Thursday, May 27, 2010

38 days and counting...

Let's picture something...
What if there was a nurse at your local hospital that made medical mistakes every day for 38 days. What if she was on the cusp of killing people, but instead just maimed them repeatedly. What if she did things that crippled their ability to work or even did something so major that their homes somehow became uninhabitable. Maybe she made them allergic to their houses, so that they could never go back. And maybe the entire hospital knows about this nurse who is slowly killing her floor, and possibly will spread her mistakes through the entire hospital, but no one does anything. Maybe no one says a word to the nurse or fires the nurse because she has friends on the hospital's board. She has some bank and she makes sizable donations to the hospital so no one wants to make her mad and ask her to leave. But, everyone knows that this nurse is destroying the hospital room by room. Do you want this nurse to be fired? Do you think someone should do something?

I do. I say get this nurse out. And today, the person playing the part of the nurse in my story is BP. And the hospital is being played by our country. Look at their logo! How lovely and "green" they seem, right? But, maybe if they want to be labeled as the oil company that cares about the environment, then maybe they would actually try not to kill it.

In no other industry are we allowed to screw up so irrevocably and still keep our jobs. This isn't just some minor accounting error at the gas station's office. This is an oil leak. Oil is in our oceans and coating our wildlife and lapping up onto our shores. You can't just wipe it up and we can't just ignore it and assume that BP has it under control. Someone needs to step in and get this taken care of. It is not just in water, it is on animals. It is not just on animals, but it is coming on land. It is not just hurting beasts, it is coming for people. And it will. It will effect the economy in those coastal towns that survive on tourism. It will make people sick. It will destroy our land. Does anyone want to head to New Orleans and eat some black oil slicked crawfish etouffee? These blackened crab legs aren't quite as appetizing as the regular version, are they? We drill and we drill, but did we ever stop to think what the companies are going to do if something goes wrong? I didn't. I had no idea that there wasn't a Plan B, C, D, E and F for something like this. Afterall, it doesn't even appear that they had a Plan A! Shouldn't there be, before we let corporations play with lethal substances in our waters???

I may be nutty, but before I hire someone to do a job I make sure they can do it. And if they can't, I surely don't wait 38 days to let them flop around figuring it out. It is time for someone to step in and tell BP that they screwed up and they need to get the hell out of our ocean until they have a plan of action for how to fix it. And any other oil company without an ability to clean up a mess if they make it better get the hell out, too. This is our world we're talking about. We can't just get another one.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Happy Birthday, Will!!!

Four years ago yesterday, my water broke around 5:30pm. I was at work and while that sounds humiliating, it wasn't the opening of flood gates like it appears on tv. It was a trickle at best. In fact, I was walking back to my office from the bathroom and a little squirt happened. I thought I wet my pants. I had heard that happens to pregnant women, so I just assumed it was the next item in a long list of embarrassing side effects that procreating women have to endure. So, I went back to the bathroom. When I was confident that my bladder was totally empty, I returned to my desk and sat down. SQUIRT. I decided to leave a half hour early, completely unaware that I would never be coming back.

I called my OB from the car, now starting to worry. The random squirts became a constant trickle and I was a little concerned something was wrong. Water breaking never occurred to me. She said "cough." I coughed. Instead of a squirt it was a gush. Through my pants and onto my driver's seat. And no, they weren't leather and easily washable. Sorry, Mike..... Did I tell you that before you bought the car? She correctly deduced that my water had broken. I immediately gunned it for the nearest ER and she said to calm down. Go home. Get ready. I hadn't had a contraction yet, so things were just getting started. Who knew she was going to be so right!?!?

That evening, Mark was in an airplane flying around the state of Indiana with a friend who had his pilot's license. We had joked a million times that my water would break when he was in the air. Lo and behold... it did. When I called him it took quite awhile before he believed me and rushed home. Later, my parents, Mark and I went to dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant. My OB said to. She said eat, shower, relax... because it will be a long time before I get to do that again. And, four years later... she is still right.

I learned a lot about Will through that night and the next day's labor. One.... he was loud. That night my mom, Mark and I all slept in the labor and delivery room thinking that any minute the contractions would start and we'd be on our way. The baby monitor was deafeningly loud. If I knew then what I know now... all I needed to do was ask the nurse to turn it down. But, now I think it was just preparation for the noise this little being would bring in to my life.

I also learned that Will does everything in his own time. They induced contractions in the wee hours of the morning and by 9:00pm, I still wasn't dilated. I had contractions, and let me just say WOWZA... those things hurt... but he still wasn't making his way out. Then, I learned that with Will, you always need to expect the unexpected... because suddenly it was emergency C section time. And then, 29 and a half hours from start to finish... there was my beautiful boy. The one that the doctors and ultrasound techs said would weigh in close to 10 pounds... at a measly 6 pounds 6 ounces of scrunchy looking, old man baby.

On that day I also learned that my life had just entirely changed. I learned that it was possible to love another being so completely that you would easily give your own life to keep him from pain. I knew the second I held him, that I would never let him go. I knew in an instant that I wouldn't be returning to work like I had previously planned. I knew that careers and success were nothing in comparison to my need to be his mother. I knew that he was the best thing I would ever do, and I was going to do it the best I could. I knew that my little Will Alexander Clinton was my life's miracle... and four years later... I still know.

I love you, Big Man! Happy 4th Birthday!!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Every Cliche Error Has A Silver Lining

I am going to admit it... I love a good cliche. I will toss them about, when warranted, because let's just face it. They're true. It really IS darkest before the dawn. So, why not throw that out there when someone is having a bad day? I am a firm believer that if someone already said it best, just repeat it... thus the birth and existence of a good cliche. But, truth be told... the only thing I like better than a good cliche... is when someone screws it up!

Wes on MTV's Fresh Meat Challenge 2 said: "What I have to do is keep my face to the grindstone." Now, that cliche sounds a little ridiculous even if you're keeping your nose to the grindstone. I mean, why would you want to grind your nose off anymore than you would your general face. Well, Wes, because they mean the nose or sharp point of the knife they are sharpening... that is where that phrase comes from. So really, you are planning to sharpen your face to win the challenge. Good luck!!!

Jake Pavelaskansdasdjn from The Bachelor and Dancing with the Stars was explaining his early rehearsal hours and said "The early worm catches the bird." Really? What kind of worm is that? Maybe those out of control, saber-toothed worms in Tremors. Maybe that is the kind of worm he is.

Kenny, or Mr. Beautiful as he calls himself also from MTV's Fresh Meat Challenge 2 was referring to how he has to stay on his toes to keep ahead of the competition and he said "A rolling stone flattens the moss." While I think that might be true, I think normally we refer to it not gathering any. Plus, I am pretty sure he thinks he is talking about The Rolling Stones. Just goes to show that the MTV cast of Mensa members better pray they never have to get real jobs.

Carmen Gonzalez, chef from Top Chef Masters was giving a monologue about leaving her main protein behind on one of the challenges and her lesson learned was "Don't count all of your eggs in one basket." I happen to think it is ok to count them, I just think you shouldn't put them there. Just a thought.

And lastly, Regis Philbin.... the king of the off the cuff comment that doesn't make sense. When discussing his need for a clot-ectomy in his leg he said the profound words "A bird in the bush is worth is two in my hand." Really, because birds poop a lot. I would think more in the bush is better than any in my hands. But, to each his own I guess.

Monday, May 17, 2010

All The Single Pre-Tweens...

Ok, so I am sure we've all seen the tiny dancers busting a move to Beyonce's "All the Single Ladies" song in their prostitute gear, so I am not going to repost it here. Instead, I am just going to ask the question that has been on my mind since I saw "The Insider" and "The View" arguing about whether or not it is appropriate... WHAT THE HELL IS THERE TO ARGUE ABOUT??? In what world would that be appropriate... Hookerland? I don't think so.

Seriously, I sat there today and listened to Whoopi Goldberg defend the little girls (who are 7 and 8 years old) by saying that their outfits were appropriate in dance competition because it allowed the judges to see their body parts clearly... to watch how they articulate their muscles and whatnot. Uh yeah... except here is why that is a load of crap. If nearly nudie were the only way to judge dancers, you would have seen that entire competition on the gossip shows. But it was only one group that got the press. Why??? Because the others weren't doing anything interesting enough to warrant talk. That means... the other kids were dressed. In actual clothing. If the next group came out in thongs and pasties, they would have made news too.

I also heard Ms. Dethroned USA on "The Insider" and she was defending their dance moves. It's just dancing she said as she proudly giggled and stuck her breasts toward the camera. Really? Because I've managed to see people dance without shaking their booty, spreading their legs and jiggling their breasts that haven't yet formed. There is more to hip hop than undulating hips and when it is an 8 year old doing it, then give me a break. They don't know what sex is, but they certainly mastered the moves.

For the record, I don't blame the girls. They are just doing what they see on tv all the time. I blame their teacher/coach and their parents. Maybe as mommy and daddy we ought to stand up and say "Honey, while I think your dance skills are out of this world, I think your self respect ought to stay in this one." I question where we have put the line for young girls these days. It is ok to wear thigh highs and boob tops, but please, please don't flaunt the goodies in school because you are more than just your girlie parts. It is ok to simulate sex on stage to music, but please, please don't have sex with your guy friends when you are only 10 years old. When did the arts succumb to the completely tasteless? Maybe costumes shouldn't show everything at 8 years old and instead should showcase the girls, not the sex. Maybe choreography should pack a pow without the porn. And maybe, just maybe, our little girls should stay little girls.... at least til they hit their tweens!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Phone Call With Phylicia

Well, when I was on the phone with Phylicia Rashad today, I decided to start every single sentence I utter from now on with the phrase "when I was on the phone with Phylicia Rashad today." Is that ostentatious or obnoxious? Or both? Either way, let me just clue you into a little thing you may not have picked up on yet... I WAS ON THE PHONE WITH PHYLICIA RASHAD TODAY. Yes, true story.

In case you have lived under a rock for the last 30 years... this gorgeous woman staring back at you is Phylicia. She starred on stage (where she won a Tony) and on television in the critically acclaimed "A Raisin in the Sun," she became the international parenting standard prompting mothers to ask themselves WWCHD... what would Claire Huxtable do? through "The Cosby Show," and provided the mother's voice in one of my son's favorite cartoons "Little Bill." This woman does it all and now she is starring in a new film called "Just Wright" with Queen Latifah, Common, Pam Grier and Paula Patton. Not bad at all. And, did I mention that I talked to her today?

As impressive as all that is, if you actually talk to her (like I did today) you find that on top of all of the acclaim and talent, she can use that soothing "Mother Earth incarnate" voice of hers to put forth some pretty sage advice on life for the rest of us. I mean profound, deep, move over Dr. Phil and Oprah quality advice. And, luckily for you, I get to share it.

Number one: Boys (and I am going to take the liberty to expand this to all children) do not see their mothers as human beings with hopes, dreams and spirit... but rather as a creature whose sole purpose is to serve. I am going to put at link at the bottom of this post so you can hear the interview yourself, and hear how eloquently Ms. Rashad says it in her silky baritone. But, she says, the onus is on mothers to make sure and introduce that side of themselves to their children. Share who we are, not just what we do from day to day. Introduce our humanity to our children... I like that.

Number two: Life is full of reversals and the unexpected. Build upon that, do not run from it. If you read my blog you know that we had a reversal (as she puts it) two weeks ago. Mark lost his job. Well, that isn't true. We know where it is.... he just isn't allowed to do it anymore. But, the point is... we need to meet that head on. We cannot hide behind the woulda coulda shouldas of the situation and instead put our game face on and move forward.

Number three: Rashad shared a truth that a wise person once told her... "A good marriage is a good fight." That doesn't mean that you are fighting each other... you are fighting the problems that come at you... together. Mark and I have been married for a little over 5 years. In that time we've lost people dear to us, we've lost jobs, we've had money problems, and we've struggled to raise our children the way we want to. But, we struggle together. We fight, don't get me wrong, but we fight our obstacles more. What more can you ask for than a teammate through everything?

All that being said, the purpose of the interview (link at the bottom of this post) was to discuss her new movie "Just Wright." While I haven't seen it yet, I have no doubt it is worth the ticket. With Phylicia Rashad playing Common's mother, how could it not be? After all, I am changing my parenting vernacular from WWCHD to a life philosophy of WWPRD... what would Phylicia Rashad do?

Check out other "mommy bloggers" and me talking motherhood, marriage and the movie "Just Wright" right here. And then go see the movie opening this Friday night... I know I am.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Downside to Unemployment...

Can I just tell you the pitfalls to having your husband off of work? Ok, there are the obvious issues of no money and benefits which clearly leads to homelessness and death by untreated illness, but that is really not that bad. The bad thing is that your husband is home. And you are home. And you're both home. All. Day. Long.

I wake in the morning and Mark is home. I go about my day and Mark is home. I prepare for the evening and Mark is home. And, I bet you can guess what is next... I go to bed and Mark is home. He is trying to be helpful and doing things, but here is the problem... he doesn't do things the exact way that I do. To a normal person, that would be fine, but to a control freak like myself.... That ain't fine. Let me give you and example. Last night Will passed on dinner (he's sick, otherwise I wouldn't allow said passing to have occurred) and then he decided he was hungry later. Mark prepared PB&J for Will and of course Jack needed one too. Well, by the time Jack was done with his, he, the couch and I were more grape than human. Mark's reasoning... "Uh... I like the jelly." Well, thanks Mark, but freshly bathed and pajamaed Jack, the new slip cover and I don't prefer being coated in Concord's finest.

Some parts of his current status are nice. I can send him out with the kids whenever I feel like it. They play and romp and have fun, and then Mark passes out by 11pm because he is used to spending roughly 9 hours a day sitting on his fanny. Not anymore, Mark. That means I get kid free time in the day and remote control possession at night. That is a bonus. But, I am pretty sure I would be willing to trade that in for a little spouse free time. Seriously, what do you talk about when you've been four feet away from each other since last Wednesday night??? I feel like there is nothing to say, except a constant need to tell him to shut up because I do not spend all my free time on the phone. Ok, I do, but I still don't need his comments on it 100 times a day.

So, let this be a warning for all of you SAHMs with working husbands. Make sure they have hobbies or play dates lined up if they suddenly become unemployed... because otherwise you'll regret any time you ever asked him for a little "togetherness."