Monday, December 31, 2007

Sing for the New Year

"You can help break the silence.
Talk about HIV and AIDS.
Let us use the universal language of music
to sing out our message around the world."

Nelson Mandela
former President of South Africa
former Political prisoner # 46664

Happy New Year. And please sing just like Annie Lennox does for those who cannot.

None of us are healthy if our neighbors are sick. None of us are strong if some are weak. We are not smart if some are denied an education. And none of us are wealthy if there is poverty.

Sing loud. Sing proud. Sing for all of us.

Who else is singing on this last day of the year?

Wholly Burble


Flower Child

Jenn in Holland

Jen in Michigan

I'll be out-of-town for a couple's get-away for the next few days. Amazing Guy's mom has flown up to stay with the kids. Carry on without me. I'll be back.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Friday, December 28, 2007

Funny feeling

Not in a "ha-ha" way. In a my-gut-feels-wrong way.

In early September, 2001, the radio reported that Ahmad Shah Massoud had been assassinated by two men posing as reporters. While I wasn't exactly current on Afghan's government ministers - I was the mother of one-year-old twins at the time - the way the news report talked about him made it seem like this wasn't just a "routine" murder.

He was killed on September 9, 2001. We all know what happened two days later.

According to Wikipedia:

"In April 2001, Nicole Fontaine invited Massoud to address the European Parliament. In his speech, he warned that the Taliban had connections with Al-Qaeda, and that an important terrorist attack was imminent. The US and European governments paid no attention to these warnings."
When I heard the conflicting news reports on the radio this morning about the attack on Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto I also said out loud "oh no" which lead to a flurry of questions from my now 7-year-old sons who I thought were listening to their new iPods.

I tried to explain that this woman played an important role in her country. That she was the first woman leader in a Muslim country and that she had only recently returned from exile to be part of politics again.

Benazir Bhutto, 54, did die on Thursday, December 27th from an attack at a rally. She sustained injuries from gun shots and a suicide bomb. She was a complicated and at times controversial leader and both times left the presidency under suspicion of corruption.

In spite of that I am incredibly sad the world lost a leader, and that Pakistan lost someone who was challenging the military regime. I also have a funny feeling that something is brewing.

I hope my gut is wrong.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Choices, choices

DAY TO READ campaign - January 10, 2008

What will you be reading on
January 10, 2008?

I'm still slogging through The Devil in the White City. I am almost half-way through the 388 pages. The actual construction in Chicago of the first World's Fair in the United States is fascinating. They were desperately trying to "out-Eiffel the Eiffel Tower" and create a Fair that would top the previous one in Paris, which the famous Tower was built for. However, the concurrent story of the murders perpetuated by a man who may have been one of the first serial killers in the United States in the down the street from this World's Fair is giving me ulcers.

But I have before me the traditional stack of Christmas books that I received as presents. Every year we exchange books, especially among the adults. And it is taking all the will-power I possess to not tear into my pile.

One book I'm looking forward to reading is City in Amber by Jay Atkinson. He is a professor of writing at a local public college. The story is set in Lawrence, Massachusetts, a depressed former mill town that came into national prominence during the 1990's when a set of fires turned into an arson wave. Lawrence was once a shining example of a 19th century industrial city. The novel moves from 1848 to the 1990's.

A brief description of The Abstinence Teacher by Tom Perrotta struck me. It described how a high school health education teacher who believes in comprehensive sexual education is confronted and shamed by the local church which believes high school students should only learn about abstinence. It seems like a wonderful piece of fiction reflecting today's politics and inability to listen to each other, especially when faith is involved.

So, my hope is to be done with The Devil in the White City before Day to Read on January 10th. I think one of these books will be what I'm reading.

What books have you recently acquired? What is sitting in your to-be-read pile?

Monday, December 24, 2007

Santa in a Cadillac

My little brother took this picture of the most amazing baby ever. I'm signing off for a few days. Merry, merry everyone.

Music Monday at Soccer Mom in Denial

Well it's Christmastime pretty baby
The snow is fallin' on the ground
Yeah, it's Christmastime pretty baby
The snow is fallin' on the ground

[Blogger's note: he isn't flipping kidding on that point]

Well you be a real good little baby
Santa Claus is back in town

Got no sleigh with reindeer
No sack on my back
You gonna see me comin'
In a big black Cadillac

Santa Claus is Back in Town from Elvis' Christmas Album (released 50 years ago this year).

Saturday, December 22, 2007

What everyone (including me) feels for Christmas...


Singular Saturday

For more Singular Saturdays go visit Jenn in Holland.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Paper Bag Princess

DAY TO READ campaign - January 10, 2008

What will you be reading on
January 10, 2008?

Elizabeth was a beautiful princess.

She lived in a castle and had expensive princess clothes.

She was going to marry a prince named Ronald.

Unfortunately, a dragon smashed her castle, burned all her clothes with his fiery breath, and carried off Prince Ronald.

Elizabeth decided to chase the dragon and get Ronald back.

She looked everywhere for something to wear but the only thing she could find that was not burnt was a paper bag.

And so begins The Paper Bag Princess by Robert N. Munsch.

This is one of my favorite books to read to my kids. I discovered it when I was a schoolteacher in the early 1990's and think it would've been one of my favorites as a child if it had been published in the 1970's. While it has a princess, a prince and a mean dragon, the roles are switched and it is Princess Elizabeth who uses her smarts to outwit the dragon. Prince Ronald's response to it all is disappointing which leads to an ending that would make any feminist (or, if that word scares you, any person who cares that girls be strong and smart) proud.

My books as a young girl were by Richard Scary, P.D. Eastman, Beatrix Potter and Dr. Seuss. I loved Free to Be You and Me. Today I think I'm as excited as my kids to read Goodnight Gorilla, The Dot and any Olivia or Toot and Puddle book.

What books did you love to read as a young kid (before you were 7 years old)? Any chance you'll be reading it to someone on Day to Read on January 10, 2008?

I just love that people are repeatedly promoting Day to Read (that would be Jen, Jenn and Flower Child) and others are just talking about it without telling me. Both are o.k. I never meant for this to be a day to be about promoting SMID. It is about promoting reading.

Korie wrote a wonderful description of what it is like to have a book - a book you have fallen into - come to the last page. The Golden Compass was just such a book.

Now if you have been promoting Day to Read and you think I know and I haven't written about you, assume you need to tell me again. My brain is a sieve, we've got holiday happiness here in the house and I spent one night writing season's greetings to 200 state legislators instead of blogging. That seems to have set me back a month.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Am I the only one who expects kids to behave?

While my boys' birthday party was months ago, something still to this day really bothers me about the party. It was the behavior of one guest, a six year old boy. It still galls me.

Each boy got to bring two friends as his guest to the ballgame. Yes, it was going to be a blast to bring six first-graders to a minor league baseball game. Little lady has her own special guest. Grandpa.

So I was sitting next to one guy, we'll refer to him as P, for the entire first inning. The clouds opened up on us and rained out the game - prematurely ending the boys' birthday party and causing them not to have the entire ballpark sing "Happy Birthday" while they stood atop the dugout - but that is beside the point. I sat next to this kid I didn't know for over 30 minutes.

Now I know for a fact that if my kids are with an adult they don't know very well - pretty much anyone other than me or a close family member - they behave. They more than behave, they are angelic. I expected these friends of my sons, kids for the most part I didn't know, to be the same way.

Good goodness was I wrong.

"I want something to drink." Was the first thing P uttered within 3 minutes of sitting down.

"I'm hungry" 1 minute later.

"I'm thirsty" he said again about a minute later. I know. I looked at my watch.

Now I know this kid didn't have any health issues. I had asked his parents.

"I'm bored" a minute later. "I'm bored" a minute later.

P sat next to me and complained the entire time. The. Entire. Time.

After 1/2 an hour I turned to him and asked in a firm, low voice, bordering on a growl,

"Do you always complain?"

He looked a little frightened.

"Because you know what? Adults would be a lot nicer to you, and kids would probably play with you more, if you didn't complain



He looked like I had strangled a kitten in front of his very eyes.

He shut up.

Funny thing, the boys are now in a different school and the boys have not once mentioned this kid.

Nor have we been called by him.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Couldn't agree more

For more Rob Rogers cartoons, visit the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Basketball has returned

Music Monday at Soccer Mom in Denial

On Saturday I coached the 3rd basketball game of the season. Me and ten first and second grade boys. For the first time I have an assistant coach who is wonderfully patient and fun. I gave a synopsis of nearly every game during last year's season. This is clearly the year where it "clicks" for the kids who have played a year or two. And for their coach as well.

I have thoroughly lucked out with my team and fellow coach. Sure I have some towering 2nd graders who can just pluck rebounds with little effort. I have kids who are so eager to hustle and shoot they fall over themselves, and a third of the opposing team, only to have the ball roll away.

But I have a boy on the team who is notorious in our town. A tiny guy who is a live wire. Other parents moan about how he won't listen and is easily distracted.

He shares a first and middle name with a folk hero. My sons' know the Johnny Cash song sung at Folsom Prison.

But I love this kid. My 3 1/2 year old daughter is almost as tall as him (more a statement of her height than his) so what he lacks in stature as a 2nd grader, he makes up in speed and sheer, brute strength.

We have to play games on only half of a court (don't ask me why several huge school gymnasiums are closed on weekends and we have to play in an elementary school that is over 100 years old). But this doesn't take away that little guy retrieves a rebound, starts dribbling down the court then at mid-court will toss the basketball with one arm toward the net. And a few times has gotten it in. The dads lined up against the wall just shake their heads in amazement.

So this past Saturday I made a point to tell our team powerhouse to actually pass the ball and to shoot closer to the basket. His dad overheard me and reiterated what I said (Thank you!).

And little man brilliantly passed the ball often during the game. So much so that the other players made baskets. He ended up with three assists by the end of the 30 minute game. His dad congratulated him profusely for being such a "team player" (again Thank you!).

I'm excited to have him on our team. He's a coach's dream.

At least this one's.

Well John Henry hammered in the mountain.
He'd give a grunt and he'd give a groan with every swing.
The women folks for miles around heard him and come down,
To watch him make the cold steel ring.
Lord what a swinger!
Just listen to that cold steel ring!

It's Monday so SMID must be writing about music (like how I got basketball back to a song?). Are you singing a song today? Flower Child is recalling favorite records and even shared some JD with us. Who? Go over to her site and find out.

And Jen in Michigan is bemoaning the quality of Hanukkah music (and she is in a position to moan about it). Wholly Burble is writing about a favorite Christmas song while Jenn in Holland is sharing an evening of gift and song with photographs!

Let me know if you are singing a song today as well and I'll link back to you.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

How I feel after shoveling lots of snow with more to come this weekend....


Singular Saturday

For more Singular Saturdays go visit Jenn in Holland.

Friday, December 14, 2007

"she needs to get some Beastie tunes"

The following came from the December 3rd post at Mic to Mic, a site devoted to all things Beastie Boys. Seems my post about the Boys was discovered.

"Um, I'm sorry, what is your name?"

He gives me this big grin, as if saying that no one has said that to him in a long time.

"Adam Horovitz. I'm in the band."

Read A Soccer Mom in Denial's story of meeting the Beastie Boys in the early 90s. The story illustrates how special they are.

Posted by Hot Sauce.

Hot Sauce - thanks for finding me. And here are the six comments that this post generated (my replies are in italics).


Danielle said...
I have new respect for the band. I was unaware they donated to help the blockades and make the clinics safe. Operation Rescue was a terrorist group that murdered women and doctors. I will never forget their reign of terror. Bless the Beastie Boys!

And you too, Danielle, for understanding the reign of terror inflicted by those, ahem, "pro-life" activists.

Saber said...
she remembers eating pasta & soda but can't remember the conversation she had with the boys???

Sorry to disappoint Saber.

Hot Sauce said...
You don't forget good pasta.

That is right!

Brody said...
Awwww, I like confirmations they're nice guys!! :)

Awwww I'm glad to give you confirmation Brody.

Kevin said...
Nice story but she needs to get some Beastie tunes.

Alright Kevin, what are your top five Beastie tunes? Just five.

Todd said...
Nice story but kind of a bummer that she wasn't a huge fan. I still spaz out whenever I tell somebody about the time I shared a newspaper with Mike D. at the car wash.

Todd, I couldn't agree more that the experience I describe was a wasted opportunity on someone like me. Good thing you didn't notice in my article the signed concert wall sign I can't seem to find.

Sigh. Music fans. Aren't they adorable? I mean, who would be so rabid about a music band to write about them constantly?

I mean who would?

[Note to self - see if erasurefanatic is available somewhere for a blog name. It's not like I have another blog.]

Thursday, December 13, 2007

When do you give up on a book?

DAY TO READ campaign - January 10, 2008

January 10th, 2008

Really. I want to know.

I've heard the "give it 50 pages" rule. And for Erik Larson's The Devil in the White City, I'm already on page 66 but I haven't fallen into the book. And I want to. It is about late 19th century Chicago and the first World's Fair hosted in the United States. At the same time, the nation's first serial killer was trolling for victims in Chicago.

Juicy history which I usually love. I enjoy reading about significant events that have been forgotten but for some reason I can't get into this book.

Have you read this book? Did you like it? Should I keep at it?

Folks are still coming to Day to Read.

Katluvr is signed on and thinking of reading The Princess Bride. Why? I don't know.

Amy of the Sleepy Reader is signed on and bringing her three kids with her.

Wendy, a self-described "ravenous reader" (are there any others?) has a blog devoted to reading challenges.

Bonnie is also out there promoting Day to Read.

ZAM noted Day to Read to show that reading is one of her favorite things to do!

Melanie wrote about how she may start twitching if she doesn't blog a little on January 10th. Please read blogs! We don't want any withdrawls.

And the beloved (and very huggable) Ambassador in New Orleans reemerged from his blogging hiatus to speak eloquently about The Golden Compass controversy. He wonders if millions of little boys became entitled sexist pigs after reading about a young boy continually taking from a (female) tree in Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree. And he's pretty sure he wouldn't skip church after watching The Golden Compass the movie.

If I didn't mention you and you said you were "in", it is probably because I couldn't (quickly) find either what you wrote about reading or the button on your sidebar, or I completely spaced out and you need to remind me again. I will however list you if you don't have a blog but graciously leave your name.

Oh, and should I keep reading Larson's book? It did take me 150 pages to get into The Poisonwood Bible, which I loved.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Meet the newest member of our family

Sometimes my kids surprise and unnerve me, at the same time.

Part of my job is to go around the state to visit non-profit organizations that are committed to racial and economic justice. Last week I was in the Chinatown neighborhood of our capital city. I spent an hour with a community activist hearing about affordable housing, economic development and neighborhood history. It was an awesome tour. It would have been a bit more enjoyable if it wasn't a windy 20 degrees but the weather wasn't his fault.

My current shoulder bag/purse is made of, yes, red Chinese silk with gold dragons and flowers. My host nearly fell over when he first saw it. He explained the symbolism of the color red, dragons, roses and other images in Chinese culture.

At around the same time last week I was freezing walking around Chinatown, one of my sons went with his class to the school "holiday shop". A PTO fundraiser, nothing is terribly expensive and it sounds like the "high end" section was all priced at a dollar a piece with most items costing a quarter or fifty cents. The kids are encouraged to bring a couple of dollars from home to buy holiday presents for family members.

As I was picking the boys up from after-school care I was informed by the guy who did his shopping today that he had something for me for my birthday (which turned out to be huge cubic ziconias earrings - so cute!) and a present for his little sister. What should he pull out of his white plastic bag but a toy panda dressed in a red silk top.

I'm trying to get the kids to call her xióng māo which is panda in Chinese (it literally means "large bear cat"). It is pronounced "shee-ong mow" and a big thanks to Jenn formerly of China for patiently explaining, via email, how to pronounce panda.

And I'm still floored. Did he sense I was walking in Chinatown?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Which is sadder?

The following are actual email exchanges with my sons' first grade teachers

----- Original Message -----
From: Soccer Mom In Denial
To: Mrs. G, Ms. S
Date: Friday, November 30 2007 01:30 PM
Subject: could W and F's parents have conference on 12/14 in am?

Hi Mrs. G and Ms. S,

I'm writing for a favor. I was contacted by [room mother] to set up the parent teacher conference on 12/12 for F. She told me all the conferences were on the same day and that I may want to wait to see what times were available for W's so I could just be at school once and not multiple times.

I never heard from the other room parent and now can't be at the school during the remaining times.

I was wondering (hoping?) that [Amazing Guy] and I could come to the school on Friday 12/14 before the bell to meet with each of you - say 8:00-8:15 and 8:15-8:30. If that doesn't work, I understand.

And, again, I am mortified their homework was covered in peanut butter this week. Please accept my apologies and it won't happen again.

----- Original Message -----
From: Ms. S
To: Soccer Mom in Denial
Cc: Mrs. G
Date: Friday, November 30 2007 02:21 PM
Subject: Re: could W and F's parents have conference on 12/14 in am?

[Room parent] should have or should be contacting you soon, but the 14th works for me. I'll take the 8:00-8:15 if that's ok with Mrs. G??? No worries about the peanut butter it happens all the time! See you soon and have a great weekend!
Ms. S

----- Original Message -----
Date: Fri, 30 Nov 2007 14:39:03 -0500 (EST)
From: Mrs. G
To: Ms. S
CC: Soccer Mom in Denial
Subject: Re: could W and F's parents have conference on 12/14 in am?

Hi SMID and Ms. S,
That works for me, too. Look forward to seeing you and your husband on the 14th at 8:15. I think it is great that you had F write an apology. That is a first for food on the homework! You are a good Mom!
Have a great weekend.
Mrs. G


Now which is sadder, that these first grade teachers often have homework turned in with food on it or there has never been an apology for food on the homework?

Either one is nasty.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Mamma Mia

Long before the musical, the Erasure covers or the vile of turd from Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, ABBA was a singing group that played on the car radio. Specifically the large station wagon my parents bought six weeks before the oil embargo of 1973.

I remember sitting in the back seat, my younger brother always on the left side directly behind my mother and I on the right, wearing lap belts that have the same buckles airplanes still have today. In the mid-1970's ABBA's Dancing Queen would come on the radio and my mom would start clapping and singing, bopping her perfectly coiffed head of hair to the music.

So while many folks associate ABBA with 1970's themed dance parties or the musical, whenever I hear them, I think of my mom driving a huge car, dancing to the music.

Happy Birthday to my mom. The original Mamma Mia!

And my mom shared a birthday with a dearly departed dog. Go read about her at Flower Child's windowbox. Then there is a fun movie soundtrack recalled by Wholly Burble (and a big welcome to her since this is her first Music Monday!). And Jenn in Michigan adds another terrific tale of tunes from her childhood.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

The favorite thing about turning 39 years old TODAY is...


Singular Saturday

The idea of Singular Saturday was created by Jenn in Holland.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Sometimes you need to say it out loud

It has taken me a while to figure out that people can't read my mind. This has been a frustrating realization. Like when I turned 30 years old and expected my colleagues at work to acknowledge my birthday. I mean, they had my birthday on various forms so surely they should have known. I had been working there for over 4 years and thought they would do something for me. I was always the one orchestrating everyone else's birthday, wedding, new baby celebration so I thought they would remember my 30th birthday.

I was wrong. And bitter. I alternatively moped and fumed around the office for days until someone figured out my 30th birthday had come and gone and they quickly pulled together a cake and card. Too little too late but I eventually got over it. I worked there another 4 years.

But telepathy is a dying art so I will make this easy for everyone.

My 39th Birthday is this Saturday, December 8th.

Oh dear? What to get me? Well just leave me a comment about your favorite birthday moment - as a kid or adult. And if you've been lurking what better present to give me then coming out of the shadows and saying "Hello"!

And for those of you who have had the benefit of an e-card from me, I've never, ever gotten a Hoops and Yo-yo e-card from anyone. Wouldn't you like to be the first?

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Water for Elephants

As I have been blabbering about for a while, I've been reading Sara Gruen's Water for Elephants. It is a fictional account of a "train circus" during the depression of the 1930's. Her characters come to life immediately and there was no need to wade through until you got into the story (which happened to me with Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver).

The novel starts with the animals breaking out from their cages and someone being murdered during the mayhem. Then it weaves back and forth between the narrator sitting in a nursing home as a 93-year-old-man and him recalling his days in the circus.

But it was the last 100 pages that just threw me. I'm one of those people who can figure out where a plot is going (very few movies throw me for a plot loop - although I will admit that both The Crying Game and Sixth Sense did). This novel actually had two plot twists that I didn't expect. I stayed up way past my bedtime, huddled under the covers as these characters' lives unfolded. Even the mayhem/murder scene which opens the book is still a thrilling read when the story eventually gets to it. I think that is pretty amazing since you know what is coming.

And the last plot twist left me in tears. I haven't had a book reduce me to tears in years, years. If you are looking for a book to read now or on January 10, 2008, I highly recommend Water for Elephants.

And more people are joining Day to Read on January 10, 2008 - a day to put down our keyboards and pick up a book (or magazine or the newspaper) -

Goofball noted my special powers because apparently on the same day I unveiled Day to Read, she writes, "all Flemish media bring the news that we don't teach our children a reading culture anymore."

Jan just jumped right in talking about how she loves to read. Her list is exhausting but clearly she is a woman who does love to read.

New friend Wholly Burble tells of how she and her mother would read books together during lunch before her mother left to work the evening shift as a nurse at the local hospital.

Mariposa Speaks found out about Day to Read from Wholly Burble and has taken January 10, 2008 to the Philippines. She lists her favorite books and ends with "Reading is a discount ticket to everywhere. So, read with me and the rest of the world and together, let us get there!"

Dear buddy Alex Elliot has committed to spending part of the day reading. She gets a pass since unbeknowst to me I picked her birthday (so now everyone remember to wish her a Happy Birthday

DAY TO READ - January 10, 2008

And then there is the awesome Suzanne at Suzanne Says. She created the stunning alternative button that uses a calendar to remind everyone what January 10, 2008 is. When she showed it to me I was humbled and awed by her creativity. She also gives a terrific list of short reads so you can read an entire book in one sitting. Now isn't she doubly thoughtful?

So, are you joining the party on January 10, 2008? Some of you have been asking for the button code (thank you). Just let me know when you write about Day to Read so I can sing your praises.

But also, what books do you love to talk about? What book(s) have you been meaning to read?

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

100 photos

Looking Into Photo Blog

On Sunday I was loading several images onto Looking Into, the joint photoblog Jenn in Holland and I started back in August. As I was going back and forth between formatting each individual image and the list of posts I saw that Jenn was on the site as well, uploading her photos for the same week.

That is pretty much how we work. We usually don't "talk" about the photos we plan to upload onto the site. Last week was our first attempt at a theme (what? you missed Animal Week? you missed my beloved wild horse running off the sand dune?) We critique or give feedback when asked (or not) but generally we let each other use as we each chose to. In case you haven't noticed, I always have odd days and she has even.

As I was uploading this weekend I thought how lucky I was to have such an excellent partner in this "other" project of mine - a venue to show photographs. How lucky we both were to have such talented and generous guests share their artwork with us. If you haven't shared a photo with us but would like to, please send it to us at looking DOT into AT yahoo DOT com.

Be sure to look at our celebratory page up today. We chose a photo, independent of each other, to celebrate 100 photos on Looking Into.

And those are only the first 100. We've got a few more to show you.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Why can't we?

The boys came with me to pick up their sister at her preschool. As we were leaving we passed another family. The middle son in that family was a pre-K classmate of my boys and now attends first grade at a different elementary school in town.

The mom asked if she could tell me a story. Her kids ran into the school while mine ran into the newly fallen snow.

"The other day," the mom starts, "S (her son) and D (her daughter) were fighting - like siblings always do" as she rolls her eyes. "Then S stopped and said,

'Hey D - remember those twins? W and F? They always get along and they're brothers. We're brother and sister. Why can't we get along like them?'"

Then suddenly I had a 7 year old slam into me as he wrapped his arms around my waist.

"MOM! He threw a snowball onto MY NECK!!"

Monday, December 03, 2007

The night I had dinner with the Beastie Boys

Music Monday at Soccer Mom in Denial

I was living in Louisiana in the early 1990's. It was during the height of "Operation Rescue" (snort) going into communities to shut down women's clinics with the intention of limiting women's access to needed health care services.

If, for any reason, you don't agree with that last statement, please leave this blog. I am pro-choice and will not change. Any arguing will be deleted and promptly ignored.

On to our regularly scheduled post.

For their 1992 tour, The Beastie Boys offered to have all the proceeds from their New Orleans concert go towards defending women's health clinics for the upcoming summer blockades. Several groups were offered the chance to staff information tables in the lobby so we could promote women's reproductive rights.

While setting up the tables we could hear the band rehearse. I didn't think much of it. I wasn't a big fan of theirs. I only knew You Have To Fight for Your Right to Party which was a pretty irritating song in my book.

Then, two of the guys from the band showed up in the lobby. They went to each table (there were only a few) and chatted with each of us. Then we were invited to have dinner with them backstage.

I go to the back of this little theater and find myself in a small room with a catered dinner. This guy appears behind me and says "Hi Allison. I met you in the lobby."

To which I reply, "Um, I'm sorry, what is your name?"

He gives me this big grin, as if saying that no one has said that to him in a long time "Adam Horovitz. I'm in the band."

"Oh. Right. Sorry."

We then get pasta and soda drinks. I don't remember much of what was said but recall they were all very kind, thoughtful people.

I returned to the theater lobby to staff the information table. Once the lobby cleared out we were alone at our tables. A roadie came out and invited me to stand backstage and watch the show.

There I was, standing backstage, watching the three guys in the band quietly meditate. Then, as if someone turned a key, they literally sprung onto the stage. I had never seen people jump so high as they did. They went from complete stillness to nothing but balls of energy in seconds.

Then I was offered a pass to the front of the stage. And I danced up a storm.

To this day I still don't own any Beastie Boys. Not even on the iPod.

I do have their signatures on a wall sign. Not sure where it is though...

Got your own melodious tale to share for Monday? Let me know and I'll link to you. Be sure to read Flower Child's tale of tunes, Fourier Analyst's translations of songs to welcome SinterKlaas (who? get over there and find out!!) and Jenn in Holland's masterful combining of gospel music with bath bubbles.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Silver or Gold?

These two colors/finishes are associated with all sorts of things—medals, holidays, anniversaries, jewelry. Gold is usually valued more than silver. It's more expensive, it's higher ranking, it means more years and it's more traditional.

For some reason I always feel like it says something about someone if they prefer the color silver over gold. I'm not sure why but I just feel like I'm going to get along better with the person who prefers silver. Don't get me wrong I know and like plenty of people that like gold. Gold just seems more traditional to me.

I don't think I even own a piece of yellow gold jewelry anymore. Thank goodness white gold is in fashion now or my wedding rings would have likely been silver since we couldn't afford platinum. These rings are the only jewelry I wear on a daily basis. They are both beyond simple and I love them, they're perfect. 14k white gold with a single 1/2 carat round diamond, bezel set. The wedding band has a notch cut out so it can sit flush with the engagement ring. (Click here to see a picture.) My husband picked it out without my input at all and it amazes me just how right he got it.

My preference for silver over gold goes beyond just jewelry. My Mom always likes to decorate their Christmas tree with red bows and red and gold balls. I remember one year I convinced her to try something a little different. She let me do a blue and silver theme. Silver and blue balls with blue bows. I thought it was so pretty. It didn't last though, she prefers the red and gold.

Do I prefer silver because of my penchant to root for the underdog? To buck tradition? Does this preference really say something about who I am? What do you prefer and do you think it says something about you?

Allison is kind enough to host my post here today as a part of the December Blog Exchange. Our topic this month is Silver and Gold. I'm Niki and I write ImpostorMom. I am a 29 year old new mother, wife and professional. I write about new motherhood and life in general. Go check out ImpostorMom to see Allison's post today.