Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Day at The Beach Photo

I was thinking of entering this picture of Ed & Katya in a Beach Theme contest sponsored by an awesome photography blog. I'm very much a beginner and it's the first time I've ever done something like this. Please visit their blog by clicking on the i heart faces logo below, or by clicking here.

You should check out this blog if you love to take pictures, or if you just like to enjoy some wonderful works of art done by those who do take pictures. There are so many talented photographers out there!

Look for my upcoming post about the amazing time we had in California!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Fighting City Hall

Ahhhh, I love to hear about the joys of fighting “City Hall!” Need I say more? How many times have we attempted to right a wrong, complain about bad service (or no service) or make suggestions for improvement?

Well, I doubt if “City Hall” really wants to hear how they can improve. They believe that they are already a well-oiled machine and need no improvement in any area!

Here are a few comments, complaints and/or sarcastic remarks about some of the things that bother me:

1. Let’s double property taxes to give owners the illusion that they live in a classy neighborhood. It doesn’t matter whether or not they can afford it.

2. Eminent Domain keeps the neighborhood looking spiffy, and paves the way for new revenue for elected officials.

3. First-time offenders for minor infractions should have the book thrown at them. Examples must be set to keep order in society.

4. Elected (and appointed) officials shall determine recess of sessions if they are not getting their way. Sessions shall resume when the outcome is more to their liking.

5. Health insurance companies know best when it comes to coverage. They provide for exams to obtain a diagnosis, but then deny claims for treatment. (Some pay for an eye exam, but not for the glasses that are prescribed.)

6. Many attorneys know to what we are entitled, even if we don’t. They can acquire money for us (and themselves) for anyone’s mistake, regardless of the circumstances.

7. Individuals in the media tell us that it is our right to know the intimate details of victims and their circumstances, no matter how shocking the deed, or how upsetting it is to the victim. Get a life! Much of what is reported is none of our business! For instance, giving the public the address and details of a horrendous accident, murder or police standoff, is just asking for crowds to show up to watch.

8. School officials enjoy their power to render consequences to students who have made mistakes or bad choices, with no regard to the character of the student. It says in the School Code that “if you do this, then this will happen.” In a court of law, arguments, evidence and witness testimony are heard before a verdict is rendered. I guess that someone somewhere has determined that children are too young to learn about “the system” outside of school. (This is a favorite gripe of mine.)

9. Why must we desire to look like the individuals on TV, movies and magazines? We must purchase products or services that remove our wrinkles, cellulite and veins. We must also purchase enhancement products that promise to improve our sex life. Why do they keep shoving these ads for sexual intimacy down our throats while our children are nearby watching? Duh!

I am now stepping down from my soapbox…… thanks for allowing me to get a few things off my boobalicious chest!

These are some things that may or may not be possible to improve or change. If we don’t voice our concerns (in a gentle, loving way) change will never come about. I think it is important to make those with authority aware of injustices or unfair practices. They just might spend some time thinking about a better way of doing things….or maybe not.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Collections - Part Two

In a former post, I talked about the collections I had as a child. I’m not sure anyone would be interested in collections I had during my teen years. It might appear that I had a stalking problem while in high school… (a post for another day), and I’m not sure how long the statute of limitations is for stalking in California.

One summer, I volunteered to lead about a dozen 3rd grade girls at a day camp. “Movies” was the theme of the camp. Since my first choice of “Fly Away” was already taken, I chose to use the movie, “Ferngully,” because it had fairies in it. I have long been mesmerized by movies and books about fairies. I don’t have everything that was ever made, but I have collected a ton of fairy stuff. And, here was my big chance to show off my acting skills by becoming a real-live fairy. When I couldn’t find a fairy costume in my “womanly” size, I had to get creative. That’s all I’m going to say, and no, there are no pictures of me while at this day camp!

My “Mother Fairy” duties included planning a daily craft, snack, physical activities and a skit to be performed at the end of the week. We made fairy wings, magic wands, and fairy dust pouches (we had to improvise since the parks would not let us use “real” fairy dust; we substituted birdseed for the dust) . For activities throughout the week, we would visit other groups in the camp, cast spells and throw fairy dust on them. Since this was a Girl Scout camp, we snubbed any boys that had been brought as guests. We would cast bad spells on them every day. All the nice girls received good spells, and the stuck-up girls got the same spells as the boys!

On one of the days, we made a “walking snack” which is a “to go” snack that can be carried while hiking. We cut into very small pieces some carrots, celery and grapes. Then we put them on a leaf of lettuce and rolled it up. This yummy delicacy also served as “breadcrumbs” on the hiking path by the veggie haters and un-coordinated (I speak for myself) who could not, or did not want to, keep the lettuce leaf closed. Needless to say, we had some very astute young ladies and we never once lost our way home.

While on the hike, we eagerly looked for fairy nests within the flora. I told the girls that nests could be anywhere “except” for the plants that had three leaves…I didn’t want phone calls from moms yelling at me for exposing their daughters to dangerous shrubbery. The girls, as well as I, were extremely disappointed that we did not find any fairy abodes. I had to make up some lame excuse that fairies were scared of large groups of humans. The girls bought it.

For the skit, we learned a song and dance where the girls used their wands to cast spells, threw fairy dust at the audience and showed off their wings. Being the dance teacher that I am (not), I stood in the back and mirrored the steps and mouthed the words for the girls. The other leaders delighted in watching me as I made a complete fool of myself, but I was so “into” being the Mother Fairy I hardly noticed them until the roar of applause and whoops and hollers were heard at the end of the skit. All of the leaders were looking me, and not the girls! I couldn’t find a rock big enough to crawl under!

In all, it was a lot of work, but it was probably one of the best camping experiences I have ever had. These girls are now 16 years old, and I pray that any memories from that week of day camp have either disappeared, or are locked inside of some psychiatrist’s safe.

I do believe, I do believe!!!