Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Pleasant Surprise at Tax Time and Running Shoes

How literal my title is!

But we did get a pleasant surprise at tax time. Turns out education credits this year ROXXOR the HOUXXOR. Hmm. Houxxor doesn't work for house, but you know what I mean.

However, one thing work has, yet again, done to me.

The Epic Work Weight Gain.

Yes, it has struck.

So now I must diet, as in, not eat... no just kidding, but seriously, now I am back to the stringent eating plan and working out plan that I did when I first moved here and ended up looking amazing.

Do NOT ever stop moving, working out or eating right. And do not eat food provided at work.

Trust me!!!!

Now, if only I can find a way to fit three pages a day back into my life for writing!


Happy Spring!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Health care reform, a brief thought

I am a big proponent of health care needing to change. I've had enough personal experience to have a deep-seated loathing for the insurance companies and their vested interest in doing as much as possible to deny coverage. I'm still fighting my previous insurance company because of one day my son spent in the hospital. They disagree with the doctor and the hospital who kept him in. Because, they would know.

So Health Care Reform? I'm sorry, but yes. Absolutely.

Here's where it gets tricky though. I believe this debate is less about health care and more the Republican's Great Stand in a power-play with a Democratic Washington. Because, when you look at the bill provisions, both parties aren't that far apart. Republicans and Democrats absolutely could have worked on this together, but instead, Republicans chose this issue to stand over, and lost.

I think the consequences to the Republican party are irreparable, because now that the day is won by the Democrats, the news focus will change from news of the battle to news of the victor. And, when the provisions start taking effect, and more Americans actually have insurance coverage, more individual plans will be made available, and the down-and-dirty process of enacting health care reform starts, people will pipe down. They might not want to give up their new health care policy. The fight was charged, and bitter, but in the end, as always, it was Politics, and the true effects of this decision won't be felt for years.

I will say, whichever side you are on, the one thing that absolutely needed to happen was a reform of the health care system in America.

I will also say, whichever side you are on, this fight was more politics than policy.

Will Healthcare Reform cure all? No, but it's a step in the direction everyone wants: better healthcare coverage, more healthcare coverage for poorer Americans, and better choices.

Hate it, love it, it matters not. Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, whoever, at the end of the day, prior to today, health care policy in Washington was written by the insurance companies. You may not agree with how health care is being reformed, but you have to agree it needed to be reformed, and America, IMO, couldn't afford to not do something. It's just a shame this had to be the battle ground. It's a shame we can't have a united government working in the interests of America. It's a shame Democrats and Republicans are so caught up in party politics they forget that the majority of Americans suffer for it.

And, at the end of the day, I believe most Americans were in the middle on this particular battle. The majority wanted a reform, but between the bullets flying from the Right and the Evilization of Health Care Reform, and all the noise, the majority, like me, stayed quiet, watching, wondering, hoping that at the end, what we end up with is not what we already have, a ridiculously broken system based on profit margins for insurers.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Spring sunshine and... snow?

So today was in the 60s, sunshine and happinesss....

Tonight and tomorrow: snow. Piles of it.

I personally don't believe it. I'm a big spring fan, and like to think that winter is done when it's done. But this is Colorado, and blizzards in spring are not unheard of.


I'm hoping for rain!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Except not.

I was thinking the other day about some of the articles in newsweek regarding the gender gap in pay and promotions.

Studies show it doesn't have anything to do with women having children and the dual role many women find themselves in, but I think I disagree -- it is because women with children are balancing two major roles and whether or not the husband does equal share, for most women (and really just ask most women) they take on the family role in ways that can't always be measured, but have an effect on work.

I think it's still only a small percentage of men that leave the workforce to raise a child, and we live in a culture that has taken a turn toward placing more value on moms that stay home -- it's okay now to take a few years out of a career. This is a good thing, but it does mean going back into a career can be a bit dicey, and the income you earn may not be as high as if you hadn't, and in some cases, as when you left. Here's a few non-statistical reasons the gender gap could still exist:
  • Many women take on jobs and careers, but put a lot of effort into balancing the two -- this balance often leads to women not working overtime as much, not doing the political-social games work requires as much and having to take time off to be with a sick kid. Whether or not the father is doing the same is moot. When a women leaves work to take care of a sick kid she's a 'mom' first.
  • Women without children are still expected to leave the workforce and have a baby by their male counterparts -- think I'm kidding? I worked in a largely male environment and when new woman came onto the team through conversations she let people know she had no desire to have children. I was flabbergasted when through casual conversations, many of the men (young men, mind you, who should know better) still believed that in a year or so she'd end up wanting a baby. What they told me? All women come in saying they don't want kids, but most really do and they'll end up getting pregnant and leaving.
  • Women who have babies are considered 'questionable' after their pregnancy/maternal leave is over -- this is called risk management, and probably affects every pregnant working woman. The risk is that the woman will decide she doesn't want to return to work after maternity leave, even if she says she does. Some women do find they don't want to return to work, so despite what the woman says, the possibility still exists she won't return. Therefore, a pregnant woman will find that key projects, roles or responsibilities don't land on her plate.
  • Women often have multiple priorities in their life -- this is the biggest one I think. Women aren't just living in a world where the top of the ladder is the goal. They are looking for that plateau with a wonderful view where they can both work and raise their children. This means they may not climb as ambitiously as some men might, or it may mean they take a year or five off to raise young children. Or it may mean that they have other goals and desires not met by their career.
I'm not trying to make a statement here. But I think until women get to a point where the rules of the workforce work in our favor (and ultimately in mens' favor), where there are many different routes and options to success than one ladder up, and where taking time off isn't the death knoll it currently is, the gender gap will exist. We still live and work in a very patriachal culture that views work as one big game of King of the Hill.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Sometimes you have to share

New vocabulary word:


Yes, it's something you could have easily lived without knowing.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Countdown to Spring

Well now that I'm back, I was hoping I'd be wittier. My posts would be meaningful. I wouldn't just babble about Bear and Turbo and the Drama, or worse, talk about how I am starting seeds indoor now for the garden and my peas sprouted so crazily that I have to already replant the sprouts...

No... I wasn't going to do that.

Except that I am.

However, when I am witty, and post intelligent thoughts, it'll be on my other site, which I started a while ago and aptly ignored :)

But back to Countdown to Spring... ready?

Here are my top five goals to accomplish before spring:

The Ability to Wear Shorts and T-Shirts -- this requires eating better, losing weight and explains why I've re-subscribed to Shape magazine

The Ability to Use a Rip-Stick -- I call it a wiggle-board, and for me it's easier to deal with than a skateboard, but I have yet to accomplish going more than 10 feet on it.

The Ability to Consistently Blog
-- Because I'm convinced my spring blogging will be SO much more entertaining than ever

The Ability to Grow Plants -- Last year I grew a cool salsa verde garden: tomatillos, cilantro and tomatos -- I'm hoping to have a rousing success this year with everything... and not go overboard on tomatoes. Seriously. One tomato plant is enough.

The Ability to Wake Up at 5:30 a.m. and Be Happy About It -- It's a long shot, but hey, if I can just get up at 5:30, I could do sooo much more by ten a.m. then most people do in a day...

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

It's been that long!

Time passes quickly, but you don't realize how quickly til you check your blog and you're like oh my holy hell, the last time it's been updated, was December! YIKES...

Today is a day of spring. It looks like spring. It feels like spring. My six year old is coughing like it's spring. Therefore it must be spring. I have, however, spent enough time in Colorado to know that we've got a few more cold days, and a snowstorm or two left to go, before we can honestly yell about spring.


Happy Spring-like day!

And to celebrate this spring-like day, I shall remain here, home, with my coughing 'allergic to spring' child, and plant some seeds indoors. Because, yeah, sure, I can take the day off from work for my sick kid and you know, do laundry and clean, or, I can do fun spring stuff, like plant seeds.

Cuz I sure as heck n crap didn't stay home to clean and do laundry!