Tuesday, March 25

Missing Something

“Because I said so!” must be in the top 3 famous last words we hated to hear from our mom and swore to never repeat when we were a parent. The injustice and total arrogance of it made us crazy! It didn’t matter it usually exploded from maternal lips as a last resort to some over-worked, nagging scheme on our part. It was so unfair! This four word statement was a nuclear momspeak for “the issue is CLOSED” and "I AM the Supreme Being". It was, and she was.

This week a momspeak back-fired in a big way on someone who was accustomed to the authoritative, final say it had always evoked ~ until now. It is every press secretary's worst nightmare: with unoriginal flair the press is calling it “Snipergate”; which unless you’ve been in a hole ~ you already know all about.

Basically, Hillary says she dodged bullets during her 1996 goodwill visit to Bosnia and reality begs to differ. As you might imagine any First Lady’s foreign excursions to a war zone would be generously documented. This trip with her daughter Chelsey was no exception. We see on film her red carpet-like reception, her maternal exchange with the little Bosnian girl, dignitaries and soldiers all smiling and hand-shaking right there on the tarmac out (shudder) in the “open”. 12 years later and vigorously campaigning for President, why would she suddenly decide flamboyant, Rambo-esque embellishments could possibly go unchallenged?

Apparently this is the season of headlining-style 'what were they thinking?!' missteps:

$80,000 hooker ones in NYC (misamazing!)

Thousands of lurid Detroit mayoral text mismessages

and rabidly racist psycho pastor tantrums
that are incredibly mislistened.

Oh yeah, and the misfootsied men's bathroom I'm resigning no wait I changed my mind I'm really not gay and my groveling confession doesn't count thing...

Then there are some people who should have thought of creative vocabulary to explain themselves..........but didn't.

And of course, the ultimate Miss Misspeak whose colossal manglement of the language and concept of world geography we all marveled at, like such as - in a nice way.

Damage control now in furious full-swing, Hillary apologized for her “mistake”, added pretty casually it proves she “is human”, and claims she “misspoke”. (Clinton says she says “hundreds of thousands of words in a day”, and it could happen to anyone, you know.) As a last-ditch validation, she asserts she got it right in her book.

A lot of talking heads are very well versed on how Clinton might have been acting-out on her experience theme or other semi-logical suppositions...but I think Hillary is a little stunned her Clinton Aura has not catapulted her to a position of certain victory she had assumed it would long ago ~ this can explain her odd urge to fabricate swashbuckling drama. Ironically, the Bosnian trip was a great success. The truth was good enough!

Her campaign need not nanny-nanny-boo-boo blame the Bosnian film clip on Obama’s camp as another “personal” dig; the whole event did not happen in a vacuum and can hardly be considered personal when she said it and we can see it.

Another point that bugs me; her daughter was with her. Maybe it's just me, but - if I am dodging sniper bullets and running for my life, I’m pretty sure there would be no chance I would misremember that. If my little girl was also in danger, I know I would definitely remember exactly what happened every heart-racing, running step of the way.

But then, if I were Hillary, now might be a good time to remember how I went proud and loud to the public about a “right wing conspiracy” over “that woman”. She missed her mark in history way back then! When Bill finally quit trying to define the meaning of “it” and admitted he did ruin Monica’s dress, all of womanhood would have lauded her and given her Respect for Life if she had dumped him right then, in the White House.

But she didn’t. And our self-generated culture of political correctness has insinuated a far more innocent slant to telling a lie ~ we can dismiss it and better yet, we can understand it by demurely terming it a “misspeak”. It seems to be an easy out most of our politicians, CEO’s and people of influence rely on, a lot.

Why oh WHY do people who are smart, talented, articulate and like, totally advantaged - resort so easily to language that mocks the listener?

I did some research on the relatively recent popularity of misspeak. From an accreditation and continuing professional education course, I found an interesting tutorial in Communication Skills For Managers Fourth Edition (Sherberg $79.95). Here we are introduced to 'Weasel Words':

"It’s tempting to sneer at people who use weasel words-until we stop to realize that we all use them. It’s becoming rarer and rarer these days to read a newspaper or watch TV or listen to a speech without encountering words designed to cover up or distract or mislead. Inevitably, some of these words and phrases make their way into our vocabularies. Suddenly, without even thinking about it, we find ourselves talking about “misspeaking” when we mean “lying,” “limited success” when we mean “failure,” and “inventory shrinkage’’ when we mean “shoplifting.”

This is great stuff! There has got to be a lot of handy applications for weasel words most of us are mislooking. I'm human, too. I haven't tried counting how many words I say in a day, but there are too many things I have needlessly accepted full responsibility for with little to show for it.

I am planning on utilizing this socially accepted way to deceive and dupe just as soon as I decide which story suits my ego more; saving an orphan baby from a mad dog or a cheetah, or thwarting a terrorist attack on Rose Lane School at Kindergarten dismissal time. If the crossing guard, school bus drivers, parents, school staff and the cheetah contradict my claim, I can shrug it off and say, “Oopsie! I guess you got me. I misspoke.” You'll understand, right?

* Credits & Disclaimers:
Amazing cheetah reference credited to 13 yr. old Rachel E. Tanner
This blog was not Hillary bashing. A lot of other unbelievable goof-ups were matter-of-factly acknowledged.

Monday, March 17

Cindi and the Big Sky Day

See the big clouds? See big, blue sky? See Arizona sky on a Big Sky Day!

Today is Big Sky Day. Please come! You walk with Ellie and Cindi. You look. You see Spring things. You feel breeze and smell flowers. Pretty day!

Big Sky Day is good day for 2 happy hawks in lazy (& blurry) air duet over our neighborhood. Duet is two. Two hawks having fun!

Humble Tanner house framed by soaring clouds. See the new roofing materials placed about on top of our rotting roof. See that after David informed Mrs. Li it is not proper technique to just slap new stuff on without first stripping off the old roof - Chinese roofer who speak no English did NOT show up early this morning to begin roofing. We can guess argument in Cantonese last night; "You no pay me enough money!" "You roof right way! You no get more money - I say 'new roof', you do!"

Mockingbirds are sassy and loud from now until about the first of June. We let our pet mockingbird Hannibal go free last year; like 'Free Willy', but different. Free Hannibal~ fly! Listen: this mockingbird is singing his heart out. Pretty Bird.

See the mini-Old McDonald's farm on the corner of Ocotillo & 14th.
Hello, goats one and two! These goats are happy to see us. So happy. Yeah.

See Hennie-Penny on steroids! This is THE biggest chicken in the whole, wide world. It stands close to a yard tall, no kidding. (She started to come when I called to her ~ and I was afraid...) Can you say ginormous? I didn't think so.

See how Big Sky Days are good for lying around if you want to. Here is someone who wants to do just that whether it's a Big Sky Day or not. I mean, I don't know for sure, but something tells me my assumption is fair. Hello, piggy!

The promise of an approaching storm makes the day chilly and Spring colors bright. See the native wildflowers. Hello, flowers!

Wow! Citrus blossoms are opening; the air is thick with their sicky-sweet scent. See people everywhere sniffle and snuff and hack with allergies.

See the apple tree in bloom. Hello, apple tree!

See the very large and very spooky eye-sore property on the corner of Ocotillo & 16th Street. A giant hawk usually sits at the top of the dead pepper tree (trunk visible here) next to the house.
Oooooh! Watch out, spooky house.

See the wicked Jujubi thorns. Nasty Jujubi tree. Bad.

See why it is never appropriate to landscape in desert landscaping; these dandelions may look sweet off-set by the crushed rock - but they are manipulative, salacious little interlopers. Can you say 'salacious'? See homeowner curse once he decides to finally come outside and try to clean up his "care-free" yard. Ha ha! Silly homeowner.

See the interesting ficus tree. The winter freeze killed the outer branches, which are now nicely accentuated by new, green growth.

See Squaw Peak framed by wildflowers. A big ground squirrel spooked out from under this bush. Ellie's mad dash to catch it almost killed me. Bad squirrel.

See Ellie in "point". Ellie is a smart dog. She is thinking two cocky good for nothing bite your backside when you're not looking geese at Granada Park are going to be a nice snack.

If I wasn't worried about a city imposed fine or do-gooder animal rights types witnessing the slaughter, I might have let her enjoy the fruits of her well-honed doggie instincts. She already knows roof rats are delicious . . .

See Camelback Mountain with The Praying Monk in front. He looks like he is praying. Can you see him? Do you say your prayers?

Wow! See this prickly pear cactus getting ready to bloom like crazy in the next week or two.

How exciting! Ellie, are you excited? Good dog.

See crazy real estate market take crappy little 2 bedroom apartments and turn them into crappy little 2 bedroom "patiohomes" just because they say so.

Foolish developers; new paint and plants do not convince everyone!

New name so silly; everyone knows the posh Biltmore is on the OTHER side of the canal and not here, next to crappy chain-link/barbed wire lined properties with NO TRESPASSING or BEWARE OF DOG signs every 12 feet.

See the baby binky in the street. Poor binky! Sad binky. Sad little boy without his binky. Make question: why mommie no notice? Bad mommie.

Binky is pretty blue; just like the Big Sky Day.

The End.

Thursday, March 13

Drawing in the Air

This is the full moon with an extended exposure and a little movement. It is an image anticipated, but unseen until its glowing dance is retrieved from the camera. Sometimes relationships are like that.

Life is just about perfect
with baby Jack in it. Oh, if only he'd notice ME!

My totally adoring presence still does not illicit the coveted moniker "Mimi", and he does not seem particularly jazzed one way or the other that I am around at all. I, on the other hand, am always thrilled to see him.

I don't notice a special spark in his eye when my smiling face is before him. He doesn't come when called, he is unimpressed with my multiple animal impressions, he does not sit still to hear a story, he is too impatient for more than 2 fun little finger plays at a time and he will not tolerate cuddling. Ever. Well, almost ever. Hurting Jack. Allowing mommy to cuddle in pediatric recovery room after his surgery.

There are indications that some of these conditions are beginning to change. After many months repeating his original Jack word "deet" (cool, oh boy, wow, I like that), now about 22 months old, his English vocabulary is literally snowballing. His physical coordination is uncanny - especially for what a big boy he is. Jack's escalating cognitive skills have suddenly alerted his parents to his ability to locate and engage any and all buttons, switches or knobs.

And just the other day when Grandpa called him - he replied, "I coming..." and he did.

Jack is a genius. (my reading glasses)
Most impressive is Jack's natural bee-line to all things music. He is wired instinctively to respond in a whole body commitment to anything he knows will provide a tune.
Jack is an artist.
A true, kindred spirit of mine ~ Jack loves costumes and props. These are always great accessories to his musical pursuits, as you can see. (Now he's ready to dance)
The organ and piano in the front room are as predictable to a Jack visit as a salt lick to cattle. The computer is another music source, especially for dancing (inspired by busta-move aunties Asia & Rachel). The awesome tambourine and maracas are stuck in a Primary "church bag", so he has forgotten about them for the time being. He has his very own word for guitar, but it doesn't sound like guitar and I can't even imitate it - but he will repeat it over and over with the question-mark upward lilt as he grabs his Grandpa's finger and leads him over to the guitar stand in the corner of the family room. Jack is a star:

Note the guitar pick held aloft; a true rocker move Jack performs with obvious flair.

Jack is a snappy dresser. A very G.Q. Jack makes the social scene -
at Robin's wedding (December 2006). Even back then, his body language is all about getting away from me.

Jack is a water baby.
He doesn't fit into the kitchen sink anymore, but he still loves a good bath more than anything.

Pajama Jack.
After his mommy & daddy & and his papa Johnson ~ THIS is his favorite person.

That's O.K. I can be patient. I will wait as the behind-the-scenes grandma, the invisible entity in the room, she who is not seen but nevertheless anticipated . . . Jack just doesn't know yet how the picture of us together is going to come out. But I do.

Jack is love.
Right now I have the aperture of my heart fully open, as this tiny little sparkling light of a boy rushes from one wonderful, brilliant, growing observation to the next. Being just a small part of his life is magically rewarding. It feels almost like drawing free-style in the air. (Jack testing which colors of Ellie's dog food float) *all of them.


very soon ~
we will be able to sit down together and appreciate the picture of who we are to each other. I think it is a cycle we have all been celebrating for a very long time.