Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Fall Festival

Saturday was my school's fall festival. Four hours of fun. I ran the jumper for 2 hours, while the boys ran around, armed with $10 of tickets each, and played all the games.

I was a bit of a party pooper, though. All of the other teachers volunteered to go in the "shower tank." Not as humiliating as a dunk tank, but you sit under a shower, which is turned on by kids hitting the target with a ball. I just don't see much fun about it, and it was freezing water while it was very windy. No thanks.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Ryan Lochte

This summer, the Olympics were especially exciting for us. Ryan Lochte, a gold medalist swimmer, is from Port Orange and trained here at our YMCA where we are members. We had a blast cheering him on, and the newspapers really played up the coverage.

A few weekends ago, at Port Orange Family Days, they honored Ryan and his family. His parents both work at the Y, coaching young swimmers. Ryan is a great role model - truly humble and soft-spoken. We went to the ceremony where they uncovered this new street sign. The road leading into the YMCA is now named "Lochte Way." The boys were so excited to see him. He wore his two gold and two bronze medals. You'll notice the gold ones are placed on top of the silver medals!

Sunday, October 26, 2008


I am feeling very optimistic today! When I woke up at 6:30 for an early run, it was 55 degrees - by far the coolest it's been this fall! I ran all the way to the bridge and back, for a total of 8.3 miles - by far the farthest I've run in a long time! All of my schoolwork is finished, so I had time to work in the house today. I spent over an hour simply cleaning the kitchen. It's probably the best cleaning it's gotten this school year.

Alexander and I rode our bikes to church, where we had a wonderful church service, belting out "A Mighty Fortress is Our God" in honor of Reformation Sunday. The congregation all wore red.

Yesterday we drove to City Island to cast our early ballots. I'm especially optimistic - the line was an hour long, and it's been that way all week. People are truly excited about this election. The atmosphere was electric. The boys watched us fill in the bubble next to Barack Obama!!! What an exciting time!

The weather today couldn't be better. When they were done cleaning, the boys spent the afternoon playing outside, with temps in the low 70's. I love fall in Florida!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

School, school, school

Jonathan's favorite thing lately is to play school. That's all he does. Seriously. He has his own "class" that he teaches the minute he gets home. They do art, reading, nap time, recess, and math. When the class gets too loud, he walks over and flips the light switch. It is absolutely hilarious. And it keeps him occupied. I don't know how long this will last, but it's certainly entertaining!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A New Plan

This weekend I got an email from my friend who does personal training and nutrition counseling. She is gathering together a group to train for the DeLeon Spring half marathon, held on January 4th. I quickly signed up. This is just what I need - a plan and some accountability.
She'll be helping with running schedules, strength training, and nutritional counseling. I feel healthier already!!

I'm feeling optimistic - not only am I excited to begin this program, but also today Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama. I can taste the victory!!! Is this what it felt like when JFK was running for president?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Finding balance

So, here's what I want to know - how does anyone manage to balance family, work, and self? I'm finding it just about impossible. It seems I can only manage one thing at a time. When I spend enough time at work to feel like everything is going smoothly, my kids suffer. When I try to leave early to give them some extra attention, my classroom suffers. My house seems to be perpetually a wreck, there's always laundry to do, and I've gained 5 pounds. I was just browsing for some pictures to post, but I have no recent pics. This morning, when I compared my running to last year, I realized that I am running about 15 miles a week LESS than I did last year. No wonder I'm struggling to control my weight.

This weekend I was able to take some time to catch up on things. I balanced 2 months worth of the checkbook, paid all the bills, got my classroom planning done for next week, finished the laundry, and prepared a presentation for my women's retreat coming up. Chris and I caught up on all of our DVR's John Stewart episodes. (Well, almost all of them.) Yesterday all 5 of us went to a Barack Obama meeting, and then we canvassed for about an hour. Today, I took Benjamin and Alexander to the local food bank, where we served dinner to the families staying at the shelter. I downloaded and ordered some of our Europe pics that haven't yet been printed, and I'm blogging! I even managed to run 17 miles this week. It was a very productive weekend, and I'm feeling good as I get ready for bed. I have to be asleep by 10ish in order to be coherent tomorrow.

The problem is, as soon as tomorrow starts, I'll feel like I'm underwater again. No matter what I do, I never feel caught up. There is always more on my "to do" list at home and at work. it 's very frustrating, and I hope as this year progresses, I can achieve more of a balance. Otherwise, I might be off the deep end very quickly, and I'm afraid my whole family will be traveling with me.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Benjamin's blog

Click the link on the right to read Benjamin's blog. He mowed the lawn last weekend and was very proud of it!!!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Sarah Palin funny

This 5 minute clip summarizes my feelings about Sarah Palin. And it is absolutely hilarious. Thanks to my brother Jeff for sending it to me.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Hypocritical Republicans

I am having a hard time watching this VP debate. The Republicans could not be more hypocritical. They want a free market health care system, yet they are bailing out the free market banking industry. They want people to personally invest Social Security in the stock market, as it crashes. They call John McCain a maverick, when he has been in the Senate for years and has created this huge mess.

I just can't understand why this country is so enamored of Sarah Palin. Why do they think someone they can "relate to" would be qualified to be our president??? I want someone who is much more knowledgeable than me, not my next-door neighbor as president. Joe Biden is much more experienced and would make a way better president!

Now, excuse me while I go play my brother's drinking game. He told me to take a drink every time Sarah Palin says something stupid or avoids a question. Pretty soon I'll be drunk, which will make this debate much easier to watch!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

White Privilege

I received this from my in-laws this morning and had to pass it on...

This is Your Nation on White Privilege

By Tim Wise / September 13, 2008

For those who still can’t grasp the concept of white privilege, or who are constantly looking for some easy-to-understand examples of it, perhaps this list will help.

White privilege is when you can get pregnant at seventeen like Bristol Palin and everyone is quick to insist that your life and that of your family is a personal matter, and that no one has a right to judge you or your parents, because every family has challenges,” even as black and Latino families with similar “challenges” are regularly typified as irresponsible, pathological and arbiters of social decay.

White privilege is when you can call yourself a “fuckin’ redneck,” like Bristol Palin’s boyfriend does, and talk about how if anyone messes with you, you'll “kick their fuckin' ass,” and talk about how you like to “shoot shit” for fun, and still be viewed as a responsible, all-American boy (and a great son-in-law to be) rather than a thug.

White privilege is when you can attend four different colleges in six years like Sarah Palin did (one of which you basically failed out of, then returned to after making up some coursework at a community college), and no one questions your intelligence or commitment to achievement, whereas a person of color who did this would be viewed as unfit for college, and probably someone who only got admitted in the first place because of affirmative action.

White privilege is when you can claim that being mayor of a town smaller than most medium-sized colleges, and then Governor of a state with about the same number of people as the lower fifth of the island of Manhattan, makes you ready to potentially be president, and people don’t all piss on themselves with laughter, while being a black U.S. Senator, two-term state Senator, and constitutional law scholar, means you’re “untested.”

White privilege is being able to say that you support the words “under God” in the pledge of allegiance because “ if it was good enough for the founding fathers, it’s good enough for me,” and not be immediately disqualified from holding office--since, after all, the pledge was written in the late 1800s and the “ under God” part wasn’t added until the 1950s--while believing that reading accused criminals and terrorists their rights (because, ya know, the Constitution, which you used to teach at a prestigious law school requires it), is a dangerous and silly idea only supported by mushy liberals.

White privilege is being able to be a gun enthusiast and not make people immediately scared of you.White privilege is being able to have a husband who was a member of an extremist political party that wants your state to secede from the Union, and whose motto was “ Alaska first,” and no one questions your patriotism or that of your family, while if you're black and your spouse merely fails to come to a 9/11 memorial so she can be home with her kids on the first day of school, people immediately think she’s being disrespectful.

White privilege is being able to make fun of community organizers and the work they do--like, among other things, fight for the right of women to vote, or for civil rights, or the 8-hour workday, or an end to child labor--and people think you’re being pithy and tough, but if you merely question the experience of a small town mayor and 18-month governor with no foreign policy expertise beyond a class she took in college--you’re somehow being mean, or even sexist.

White privilege is being able to convince white women who don’t even agree with you on any substantive issue to vote for you and your running mate anyway, because all of a sudden your presence on the ticket has inspired confidence in these same white women, and made them give your party a “second look.”

White privilege is being able to fire people who didn’t support your political campaigns and not be accused of abusing your power or being a typical politician who engages in favoritism, while being black and merely knowing some folks from the old-line political machines in Chicago means you must be corrupt.

White privilege is being able to attend churches over the years whose pastors say that people who voted for John Kerry or merely criticize George W. Bush are going to hell, and that the U.S. is an explicitly Christian nation and the job of Christians is to bring Christian theological principles into government, and who bring in speakers who say the conflict in the Middle East is God’s punishment on Jews for rejecting Jesus, and everyone can still think you’re just a good church-going Christian, but if you’re black and friends with a black pastor who has noted (as have Colin Powell and the U.S. Department of Defense) that terrorist attacks are often the result of U.S. foreign policy and who talks about the history of racism and its effect on black people, you’re an extremist who probably hates America.

White privilege is not knowing what the Bush Doctrine is when asked by a reporter, and then people get angry at the reporter for asking you such a “trick question,” while being black and merely refusing to give one-word answers to the queries of Bill O’Reilly means you’re dodging the question, or trying to seem overly intellectual and nuanced.White privilege is being able to claim your experience as a POW has anything at all to do with your fitness for president, while being black and experiencing racism is, as Sarah Palin has referred to it a “light” burden.

And finally, white privilege is the only thing that could possibly allow someone to become president when he has voted with George W. Bush 90 percent of the time, even as unemployment is skyrocketing, people are losing their homes, inflation is rising, and the U.S. is increasingly isolated from world opinion, just because white voters aren’t sure about that whole “change” thing. Ya know, it’s just too vague and ill-defined, unlike, say, four more years of the same, which is very concrete and certain.

White privilege is, in short, the problem.