Monthly Archives: April 2008

How Rude!

We are seasoned symphony attenders. And when you get into the habit of going to performances such as these, you can start to get a little, um, uppity about some things. There are several faux pas that can be made during a performance such as talking, not using cough drops or water to keep a cough under control, fidgeting too much, singing/humming along with the music, etc. But the two biggies are arriving late and leaving early.

Of course, getting a little too “high and mighty” about such things has a way of coming back to bite you in the proverbial arse! We had a symphony date this past Friday night. Our normal symphony nights are Saturdays but we had switched tickets with some friends. We also had a gift card to a nice steakhouse in town. We got the babysitter lined up, we got reservations for dinner and we headed out. Unfortunately for me, allergies had been getting the better of me all day. Up until Friday, I’d shown no signs of being affected by this Spring’s allergies. I took some medicine and figured everything would be alright. Well…

Dinner was so good. So good, in fact, it went a little longer than we’d expected even with an early evening reservation. By the time we left the restaurant, the performance was starting. We weren’t far away from the symphony hall so we got over there as quickly as we could, parked and went in. They have a late seating policy and we were escorted into the back of the hall even though our seats were further up. Now we had violated the first big faux pas by arriving late.

Unfortunately my head had begun to pound and my throat was getting scratchy and the allergy medicine I had taken combined with the very good dinner we had just consumed was making me rather sleepy. The first half finished, we found our ticketed seats for the second half and settled in. Then I looked at the program. Oh good, just one symphony in the second half. Um…one symphony with four movements that would last approximately 50 minutes!

The music was so beautiful! I can’t even begin to describe it. The conductor had taken some time before starting the symphony to give some background about the composer, Erich Korngold, his work history, the inspiration for the symphony, the composer he’d been influenced by (Strauss) and the composer who in turn was inspired by Korngold (John Williams). The music was utterly indescribable yet it was putting me to sleep! I was fidgeting, not coughing but having to tend to my nose every couple minutes, trying not to yawn and completely unable to enjoy the performance.

Which brings us to big faux pas number two. We left during the break between the third movement and fourth movements. I know! It was the last movement but I can not even begin to describe how awful I was feeling and DB said he couldn’t watch me suffer anymore. Thankfully we only had to slide past two other people and there was an exit close by.

Which just goes to teach me that sometimes there are reasons to arrive late and leave early, even in the same evening!

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Filed under by Malia, random

Family Fun

I recently noticed something about two family units in our extended family who have teenagers; they enjoy being with each other! The teens, all of whom have full and active social lives, still hang out with their parents and sibling. The parents, who work hard but don’t let discipline slide or communication lapse, still relate well to their teens and spend real, quality time with them. I’ve had the pleasure of sitting with these two families around separate dinner tables and witnessing the laughter and joy and fun that they have together.

And I want that for our family. I don’t know if these parents consciously and deliberately planned for their families to be cohesive or if it’s in their nature as people to get along well. I can already see that my kids have great personalities. JBelle is inquisitive, smart and has an infectious laugh. GMan is a funny guy who keeps us laughing but he’s also caring, quite persistent, engagingly energetic. Even now they can be, when they’re not whining or being demanding, fun to be with. When they’re young, like ours are now, they want to be with us. They request our presence and relish our attentions. We played an impromptu game of kickball in the backyard a few nights ago. It lasted maybe fifteen minutes but it was a lot of fun! And already, even though it is still two months away, the kids are talking about and looking forward to our annual trip to Pennsylvania to work at Camp Manatawny.

It gives me hope for the future. I know parenting those teenagers hasn’t been a complete walk in the park for those parents, but they haven’t had many of the problems so many other parents face with their teens either. I keep seeing how these early years are ultimately the easy part of parenting. And I really, really hope that our family can continue to be a family that can have fun and enjoy being together.

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Filed under by Malia, kids & family, parenting

Twitter is my Watercooler

Whoa! Did y’all feel that? Nope, me neither. Heh.

So…you may have heard about the “little” earthquake this morning that our area of the country experienced. First I heard of it was from an e-mail from DB’s brother who lives outside of St. Louis. When I saw the subject line, I thought, “Earthquake? Really?” Of course, being married to a geologist, I’m well aware of the New Madrid fault line and the possibility of experiencing earthquakes in this region but it’s certainly not something we fret about and plan for around these here parts. I clicked over to Twitter and sure enough, the majority of the tweets were about the quake that awakened people around 4:30 this morning. First, it was the West Tennesseans reporting the rumbling. Then more and more from Middle Tennessee were telling of their experiences.

And all morning long there has been “talk” on Twitter. Everything from who experienced what to remembering prior earthquakes to debating whose earthquakes are worse (San Andrea fault vs. New Madrid fault). This is probably really crass and tacky for me to say, but days like today I don’t envy y’all who work in offices. You most likely spent the first thirty minutes, at least, in the office this morning with everyone rehashing what they felt and didn’t feel and recalling prior earthquake experiences and even debating whose quakes are worse! You’ll get interrupted throughout the morning with random phone calls and e-mails and the one or two co-workers who come in late and “have to” rehash it with everyone all over again since they missed the morning discussion around the coffeepot.

At least with Twitter, I can chose when I interact with this morning’s excitement. And when I need a break, I can just close my browser and walk away. It is nice, though, to have my own personal “watercooler” of sorts where I can participate in these events from my home.

I do have an earthquake story, but I think I’ll save that for another day.

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Filed under by Malia, musings

The Eyes Have It

Awhile back I let my contact lens prescription slip. I had already way overused my monthly wear contacts and it was too early to return to the optometrist for an annual exam (plus, I couldn’t bear to have him lecture me on my improper use and wear of my contacts), so….I just wore my glasses. I considered just going to another optometrist. Like those places in Wal-HellMart or one of those places I see advertised on television. But, I’m lazy and I really like my optometrist and he’s really close by. So I waited.

On Monday, I made an appointment and yesterday I went in for my exam. I’m back in contacts and loving it! I get to wear my sunglasses again and push them back on my head as “headband” when I’m indoors. (I really missed that aspect of wearing contact lenses.)

All that to say, I’ve changed my avatar again to reflect my true appearance and personality. ūüôā

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Filed under by Malia, random

Motivated

my faceI try and get to the Y at least three times a week to workout. Many days I have trouble getting motivated. Then I’m reminded of the wonderful benefit of exercising. No, it’s not because it’s healthy. Nor is it because of the after work-out high. It’s not even the modern equipment and fun fitness instructors. What gets me off my arse and to the gym are the showers. I get to take an uninterrupted shower with limitless hot water. And you know what that means, right? I even get to shave my legs!

It’s the simple things in life that thrill me.

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Filed under by Malia, life as a domestic goddess

Fun Facts on Tax Day or Why I am voting Libertarian this year

The United States Federal Government spent $2,730,000,000,000 in fiscal year 2007 (October 2006 – September 2007).¬† That is $2.73 trillion or $2,730 billion ($2,730B).¬† That spending can be divided into about five (not so) equal parts. I’ll give you a minute to figure out what those five parts are…no cheating but the answers are at the end of this post.¬† While you are thinking, let’s talk about that $2,730B spending figure for a moment. That is about $1,000B more than the year 2000.¬† It took us until the year 1987 to even exceed the $1,000B amount in any year in American history. 211 years (1987) to get to one trillion in annual spending, 15 more years (2002) to two trillion, and 6-7 more years to three trillion (estimated 2008 or 2009).

Alright, did you figure out the five spending categories? I was as surprised as anyone. Makes all this hullabaloo over earmarks seem really ridiculous.¬† Seriously, you are talking about “wasteful spending” by earmarks in only 21% of the budget. How about the other 79%?

Anyway, to the point…Why have none of the major presidential candidates addressed the worst issues facing us over the next 10-50 years?¬† Social Security and Medicare will account for 60% of spending by 2020 at current projections.¬† We continue to spend by borrowing money to do so.¬† 2007 saw the national debt at $8,951B and projected to go to $12,276B by 2013.¬† As I talked about here, that can not continue if we are to remain a free and sovereign nation.¬†

The mortgage “crisis”, earmarks, tax credits for college, middle class tax cuts,¬†etc. are all inconsequential compared to the impending issues we face economically.¬† We can not even afford what we spend now much less even consider anything like universal healthcare.¬†¬†It is time that we face these issues head-on before they become overwhelming.¬† We can no¬†longer afford politicians that only have a 2 or 4-year horizon and consider nothing beyond.

So as you may be submitting your 1040 today, consider the facts and the issues we face in regards to taxes and federal spending when November comes around.  These issues are at the top of the list of reasons I am voting Libertarian this fall.  

1.Social Security – $620B – 22.7%
2.Medicare/Medicaid – $577B – 21.1%
3.Everything Else – $574B – 21.0%
4.Defense – $530B – 19.4%
5.National Debt Interest – $429B – 15.7%

Source: Fiscal Year 2009 proposed budget historical tables – Table 4.1

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Filed under by DB, Libertarian, Politics

Stumbling

my faceI’m such a sucker for trends. I don’t want to be. I try to stay “above” that sort of thing but…I mean look at me! I jump on bandwagons like there’s no tomorrow. I started blogging because I was curious about what it was all about and I knew other people were blogging. I signed up on Twitter because I was curious about what it was all about and I knew other people (bloggers) were twittering. I signed up on Facebook because I was curious about what it was all about and I knew other people (bloggers, friends and family members) were on Facebook. And now, it’s like a bad Britney Spears song…

Oops, I did it again!

Why don’t you Stumble Upon me sometime?

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Filed under by Malia, random