I guess I did it…

…but I’m not ready to check this one off. One entry for each? Ok, I’m a perfectionistic dump oftentimes so I don’t write. Plus they are currently both on my nightstand, and by the time I enter my own horizontal position near my nightstand, it’s lights out, people.

But it’s started. I need to shorten entries up. Of course, I’d rather just videotape the whole mad scene every single moment since it’s generally all breathtaking (even if my breath is sucked out from chasing the 3 year old or from trying to tear my skin off my skin). If I can manage one a month, or one a week, then I’m crossing this puppy off.


Thank you, Governor Palin

Dear Gov. Palin:

Thank you. Thank you Romney and Rudy. Thank you so much.

I came to take in both conventions with an open mind to the issues that effect my family, my communities, my country. There I said it.

I have preferences. I have biases. I am willing to put them out there for anyone to see, especially to those that might actually ask to clarify where I stand on issues before assuming a whole lot of fodder.

I also have learning to do. The world unfolds before us in unique ways. There is ambiguity. There is tolerance. Some people just cannot wrap their heads around one or both of those basic tenants of humanity. Before listening to your speech and those that went right before you, I was moving towards a broad statement that, as a whole, Democrats have a better tolerance for ambiguity than Republicans. Sure, it’s a massive generalization, but I played with the idea for a few days.

After listening to you speak, thank you for clarifying my hunch, my intuition, the stark data that supports that idea. Governor Palin, thank you for clarifying that rationally, emotionally, spiritually, financially, and any other -ly word you can think of (most of you are pretty clever from what I’ve heard), you are out of touch.  I guess I’ll just leave it at that.

Those that cheered and got up as the frenzy grew and grew last night? Yeah, that’s support for the shots you took, but that’s also a cathartic riot act that happens when a bunch of adolescents don’t get their way. But adolescents don’t even have the pre-frontal cortex development to support a neurological basis for tolerating ambiguity. You do.

I also wanted to pass along that I have many friends and acquaintances that would describe themselves as Christian. The last election was a difficult time to be struggling with one’s faith, seeing as how Christianity was theologically hijacked for purely base political purposes.

And now? These individuals see an angry, sarcastic, hypocritical public figure who pray to God for bridges to be built (and then takes credit for their demise afterwards) as the last person they would want to associate with on their faith journey.

Try this one on for size:

Faith Seeker: “Hi, can I call you Sarah? I grew up in a Christian tradition, and my journey took me to other faiths and ideas. I am considering my call, and I feel that this tradition is something I feel called towards.”

Governor Palin: “That’s wonderful. The Lord works in mysterious ways. Come to our services and we’ll welcome you like a brother and sister.”

F.S.: “Oh, nice. Ok. I’m confused though. I heard the things you said on television last night, and well, that doesn’t seem to fit too well with a message that Jesus taught. Why, I’m no Pentecostal, but my understanding of The Message is one of love and community. Sure, heads have to roll and temples need to be destroyed, but where is the mission work in your message? Where is reaching across to those we should be reaching out towards, even in our backyards?”

G.P.: “Well…”

Hypothetical conversation cut out abruptly. I realized that, just like Romney and Rudy, Governor Palin didn’t really say ANYTHING about anything that gave me a sense of her political aspirations and desires. All I heard was a lot of hate and anger. So I really DON’T know you any more now than I did before you spoke.  And that was part of the “get to know her first” message that the big “media conspiracy” didn’t appear willing to do.  Uggh.

But I am grateful.  You have helped me. Thank you.  You’ve brought a very clear message.  Thank you for clarifying who has the heart and soul and temperament and character and personality to lead our country. Thank you for clarifying the emotional intelligence, the capacity for ambiguity during tough times.  I really thought this was going to be a challenging decision coming up.

Thank you.

But, there is one point that rubbed me the wrong way. This “hockey mom” thing. It’s sort of embarrassing. I’ve been playing hockey since I could walk, and well, I remember listening to moms like you snarl and spit and get bent when their sons were getting their tails handed to them by my teams. I felt bad for the players. I’d even shake their hands after winning and hope the rest of their day or night didn’t get worse because they had to deal with self-righteousness at home.

And just as we said during the post-game handshake: “Good luck.”

Hockey Guy (from Integral Minds)

EDIT: And please, if your mind is telling you that I drank the Kool-Aid of “change,” take a deep breath, remember where you are, calm down, and listen:  What I believe we need is a CHANGE OF ATTITUDE.  Our policies and such SHOULD be debated, disagreed upon, etc.  But the manner in which we debate, hold ourselves, intentionally approach one another has to be different.  Let’s all take some responsibility for maturing beyond this adolescent rut that we’re in.

The Now-Not Smelly Lab

All of us lab owners seem to be in the same season. Traffic to the smelly lab or smelly lab ears posts has been pretty high. It seems like it never ends, and it’s already the latter half of August.

Samson’s ears are still a problem. Even with a substantial change in environment, living on the shore of Lake Michigan. Granted the bright sand and breeze comes off the water without many allergens, his ears are very likely not drying out much as he loves to be in the water. I’m not doing enough to keep them dry, but when he can walk down the stairs on the dune and visit the great lake any time, it’s hard. Plus, the last time I really worked on his ears, the yeast (aka the funk) came back pretty quickly and really annoyed this good-hearted pooch. Not cleaning them seemed to actually help his ears get to an equilibrium point.

Another smell was from just having him around inside the house. You’d smell his head, his back, and he didn’t really smell bad at all. But he’d just be around and it was, “Oh, my, what is that raunchy smell?!” Well, it was mostly the rear half of his back, and when we found regular dog shampoo versus the puppy shampoo I’ve been using for some time, that was the trick.

This stuff lathered up well, I took extra time (it’s not that hard to do in the sun, on a sandy beach, with fresh water at your feet), and there’s nothing like rinsing him off by just throwing a tennis ball in the lake for him to chase.

So, born in New Jersey, a few years there, a couple months on Lake Michigan, then four years in New Hampshire, now a month and a half on Lake Michigan, and off to New York (outside NYC) likely by the end of the week. No more shots, no more immunotherapy, we’ll just deal with it as it unfolds, trying to make him comfortable.

Anything surprising working for you lab owners? I’m up for trying anything that doesn’t cost me $1000. He’s already the million-dollar dog.

Blind Melon – The Intersection, Grand Rapids, MI

Oh my! Oh my goodness! Oh me oh my!

Just like my so called and soon to be album review posts, I just can’t find a lot of words.

Yes, I was the dude who couldn’t walk for 3 days after the show because of my euphoric bouncing and hopping in front of Rogers. Pretty much going off, going in, going out, going up. Sweated my ass off. High-fived the band and Nell. Talked to Travis’s fiance.

Good vibes. Great vibes.

Not sure what else to say right now. It’s been a couple weeks and I’m still feeling so good. And imagine – that was basically my first show in years. Grad school, 2 kids, living in central-ish New Hampshire.

So, yes, plug the band: buy the new album, the old albums. Go see them live. Get into it.

Smelly Dog Ears – Looks like it’s that time of year

Who would have guessed that my posts on Samson’s smelly, brown, gross, yeast-filled ears would be some of the larger hits on the site? Samson.

Having any luck? What are you doing?

I’m way behind in cleaning his ears, but having to move an entire house with 2 kiddos 2 and under doesn’t make it very easy. Like usual lately, “I’ll do it tomorrow.”

Blind Melon – “For My Friends” review

I can’t wait to write one. But I’m not sure I’m going to have the time right now as I’m in the middle of packing up a house and moving in under a week.

Every time I listen to it, new things come to me…new ideas, new thoughts, new perspectives on these guys.

I really think the album has some of the qualities of the other albums, which makes me smile that the 4 “veterans” are moving forward with a head of steam. There, of course, is also the “new” component, the new feel, some new idealism and perspective.

But I’ll save my review for another date.

More importantly, what do YOU think of it? What’s your experience been with this band and their music? I’d love to hear from folks who are just getting into them for the first time. What a great album to have as that first impression, that imprint, that “first time.” There’s usually nothing like it. But over 10 years makes this album feel like I get a second “first time” listening to them again.

Peace, Y’all.





How much can we own and how much do we accurately assign?

You understand the context on both sides, you get where the other is coming from, yet you still feel completely F’d the the Nth degree.

Rage? Forgive? Let go? Accept? Move on? Confront? Fight? Inquire?

High school? Immature? An area for growth at a more adult level? Ridiculous? A lack of respect and honor?

Now it’s time for you to fill in the blank: