Thursday, July 31, 2008

Don't take Crap

This is funny. It's a Grumpy Girl Auto Bird Turd Emergency Kit. If I had an extra $30 to spend, I'd certainly get one for myself and one to give as a gift. (actually, that would be $60) I love finding gifts that will get a great reaction from the person receiving them. I don't even know who I would give it to right now, but someone would come along that would get a kick out of it eventually... guess it's good I don't have the money to buy silly things like this.

The Wall-E World

I read a report today from the American College of Emergency Physicians that was disturbing in more ways than one. Solomon says there's "nothing new under the sun" but I think it's clear that, although the basic problems are the same (aka. people caring more for trivial pursuits than for safety and common sense), parents today are bringing their children up in a much different world than they grew up in.
This may sound silly, but the movie Wall-E (WATCH IT! if you haven't) continues to resonate with me as a picture, not just of society in the future, but in the present. The movie magnifies the problems, but they are, in reality, already in existence.
Case in point:

“It’s tragic,” said Dr. Linda Lawrence, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), who noted that her colleagues across the country are anecdotally reporting cases, “among teens and young adults, in particular, who are arriving in emergency departments with serious and sometimes fatal injuries because they were not paying attention while texting.”
“We see this every day, since we are [in] downtown Chicago, with lots of people walking around,” said Dr. James Adams, MD, professor and chair of the department of emergency medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University. “People are texting and they trip and fall on their faces – usually people in their 20s. We see a lot of face, chin, mouth [and] eye injuries from falls.”

Even worse, said Dr. Adams, are the injuries that result from people texting and causing collisions with bikers, rollerbladers and others.

“Some [people] are actually on [Chicago’s busy] lakefront path texting while walking or exercising,” said Dr. Adams. “We see people rollerblading or biking while texting. They are usually very skilled but sometimes crash and fall when they are not watching where they are going.”

While many of these injuries turn out to be relatively minor, others are more deadly.

“In March, [we] were driving and saw a woman in her twenties step off the curb and get struck square by a pickup truck,” said Dr. Matthew Lewin, MD, PhD, an emergency physician at University of California San Francisco Hospital in San Francisco. “She was unconscious and it appeared she’d suffered a massive brain injury. You could tell she saw the truck at the last moment because her cell phone was dropped right where she was struck just off the curb, and she was thrown about 20 or 30 feet.. It was horrifying. The truck stopped. The driver was devastated. I was amazed to hear she survived all the way to trauma center but died [in] the ER.”

“The bottom line is to be aware of potential safety concerns and to simply exercise caution, restraint and good judgment at all times when using a cell phone or blackberry,” said Dr. Lawrence.

This would be funny if it weren't so serious. People are putting themselves in mortal danger so that they can use their thumbs and their feet at the same time. Who, in the past would, let's say, read a book while trying to walk down the street. Um, nobody. Who, in the past would not stop for a moment to jot something down that was important to remember. It's hard to believe that the "safe" alternative now, if you must multitask, is talking on your cell phone . This would certainly be true at least while walking. And why can't we just talk to the person with our voices that we are talking to with our fingers? And why can't we just wait until we get there and talk face to face? We need to start a revival of good, old-fashioned, face-to-face communication. I know it's not always possible, especially in the business world, but geez people... do we really need to bring ourselves to the point of injury for the sake of convenience!?

I don't understand it. I can't understand it because I don't text. I don't have a Blackberry and I don't have an unlimited texting plan. In that respect, I'm behind the times. But if being behind the times keeps me from running into a stop sign... or a truck, then so be it.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Spa Day with a 6-month-old

I decided to have an "almost all about me" day today and I'd like to share exactly how I did it for those who might want to be able to duplicate the experience. Here's my 10 steps:

1. Try to sleep in, despite the fact that the baby is obviously awake. Use pillow to cover ears if needed.
2. Carry on with usual morning routine, but be sure to add nectarine or other favorite fruit to your cereal.
3. Move the coffee table and place baby on playmat IN THE MIDDLE of the living room rug instead of on the edge as usual. This will allow for at least 10 more minutes of internet/book time before having to extricate baby from a corner or from under a piece of furniture.
4. Carry on with lunch as usual, but take a minute to use the hand lotion sitting beside the soap in the kitchen after washing the dishes used for lunch.
5. Do that bellydance or striptease workout routine on ExerciseTV instead one of the other strenuous ones you usually do.
6. Place baby in exersaucer and take a long, hot shower. Wash your hair. Shave your legs. Buff your feet with the pumice stone. Try to resist using the washcloth to clean the soap scum your having to stare at while showering. Just close your eyes and breathe. Don't forget to turn the fan on to muffle the baby's yells for attention from the other room.
7. Put on some comfy pants and a t-shirt. Apply mask to face and let sit for 5 minutes while cuddling baby. Change pants and change baby because you notice a large wet spot when you pick her up off your lap to go wash the mask of your face.
8. Wash poop off hands, wash out bottle and wash mask off face all in the kitchen sink after changing baby. Don't be concerned that the mask has been on about 20 minutes at this point.
9. Use the lotion by the soap dispenser in the kitchen again.
10. Decide that a "Spa 3/4 day" is enough for you and plan to do your next spa day at an actual spa.

More name trouble

We were in "small town" Mississippi this past weekend and had breakfast at a local Waffle House equivalent. Our waitress was very nice, but probably very uneducated. As we were eating, we heard her ask the woman next to us, who was reading the paper, where "that Bahama guy is today." The woman reading the paper looked up at her and our waitress clarified. "You know. That Bahama guy. He's been travelin' everywhere lately it seems like. The one tryin' to be president." The woman reading the paper realized who she was talking about, corrected her, and then said she didn't know where he was that day. "He'll probably never come here to Mississippi anyway," our waitress said. "Actually," we chimed in, "he'll be here in September." We had seen signs all over saying that the first presidential debate would be in that very city. She had no idea.
So who is she going to vote for? Does she vote for the guy whose name she can't pronounce? Does she vote for the guy whose been criticized for talking over the heads of people like her? On the other hand, that guy's the only one she reads about in the papers. On the other hand, she assumes he would never care about a state like Mississippi because he goes so many important places, even overseas. I'm not really politically inclined. I just thought this was an interesting slice of America and it brought up some interesting questions in my mind.
I must admit, it gave me a good chuckle too. Bahama, hehehe.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii

I am really conflicted about this story I read today. I heard on the radio about this girl in New Zealand whose actual name is Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii. Can you imagine? She's nine years old and she tells everyone to just call her K because she's so embarrassed. Her parents are now in a custody battle over her and the court has ruled that she should be in the court's custody until she is renamed. The judge says her name is a handicap and, in fact, is not a girl's name at all.
Granted, this is a REDICULOUS name for a child and I really feel for the poor girl whose identity has been wrapped up in this embarrassing grouping of words for 9 years... but... where's the line? In this article, they mention some other preposterous names that have been chosen in New Zealand in the past such as Fish and Chips, Yeah Detroit, Stallion, Twisty Poi, Keenan Got Lucy, Sex Fruit and a set of twins named Benson and Hedges, after the cigarette brand. Well, even though I personally wouldn't name a kid Stallion, Benson or Hedges, I don't think these names should be off limits to parents. I don't think the children with these names would be socially handicapped, do you? Even if you don't agree with me, the point is that the whole thing is so subjective. On the other hand, I'm glad the court is letting Talula change her name. On the other hand, who is a judge to say what is a girl's name and what isn't? I think celebrities lately have named their kids a crazy bunch of crazy names, but that's all we need is one more thing for people to bring lawsuits about. I'm conflicted, but I do know one thing, nobody can call me crazy now.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Favorite Fridays- Baryshnikov

Ah, the great Mikhail Baryshnikov: a name synonymous with dance throughout the world. Born in Riga, Latvia he studied dance from a very young age at the Voganova School in Leningrad. He joined the Kirov Ballet and, after his his debut at the Maryinsky Theater, prominant choreographers of the time began creating work to show off his amazing talent. He defected from the Soviet Union while on tour with the Kirov in Canada and joined the American Ballet Theatre. He stayed with them for the next four years and (I beleive) it is during that time that this variation from the ballet Don Quixote was filmed. Throughout his career he has worked in almost every genre of dance accompanied by music ranging from classical to jazz to his own heartbeat. He has been student, prize-winning competitor, principal dancer, teacher, choreographer and company director. His passion for the dance can clearly be seen in any of his work and his work ethic is an example to all.
Here's to you Misha.

He can fly.
It's no use questioning.
There must be springs where his thighs
Meet his hip,
And to think
You can blink
And he'll still be there
Hanging in the air.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Ok, I'm going to stop writing now

"My Dearest Friend,

…should I draw you the picture of my heart it would be what I hope you would still love though it contained nothing new. The early possession you obtained there, and the absolute power you have obtained over it, leaves not the smallest space unoccupied.

I look back to the early days of our acquaintance and friendship as to the days of love and innocence, and, with an indescribable pleasure, I have seen near a score of years roll over our heads with an affection heightened and improved by time, nor have the dreary years of absence in the smallest degree effaced from my mind the image of the dear untitled man to whom I gave my heart."

An excerpt from a letter written by Abigail Adams to her husband John. I thought I was somewhat eloquent. That word should definitely be reserved for writings other than mine. My heart is lifted and transformed by words like these. It's like hearing opera or seeing a beautiful landscape... at sunrise; beautiful words are good for the soul. I wanted to share.

Beaker Rocks!

I have always particularly enjoyed Beaker from the Muppets. I found this on YouTube and thought I would share the love.
After you watch it once, you have to watch it again and look at each Beaker individually... they're all doing something individually hilarious.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


It's raining, again (I've almost completely forgoten that there's a droubt where family and friends live).... but it's really beautiful because the sun is shining so the raindrops look like glitter falling outside my window. And you know what sun and rain make. There's a rainbow somewhere. These rain showers start suddenly and seem to happen almost every other day. They are quite refreshing, actually. The raindrops are like little soldiers fighting back the suffocating heat.
I think this particular rainshower is symbolic for me right now. I've been getting a bit desperate for some ways to stay active socially and for some ways to make some new friends. I think God's timing is showing itself to be perfect, yet again. Just today, I met over lunch with the arts director at the church we've been attending. She is a crazy, wonderful, talkative, artsy, Spirit-filled mommy to a 7-month-old and she was really great to talk to! She seems like a combination of some other people that are dear to me but far away. We talked for about an hour and a half and I left with a promise of a call or email next time her and some other mommies were going to go do something. When I got home, there was a message waiting for me on my phone from the Spouses Alliance for Residents at UMC asking if I would like to lead a Bible study for the ladies. THAT is God throwing me in the middle of things right there. He's like "Ya want friends? Ya wanna get to know some people? How about getting to know Me better and trying out some leadership skills in the process?" THEN, I checked my email and there was an email about the Alliance forming playgroups and how to get involved in that. It's like a downpour, but a good one. A lovely, glittering shower of little blessings beating back the depression and loneliness.
Thanks, Lord. I never doubted you... I was just getting a little nervous.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

sitting pretty

I did my own little photo shoot today with my beautiful model-baby, Eden. I got about nine I really liked... here are a couple of them.

Those Mommy Blues - revisited

How does any mommy out there give adequate attention to her child, retain a sense of individuality, meet her husband's needs, keep herself fit, keep a home fit for entertaining guests, retain a sense of individuality... did I already say that? And how does she meet new people, figure out where the good eating and shopping are, find ways to be involved at church, find ways to be involved in the community, meet new people... am I repeating myself again? *sigh* I guess my two main concerns are the ones I would have had moving to a new place even without being a mommy: being a fun, interesting individual and making friends.
I know, as I recognized in my last blog like this, that I am far from unique in these wonderings and feelings. I just thought I would put them here.
This mommy thing is quite a journey. It's the first time I think I've been so concious about my life as it changes. It's been more like watching it from the outside than just experiencing it.

Prov. 16:1 We can gather our thoughts, but the Lord gives the answer.

That's all. Nothing witty. Nothing unique. Nothing really all that interesting. Untill later...

Friday, July 18, 2008

Rumba Lesson #2

Here's the next Rumba lesson for anyone following along.

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

This was one of my very favorite movies when I was in grade school and it continues to be extremely entertaining to me. The choreography is by the amazing Michael Kidd and the actors who play the 7 brothers are also extremely talented dancers.
The scene opens on the dancing portion of a barn raising. The brothers have come in from the country to help the folks in a nearby city, but they've got their hearts set on more than building a barn. They are trying to be civil and win the girls through gentlemanly competition which is unusual for them, because, as country folk, they usually just duke it out to get what they want. The oldest brother has married and his wife is being a mentor of sorts for the other brothers as they struggle along the road to becoming the men that the city girls would want for husbands.
This clip is about 6 minutes long, so take some time out and please enjoy. I'm sure it will make you smile.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

a bit o' braggin'

Now that I'm getting more used to this blogging thing, I thought I'd post some pictures of the most beautiful baby Upshaw in the world. Hope that's not too presumptuous...

Toe Jam

I thought this was pretty cool. Scientists have developed a tape that mimicks the toes of a gecko. If you know nothing of gecko toes, let me fill you in. Geckos have millions of tiny hairs on each foot called setae. I thought that was a piece of furniture, but it turns out that that's a settee... anyways, geckos. These microscopic keratin hairs have a connection on a molecular level, in other words, they actually form a molecular bond, with any surface they come in contact with. The staying power of each individual hair isn't much, but added together, it's powerfully "sticky:" sticky enough for a gecko to hang from just one toe upside down on a glass surface and be mighty comfortable. Scientists have been trying for years to duplicate the amazingness that happens on one gecko's toe and they've finally come up with something similar. I just think it's absolutely incredible that God put that amount of coolness into the toe of a gecko. This really makes me want to jam out and praise God, because you know if He put that much into such a small thing, His thoughts for us are big and numerous. My toes aren't that cool, but I have a Spirit that can communicate directly with God's Spirit and I'm made in His image. He knew me before I was born and has made great plans for my life. He wants to prosper me and lift me on wings like eagles. He has prepared the way before me and has caused Grace and Mercy to follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in His house forever!

Monday, July 14, 2008

I thought some of you might be interested in a basic Rumba lesson. As much as I would like to do it myself, I don't understand yet how to get video of my own on here.
So grab a man, or a child if you're a mom without access to a man right now, and try it out!


I think I'm having a bit of a mommy meltdown. (That needs to be the name for some kind of awesome chocolate dessert.) I betcha this happens to just about all first-time mommies. I know I'm not unique, but sometimes that's helpful and sometimes it's not.
This next part must all be read with a Valley Girl accent because it just seems appropriate for this type of whining:
Like, here's the deal. I guess I'm, like, super-selfish or something, because, I am so upset that I really don't get to do, like, anything anymore! I was thinking this week about how I used to go out dancing, like, every week, and then I thought, "I could totally do that again! I just need to, you know, figure out where to go here in Jackson and then just do it! Totally!" But then I was like, "Oh yeah, I've got a kid to take care of." And then I got majorly depressed because if I was into, like, painting, or something, I could totally stay home and do that, but, no, I want to dance. And there have been other things too, like at church the other day, I was thinking that I could help with the kids camp because they have this really awesome program that includes, you know, drama and dance and stuff. But again, I realized I can't even do that. I can't even go take a class myself! or, you know, take my husband to a class or anything!

Gotta go, the baby's crying.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Favorite Friday

In the interest of sharing even more about myself than I already do, I would like to share with all who read my blog some of my favorite things. I will try to post a video that represents my favorite thing every Friday and some info for those that want a little education to go along with their entertainment.

I began ballroom dancing in college and then taught professionally for 2 years after college. I love, love, love almost any kind of social dancing, but Rumba has been my favorite latin dance for some time now. The video at right shows a professional couple dancing the Rumba in competition. The things that draw me to the Rumba are it's beutiful, undulating, sensual expression and the often passionate, heart-tugging music that accompanies it. I have changed my playlist to give some examples of other songs one could dance the Rumba to.

Some info on the history of the Rumba courtesy of

"There are two sources of the dances: one Spanish and the other African. Although the main growth was in Cuba, there were similar dance developments which took place in other Caribbean islands and in Latin America generally. The original "rumba influence" came in the 16th century with the black slaves imported from Africa.
As recently as the second world war, the "Son" was the popular dance of middle class Cuba. It is a modified slower and more refined version of the native Rumba. Still slower is the "Danzon", the dance of wealthy Cuban society. Very small steps are taken, with the women producing a very subtle tilting of the hips by alternately bending and straightening the knees.
The American Rumba is a modified version of the "Son". The first serious attempt to introduce the rumba to the United States was by Lew Quinn and Joan Sawyer in 1913. Ten years later band leader Emil Coleman imported some rumba musicians and a pair of rumba dancers to New York. In 1925 Benito Collada opened the Club El Chico in Greenwich Village and found that New Yorkers did not know what Rumba was all about.
In Europe, the introduction of Latin American dancing (Rumba in particular) owed much to the enthusiasm and interpretive ability of Monsieur Pierre (London's leading teacher in this dance form). In the 1930's with his partner, Doris Lavelle, he demonstrated and popularized Latin American dancing in London.
Pierre and Lavelle introduced the true "Cuban Rumba" which was finally established after much argument, as the official recognized version in 1955.
Rumba is the spirit and soul of Latin American music and dance. The fascinating rhythms and bodily expressions make the Rumba one of the most popular ballroom dances."


Thursday, July 10, 2008

God meant what He said

So, I haven't written since my parents were here.... because I just had too much negative stuff I wanted to say. I don't think this is really the appropriate place for that, so I was waiting for my brain to stop dwelling on that and it's taken 4 days. Before I go on with the blog I'd planned, I feel I should honor my parents by saying that I really do appreciate the sacrifice they made to drive here and back just for the weekend. Driving's really no fun for them at all. I appreciate them completely understanding that our schedule doesn't allow us to visit them. There's been no complaining, just the decision on their part to come here if they feel the need to see us.

Onward. I have a page on Facebook that I really enjoy updating, especially now that we're so so far from all our freinds. I put some new pictures of our home on there and one in particular was commented on by a friend of mine from college. The picture was of our buffet in our dining room where I have much of my grandma's glassware displayed. The comment from my friend was that the glassware was likely to get broken in a couple years when we have a toddler running around. I responded that I wouldn't mind putting it away, but that she would be trained to "look don't touch." Now, this friend of mine loves to stir me up, because he knows I love a debate. In fact, over one Christmas break in college we wrote back and forth over 30 pages of emails debating various issues of my faith. I like keeping sharp, but I've had a realization since then that, yes, we should have an answer to why we believe, but one upping is never the goal and winning is never the goal. If you "win" an arguement or debate, you have never won their heart. I really regret all the debating I've done with this individual in the past. He's extremely smart... a thinker, so I thought he needed to be challenged on that level. The heart is so much deeper, though. Back to the story: His response to me saying I would train my daughter was, "See, the indoctrination already begins! What about her autonomy and ability to think of herself? Such stern words will only lead her towards a path of rebellion in her teenage years." Grrr. This kind of foolishness makes my heart start beating fast and my fingers bang as I type. I had just read that morning...

Proverbs 9: 7-8a
7 Anyone who rebukes a mocker will get an insult in return. Anyone who corrects the wicked will get hurt. 8 So don’t bother correcting mockers; they will only hate you.

I knew not to say anything back... (you know what comes next in this sentence) but I did. I HAD to. It was such a rediculous way to think! I had to show him how rediculous it was, right? He said it to me, so it's my job to correct it, right?
What's the real issue here? My pride. My pride might be hurt if I let him think that I hadn't thought through what I was doing. My pride would be hurt if one person (in front of all the other people that come to look at my facebook page) thought that my plan for my daughter would be to her detriment.
Uhuh. So I tried to correct a mocker and what does Solomon say I should expect in return? Vindication? A righting of wrong thinking? Satisfaction? None of these is listed. Only hatred from my friend who I felt the need to correct.
Good game. Great "win." Let's shake hands all 'round.
And not do that again.

Friday, July 04, 2008


My parents will be arriving in town to visit for the weekend in about an hour. Ahhhhhhhhhh!!! It's the first time they've come to OUR house that we OWN. panic! panic! everythingneedstolookperfect!!
I just need to let it out for a second, so this is going to be a short, non-insightful blog.
Is that a speck of paper or a spot of paint on the floor? Is the stuff I still need to put away multiplying or was I just blind before today? Was there a hurricane overnight or has all that pinestraw and other debris always been on the driveway? Did the kudzu that's eating the cute bushes near my door get extra hungry today, or has it always completely covered those cute bushes?
Geez louize!!
Gotta go,

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The Muffin Police

Yes, that's right, the Muffin Police. What in the world or who in the world are the Muffin Police, you ask? Well, I thought I would let everyone in on this title, first received by my dad several years ago. It's been a very helpful three words over the years, so much so, that I brought it into my marriage with me so that my husband could use it in appropriate situations. I'm sure that it is something we will continue using for years to come. I am very sad to say that I earn this title much too often. You see, it's actually an undesirable descriptor. Shall I tell you where it came from?
There was a very simple, all too common happening one evening at a restaurant that my parents were dining at years ago. First, let me tell you one thing about my parents.... well, I don't think I need to. Let the story speak for itself. So they were eating at this restaurant that served muffins before your meal came, you know, instead of rolls or other bread. My dad watched as a woman in a booth near them stuffed the yummy little muffins in her purse and then asked for more when the waiter came by. My dad was just about to walk to her booth and say something like "What if everybody that ate here took a whole basket of muffins home with them? Do you think the restaurant would mind?" or something even wittier and more cutting than that. (He's very witty. I can be too, unfortunately.) My mom stopped him before he could get up and asked "Are you the Muffin Police?"
What a great question that has been for my life. Over and over again, I have asked myself whether or not I want to wear the badge of the Muffin Police. It's a position, unfortunately, that I was trained for all my life. Excellence with a dash of perfectionism, goals with a lack of grace, critical thinking with a pinch of criticism and standards with a smattering of legalism are the classes at the academy for Muffin Police. I took all of them. It's been somewhat of a joke. A way to diffuse a thought or feeling that I need to "fix" something or someone because my eagle eye caught them in sin. It's a way to laugh at the urge and, for a moment, see that it is useless and foolish.
I could tell you at least five anecdotes even from just the past couple of days where I have had to stop my thoughts from traveling on their judgemental pathway. That path is so well worn, it's a rut now, a trough. My mind has practiced that route over and over and over and over.
But now that I have a precious girl's heart in my care, I can see that I have never dealt with my heart issue... the heart issues that cause me to whip out my badge and ticket pad and begin to strut over to the unsuspecting individual. It's no laughing matter anymore. I don't want my daughter to take the same classes at The Academy that I did. I want to teach excellence balanced with the recognition of her individuality. I want to teach goals infused with grace, mercy and encouragement. I want to teach critical thinking that divides joint from marrow, distinguishes black from white from gray and yet refuses to criticize. I want to teach the standards of the Word with a deep understanding of the issues of the heart.
God help me!! Help me teach what I never learned. Teach me, so I can teach her. Oh God, help.