Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday Mieography

You could call this woman by many names.

Her birth name was Lucille Wood Smith. She was born on Halloween, btw.
Her name was changed, when she was an infant to Frances Octavia Smith.
She would go on to take the stage name Dale Evans.....

Whatever you want to call her, she had an interesting life.
She was married at age fourteen, and bore her first child at fifteen. She was divorced by seventeen, and remarried, that same year. That marriage also failed, and she married another. It also did not go well. Divorce number three.
Then, she met, and married Roy Rogers. It was his THIRD marriage. They were married for fifty-one years; she helped raise the three children he'd had with his second wife, whom had passed away.
Her singing career started at a radio station where she worked as a secretary. She sang jazz, swing, and big band music. She eventually landed a screen test, and was contracted with 20th. Century Fox. The studio didn't want her known as a single mother, so they touted her as the unmarried supporter of her teenaged brother, (whom was actually her son, Tommy). It wasn't until she was married to Roy that she was able to clear up the misconception.
She and Roy had a child, Robin, who was born with Down's Syndrome. During this era, parents of Down's kids were encouraged to place their children into institutions, Roy and Dale would have none of that, they took Robin home, instead. Sadly, she died, just before her second birthday. Robin inspired Dale to write her bestseller, "Angel Unaware". She wanted to change people's public perceptions of of developmentally disabled children. There is a training center in in Texas now named after her. She and Roy went on to adopt two more children after Robin died.
She also had a very successful television career with Roy, co- starring in The Roy Rogers show, where she rode her trusty horse, Buttermilk. Dale wrote the song "Happy Trails".
She is also known for being very public, and outspoken about her Christianity.
During her career, she was in more than thirty films, and wrote over two hundred songs. She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and is in numerous Hall's of Fame. She died of Congestive Heart Failure two and a half years after Roy died.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

sugar high

Most of us, at this particular time of year (myself included) find ourselves partaking of more candy than we usually would. I firmly believe Halloween brings out the sugar tooth in all of us. Except those who have no sugar tooth at all. I've met a few like that, they are few and far between.

The other day, we of the Mustang household decided to go see Where The Wild Things Are. (I am not ready, really, to talk about the movie. Don't know if I will be).
We decided, wisely, not to break the bank on candy purchased from the theater, and went into one of the local candy and ice cream shoppes instead. (Yes, it is a shoppe). MM and MG are into all things sour, and made their selections accordingly. I hemmed and hawed, as usual, looking for what I wanted.
What I did find, though, was something I hadn't had in a LONG time.
I found Zots.
Remember those?

They make pop rocks taste like child's play.
Zots are brightly flavored candy that have a tiny hole drilled into them. The secret to a zot is what comes out of that hole. Fizzy, fizzy (probably chemical) goodness slowly oozes out, fizzing on your tongue, making a constant, fizzy party in your mouth.
Of course I bought numerous Zots (and some tropical starbursts, too), and as we walked down the street, towards our movie, we all had a fizzy party in our mouthes..

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

my crazy dreams strike again

I had the strangest dream last night.

You all know that I do fish now.
I have a 39 gallon tank
2 five gallon tanks that are homes to my Betta
and one 2.5 gallon tank that holds MM's Betta (cough). Its his, really it is....


no more fish tanks. Really. I don't need any more.
But in my dream.... I had this, er, wall of tanks? With mail slots where you could put the fish in. Only, I wasn't really keeping fish??
My father had gotten me, of all things, this little Platypus.
Yep. A Platypus. A small one. And it climbed out of its mail slot, and was running around the house, clicking its bill menacingly at us. We got it back into its mail slot, once, and, out of the next spot a POLAR BEAR stuck it's nose out.
I had a polar bear, in my wall. With a Platypus.
Behind a mail slot.....
And then?
I dreamt about bunnies. Pink, and chocolate brown ones.
anyone want to meet me in the assylum?

Monday, October 26, 2009

the sock that killed my brain

Ah, Monday again.

I've things to do today, really I do.
What I really need to get up and do is go to the yarn palace, and have some friendly lady help me with the sock that is now kicking my ass.
The dreaded magic loop sock.
I was going along, swimmingly Love that the whole sock is made on one circular needle, instead of messing with double pointed needles.
And screech
I came to this one part
and I either have too many stitches
or I am utterly confused over what they want.
So off I go, to see if I can salvage my sock.
Wish me luck
because I still have to knit the next one....

Friday, October 23, 2009

Margaret Tobin was born in Missouri, to her Irish immigrant parents, John and Johanna. She and her sister moved to Leadville, Colorado, when she was 18, where she got a job in a department store. She met, and married James Joseph Brown, (known as JJ), who was the son of Irish immigrants, as well. She had planned to marry a rich man, but, fell in love with JJ instead. They had two children, a boy and a girl. JJ was no slacker, and they came into great wealth because JJ knew engineering. Margaret became involved in women's rights, helping to establish the National American Woman's Suffrage Association (NAWSA), and she also worked in the local soup kitchens, helping to feed the poor families (usually miners) in the area.

The Browns eventually moved to Denver, where she became a charter member of the Denver Woman's Club, who claimed the mission of improving women's lives through education and philanthropy. In 1901, Margaret was one of the first women to enroll in the Carnegie Institute, in New York. She became fluent in French, German and Russian, and, ran for the US Senate.
After being married to JJ for 23 years, they amicably separated, and remained friends their entire lives. She received a cash settlement, a home in Denver, and a 700 dollar monthly allowance to continue her travels, and philanthropic activities.
And travel, she did. She boarded the RMS Titanic as a first class passenger, in France. When the ship hit its infamous ice bert, Margaret spent her time putting OTHER people in the lifeboats. She finally went off the ship in Lifeboat No. 6, which she quickly commandeered, and turned back towards the ship, to search for survivors. Thus, her nickname "The unsinkable Molly Brown". No survivors were found.
She decided, upon her return, to run for senate, again, but dropped out of the race. Her husband, whom she had not divorced, died, and left her some inheritance, of which her own children protested. She got her inheritance, and never spoke to her children, again. She continued, aided by her fame, to promote the issues close to her heart, women's, and workers rights, education and literacy for children, and she went to France to help rebuild areas damaged by WW I, and tend the wounded soldiers. There, she was awarded the French Legion of Honour. She died at age 65 of a Cerebral Hemorrhage.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

you smell!

Whats with all the celebrities that want us to smell like them?
at least, thats how I perceive it...
I was thumbing through a magazine, today, and page after page, was a celebrity, touting perfumes, or colognes.
Tom Brady, for Stetson
Halle Berry, Faith Hill AND Tim McGraw, for their own,
and lets not forget those Britney adds.
I actually blame Elizabeth Taylor.
I know, I know. She's sick, she's old....
but she has hawked SO MANY perfumes.... she kind of started this mess, didn't she?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

4th amendment


The third amendment, for those curious, simply states that we don't have to house soldiers anymore.... I felt like trying to debate that one would be silly. Its not controversial, (anymore), and, I imagine that some of us would be HAPPY to house a soldier in need...

So, without further ado, here is my take on the fourth amendment. I must say, thus far, this has actually been the toughest one....

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

This amendment is one, admittedly, that I started out not really knowing anything about it’s creation, or why our forefathers needed it to be.

What I’ve learned, is that the British were very fond of something called a “writ of assistance", which pretty much gave them the right to search for anything, anywhere, at any time, without expiration or cause. You see, they didn’t want any “prohibited or uncustomed” goods in the hands of the Americans.

So, they would search. Repeatedly, and take what they found, or what they wanted. Especially in lean times, because they needed to feed their army. These writs only expired six months after the sovereign died, which means as long as the king was alive, any home could be searched, and any goods taken, since most things were prohibited and uncustomed. Smuggling was at its height during this era, since there was a blockade in place preventing the delivery of supplies to the shores of America. I imagine the people were pretty sick of having strangers go through their homes, and supplies, and seeing said supplies get taken by His Majesties red coats. To feed the other red coats. I would hazard a guess that the loyalist homes were searched far less often than any of the “rebels”. I completely understand why our forefathers sought to prevent this. It would get very old, very quickly.

As important as this amendment was for them, it is just as important for us. Probably the most important phrase in this amendment, one that gets debated, and hung up on a regular basis is “probable cause”. One definition that I have found in my search is this:

"a reasonable amount of suspicion, supported by circumstances sufficiently strong to justify a prudent and cautious person's belief that certain facts are probably true". (wikipedia). I am guessing that the judge is meant to be the prudent and cautious person. But, as I am sure we all realize, judges are people, with their own failings, and frailties, and I am positive that the fine people who work in law enforcement are aware of which failing and or frailty most judges have, and apply for their warrants accordingly. Were I in their shoes, I would do the same.

None the less, probable cause must be demonstrated. And can be very subjective. Another point of this amendment that frequently comes under fire is what is specifically included in the search warrant itself. If a room, or a person, or a car is searched that was not included in that warrant, any evidence that has been gathered will more than likely be in-admissable. This can, and has, make or break any case that comes up in front of any judge. It can get a guilty person freed on a technicality. The person doing the investigation, searching the homes, and effects must follow that warrant to the letter. I would not want that job.

As an aside, though, my question is this. When a house is searched, do they really toss the house, and leave it a big, giant mess? If they don’t find anything do they send someone to clean the house? I would be a very angry citizen indeed if, for some reason, law enforcement came in and wreaked my house. But I digress...

I do have another question. One that was not even a consideration for our forefathers.


I bet, the first time a computer got searched, it was hotly debated. Is it considered our “papers”? We keep most of our documents in computers these days. It is one of our effects. Which is specified in the amendment. Do they have to, specifically site computers on the search warrant? Do they bring a computer specialist to the house to break into the computer, and read what’s on it, or do they simply take the modem with them. If they find no other evidence in the house what so ever, CAN they just take the modem to search at their leisure? I obviously, have never been searched. Nor do I plan on being searched. Besides, all they’d really have to do is read my blog do decide that though I am a nut job, I am an innocent nut job....

What is going to happen....

Like most nurses in California, I belong to a union. CNA, as a matter of fact. (California Nurses Association.). This is mandatory, to work at my hospital. My hospital is a member of a group of hospitals, and organization called Catholic Healthcare West. (CHW). I can (and have) transfer to other CHW hospitals, maintaining my senority, and, more importantly, my retirement funds. We, (nurses), contract with our hospital, usually every 3-4 years. When the contract is up, our union, and representatives from our hospital negotiate with the hospital grand poobah's for what we want our next contract to include. You can bet, we always want a raise. We always want safe staffing for our patients, and a host of other items that probably wouldn't mean a darn thing to you. Some of them are 'red herrings', things we don't REALLY want, but we have to have something to negotiate, right?

Well, a new trend in contract negotiation has been surfacing in the last few years. Instead of negotiating our small, tiny little contract with our small, tiny little hospital, CNA is negotiating ALL the CHW hospitals in Northern California. AT ONE TIME.
This means we are all for one, and one for all. If the hospital in say, Stockton, is not getting what they need, then, despite us getting what we need, we are going to strike. And it works vice versa. We all get a raise, or none of us get one. We all get better benefits..... and so on... and so forth.
There is power in numbers, and that is so. More than likely, I will get maybe, better things, because we are doing this.
We are, possibly, though, going to have a one day strike, on October 30th. We being all the CHW in Northern California, myself included. Its called an "informational picket". A chance for us to let the public know what we want, and why we've chosen to go on strike for one day. If agreement between the union, and the hospital can be reached before then, then we won't. If we DO strike, the hospital can lock us out of our jobs, for 10 days.
I am scheduled five of those 10 days.
Its kind of a nerve wracking thing. I totally support my union. If I didn't, what use would the union be?
Will the hospital lock us out for 10 days? Doubtful, they'd have to find other nurses to cross into our picket to do that. (if they lock us out, I assume we will still be picketing). Plus, since this is MULTIPLE hospitals, finding enough "scab" nurses would be a chore. A costly chore.
But I am still nervous about it. In my 13 years of nursing, this is the first time one of my contracts has come to this.
Its also the first time my contract has been negotiated with multiple other CHW contracts....

Sunday, October 18, 2009

2nd. Amendment

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

This is a loaded amendment. Pun intended.

As Julie Andrews once sang, "lets start at the very beginning". Militia. Well regulated. Putting ourselves briefly in the shoes of our forefathers, this is an obvious need. We were in the midst of our quest for independence. We knew, for a fact, that it would be a battle. No one expected England to just simply agree. "Oh, you want to be free? Sure, not a problem". Instead, they sent over many men, many red coats, and the intent to keep us under their rule. We expected this. Thus, the need for a militia. The ' well regulated' aspect of this amuses me, though I certainly understand that as well. If it isn't well regulated, then why bother?

So, modern day. Our "well regulated militia" has evolved, and morphed, into Reservests, and our national military.

But wait. It didn't stop there. Though I would argue about them being "well regulated", any Billy Bob in the outskirts of Pine Cone Flat, anystate, can form a "militia", and trust me, they have. Many right wing, anti government militia's are in existence today, planning for the collapse of our government. Many of them wanting to collapse our government, themselves…They call themselves many things, such as "Christian Identity" and "Sovereign Citizen Movement" just to name a few. Are these, usually hostile splinter groups what our forefathers had in mind when they made this amendment? I really think not. I think, actually, that they would be horrified at the direction this amendment has gone into.

Going hand and hand with this is the gun issue. The ownership and operation of guns, during the time this amendment was authored, was a necessity of life. Having a gun meant you, and your family would survive. It meant you would eat. It meant you were protected. A gun was a tool, as well as a weapon. Without one, well, you’d be hungry, at the very least.

As time has gone by, and we’ve advanced as a nation, the role of the gun has changed. It is no longer necessary to have one to put meat on the table. You don’t even have to HAVE meat on your table. Our dietary needs and requirements have changed. YES there are people out there who still hunt food for the family table. I know many of them. And though I personally don’t want to go shoot Bambi or Pumbaa, I hold with their rights to do so. (As long as bambi and pumbaa aren’t on the brink of extinction). The hunters I know are, for the most part, the most careful, and conservative of gun owners. They take care of their weapons, for their weapons are still tools to them. They also aren’t using semi automatic’s with cop killer bullets.

And this is where we get into trouble. No many how many laws are passed, with ten day waiting lists, and criminals banned from purchasing them, I maintain that ANYONE can get their hands on a gun. Any gun. You just have to know the right street to walk down, or the right person to talk to. No permit, no waiting. My Grandma could go out tomorrow on the streets of Fresno and get me an Uzi for my birthday if she so chose.

Yes, we have the right to bear arms. But bearing these arms lead to over 30,000 deaths a year in the United States. Granted, some of these are suicide deaths, but the major percentage of these are not.

The people getting these guns, legal or not, claim their right to defend themselves, and their homes. These are the same people who keep their guns in unsafe conditions, telling themselves that the gun has to be loaded, and within reach, to kill any intruder that might come into their home. They tell themselves that little Suzy or Stevie will never find them. Then they find themselves, explaining to the police why little Suzy shot Stevie in the head. Or why their teenager took said gun to school and shot the people who belittled him, year after year. Or why their depressed daughter is dead, by her own hand. We read these stories, every day.

And then we have the gangs. A militia, in their own way, as well. With guns. Where it’s normal, and encouraged, to find one or more of your rivals, and gun them down, despite the innocent bystanders that may live in the area. And in a gang, your gun is a major aspect of your identity. It has to be a good one. And you can be sure they are not getting their weapons from anyplace that requires a permit or waiting list. The trunk of the car requires none of these.

Gun control is a very sensitive topic, one that has been defended and discussed for decades. Once again, I could go on for days and days and days. This amendment, while practical, and needed during the era it was written in, has no gone completely awry, in my opinion. It has evolved beyond it’s intentions, and now does more harm than good.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Friday Mieography

Bertha Felicitas Sophie Freifrau von Suttner.

Thats a mouthful, isn't it?

She was born in Prague, the daughter of an impoverished Field Marshal, and his wife, who was a governess to a wealthy family. She studied languages and music (she sang opera), was a voracious reader, and traveled.
She was to marry an engineer, (he being the youngest son of the family her mother worked for) but, his family objected, and, rejected, she answered an ad from Alfred Nobel, and became his housekeeper/secretary at his home, in Paris. She lasted one week, and then snuck home to Austria and married her engineer, anyhow. After she left, she maintained a friendship with Mr. Nobel that lasted until he died. Because her young husband's family objected to their marriage, they left, and lived in Caucasus, where they earned their living by giving music and language lessons, and eventually, writing. She wrote four novels, some poetry, and a book called "Inventory of a Soul", influenced by the evolutionist authors she and her husband were reading at the time, including Charles Darwin.

Eventually, her husband's family relented, and they came back to Austria. A friend introduced her to the Peace movement, and she was immediately drawn to it. She wrote a book entitled "Lay Down Your Arms!", and quickly became a leading figure in the peace movement. She founded an Austrian pacifist movement, and an international journal, named after her book. She devoted most of her time and energy to this, and eventually became president of the Austrian Peace Society.
In 1905, she was the first woman who received the Nobel Peace Prize. She continued on with her peace work, her entire life. Her last major effort was in the United States, 1912, when she was almost seventy years old. It was her second lecture tour of the USA. She died of cancer, right before WWI, which she had been warning the world of.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Putting money where my mouth is, I guess

So, we have a "rule", in this house. A homework rule. Any one who is parenting a teenager can appreciate this. Its a known fact, sometimes, kids just don't do their homework.

The rule, simply, is this. For every missed assignment, MM, or I will assign another assignment to be done, as well as making up what she has missed. To say the least, MG is probably not impressed with this, but, it is usually effective.
Due to one thing or another, there was some history missing, these last few weeks. I love history. I am a history freak. But I had to kind of wrack my brain, for what I was going to ask MG to do. I ended up with asking her to give me a discussion of The Bill of Rights. 750 words for each amendment. (I know, I know, thats A LOT! but I had/have my reasons, get over it).
Well, she is unpleased. And, I started thinking. Is it too much?
So, I went, and started this assignment my own self. I wrote 875 words in an hour.
Yes, I know. I am a grown up, with experience, not a pissed off teenaged girl. But, especially the first amendment, she should be able to come up with 750 words, easily. It is a powerful amendment. So, here is my slap-dash paper on HER assignment. Enjoy. Because I have the freedom of speech!

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances

The first amendment is, perhaps, one of the most important paragraphs in the Bill of Rights, and, possibly, the entire Constitution. If we look at it, in sections, we can see why our forefathers thought it important, and, why it still resonates with the standards we try to hold our country to, today.

Starting with the first line: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise therof”.

Lets consider this. Basically, this is guaranteeing the people Freedom of Religion. It also guarantees that that there will be no “national religion” established by the government. This was an extremely important thing to our forefathers, especially because most of them came over seeking this freedom. Organized, and usually forced religion was common in Europe during this time, which ever religion the King (or Queen) happened to follow was the religion the people were to follow. Sometimes this changed so fast, I would swear that the commoners would get whip-lash. It wasn’t so easy for the royalty, either. Though they were “next in line” for the throne, the current King or Queen would often declare someone else as their heir to the throne, based on what religion they followed. Because of this, people frequently hid their religion, and practiced in secret, while attending the church they were “supposed” to be following in public.

Another frequent problem during this time was the fact that if you were caught practicing a different religion, odds are, you would be killed. History shows us that many thousands of people have died for their religious convictions. It is no wonder to me our forefathers included this in our constitution, wanting to avoid all the strife they had recently left.

In todays society, if we debate freedom of religion, the conversation may have a tendency to become very volatile, very quickly. In recent history, religion has been removed from schools, from courthouses, from coins, and even from the Pledge of Allegiance. Multiple cases involving religion have come up in the Supreme Court, and usually take YEARS to debate. In my opinion, here, the sticky phrase is “prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. I interpret this to read that the government cannot prohibit people exercising their religion of choice. Ever. So, if kids want to pray in school, who is the government to say they can’t? If a judge wants to display the ten commandments, well, why not? (this is, of course, my own opinion. Debate is welcome). I also, however, hold with anyones right to NOT practice a religion. It works both ways. If someone chooses not to say “in God we trust”, or pray with their friends/classmates, well, that is also a freedom that I believe in.

Another integral part of the first amendment is the second half of it, freedom of speech, the press, and the right to people to peaceably assemble. The importance of this just boggles my mind. This amendment is so packed full of importance.

Freedom of speech is another thing our forefathers had to include, based on how frequently people were killed or imprisoned for what they said. I cannot imagine living in a situation where anything you said, or did, was automatically held against you, and odds are if it was inflammatory enough you would end up swinging from a rope. I am extremely thankful our forefathers had the forethought to toss this one in the mix. Without freedom of speech, would any of us blog? What would our newspapers read like? We would be constantly looking over our shoulder, to ascertain who was near us, and could either misinterpret, or, turn us in for what we said. Very George Orwellian to me.

Where it goes awry in our day and age, in my humble opinion, is this whole freedom of the press thing. Many publications and shows interpret this section of the article as their right to follow, photograph, and harass anyone they choose to. I have a problem with this. It has become almost a sport for them, and their excuse is that the people they are following, usually celebrities, have chosen to be in the public eye, and are, therefore, fair game. I think our forefathers are spinning in their graves over this one.

To be able to peaceably assemble is also an integral part of this. The key word here, is peaceably. This section of the amendment is bandied around frequently at any protest, especially if that protest is interrupted by the police, who are part of the government. The first amendment is automatically cited and invoked by the protesters. They are usually correct, unless, of course, it’s been a less than peaceful protest.

Lets not forget the last of this amendment, though, “and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”.

How often to we petition our government for a redress of grievances? Do any of us KNOW how do this? Anyone, Bueller, Bueller?

Thats what I thought.....

I could have gone ON AND ON AND ON... for centuries (aren't you glad I didn't?)

** edit. She finished the first amendment, after we had a talk about it, and I explained a few things to her about the amendment. NOW on to the second one, gun control! Yay! I'll be doing that one, too....

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wet Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

and so it begins


We are having a nice, rainy day here, the wind isn't so bad, at the moment. We will see what it brings this afternoon, as it makes its way towards us.
Last night we lit our first fire of the season, and it was wonderful. Makes everything so cozily warm inside the house. We had good friends over for dinner, with some good comfort food (meatloaf and mashed potatoes). I was in dire need of comfort food yesterday. MM's jeep liberty died kind of a miserable, oil spewing death on me yesterday. We expected it, because it had turned into a major POS. But, I still felt pretty dang bad about the whole thing. Apparently Chrystler went through a period of time where they made cheap, crappy engines for Jeeps. And poor MM got one.
So a warm fire, comfort food, and friends. And a nice glass of wine, did the trick. Having the nice, rainy day today helps, too. (Maybe it wash down the oil trail of shame going up our road....)

Monday, October 12, 2009

When the Wind Blows

We are apparently going to be getting a good storm later today, and then tomorrow, that is going to have very strong gusts of wind and rain, with possible downed trees and power outages and all that fun stuff. So if you don't see me its because we have had a power outage.

So, without further ado I am going to go stock up on a few groceries, bring in some of the out door stuff, take my hammock down for the winter (boo hoo) and that kind of stuff. Winterize the outside a bit.
One of the joys of home ownership.
I am totally not complaining.
I love our house, and the home we've made it into...

Friday, October 9, 2009

Friday Mieography

Maya Lin was born in Athens, Ohio, to Julia and Henry, recent immigrants from China. Her father was a ceramist, and a dean at the Ohio University of Fine Arts, and her mother was a Professor of Literature at Ohio University. Her aunt is the first female architect in China.

She grew up, surrounded by caucasian people, and has said that she didn't even realize she was Chinese until later in life, and she was in her thirties when she got the desire to understand her cultural background.
After high school Maya was accepted to Yale University, where she earned a BA, and a Masters in Architecture. She also, eventually, was awarded an honorary doctorate.
When she was twenty one, and an undergraduate, she won a public design competition for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, beating 1,420 other applicants. It was completed in October, 1982.
The black cut stone wall, with the names of 58,253 fallen soldiers is V shaped. One side pointing towards the Lincoln Memorial, and the other pointing to the Washington Monument.
Her conception was initially controversial, because it was not traditional, for a War memorial. Some people also opposed it, because of her heritage. Maya believes that had the competition not been a 'blind' competition (the designs were submitted by number, not name) she would never have won. She was harassed after her ethnicity was revealed. Ross Perot even referred to her as an 'egg roll'. She ended up having to defend her design in front of the Congress.
Eventually, a compromise was reached, and a bronze statue of a group of soldiers and an American Flag was placed off to one side of the monument.
(Having been to the monument, I can tell you, it is breath taking, and heart breaking, and I think she was brilliant in her design and the people who protested were idiots).
She now owns and operates Maya Lin Studio in NYC, and has designed many other structures, such as the Civil Rights Memorial in Alabama, and Wave Field, at the University of Michigan. An Academy Award winning documentary has been filmed about her ("Maya Lin, a Strong Clear Vision), and she was written a book. (Boundaries). She is also the architect for the Confluence Project, a series of outdoor installations, and historical points along the Columbia and Snake River's in Washington State.
She is married, and has two daughters, and continues to work on many projects.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Times have changed

And I am getting older.

Sometimes, things boggle my mind. This week, it's technology. And not even anything new.
The things we use computers for. Like, this blog, for instance. Who would have thought the internet would provide me with an online journal I would actually maintain? I would have never have guessed it, ten years ago. Hell, probably not even five years ago.
And, the schools. When I was in school, my parents had NO CLUE what my grades were, usually until the first quarter report cards came out. (and sometimes, not even then). I got the mail, so any pesky "cinch" notes would get pinched, and hidden. If, by any chance, there was trouble, one of my parents would have to go to the school, to physically meet and discuss said problem, and teacher.
Now? Grades at the click of a button. And the teachers even UPDATE the site, frequently! And if you have a question, well, another click sends you to their email. And they even ANSWER me most of the time. Its fantastic.
If you ask MG if SHE thinks its fantastic, well, I am hazarding a guess that her answer to that is going to be no....
Poor kid, growing up in the "parents have access to everything" stage.
I wonder what it's going to be like when SHE has kids....

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

my favorite.

Halloween has long been a favorite holiday of mine.

Well, scratch that. Not a holiday, but more, a time of year. Fall. We all know I am a big fan of Fall.
But Halloween. I loved it.
My Mom was pretty good with the decorations. We didn't go all out, for the haunted house look, or anything. But we had some good ones.
My absolute favorite, though, was this skeleton. He was tall, had a good grin on is face, and jeweled eyes. There was just something about him. He even had a name. "Mr. Bones".
Every year I would clamber for Mr. Bones. He MADE Halloween for me. It just wasn't right until Mr. Bones was up.
Sadly, Mr. Bones was paper.
He lasted a lot of years. A lot of them. But, not everything is made to last forever. One year, Mr. Bones wasn't salvageable. And we had had him for so long that we couldn't find another.
I still really miss Mr. Bones.
I think of him every time I hang the skeletons that I use to decorate for Halloween, and wish he could have lasted forever.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Who Knew!

I try really hard not to bore you all with stories of my fish tank. (the people that live with me have no choice in the matter, but you do.)

I've come to realize that the aquarium hobby is really selective. Not everyone gets excited when my Betta eat pieces of pea, and swim around happily. No one probably cares that some asshat sold me an aggressive fish, and told me it was something else entirely, and the bastard fish destroyed my betta.
Or that I have a baby platy that was live born in my tank, named Waldo.
Or that I have three catfish that are see through. You can see their spines and their organs and everything. (its cool. MM picked them out).
there are people who do care. I went out, and found some of my own kind.
The Fish Keepers.
There are LOTS of internet fishy people out there! Fish forums run amock!
I've met some really nice people at the fish forum sites. People who specialize in certain fish, beginners, like me. Some saltwater tank people, and some Betta people.
What I wasn't prepared for was the hate.
these fish people cannot get along.
I've joined THREE different forums in the last month, because the "friends" I've met have needed or wanted to leave the forum we were in. I've not quit any of the three forums, because I am still going to them with my questions or looking for information.
(snails in your tank? Get a Golden Dojo Loach)
but rare is the day that goes by, at this point, that I am not getting private messages from one or the other saying "we are leaving this forum"
"this one did this"
"I got banned from the other forum!"
These are GROWN people.
Keeping an aquarium is supposed to be a peaceful hobby, right?
I met one lady, seems very sweet. She has some medical issues, and her heart doctor told her she had to stop getting tense over a FISH FORUM!!!
Holy hell, what kind of looneyverse did I wander in to!
I pink puffy heart all of you, my bloggy friends.
If I can't find a peaceful fish place to land, be prepared for a lot more fish talk on this blog.....