Wednesday, September 28, 2005

A good Christian man

So Tom Delay just was indicted on charges of conspiracy related to this campaign finance thingy (good choice of words huh?) and on Fox this guy was talking about how trumped up the charges were, that he would never get convicted and what a great Christian man that Tom Delay was as if that meant it was not possible for him to do this act and I realized that, that seems to be the line everyone uses. "But he's a good Christian man!"

I don't know anything about Tom Delay and I know that Christians aren't perfect so he could very well be a good Christian and a guess..but that doesn't absolve him of consequences if he did in fact commit this crime!!! We're just forgiven, not freed from the punishment! I'm getting really tired of good Christian men in all political arenas who get away with or have a wrong dismissed based on the fact that they go to church and read the bible!!! Good Christian men of the bible were harshly punished for their sins; Moses was forbidden from the promise land that he had personally led his people to (and what he did amounts to little more than a copyright violation in today's terms), David's firstborn son was killed (adultery and murder do usually carry high prices, but that's still pretty harsh), and look at what happened to the Israelites when they worshiped a golden calf - the were swallowed by the earth!! Yes, these are all Old Testament examples, and Jesus forgave people and protected them from Jewish law (e.g. the adulterer) however, let's stop parading good WASP males around like they are saints after they've sinned. After all, we know who the saints really are, the women who put up with them.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Gabe's first school dance

I can't believe I forgot to write about this. Gabe went to his first dance last weekend. No dates, corsages or spiked punch, just a lot of roudy, screaming elementary school students dancing up the night. They had a blast and Gabey almost came totally out of his shell. He did the YMCA, learned the Chicken Dance, attempted the Macarena and threw a fit about another dance even I couldn't keep up with. He wouldn't join the Conga line, but it was fun and he was exhausted after two hours of dancing. A boy after my own heart! See photos below

Soccer practice. Note daddy's dog tags

Me and Ash watching Gabe at soccer

Doing the chicken dance

Posing with neighbor friend who came to the dance

Girl in pink dress...Gabe's special friend


The school dance

1SG Kubic's wife, Renee and I accepting our guys' Army Commendation Medals

Go diva

Today started very productive and spiraled into depression. How is that? I woke up on time, not early but on time, fed my children a healthy breakfast, ensured Gabe brushed his teeth and took his vitamins, a kiss and a pat on the head he was onto the bus.

I made some friendly chit chat with my pregnant neighbor after the kids were gone, and went for a (pathetic) run. (I'm attempting to get back on a normal exercising schedule again. Putting first things first (habit 3, seven habits of highly effective people. Guess what I'm reading?) and closed my eyes while running past my dirty kitchen so as not to get distracted on this effective day. I rushed downstairs and began on my goal oriented list of things to do. But sometime between the second to last item on my checklist, a surprising email and an irritating health related discovery I started to unravel. I made peace with my checklist, replied to the email, called a doctor, and looked for chocolate. Here's to a better day...and a local Godiva.

Friday, September 23, 2005


Top five richest people in the world are college dropouts. This should be banned reading material for all graduating seniors

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Sweet misery

The last couple of days have been good. No rushing, a mostly clean house, no bombs or shootings near my husband that I know of. The weather's been hot, gas has gone down, and I haven't put on too much weight from all the junk food and absent exercise. However I've been missing my husband more and more. Time feels like it's going slooooooweeerrr and sllllllooooooowwwwer. Despite looking at the calendar and how rushed I still feel keeping my kids on a schedule sometimes, the looming deployment clock is too hard to digest. August 06? That might as well be 10 years from now! It's been over four months since he left and I certainly don't feel like I'm a quarter of the way through, particularly when I'm killing prehistoric sized grasshoppers in my basement or sleeplessly tossing and turning in an ocean of a bed; the lone passenger. Sigh. It's just one of those weeks where things are good and yet in the back of my mind, kind of bad. (OR maybe I suffer from chronic pessimism...)

On the other hand, I think I fell in love again - with my children. If anything good comes of this, it's that I've been very emotional, proud and close to my children. Gabe's crossed some serious milestones - girls and crushes and jealousy - (which he has also sworn me to secrecy so shhhhhh if you ever see him.) It made me so sad to realize that some girl will steal his heart from me one day, but happy that he's beginning the adventure of crushes and infatuation and joy and thrills of love. (I did downplay the use of the word "girlfriend." Clearly one of his classmates has an older sibling, because he didn't bestow that term on his new "friend" - someone else did.)

Since Gabe's been at school all day, Asher and I have had a chance to bond more. In the mornings I rush down to my computer to see if Terry's sent me an email. I'll read and type for only a few minutes before he squeezes his soft, pudgy body next to mine and watches "melmo" (Elmo).

Last night Gabe fell asleep in my bed while I read The Lion, the witch and the wardrobe. (We're about half way through, looking forward to meeting Aslan). I closed the book and set it on my nightstand and he couldn't hide the smile that says, "I'm pretending to be asleep so you'll carry me to my room." I awkwardly scooped up his lanky body when he, eyes still closed, whispered, "Mommy will you carry me like a baby?" I obeyed.

I give my boys and extra squeeze for their father everyday and it does my heart good.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Ghetto Fabulous

There comes a time in every person's life when the evil twin that dwells silently within us, makes a devilish appearance. Saturday night was that time for me. I won't subject you all to the expletives that spewed from my normally very clean mouth, but I'll say that I ripped this guy a new one in the parking lot. It was road rage fueled by stress and sadness of the past week. In fact it was probably for the best that I took it out on a perfect stranger (who actually deserved everything I dished out) rather than oh say...My children.

I waited patiently for a parking spot at our very busy movie theater where Gabe and I were going to see The Greatest Game Ever Played (Excellent movie, highly recommend, esp for kids). Naturally as soon as the couple pulled out of their spot this jerk in a mini van pulled in from the other side. I sat in my car waving my hands telling him to get out of my spot and I probably looked like a crazy woman in a sound proof, glass room. I jumped out of my car just as the parking stealer did, slammed my door and demanded that he leave. He refused. A verbal war ensued. He told me to park somewhere else, he beat me to the spot. I told HIM to park somewhere else, I was patiently waiting. He called me a little girl. I called him something unfit to print. As he walked away and refused to move, I called him a very bad name reserved for use by gangsters, and told him Karma was a female dog. It was very very ugly. I was shaking as I stormed back to my car. Gabe didn't hear anything thankfully. The radio was on and door was closed but he so innocently asked, "Mommy are you mad?"

I drove around for 30 seconds and Karma did too. I got a much closer spot and jumped out of my car to follow they guy and his two daughters (teenagers). Yes, I was still fuming and wanted him to know it. Gabe and I hustled up behind him and stood directly behind them in the line for tickets. God knew I had a long and stressful week and that I was going to act like an irresponsible lunatic and so, in his infinite wisdom, placed my cop neighbor right in the middle of the heated situation. He was fulfilling his monthly commitment to keeping order at the popular movie theatre (normally and Alexandria cop) and I saw him just as I crept up behind my enemy. "J!" I called to him. He was all nice and like "Hey how's it going?" I go, "Hi. Do you know what this guy did" and pointed at my enemy. I started up with the guy AGAIN and my enemy put his finger in my face and told J, "You see this attitude? You see that? That's why I wouldn't move." I spat out, "Get your finger out of my face." And called him another bad name. J finally pulled me aside and I started crying. Clearly I wasn't mad about ONLY getting screwed out of a parking spot. I was upset about EVERYTHING. J thought something happened to Terry, I told him he was fine, but I clearly was not. He was really cool and joked about letting the air out of his tires, then he let me in the movie for free. Ugh. It was so so very bad, but I felt so so very good (in a very bad way of course) for what I did. We ended up behind him AGAIN in the concession line, but the rational, kind Monique moved to a different line to avoid another confrontation. By the time we finally got to order I was ready to apologize. I made a deal with God that if I saw him after our movie I would do so. Hmm, didn't see him. Pity. So I guess this is my confession for losing it big time.

(Sidenote: They guy was a HUGE HUGE jerk too, he may not have cussed but was smug, rude, arrogant, and glib, grrrrrrrr.)

I've returned safely home from the loony bin and decided I REALLY need to start running and burn off all this anxiety.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Kids Say...Part II

Yesterday Gabriel was watching Dora and her explorer friends sing a tune and dance a jig on their mission of the day, and Gabey hollered out, "Quit messin' around and just save the baby!"

Friday, September 09, 2005

The children of Iraq

Here's a picture I received from a soldier in our company. They all look so happy! Well except that one up front...:)

The children of Iraq

Remembering 9/11

Everyone has their story of where they were, what they were doing on 9/11, here's mine.

My life has come full circle in a way on the fourth anniverssary of 9/11. I was at Syracuse taking a class, that's about three hours away (for my west coast pals), and I was late for my class as usual. We were staying and taking classes in the hotel on SUs campus and I was walking through the lobby when I saw one of the WTC towers smoldering on the television. The first plane had just hit. I slowed down but didn't stop, thinking it was some sort of accident. But as I continued to my class I thought that didn't really make sense. I was the last one in class so no one had heard. I leaned over to my classmate and whispered, "You know the WTC is on fire?" She raised her eyebrows, "Really?" I nodded my head and shrugged like, "Should I say something to the class?" We turned our attention back to the professor.

Incidentally he is a professor and ex-Navy guy whose wife was still in the Navy and worked at the Pentagon. He teaches this class (Enterprise Architecture) at SUs DC campus usually. There was also an FBI agent in our class. His pager went off. He read the text message and looked up at as and very casually said, "Two planes just hit the World Trade Center." We all just sat there not knowing what to think. The professor suggested we take a break to see what happened and we all half ran to the lobby to see the TV and there it was. The towers were on fire and more reports were coming in about other planes and the chaos began. Someone said, "We are going to war." And I realized the West Coast was probably just finding out about it all and wondered if my husbad was going to be called up. Who would take Gabe? Would I get to say goodbye? All these crazy thoughts ran though my mind. (When I returned to my hotel room that night I found a note slid under the door. It was from Terry's parents and read, "If Terry called up will take baby." It gave me chills.)

I tried to call home (Spokane at the time) and all the cell networks were busy. I tried to call on a land line and I think I got through. My husband was already asking me, "Where are you?!" I promised him I didn't go to NYC and was safe in the hotel. Then I turned it back to him, "Are you getting deployed!?" Nothing had come down yet. Later he was put on alert. After we had watched as much as we could stand we returned to class. The professor drew a box on the whiteboard. "In the Navy we would take all the stress of the moment and say, 'Put it in a box.' Let's put this in a box and try to finish today's class." I don't remember anything. I don't really even understand why we continued with the class.

It's hard to believe it was four years ago. Terry and I were consumed with finishing college without screwing up Gabe and getting divorced. Today, the dog days of college is something I kind of wish for. Really, we had few worries. You all know where we are now. Terry's at war. I'm a single mom. We have two boys now and we worry about THEIR college, :) retirement, buying a house, etc. etc. Well I guess I shouldn't say worry it's fun to plan but I certainly feel like a "grown up" and not a college kid.

So on this fourth anniverssary of 9/11 I'll be mingling with Army wives at our monthly meeting. We'll be thinking about our husbands, our country, our lives, our children's future. And of course remembering the heroes of 9/11 and why we continue to fight for freedom.

"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid."Eisenhower

Here's to my husband, his men, all the armed forces, the citizens of our country who believe in our ideals and to the heroes of 9/11. Esp those on flight 93.

No matter what your politics you gotta admit, it's great to be an American.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Fairy God Mother, make me a real writer

So I found out today that I'm not a real writer. I don't store vast amounts of useless knowledge and spew it at dinner parties..."Well actually the Incas..." I don't have any addictions to coffee, cigarettes or alcohol. I do look at the odds of getting published as daunting (but still possible) I don't read the New York Times Book Review. It's official I'm an empty dreamer, according to Writer's Digest. Why of all the books in all the bookstores did I have to pick that one? (Casablanca. Hey! I do store useless knowledge. Poof! I'm a writer.) This is a writer's magazine. Why in the hell would they make a survey like that - we ALL cheat on those Cosmo quizzes so why not this one? (Oh I forgot one. I don't break out into hives when I see a punctuation error.) But lots of waiters call themselves actors, even if they aren't in major motion pictures yet, so I figure I can call myself a writer, even if it is just a blog and a book review here and there.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Real American Heroes

I'm calming down now, so you don't have to worry about another rant because I realized that the only hero stories are the rescuers (Coast Gaurd and Nat'l Gaurd) and the American People. We are nothing if not generous! And because I don't feel like a check to the Red Cross is enough, if you want to do more check out these links. You can donate to these places that have smaller numbers of people, schools with evacuees' children. If you know anyone you trust near Houston, call them and ask them to donate to these places. Hey, it's something...

The following is from I couldn't get the link to work so I cut and pasted.

Here's How To Help Katrina Victims
Monetary Donations Preferred

POSTED: 12:30 pm CDT August 30, 2005
UPDATED: 9:27 am CDT September 3, 2005

Houstonians can help the victims of Hurricane Katrina through the following agencies and companies. Most charities would prefer monetary donations because it is the easiest and quickest way to meet victims' immediate needs.

Volunteers Needed At Astrodome, Convention Center

Volunteers are needed at the Astrodome. They should go to the Main Street Yellow Lot. Volunteers will work 10-hour shifts covering all hours after a one- to two-hour training session.

Donations are no longer needed. Please do not drop them off at the Dome until requested.

City officials also asked for volunteers at the George R. Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston, which is being readied for evacuees. Those interested should go to the Polk Street parking lot. Volunteers will work four-hour shifts.

The following items are also needed. Donations should be dropped off at Exhibit Hall E.
Toiletry Items
Sheets, Bedding
Air Mattresses

How To Volunteer
Volunteer Houston, (713) 965-0031
American Red Cross: (281) JOIN-NOW

American Red Cross Shelters Accepting Donations

Items Needed:
Food and drinks
Disposable diapers
Games and toys
Sheets and blankets
Monetary donations

Shelter Locations:
Baytown Community Center, 2407 Market Street, Baytown
Fairmont Park Baptist Church, 10401 Belfast, La Porte
First Baptist Church, 1229 Avenue J, Huntsville
First Baptist Church, 906 Avenue A, Katy
First United Methodist Church, 4308 W. Dallas, Conroe
Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 18220 Upper Bay Road-Nassau Bay, Houston
Memorial Baptist Church, 600 W. Sterling, Baytown
Mont Belvieu Senior Center, 11607 Eagle Drive, Mont Belvieu
Moody Methodist Church, 2803 53rd Street, Galveston
New Life Central, 2104 Underwood, La Porte
Spring Tabernacle, 3034 F.M. 2920, Spring
St. Mary's Catholic Church, 701 Church St., Brenham
St. Peter Claver Catholic Church, 6005 N, Wayside Drive, Houston
Complete Shelter List From Red Cross

For more information from the American Red Cross, call (866) GET-INFO or (713) 313-5480.

Donate To Houston Food Bank

The Houston Food Bank, 3811 Eastex Freeway, (713) 223-3700, is in need of the following items to help Katrina victims. To volunteer at the Food Bank, call (713) 547-8609 or (713) 547-8657.

Paper goods such as plates, cups, diapers and tissue
Cleaning supplies, such as bleach, Top Job, Mr. Clean
Bottled water (no glass containers)
Single serving snacks such as Pop-Tarts and cereal bars
Peanut butter
Heat and eat foods such as chili, stew, canned pasta with sauce and canned vegetables
Any other single serving foods that don't require refrigeration
MREs (Meals Ready To Eat)
Baby formula
Personal hygiene products

Offer, Receive Housing
Make A Home: Houston Association Of Realtors, (713) 748-GIVE (4483)
Crawford Cares: Small businesses adopt evacuated families.
Houston Apartment Association, (281) 933-2224, will offer reduced rent to evacuees at certain properties, depending on availability.
Harris County Housing Authority, 8410 Lantern Point, (713) 578-2150, has 500 units available for evacuees who received "HUD Section-8 Housing-Choice Vouchers." Refugees can search for free housing and residents can offer free housing.
City Wide Club of Clubs Adopt-A-Family/Share-Your-Home Project, (713) 752-CLUB (2582)
Operation Share Your Home
Harris County Housing Resource Center

Missing Person Registries
National Registry From
American Red Cross Missing Person's Hot Line: (713) 313-1628
Gulf Coast News

Job Information
Global Strategic Sourcing Job Bank:
Evacuees who need work: (713) 583-9867 Submit resumes:
Employers wanting to hire: (713) 583-9866 or e-mail

Seeking Help
FEMA, Disaster Help Line: (800) 621-FEMA
FEMA Hotline For Evacuees To Find Shelter: (888) 312-4567
Louisiana State Police, (800) 469-4828
Texas United Way: Evacuees in need of food stamps should call (713) 957-HELP or (800) 500-4266
WIC benefits for evacuees: (713) 794-9090 or (800) 942-3678
Find a School: (713) 892-6699
Evacuees can get mail forwarded to their shelter by filling out a change-of-address form at (800) ASK-USPS.
Evacuees at the Astrodome can receive mail at this address: Evacuee's Name, General Delivery, Houston, TX 77230. Make sure to include the evacuee's name.
Houston Humane Society To Shelter Evacuees' Pets: (713) 433-6421
SPCA Emergency Pet Hot Line: (713) 802-0555
Displaced businesses seeking office space:

Helpful Information
Better Business Bureau: Check out charity before giving
Texas Attorney General's toll-free complaint line for price gouging: (800) 252-8011
NOAA: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Satellite Images

Accepting Monetary Donations
American Red Cross, (800) HELP NOW (435-7669)
Salvation Army: (800) SAL-ARMY (725-2769) or (800) 253-1868
Greater New Orleans Foundation
Jewish Federation of Greater Houston, Donate Online
America's Second Harvest: (800) 344-8070
Adventist Community Services: (800) 381-7171
Catholic Charities, USA: (703) 549-1390
Christian Disaster Response: (941) 956-5183 or (941) 551-9554
Christian Reformed World Relief Committee: (800) 848-5818
Church World Service: (800) 297-1516
Convoy of Hope: (417) 823-8998
Lutheran Disaster Response: (800) 638-3522
Nazarene Disaster Response: (888) 256-5886
Operation Blessing: (800) 436-6348
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance: (800) 872-3283
Southern Baptist Convention Disaster Relief: (800) 462-8657, ext. 6440
United Methodist Committee on Relief: (800) 554-8583

Companies, Organizations Accepting Donated Items

Note: Many religious organizations are holding their own collection and/or donation drives. Please check with a church, synagogue or facility near you. Due to the huge number of places organizing drives, Click2Houston regretfully cannot post every location.

Children Caring For Children Drive: Donate new school supplies, backpacks, tennis shoes and T-shirts to any local fire station to be given to evacuees attending school.
Toys R Us, Kirby at OST
First Methodist Church, (832) 668-1800: Downtown Campus (1320 Main Street at Clay); Westchase Campus (Westpark at Sam Houston Tollway)
Houston Intown Chamber of Commerce, 3015 Richmond Ave., 77098, (713) 524-8000
Holiday Inn Select, 2712 Southwest Freeway, 77098, (713) 523-8448
Four Points By Sheraton, 2828 Southwest Freeway, 77098, (713) 942-2111
Society of St. Vincent de Paul, 2403 Holcombe Blvd., (713) 741-8234
Baytown Junior High, 7707 Bayway Drive, (281) 420-4560
Sugar Creek Baptist Church, 13213 Southwest Freeway, Sugar Land, (281) 242-2858
Park at Voss Apartments, 2424 S. Voss Road (at Westheimer), (713) 268-3000
Alvin Community College, 3110 Mustang Road, Alvin, 77511
Houston Humane Society, 14700 Almeda Road, (713) 433-6421
Houston-Area Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals, 900 Portway Drive
West University Baptist Church, 6218 Auden Street, (713) 668-2319
Crosspoint Church, 4601 Bellaire Blvd.
Bumbera's Performance Associates, 630 Highway 6 South, 77079, (281) 493-9300
Wesley Gardens Apartments, 8700 Gustine Lane, 77031, (713) 270-5555
Julia C. Hester House, 2020 Solo, 77020, (713) 672-2573
Westlake Fire Department, (281) 960-5014
Lakewood Church, 3700 Southwest Freeway, Accepting donations Sept. 1 and 2, (713) 635-4154
Church of Christ, 1704 Weber, (713) 864-5667
Lansdowne-Moody, (713) 672-8366, is collecting food and clothing at the four locations below.
8445 East Freeway, 77029
11810 S. Sam Houston Parkway West, 77031
1600 FM 528, Webster, 77598
23738 Hempstead Highway, Cypress, 77429
Houston-area YMCAs and KSBJ FM are collecting gift cards to help victims pay for gas, food and other items.
Impact Houston Church of Christ, 1704 Weber, (832) 641-5900
Consignor's Club, 22704 Loop 494 Ste D, Humble, 77339, (281) 359-9090

Coast Guard Asks For Donations For Rescuers

The U.S. Coast Guard in Houston is asking for donations to help about 50 workers in New Orleans on rescue efforts who are running out of basic supplies. Donations can be dropped off at the Coast Guard office at Ellington Field.

Items in need include:

T-shirts, underwear
Toilet paper, wipes
First Aid kits, bug spray, foot powder
Bottled water, sports drinks, coffee
Power bars, granola bars, cups of dry soup
Sleeping bags and pillows
D and AA batteries

For more information, call (713) 578-3080.

School supplies needed at Houston Independent School District where over 500 child victims are registered

Shelters housing evacuees

Check them out maybe there's something we can do even far away...

Friday, September 02, 2005

Ode to my Gold Stallion

So long she has waited for her moment to shine
My Gold Stallion, trusty stud of mine
With 30 miles to her gallon
she outshines the Black Stallion
by gallons probably 29
Yes, the Blacky's more comfy
(yet oddly more bumpy) as we cruise around our concrete jungle
but she'd surely indebt us through the next months' a ruckus
caused by the storm Katrina.
'til gas prices drop (or my gerbil engine stops)
I'll take it in stride and drive stick shift with pride, when weather is cloudy or fine.
She's no luxury but got us through our degrees when often we were in a bind.
Although a bit rusty she's frugal and trusty,
Thank God for Gold Stallion of mine.

Still on a rampage

I'm still not down from my angry high. Did you know DC had volunteers and military personel in vehicles with supplies on their way to New Orleans anticipating that FEMA would ask for help? Did you know they never got the call and so they turned around and went home? Yup. That's FEMA. I hope some heads roll and political prices are paid for this. It's more than unnacceptable that all these people should live without food and water for more than a day. And shame on those looters and shooters who've made it too dangerous for the military and aid people to get help. Karma's a b****.

Not all the hospitals are evacuated out of the damaged gulf coast. There are still people dying in the heat. Cops and soldiers have no first aid equipment to help those that are dying on the sidewalks. People are being carted around airports in makeshift triage centers, like luggage. The dead are piling up like animals. It's more than one can bear or imagine and I don't care of it's graphic on tv or in print. People need to see and know that this is happening and help is getting there fast enough. It's all we can do to pray and donate from a distance. And WRITE YOUR LEADERS TO LET THEM KNOW THEY ARE ACCOUNTABLE. I want to know what went wrong with the recovery efforts at least...Even BUSH admitted it wasn't acceptable!

Oh and if they say evacuate, evacuate!!!!!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Third World America

Sometimes when I think my life is so bad, I'm embarrased by my self pity. A friend told me today of an Iraqi War veteran from New Orleans who said it was worse over there than in Iraq. I cannot get over the images of sweaty, thirsty babies and dead old people in their lawn chairs. It's making me mad now. It shouldn't take three days to drop water and MREs to the people over there. We did it in Thailand what's going on here? I gotta go write my president now...