Aspen's class will be taking a field trip to one of those old time school house settings for a day in a week or so.
I remember I did this when I was in the 3rd grade and for some reason ended up spending most of the time getting my palms slapped with a ruler and sitting in the dunce chair. Those were some harsh times indeed. Like the dark ages or something.
Anyhoo, the kids are required to dress up in early 1800's garb for the venture. Seeing that OCL's specialty is in making fairies and other mythical creatures I had nowhere else to turn but to mom.
My mom.
She is a wizz with those sewing machine dojiggers and came up with this in only 10 days.
Aspen tried it on right away and loved it! Now she can't wait for the fieldtrip. In fact she wanted to wear the garb to school today.
I said "Be still child!" and slapped her palm with a ruler.
Kids today!





The last time I saw Big Head Todd was shortly before their major label debut Sister Sweetly came out in 1992. My apartment in Boulder was located on 'The Hill'. BHT&M were playing at the Sigma Chi house across the street until 1am. I guess I didn't really 'see' them that night but did suffer a sleepless night on account of them so I think it counts.
Now that I think about it I did see them at The Foxx Theatre in Boulder a few months later with The Samples.
That was some 15 or so years ago.
Well, they still kick ass. And as always, Todd Park Mohr is sadly overlooked on the rock scene as both a composer and a guitarist.
I was able to call in a business favor from theatre management and secured front row balcony seats at the last minute thus avoiding having to wait in line in sub-zero temps for an hour.
Sorry for a lame pic, this was taken with my cell phone.



So the FDA approved meat and dairy products made from cloned animals for human consumption... and no labels indicating that the next gallon of milk or pork chop or egg or slice of cheese that you buy is from a cloned animal will be required.
Who's vegetarian now?

So the Bush administration is considering an $800 tax rebate for every household as a way to help turn the sagging economy around. Apparently economics 101 isn't required to work in Washington. Let's see, there are some 120 million households in the U.S. Hmmmm, 120,000,000 X $800... that means another $96,000,000,000 (that's 96 billion) our country can go into debt.
People, every presidential candidate who wants to further cut taxes should be dismissed right off hand as an illegitimate leader. A nation's economy runs exactly like a household economy in principle...
The kids (that's us, the households) complain to dad (that's the federal government) that our allowance isn't big enough (our taxes are too high). Dad, wanting to be liked by his kids, raises our allowance (gives tax rebates). Of course to do this dad has to apply for and subsequently max out another credit card (foreign country lenders... China, et al). Hence, when it comes time to pay off the credit bills he can only pay off on the interest (which continues to accumulate) and virtually none of the principal. But we kids are happy cause we have our allowance and that's all that matters to us. Unfortunately, dad never explains to us that when he retires (another generation of leaders takes over) us kids are now responsible for the house payments and bills (national debt).
Folks, the national debt does not disappear on it's own. It only shrinks when we as a nation pay it off. The only money we can pay it off with is money that comes in through taxes. It is not an entirely difficult concept to grasp (except for politicians apparently).

On the campaign trail Romney repeatedly states that he has no lobbyists running his campaign. I guess that's semantics because Ron Kaufman is Romney's senior campaign advisor. Ron Kaufman has an extensive history of being a high roller DC lobbyist. AP reporter Glen Thompson called Romney out on this deceptive detail yesterday in public. Romney, of course, got irritated and flustered that this was brought to the light of day and argued that his senior advisor was not running his campaign. Whatever Romney, misleading and deceptive speech is not the kind of change voters are looking for.

Recently Huckabee addressed a religious crowd that our constitution needed to be amended to be more in line with god's commandments.
Now I don't have any issue with a politician letting his faith or belief guide him on his moral convictions (though morals and religion are completely separate from each other and one can have either of those and not have the other) but I do have a problem with someone who wants to base laws or amendments on religious doctrine. If President Huckabee today supports amending the constitution according to a Christian God's laws then we have to allow President Ackbar Al-Salihi in 2012 to amend the constitution to Allah's laws.
It doesn't work like that citizens! Any laws or amendments to our constitution have to be based on completely secular and purely rational arguments, not on what your imaginary (or at the very least 'unproven') god mandates!

God bless The U.S.of A.!



In history class the assignment was to list 5 reasons for and against the question of whether or not women should be allowed to be soldiers.
In her reasons 'for', Aspen's 3rd response was

"You can't always depend on men."

Wait a minute! I don't see women starting any wars on their own!



Having wanted to keep that entire custody thing on the down low from Aspen for the last year and a half, a situation arose last night where I felt Aspen was due for some answers that might help quell some issues she has been having over the last 6 months.
Up to now all she has known was that her mom moved away and she stayed put with me. Of course, as a child grows ans she becomes more cognizant of what's around her, more details are needed.
It started last night when I was upset with Aspen for habitually forgetting homework assignments or books or projects at school. Running out of options I told her to pack up all her Webkins (her most prized posessions these days) and that she would get them back when she had a full week of not forgetting to bring stuff home.
Of course she started to get teary eyed but it was what she said that started the conversation. "That's the last thing left I have that I care about."
I figured I knew where this was going but I bit.
"What do you mean?" I changed my tone a notch from anger to confusion.
"First mom moves away and then Nanna dies. Everything I love goes away."
It was a 30 minute conversation that followed so I cant transcribe the entire thing. What I have concluded from this and the past months of her getting weepy at night saying she misses mommy is that she needs some serious validation put toward her feelings. An 8 yr old tends to think that any anger or frustration or other 'negative' emotion leveled toward their beloved parent is somehow 'wrong' and probably tends to second guess or stifle their feelings. Afterall, a child shouldn't be in a scenario where they face daily sadness or anger due to their parents' actions.
Am I alone in that conclusion?
So my aim was to for once give Aspen's feelings of confusion, hurt, dissertion, anger, sadness and confusion some serious affirmation.
"Honey, anyone who had a parent move away from them would feel everything you're feeling. Your brother feels the exact same way you do about your mom moving away. I am upset at your mother for moving away from you. I thought she should have stayed out here and gotten a job and apartment so you could stay at her place 3-4 nights a week just like you had been doing for years. Of course you are sad and hurt and angry and you have every right to feel that way. And you have every right to speak out about your feelings. If you are sad because your mom moved away you need to let her know. If you're angry that you don't get to see her everyday you have to talk to her about that. You should never be afraid to talk to people about your feelings, even if it's me or mommy."
She listened well and asked more questions than I thought she would. She wanted to know how she reacted when her mom told her she was moving away. She wanted to know why she moved away in the first place (something I couldn't give a good answer to because I don't think there is a good answer).
Then she asked who decided that Aspen would stay with me rather than go with mom. I was glad she asked this question. I wanted to make sure that she understood that it was not her mom's goal or desire to not have Aspen with her as she moved (I know her brother has a serious sense of abandonment about his mom's move and I suspect Aspen does too. I want to try to quell that as much as possible). So I told her about how I asked a judge to make sure that she stay with me.
Of course, she had no idea about any of the trial and many more questions arose:
"Where was I when this happened?" "You were in school."
"When was this?" "Just over a year ago before Christmas."
"Was mommy there?" "No, she knew it was best for you to stay out here with me so she didn't have to show up."
The entire conversation was a fine line for me to walk between being honest and open yet not speaking negatively about her mother.
While I want to keep my issues with her mother to myself they are not entirely irrelevant at this point. It is vital that Aspen know she is not the only one who has all these feelings based on her mother's moving away. She needs to know for her own mental well being that others (her brother, her grandfather, her aunt, her daddy, her granmama) are just as upset and dissapointed about her mother choosing to move away as she is.
Later on that evening when Aspen called her mom I could hear Aspen taking my advice and expressing her feelings and asking her mother questions that to this point she either hadn't had the courage to ask or hadn't had the clarity to think to ask.
I was proud of her. And I'd love to share some of those questions but that was a conversation between Aspen and her mom and I would be intruding by doing so.
I'm fairly certain that her mother is pretty steamed at me for it surely seemed from her end of the line that I had been speaking ill of her to her own daughter. In reality I went as far out of my way as I could to not let my feelings for her mother cloud the objectiveness of my advice. In reality I feel there is no justification for her mother moving away so I can't very well create a justification to tell Aspen. That is called 'lieing' and I try to avoid it, particularly when it comes to conversing with my child. If her mother wants there to be a positive spin on her moving away she will have to spin it herself. That is why I direct Aspen to ask questions about her mother to her mother as much as possible.
But if Aspen has the clarity to ask me my thoughts on the answers her mother gives her... once again, I will be honest.
And hopefully Aspen will get her Webkins back at the end of the week.




There Will Be Blood, starring Daniel Day Lewis, looks promising. Has he ever done a less than spectacular performance in his roles?

The Orphanage looks, and reviews concur, as creepy as a movie can get. I mean what has more potential for instilling fear than the ghosts of unwanted and badly treated children. Aspen will love this!



Thought I would throw out there what Aspen listens to on her iPod (aside from the occasional Hannah Montana and Disney propoganda)...
1- Alison Kraus & Union Station - Live
2- Bruce Hornsby - Hot House
3- Bruce Springsteen - The Seeger Sessions
4- Cat Stevens - Best Of
5- Cowboy Junkies - Black Eyed Man
6- Donna The Buffalo - Live
7- Grace Potter & The Nocturnals - Nothing But The Water
8- Grateful Dead - Reckoning
9- Indigo Girls - Introspective
10 - Jimmy Buffett - A1A

Note: She picked these out from my collection. Femi and others will note that her choices are perfectly balanced between male & female singers.



6,776,543,910 + 1

Not content until she has given birth to an entire school district, Sissy B has given me the 'privilege' of announcing that (right on schedule) she is once again expecting.
Yawn, this post was actually written 9 months ago when I had some free time, I just saved it until she gave me the word.
If any of you feel slighted by not being the blogger allowed to break the news (to other bloggers and the World Health Organization) don't fret. Like grains of sand on a beach, this type of announcement will be never ending, just get in line and next time she'll let you not only make the announcement but will also let you name the offspring as well (after she has run out of names - and I know the names she has in line for this one, trust me! she's close to running out of names already!)
But anyway, back to the news. Not wanting to sound crass, it certainly seems that Sissy B and husband Soldier Boy are intent on taking a page from Hitler's book on creating the master race. At least Hitler enlisted help in his mission. Sissy B seems bent on achieving this goal all by herself. Fortunately she seems to have settled on one mate from here on out. I understand that he requests to be shipped over seas to war torn regions for periods of time in order to get some relax and recoup time in. Can't says I blame him. Hey Soldier Boy, I hear Kenya has good weather right now.
The World Census Bureau and Negative Population Growth.Org have both made official statements condemning this selfish act and have coined the phrase 'SissyB-ing' to refer to anyone who's global impact on the world's resources is equal to or greater than that of the smallest nation: 'Nieu', population 2000.
Say! Maybe that's a good name for the next child. It works for a boy or a girl!
Anyway, congrats to Sissy B and Soldier B for their even latest bundle of joy!
The due date is August 22nd... I'll see you all back here again 9 months from that date.



Yes! Magnum brand condoms now makes an extra large size apart from their regular large size.

I can't tell you how excited I am!


Stepfather of the year award goes to 24 year old Darlanne Toussaint who compassionately tackled the issue of his girlfriend's 17 month old boy's persistent crying not by a sippie cup and some rocking or checking for dirty diapers but rather by the fool-proof and ever effective method of ceaselessly shaking him, punching him, throwing hot cooking oil on him then subjecting him to further minutes of a blow dryer on high at close range in order to burn his skin off.
Oddly enough the innovative nurturing techniques proved less than effective. The child now rests in stable condition in a Florida hospital on heavy doses of pain medication and reportedly still cries when conscious.