Wishing for Equality

Today I choose to use Birthday Wish power on the big issue of the day:

Marriage Equality!!!

I choose to write about this today because today is the birthday of another wonderful woman/blogger/friend, Kathy from Reinventing the Event Horizon. She is also one of the few bloggers whom I have met live and in person.

Meeting fellow bloggers Kathy McCullough and Tori Nelson. Picture borrowed from Kathy's post about the experience. Click on the image to read that post.

Meeting fellow bloggers Kathy McCullough and Tori Nelson. Picture borrowed from Kathy’s post about the experience.

Kathy and her partner Sara are two  of the most amazing, caring, intelligent and talented women I’ve ever met, and I have met a lot of amazing, caring, intelligent and talented women.

They are also one of the most loving and supportive couples I’ve ever known.

Kathy and Sara

They, and so many like them, deserve to marry if they wish.

So today I choose to use the power of birthday wishes, tapping into the power of Kathy’s birthday, to wish that the Supreme Court recognizes that equality for all doesn’t mean equality for only the people who look/think/act/love and behave like one group who wants to define and control everyone else.

Equality for all looks like equality, plain and simple.

Dear World . . . Using the power of Birthday Wishes

It’s still my birthday month, plus today is the fabulous Andra Watkins’ birthday, which multiplies the power of birthday wish magic in immeasurable amounts, so I have a few birthday wishes I’d  like  to share.

But wait, you say . . . if I share the wishes then they won’t come true. The wishes I want to share aren’t my personal, private wishes, but wishes that affect many other people. So maybe, if other people agree with my wishes and we all use the power of wishing and birthday magic together, some of the wishes come  true.

So let’s blow out some candles, find a falling star, and make a wish or two for the good of all:

There's powerful birthday wish magic in Andra's decadent looking dessert.

There’s powerful birthday wish magic in Andra’s decadent looking dessert.

 

Wish #1: Educational Sanity

“Whimper, whimper, whimper.”

I pull myself out of my hard-won deep sleep (after a 3 hour bout of insomnia) to the sound  of my daughter whimpering as she crawled into my bed for a  morning snuggle.

“What’s wrong, sweetie?”

She buried under the covers moaning and mumbling something.

“What? I don’t understand?”

“I’m not ready for MCAS long essay. I wish we didn’t move here. I wish I went to school where I didn’t have to take  these tests.”

“These tests are everywhere Sarah. You’ve taken them everywhere, they are  just more emphasized this year.”

“But Massachusetts is in the name of the test.”

“Well, yes, but every state has these stupid tests. That’s the problem. I just want you to do your best and not worry about it. These tests mean nothing about you as a student.”

“I feel like I’m going to fail.”

“I’ll be proud of you if you just try. I don’t care  about these tests. They have nothing to do with you and everything to do with a broken education system.”

“I’ll try, Mommy. I’ll try.”

Okay, so maybe this wish is a little personal. My heart breaks when I see my daughter losing the joy of learning to her stress over achieving some mandatory score on a mandatory test that proves nothing than the fact that these kids know how to take tests. They aren’t learning how to think, to be creative, to challenge themselves . . . they are learning how to take tests.

I wish for a complete education overhaul that does not treat education like a business and teachers like servants who only win rewards if they prove numerically that students are improving, when we all know learning can’t always be proven by graphs and charts. I wish for an education system that embraces creative learning, challenges and questions societal norms, and incorporates all the things I’m passionate including learning through the arts.

Does anyone else wish for some educational sanity?

Wish #2: Governmental Sanity

Okay, since I’m already wishing for the impossible,  I might as well wish for the ultimate impossibility of  a sane and functioning government here in the United States. I am probably naive. I simply do not understand why greed and hatred have such a powerful hold over officials who are supposedly elected to represent the will of  the people. I don’t understand why a body of people can continue to get paid and not fired when they aren’t doing their jobs. I don’t understand why 1/4 of 1/3 of the government (as in 1/2 of the congress which is only one half of one branch of the government) has held us hostage for so  long and can demand unrealistic cuts in the name of more money for the richest few in a country where everyone is supposed to be equal, and get away with it. I don’t understand why we are still fighting for equality for women in 2013. I don’t understand why immigration is such as an issue in a land full of one time immigrants.

I don’t understand anything. I feel we are being ruled by insanity lately, although I must say that some of the people I know who are labelled as “insane” or “crazy” would make wiser choices than many of our elected officials.

It’s a simple wish, bring some sanity back before the US. government destroys everything.

More wishes to come . . . 

I don’t want to overwhelm you with my long list of “soapbox” birthday wishes, but I will explore more for  the next few days, until my birthday month is officially over (although I am actually celebrating into April when I go to my birthday concert so maybe the wishes will continue).

If you knew the power of birthday wishes or any wishes would work, what would you wish for to make this world a better place?

Celebrating the Actual Day

Happy pi day

Happy pi day (Photo credit: Lord Mariser)

Happy Birthday to me,
Happy Birthday to me,
Happy Birthday dear me,
Happy Birthday to me!

I could write another long birthday post, but I won’t. I’ve already written birthday posts on this blog, never expecting my blog would survive this long. For past birthday posts visit:

I’ve gotten many lovely birthday wishes today. I also got a beautiful card from Nathan that made me cry . . . in  a good way. We don’t have major plans to celebrate today, partially because payday isn’t until tomorrow, and partially because my Tuesday-Thursday schedule wipes me out. I’m sure we’ll do something tomorrow.

Today we will probably eat some pie, because it is also Happy Pi Day!

One of the greetings that really tickled me today, even though it is a marketing thing as well, was that I got my own Google banner. 

Sometimes the small things make you feel special.

What do you do to celebrate your birthday? What should I do to celebrate mine?

Celebrating 45

A few posts back I wrote about how I have no intention of fading away as I move into the future. Yet, I’m the first to admit that I am the hardest on myself–unable to see my own successes when I’m not quite where or who I thought I’d be. However, my journey into memory through pictures made me decide that I should celebrate the interesting life I have lived. I should acknowledge the things I have done, that make me unique. I should, basically, celebrate myself. Please bear with me as I toot my own horn, because sometimes doing things like this is necessary.

I plan to make a list of 45 (wonderful) things that make me who I am, in no particular order, with details provided if explanation helps. However, I will spread it across several posts because A) I don’t want to bore you and B) It’s really, really difficult for me to do this.

Here I go:

  1.  I was born backwards (breach) which says a lot for who I am now. 😉 In some ways, being breach saved me from a car birth. My Dad used to say that he dropped Mom off (after getting stopped by a policeman as he sped to the hospital) and went to park the car. When he got back, someone congratulated him on the birth of his daughter. A woman, waiting for her daughter to give birth, turned to him and said “How did you do that?” Way to make an entrance.

    Cheeks.

    Cheeks.

  2. I started reading when I was very young (like 3 or 4 or something). Mom says it was in competition with my older brother Steve (who you might know from his many blogs, such as this wonderful post about helping others). I’d like to think my love for words simply insisted on making an early appearance. I vaguely recall people handing me newspapers and asking me to read out loud. I didn’t necessarily understand the words, but I could read them. Sounding out words, and finding meaning in those sounds, or finding interesting ways of putting those sounds together, has become the passion of my life.
  3. That leads to my love of learning languages. All languages. While I’ve lost my fluency in most (including English sometimes) in my life I have studied (and in some cases spoken to some degree): Hebrew, French, Spanish, Japanese, Russian (for a very short time when I was supposed to go on a trip), Slovak (again in preparation for a trip) and a few words in Chinese.  I believe that, if you want to travel, the best way to learn about people is to learn their language. It is the height of ego to expect others to learn English, and make no effort to communicate with the words that represent the culture.
  4. I have visited 8 countries. Now, that’s not a lot, for a girl who dreamed of seeing the world. My list of countries that I still want to go to is large. However, when I travel, I rarely do it just as a tourist. I try to see the country beyond the tourist image. I lived and worked in Japan for three years, and hope someday to be able to live and work somewhere else, even for a short time. My travels have not ended, I just have to find new ways and means to go. Even though I haven’t been to many of the places I’d love to go, I have friends from countries all over the world, many of whom I have actually met in person.

    Red: Where I've lived (although HI has disappeared)Blue: Where I've been
Green: Where I want to go

    Red: Where I’ve lived (although HI has disappeared)
    Blue: Where I’ve been
    Green: Where I want to go

  5. I’ve lived in 9 states and visited 44. I would like to get to all 50, and there are a few I might want to live in.
  6. I have earned three degrees: a BA from Smith College with a double major in English Language & Literature and Theatre; an MFA from the University of Hawaii, Manoa in Theatre (Directing); and a Ph.D from Arizona State University in Theatre (Theatre for Youth)
  7. I have directed 25+ plays at all levels (from beginning actors to professional).While this is one of the areas where I feel like I somehow have failed, I always wanted to direct, and at least I can say I have directed some truly wonderful and challenging pieces.

    The opening scene of CLOUD 9, another play I loved directing, especially because it pushed buttons and promoted discussion.

    The opening scene of CLOUD 9, another play I loved directing, especially because it pushed buttons and promoted discussion.

  8. I have taught hundreds if not thousands of students in subjects ranging from English conversation to writing, from Introduction to Theatre to Special Studies in Drama. I’ve taught at colleges, universities, language schools, after school programs and special programs for adults. I’ve lost track of the types of courses I’ve taught, but they include classes in theatre, writing, honors, and education.
  9. I saved two wonderful dogs from the humane society and they have enriched my life immensely. Even with the begging, the poop, and the constant dog hair.Lizzy & Jasper, 1-1
  10. I found a wonderful partner in life, Nathan, who for whatever reason puts up with my craziness and stands by me even when I don’t want to stand by myself.
  11. We gave birth to an amazing, talented, and beautiful daughter, who surprises me every day.

I think that’s my list for today, as now I’m entering the part where I think “I did this but .  . ” You know, where I start undervaluing everything I’ve ever done.

This isn’t easy, that’s for sure.

Do you ever have a difficult time celebrating yourself and your accomplishments?

Embracing My Birthday Month

This month it’s official. There’s no going back from middle age.

Meanwhile, however, my mind does not feel anything near how old my body is. In order to accept the inevitable, and embrace the reality that more years simply means that I have lived life in a fascinating way, I’ve decided to create a slide show, celebrating me. The challenge to this is that I can’t seem to find a lot of pictures from my early years, but here goes.

Enjoy or ignore as you see fit. I may add more images as I find them

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Today You Are Ten

Dear Sarah,

Ten years ago, I entered into the unknown, when you decided to make an entrance in your own way. You didn’t want to wait for a doctor. You didn’t want to make me push and push while your head got squished. You said, “I want out, and I want out NOW!” The doctor ran in and caught you.  A half an hour later, you had your first stage appearance when a nurse borrowed you to show a group touring the facilities what to expect.

Sarah_1

Sarah_1 1

It was the scariest and happiest day of my life, especially when they handed you to me, and I swear you smiled when you heard your Daddy’s voice.

You are no longer that tiny child who needs me every moment of the day.  You are, almost too quickly, turning into a young woman who still wants to make an entrance in her own way, always in a rush for the next exciting thing. You are now old enough to read these words and to form words of your own. You are now old enough to challenge, and question, and grow in ways I cannot imagine.

Sarah turns 10

I’ve learned so much from being your mother as I watch the miracle of your growth.  Sometimes I feel like I’m on the outside, looking in, as you become this incredible person with only a nudge here and there from me.

I know I’ve made mistakes along the way. I know that I’m not perfect. I hope, though, that someday you understand that my goal is always about providing you a path to a happy, fulfilled life. I want nothing more than to see you love and be loved, and to give you the tools to create your own path in this world. I want you to have the confidence that you can achieve anything. I want you to believe in yourself, and always know that you have the support of your family and all the people who love you so very much.

Yesterday we talked about the importance of inner beauty. That, among other things, is one thing I want you to learn and carry with you throughout your life.  There are so many other things I hope you learn throughout your lifetime. Here are some videos which put into words, in a much more powerful way than I can, some of the things I hope for you.

I can’t wait until you come home from school and I can share this post with you. Sarah Kyoko, you are a blessing in my life.

Happy Birthday!

Love,

Mommy

Birthday Wishes

English: Albert Einstein Français : portrait d...

Image via Wikipedia

I am reposting this birthday post from last year, because I think I should.

I don’t know what it is about March 14th but I know more people born on that day (myself included) than any other day of the year. It has never really just been my birthday, since I was born on my cousin’s sweet 16–which completely freaks me out when I do the math. One of my closest friends in college had the same birthday as well, which led to interesting celebrations involving kidnappings and late night diner adventures. On Facebook alone I have four friends celebrating their birthday today (the college friend included). Happy birthday to us all.

And of course, we are not alone, as there are numerous historical figures of all types who were born on this day, perhaps the most famous of which is Albert Einstein in 1879. I share my actual birthday with actress Megan Fellows who performed in Anne of Green Gables which is one of my favorite books and mini-series. There are also plenty of historical events including war and peace, joy and sadness.

But, let’s face it, the reason the day is important to me is because it is my birthday.

I admit, though, that I have a slight dread of birthdays now, as the years pile on and life becomes harder in some ways. I know that the looming date of my birthday has influenced the past week of posts, and I apologize for the kind of general gloom and doom of my recent posts.

But, I have decided ENOUGH OF THAT! I am going to chase those birthday blues away by putting some fabulous birthday wish energy out into the universe! It’s my birthday, I can wish what I want to. And what better place to do that then into the blogosphere?

The combined wish energy of all the people born today has potential power. So today, I am going to make birthday wishes for every year of my life–not just selfish wishes, but wishes that I hope will bring some wonderful things to this world. In case you are dying to know, that means 43 wishes. That’s a lot of wishes I think. I am not listing them in any particular order of priority, I just want to put that wish energy out there in the universe and see what happens. I recognize that some of my wishes are nearly impossible, but if we all put power behind our wishes maybe we can change the world.

Emma Thomson, Felicity wishes

So here goes:

  1. I am putting this one first because it is the most immediate. I hope that all goes well with my friend Elizabeth’s custody hearing today and her wonderful boys remain with their intelligent, beautiful, talented Mom.
  2. May the pain and suffering caused by natural disasters worldwide (especially in Japan now) bring this world closer to recognizing that we have to help and support each other rather than thrive on hatred and war. May the survivors be helped swiftly and gracefully. (Does that count as two wishes? I don’t think so.)
  3. I wish that Nathan, Sarah, and I could find the place/job/situation that we really want to call home soon (as in during this coming year).
  4. I wish that all of us with dreams of publishing find homes for our manuscript babies.
  5. I wish that my blogging family continue to grow and support each other, and create opportunities to meet, to create, and to expand our relationships.
  6. I wish that the government would come to its senses and leave women’s rights alone, embrace marriage equality for all, and support programming (such as the arts) that will strengthen our country, our educations system, and our health care. [This is probably my most unrealistic wish, I know 😉 ]
  7. I wish that discoveries would be made to help bring my father back to us, even if only for a short time.
  8. I hope my whole family stays healthy this year.
  9. I wish that I could continue the path towards becoming healthier and getting control over my own weight. I would like to not have to be on medication for my whole life, so I want to lose weight, exercise and eat right to enrich the life of my entire family.
  10. I hope that Sarah embraces whatever changes may come, and learns to love the friends she has and live in the Now.
  11. I wish for puppets, lots and lots of puppets.
  12. I wish that Nathan and I could take that trip to Ireland that we have been wanting to take. And that all three of us can take a real vacation together somewhere fabulous.
  13. I wish that all the people I have met recently who are searching for their purpose or some change in their lives can find their bliss and create a world that fulfills them.
  14. I hope that I can write another novel without second guessing myself.
  15. I wish that Tori Nelson would get book contract and mention me on the acknowledgments page. 🙂
  16. I hope that my dissertation writing friends complete their dissertations, graduate with glory, and then move on to discover whatever it is they really want to do. 🙂
  17. I hope my brother is able to pursue his passions and find his way to move forward.
  18. I wish I could create a really beautiful piece of art. I’m not sure what kind, but I want to create something really wonderful.
  19. I wish I could have a weekend at a spa, treating myself to peace, quiet and massage.
  20. I wish that I could organize my time better, to allow for more time to read, to write, to create and to spend with my family.
  21. I wish for some fabulous adventures of all types with my family, including some adventures abroad.
  22. I wish whatever was plaguing my e-mail would be fixed soon [perhaps the easiest wish to solve]
  23. I know that it is unrealistic to wish nothing sad would happen over the coming year, but I hope the times of joy are more numerous than the times of sadness.
  24. I wish we could sell our house in Durango . . . SOON!
  25. I wish that I could have a house that I am allowed to decorate again, the way I would like to.
  26. I wish I could have a reunion with all my Durango friends who I miss so much.
  27. I wish that I could reunite with other friends that I have been thinking about a lot lately.
  28. I wish Sarah would embrace happiness.
  29. I would like a slice of my mother’s chocolate cake.
  30. I hope that we can get my older dog’s health issues under control so that we find fewer poop balls lying around the house.
  31. I wish that I would figure out my new dreams soon, so that I could then make them happen.
  32. I wish the economy would be better so that the unemployed will find employment.
  33. I wish for books, lots and lots of fabulous books.
  34. I wish that, as I lose more weight, I can finally begin developing my style again–a style all my own I’m sure, but one that I would like to have.
  35. I wish Jasper, my younger dog, would realize that home is better than running away.
  36. I wish I could ride a horse.
  37. I wish Sarah could ride a horse.
  38. I wish Sarah and I could take a mother-daughter belly dance class together.
  39. I wish I could learn to meditate, or at least find more inner peace.
  40. I wish to be “Furiously Happy.”
  41. I wish the war would end, and no more wars would begin.
  42. I wish for a warm cup of chai every day.
  43. I wish I could take more naps.

Wow! It was actually really difficult to think up 43 wishes. But its my birthday, and I can wish if I want to.

What do you wish for?


This is the Year

42, The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Lif...

Image via Wikipedia

42

“The answer to life the universe and everything”

This is the year that everything changes

only in positive ways.

This is the year I will find answers

and perhaps create new questions.

This is the year old dreams may die,

but new dreams will form and become powerful.

This it the year I will grow in health, strength, and attitude.

This is the year I will face challenges with grace

and not let them get me down.

This is the year I will guide my daughter on the next steps towards

the wonderful woman she will become.

This is the year  I will  laugh, sing, and smile

even in the face of adversity.

This is the year I will strengthen relationships

let go of the past

and welcome new joys.

This is the year.

Happy Birthday to Me.

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