional separation of powers.' And Judge Alito's
extremist view has been rejected by six other circuit courts
and the Supreme Court. Judge Alito stood alone and failed to
protect our families.

In a case concerning worker protection, Judge Alito was again
in the minority when he said that federal mine health and
safety standards did not apply to a coal processing site. He
tried to explain it as just a 'technical issue of
interpretation.' I fear for the safety of our workers if
Judge Alito's narrow, technical reading of the law should ever
prevail.

Will Justice Alito vote to protect the right to privacy,
especially a woman's reproductive freedom? Judge Alito's
record says NO.

We have all heard about Judge Alito's 1985 job application, in
which he wrote that the constitution does not protect the right
of a woman to choose. He was given the chance to disavow that
position during the hearings -- and he refused to do so. He
had the chance to say, as Judge Roberts did, that Roe v. Wade
is settled law, and he refused.

He had the chance to explain his dissent in the Casey decision,
in which he argued that the Pennsylvania spousal notification
requirement was not an undue burden on a woman seeking an
abortion because it would affect only a small number of women,
but he refused to back away from his position. The Supreme
Court, by a 5-4 vote, found the provision to be
unconstitutional, and Justice O'Connor, co-writing for the
Court, criticized the faulty analysis supported by Judge Alito,
saying that 'the analysis does not end with the one percent of
women' affected ... 'it begins there.'

To my mind, Judge Alito's ominous statements and narrow minded
reasoning clearly signal a hostility to women's rights, and
portend a move back toward the dark days when abortion was
illegal in many states, and many women died as a result. In
the 21st century, it is astounding that a Supreme Court nominee
would not view Roe v. Wade as settled law when its fundamental
principle -- a woman's right to choose -- has been reaffirmed
many times since it was decided.

Will Justice Alito vote to protect Americans from
unconstitutional searches? Judge Alito's record says NO.

In Doe v. Groody in 2004, he said a police strip search of a
10-year-old girl was lawful, even though their search warrant
didn't name her. Judge Alito said that even if the warrant did
not actually authorize the search of the girl, 'a reasonable
police officer could certainly have read the warrant as doing
so... ' This casual attitude toward one of our most basic
constitutional guarantees -- the 4th Amendment right against
unreasonable searches -- is almost shocking. As Judge Alito's
own 3rd Circuit Court said regarding warrants, 'a particular
description is the touchstone of the 4th Amendment.' We
certainly do not need Supreme Court justices who do not
understand this fundamental constitutional protection.

Will Justice Alito vote to let citizens stop companies from
polluting their communities? Judge Alito's record says NO.

In the Magnesium Elektron case, Judge Alito voted to make it
harder for citizens to sue for toxic emissions that violate the
Clean Water Act. Fortunately, in another case several years
later, the Supreme Court rejected the 3rd Circuit and Alito's
narrow reading of the law. Judge Alito doesn't seem to care
about a landmark environmental law.

Will Justice Alito vote to let working women and men have their
day in court against employers who discriminate against them?
Judge Alito's record says NO.

In 1997, in the Bray case, Judge Alito was the only judge on
the 3rd circuit to say that a hotel employee claiming racial
discrimination could not take her case to a jury.

In the Sheridan case, a female employee sued for
discrimination, alleging that after she complained about
incidents of sexual harassment, she was demoted and
marginalized to the point that she was forced to quit. By a
vote of 10 to 1, the 3rd Circuit found for the plaintiff.
Guess who was the one? Only Judge Alito thought the employee
should have to show that discrimination was the 'determinative
cause' of the employer's action. Using his standard would make
it almost impossible for a woman claiming discrimination in the
workplace to get to trial.

Finally, will Justice Alito be independent from the executive
branch that appointed him, and be a vote against power grabs by
the president? Judge Alito's record says NO.

As a lawyer in the Reagan Justice Department, he authored a
memo suggesting a new way for the president to encroach on
Congress' lawmaking powers. He said that when the president
signs a law, he should make a statement about the law, giving
it his own interpretation, whether it was consistent with what
Congress had written or not. He wrote that this would 'get in
the last word on questions of interpretation' of the law. In
the hearings, Judge Alito refused to back away from this memo.

When asked whether he believed the president could invade
another country, in the absence of an imminent threat, without
first getting the approval of the American people, of Congress,
Judge Alito refused to rule it out.

When asked if the president had the power to authorize someone
to engage in torture, Alito refused to answer.

The administration is now asserting vast powers, including
spying on American citizens without seeking warrants -- in
clear violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act --
violating international treaties, and ignoring laws that ban
torture. We need justices who will put a check on such
overreaching by the executive, not rubberstamp it. Judge
Alito's record and his answers at the hearings raise very
serious doubts about his commitment to being a strong check on
an 'imperial president.'

In addition to these substantive matters, I remain concerned
about Judge Alito's answers regarding his membership in the
Concerned Alumni of Princeton and his failure to recuse himself
from the Vanguard case, which he had promised to do.

During the hearings, we all felt great compassion for Mrs.
Alito when she became emotional in reaction to the tough
questions her husband faced in the Judiciary Committee.
Everyone in politics knows how hard it is for families when a
loved one is asked tough questions. It is part of a difficult
process, and whoever said politics is not for the faint of
heart was right.

Emotions have run high during this process. That's
understandable. But I wish the press had focused more on the
tears of those who will be affected if Judge Alito becomes
Justice Alito and his out-of-the mainstream views prevail.

I worry about the tears of a worker who, having failed to get a
promotion because of discrimination, is denied the opportunity
to pursue her claim in court.

I worry about the tears of a mentally ill woman who is forced
by law to tell her husband that she wants to terminate her
pregnancy and is afraid that he will leave her or stop
supporting her.

I worry about the tears of a young girl who is strip searched
in her own home by police who have no valid warrant.

I worry about the tears of a mentally retarded man, who has
been brutally assaulted in his workplace, when his claim of
workplace harassment is dismissed by the court simply because
his lawyer failed to file a well written brief on his behalf.

These are real cases in which Judge Alito has spoken.
Fortunately, he did not prevail in these cases. But if he goes
to the Supreme Court, he will have a much more powerful voice
-- a radical voice that will replace a voice of moderation and
balance.

Perhaps the most important statement Judge Alito made during
the entire hearing process was when he told the Judiciary
Committee that he expects to be the same kind of justice on the
Supreme Court as he has been a judge on the Circuit Court.

That is precisely the problem. As a judge, Samuel Alito seemed
to approach his cases with an analytical coldness that
reflected no concern for the human consequences of his
reasoning.

Listen to what he said about a case involving an
African-American man convicted of murder by an all white jury
in a courtroom where the prosecutors had eliminated all
African-American jurors in many previous murder trials as well.

Judge Alito dismissed this evidence of racial bias and said
that the jury makeup was no more relevant than the fact that
lefthanders have won five of the last six presidential
elections. When asked about this analogy during the hearings,
he said it 'went to the issue of statistics... (which) is a
branch of mathematics, and there are ways to analyze statistics
so that you draw sound conclusions from them...'

That response would have been appropriate for a college math
professor, but it is deeply troubling from a potential Supreme
Court justice.

As the great jurist and Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell
Holmes, Jr. wrote in 1881, "The life of the law has not been
logic; it has been experience... The law embodies the story of
a nation's development through many centuries, and it cannot be
dealt with as if it contained only the axioms and corollaries
of a book of mathematics."

What Holmes meant is that the law is a living thing, that those
who interpret it must do so with wisdom and humanity, and with
an understanding of the consequences of their judgments for the
lives of the people they affect.

It is with deep regret that I conclude that Judge Alito's
judicial philosophy lacks this wisdom, humanity and moderation.
He is simply too far out of the mainstream in his thinking.
His opinions demonstrate neither the independence of mind nor
the depth of heart that I believe we need in our Supreme Court
justices, particularly at this crucial time in our nation's
history.

That is why I will oppose this nomination.

Posted by Judi at 11:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 27, 2006

PARTY! 1985

Our flight was delayed and we finally arrived home after 1:00 AM. I walked in the door and the first thing I noticed was that the vacuum cleaner was in the living room. Thinking that it was unlikely that Matt had suddenly developed a desire for housework, a little alarm went off.

"Why is the vacuum cleaner out?"

"Oh, I guess I forgot to put it away. I thought it would be nice if I cleaned up a little before you got home."

Alarm Two.

I looked more carefully at the living room. I noticed that although all my knickknacks were on the correct piece of furniture, they were not quite right. It clicked.

"You had a party!"

"Why do you say that?"

"Because the vacuum cleaner is out and all my things are not where they belong."

"That's not true. Kirill took pictures!"
"We put them back exactly as they were."

"Not exactly."

Matt realizes what he just said.
He stood silent for a moment.
I could almost hear his mind working.
"My mom has a third eye."

Pete says; "We will talk about this in the morning." We all went up to bed.

Tired, I gratefully change into nightclothes and get into bed. I notice an awful smell. I reach down and feel something icky.

"Oh my God, what is that?" I turn on the light and discover that someone has vomited by my bed.

I mop up the remaining stuff with a rag. We change the bed linens. I wash the vomit from the offending material and put it in the washer. I add bleach and set the washer to HOT in order to sanitize it. I go back to bed, thankfully now with clean linen, and the offending odor on the carpet masked by Lysol.

In the morning, I tell Matt what I'd found the night before.

Matt says; "But Mom, we closed the door, and told everyone that your bedroom was off limits."

Yeah. That works!

Later, I asked Matt; "Why did you have a party, especially when our last words to you as we left for New York was "NO PARTIES!" ...And, especially with all that we had been going through with your brother this summer?"

(Mike had been making some interesting choices that year, but that's another story.)

Matt said; "Well. I thought that even though Mike did all that stuff, you didn't kill him."

Sigh.
I'm sure it seemed very logical to him.

Posted by Judi at 1:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

HAPPY, HAPPY, BIRTHDAY BABY.

Yes, today is my baby's birthday.
It's seems like just yesterday.

I remember the moment of his birth. This was in the days before there were tests which could tell the gender of a child in utero. I carried this child differently than I had my first, and everyone but me and Pete was convinced that this one would be a girl. Including the doctor.

Nevertheless, I always knew that the child I was carrying was a boy. In fact, I knew his name before he was even conceived. And ... even though I thought it would be nice to have a daughter, I couldn't even think of a girl's name, just in case.

As I was delivering my second child, the doctor said "Here's comes your daughter." A moment later my new baby emerged. I looked at my new infant and said; "That's a very funny looking girl!"

My new baby boy looked almost exactly as I imagined he would look. Absolutely Perfect!

Aw. Now I've probably gone and embarrassed him. I didn't mean to. I cherish this story and that moment.

So ... I hope your day is perfect as you are my dear son. And, I hope you will forgive your mom for relaying this memory on such a public forum.

Oh yes, you won't be offically a year older until about 3:30 PM this afternoon.

Happy Birthday.

Posted by Judi at 1:11 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 26, 2006

Lovin' Love Monkey

I love Love Monkey.
But for anyone listening ... please don't tell the TV gods that Mom said that.
I don't want them to hear.

Sometimes, all it takes is is for me to start telling people that I like a new show for it to be cancelled. Something about the Judi Jinx. I sometimes worry about these things. Talk about a big ego!!! :-/

There are times when I imagine that there are some little nasty spirits who just love to spoil my fun. And, just to be spiteful, axe certain shows before they've even given a chance. Yes, I know that it isn't all about me.

Unfortunately, the networks aren't willing to settle for a niche audience ... or wait until a larger viewership can gather. Too bad.

Maybe, it would be better to simply say that I have enjoyed watching the first couple of episodes of Love Monkey. I guess I wouldn't be heartbroken if it went off the air. Not like I was when they cancelled Wonderfalls.

I REALLY LOVED WONDERFALLS! This short lived TV series was original, innovative, quirky, fun and unique. It had heart, and it broke my heart when it was cancelled.

I loved Wonderfalls so much that I've never had the heart to remove it as a season pass on our TIVO ... much to the chagrin of my husband.

So, I like Love Monkey, but not nearly as much as I loved Wonderfalls. Is there anyone else out there who even remembers that such a show existed?

Posted by Judi at 11:25 PM | Comments (23) | TrackBack

January 25, 2006

WARNING!

TIP FROM MOM!.

Don't put dry lentils
down your garbage disposal!

Admit it.
You wonder how I know this, don't you?

Posted by Judi at 1:25 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 24, 2006

ONLINE IS FINE...

BUT A NEWSPAPER IS BETTER

"Can we continue to luxuriate in a vanity which had assumed that all this -- all these billions of years, all this vastness -- was only about us?"

"After all, we've been standing on a promontory for three years now that has put us within sight of -- well, call it what you will: the Big Bang, Creation. I like Creation. It gathers more resonances"

Shamelessly stolen from
"Wisdom in a scoop of space dust"
by Tom Teepen of Cox News.

Because of small articles like this, which appeared today on page twelve of our daily newspaper, I am convinced that I'll always want a print copy in my hands to read at my leasure. It's easy to miss a gem like this on the net.

After a time consuming and futile internet search so that I might share it with you, I called our local newspaper, the Daily Breeze for help. The nice lady who answered the phone walked me through the the process on their website.

I was caught as soon as I saw the headline.
Now, doesn't this make you feel better than only reading all the scary stuff?

LONG LIVE THE PRINT MEDIA!

Here is the whole thing.
Hope I haven't broken any copyright rules....

"Wisdom in a scoop of space dust "
---By Tom Teepen

Our deepening science and our jack-rabbitting technology, which together are expected to catapult us into a future glittered with dazzling accomplishments, are less expectedly leading us as well, and faster and farther, into a past barely within imagining.

It is an awesome journey, and it is my sense that very few have noticed. Small wonder, I suppose. What is to be gained from pioneering on the past's frontier except wisdom? And that only if we're lucky. The past promises no Blackberries. It will stock no retail shelves, birth no industries.

Still, only days ago, NASA's Stardust vehicle raced back to Earth at 29,000 miles an hour with news of the Solar System's first days, some 4.5 billion years ago.

The probe scooped up "dust" from the comet Wild 2 near Jupiter, material likely unchanged since the earliest days of our neighborhood. Analyzed, the material will be the morning news from a time before geology.

But even that astonishing accomplishment -- all the more astonishing for being taken as more or less routine these days -- is just fill.

After all, we've been standing on a promontory for three years now that has put us within sight of -- well, call it what you will: the Big Bang, Creation. I like Creation. It gathers more resonances. Either way, in 2003 a year's worth of data from a NASA probe a million miles from Earth produced, in effect, a snapshot of the universe as it was just 380,000 years after the start of time.

Imagine: in a universe 13.7 billion years old, to come within 400,000 years of its beginning, within 200,000 years of the time when the stars first blinked on, is to feel, if only vicariously, the afterglow of time's seminal instant.

Scientists these days can decode "background radiation" -- the faint traces of traces of traces of ancient light -- as surely as archaeologists find narrative in pot shards, ruins and patches of language snatched back into readability from near fatal disuse.

We are moving from speculation in these matters to observation. That is an epochal turn, and never mind that the change is largely unattended. Its neglect now won't forever ward off the unsettling questions that will grow with the inevitable spread of awareness.

Can we continue to luxuriate in a vanity which had assumed that all this -- all these billions of years, all this vastness -- was only about us?

If we cannot, how will we re-situate ourselves and our purpose in this story that is indifferent to us? Will we even continue to suppose we have purpose? If not, will we become neglectful to our fate or more mindful to it? Doesn't even a faint possibility of purpose oblige us to bend to its construction?

Will we come to believe that we have an abiding indenture to the stewardship of this tiny place that has been, by whatever chance, left in our care? If humankind is in any way special, if only for the novelty, how dare we collapse the biosphere that supports it? Can't we make more of ourselves than an anomaly?

All of these questions and more are offshoots from the question that has hung over us from the start: can we turn knowledge into wisdomn time?

Originally published Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Tom Teepen is a columnist for Cox Newspapers who is based in Atlanta. His e-mail address is teepencolumn@coxnews.com.

Posted by Judi at 9:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 18, 2006

YOUNG AGAIN

oblivious and free

Sometimes, after watching the news,
I think my body's on the verge
of closing shop, inches from total,
unceremonious oblivion, and it's amazing
how easily I can admit defeat,
collapse on the couch
with ginger tea, or Pepto,
call for an extra set of hands
to prop the pillows,
unearth the slippers, a novel, massage.

In the morning, bouncing to the next task,
I forget exactly what I sounded like,
so plaintive and still.
I unremember the evening,
when I lay so prone and empty,
with nothing to give.
I disregard the red light
and run into the street again,
oblivious, full, hopelessly free.

maya stein


I had to move this poem around a bit to fit into the space allowed on my website. Sorry Maya. Hope it didn't mess it up too badly.

Posted by Judi at 3:15 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

GOOD NEWS AMIDST THE BAD

Reading a newspaper you hold in your hands is good. If you don't have time to read an article that looks interesting, you can always clip it for later perusal. So, just in case you missed the following news, here are things that caught my eye this morning.

Our Best Friends...

"In the small world of people who train dogs to sniff cancer, a little-known Northern California clinic has made a big claim: that it has trained five dogs - three Labradors and two Portuguese water dogs - to detect lung cancer in the breath of cancer sufferers with 99 percent accuracy." Read the whole article from the New York Times.

And She Rises...

Lots of women in the news lately.

In Liberia...
Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf took office as Liberia's first elected female president and as Africa's first elected female head of state. Go Ellen!

In Chile...

Michelle Bachelet promises 'understanding, tolerance' as Chile's first woman president.

Let's hope they both get a chance to make a difference. A good difference. My hopes are with both of them.

Posted by Judi at 12:09 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

January 17, 2006

Messages

Scorpio (Oct. 24-Nov. 21)> "Darkness is to light what a seeming setback is in your midst. This is just a reminder of where to set your sights. Be kind with your self-talk. You deserve to be treated like a good student."

This was my horiscope for today in the Daily Breeze. ...Don't know if I believe this stuff, but it was good advice nevertheless. I've been getting this message a lot lately.

Posted by Judi at 10:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 15, 2006

MOM. THE WARRIOR.

Mom has entered the Dark Side.

OK. When I first heard the plans,
I wasn't sure.
Laser Tag?
It all sounded rather sinister to me.
And fraught with danger.

Zoe had been telling me that her "real" birthday party (meaning the one with her friends and school mates) would be Laser Tag Party.

Last night, M and M confirmed that the party was on for 12:00 noon today. I had my doubts as to whether this would be a 'fun' day for Nana. Shooting people with laser guns? This doesn't sound like an activity that promotes peace to me.

Not only that. I was concerned that the glare that all the bright lights would have an effect on my already weakening night vision. The brightness from those new fangled Laser flashlights are just about overwhelming to me. Almost blinding.

Nevertheless, as a dutiful grandmother, at about lunchtime today I found myself entering the dreaded Ultrazone in Alhambra.

Not too long after arriving, I followed our pack into the 'ready room' where we strapped on heavy vests from which our 'laser guns' were attached. A moment after doing this, Mike came over and said "Mom. You have your vest on backward." He helped me put it on with the 'gun' hanging in the front rather than the back. I tightened the straps. Our group separated into teams.

I was on the "Blue" team. I listened intently to the attendant's instructions. The whole thing seemed confusing. I wasn't sure I understood the rules. I wasn't sure I would be able to see in the dark, and wasn't sure what would happen when we entered the arena....

At this point, Zoe came over and introduced me to a friend at her side and told me that this girl would be on my team. It was obvious that Zoe thought that either this child or I needed a companion. I am still not sure about whom she was most concerned.

We all entered the maze.
The game commenced.

I started to shoot at everything that moved. I shot at the other players. I shot at the lights flashing from ceilings and on the walls. I shot at the disco balls.

I moved stealthily around the corridors as fast as I could, peeking around corners and running down empty trails, looking for the telltale red lights which indicated that there was an opponent hiding in the dark.

I heard Mike call out;
"Mom. Don't shoot at your own teammates!"

Oops.

All I had noticed was the big Yellow light shining from the front of the players vests, not on the colors of the lights on our shoulders. The game came to an end. We all removed our vests for the next group and exited the arena. We checked our scores. I realized that my faux pas may have cost my team a win. At this point Mike said; "Hey Mom, at least your score wasn't a negative number." There were some.

You'd think that this experience would have dampened my enthusiasm for continuing with the game. But you would have been wrong. Had you been able to listen to my excited conversation after this competition, you would have heard me telling Pete "Next time, we should buy an all day pass!"

Yes, the thrill of the game had entered my blood. Who would have thought? I could barely wait till it was our turn again.

After consuming a couple of pieces of pizza for strength, the players awaited our call. A short time later, an announcement was made that it was time for the guests at Zoe's Birthday Party to come to the ready room.

I quickly strapped on my vest, this time right side front, and prepared for combat. My inner warrior was fully engaged.

We separated into three teams and waited for instruction. I looked around, and saw that there was a lot of movement between the teams while I sat still. It was then that I noticed that the other teams had several more players than mine. The thought occurred to me that some of more alert players were trying to make sure that they were not on the same team as the crazy grandmother who couldn't tell ally from opponent.

No matter. I didn't care. This time I understood the rules better. I was ready.

This time I made sure that I didn't shoot any teammates. The game was over too soon. We checked our scores. Mike was the champion. My score was fully two hundred points lower that the previous game. Well, at least my score wasn't a negative number.

Posted by Judi at 10:55 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 14, 2006

Rubarb Pie Time

It's Pete's Birthday again.
Sing Happy.

Posted by Judi at 12:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 12, 2006

A-P-P-L-E

Today we went to the Apple Store to attend an iMac workshop. The store was crowded and the air was filled with energy. Mac Lovers are enthusiastic people.

The young man giving the class was obviously not very experienced. He spoke at a rapid pace, and within moments, I was completely lost. I pulled up my courage, and asked if he could slow down a bit as I was confused. He actually thanked me, and continued at a bit slower pace.

There were only three of us actually taking the workshop. By the end of the hour I was, once again, excited about all the wonderful posibilities.

Next week, I start private lessons with a Mac Genius. Watch out.

Posted by Judi at 10:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

DANCING THOUGHTS

I am a Dragon but I have a Monkey Mind.

After all these years of meditation, you would think it would slow down a bit. But, more often than not, my mind is racing. I guess I may need more lifetimes to become a person at peace. My practice lacks the discipline of a master.

Yesterday, I had an appointment with my Rheumatologist for a regular follow up. Dr E. is a woman I really admire and trust. I feel comfortable when I go into her office, and never feel the need to hide anything.

She knows me pretty well ... and has seen me at my best and at my worst. Dr E. has seen me through some very dark places, and never fails to lift my spirits. She always has a few minutes to chat. I like her.

Enough years have passed that I have come to know of many of her joys and sorrows as she has known mine. Like all of us, she walks through the hills and valleys of life, and keeps moving forward.

Yesterday, I admitted that one of my highest visions for myself is to become the kind of person with whom others feel peaceful. But, even though this has been one of my spiritual goals for a very long time, achieving this elevated state still seems very far away. In fact, I often feel that 'peaceful' is the last thing that people feel when they are with me.

God bless this kind soul. Dr E. said she sees me as peaceful. And then she said; that she likes that I'm also high energy. No wonder I look forward to my visits every other month. I always get a dose of love with the medicine she dispenses. I'm a lucky dragon.

Posted by Judi at 9:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 11, 2006

TWO BY TWO

...Been talking and thinking about weddings lately. We went to another one this last Saturday. All the single people I know seem to be looking for their someone. Just after getting off the phone with one of them, I checked my Mom on the Alert e-mail.

One of the incoming messages I got was the weekly poem from Maya Stein at Be Here Now. I don't know Maya Stein, but signed up to receive the poems sometime last year. I don't know if I will break any blogging rules to post this weeks poem, so I won't, but you might be interested in reading it. Link here to read Two.

Posted by Judi at 9:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 10, 2006

For Laurie

Here is the Dancing Lady

Posted by Judi at 8:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

OOPS ... TWO DAYS LATE

We have been celebrating all sorts of stuff.

Today, Zoe is ten years and two days years old.

On Sunday, we all drove all the way out to Santa Clarita because Michael decided that Zoe should experience at least one birthday at a Farrell's. Be sure to click on their birthday video. It is ten times as noisy now.

Lots of singing, lots of drumming, lots of children standing on chairs, and Big Big Ice Cream Sundaes. It was noisy, and I could barely hear the woman who was sitting right next to me, but it was really was fun.The Sundaes were as good as I remember from the one that used to be in Torrance in the 1970's

Posted by Judi at 8:06 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 1, 2006

New Year's Gift

OK. This morning I was so happy, every few minutes i would break into song. I would sing "La La" with great glee and emphasis on the final La. I thought it sounded pretty good, but after rereading the words I wrote in my last post, I can see that there is no way to simulate the sound by using the poor medium of the written word. Nor can you see the delighted smile on my face.

So just in case what I wrote just sounded silly, or it wasn't perfectly clear, let me try again. Pete and I will soon have a new daughter-in-law. Yvette won our hearts the very first time we met her. We are happy for our youngest son.

Posted by Judi at 10:10 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

La La! Wonderful News!

We were awakened this morning by a call from Washinton DC.

MATT AND YVETTE ARE ENGAGED!

Since hearing the news, Mom has been breaking out in song and dance. La La!

2006 is going to be a wonderful year. :-)
Can you tell that Mom's happy?

I'll say it again.
2006 is going to be a wonderful year.
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!

Posted by Judi at 12:03 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack