The POUT Face & Why I Must End It…NOW

#allhailhala says "Hug a Lion's my Mama" #lions #whodat

I really don’t know why I’m surprised. My six-year old daughter was pulling out her full on POUT face (see above) for $99 Prada frames at the eyedoctor…even though her vision was deemed 20/20.

That’s right, she has zero need for glasses yet walked out of her exam having decided she needed a pair to go with ‘just some outfits’ and because several other little girls in her class had gotten glasses. Cue my very unoriginal ‘and if several other girls in your class decided to jump off a bridge…’ which then I immediately turned into a seemingly unoriginal rant about how she should have her own, independent style and it should have very little to do with eyewear. Doesn’t she want to be a trend setter?

But Mom these are dark pink and light pink, no one has those.

Doesn’t she want to show off her pretty face and her great vision?

But Mom, did you see the little diamonds on the side?

We can find OTHER non-prescription glasses at another store much cheaper if you really want a pair to just ‘wear.’

But Mom, I want THESE and this is the EYEGLASSES STORE. I don’t want to get my GLASSES from the grocery store.

Ok that one I’ll give her, and maybe the diamonds thing (they were cute) but I’m not buying a ONE HUNDRED DOLLAR pair of GLASSES (Prada or no Prada label) just so she can maybe wear them to school a few times, get bored with them, and then put them on her American Girl doll with whom she is now, also, bored.

This is my fault. I know. I deserve this, don’t I?

My Mother is snickering in Florida somewhere reading this.

We can have this argument when she’s 16. But not SIX. Which is stupid for me to say because we’re having it and she’s six, so let me just say this argument will make more sense at 16. So I’m cutting it OFF at six.

Or trying to.

Oh who am I kidding. I’m screwed.

I’ll just hand over the $100 now and call it a day. And then throw in a goose that lays golden eggs and rename her Veruca.

And don’t tell her that her Mother got the Versace frames. Oh screw it, tell her. I AM THE MOM AND I CAN GET WHAT I WANT.

No really, don’t tell her. I’m tired.

The Death of Osama bin Laden

But Mom…how do people get evil? Are they always evil? Do they get born evil or does something turn them evil?

Did our soldiers get killed? Why did we kill him? Why did the President have him killed? Why are so many people so happy about killing him?

But why do they hate us so much? Why do we hate them? Why would those men do that? Did they jump out of the planes before they crashed into the buildings? Why would they die too? Why would they do that Mom?

How did we kill him? Why would they make jokes about shooting him in his eyes? Are they yelling U-S-A U-S-A because we won?

Mom, does this mean the wars are over now?

Waiting for Obama

I can’t stop thinking about the oil disaster in the Gulf and the pundit talk about what the President should and shouldn’t be doing. Too soft, not angry, too angry, not emotional enough.. blah blah blah.

Every time I turn on my TV I see President Obama talking about the disaster, or Robert Gibbs, or I get a White House press update in my inbox. I realize they are working their asses off trying to get a handle on the line between letting a company fix its problem and taking over a disaster that impacts us all.

flor07beach 006

But there is something I’m waiting for that hasn’t happened yet…something… Obama-ish.

What am I expecting? … I’m expecting the community organizer I elected.

I want the White House to force BP’s hand, let the media in, let the President and the First Lady in and then see a major announcement for a call to action.

Imagine President Obama and his family on an oil ridden beach, with environmental leaders and scientists, calling on the country to organize and help clean. To submit their ideas, to offer their time and money. Imagine him asking us to pitch in, to do what we can, to come together as a nation to pool our resources and our smarts and our time and help.

I want the strong arm of the White House to do their work behind the scenes in the way only DC knows how…playing politics and twisting arms. But in front of the camera and to bolster our confidence, I want our country’s leader doing what he does best: calling on US to act and take part in change.

I’m waiting. My kids are waiting. We’re ready to help…lead us. Tell us how. We want to visit Nana and Gramps and feel those warm Gulf waters with our feet and feel the sand in our toes.

To hell with BP. We’ll make them pay for this entire effort, but it’s going to take everyone to save the Gulf and it’s time for the President to lead the nation in protecting our coast and water and the animals and habitat -starting with showing us what we all can do to help.

I understand there are many unanswered questions right now. So many unknowns and safety issues…but what the nation needs is its community organizer with his wife and children pitching in – and we’ll follow suit.

Warm Gulf Water Memories- Something My Kids May Never Have

The Tide is OUT

My cousin introduced me to a friend working directly on the horrific oil spill in the Gulf. I don’t know this man well, so I’m not sure, entirely, of his character, but I do trust my cousin enough to exchange a few emails with his buddy.

I’m not going to sugar coat it…the more I learn, the more I realize nothing will ever be the same. I’m not going to identify this man who “specializes in radio-isotope technologies to provide real-time diagnostics” in order to protect this source…but from time to time I will share our emails.

“Our way of life is permanently changing before our eyes. I’ve been in meetings all day in *city redacted* and it’s bad. Very very bad. I’m watching some lives feeds online right now and I can already see the hydrates forming. This latest attempt I’m afraid will be a complete failure. I feel sad for us, but I feel especially sad for my girlfriends 3 1/2 year old boy.

This is very very bad.”

And then this:

“I’m currently scheduled to head out to the *redacted* boat…which is currently deploying 2 work class ROV’s…
I imagine my goal when I chopper out on *redacted* will to be monitoring
the new lower marine riser package (LMRP) for hydrates. Hydrates are ice
formations created when natural gas and seawater combine in such depths,
pressures, and temperatures. This was what happened with the first
containment dome was lowered to the leak sight. With the LMRP I suspect
that the same thing will happen because the LMRP will not and cannot
create a watertight seal. I suspect that this package will freeze very
quickly. A couple years back I monitored a hydrate plug in a natural
gas pipeline in which we injected over 5000L of methanol into the
pipeline and it still took 19 days to break free and start melting. I
just can’t see their theory of being able to use methanol to prevent
hydrates in this new package being successful.

What does all this mean to me? This means to me that anything and
everything they throw at trying to contain the oil coming to the surface
will be a failure until the relief wells are finished. Do I think the
relief wells will be done by August like they are saying? Absolutely
not! With the upcoming hurricane season coming, and the pressure
problems they already encountered with the well when the Horizon
exploded and sank, I suspect that the relief wells will not be complete
until late fall or early winter.

BP and the government I think are doing EVERYTHING in their power to
try and contain this and stop the leak, but the options are limited. BP
and the government have the best technology and people working on this.
I’m confident with that statement. I’m just afraid that they DO KNOW
these techniques being tried will be failures but need to perform
anything available for the public’s sake. I’m afraid that we’ll be
waiting for the relief wells to be completed before the oil will stop

Will that all being said, I hope I eat my words and they can contain
the oil with the techniques I mentioned above in a timely fashion. I
wrote this pretty quickly so I’m sorry for any grammar errors. Feel free
to ask any other questions you have, and I’ll try and keep in touch
while I’m out there and possibly get you some pictures from the onsite

And when I told him I was freaking out…

“I’m freaking out too. I think everyone should be freaking out a bit at
this point. This oil that has leaked out already will impact the rest
of OUR lives for sure. I’ll keep in touch”

My kids may never play in the Gulf again.

Dear Four-Year-Old Princess: Love Is So Complicated

crossposted at

My four-year-old daughter is home from school today, so naturally she’s spending her afternoon twirling in front of me in princess dress after princess dress.

Mommy, don’t I look sooooo beautiful. I know a boy will marry me.

My heart sinks. My mind races. My eyes dart all over the living room, where she’s created Valentine’s decorations. A sea of red and pink hearts drown me as I try to come up with an age-appropriate way of explaining to her the reality of love, marriage, life.

Yes, Valentine’s Day has sent my daughter into love overdrive and in her adorable mind love = marriage to a handsome boy.

She’s clearly knee-deep in the princess syndrome, and I’ve done nothing to stop the madness. In fact, I think my behavior with her father and men in general has probably made it worse.

But how do you explain to a four-year old that the prince hardly EVER comes to save you (and you don’t need him to) and despite every message around her screaming otherwise, what she looks like INSIDE is what matters … not outside with her damn dress and primped hair?

How do you explain that a partnership based on love is very hard work? That sometimes it goes horribly wrong and that the prince is a monster or that potential suitor is really going to break her heart? How do you explain that sometimes it’s so wonderful and mesmerizing and lifts you off your feet until your heart thumps from your chest and you can barely breathe? How do you explain how lovers turn to friends and friends to lovers and they come and go and leave memories and wounds and sometimes very deep scars? How do you explain how a relationship changes and morphs over time and ebbs and flows?

She sees her father and me, and she sees nothing but love. I can’t blame her for thinking that’s all there is. Its all she is shown at home, on TV and anywhere. In her mind, it is the only way love exists.

How do I teach her just how complicated love really can be … and how painful? Do I? Of course I do. I’m just not sure how.

Maybe she’s smarter than I think, and she does see it. She sees the daily routine in this house where husband and wife sit in the same room and do their own things, barely talking. But she also sees the love pecks in the kitchen as we cook and the surprise butt-pinches as I bend over to grab something off the floor. Maybe just witnessing the roller coaster and mundane drudgery that IS the cycle of love is enough?

Or perhaps I’ve done her a complete disservice by not showing her it all. The tough. The boring. The very ugly. Because of that she moons over handsome boys and dons dress after dress talking about weddings and brides and her prince.

Maybe I haven’t shown her, because I haven’t figured it out myself. I have no idea how to explain the unexplainable. How I can be committed to her father yet flirt with other men? How I can be content in the routine yet throw a tantrum over it all in one day? How I can want more and love my life all in the same hour? How I can put on the adult version of the princess dress, that little black number, and paint my face and charm and smile and notice that indeed boys are soooo handsome? How I can come home to her father and cuddle on the couch while I remove my heels and then discuss bills? How I can remain happily married to my best friend sans dress and in sweats when it’s not all flowers and romance and horses and carriages and glass slippers?

How can I talk to her about love as the restless mother who can’t seem to get a handle on her own role in love well into a now almost 10-year marriage? Because in that little girl I see myself, wide-eyed and hopeful and willing to give away her heart with an intense passion that will sting, suffocate and be spectacular.

So many conflicting images and moments for her young, female mind to absorb. Resulting in twirling in front of me today, showing me how beautiful she looks.

I want my daughter to be strong, confident, and to not rely on a prince or even love this Valentine’s Day or the next 100 … but I’m afraid teaching her that lesson may be in watching her mother fail at it. Miserably. Happily. Having given myself to the princess syndrome long ago, unable to shake off it’s chains, and content with where, what and who it’s given me.

More Valentine’s Day thoughts:

Valentine’s Day For Feminists Lovers
For Those of Us in Long-Term Relationships, Valentine’s Is Really Happy-Sticking-It-Out Together Day
Half-assed Valentine’s Day
My heart says: “Flobbada-Flop”
Surviving Valentines Day

Politics & News Contributing Editor Erin Kotecki Vest


Live Chat on Ustream-Queen of Spain Talks Clinton Remarks

Video clips hosted by Ustream
You can come over to the ustream site to join the chat in text or hook up your cam and headset to talk. the original Clinton remarks
And make sure to watch Keith Olbermann’s special comment.

Girly Geek Guilt

I’ve been in denial for a bit, but ok…fine: I’m a geek.

A total GEEK.

The blogging, the second life, the betas, the twitter.

It’s really NOT the core of who I am it is simply the tools I use to mouth off. So really, I’m just loud and using tech to be LOUDER.

By default that means I see and hear a lot of crap about that whole ‘girls don’t like science and tech’ bullshit that flies around our lives. I’ve seen the many, many, many examples of the very FEW number of women speaking at tech conferences. I’ve heard the arguments that we’re ignored and I’ve heard the arguments that we don’t pitch ourselves like the boys do.

I’ve found myself on BOTH sides of this debate wondering if it was maybe a little of both, a conspiracy by the patriarchy, and a lack of interest by women.

Nothing prepared me for reality.

Photos from the birthday party for my 5-year old and 3-year old this weekend.

Behold as this feminist geek gets to the bottom of what is really going on:

Galileo vs. Paris Hilton

I think that’s what the boys call-Epic Fail

It is not that I fault the gifts. They are exactly what my children wanted. It was that I realized how their preferences were splitting directly down those stereotyped gender lines.

It made me angry.

So let us all just put an end to what is going on in our tech/social media/web world when it comes to gender: It is all my fault.

Taking my pink laptop and going to bed.