Midday Coffee Break

What’s up?

In case you missed it on Facebook, our Hillary won her primary race for Lehigh County Commissioner (District 5). You go, mujer!

In other election news coverage, the residents of California voted down five of six ballot initiatives meant to address a steep budget shortfall and deficit, according to CNN. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has said if the measures fail, California’s deficit will balloon to $21.3 billion and he will have to make even more drastic cuts in education, health care and even release prisoners. Yikes.

Also in CNN: New Hampshire has come closer to signing a same-sex marriage bill now that the state legislature is adding language to protect religious organizations and individuals.

Oprah Winfrey recently interviewed two extraordinary single fathers. When I first saw the headline, I rolled my eyes thinking single mothers have had to juggle children and work for eons. Why is this news? But these men are seriously extraordinary, including a widower-ed father of nine who also works as a full-time corporate attorney and another widower who not only cared for a newborn when his wife unexpectedly died but also created a foundation in her name to help other parents in his position. Very cool.

Also in Oprah: A New York City screenwriter and producer wrote about the eight most annoying questions she has received about her adopted daughters from China. I was appalled at the rudeness of these questions like “What did they cost you?” and “Do they speak English?” Rude, rude, rude.

What else is in the news? What’s up with you?


55 thoughts on “Midday Coffee Break

  1. Hillary

    ran unopposed for the Democratic ticket – this was the primary. That said, her accomplishment is great in that she got over 1,700 people to vote for her anyway! Woot!!! Onwards and upwards to November!

    Just returned from the end-of-year picnic for Sam’s preschool. He “graduated” last week and can’t wait for kindergarten.

    Sally is feigning another injury – this time her foot. Whatever. I do need to search the archives here for that Placebo for kids – she’s the perfect candidate for such a thing!

    Waiting for my friend JennyClaire to post an intro diary…Jen?!?

  2. Hilarity

    since we are boss-less today we decided to treat ourselves to a nice, expensive sit down lunch. Sometimes you just gotta have fun. SO we’re sitting outside (like Jenna said earlier, it’s fricking amazing out here today!) and I wind up getting smacked in the head with a patio umbrella! They comped our whole lunch (over $90) for the trouble. Hilarious.

  3. I knew about Matt Logelin

    Our handyman (does odd jobs around the house for a reasonable hourly rate) recently lost his wife unexpectedly. She was sick with an infection, went to the ER, got sent home, got sicker, went back, and died, just like that. They have two boys 6 and 8. It was completely shocking.

    BlogHer ran ads for he Liz Logelin Foundation and when I saw it on my blog, we called our handyman and he contacted them for financial help. I haven’t followed up to see what the result was, but I was so happy to see that there was an organization to help him!

  4. Blergh

    The CA budget is a disaster.

    Here are my proposals:

    Release those held on non-violent marijuana crimes, legalize pot in CA and tax the hell out of it (nearly a 30% tax in Oakland).

    Legalize same-sex marriage and reap the financial rewards of extra licenses and weddings.

    Stop cutting MediCal and IHSS funding.  Stop it, stop it, stop it.

    Oh, and is the guy on Oprah the guy whose wife was named Liz?  I read a lot of his blog when Jules was in the hospital.  Fantastic guy.

    • Yup, same guy…

      Mara knew of him, too. What a small world. I hope the Oprah interview brings in more resources for his foundation.

      also, ITA with your proposals to make up for the budget shortfall. I would also add getting rid of the 2/3 vote so we can actually have a budget to begin with. Can legislators do their jobs please? Jeez.

  5. I mentioned last week

    about electives being cut at DD1’s high school because of budget issues.  Today we found out that the orchestra program at DD2’s middle school is being eliminated.  She plays viola, and adores the teacher.  I hope whatever central office weenie made that decision is happy to have made a 12 year old girl cry.

    grumble, grumble

  6. I AM ESTATIC!!!!!!!!!

    My daughter, Cassandra( Cassie) Smith, got 4 awards today from Contra Costa Times for journalism!  She won first place for best feature stories, first place for best high school newspaper and the paper won 2 other awards. THEY SWEPT the awards!!

    I am so incredibly proud I can barely breathe.


    • Congratulations, Melinda and Cassie!

      So remind me again of why she is not going to that stellar journalism school in Boston? :)


      What wonderful news, Melinda.

    • YAY!

      What awesome news!  Congrats to her and the paper and you!  That is so cool.  I remember high school newspaper (vicariously through DB2)  as something that was a fantastic learning experience, huge amounts of time, and usually little recognition.  I’m so glad she’s getting the accolades!

    • Great NEWS, literally …ha ha

      That’s terrific about Cassie’s accomplishments.   The high school papers are amazing in our district.  I am constantly impressed by what Acalanes  newspaper publishes.  

      Congrats to Cassie!  I can imagine how you must feel, so exciting!

    • thanks everyone…

      this award ceremony was particularly delicious given what cassie had to battle with Miramonte’s high school principal.  he refused to talk to the editors AND tried to squash several important stories.  her advisor was a journalist (graduated from BU) and advised cassie of her legal rights.  cass never backed down yet still protected her sources. believe me the first thing they did was head into the principal’s office to show him the 4 awards.

      cassie’s article on racism in orinda was cited by the presenter as an excellent example of letting the facts tell the story rather than the writer.

      thanks for the kudos…passing them all to cass.

      • props to the advisor

        As we here at MT know, BU is a superlative school for journalism! 😉

        But really good for Cassie – I speak from experience when I say that it is so hard not to be intimidated when you’re a student and working a student publication. There is such pressure to deny legal rights to students, and journalists as well. I’m glad that she stuck to her guns and had good support!

        • BU…

          Cassie thinks she wants to do International Relations…but I don’t know.  She’s got the journalism bug big time…What was great about this experience is she has always been viewed as “nice” and a tad shy.  What she learned is that she is a really good leader…and can be one tough 5’2″ ball of determination.

          Her teacher IS awesome…but then what else?  BU journalism graduate.  BTW, Rachel she worked as a journalist in London.

          • with the understanding that

            unsolicited advice is rarely appreciated or necessary, I would say that if Cassie enjoys journalism, great, but she shouldn’t change her major. All the things that can’t be learned on the job, or in experiences such as she’s already been through, can be covered in a minor, seriously. With all respect to the professors whose classes I enjoyed at BU’s College of Communication, if I had to do it over again, I would have kept my political science major, dropped journalism to a minor and done economics as my second major.

            But that’s just my unsolicited two cents, based on my admiration for what Cassie’s already accomplished!

            • thanks rachel…

              interesting as she loves economics and languages which is what is needed along with poly sci for international relations.  i agree with you about journalism as a minor.  i think she is going to be very pleased at UCLA.

          • the curse of “nice”

            Well, I can only imagine that this experience shows how much other peeps needing her to “be nice” is really worth.  Pffftt to that.

            And funny, I pictured you and your daughter as quite tall, like 5’9″-ers. Don’t know why.

    • Veggie spring rolls?

      You get rice paper, vermicelli noodles, shredded carrots,  cilantro & lettuce.  Cook noodles and cool.  Chop lettuce, cilantro and add shredded carrots.  Dip rice paper in very hot water til soft.  In middle of rice paper sheet put some noodles and some of the green mixture.  fold in the edges of the circle and then roll up the rest.  Cover with a damp cloth so they don’t dry out.  Serve with hoisin sauce with peanuts optional.  You can also add tofu to the rolls.

    • couscous?

      You can make it with vegetable bullion to make it flavorful, and add anything you like: olives, dried cranberries / apricots / cherries, avocado, tomatoes, peppers, celery, feta, green onion, herbs…. The list is endless and room temp is fine.

    • I have a good three-rice salad recipe

      wild, basmati and brown rice, with pumpkin, dried cranberries and a few other goodies. Want that?

      Felafel is good, too… Or puff pastry squares filled with cheese and or veg, if you’re looking for a quick-and-easy recipe.

  7. Wild rice salad

    with grapes and pecans and golden raisins (or other dried fruit) and scallions. Make a citrus dressing or one with a nice balsamic vinegar. You’ll have none left.

  8. kids books on death.

    I need some recommendations for good books on death for a 4 year old.  I’ve got two family members ailing pretty seriously, and I have NO idea how to address it with DD.  HELP!

    • Lifetimes

      Lifetimes, A Beautiful Way to Explain Death to Children.  Best book hands down; recommended by our children’s librarian when my mom was dying a few years ago.  We still use the concepts the way that book framed them.  Suitable for anyone, does not require a specific belief system.  

      If an elderly person is dying, Tomie de Paola’s ‘Nana Upstairs Nana Downstairs’ is good.  More of a story book, about the death of a little boy’s great grandma.  Very useful to help a child who is now worried that everybody “old” (which covers a lot of ground) is on the brink of death.

Leave a Reply