Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Overheard at the Baseball Game...

LegalMist's Son (LMS): That little kid is stealing that bat!

LegalMist's Husband (LMH): The one over there with the helmet on?

LMS: Yeah, him! Why is he taking the bat?!?!

LMH: He's supposed to. He's the bat boy!

LMS: What's a bat boy...?

LMH: He's Batman's son, of course.

LMS: Dad! You're an idiot!! [Looks at me] Is that true, Mom, is he really Batman's son?

Me: Oh, absolutely... Batman's son....

[After all, the parenting magazines do say you should back up your spouse when your kids are questioning their authority...]

* * * * * *

He'll be the only kid in his class who knows *this* particular fact....

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Funny Story...

... because I need a break from worrying. (I hope I haven't already posted this one. I really don't remember and I'm too lazy to go look.)

When my daughter was younger, five or so maybe, we were driving in the car one day and she asked, "Mommy, what is that little light?"

"What light, hon?"

"That one there" (pointing at the dashboard).

"Oh, that blinking one? That's the turn signal indicator. It tells me that I've got my turn signal on outside, so people know I'm planning to turn right up here."


... a bit later ...


"What, hon?"

"How come Daddy doesn't have those little lights in his car?"

* * * *

I found this information verrrry interesting.... !

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Earthquakes and Tsunamis, reprise

So after the earthquake, there was the tsunami. Neither got to my uncle's family or house. But both got to the Fukushima Daiitchi nuclear power plant.

And now, there's the threat of a nuclear meltdown. I've watched it for the past few days, through explosions, failed attempts at cooling, apparent turning of the tides and cooling, and more explosions.... Sometimes I worry. Other times, I read things that ease my mind.

Tonight, I am worried, after reports that the workers have been told to evacuate the area of the plant. If the workers aren't even staying, what is to prevent a total meltdown? Will the containment structure hold? For how long?

They live about 100 miles from the troubled nuclear plant. Depending on wind conditions and topography, that may or may not be far enough away to escape the worst of the radioactive fallout if there is a meltdown and a failure of the containment structure at the plant.

My mom (his sister) emailed my uncle to invite him and his family to come to the U.S. for a vacation, sort of let this thing blow over, as it were, and if nuclear disaster is averted and his hometown is spared, he could always return home later.

He emailed back, stating his youngest son does not have a passport because his wife "neglected to mail in the paperwork." Not "because I failed to mail in the paperwork." No, it's the wife's fault.

And then, despite my worry, I find myself annoyed with my uncle, even somewhat angry at him on behalf of my aunt. Why is he incapable of admitting that BOTH he and his wife neglected to mail in the paperwork? Why is it solely "her fault"?

If he asked her to do it and she didn't, then he has two choices -- do it himself, or accept at least part of the blame that it isn't done.

Even if he asked her to mail it and didn't know she didn't mail it (absent an outright lie, of course), it's still at least partly his responsibility. He didn't find it important enough to follow up, to make sure it happened. He can't blame her for not making it a top priority if he didn't do so either, right?

If it's important, and you want it done, you make sure it happens.

If you weren't worried about it, then you don't get to blame the other person for "neglecting" it. You simply admit that neither of you got around to it, and you set about solving the problem.

And then I am annoyed with myself for being angry on her behalf. It's her marriage; her choice to be annoyed with him or not. It's not my place, not my business.

Probably says more about my own issues than about theirs....

And then I'm back to my worrying. As annoying as it is that he's placing blame instead of problem-solving, he's still my uncle, and I still want him and my aunt and cousins to be safe.

* * * * *

Anger (annoyance) is an easier emotion to handle than fear. That's probably why I ran there so quickly.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Earthquakes and Tsunamis

I have an uncle who lives, with his wife and two kids (one now at the University), in Japan, about 20 miles or so from Tokyo. So when I awoke this morning to stories of a huge earthquake off the coast of Japan and tsunami waves causing massive destruction along some coastal areas, I was worried.

After a couple of hours of searching the internet, I found a couple of news reports and a blog about my uncle's town. It appears that the area where he lives was hit pretty hard, but not devastatingly so. There are lots of broken windows, shelves toppled in stores, many buildings damaged and some ruined, bridges damaged, some roads probably impassable, and of course there were power outages -- but it appears, thankfully, the area was not one of the worst hit. Most buildings remained standing, as far as I can tell. It is far enough inland that I think they won't have any tsunami waves. I am so thankful that it appears they will be ok.

Interesting, isn't it? I woke this morning to terrible news of a huge earthquake and tsunami across the world and immediately began to worry about my family there. Within a very short time, though, I was able to find information on the internet that, at least for now, is easing my worries. I love the internet!

Here is a link to Google's person finder, in case you, too, have friends or relatives currently in the area hit by the earthquake or tsunamis in Japan:

* * * * *

On a lighter note, it appears the tsunami has not caused widespread damage in Hawaii, and the warnings for the western U.S. have been downgraded to tsunami watches in most areas.

And so I am reminded of my one personal experience with a tsunami warning -- click here to read about it, and scroll down to number 1 in the list.

* * * * *

Update: just before I hit "post," I got word from my uncle in Japan -- he and his family are fine; their house is fine; the city is damaged but not destroyed. Telephones -- another miracle of modern life!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Regarding Same-Sex Marriage

One of those facebook blurbs caught my eye and I thought I'd post it here, too:

So, let me get this straight . . . Charlie Sheen can make a "porn family," Kelsey Grammer can end a 15 year marriage over the phone, Larry King can be on divorce #9, Britney Spears had a 55 hour marriage, Jesse James and Tiger Woods, while married, were having sex with EVERYONE. Yet, allowing same-sex marriage is going to destroy the institution of marriage? Really?

Re-post if you are proud to support equal rights.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Some Things I Just Don't Understand

I'm sure no one could have missed the latest headlines about Charlie Sheen's drinking problems, alleged abusive behavior, rehab issues, and off-the-wall remarks and rants about his co-stars in Two and a Half Men, the studio & network execs, writers, producers, etc., in which he calls many of them losers and complains about them trying to control his life, and so forth.

In response to Charlie's off-screen antics, the network cancelled the remainder of the season of Two and a Half Men. (No huge loss for mankind, really. The show has some funny lines, but it has no redeeming social value whatsoever and it's a typical, predictable sit-com. Of course, like Nip/Tuck, something about that total lack of social value is part of its charm for me!)

Sheen has been acting like a jerk, probably drinking too much, and now, he's literally ranting. He sounds nuts when you listen to him. But he has a point.

Have any of you actually watched Two and a Half Men?

For those who have missed it, it's about a 40-something extremely wealthy guy named Charlie who lives in Malibu and doesn't have to work much for his money and therefore spends most of his time drinking, partying, and seducing a different woman each night, and sometimes more than one a day. His divorced, down-on-his luck younger brother (Alan) moved in with him, and Alan's son lives with them part-time, too, as part of the custody arrangements. Charlie is pretty decent to the kid, if not exactly a great role model.

The star of the show is Charlie Sheen (his stage name - birth name is Carlos Estevez), a 40-something extremely wealthy guy who lives in California and doesn't have to work much for his money and therefore spends most of his time drinking, partying, and sleeping with women. He has kids, and he's pretty decent to them, although he's not exactly a great role model. Sound familiar?*

In other words, Charlie Sheen basically plays himself in the show.

How is it that the show's producers and network executives are offended when their star acts like the show's character off-stage? I mean, if the show were about a kindly priest, I could understand how Charlie's off-screen antics might offend some viewers.

But, hello? Is anyone who watches the show actually offended by Charlie's alcoholism or drunken rants? I doubt it.... so leave the guy alone. Let him be a drunken idiot if he wants to be. I mean, I don't condone the behavior, and if I were his ex-wives, I'd be seeking sole custody of the kids, but hey, I'm not his ex-wife and I never have to interact with him and so I really don't care if he acts like a jerk off stage!

And as long as he's doing his job (and most accounts said he was), why should his bosses care if he acts like a jerk in his off hours? Heck, they've scripted the jerk for his work hours. Maybe they should just follow him around during his off hours with a camera and save some production costs!

Another thing I found ironic is everyone's gushing about how "talented" Charlie Sheen is, as evidenced by the show's popularity. I'm not saying Charlie isn't talented (even if I thought it, I wouldn't say it, because I'd hate to get sued by a multi-millionaire), but I will say I don't see how his performance on the show Two and a Half Men proves he's talented. He's basically playing himself, isn't he? How does that demonstrate acting talent?

Just my two cents. What do you think?

* Footnote 1: I don't think Sheen has a divorced, down-on-his-luck younger brother or nephew living with him, though. Last I heard Emilio Estevez, Charlie's older brother, was doing just fine, as was his other brother Ramon. And the on-screen Charlie has no kids of his own (at least none that he knows of or recognizes as his). So the analogy is not exact. But still, the character on the show is basically a slightly more articulate and cleaned-up-for-tv version of the real life immature party-boy.