Monthly Archives: October 2009

Choices

Despite my previous posts on keeping in touch with an ex, technology made it near impossible for me to avoid finally facing the music especially with one particular ex-boyfriend and we met for coffee. It’s fine- my husband knew about it and was okay with it but I wonder whether I did the right thing – after all, it is always more fun to wonder and fantasize about what may have happened to someone rather than facing reality.

With this particular ex-bf, it was a toughie. We met while I was still in high school and we were both young and of course, I was not ready for anything too serious freshman year in college so I was the one who called it off. He was upset back then but it was a choice I made- I wanted to see other people, finish undergrad, and possibly go on to post-graduate school. The last thing on my mind was marriage – after all, I had just gotten my freedom, was attending college, living on my own, and saw an entire world out there for me. Of course, I was also planning to join the military and was going to travel a bit too. It also did not help that his dad was against our union and his family in general, was weird. In any case, it was a decision- a choice I made back then. Like any choice though you wonder if you made the right one. Now, as we both have families of our own, it is easy to look back and say “it was all for the best and was the right choice.” But, for many years, I always wondered what happened to him and his family and if he ever got over what happened. I did not even expect a response back from him when I discovered him on linked in. However, after meeting him and catching up, it was great to finally put the missing pieces of the puzzle together and looking at the puzzle from up here, it all looked right, but did it?

As I contemplate my previous blogs on the topic and question whether it is a good idea to keep in touch with an ex, I still think it is not good to be fast friends or keep in touch regularly with an ex, but I think it is a good idea to reconnect even if it is 17 years later (which it was in my case), because it can help put the past to rest and the fantasy behind you- it helps you understand why things happened and perhaps help gain some closure. For me, this was exactly the case because I felt horrible about how things were left between us. In any case, game over! Now, 17 years later, with the life I have had and the life I know I want, the choices we make at the time, while we cannot make sense of them at the time, are clearly the right choices that help shape our futures. More importantly, the choices we make shape who we are and who we become.

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Reporting for Jury Duty

I got a jury duty notice about a month and yes, my initial reaction was like everyone else’s and sheer and utter disappointment. I decided not to pursue a postponement even though I am still nursing and/or pumping because I just wanted to get it over with.

In any case, Colorado has a one-day, one-trial system and on the day before your date of service you call or check a website to see if your number is on there. If your number is there, you show up at 8am and hope for the best.

On the morning of, I was exhausted as my infant daughter has not been sleeping well through the night and in honesty, has her days and nights confused. She will sleep through the days and play at approximately 3-6am, it is quite annoying. In any case, I left bright-eyed and bushy tailed, expecting the worse. I arrived and it was relatively painless to go through security except I had a lot of bags- a laptop bag, my pump and its case and accouterments, and of course, my purse. It was a cold Colorado morning so I had a big jacket too. Besides all the stuff I had, I had to ask about the nursing room which obviously was of concern to me.

The jury assembly was a large room with chairs everywhere and not many tables or outlets so I am glad I had battery power in my laptop- I found a place I could sit against the wall so no one would see what I was doing. I was surprised to look around the room and see people just staring off into space with nothing to do – not even so much as a piece of paper to read. I found that very odd. In any case, I took out my laptop and started my day. After I saw people getting snacks and drinking their coffees, I also took my Starbucks Frappucino out and granola bars. A lady came out and told us that some of us would go upstairs and depending on how many trials go forward, they would seat some of us and not others. She said they would draw numbers from a hat basically – high tech world, this jury duty, I thought.

The worst part of the morning was when, as we were waiting to find out if we had to serve, we had a watch video about jury duty. It was so pedantic for me- so basic. All about the jury process, voir dire, and selection, and how things operate in a court room. I did not feel above or better than anyone but I certainly felt like this was a waste of my time. The video was a feel good, hug your neighbor, and kiss the Constitution-type of movie. In short, it was annoying to watch but then the even worst part came after this video. For entertainment, presumably for those who did not have anything to read or do, they played a HOT DOG video. This video was the travel channel or food channel review of hot dog places across America. For 200 hungry people sitting there with nothing to do but wait, showing a video on hot dogs and food was just not the way to go. I was aggravated and some people even left the room and sat in the hallway because they wanted to read or do their work in peace – with no background HOT DOG noise.

I was happy to have my cricket wireless card with me so I could connect to the world, post updates on facebook and communicate in general. I think others wondered what I was doing but I was so excited to have my laptop with me. If they made us any longer, I was going to watch a movie but fortunately, after a short period of time, we got notified that we were all released because all the cases were either continued or settled out. This was right after I had to use the “lactation room.” It was not a lactation room but rather, a jury break room for a particular judge and anyone from the jury assembly room could have walked in but fortunately for me, no one did. The room was nice and private and certainly provided me some comfort. The fridge was the fridge that the clerks used so I am glad I brought a bag to put the milk in. In any case, it was a good experience. In 18 years, this was the first time I was called to jury duty or even had to report – I gotta say, I escaped for 18 years so I cannot complain much – I guess it is time to do my civic duty now.

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My "Alleged" Family Medical History

For the last few years, since I have had planned and had a family of my own, I have really been interested in my family medical history. I used to fill out those questionnaires and wonder to myself as I wrote down “N/A – no report” what my family history truly was. You see, I am a first generation American born to parents who immigrated to the U.S. in the 1960s, so I know very little about the medical history of my immediate family other than what I am told which has been up to this point- very little to nothing.

Moreover, each time I told something about how someone died or what happened to this uncle or grandma, I am told something different each time. Things that certainly make you go “hmmmm….” In any case, I try to remain vigilant and persistent. When I made a trip to the Motherland last year, I was asking all the questions I could. I also ask my in-laws so I can help figure out what we all up against. As you know, family medical history plays a significant role in genetic disorders, medical conditions and health in general. Sure, a large part of your health is your diet, exercise, and how you take care of yourself BUT, it would be nice to know what risk factors we are all up against.

As I try to trace what happened to my family in the Motherland, I discover lots of disturbing “allegations” – my grandmother died young (either pneumonia or brain disorder), my grandparents on my maternal side passed away (was it diabetes or natural causes), my uncle who died young (brain tumor or aneurysm), siblings of my mother and father who died before my mom and dad were even born (no idea what happened). I try to piece together a genetic medical history puzzle of sorts and it has a lot of holes in it! I continue to wonder why people do not know really know what happened to certain people or why they cannot explain anything- was medical care really that poor back in the day or could people not accurately diagnose so all of us left behind just have to live with the explanation of, “she just went nuts.” What?

Anyway, as I continue to piece together the answers to that ever popular question, “Do you have a medical history of this in your family?” I hope I can at least provide some answers to my children so they, in turn, can fill out a proper family medical history instead of the perpetual “?? I have no earthly idea” as an answer.

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Signs of the Times – Cartoons & Children’s programming

As a result of working from home and entertaining my 2-year old daughter, I have come to watch a lot of children’s Television and I have found most of it quite interesting and often a diatribe of the times and what is going on in society.


A few months ago my daughter was really into Sesame Street. My mother started her off on Sesame Street at the ripe age of 18 months so my daughter was quite familiar with characters like Zoe, Elmo, Rosita, Cookie Monster, Oscar the Grouch, and Big Bird. They have added characters to that show since my days of watching it. Zoe, the orange monster turned ballerina is new and so is Rosita, the blue furry, Hispanic monster. As times evolve, so has Sesame Street. Themes have changed too. An adult can watch Sesame Street and find just as much humor and satire a child does – of course, both will get different messages. They do spoofs on “deal or no deal”, “CSI” and other popular shows and of course, there are the subtle political messages that only adults would get and appreciate.

Yesterday though, I watched Dora – lately, my daughter dislikes Sesame Street and is into DORA and DIEGO (Dora’s cousin – I had no idea til I watched). Anyway, Dora is a little Hispanic girl who goes on adventures presumably at the tender age of 5, through spooky forests and the hills of her village with her pet monkey, Boots, and her love able forest friends. This is where it gets interesting. I have never been an advocate of an official second language in America. I think English should be it but alas, I think it is inevitable that Spanish is unofficially becoming the second language, which is fine. With our neighbors to the South of us and the growing latino population, it is no surprise that I saw an RTD-Denver bus the other day sporting an entire advertisement in Spanish  I could not understand it so I am assuming that I was not the target audience of that ad. 
In any case, with the growing popularity of learning Spanish, it is no surprise that I am learning plenty of it from my daughter’s programming. From Sesame Street and Dora, to Diego and the Spanish channels on both TV and radio, I am actually picking up Spanish even though I took French in high school. Anyway, the point I need to make is that children’s programming should show the adaptability to both cultures and languages. I think the character on Dora that was the funniest and reflected the sign of the times was the squirrel named Tiko. This squirrel is a the only character on Dora that speaks only Spanish.  So, basically, Dora and Boots, through their responses to Tiko, kinda let you know what Tiko is saying without a direct translation. It was interesting for me to watch this and watch my daughter’ reaction too. She has a short attention span so she just tuned out when she could not understand Tiko, the rapido Espanol-speaking squirrel. It was obvious that they were not teaching Spanish like other shows may but I got the distinct feeling that the creators were making a point through the use of Tiko, the squirrel. It is not a message that kids would get but I sure got it. Maybe my daughter can teach me Spanish some day soon because I think very soon, English will be the second language which is fine – I just hope I can learn a new language and keep up with the times.

Another interesting show is Spongebob Square Pants. I always wondered what the Focus on the Family controversy was with this show until I watched it. I guess I can see concerned right-wing Christians taking to the streets of Colorado Springs over the one episode where Spongebob takes in a little oyster as a child with his friend, Patrick, another male. The 15-minute episode is all about the trials and tribulations of being a parent and what they go through until the oyster regains his strength and flies the coop. Spongebob and his friend, Patrick, distraught over saying goodbye to their baby, cry and wave good bye. Could this be an episode on gay marriage and the ability of gay partners to adopt and raise kids? hmmm… maybe. That is how I saw it. My 2-year old, of course, did not see it that way. As I watch this programming with my daughter and try to find some entertainment with it, I have noticed a subtle trend in children’s programming to make a point – whether political, social, or otherwise and believe it or not, it keeps me wanting more and helps me kinda stay in touch with the times so, stay tuned for more reports soon!

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Facebook – the new recreational drug

These days, you do not have to look far to find someone on facebook. “Everyone is doing it.” In fact, if you are not on facebook, you are already left behind. My husband mentioned how many moms are on facebook and are addicted – he’s right. Moms spend their days at home with crazy, often disobedient, younger kids. Facebook ends up being a happy place- a sweet escape. Just when you thought it was alcohol, caffeine, or drugs- no! The new escape is safer and more fun – FACEBOOK. The Internet is a modern phenomenon – if our parents had it, we would have all turned out weird. Which of course, makes me wonder how our kids will turn out. We’ve all done it, parents… we need a quick escape, an adult to “chat” with, and we turn to… you guessed it – our computers! With a quick move of the mouse, we are on, wireless and able to move freely throughout the house. With my click of the mouse, I have eyes in the back of my head- That’s right, folks, the webcam built-into my laptop can see behind me and I can watch the kids play while I stroke the keys to type a message and write on my friends’ walls.

I can take pictures and upload them with ease and “publish” — so many comments and writings on my wall follow- hours of entertainment and banter with friends without any interpersonal contact. It’s nice. It is like I am spending time with them without actually dealing with annoyances like changing my clothes, showering or driving to meet them. Yes, Email is a good escape but Facebook is so much more fun. It is addictive and a stay at home parents’ best friend – it is the new, modern, safer recreational drug.

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