Sunday, December 16, 2012

More Guns

My father posted this entirely and horrifically inappropriate picture on Facebook the other day of a woman holding a gun with the words, "Israel armed their schoolteachers to protect their kids. Why did we disarm ours?"

I can't get over how stupid and wrong and inappropriate this is on so many levels.

First of all, we are not living in Israel. We are not under daily attack from rocket bombs and terrorists. (Although if you watch CNN and Fox on a daily basis, you would certainly get that impression.) And not like a gun is going to help you if someone drops a bomb on your house, anyway...

So, why again, do we need to have access to semi-automatic military assault guns like the ones that killed those twenty kids the other day?

Oh, right - because we want them. And because without them, we'll lose our freedom.

So, okay, we all have the right to own these instruments of death and terror. What now?

Now, we REALLY have something to protect ourselves against, so we start implementing increased security. We arm our teachers and lock down our schools and hospitals and shopping malls to protect ourselves.

No more unlocked doors.  You have to show an ID to get in and out everywhere. You can't get into the mall or a store without being buzzed through the bullet-proof glass.

You have to walk through a metal detector to get on a bus or a train. 

It's the same at your son's school. If you're not an approved list, they won't buzz you through the bullet-proof triple doors. No ID, and you don't get in, either.

Pretty soon, you can't walk out of your front door without worrying about who *might* be carrying a gun. And who knows what kind of gun they might have? Semi-automatic assault-style weapons are perfectly legal.That's what the definition of freedom is, right?

But, we still have our freedom, right? We can go wherever we want, and with all the increased security, we get the best of both worlds, right?

I don't know about you, but I think my son deserves to live in a world that's free of guns, instead of a world full of bullet-proof glass and fear.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Need vs. Want

Can't stop thinking about the twenty dead kids in Connecticut, some as young as five. Here's the deal.

There are most likely very, very few people in the United States who NEED to have a gun. It's not like we live in Somalia or the West Bank or Palestine. Last time I checked, there were not hoards of marauders prowling the streets at night looking to rape, plunder, and pillage.

Sure, once in a while, Tom runs across a particularly tasty-looking deer in the woods, and he uses his rifle to end that creature's life and put it in the freezer so that he and Colden can eat it over the winter.

But people WANT their guns.

That shooter's mother owned the guns that he used to murder all those kids. She was a schoolteacher. Did she need those guns? Was she part of a well-regulated militia? Was she under threat from career criminals every day?

So, let's just admit it: we WANT our guns. We don't need them. And as long as we want the, we have to be willing to accept the deaths of young children as part of the package.

Guns were not invented to solve problems. They were invented to kill people.

And even sadder, we value our "right" to own a gun more than we value the "rights" of those kids to grow up, and the "rights" of their parents to get to watch their children grow up.

I don't know about you, but I value my son's life way more than I value your right to own a gun.

Friday, December 14, 2012


I have two more things to add to that last post:

1. If you want to throw that whole second amendment thing around, go ahead. But just remember that 200 years ago, it was your right to own slaves and women were considered property.

We sorta frown on that stuff these days.

2. If you still think it's do damn important to own a gun, then YOU go up to a mother whose child was shot and killed today, and you tell them, "Hey, those guns were legally owned by the guy's mother. It was her right to own the gun that her son used to shoot and kill your kid. It was all legal, so it's okay."

'Cause I sure as fuck couldn't do that.


This isn't exactly the post I was intending to make today, but here it is.

I saw the news about the horrific day at the elementary school in Colorado was Tom and I were leaving the doctor's office. I had an appointment today to follow up with a biopsy after an abnormal pap smear last month, and I couldn't bring myself to watch more than a few minutes of the news updates before we left.

Then, I looked at my Facebook news feed. People updating their statuses with things like, "I have no words", and "Speechless".

Well, I, for one, am not speechless.

Today is not the day to debate gun control. Yesterday was.

How many more children have to die before we get serious about regulating guns in the United States? How many more mass shootings? Isn't this like the second one this month? Where are we, Somalia?

Anyone who tells you that to debate gun control so soon after a mass shooting of children is disrespectful to the victims is full of shit. It's a complete disregard of the lives of those eighteen children and the eight adults who were killed, and their families who are left behind to pick up the pieces, if we DON'T start talking about gun control. Right fucking now.

The reports I've seen have said that the gunman had two handguns. He most likely obtained those handguns legally.

So, legal handguns are okay, right?

Of course, guns don't kill people. But people with mental health issues who can obtain handguns legally - yeah, they kill people. If we take the handguns out of the equation, what could this guy have done - bludgeon twenty children to death with a salami?

Oh, and don't forget - if all those kids and teachers had had handguns, all obtained legally, of course, then they could have stopped him.

You can't solve the problem of violence with violence.

Fuck your moments of silence, your concerts to raise money, your stupid fucking awareness t-shirts and plastic rubber made-in-China bracelets.

How about some meaningful legislation to stop this kind of thing from happening?

How about some people just shut the fuck up about their "right" to own guns and let someone else talk for a little while.

Most of all, I would like to see the lives of those eighteen children avenged with the dismantling and banishment of the NRA. Forever.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

My Weekly Blog?

Ugh, yes. Once again, things are just slightly above controlled chaos around here, so I haven't been able to do much on this blog. But tonight, I had the idea to try to photograph a couple of things, so here goes...

Many, many years ago, these little glass Ecospheres were popular. The Nature Company sold them, as did some other high-end specialty catalogs like Wireless. (Is Wireless even around anymore?)

Anyway, eighteen years ago, the first Christmas that Tom and I were dating, t his Ecosphere was a Christmas present to Tom from his parents. Inside was a whole little community of snails and shrimp. The idea was that when you put the sealed glass sphere in indirect sunlight, it would grow algae and thus be a self-containing ecosystem that would support these little life forms indefinitely.

Well, about three weeks in, all of the snails died, and all of the shrimp followed - except for one, tiny, bright red shrimp. Believe it or not, that last little shrimp is still alive.

After eighteen years.

It lives by itself (we can't tell if it's a he or a she), presumably living off the algae that grows on the sides of the glass sphere. Every once in a while, we give the ball a gentle turn to see if the shrimp is moving, and if it's still alive.

That little shrimp has moved with us up from New Jersey to Cadyville; from Cadyville to Lake Placid; from Lake Placid to our first house in Jay; and then, finally, to our current house in Jay, where it's been living either on top of the refrigerator or on one of the shelves near the big kitchen window.

Every once in a while, Tom looks it, gives it a gentle turn, sees the shrimp swimming around, and shakes his head. "What a lonely existence," he says.

It's true. That little shrimp has been by itself for almost two decades. Does it miss the other shrimp? Does it pine for some companionship?

On the surface, it seems like a perfectly happy little shrimp, subsisting on the algae that grows on the glass walls of the Ecosphere...

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

The Leap

Leap, and the net will appear - and all that jazz, right?

Most of you know that I've been an admirer and inspired by the amazing beadwork of Marcia DeCoster. Her explorations of right-angle weave and its uses in creating unique jewelry forms continually amaze me, so this morning, I decided to take the leap - and submit my application to be a student in her 2013 Bead & Button Master Class.

I've taken a lot of beading classes, and read a lot of beading books (including Marcia's fabulous Beaded Opulence), but being able to learn in-person from a master bead artist? That's just something that I think I owe myself, as an artist.

It's going to be a huge expense/investment for me and Tom. The class fee alone is over $1,000, and then I still have to come up with airfare, hotel room, meals, transportation, etc. But I can do it. I'm resourceful. And really, how often am I going to have a chance to study with someone like Marcia?

Of course, getting into the class is something else entirely. There's a huge demand for this kind of class, and only a few spots, so applicants are selected through a lottery. Still, it's worth trying. So this morning, I wrote out my application, included my deposit, and put it in the mail after dropping Colden off at school.

And now, speaking of beading, I have to go bead up a little baby spike and cylinder bead prayer vessel for next week's Beading Daily...

Monday, December 03, 2012


We had a rough weekend. It started on Friday night when Colden just would not go to sleep, no matter what we did. I was exhausted to begin with, and it was like he just *knew* that I was running on empty. He came into our room around 10:30 and said, "Mommy, I pooped, and my butt hurts!" Tom was out like a light, so I got up and got Colden cleaned up, thinking that maybe now he would FINALLY go to sleep.

It didn't quite work. He wanted to stay up and play, and I couldn't keep him in his room for anything. Desperate to close my eyes, I told him he could play quietly with the iPad for a little while. Well, at 12:30, he came into our room and asked me to download a new game for him.

Tom got up and took the iPad away, which led to our overtired kid having a complete meltdown. While Tom stoked the fire in the wood stove, I cuddled up with my sobbing, exhausted kid and massaged his back and his feet until he fell asleep. But I was too tired to move, and I shut my eyes against his warm little body.

Next thing I know, it's 6:00 a.m., and Colden is wide awake and rarin' to go.

We went to Plattsburgh to do some shopping, and I felt awful the whole time. Lightheaded and dizzy, like I could just have tucked my head down and fallen asleep at any moment.

I had a light lunch, and then threw some soup on to cook so Colden and I could go see the tree lighting at the park in AuSable Forks.

Well, I should have had more for lunch, and a nap, because between the cold (it was only about 19 degrees), the hunger, and the lack of sleep, I found that I couldn't stand up for more than a minute or two without feeling seriously like I was going to pass out right there. I had to lean against the traffic signal post to steady myself while I tried to keep my eyes open. I tried to get Colden back to the car, but he burst out crying that he didn't want to miss the tree lighting.

So, I stayed.

They finally lit the tree - 45 minutes late - and we got to see Santa, and then we had to wait another 15 minutes just to get out of the parking lot. By then, the cold and the low blood sugar and the exhaustion led me to have a full-on panic attack in the car.

Somehow, I got us both home. Colden fell asleep in the car, and I was literally too weak to carry him inside. Tom brought him inside for me, and then I tried to get us settled down with a big bowl of homemade soup.

Colden didn't want any soup, but he certainly wanted to go to sleep. So, after a snack of peanut butter and jelly, he got into his pajamas and fell asleep almost instantly.

I went to yoga class the next afternoon. It was a little more physically intense than I had expected - I had a hard time coming out of the forward bends. I would stand up and get so dizzy that it felt as though I was going to completely lose my balance and fall sideways. Instead of feeling elated, strong, and refreshed the way I had the previous week, I came home feeling weak, shaky, and panicky.

The panicky feeling lasted all night and into the morning, even after a high-protein breakfast. (I thought that maybe I just had some low blood sugar stuff going on.) And I must have been exerting myself more than usual, because every single muscle in my body just aches today. Even the muscles in my side where we stretched them out in the side angle stretch are sore to the touch.

Today, it just felt like I couldn't do anything right. I couldn't concentrate. I had no focus. I'm amazed I managed to get myself organized enough to get to the post office after lunch.

I think I screwed something up with an old friend of mine, and it makes me feel terrible to think about it. I keep trying to not beat myself up over it, but there it is, as usual: me, screwing up again. Seriously, sometimes I think I have a social disorder or something. It makes me feel terrible, because I don't have the intention of doing these stupid things. I just lose my focus for one tiny second, and then I think, oh, man, that really wasn't a good idea... And to make me feel even worse about it, it's someone that I care deeply about.

I know that sometimes I go too far into myself, and then it's hard for me to come out and connect with people again. When someone points it out to me, I feel silly - I mean, it's just beads, right? Do I just need to lighten up a bit these days? Why am I feeling so dark? Is it the lack of sunlight?

I'm starting to think that something frivolous and self-pampering is in order this week. Like a manicure and a cupcake.

Until then, there are things to do...