Sunday, April 29, 2007
Friday, April 27, 2007
Kevin Mercer is the general manager of a development district in Denton County and two fresh water districts for Lantana, an unincorporated development that is growing like a (very pretty) weed near Flower Mound. I profiled him for The Cross Timbers Gazette and felt pretty good about the piece. I'm not sure if the way I feel has any relationship whatsoever to the quality of the piece, but in any case, here it is in PDF.
Mercer was really nice and by all accounts, very talented, and like a lot of nice, talented people didn't really see what the big deal was about himself, and thus was not very forthcoming with his personal story of greatness. I had to call him back several times to get a clear picture, and not until after I'd been tipped off by a few other people.
This time I had one week to report and complete the piece, which is more than enough time, if all goes right and interviews can be scheduled to everyone's liking, and that was the case in this instance. But what was also the case were the things that pop up with kids--extra play dates, the pull of the children to be outside because of the spring time weather, soccer games, etc. I finished the piece right at deadline and could not come up with a headline, and so I sent this, "Lantana: At the Mercy of Mercer!"
It is not the headline that the publisher chose, fortunately, but it reminded me of the time I edited a daily faxed newsletter for Broadcasting & Cable called Cableday, and one of the writers headlined her piece something like this: "Is that a banana in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?"
Since I was merely a lowly editorial assistant, hence the late hours waiting for these news briefs so that I could FTP them out to some site that faxed them to eager Cableday readers for their morning office reads, it did not occur to me to question the headline, and it ran.
That was not the worst of my mistakes in that position, but it was the funniest.
Sunday, April 22, 2007
...can't agree with this, Jonah Goldberg.
I'm not letting Baldwin off the hook, by any means. But if you've ever been around messed up families there's a lot of blame to go around. And sometimes the people who lose their temper the most egregiously are not necessarily the ones deserving of the most blame. In the big picture, the parents are to blame. But who knows the full back story of what this kid did to drive Baldwin to be such a jerk or, rather, to express his jerkiness so forthrightly? Which of course, begs the question. What did Baldwin do to her before this that made her the way she is now? In other words there are chickens and eggs lined up far beyond the horizon and we're looking at one tiny glimpse of it all.
Again, my point isn't to defend Baldwin, merely to say that the ugliness of troubled families is difficult enough to grasp when you have a lot of information, but impossible to understand from this small and sad window on the Baldwins.
(Emphasis added.) And you do some more clarifying here, but don't back away from anything you wrote. I agree with you to the extent that this 10-second tirade against his daughter does not necessarily define Baldwin or his fathering, and that [Update: I don't know that Bassinger leaked it!]
And, it seems to me you're being morally relativistic, Jonah, by saying it's hard to understand "dysfunctional families" or "troubled families." It is hard to understand their behavior; that doesn't make their behavior OK.
On the other hand, I blog this from a fortress of my bedroom, propped up by extra pillows, when without warning at the breakfast table, I stood up, told my husband I needed to check out, grabbed the laptop and shut the door. This sort of thing from time to time helps me to avoid dysfunction.
Not that this blog is doing a corruption watch string, but I did notice this new one about a House Republican accused of using his power to enrich himself.
Republicans came to power in the 90's on an anti-corruption campaign. I firmly believe that anyone with human DNA is corruptible, regardless of whether he has a D or an R next to his name, but the party who implements legislative policies to clean up the House and Senate is the party who will be doing a great service to its nation.
Saturday, April 21, 2007
My very busy and important week is over. (I call myself busy and important, when really I'm just busy.) It started with an out-of-town wedding last weekend, ended with a birthday party for my six-year-old daughter and in the middle was congested by a couple of deadlines. Plus, the usual--dinners, lunches, soccer practices, toddler time, etc.
The moral dilemma of the week was whether to invite a couple of preschool girls that my daughter runs around with on my cul de sac for the party, and I chose not to. Two are sisters fifteen months apart and are often at each other's throats. I thought it would be tough on the little ones around bigger kids, and I knew with up to fifteen, I wouldn't be able to supervise well enough to keep the party moving.
But I hope to make amends by inviting them over for cupcakes and water sprinkler fun for my son's birthday next Sunday. I am 90% less stressed over this one, partly because I now have birthday party experience, and partly because, unless it rains, I'm not inviting anyone inside.
I have nothing of interest to post as I've not been watching the news closely, probably lucky to be busy right now. The headlines are just awful.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
About the Partial Birth Abortion Ban (WSJ $):
The Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act, by the way, provides an exemption for when the mother's life is endangered. Abortion proponents wanted a "health exception" as well, because in legal practice that has become a loophole allowing just about any abortion right up until actual birth. A doctor could consider such things as mental anxiety and even financial strain as justifying a "health exception."
If this letter to The Corner about the 1966 UT massacre is true, it shows you how much the culture has changed over the years over the issue of guns:
After all the bizarre events of the last few minutes it didn’t seem strange to me when I peeked around the office doorway to see one professor shooting a deer rifle at the top of tower while the other fed him ammunition. It never entered my mind to question why an English professor would have his deer rifle in his office complete with boxes of ammunition. This was Texas after all. Guns were commonplace.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
If it's true that men and women work the same number of hours at jobs and at home combined, then I will stop feeling so lucky about the man I scored as a husband, who shares the work pretty evenly with me--as I write this he is putting the children to bed--but this bit at the bottom of the article, is irritating:
Many women with demanding careers tell me that it is women working full-time in the market, not women overall, who work more than comparable men. This study cannot settle that question because it does not report work time separately for people with and without market jobs.Is that true? And how do those working women know? Perhaps they stayed home a while, and now that they're back at work, they're shouldering more of the at-home work than their husbands. Hmmm...Maybe I'll find out myself one day!
Friday, April 13, 2007
One wedding down. 1.5 birthdays to go. We opened family presents while away at the wedding weekend--the party is next weekend--and the entire crowd sang Happy Birthday to her during the reception. There was the slightest hint of a pleased look at the corners of her mouth.
Mostly, at six years old, she was a beautiful flower girl and quite well behaved during the chilly 50-degree ceremony, as was her almost-three-year old brother, who was finally convinced to wear the tie after seeing daddy put on his. He started banging his feet loudly together during the exchange of vows. (Well, it was loud to me right next to him.) And after I gave him a stern look, then came the whispered voice: "Mom." I ignore. "Moooooooooooooooooooom..." He then shows me how quietly he can bang his shoes together and gives me a questioning look to ask if that is OK.
This is no time for a lesson, I thought, so I accede to his wishes, while the other flower girl cries and talks and sings throughout the entire ceremony. We stayed at the reception until about 10:30, when I had to drag the toddler off the dance floor--he'd made a lot of friends and fans with his swiveling hips, but the accumulated loss of sleep for the weekend was already at five hours each. As they both of school tomorrow, I'm pushing for an early bedtime. The toddler is protesting that "da dark hasn't come out yet!"
It will come as soon as he shuts his eyes.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Via Instapundit, Howard Kurtz:
Katie Couric did a one-minute commentary last week on the joys of getting her first library card, but the thoughts were less than original. The piece was substantially lifted from a Wall Street Journal column.
CBS News apologized for the plagiarized passages yesterday and said the commentary had been written by a network producer who has since been fired.
Saturday, April 07, 2007
Well, taking a page from last week's lesson in parenting, after I pick up my daughter from her current play date, I'm going to pull out a sewing kit she got for Christmas that I had put away as soon as it got hard--something about a French knot that I couldn't master, so at the time, I distracted her with cartoons, and every time she brings it up again (though it's been a while), I distract her with something else.
The benefit of returning to this project should be two-fold: 1. project completion and 2. the lesson of tacking difficulties.
Meanwhile the $3.47 tomato cages at Lowe's did not suit my husband, so his weekend project is to create some sort of "infrared heat-seaking bird-destroying tomato protection unit." That'll show spring robins!
But before all of that happens, I first need to determine what happened to the two-year-old's underwear, which I thought was on him when we left for the store, but seems to have disappeared while we were gone.
This spring, I have decided to tackle the difficult task of sewing curtains for the children's rooms--the new big boy room and my daughter's because I am ill satisfied with the work I did for her three years ago. This will put me in extremely cranky mood once it gets under way. The crucial part is measuring and cutting the fabric. There's where I generally lose patience (early in the project) and start eyeballing and cutting madly, which makes the rest of the project not so easy either. The next most difficult part is threading the machine. For that I have to ask my husband's help because I can never remember how. In his world, a sewing machine is a power tool and he has mastered it.
As I noted in my post below, it's unseasonable chilly here, quite gray, really, so the child's sewing project, painting eggs and some cocoa ought to fit the bill, at least while Demeter still mourns Persephone's loss and bestows on us more gray then we surely deserve.
Thursday, April 05, 2007
I got nothin'. Well, nothin', that is, except for clothes shopping for the children, keeping house, settling play date disputes, dinner (and barely that), taxes (yes, we put it off), family visits, weddings to attend, trips to take (I hope), children's birthdays, worries over my spouse's job, the occasional dip into The Festering Swamp, and an excellent April Fool's joke on the leftwing blogoshpere.
You know the usual--nothin'.