Home School 101?

By | Life, Politics, Technology or Nerd Central, Women | No Comments

Well SO much has happened since my last post. I mean I think I saw at least 40 movies in that time and the amount of TV I am embarrassed to say. But mostly it has been LIFE going on. So many changes. Firstly, I am now homeschooling my oldest son. That has been a HUGE change. It has mostly been great though. I was super worried about it because I am NOT a teacher. I have tremendous respect for them and what they do but I had no idea how I was going to do any of that. Curriculum planning and all that was simply terrifying to me. But I ran into a situation with my son where he was not getting what he needed from school. The teacher was not equipped to deal with a child who has Aspergers and so I decided to take on that task as well. After doing a TON of research about home school programs I settled on K12. The is AMAZING. It is all there. They send you all the materials for FREE and there is a teacher that I can contact at any time to get help. We meet with her Quarterly to do the parent teacher conference. It is all fully accredited and really a great fit for my son. Pretty much all the work is done online, which he LOVES and he can get things done as fast or as slow as he needs to, so he can really grasp it.

My least favorite part of this has been the looks on peoples faces when I tell them I am homeschooling. Like suddenly I grew another head out of my head and it was SUPER ugly like Koato poking out if that guys stomach in the original Total Recall. And then 99.99% of people immediately want to know what I am doing to “socialize” him. What? Did I miss something. When I was a kid, we played outside. We met kids in the neighborhood and played sports and hung out at the YMCA and found friends in all sorts of places. NO ONE ever asked how I was being socialized. That is just ridiculous. He isn’t from another planet. he isn’t learning English as a second language. He is a kid. Yes he is spending a ton of time with me. And he will make friends or not as he chooses. Period.

Yes there are days when I wish I could take a 5 hour recess from the whole thing. I am not going to lie. But I find mostly that I am having a tremendous amount of fun learning again all, some of it frankly I don’t remember learning at all. He is even taking Latin. He is learning so much. I am very proud of him. And happy that he can do well and feel good about school. Most days he is on me to get started. That is a HUGE change from before.

I think that the way schools are being run right now is really doing no one a service. I know many teachers, there is only one thing on their minds, helping their students learn. That’s it. They want the kids to learn, to love learning and to be successful. When all of this “core” curriculum and “standardized” test are thrown in and all anyone cares about is test scores, well the kids and the teachers get lost in the shuffle. The teachers have no freedom to give the kids what they know works and what is best. They HAVE to do this ridiculous curriculum that, as far as I can tell, no one really understands or even likes.  Teachers are burdened with more and more students at once who they cannot, no matter what Herculean effort they make, get to everyone. They just can’t. I have only two kids and I can barely pay equal attention to both of them. I can only imagine what that is like with 35 kids.

I am lucky that I can stay at home with my son. I have the ability to do that because I have my own business with my husband and we work from home. I can flex my schedule that way. I know not everyone can do that. But I think if we can stand united, parents that is, and demand that our public schools are reformed with the best interests of the students and the teachers in mind, I think we could get all kids to be as excited as my son is about learning.

Star Trek, To Boldly go where only men can go.

By | Movies, Women | No Comments

Felicia Day, a personal hero of mine,  nailed her review of the new Star Trek: Into Darkness movie on the head. Here is what she had to say and my response.

“I posted this on my Tumblr but thought I’d repost it here.  I rarely rant like this, so hope you guys are cool with it, haha.

You are officially spoiled if you read below, NO COMPLAINTS!

Up front I will say I enjoyed this latest Star Trek movie a lot.  It was super noisy, but enjoyable, beautifully executed, and I particularly like some of the secondary characters, Spock was excellent, etc etc.  I just want to share an observation that stuck with me:

Where are the women?  The strong women?  The women we’d like to see in 200 years?  Where are they in this world?  They certainly aren’t around the roundtable when the Starfleet are learning about Khan (there might have been one in that scene, if so that extra was not cut to in any significant manner to be notable.)  In the scene where Kirk gets his ship back and the admiral is having a meeting with “important” people around a table later, I failed to see ONE WOMAN AROUND THAT TABLE, ALL MOSTLY WHITE MEN IMPLIED TO BE MAKING IMPORTANT DECISIONS TOGETHER.  Yes, these are just scenes with extras, but seriously, in the future not one woman over 40 is in charge in this world?!  How can that happen?

For main characters, Uhura had a FEW nice scenes (as a vehicle to humanize Spock mostly), but that other woman character was the WORST damsel in distress ever.  I kept waiting for her turn, waiting for her to not be the victim, to be a bit cleverer, to add to the equation in a “yeah you go girl” way but no, she was there to be sufficiently sexy that Kirk would acknowledge her existence, to be pretty, to serve the plot.  I loved her bob.  That’s it.  What if she had been a less attractive woman, older, overweight?  A tomboy?  Wouldn’t have that been a tad more interesting choice?  Or at least give her a moment where she’s not a princess waiting to be saved.  From a director who is so amazing, who created wonderful female characters in Alias and Felicity, I was super bummed by this.  A woman character CAN exist without having to be sexually desired by the guy.  Oh, and she doesn’t have to be a lesbian either, OMG WHAT A SURPRISING IDEA!

I don’t know if I’m extra sensitive about this issue or what, but I don’t think so, it’s a trend in media today. When I walk into the theater, I see men on posters.  Mostly white men, the same men we see over and over in movies.  Seth Rogen, Owen Wilson, Brad Pitt etc. Where did the women go?  We are telling people that only men are worth centering storytelling around, and that’s just bullshit.  And the problem is we unconsciously define the world and our culture through media.  These things are subliminal, we absorb them, they formulate the “given” that influences people’s life choices.  It might be a little thing on the surface, but this stuff is what prevents women from being as interested in math, or business people or tech etc.  Where are the examples of women in media to strive for, to make that stuff seem possible?  I don’t see many.  And that makes me sad.

People ask me why I don’t like Disney, I say, “Think of a princess.  Tell me three adjectives that come to mind.  Now do that with a prince. Now do that with the phrase, “leading character”.  We will all probably align around a lot of common ideas, Princess: taken care of, rescued, pretty dresses. Prince: adventurer, proving himself, manhood, Leading Character: chiseled white guy in his thirties, rockin’ body, girlfriend in peril.


I dunno about you, but it’s kind of boring to see the same thing over and over again.  So I guess, rambling away from the Star Trek thing, if you’re creating something, think of the first three adjectives that come to mind, then:  Do something different. It’s time to invent new cliches.    For all of us, please.” – Felicia Day


Here is what I had to say-

I feel exactly the same. I did love the movie. It was beautiful. But I was having this same discussion with my mother in Target. My son got invited to a girls birthday party. As a mother of two boys and being a total tomboy myself I had no idea what this girl was or would be into since I don’t know her at all.

Her Aunt called and told me that she was creative and liked creative things. I joked that I was an expert at buying Legos. Her Aunt said she liked Legos. So I got her a Lone Ranger Lego set and a Jewelry making kit. I figured all bases would be covered.

Before I settled on that my mom and I scoured Target for something Wonder Woman. My favorite super Hero and model of feminine power. As we looked everywhere it became more apparent that girls are just meant to be pretty and like pink and boys are powerful and get weapons and stuff. I finally found a shirt with Wonder Woman, Batgirl and Supergirl on it but they were drawn extra sexy and covered in glitter, posing provocatively. This was on a shirt for girls under 10. I was disgusted. Something must be done about this. Our future is filled with strong, powerful and wise women. I am one, you are one and there are many more of us.


The President says a lady is pretty and I am mad as hell, but not at who you think.

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Ladies!!! What????
Have we stopped our progression? Are we just mere fighting Bitties who can’t STAND it when another one of us is deemed pretty by the opposite sex?? Why do we throw up our arms at compliments and act like they are murdering all our progress by calling one of us, gasp, PRETTY??!! How dare he!

I guess no one took the time to notice all of the other things that were said before the nasty P word came out. Is “Pretty” now a bad word? Should we shun it like the C word? I think not. Lets’s embrace our pretty. Lets use it for us. Also Kamala Harris IS the best looking Attorney General in the country. Man or woman. Notice POTUS didn’t say female Attorney General just the post.

Would he have said it if Kamala were a man? Maybe if he looked like Brad Pitt he might have. But who cares. It was an aside, not an entire description of her or her qualifications.

We have to stop knocking each other down when we get a genuine compliment and stop punishing people who give them. This wasn’t one of those “She’s a good Attorney General, for a girl” kinda moments.

Let’s leave our outrage for real issues like equal pay. I am done shaking my fist in the sky about this one.


Let’s all get Gay Married!!!

By | Life, Politics, Women | One Comment


Marriage. Hmmmm. Well as a married woman I have a LOT of thoughts about this. Today is a good day in my marriage. So probably best to talk about it today! Marriage is a deal you make with another person to be with them and only them, through everything and to fill each other lives with love. Every day is another day to make good things happen for each other. Every day is another day to get to tell them, “I love you.” But I think more than that we, me included, should all start our days, us married people, by saying “Thank You” to your partner in life. “Thank You” for being here with me. “Thank You” for giving me love and attention, for helping me when I need it, for listening to me when I ramble, for not laughing when I cry at lame commercials, for not being grossed out that I want hot sauce on EVERYTHING, for letting me pick which team we root for, for having the courage to disagree with me and still love me anyway.

We need to be more grateful for what we have. We straighties need to realize that Gay people are in fact PEOPLE damn it. My neighbors marriage doesn’t affect mine. If they have an argument, I don’t also have to have one. If they get a new car I am not obligated to get one. If they have a kid I don’t have to immediately get pregnant. So what would be different if Gay people got married? Would I then have to make out with women and watch my husband have sex with men? Ummm no. Certainly not. Would my marriage be less valid because they were married? No I am pretty sure I am gonna still have the same last name I have had for 8 years and my kids are gonna keep on just the same. So what is the big deal??

Tomorrow is a HUGE day for the history of this country. The Supreme Court is going to possibly decide on Prop 8. We could be taking one huge step forward as a country, finally declaring EVERY citizen equal under the law no matter who they choose to love, or we will remain in the stone ages.

I hope that LOVE will perserve here. I hope it really will conquer all. LOVE is beautiful and should be celebrated with ceremonies and flowers and cake. I love seeing people in love. I don’t care who they are. Love is what makes the world go round and if we could all love a little more freely then I think we could take one step closer to being better as a species.

So straight people, do not fear, nothing is going to change for you. You are still straight and your marriage is real. The only thing that will be different is now EVERYONES love will be as valid as yours. All LOVE will be EQUAL. Isn’t that beautiful?

Ashley Judd, REAL LIFE superwoman!

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Today Ashley Judd wrote a piece about her face. The Daily Beast article lays out in detail what is the major problem in America right now. Women, Men, Children, WE are all OBSESSED with bodies and what they look like and who is looking better than who and all that. The fact that a beautiful, 43 year old woman, is on television, in great shape, giving the performance of a career in a terrific show garners only questions about her face is disgusting.

That has nothing to do with the story line. No one brought up the tremendous amount of stunts that she is doing on her own and the work ethic that must go along with that. No one brought up how incredible she is as this mother desperate to get her child back. Not once. When she is running down the tarmac and her son is being forced on a plane, screaming for her, and she just misses him, can’t get to the plane in time and she crumples on the tarmac sobbing, clawing for air. That was real. That was the best scene of that nature I have ever seen. She is a tremendous actress. It is a wonderful show. But no instead let’s talk about her face and have experts deciding how much work she has or hasn’t had done. WTF? Is this really where we are at people?

Can we not look at a show or a movie or ANYTHING and just look at that and appreciate it for what it is? Isn’t it time that we, collectively as a society, just get over it. Really. We have evolved this far. We have cars and planes and cell phones. We have put men on the moon and into outer space. We have a tiny device that can hold thousands of songs and yet we haven’t evolved past our superficialness. We have actually devolved in that respect.

That is sad. I think Ashley put it best,
“If this conversation about me is going to be had, I will do my part to insist that it is a feminist one, because it has been misogynistic from the start. Who makes the fantastic leap from being sick, or gaining some weight over the winter, to a conclusion of plastic surgery? Our culture, that’s who. The insanity has to stop, because as focused on me as it appears to have been, it is about all girls and women. In fact, it’s about boys and men, too, who are equally objectified and ridiculed, according to heteronormative definitions of masculinity that deny the full and dynamic range of their personhood. It affects each and every one of us, in multiple and nefarious ways: our self-image, how we show up in our relationships and at work, our sense of our worth, value, and potential as human beings. Join in—and help change—the Conversation.” — Ashley Judd