Sunday, January 27, 2008

Love for the Vacuum

Sugarplum has always been somewhat nervous about the vacuum. She's interested in it, and will help her Daddy push it around the living room, but gets nervous and keeps her distance if she's not helping control it. So imagine my surprise when last night (and again this morning) she was giving love to the vacuum.
I should mention that she has a goodbye ritual. When she says goodbye to someone, or goodnight to us, she gives a "moko" kiss (Eskimo kiss), hug and snuggle, and a real kiss.
Back to the vacuum - she was opening the closet door, saying hi, then saying "Goodbye, see you next time. See you next week. Moko Kiss, Hug, Snuggle, Real Kiss (and kissed the vacuum), Goodbye!" then closed the door.
I only hope this love affair continues when she's old enough to actually be able to vacuum the living room herself. It will have probably worn off by then, but what the hell, I can dream right?
Sugarplum loves Curious George. This morning as George was coming on, we decided to go change her diaper and we set the TV on pause to leave the room so that Sugarplum would not have to miss any of the show. We just happened to catch the title of the episode in the freeze. I thought it was incredibly funny although I am now slightly curious myself about WHY Sugarplum likes George so much and just what exactly he must be teaching her. Maybe I'll ask Swearyn Shakeabitch to do some investigative reporting for me.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Be In Charge of Yourself

Why do people feel that they have to be in charge of everyone else and their actions? Why can't we just be considerate of each other?

I live in a pretty densely populated area of California. You have to be somewhat aggressive on the roads because there are so many other people out there. Yesterday, I had to change lanes to change to another freeway on my morning commute. Fortunately, since I take Sugarplum to daycare, I get to take advantage of the carpool lane (on the other side of the freeway)
So I'm merging over.. watching the lane next to me.. with my turn signal on and manage to do this successfully through 4 lanes without a hitch. It comes time to move over to my last lane and (with my turn signal still on) I calmly wait for the dude who is in a hurry behind and to the right of me to get in front of me. Then I take my place behind him. In front of another car.
I guess I didn't get the appropriate approval first though because the lady I got in front of decided I cut her off and started screaming at me and putting on her high beams. Like blinding me is going to make me get out of her way. Sorry, it just makes me slow down because now my vision is compromised.
Then she changed lanes and pulled up right next to me and is screaming at me waving her fist in the air. I glanced at her.. rolled my eyes and looked straight ahead. So what does she do? Increases her speed gets in front of me and continues to wave her fist in the air.
In a moment of great calm and maturity, I flipped her off. Sugarplum was clueless to the whole thing.
But it left me thinking, why do people have to be so rude to one another? Why can't we have a little common courtesy so as to let someone change lanes? As though the 3 second delay she might have experienced from having one more car in front of her is going to ruin the entire day. I just don't get it sometimes.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Dying For Fun

The other night my husband and I were watching a documentary about base jumping. I must be a grown up now because I like watching documentaries on various topics. Anyway, this one talked about base jumping but was really about adrenaline junkies. They said that we are the only species on the planet who will deliberately put our lives in danger just for fun.

So it got me thinking - why? It's fun.. it's a rush.. it's exciting. I used to work with a guy who loved ski-diving and he said it was unlike anything else in the world. It was exhilarating and made him feel really alive. Moments before possible death.

So I got to wondering.. what makes me feel alive? When did I feel most alive in my life? Giving birth. No other time can I think of in my life have I been so totally involved in the moment and focused. No other time have I felt more alive than when I brought another living, breathing, human being into the world.

What makes me feel alive? She does.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

What's In A Name?

When I was earning my BA in school I had to take a Business Ethics class. The class was split into 2 week sections where each section focused on a different ethical point of view. Themes like, if something is good for a majority of people involved, it's ethical. The end justifies the means. If something is bad for the environment, it's unethical. If even one person is harmed, the whole darn thing is unethical.

One of the main lessons I learned in that class is that so many things are neither right or wrong but sometimes both depending on how you choose to examine the situation.

The other morning my mom and I had a discussion about the controversy surrounding lethal injection as a method of execution in California which has been on the news lately. If you don't know, the method is being examined in the courts because two doctor's refused to witness (as required by law) an execution of a prisoner sentenced to death because it would be in direct conflict with their Hippocratic Oath. Of course that got people talking about "cruel and unusual" punishment.

My mom and I both go back and forth on our feelings about the death penalty. Sometimes we're all for it, other times we wonder how we would be any different from the criminals. On the one hand we would be different because we take a far more humane approach to executing someone by lethal injection rather than they would have if they murdered someone, and it's far more humane than say firing squad, lynching, or using the electric chair.

On the other hand, someone is still going to be dead when it's all said and done. If that in and of itself is considered cruel, then does the method really matter?

Depending on how you look at it, either the fact that someone gets killed is irrelevant, or the manner in which you kill them is irrelevant. I don't think either point of view is right or wrong. It got me thinking about how much of our viewpoint is guided by the definition of just one piece of the puzzle. Sometimes a small piece. So often we are so sure of ourselves and our own definitions, we fail to remember that other people have different points of view.. and it's OK. It doesn't mean they're wrong.. it doesn't mean I'm wrong. It just means we look at the same situation from different angles. We would all do better to leave it at that and cut each other a little slack sometimes.

Friday, January 4, 2008

We'll all die of stupidity

That's right folks. It won't be starvation, it won't be over crowding, it won't be some disease epidemic like avian flu, and we won't blow ourselves to smithereens in a nuclear war. It will be stupidity that kills the human race.

Sometime early in the year, the Darwin Awards are updated and each story tells the account of someone dying because of sheer stupidity. Although, I do have to say that I'm pretty sure I've found a couple stories from the past on Snopes and one was even tested out on Mythbusters.

This year I have two nominees myself for the Darwin awards. One has to be for the hitchiker here in California who was killed because he fell on the freeway and was hit multiple times. It's a pretty gruesome story but I'll sum it up by telling you that this dumbass was turned down for a ride so he decided it would be a brilliant idea to hang on to the bottom of a truck, and what a surprise, he lost his grip for some reason and was killed on the road.

My second nominee is a recent and tragic story. On Christmas day a tiger got loose at the San Francisco zoo and killed one person and severely wounded two others. It's all over the news locally, and you can find lots of articles by searching Google on "SF Tiger Attack"

There are allegations that the boys attacked were taunting the tiger and that she passed up others to go specifically after them. Nothing has been confirmed of course and the two survivors apparently aren't talking to the family of the boy who was killed. He was only 17 and he died at the zoo on Christmas day. (What the hell was he doing at the zoo on Christmas Day without his family?) If he was taunting the tiger, then he died from stupidity.

The fact remains that there are two families (and many more out there) who are mourning the loss of loved ones. While I'm sad for these families and their loss, I just can't get over how stupid people can be sometimes. Holding on to a truck on the freeway? Taunting a wild animal? These are careless and stupid ways to die.