Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Oh, for goodness sakes!

I can not believe this story: Obama Barack is complaining about not fitting in at his private high-school on Hawaii. Puh-leeese. I grew up in Hawaii, and let me tell you something about that place: everyone is equally discriminated against there, there is no such thing as political correctness. For example, I was, and on occasion still am called, a dumb haole! I was beaten up as a kid for being white. I was the only "white" kid in a class of 33. Growing up in Hawaii is probably the best thing for a mixed-race kid. Nobody really cares there...and here Obama is trying to act like it was so difficult. Yes, the school he went to was a little more white-bread than other schools on the islands, but he was growing up in perhaps the most ethnically diverse place in America. But he still finds a way to paint himself as a victim with a struggle. Oh, boy...

Yes, certainly at Punahou there is a higher percentage of white kids attending, it isn't a purely rich kid school. And for him to paint it that way, is just so ridiculous.

And the journalist who wrote the story is equally non-sensical:
Obama came from a modest background; suddenly his peers were the island's richest and most accomplished students. Around that time, America Online founder Steve Case, actress Kelly Preston and former Dallas Cowboys lineman Mark Tuinei attended the school, which offers kindergarten through 12th grade on a lush hillside campus overlooking the Waikiki skyline and Pacific Ocean.

Um, hello, they were children at the time, not the mega-rich people they are today. Kelly Preston for example, according to Wikipedia: Her mother, Linda Carlson, was an administrator of a mental health center, and her father, who worked for an agricultural firm, drowned when Preston was three years old. Her adoptive father was Peter Palzis, a personnel director, and her stepfather was Lee Carlson. What part of that reeks of priviledge and riches?

Steve Case? His father was a lawyer and mother an elementary school teacher. It's not like he was already the billionaire he is today.

Mark Tuinei? According to this article: The son of a Samoan father and a mother of Yugoslavian descent. He tells stories of his father's frequent gory fights, his brother's time in prison and his own rough behavior. He was kicked out of UCLA after a drunken dorm brawl; be served three months in jail for assisting in the beating of a man in Hawaii. A decision to join the ROTC program at the University of Hawaii helped settle him down enough to finish his eligibility. Doesn't exactly sound like this guy came from an ultra priviledged family, does it?

So, let me see, according to those examples, someone could equally write an article stating: "Mr. X came from a modest background; suddenly his peers were the island's richest and most accomplished students. Around that time, presidential candidate Obama Barack attended the school."

Whatever...and they wonder why we are losing faith in traditional journalism...

Things that go bump in the middle of the night

SisB wrote this wonderful rant on her husband's getting up routine that I could have written:

It does not work for me for the alarm to go off at 4:13, 4:17, 4:21, 4:25 and 4:29 before you finally get out of bed. It does not work for me for the alarm to go off for an entire minute with you stretching and looking at it to decide whether you're going to get up or not. It does not work for me that when you finally get up, you turn the bathroom light on to shine directly in my face because you forgot to shut the door before you turned on the light.

When we got married, my husband was on early mornings, which meant he had to get up at 4:30. And see, if this were me, I would do things like this: prepare my clothes the night before, perhaps lay them out in the livingroom or in the bathroom. I would only let the alarm clock go off once, jump up, and get into the bathroom, where I would turn on the light, only after closing the door. When I explained that way of doing things to him, he seemed perturbed, and asked what difference it would make: this is from the guy who can sleep through anything...of course he can't understand my perspective: even the slightest amount of light in the room bothers me, who jumps awake at the slightest sound or movement. It's one of those things that can just ruin a day and make you grumpy and hateful.

I feel like such a nag when I ask him to undress before coming into the bedroom if he is working nights. He once came home at about 1:30AM, and opened the bedroom door and proceeded to take off his uniform: I heard the boots unlacing, the velcro coming unattached, the belt unbuckle, the zipper un zip...honey if you are wearing elastic waisted pants, a t-shirt and flip flops, then it might not be as bothersome...but all that? Hello? It's like the equivalent of a chainsaw for me at that time in the night.

But 6 months into our marriage we definitely have an understanding, and he is a real dear about it, but I know that he still doesn't quite understand why he has to jump through so many hoops.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The twos fighting hares and the tortoise

I was looking online this morning thinking there had to be some Aesop fable describing the current presidential race, but I came up empty I created my own. There are three serious candidates for president right now. And two of them are so busy fighting each other, that they don't even realize that the 3rd one is slowly creeping towards the finish line. And by the time one of the hares delivers the knock-out punch to the other, they will have a lot of catching up to do with the slowly plodding tortoise.

I had to smirk this morning when I saw that that McCain met with Gordon Brown, the British PM today as part of his tour through the Middle East and Europe. It's almost like he is behaving like him becoming the POTUS is in the bag, and he might as well start the leg work on future foreign policy. And others might start believing that too.

I wonder when the two hares might stop their squabbling long enough to realize that the tortoise is becoming just a spot on the horizon towards the finish line?

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

A Puppy is a lot of work

So, we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel with our puppy housetraining and other discipline issues (mainly mouthiness). I think there are a few phases with getting a puppy:

  1. The excitement of bringing a puppy home and all the initial bonding.

  2. The stresses of training a puppy: waking up in the middle of the night to take them out to pee, following them around to make sure they don't pee or poop in the house, cleaning those messes when they do, making sure they don't chew on wires or anything they shouldn't be chewing on.

  3. Asking yourself whether this will ever end: will she ever figure out that she isn't supposed to be biting my hands and feet, and hanging onto my pants' leg? Will she ever figure out that she needs to go out to pee?

  4. The sheer joy the first time she walks to the door to be let out to pee! And when she heeds your reprimand of her misbehavior and moves onto something else.

This has definitely been a great experience. Firstly, I understand why there are so many misbehaved dogs out there: people just don't devote the time and effort to properly train the animal. You get easily exasperated with the lack of progress.

What this has also made immensely clear: why there are so many misbehaved children out there: we have only had her 2 weeks, and we were already becoming frustrated with her lack of progress, the lack of sleep and the cleaning up of much work is a child? I mean, after a year, you have barely scratched the surface. My mother has always said about parenthood: "there are many deposits, before you get any returns."

There are also loads of funny moments: this morning, I was folding laundry and Susie sauntered over and decided she was going to jump into the laundry basket and chew on clothes. I told her to get out, and removed her, but she jumped right back in and continued chewing, so she went into time-out in her pen. Usually when we put her into time-out she will mope and whine, and then settle down. Well, this time, she settled down, and then just sat there and barked at me. It was pretty clear that she was giving me the doggie version of: "oh, yeah? Well, I don't love you anymore. So there!" It is so hard to not laugh during moments like this.

Or the other night she was on what we call puppy crack: she got hyper and started running around the house at warp speed. We were in the livingroom, and she was tearing through from room to room, making one point when she was in the hallway that leads to my office, we hear a *thud* and realized that she ran full speed into the closed door of my office (which is usually open). It didn't seem to slow her down, because she came tearing out of the hallway, and made a dash under the coffee table, but in jumping over the bottom support of the coffee table, she managed to hit her head on the coffee table. She started yelping like crazy, but kept on running. My husband and I were both worried, but also laughing.

And your realize why small dogs are so often really neurotic and undisciplined: because everything they do is "so cute!" It's so cute when Mitzy jumps on you, or barks like a maniac at the mailman, or snaps at your ankles...but really, you have to picture Mitzy as a 100lb dog, and then that behavior isn't so cute anymore. But because Mitzy will never be 100lbs, Mitzy's owners just think it's cute. But it's really not.

We have to catch ourselves that we don't fall into that behavior with Susie. My husband thinks it's cute that she digs little holes in the backyard...but maybe he won't think it's so cute once our backyard looks like a 32 hole golf-course. I think it's cute when she sasses me with her barking...but really it's obnoxious.

Anyhoo...we have our first puppy training classes tonight, and not a moment too soon!