Posts Tagged With: schoolhouse rock

Moana, fried green tomatoes, and fireworks

In the old days Independence Day meant a backyard full of people, and a pool full of children.
It was a pot luck, with the best damn macaroni salad you’ve ever eaten. Burgers and dogs on the grill, beer in plastic cups, because ‘no glass by the pool’. I’d always get thrown in fully clothed thanks to my brother and cousin. The kids would be pruned beyond belief, only stopping to grab a handful of fruit or veggies or chips. They’d hork down a burger or dog if you made them, but they couldn’t be out of the water for too long, or they’d miss out on all the fun.

These days Independence Day is much smaller.
Yesterday YBW and Thing G did yard work and I studied.
But in the late afternoon, Meredith and Beau came down with their Mommy. The kids played with Legos and their Mommy and I made fried green tomatoes and drank wine.
YBW and the kids have had a date to watch Moana since it came out, and last night they finally went down to the giant TV and set it up. (thanks Netflix) After we cleaned the kitchen, their Mommy and I joined them. Even Thing G came down to watch!
YBW and I were the only ones that hadn’t yet seen it.
Y’all, I was truly delighted! Disney hit that one out of the park! I laughed, I cried, I absolutely adored it!

Turns out we kind of forgot it was Independence Day because suddenly we could hear loud sounds, even downstairs. That’s when I realized we were missing fireworks.
After the movie, they walked back up the street to home and YBW and I had a quick hem-haw about zipping out to see the fireworks. We grabbed shoes and headed out. Hooked up with Nora and Dale and their kids and ooohed and ahhhed as we watched the color explosions. Apparently, our Manassas fireworks one of the largest local fireworks displays in all of Northern VA.
I didn’t even grab my phone from the car to take photos.
That’s how you know it’s good…choosing to experience everything first hand. The immediacy and authenticity of being present in the moment, not behind the lens. That’s a tricky one for me, but last night it was worth it!

Today is going to be quiet. YBW decided to skive off work today and tomorrow, we’ve got a couple quick errands to run. Might even pencil in a movie. If we’d been quick thinking enough, we might have planned a minibreak…but going away over the fourth just seems like a mess of hotness.

I keep hearing this song in my head, as I always do around Independence Day.

Yes, I am and American girl who grew up in the 1970s.
What are you gonna do?

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beer and the guy that killed Pluto

YBW and I enjoyed the gorgeous spring weather on Tuesday this week. We were headed into DC to a lecture at the Air and Space Museum.

I had to zip into Falls Church to pick up more chalk paint on the way, so we stopped at Mad Fox Brewing Company for a nibble before we went downtown.

YBW had a kick ass burger and I had a crab cake with our Tori’s Rockstar Irish Red Ale. It was really breezy, but warm enough to make it worth eating outside.

You may not know this, but Pluto is (has always been) my favorite planet. I think it stems from watching Schoolhouse Rock as a kid.

Anyway, turns out that this Mike Brown from Caltech is the guy that “killed Pluto”.

Ah hell nah!
I mean his freaking twitter handle is @plutokiller for crying out loud.
I’m feeling the desire to stab rising up in me…

Well, as it turns out, the killer of my beloved Pluto gives a pretty decent talk about his search for the “new” ninth planet.

With some pretty cool visuals.

Far be it from me to promote the guy that kicked my Pluto out of the planets…but he was pretty good. So, if you’re interested in his talk you can see it here.

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the value of belief systems

In my fb feed “on this day” I read a post from 2009 that moved me today the way it did seven years ago.

“Saw a sign today: It isn’t hard to make decisions if you know what your values are. Shall we ponder that for a while?”

Now we all know our core values. They’re constant. They’re unchanging. But what about the values that aren’t deeply embedded in our core? The ones that are a little more pliant? They change as we change. As we grow as individuals. Things that we believed when we’re young may not be completely different as we grow up, but they…what? Adapt. Yes, adapt.
We adapt our belief systems as we move through life. We learn new and different things and this further shapes our values. In some extreme cases, it rewrites them completely.
I know that my values have changed as I have. That I can’t become who I am meant to be if my belief system remains rigid and unchanging. I have experienced people who refuse to let their values ebb and flow with new experiences and learning. These people never grow as human beings. They’re not in touch with who they are within. They’re not in touch with who they are in the world.
My mom was one such person. I believe that she could not or would not adapt because she had to keep such tight reign over herself to simply function in the world.

I have always been someone who looks at the world in black and white. I inherited that from my father. And while I am most comfortable in this mindset, I’m realizing there is so much more gray in the world. And that the grayness doesn’t actually have to be a “bad thing”.
I’m learning that as I adapt, so do my values. BUT I’m also learning that because I know and understand my belief system, I’m able to better make decisions about my life.

I strongly believe my beliefs and nothing can change that. That helps me make decisions every single day.
My values change as I learn and grow. Not the values themselves, but the way they guide me changes.
Schoolhouse Rock taught me that “Knowledge is Power!”.
The more I learn the better my belief system becomes. The better my values guide my decisions. The better chance I have to become the me I’m meant to be.

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adventures in our governmental system

I went to the local Social Security Administration office this afternoon to have my name change processed.
I went to the office because it’s only about ten minutes from home and I could use the necessary documents without having to give them up for any length of time.
I had absolutely no idea what to expect when I got there…but what I found made the “great unwashed” who frequent the local DMV office seem as pristine as angels.
I was hit with the stench of rank body odor and urine as I walked through the door. Babies were screaming (and I mean SCREAMING!), people were near-shouting in at least four different languages. And the security guard asked the same six people to “keep this area clear” five different times before they chose to move.
After checking in at the computer to get my service number, I sat between a woman and her mother, by best guess is they were Indian (from India, not American Indians) and two little Spanish speaking girls who played a quiet “chopsticks” like hand game to entertain themselves. They smelled of pee pants, but were quiet. (One out of two ain’t bad.) The Indian ladies were each reading a book. The babies never stopped screaming.

There I sat with my little folder containing my passport, current SS card, birth certificate, and the shiny new marriage certificate feeling increasingly anti”great American melting pot”. (Thank you Schoolhouse Rock.)
I’m not a racist. I’m not anti-immigration. I mean, we all have ancestors from somewhere outside the borders of the US…but as I listened to the questions about medicare and medicaid benefits from individuals who, at that very moment, were applying for social security cards…my hackles went up a little.

I’m not going to soapbox about this.
We all know it’s not my hot-button issue.
Immigration is what it is.
I’m lucky enough to be born American for all the good it does.

When the man finally called D494 I leapt from the seat and followed him through the door as quickly as I could without trampling any of the screaming babies.
I presented him with all my documents and he stapled my old card to my application handed me a receipt and thanked me for having everything I needed before sending me on my way.
A Social Security card with my new name should arrive in my mailbox in seven to ten days and I only sacrificed two and a half hours of my life in that waiting room.
I’ll consider it an adventure!
I did come home and take a shower though…I felt like the smell clung to me and I just couldn’t abide that.

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