Thursday, April 26, 2007

Debate tonight

The Democrats are having a debate tonight. If you want a chance to hear what all the candidates have to say, check it out. I heard it will be on CSPAN2 and I'm pretty sure it will be on CNN too. I do believe Larry King (or maybe it was Anderson Cooper) both on CNN--may have a panel discussion afterward. Check your local listings!

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Saturday, April 21, 2007

Why I support John Edwards

From his website:

John Edwards for President: Apr 18, 2007

Chapel Hill, North Carolina – Senator John Edwards released the following statement about today's 5-4 Supreme Court ruling upholding the federal abortion ban.

"I could not disagree more strongly with today's Supreme Court decision. The ban upheld by the Court is an ill-considered and sweeping prohibition that does not even take account for serious threats to the health of individual women. This hard right turn is a stark reminder of why Democrats cannot afford to lose the 2008 election. Too much is at stake - starting with, as the Court made all too clear today, a woman's right to choose."
John Edwards for President: Apr 16, 2007

We are simply heartbroken by the deaths and injuries suffered at Virginia Tech. We know what an unspeakable, life-changing moment this is for these families and how, in this moment, it is hard to feel anything but overwhelming grief, much less the love and support around you. But the love and support is there. We pray that these families, these students, and the entire Virginia Tech community know that they are being embraced by a nation. There is a Methodist hymn that gave us solace in such a moment as this, and we repeat its final verse here, in hopes it will help these families, as it helped us:

"In our end is our beginning; in our time, infinity;
In our doubt there is believing, in our life, eternity,
In our death, a resurrection; at the last, a victory,
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see."

Our dearest wish is that this day could start again, with the promise of these young people alive. Knowing that cannot be, our prayer is for God’s grace and whatever measure of peace can be reached on this terrible day.

John and Elizabeth Edwards

John Edwards for President: Apr 16, 2007

"Rural America has been ignored for too long," said Edwards. "Across America, too many small towns have turned into ghost towns. We need to help small towns and rural communities create and keep new businesses and good jobs, and we need a President who will make sure all our communities have good schools, good health care and the support systems they need. As President, I will make sure rural America is never left behind."
For more details on his campaign, here are some links:
The Issues
His Speeches
Edwards Blog

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Teach Tolerance

This is the only thing that will save us. Hatred is learned. Please teach your childen not to hate. Teach Tolerance Link

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Thoughts on a tragedy

What a sad week this has been with the goings on at Virginia Tech. I feel so sorry for the families who have lost loved ones and friends and my prayers go out to them. A friend of mine pointed out this beautiful Blog Post from the fabulously talented Barbara Samuel today and it expressed exactly how I feel. Every word. I hope that one day I will be able to write something so perfect and heartfelt as Ms. Samuel.

"In the darkness, there comes the challenge--not how do we change this, but what can I do? How do I serve now, and how do I prepare myself to be an elder, a wise one, when the time comes? Each of us has seasons to serve in particular capacities, and if we are willing, we can work toward that better vision. What if each individual human has enough to eat and a clean warm bed, and access to medical care? What if our highest goal was not to die the richest of them all but to serve the highest good, that of realizing the society we have it in us to create?

Because we do have it in us. I have it in me. You have it in you. The world resides within each of us."
Barbara Samuel~ April 18, 2007 blog post


Since everything that I'd like to say in this vein has already been said (and better than I could ever say it) I'll try another angle. I won't bring up gun control laws. I do think that it should be harder for criminals and mentally ill people to get them, natch.

After the shooting at Columbine High School, there were reports that Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold (the boys who committed the shooting spree) were bullied throughout their childhood by other kids because they didn't fit in. It bothered me very much at that time and it still bothers me now.

This afternoon I heard the same types of reports. Cho Seung-Hui had experienced an unusual amount of teasing and bigotry when we he was attending High school in Suburban Washington. He was quiet and people made fun of the way he spoke. One time the teacher asked students to read paragraphs and when it was his turn, he hung his head and wouldn't read. The teacher told him if he didn't read, he would get an "F" in class participation. So he read. The class erupted into laughter and all the students started chanting, "Go back to China!"

I don't know why I was so upset by this because I know bigotry exists--no matter who says it's no longer a problem--it's all around us. The thought of this shy and disturbed young man being unmercifully taunted made my heart clench. Does it excuse what he did? ABSOLUTELY NOT! But does is show a pattern in young men in our country? Possibly.

I was teased as a child. A lot. I was chubby, studious and had divorced parents. (No one did at that time.) I hadn't thought to lash out at others, I simply turned the pain inward and learned to hate myself more and more every day. I was lucky enough to have a mother and grandmother who loved me and I knew I was loved and was worthy of it. And I was a girl, raised by women in an all-female household. All my cousins but one were girls, my mom had only sisters and we all lived close to each other. Lashing out in violence would have been a completely foreign thing for someone like me to do--then and now.

But what if I was a boy? A boy who grew up in the last 10 or 20 years, surrounded by video games, violent movies, perhaps a child with a single mom with way too much time on his hands? What then?

I hate it when I bring up the idea that bullying contributes to awful things like the school shootings, people put it off as silly and childish. "All kids tease," said the DJ on the radio this afternoon. "You can't tell me you never teased anyone. Everyone does. You just don't remember doing it."

Well, mister DJ, I can tell you that I never-ever, without a doubt, ever teased anyone when I was a kid. I knew how much it hurt. To this day, I'd rather chop off my arm than hurt someone's feelings. Why? Because I know what it's like. It's terrible and no one should have to go through it day after day, week after week, school year after school year. No one.

And let me tell you something else. If you let your kids tease other children, I think it's one of the worst things you can allow them to do. Maybe you've never been teased and you don't know what it's like. Take it from me, it affects my whole life, colors everything I do and always will. Until we start teaching children to treat everyone--regardless of the way they look, speak, dress, their color, religion or sexual orientation--with respect, this kind of thing will not only keep happening, but it will escalate.

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Friday, April 13, 2007

Teaching, Writing, Rambling

Today is day 9 of the teaching project. :) T is doing very well. I wish I could say she's all trained and ready to go, but the job isn't quite that easy to teach. I was thinking about the comment Dee made on one of my previous teaching posts. I actually do like teaching. It's true, I am a private person and I do enjoy the solitude of being alone in my workspace, but having someone with me isn't annoying in the least. I don't mind answering questions or explaining things to her. I know it's a difficult job and I never expected her to learn it all very quickly. Plus, I really am pleased to be able to teach her. I basically had to teach myself the job and that was very frustrating and nerve wracking for me.

Teaching this sort of job isn't easy, and learning this sort of job must be very frustrating for T too. Basically, there are some tasks that must be done weekly, some monthly, and some quarterly. The phone rings all day and everyone's problem becomes my problem. It is nearly impossible to do one task for more than 10 minutes due to constant interruptions. So, technical data entry or running reports that require flipping back and forth between various screens, etc are very hard to learn. Also, there is a ton of paperwork to keep organized. I know that some of the things I am teaching her make no sense now, but they will later.

Anyway, after two weeks, I am very impressed with T. I hope she is feeling good about the job too.

* * *

I have decided on the opening scene of my WIP. It actually feels odd to call it that since all I have are plotting notes and no story written down yet. The Witch who shall remain nameless (my protagonist) is going to witness a murder. The scene will open with her hiding (somewhere--maybe in some bushes) and seeing one of her Coven Sisters brutally murdered. Unlike Roma (my Fantasy story protagonist) she does not carry a gun, doesn't know Martial Arts, was not raised knowing that it was her duty to protect herself for her people. She is a regular every day Southern CA girl, who has a lipstick and keys in her purse, rather than a gun. She won't be totally helpless, she is a witch after all and she has her Magick, but it won't be enough to help her Coven Sister.

So, it feels really good to know how the book opens (so far) and it helps me fill in the gap between the beginning and middle of the book. (I pretty much had the middle to the end plotted out.)

* * *

I don't think I'll get much writing done this weekend. Tomorrow Barbara Samuel is speaking at my OCC meeting and Michele is coming too. Barbara Samuel is a fabulous speaker and I know I will leave the meeting Saturday afternoon feeling very inspired.

Sunday is my niece Elise's baptism. That should be fun. I imagine the church service and party afterward should take up most of the day. I probably should have done some laundry tonight, but oh well.

I'll try to do my 15 minutes each day. Really, what's my excuse for not doing 15 minutes, right?

Happy weekend everyone. Sorry I've been scarce on Blogs and LJs. Life's been very hectic.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

I must get with it

I am so tired lately. It's probably because I haven't been going to the gym every morning which used to be my normal routine. The hard thing about getting back to a routine like this is that in order to go to the gym, I must wake up at 5 or 5:10 AM. Once I get back into going to the gym 4 or 5 mornings a week, I have much more energy all day long. But how does one force herself to get up at 5 AM when she has no energy?

Monday I was literally half-asleep all day long! If I wasn't training T I would have called in sick and slept all day. Honestly, I would have! I told my husband that I have to go back to the gym very soon. (And, yes, I have been saying that for months, thankyouverymuch, but I really do mean it.) For me it only takes going back that first time and I'm ok. I usually like to go on a Tuesday or a Thursday my first day back (Is it obvious I've been slipping a lot in the last few years that I've planned my ideal first day back?) because those days are less crowded. I also like to get there at 5:30 sharp so I can get my favorite treadmill. (Creature of habit much, Kim? Why, yes. Thank you for noticing.)

Anyway, that was my long, boring whine. How do I stop from being so tired? Get up at 5 AM. Ugh. Wish me luck Thursday.


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Teaching day 3/ Michele's Manuscript

Making wonderful progress today! I'd planned to build on what I taught T yesterday and it worked out perfectly. She's starting to see how all the little (seemingly random) pieces of the job fit together. Today I taught her a new skill that built on what I'd showed her in a very brief overview Monday and in slightly more detail yesterday. Everything totally clicked for her with this particular new skill. She even commented that she enjoyed doing it! I was proud of her (and I told her so) and even better, she was proud of herself. Yay! Here's hoping I'm as good a student when I start learning my new position as T is!

In other news, Michele e-mailed me her newly re-written manuscript last night and I've read the first 30 pages already. The story is wonderful and I was sucked in from the first page. My critique partner rocks! Go Michele!

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007


This week (and probably next week as well) I am teaching another employee how to do my job. I applied for another position within the same company and was "hired" over 4 months ago, but it took this long to find someone to replace me. She too is changing positions. That's the good part. She's not learning everything from scratch--she's actually worked for the company longer than I have.

I haven't trained anyone since I was in high school working at the ice cream shop. It's sort of interesting. I'm a shy person and I'm used to working fairly independently in this job. (At the ice cream shop I had to be outgoing. It was part of the persona.) It's kind of odd to have someone sitting next to me all day, waiting for direction. I wonder if I'm doing a good job with her. Am I explaining things enough? Am I giving her enough to do? Am I watching her too closely? Training has got to be stressful for her too, though she doesn't let it show.

Today I looked back at my teaching technique from yesterday and decided that she needed to be doing more. So I showed her things and had her do them right away. I didn't do much except answer questions, dictate what we'd do next and attempt to explain ongoing projects. I think that will be the hardest part of all, passing on the current projects.

Oh well. Tomorrow is another day and I am exhausted! Must get to bed early tonight.


Sunday, April 01, 2007


Update: No camera USB cord found yet. Sigh.

Photo situation: Saved by Robin herself.

Go here for photos of Robin's Book Launch Party. You can see a (distorted) pic of my mom and me, the third one from the botttom. :)

Will post mine as soon as I am able!

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