Thursday Open Thread

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Here are a few interesting stories that caught my eye, so I thought I would share…

Former First Lady Barbara Bush is recovering from a surgery where surgeons repaired a perforated ulcer. She described the pain as “worse than childbirth.”

Horrible mom/person du jour Lori Drew was found guilty of three misdemeanor offenses of accessing computers without authorization. Each count is punishable by up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine. If Drew would have been convicted of all original charges, she could have gotten 20 years!

Tina Meier, the mother of the dead girl, said Drew deserves the maximum of three years behind bars.

“For me it’s never been about vengeance,” she said. “This is about justice.”

In a bit of funny yet sad news, via Jezebel, a company is advertising a Keyboard for Blondes.

The “bubblegum pink” Keyboard for Blondes actually says things like “duh” and “oops!” if you hit backspace and makes a cash register sound when you hit the dollar sign. Instead of a “caps lock” button, there’s a “warning! size xxl letters” button; the F keys are called “useless keys.” There’s an “SOS” key: Shoes on sale. And, since math is boring, the number keys have musical notes on them. The company calls it the “perfect gift.”

Told you! Sad, ain’t it?

Sean Penn is getting Oscar buzz for his portrayal of Harvey Milk in Gus Van Sant’s movie Milk.

Gay Rights Activist. Friend. Lover. Unifier. Politician. Fighter. Icon. Inspiration. Hero. His life changed history, and his courage changed lives. In 1977, Harvey Milk was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, becoming the first openly gay man to be voted into major public office in America. His victory was not just a victory for gay rights; he forged coalitions across the political spectrum. From senior citizens to union workers, Harvey Milk changed the very nature of what it means to be a fighter for human rights and became, before his untimely death in 1978, a hero for all Americans.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see it! It opened yesterday, November 26th.

And finally, I’m going to leave you with a story about my crush, Rachel Maddow…MAN! She’s HOT!!! She recently visited Conan, where she discussed the tons of fan mail she receives from straight men asking “If I like you, does that make me a lesbian?” To which she responds, “Yes.” LOL!

She goes on to say “the single best thing about coming out of the closet [is that] No one can insult you with what you’ve just told them.” Have I mentioned that I love her?

So I’m off to enjoy this Thanksgiving day, and to pack for my much needed/wanted weekend cruise to Ensenada, Baja California. I can’t wait! What are you plans this Thanksgiving day?


Weekend Open Thread

The death toll in Burma after a vicious cyclone hit the country this past weekend could reach 60,000, the number of people reported dead or missing, according to the Washington Post.

Because the country is headed by an incompetent, despotic regime, the people are not easily receiving aid. passed around a link to donate to Burmese monks, who in turn, have been giving food and shelter to the country’s poorest people.

These People Scare Me: I was recently perusing the responses to New York Times Magazine’s green edition, when I came across this gem:

(Michael) Pollan asserts as self-evident that a small carbon footprint is always a moral good. But suppose a child is very sick and the nearest hospital is 50 miles away. You can ride a horse and the child might die, or take a helicopter and ensure the child lives. In that case, using more fossil fuel is clearly a moral good. Offering this same sort of choice, if played out less dramatically, is why the green movement may fail.

Pollan is asking for human beings to deliberately make their own lives harsher, duller, perhaps even shorter for the sake of an abstraction. Whatever your belief in the merits of cutting carbon emissions, it’s easy to see why this neo-Romantic argument may not win many converts.

Especially inane, though, is Wendell Berry’s suggestion that “specialization“ has been bad for humanity. Division of labor has allowed man to rise from savannas and caves to cities, to feed multitudes and to cure deadly disease. Specialization is precisely what will produce the experts who will ultimately figure out how to make cheap energy without fossil fuels. That process, not some Arcadian fantasy that all humanity will voluntarily regress to a semi-industrial state, is the way to a cleaner world.


Kansas City, Kan.


Other Strange Encounters: Here is another one of those quirky Berkeley Parents Network letters, although I bet this woman’s situation is not as uncommon as we’d like to think:

My husband recently had a one night stand with a woman with whom he previously (about 2 years ago) had a longer-term affair. The one night stand resulted in a pregnancy, and they’ve decided to keep the baby. The woman lives in another city so he will be parenting from afar – we also have a child together. We started marriage counseling a couple of weeks ago and, at least right now, we both think we’d like to stay together. We definitely have issues outside of this one that we need to work on, and are both committed to doing so. I’m honestly not that hung up on the affair at this point – it’s the realization that there will be another child in his life, with another woman, and that child will likely be incorporated into our family in some way, shape, and form in the future. Plus, the fact that the child will be in another city means he will probably spend time away from us, which is hard to handle. Has anyone dealt with a similar situation? This is all very fresh and new and I know my feelings will change over time (because they already have a million times in about 3 weeks!) but I need a little long-term perspective on how this situation might ever really work…thanks!

Whew. This woman sounded remarkably calm for what her husband did. Can’t wait for the responses…

Leaving Foster Care: The Washington Post followed around this remarkable young woman as she was leaving the foster care system. At 21-years-old, Marie Willis is learning to live on her own, and is handling it with such aplomb.

What else is in the news? What is on your minds today? Have a good weekend all!


Weekend Open Thread

For the first time in nine months, I feel rested. My parents have been awesome, entertaining the kids while DH and I take naps or even go out — alone — which hardly ever happens in California. I can understand why someone would move closer to home post children.

If only I could get my father to quit smoking and my mother eating healthier…There is always a flip side, eh? But overall, the trip has been great.

I have spent a lot of time with my grandmother upstairs. She looks wonderful. She has always looked young for her age, does not have a hint of a wrinkle and hardly any grey hair. But she is definitely forgetful and painfully aware of it, which is the hard part. She can’t remember the recipe for dishes and must lean on others to cook for her. Also, she forgets from one day to the next whether someone has called or told her something. It has been sweet to see her hold Eli — Eli adores her, too, BTW! — and in that sense this trip has been worth it.

How are you spending your holidays, MotherTalkers?

Now for some celebrity gossip from — People magazine!

Sean Penn and Robin Wright Divorcing: Actor Sean Penn and his wife of 11 years, Robin Wright Penn, are divorcing. No additional details of the breakup were provided.

On Paris Hilton’s Inheritance: Paris Hilton’s grandfather, Barron Hilton, just earmarked 97 percent of his heirs’ inheritance for charity, leaving the remaining three percent to his children and grandchildren. Paris’s share would be $5 million, which is $95 million less if her grandfather had passed on the money to her rather than given it away.

I am sure Paris will be just fine with royalties from her sex video.  

Where are the Celebs on New Year’s?: People gave the lowdown on who was going to be where on New Year’s. Kanye West, Pink, Mary J. Blige, Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Avril Lavigne, Lil’ Jon will either host parties or perform in them in Las Vegas.

Ashlee Simpson, Eve and Mandy Moore will hit the scene in Miami.

Kid Rock will host a party in New York City, while Carrie Underwood performs in Times Square.

Where will you be on New Year’s, MotherTalkers?