Thursday, April 28, 2011

Spring at my house

my little "kitchen garden" I'm terribly pleased with it. :)
I decided I'd better take some pictures.
Luckily we remain clear of disastrous weather. Thinking about all those who are not.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Living Out Loud-

I read recently an article in Vogue about the singer Rihanna and at the very end of the article she said something that really, really struck me.

Rihanna: Living Out Loud

"people still think pop star equals role model, but it's almost impossible to walk that line. I've struggled with it and have come to the conclusion that I can only live my life for me. I definitely want to help and teach girls whenever I can, but then there is the character that I have to play in my videos to tell stories. It's art. And a lot of the parts that I play aren't necessarily what I stand for in real life. But it's hard to differentiate that sometimes."

I really get that.

I think I quit art- I never said I quit but I quit- because what I wanted to be spending my time on and what I 'ought to be' spending my time on became different. I gave into the 'ought.'
And since "quitting" I have spent nearly 14 years trying to figure out 'who' I am and what role I'm trying to play all the while denying that I quit.

Tied into that is a need for permission. I can't quite define it but I find that I just say "I can't" without thinking about it and if I really want to do something I find that I ask permission first - which puts my husband in an odd spot. He isn't denying me or wanting to say yes or no and he doesn't quite get why I ask - and he certainly doesn't ask before he does something!

I've been stirring over this for nearly three weeks.
I haven't quite decided what exactly I'm going to do about it-

but I'm trying to work out two things. One, admitting when I'm doing something because of some un-acknowledged feeling of "should" and two giving myself permission to do things I want to do.

And so, Ms. Rihanna... you may struggle with how you represent to young girls, but this middle aged woman thanks you for being honest and using words she could understand.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Wall Street Journal Today

One of the things I enjoy about traveling is the change in morning routine - instead of getting up to make the gang breakfast and pack lunches and drop off my preschooler - I getup and have a cup of coffee and read the newspaper.  I particularly like to read the Wall Street Journal -
Today on page 9 there is a very interesting opinion piece.
"Where the Tax Money Is"
the top 10% already pay 69% of all total income taxes while the top 5% already pay more than all of the other 95%
so the article argues that asking the top 10% "to pay a little more" doesn't get the Fed very far.
"in 2005 the top 5% earned over $145,000.  If you took ALL the income {not just the taxable rate, notation mine} of the people over $200,000, it would yield about 1.89 trillion, enough to revenue to cover the 2012 bill for Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security- but not the same bill in 2016, as the costs of those entitlements  are expected to grow rapidly.  The rich, in short, are not nearly rich enough to finance Mr. Obama's entitlement state ambitious-even before his health-care plan kicks in."
The article goes on to state that in 2008 most of the taxable income actually came from middle income taxpayers.
The article analyses the other forms of taxes that President Obama has proposed, the "climate revenues" the limiting of tax deductions, and "other "loopholes" such as mortgage interest rates."
"The irony is that even as Mr. Obama says he merely wants the rich to pay a little bit more, his proposals would make the tax code less progressive than it is today."

again - the above is paraphrased; because I want to share the information & because I doubt that everybody reads the Wall Street Journal.
While I have not read the budget and I certainly haven't run the numbers, I have had a very difficult time taking President Obama's speeches about that group of people at the top seriously.  I have a hard time taking it seriously when there are corporations like GE, Amazon, Google, IBM and Ford (amongst others) that don't pay taxes - what?  Yeah - we are going to squeeze it out of a small % of people "at the top" but let monstrous corporations keep their money.  Honestly - If that tiny % of people could have saved the Fed. Gov. they would have by now.
check business pundit for facts on corporations & taxes

Monday, April 18, 2011


for several days I have not written because when I try to login the interface is in Korean and despite the fact that I have blogged for years - I don't have the location of the links memorized - and I don't read Korean.  (or speak it for that matter)

Today we are going to try to head to see one of the palaces- I have been keeping notes over the past week that I am hoping to edit and post later on.  We have visited theKorean War Memorial.  We have visited the National Museum.  We have visited the DMZ.  We have visited It'aewon Market several times (my husband likes the suits)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Korea's Jikji, oldest book printed on movable type

image taken from Wikipedia and is stated to be in the public domain on that site.

In the news yesterday: France returned two shipping containers of books that had been taken from Korea in a raid 145 years ago.
This is particularly interesting because yesterday I was at the National Museum of Korea in Seoul with my husband and two of my children.  While we were there we participated in a guided tour in English (it is amazing how easy it is to get around Seoul and learn things as an English speaking person with no Korean Language.  Amazing.  But I am now more determined to go home and learn Korean so I can visit again and be less of an idiot.)  Our guide pointed out several of the highlights of the museum's permanent exhibit and the last one was the book "Jikji" (I believe is the title.)  It is believed to be the oldest book printed on movable type.
Now, I know that many of us learned that the Gutenberg Bible was the first book printed on movable type- printed by Johannes Gutenberg, published in 1452.  And there is still plenty of testimony and scholarly writing proclaiming that this is so.
The Koreans, however, disagree.
The Jikji was published in 1377.
And what does this have to do with the news regarding France's return of the old books?  Well, the book on display in the National Museum of Korea is a duplicate.  The original is still in France.
It appears that Korea has requested that it be returned multiple times and mutliple times they have been politely told no.  All the articles I found regarding yesterday's shipment mentioned books that had to do with court protocal, and I am sure they are important documents to Korean scholars and Korean history. But none of the articles mentioned the return of the Jikji, now believed to be the oldest existing book printed with movable type.
When the guide mentioned that the book in the museum was in fact a duplicate and the original was in France I rolled my eyes at my husband.
It seems to me that there was much hullabaloo in the 1980's or 1990's regarding art work that had been taken from France during WWII that had been on display in Russia.  If memory serves, France loudly demanded the return of National Treasure after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the USSR.  
Well, I did just google: Russia returns art to France, art plundered during WWII returned, and a few other  combinations and I cannot verify that any of the art taken during WWII was in fact returned.  
So maybe France made a hullabaloo and lost out.  Who is to say really?
An internet search provided many additional facts regarding movable type.
This recent article was most interesting:

'World's Oldest Movable Type' Found

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Germany Photos: Second Try

she loved the churches - she took several photos of churches and just gushed about them when she got home.  It is funny.  I grew up a military dependent and lived in Spain and Germany from the time I was 9 years old until I was almost 13 years old - so I saw lots of old fabulous churches from an era when churches had that kind of money (how they got it I never wondered about until much later).

The photos below are at one of the soccer stadiums.  Werder Bremen it says.  The kids got to watch a game there and there are pictures of the kids in front of the field.  Those are not on my daughter's camera as she was in them - always better to be in the photos - but then the kids got silly.  They were not allowed on the grass - so they took pictures of the grass and they all "touched" the grass... smart alecks!

Jeff Dominguez is organizing a CD for the kids with all the pictures of them touring and playing and so on.  I'm looking forward to seeing it.

and I'm going to link up to him down here - so if you happen to be looking into a soccer tour, or a tour of Germany, or Cloppenburg, you can look Jeff up.  Check out: The Professional Football Academy 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

She's home from Germany

So my oldest went to Germany with her soccer team and the Professional Football Academy and she came home last night.

She did bring me some photos but for some reason my iphoto on my computer isn't allowing me to see them all - we downloaded them earlier today.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Waller Mill

took the kids over to Waller Mill Park yesterday.  I love that place.  It is easy, simple, no frills outside-ness.  A couple of hiking trails, a dog park, plenty of playgrounds scattered around...

Tiger kept looking for tracks- found some deer tracks hidden among dogs & boots
We stopped for a light lunch and the boys whipped sketchbooks and pencils out of their backpacks.  Totally made my day as I hadn't asked them to pack them.  Yay!  The artist in me is so stinking proud of that moment!
We played on the playground a while and then went and dropped the books off at the car and took a long walk around the lake.  It was a great day!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Soccer Trip Update


Talked to my oldest briefly this morning - it was maybe 3 PM in Germany?
She is having a blast.
"I'm having a blast mom.  I feel like I'm fitting in.  Jeff is awesome.  We are having fun.  I said 'guten tag' this morning and Jeff the director asked if I was having a good time and I said 'Deutschland is sehr gut' and Jeff said 'look at you!'  It's awesome."

I am so very glad.  So glad.  You know, you want them to have these awesome opportunities and then you stew over all the things that could go wrong.  I am SO glad she is having such a good time.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Professional Football Academy - Euro Trip 2011

It is March 30th

Today I took my 12 year old to the parking lot of a shopping center, gave her a kiss, put her on a tour bus and cried as the bus pulled out of the parking lot.

She is headed to Amsterdam with her soccer team and Jeff Dominguez of the Professional Football Academy.

The itinerary is actually really really cool-
They fly into Amsterdam, take a bus into Germany to Cloppenburg where they will be staying.  They'll train (soccer) tomorrow afternoon, take a bus to Bremen, check out Bremen, it looks like the boys play a friendly, watch the BVC vs Drochtersen and walk out with the teams...
every day there is training and the opportunity to see another city - they play a bunch of friendly matches against various German teams-

I'm so excited that she gets to go and I'm going crazy that she is so far away!!!  I know.  Typical mom.  But cut me some slack - she's only 12.  I have had other mothers tell me I'm crazy for letting her go - but it is a well planned trip.  Germany is an awesome country.  There are 4 staff members going plus several parents so I think the adult to kid ratio is pretty good - and my daughter is a really good kid.

And of course I'm freaking out.  Because she is far away - because she isn't a player on the team she is a trainee, and not all the kids are going so she is likely to play in the matches and she is not at the same level as the other kids and its obvious - and that is embarrassing for her and possibly an issue for the other girls.

And right now they are in the air and wow its driving me nuts that I can't call her!

Anyway - because I am a nut I won't post this until later when I've heard from her -
and hopefully she'll bring home photos I can share!

Thursday March 31st-
Yay!  She texted this morning!  The flight went without incident, the bus ride was uneventful, and she is off to the field for soccer practice.