Sunday, August 1, 2010

Mullet Over

For anyone reading this who has not heard, Target and Best Buy have used their newly found right to political speech in the form of campaign contributions to a homophobic gubernatorial candidate in their home state of Minnesota. This does not sit well with me for numerous reasons, but the one that has me boycotting both stores is the hating on gay people. Ick.

Both corporations claim that by supporting Re. Tom Emmer, they are supporting the pro-business part of his platform. Apparently, after the election Emmer will be split into pieces and only the corporate sponsored bits will get to play governor. All joking aside, the wanton disavowal of social responsibility that is inherent in such a statement really rankles. Why is that? And then it hit me:

It is a mullet.

Target and Best Buy are all about their business up front, but they don't see any reason to give up the gay-bashing party in the back. They can tuck the ponytail into their collars for press conferences, but they aren't fooling anyone. If they say, "It's not really a ~real~ mullet," then we take a look at the company they keep.

And this Emmer guy, he is all about the mullet. Respectable talk about tradition and love of family in the front with a big (and I suspect permed) fear/hatred of gay people in the back. Given that this guy's "Social Values" statement on his website deals entirely with other people's bedrooms and weddings, he's not even trying to fool anybody. Target and Best Buy are either slicked back party dudes or they are terminally stupid. I suspect it's some of both.

It was big news when Iran banned mullets. (Really?! Whatever.) Red-blooded Americans everywhere are welcome to wear mullets with pride. Enjoy those mullets! Defend them! But remember, Target and Best Buy, as much as you love that mullet, and as cool as it seems to you, a whole lot of the rest of the world thinks it's tacky. Really tacky.

I'm steering clear of that mess. Because, when it comes right down to it, I choose to party with a classier crowd.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day 2010

This Mother's Day, I am especially grateful to be a mother. Not that I really took this motherhood thing for granted before, but this time around the day is especially sweet and oh am I grateful to wake up in the morning to big, shining blue eyes and a brilliant gap-toothed smile.

Elise was given a complete set of Little House on the Prairie books as a gift this past week, and she has been soaking in the stories at every opportunity.

Imagine my surprise to come downstairs this morning to find my girl writing a special story for me for Mother's Day. Photos above, transcript to follow:

House on the Prary
From Elise to Hether

Thar was once a famly who lived in the woods mary Lora mom dad cary susin and Jack the bulldog thay Bilt the house out of logs. (continyous on bac)

And every day thar was lots of works of all kinds. each day had its one job
monday mending
tuesday tending
Wensday washing
thursday Bakeing
Friday churning
weekens relx

the end

Love Elise

And that, in a nutshell, is the best Mother's Day of my life. So far.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Keeping up with the big news

There is not a whole lot of news here other than that we are having a good day today. I will probably not be putting much here for awhile, but for those of you who'd like some cancer updates we have a separate place for that:

Thank you for checking in, we'll be back to our regularly scheduled silliness eventually.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Hard times ahead

Hi there, family and friends. As just about all of you know by now, we've been having some tricky health issues here. Elise started limping back in February, a little more than a month later it was decided that her leg was broken, we stayed off of it, and then started physical therapy. But she just wasn't getting better. And then this weekend, she suddenly got very much worse.

Elise is now being treated for leukemia. Just like that, the very hard months behind us come into perspective, and the months ahead begin to take shape in ways that none of us anticipated or would wish. Preliminary reports indicate ALL, but we're awaiting a bunch more test results before anything specific can be told.

It is still very early in the process, but I want everyone to know that Elise is in the very best place for her care. And we love her doctor and think you will too. And we love the nurses here. If you've got to be a kid with leukemia, you want to be right where we are at this moment. For me, the thing that really says it all is the way each new shift of nurses conversationally asks us where we're from. As in, "How far have you had to travel to get your beautiful little girl into care at this facility." We are so lucky to be local.

Until we have a more clear diagnosis, (we are learning that there are a lot of different shades of this disease), we won't really know what treatment will look like. For now, Dr. Judy (I told you I love her) tells us to anticipate 6-8 months away from school and pursuing a pretty aggressive treatment. In about 3 weeks, we will be in the market for cute hats. We'll be doing less intensive therapy for 2 years after our initial course. Elise will be immune compromised for much of this time, so Beaker is shopping for a new local(ish) home and all visitors will be required to be up to date on their vaccinations. That means all seasonal flu and H1N1 as well. There will be times when we can not have visitors, but during the times that we can, we are expected to keep our social calendar full. And we're counting on all of you to help us with that. :-)

Once I have a better idea of what we are up against, I will start compiling a list of things that we will need help with. This mostly applies to local friends (it's hard to water my plants from, say, the suburbs of Paris), but right about now if you are feeling as powerless as we are there are a few things you can do.

1. Vaccinate. Elise and thousands of kids like her are counting on not dying from things like measles and whooping cough while they fight cancer. Unless it's a specific health risk to you or your child, just vaccinate. Please.

2. Give blood! Find somewhere to do this if you can. Interestingly, they don't want our blood for Elise because it is apparently counterproductive to treatment. I am so grateful to the person who donated the blood that Elise got today-it is making so many things possible for her right now, including some of the first pain-free sleep she's had in months. It is a beautiful gift.

3. Consider joining the marrow donor registry. We won't know how far Elise's treatment will take us in the coming months, but if she needs a transplant I sure do hope the marrow is out there and waiting. I've been on the registry since the mid 1990s, and once came close to being a match for someone. Andy joined a few months back, largely because it seemed like a good idea. And it is! If you can do it.

4. Elise loves silly stories, postcards, pictures, everything. She will be feeling dramatically better in about 3 days, and will really really need a break from all of the movies, video games, books, magazines and weirdo doctors. If you'd like to send something along, organize some sort of collaborative storybook or other such fun, please do! And, if you don't have our mailing address, drop me a line and I'll provide.

5. If you must research, consider the source. My preferred source of solid information is Our doctors are doing a bang-up job of detailing options and helping us access information and support. We have no need for second guessing or anger at the doctors. Again, we are very, very confident in our doctors and I'm really counting on all of our friends to help keep a positive focus on Elise.

That is about all I have in me for the moment. I'll update (Facebook, blog) as we have more information and I'm able to sit and type it out. We love you, our marvelous support network.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Healthcare Related Unfun

It took month, but the doctors finally figured out the reason our girl has been limping and wincing in pain since Valentine's Day. A hairline fracture of her femur! Yikes. Either she has a very high tolerance for pain or this is minor and will heal up now that we can actually treat her for it. I may have a rant about non-communicative doctors at some point in the future, but for now I'd rather focus on helping Elise with her freshly painted GOLD crutches.

Newspaper Fail

Andy caught this one in the Mercury News last weekend, and we just had to share. Why is this nice lady smiling about a fatal wolf attack? And are crabs really appropriate here? (This one is for you, Joe!)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Birthdays at School

Believe it or not, there were 4 birthdays in close proximity to one another in Elise's class this month. Four! So, we moms decided to do pizza and cupcakes in honor of all four, all at once. The girl whose mom made cupcakes was justifiably proud (they were delicious) so don't go trying to outdo her. Mostly because most school districts nowadays don't trust anyone to make food for their kids, and homemade anything is verboten. But very delicious. Pizza from Costco also hits the spot.