Thursday Open Thread

As you know, I was able to take part in the Rally to Restore Sanity with my daughter Karina, on October 30, 2010. It truly was such an amazing experience and I am so grateful that we were able to experience such a historic event together.

We arrived in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, and were greeted by my friend, Josh – who, by the way, was such an amazing host! The night before the rally, we managed to make our way to the site of the event and caught sight of the stage! It was all VERY EXCITING!!

We bumped into a few people from all over the United States! But I think that Karina and I came in from the furthest! California!! :-) There was even a couple there that was planning on braving the cold and sleeping on a bench to stake their claim closest to the stage. I wonder if they made it through the night?

The next morning, Karina, Josh, and I, went to the Human Rights Campaign and volunteered for couple of hours. It was Karina’s first time doing phone banking and I think she was a natural.

Then, we headed to the rally.

There was a sea of people. Easily over 200,000! We all carried signs. I love the one Josh made for Karina – she got A LOT of attention, and was even interviewed by the media!

But for me, my favorite moment – BY FAR- was the PEACE TRAIN, CRAZY TRAIN, LOVE TRAIN, moment. Talk about a tear fest. For those of you who weren’t there, or who only heard of it but didn’t see it – here it is:

Of course, nothing beats watching it live, and in person.

As well as Jon Stewart’s amazing speech:


Thursday Open Thread

Happy Thursday!

There is a little story I want to share with you. Karina wants to go to the Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert rally and march in Washington, D.C. on October 30th. Unfortunately, I’m still on disability and unable to afford making such a trip and I told Karina, “Jon Stewart didn’t really give us much of a heads up when he announced this rally!!”

But, I did make a phone call to my friend Josh, who works for the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, an organization that is working to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in Washington, D.C., and asked if he was going to the rally? Once he replied in the affirmative, we started talking Karina going on her own with Josh being her temporary guardian and tour guide. He said that he would take care of room and board, all I had to do was get her there. But…how do I get her there???

I sent out the following letter to some family, friends and co-workers…

Dear friends,

My daughter, Karina, had the misfortune of celebrating her “super sweet 16th birthday” while I was out on disability, which means that I couldn’t spoil her the way I wanted or the way that she deserved.

Karina is not like most teenagers. She doesn’t ask for materialistic things, like a car, designer clothing or the latest electronic gizmos. No, my daughter asks for things like meeting gay activist Cleve Jones (which she did thanks to my friend Tanner Efinger).

Her latest request is the chance to go to Washington, D.C. to take part in Jon Stewart’s Rally to Restore Sanity on October 30th. My friend, Josh Tjaden, will look out for Karina while she is in D.C., but I need help getting her there. Will you please help me make this happen?

You can make your donation here.

If you are so inclined, you can help make my baby girl’s dream come true. She doesn’t ask for much, just to be politically active. My daughter will be a political philanthropist yet!

What else is going on?


Tuesday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

The recession is having an impact even on Wal-Mart. According to MSN Money, foot traffic at U.S. stores fell slightly as customers grappled with unemployment and less money to make purchases.

Attention Bay Area moms: a Chilean friend of mine — our Poppygirl’s husband — just created a website to help Chileans in the aftermath of the earthquake. It is a place for people in the Bay Area to host events to help the people of Chile.  

Laurie Puhn over at the Expecting Words blog doled out tips on how to save money on maternity clothes. Where did you buy or acquire your maternity wardrobe?

US News & World Report ran a profile of a mother and sociologist who doled out these two tips to increase parents’ happiness: eat dinner together as a family and change your morning routine to avoid conflict.

As our Katy over at Non-Toxic Kids pointed out, the Senate and House will be holding hearings to possibly reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which regulates the introduction of new or already existing chemicals. The law has not been updated since 1976.

In case you missed it, D.C. now allows same-sex marriage, according to CNN.

In disappointing news: the Catholic Archdiocese in Denver just barred the child of lesbian parents from attending a Catholic school, according to Pam’s House Blend blog. I was heartened to read of the many Catholic protesters on the ground in Denver and Boulder condemning this decision, which was clearly motivated by prejudice. After all, the church is not expelling the students whose parents have fornicated, been divorced, practiced birth control, committed adultery — all which go against church teachings, too. I pray the progressive Catholics on the ground keep the heat on Father Bill and the archdiocese.

In somewhat related news: the moms over at Mamapedia recently doled out tips on how to get your 6-year-old to sit still in church, or at least “enrich” the experience for her. Of course, many of the moms said there is no way to get a 6-year-old to sit through a sermon. What do you think?

Also, did any of you catch movie critic Roger Ebert on the Oprah Winfrey Show last week? My husband and I were in awe at how technology has evolved to help him sound like himself. Ebert had his thyroid, salivary glands and jaw removed due to cancer four years ago. He hasn’t been able to speak without the aid of a computer. A company in Scotland developed a program that helps him speak — and sound — like his old self. Amazing.

Alice in Wonderland, starring Johnny Depp, earned a $116.3 million in its opening weekend — a record for a movie in 3-D, according to the Associated Press. Will you watch it?

Hybrid Mom magazine had a video trailer of the upcoming movie Motherhood, starring Uma Thurman and Minnie Driver, that made me smile.  

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


Friday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

My husband donated to Partners in Health thanks to this New York Times editorial written by one Tracy Kidder. I was proud to tell him that we have discussed Kidder’s book, Mountains Beyond Mountains, here and here. I was also thrilled to see Kidder play a bigger role in Paul Farmer’s organization Partners in Health and write so articulately about Haiti for the Times.

Education Week just came out with its annual ranking of states based on the quality of their schools. Here is the Washington Post’s take on Maryland topping the list with a B+ and D.C. embarrassingly appearing at the bottom at No. 51.

The fertility doctor who helped Nadya Suleman conceive octuplets has been formally accused of negligence and violation of professional guidelines by the California Medical Board, according to the Associated Press.

Laurie Puhn over at the Expecting Words blog wrote about the research surrounding birth order. Apparently there is truth to the dependable older child and risk-taking younger sibling.

In case you missed it, R&B singer Teddy Pendergrass died of colon cancer at the age of 59, according to the Washington Post.

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