kay_gmd: (fair)

Last Thursday I left practice early to attend the part of the board meeting where the board discussed the resolution that "We All Belong: Sfe and Welcoming Schools for All" you can find the resolution here:

http://davis.agendaonline.net/public/Meeting.aspx?AgencyID=131&MeetingID=40825&AgencyTypeID=1&IsArchived=False

Resolution 37-17 (Item VII of the agenda)

I participated in a discussion session where we discussed 5 key points. While I don't have the texts we discussed then, my impression was that these were stronger, and addressed a broader swath of children. I'm glad that the resolution is protective of immigrants and religious minorities because I see these groups as the most threatened right now, but I thought I remembered more general data protection and more focus on LGBTQ+ in the discussion. I fully accept that this is my particular filter, but I'd like it to be stronger there.

I also thought we talked about more concrete actions. This one is much more important. We will need to be watching for the concrete practices and policies that will make this more than a pretty piece of paper.

That said I am thrilled that DJUSD adopted this. It is a strong statement of our community values and it gives all of us pushing for support of all students something to point to. It is our city on the hill beacon that we stand for all students.

I failed to do my homework so I spent a bit of time when I first got there pulling it up and reading it on my phone.

When I got there public comment on this item had begun. All comments were generally positive, with some suggestions for edits.

I was particularly impressed by the statements from the mother and father of the Islamic school (I'm not precisely clear on the meaning of the titles in this context, but these two obviously included parental love and nurturing for their students in the duties).

She spoke with power and articulation and focused on how much more we are similar than different. She quoted Mia Angelo. She wore a full burka. When she started speaking I'd been trying to look something up, and I had to stop to listen because she had that presence.

He spoke more humbly. He spoke of his experience going to high school the day after September 11th. The bullying and hurtful experiences he had, and the teachers who helped him through. Then he spoke of his students, of their needs to be included, and to have time for prayer.

I pray daily, but as a Methodist, there's no particular time that is proscribed for prayers I do it right before bed because that is a time that works for me, but that doesn't mean it is not a real need for others. I was reminded of when we had some Muslim housemates. We helped them move in, and as prayer time came up there was consternation. It was a new place, and they weren't sure which way was east. We managed to find information that covered their need. It emphasized for me how even with our many similarities it is in supporting our differences that we show we are welcoming.

There were many other speakers. Anoosh represented Yolo Rainbow Families well. I was happy to see Montgomery well represented.

The Trustees of the board spoke. There was enthusiasm and word-smithing. The resolution was adopted with plans to edit, but not change the substance.

There were a couple of issues that weren't fully addressed:

How will parents be reached? The parent communications system works reasonably well for me, but there was a notable lack of Hispanic participation in a discussion item which was in large part trying to make sure our students of varying immigration status are welcome. When we had our previous discussion meeting we made some suggestions hopefully good methods will be used. The response when this came up was lacking in specifics, and used an example that overstated the parent board interaction.

How will training get to staff and students? This to me is the real crux of the issue. I'm thrilled that we have this resolution to point to but changing the climate in the schools is the real work.

And the wonk question: what policies will be put in place because of this. This is never exciting or popular, but it is what turns the light of a resolution into the salt that does the work of making the world, or in this case the school district a better place.

Like the Women's March this is a great first step, but it is nearly nothing if we do not follow it up.

Know this.

We are here.

We are watching.

We will roll up our sleeves and work with you.

But this is a great mountain of work that you have set yourselves to do, and we expect you to follow through.
kay_gmd: (fair)
So this went up on facebook first, but I want to keep it here too.

I'm second generation Chinese American. My dad moved with his family from China to Hong Kong as a young child, and then came to the states for college.
He was an electrical engineer. He created a company,that he eventually sold,and then he did East Asian sales for Silicon Valley telecom companies. Now he's retired in Thailand, apparently when he was traveling for work he noticed that Thailand was the most relaxed place to be.
Dad's first move was because his dad was on the wrong side of the war in China. His family had papers, but they were refugees. They didn't want to leave China, it just wasn't safe for them to stay.
The US has never lived up to the bold statement on the Statue of Liberty, but it has been the quest to do so that has made us strong. It has brought the diversity of thought and culture that has allowed us to grow and thrive as a nation. That is all to the good.
I'm glad that it turns out that doing good has good results, but it isn't actually the main reason we need to welcome immigrants and refugees. We do good because it is the right thing to do.
Hospitality is a tenant of Christianity as well as many other religions. When someone comes knocking we welcome them in. It's not usually because we're happy to see them, or even because we're where they really want to be. It is because our home is a less bad option for them.
We are called to welcome our neighbor and the stranger, and our neighbors is defined to be everyone. When Christ talked about sorting out the good from the bad he did not talk about how well we knew or followed the law. He talked about how well we treated those less fortunate.
There is never any indication that these people we offer hospitality to will be model citizens. Some will. Some won't. Just like any sufficiently large population. We welcome to help, but we also welcome to be people we can take pride in being.
Build a bigger table if you want to build something, so that we can share meals, we don't need a wall.
kay_gmd: (fair)
So in a complete break from politics we started doing PJB stories with Kosh a bit before Halloween. I've been meaning to get them down. I thought this would be a good time for some sillyness. Some of these, like this one, are from a bit back, and there are differences between oral storytelling, and writing, and I'm adding detail and retconning, so this won't be exactly what we told, but should be similar.


The Story )
kay_gmd: (fair)
Getting to Westercon
Read more... )

Con and Facility
Read more... )

Legoland!!!
Read more... )

I have more to write, but I don't know when if I'll get to it.Getting there )
kay_gmd: (fair)
I'm involved with a parent group online, and like so many while it is titled a parent group it is mostly a mommy group. There are daddys that post, but on this particular post none of the comments apppeared to be from males.

So the post was, and I'm being lazy and paraphrasing:

Argh my husband!
We're trying to have another kid, and I'm ovulating, and we need to have sex tonight or tomorrow night and I suggested sex tonight and he rolled over and went to sleep. He really wants another kid. I want to get it started now so I'm not in my 3rd trimester in the dead of summer. Needed to vent!


This fits well in this group, and seems reasoonable, but then we get into the comments. I know don't read the comments, but it's a facebook group, so half the conversation is there, and usually this group is mostly with the helpful advice and sympathy.

Comments included:
I would have jumped on, asleep or not

Poster:I've explained to him that al he has to do is lie there

Commenter A: Suggest preapproved "taking advantage of"

Poster:He's not getting off that easy

Me:trying to be sympathetic, but if we switched the gender on this it would sound rapey. i thought the rule was enthusiastic consent.

C.A: Does sound rapey. Only started when trying to have child. Even when I push it he could say no/indicate lack of interest. Explicit Consent is hard when your busy.

P: We are both consenting.

Further elaboration

P: not getting off that easy comment just a joke, sorry if I offended anyone else.


It was really this last that got me, and if you've made it this far I appreciate it.

Full disclosure i'm paraphrasing, and probably dropping a lot of the nuance of the conversation, and we didn't have any trouble at all conseiving Kosh.


I grew up in the 80-90s when political correctness was something that came up in conversation a lot more than it does now. It was akward, and it was taken to extremes like maternity leave (seperate from paternity leave) for men. But the pendulum swing on it can be dangerous, and in many areas like this one is more illustrative of a problem in the culture than we want to admit.

One issue is that even though something is intended as a joke that may not be clear to everyone interacting with it. This is especially true of the internet. You don't know whonwill see your joke,and if someone doesn't know it's a joke that someone might look at this as reinforcing a behavior, and that builds the cultural norms. This can be especially problematic around sex related interactions, and with racist, or any other ist you like jokes.

But more importantly what does it say when ts is how we joke?

How did it become funny to threaten someone, or belittle someone. What does it do to our culture, and show to our children when we use threats and insults to make ourselves happy?

This isn't all I wanted to say, but maybe it's enough to let me stop trying to compose it in my head.
kay_gmd: (fair)


Sorry sketched this out a month ago after questions about the pictures and just got around to posting it.  (Honk shooo is our standard for snoring care of Sandra Boyton).

Gratitude

Feb. 11th, 2015 02:52 pm
kay_gmd: (fair)
Kosh and I commute together on the bus.  The commute involves about a mile of walking. When I sprained my ankle I moved Kosh from the ergo to an umbrella stroller for the walking.  Lately we've been incouraging Kosh to walk, and yesterday Kosh decided he didn't need the stroller. So he walked the whole thing.  He did not enjoy all of it.  Near the end of the section from the bus stop to daycare he really wanted to be carried, and I wasn't a firm no on this, but I managed to encourage him to make it the rest of the way. This mostly involved reminding him of his standing incentive for walking, and encouraging him to view a raised curb as balance beam. I was thrilled that he walked the whole thing, but what I'm really grateful for is that periodically, when it wasn't required to cross the road, he'd just reach up and take my hand, and I just loved walking hand in hand with him.
kay_gmd: (fair)
So I haven't updated in quite some time, but we've been having a great summer!
Camp Faire )

Occidental )

Had a pleasantly calm weekend at home, and then we decided to day trip to Santa Cruz for the Thomas days.
Road tripping )


Yesterday Groblek and I took a recovery day, and saw thingy of the Galaxy.  Very fun! Farmers market ended up our vacation.  Now back into the routine.

Wanted to say that the playground at the Farmer's market is amazing.  They've redone central park and it's fantastic.  It's actually attracted Kosh away from the bounce houses and pony rides.
kay_gmd: (fair)
So this morning [livejournal.com profile] groblek was reading [livejournal.com profile] seanan_mcguire's LJ about how she's quit her day job since she thinks she can make it on her writing.  This started the following conversation (all paraphrased badly because morning):

G: Someone commented "Dear Goddess, girl, you've been writing as prolifically as the nonexistent love child of Isaac Asimov and Mercedes Lackey, while still working at a day job?!?!?!?"

(This makes sense Seanan publishes 3 books and multiple items of shorter fiction every year)

K: Wasn't Asimov a professor?

(G looks this up)

G: Yes, but he stopped working as a professor in the 50s (he gave a year I don't recall which) although he kept the honorary title.  He wrote.... and was credited as science consultant for Star Trek the Motion Picture.

K: Wait the first on? Wasn't that the one where they went to the edge of the universe, and found God?

(G looks up)

G: No, that's 5. 1 was all around earth when Voyager comes back and they need to figure out how to communicate with it.

K: That make sense for Asimov.

G: Yeah, but he probably just said yeah, that could be science fiction and Hollywood decided that meant the science was reasonable.
kay_gmd: (fair)
I know it's been a while, but hey a long post : )

My baby boy is growing up. He'll be 3 end of February.
Pictures behind cut )



I started noticing this Friday.

At the bus stop another bus waiter was impressed with his articulation and the way I didn't speak down to him, and it made me think that I suspect that in the past I have considered my vocabulary and tried to use one that I thought he could follow, and I haven't been doing that, and he's usually able to understand if he wants to.

We got home, and he'd talked about wanting to play, so I dropped him off in the living room with his train table and favorite toys, and went to take care of some things.  I came back after about 10 minutes, and he'd taken a 12-14 (it's the engine of a train puzzle he's earning the whole puzzle's 48 pieces, but I think it's bigger than the tender, or caboose, the passenger car looks about the same size) large piece jigsaw puzzle off the shelf opened the box, and almost completed the puzzle.

First, it was only a short while ago when leaving him alone in the living room would not have been a thing, honestly more because he wouldn't put up with it than anything else! So, nice to know he's okay playing by himself!!

But really I was impressed with the puzzle.  He still asks for help if I'm there, but he can do it, and that's exciting.

Saturday we went to a buddy of his birthday and in a group of mostly older kids he had a blast.

Then Sunday I took him outside for some post nap running around.  It was close to evening because his nap started late, but he wanted to drive his car (Flintstones stile) to the park.  I love that we have parks in walking distance, but when I say that I mean my walking distance, and he picked the second closest park to home (0.4 miles per Google) I figured that he'd make it a block or two and decide he wanted to be carried and we'd turn around, which would get him some good exercise, and I could pull him in the car.
Not a bit of it.  He did switch to walking rather than driving a block and a half in, but he got all the way there.  When we got to where we could see the park he took off running, and would have been running around at the park for a good deal longer except that with the late start I limited him to a little over 10 min.  He even made a block on the way home before I started towing him.  This means we can start working on walking as part of the commute!  I'm excited about this, and so far he sounds excited about it, but we're not starting until this afternoon.  The morning's too rushed until we have a feel for speed of walking involved.

Bodies are weird

I've been working on doing a little more exercise, and have been tentatively pleased which is to say I seem to have more energy, and my speed seems to be getting better on my lunch time 2k with Zombies, Run!.
However, this does not seem to be having any kind of shrinking effect on my belly.  Not my actual goal, but I thought it might happen.  I was wearing a shirt that I wear all the time Sunday, and it was significantly more snug than I expected. Ah well today's shirt is doing fine.

Almond butter amazing and easy
In case you're wondering this discovery was made Sunday afternoon well after the shirt discovery.
I was get set up to pre-make the weeks lunches, and discovered we were almost out of peanut butter.  Back when peanuts were expected to go up in price Groblek stocked up, and even though that was years ago, and I'm aware that we've run through that supply I still expect there to be an unlimited supply in the garage.  In looking to see if there was a jar I'd missed I noticed a large quantity of raw almonds (Groblek's family grows for Blue Diamond, so almonds are frequently in supply at home).  I suggested almond butter and Groblek looked it up.  Instructions are: put almonds in the food processor and process for 20-30 min (faster if almonds are roasted).  So I threw a bunch of almonds in the oven, and then in the food processor.  (8 cups was a little much for our processor, but after a break to cool down it worked fine.) This produced one large and one small mason jar full of almond butter.

It is sooooo tasty! Sandwiches are better too.
kay_gmd: (fair)
So we planned for a day full of helping others Saturday.  CA House was having their move out/move in weekend and we'd signed up to help in the 10-2 shift on the theory that Kosh would nap right after we finished.  We showed up around 10, and there was nothing to do within half an hour we were told that we could head home.  We went to farmers market (closer) and told them to call us if they needed anything.  We enjoyed the market and park, and lunch at the nice at El Toro Bravo http://daviswiki.org/El_Toro_Bravo. ; No call.

After Kosh's nap 5:30 ish) we headed off to help a friend move, but she was no where to be found, and her phone wasn't working.  So we hit Leatherby's for dinner, and took Kosh to the Arden Fair Mall play area.

So no helping, but lots of fun, relaxing and tasty food.

Sunday was church at which Kosh relatively nicely asked to put in the nursery early, so we actually got to pay attention for more of the service.  Fun at fellowship time, and then off to the Little Sis's housewarming.  They got an amazing house in Fairfield.  I'm thrilled, because they're happy, and their closer.  This means we can get Kosh and his cousin together more often (not to mention their parents).  Also they have a pool, hot tub and swing set.  What's not to love!

Kosh just about fell asleep on the way home so he was actually asleep at 8.  So of course mom and dad stayed up rather than taking advantage of a chance to sleep, but the laundry got folded, and we got to mostly watch the Hugo award ceremony.

Monday was low key.  We took a slow morning and headed into old town.  Gold Rush days were fun, at least the bit we saw.  Mainly the train museum, and horses.  It was fun to run into BP, but our son has his priorities.

Thus ends relaxing weekends for a couple months.
September is 2 weekends of faire, a book release party, a weekend with the in-laws, and a weekend of gaming
October is 2 weekends of faire, and gear clean up

It'll all be fun, but I'm looking forward to slowing down in November.

In the world of weekdays I'm working along, lunch time exercise is working out.  Kosh seems to be in process of moving from toddler to little boy.  Life is good.
kay_gmd: (fair)
So a while ago there was an article about a mom who took her little boy to Walmart with a pink head band on.  Details here:
http://www.carbonated.tv/lifestyle/how-a-pink-headband-at-walmart-led-to-a-moms-harrowing-experience

What the man in the story did was horrendous! He should not have done that!

One of the ideas I got from reading the article and people's comments though is the idea that one should never touch an unknown child. Without thinking I found myself going along with it until yesterday I read this article:

http://www.nytimes.com/books/98/10/18/specials/kingsolver-hers.html

This description of the situation in Spain seems excellent.  I've personally dealt with relatively little of the negative description of American reaction to children, but I have noticed the lack of interactions by many.

I think that culturally we have a tendency to say this one situation came up where this behavior was problematic no on should ever do this behavior.  I know I've fallen into this trap.  I hope that if the walmart incident had happened in a culture more like that described in Spain even if someone had behaved like the man in the story someone else would have stepped up to defend the child.

As part of our lifestyle, and our parenting practice we have developed several villages that Kosh benefits from.  We've actively chosen and thought about our connections to church, Pryanksters, and biological family, but one that I originally didn't consider was our bus commute.

On the bus many riders don't interact with me or Kosh, and it's possible that some or many of them are silently unhappy that Kosh is along, but none have complained or displayed this that I've noticed.

However there are several that have positive interactions with Kosh, and me, but really Kosh is the driving factor.

This collection of bus buddies includes several drivers, and several regulars.

One of them was Liz.  Liz was always friendly greeting many people as they got on the bus, and checking in on how people were doing.  She had a lot of fun interactions with Kosh.  She always sat in the seat closest to the door, because she walked with a cane.  Frequently Kosh wanted that seat, and so we took one nearby, and they'd play the mine game.  She read to him on a couple of occasions, and was generally friendly and interactive.  She was an example of a great way to interact with other people's children.

Some months ago she stopped riding the bus.  We heard that she had caught shingles.  So we looked forward to her return, but yesterday I heard that she had passed away.  She is missed, and Kosh and I are lucky to have known her.
kay_gmd: (fair)
Haven't posted a whole lot lately.

I've fallen off of the zombie walking/running I'm giving myself this week for heat, and hoping to get back on board when the highs drop 10 degrees to mid 90s.

Before I fell off the chases were getting easier, and a coworker had suggested we walk together some times (we did one last week, and I begged off this week).

On Harassment:
There's been a whole lot going around about harassment especially as it relates to Sci Fi/Fantasy/fandom cons.

After reading (probably more than I did) on the subject Groblek looked at me with concern and asked if I experienced this.

My answer is not that I've noticed.

I tend to be excessively oblivious, and more likely to attach bad behavior to a person than to a group.  There are groups and people that I have removed myself from that I found obnoxious that could probably more accurately be defined as harassing.

I also tend to be one of the guys.  To the point where at a meeting at work where we were prepping to present at a public meeting and the discussion of what to wear came up, and the supervisor responded to the question from one of the guys with the suggestion of a nice shirt/slacks and a tie at which point she paused, and said not for you Kay, and I reassured her that I knew what to wear.  I was the only female presenter, but I think it also reflected the fact that I was dressed almost exactly like the other guys in the room.

I'm going to Westercon this weekend, and I'm going to have a harassment lens on because of this.  Hopefully if I see it I'll speak up.

Pondering this has caused me to notice that there are more than 2 males per female at my level in the office.  All 3 supervisors in the office are female, but for my level it's mostly guys it's not a small office, and I wonder why.

Inching into the white collar world.

I've held a desk job for 6 years.  Just recently I've been reexamining a habit that stems at least in part from a more blue collar mentality.  If you see me in person you may have noticed that I almost always have my forearms bare.  I wear long sleeve shirts a lot, and roll or push up the sleeves.  One of the more concrete reasons for this is that my arms are easier to clean and heal than shirt sleeves.  This is still perfectly applicable to interacting with Kosh, but recently I've come to the conclusion that it doesn't make much sense at work.

This started when I saw videos of our group at Valhalla, and thought that I stood out with my sleeves rolled, and has moved into my work wardrobe as I notice that I'm one of few with this particular look.  Of course this week I'm in short sleeves, but I have been wearing long sleeves with sleeves down previously.

Kosh is doing well.  He's been enjoying "swimming" in our not so hot tub, going to the library, and narrating his potty experience.  I'd just as soon not hear this narrative, but if it gets him using the potty I'll take it.

Happy 4th everyone!
kay_gmd: (fair)
So for Father's Day, and because Groblek is taking Kosh off for a week with the grandparents, I took primary Kosh duty all weekend.  It was a generally good weekend.  We had fun at the train museum Saturday (Groblek had fun at the museum too, but missed the train ride).  This was the first time since Kosh learned about the train tables that he's pushed for looking at the big trains.

Incidentally with our membership we can bring in 2 guests.  Let us know if you want to go.

He napped hard!

Sunday we biked over to Dos to take Groblek out for Father's day.  We were thwarted in our attempts to go for desert, and raided the home ice cream supply instead.

By now the guys have probably already headed up towards Occidental, by way of train town.

So far for me that means that I was sans toddler on the morning commute.

I figured that was a great opportunity to get some extra exercise in.  So I pulled up Zombie run, and took a brisk walk to the far bus stop in Davis, and got off in the second stop in Sac, and walked from there.  This was 2.15 mi. in 37 minutes 12 seconds.  Great way to start the morning.  I'm planning on continuing this all week, although I hope to leave a little earlier in the morning.

At this point I want to work on increasing my speed.  To that end I'm activating zombie chases.  These activate, and I have to go faster than my average speed for a given amount of time.  I'm much happier with this speeding me up rather than speeding up for fear of missing my bus.

So far I've Zombie walked every workday since May 20th, and I'm really enjoying it.  I'm about half way through season 1.  Once I run out of episodes I will happily pay for the season pass to get the new ones.
kay_gmd: (fair)
Seven years ago and a day Groblek and I threw a great party (largely at the expense of family) and made official the beginning of our family.

It was a great time.  There was singing and dancing and good food.  Family (natural and chosen) came together to help us celebrate.

It was an amazing day!

Because we have many friends and family that can speak for quite some time we decided to minimize toasting by not providing a microphone.  But there were a few, and one in particular has stuck with me.

Lochen's (sp?) toast was something to the effect of May this be the worst day of the rest of your life.

So far it has been.

It doesn't always seem that way in the nitty gritty of the moment, but every time I take the time to reflect on it I know that life has been so much richer since that day than I could ever have imagined.

Thank You!

Sorry I didn't get this posted yesterday.  The end of the fiscal year is a little crazy, and I wanted to get it right.
kay_gmd: (fair)
We had a busy, but fun weekend:
Thursday was a good practice to end the year on.  lots of dancing, and Kosh had a lot of fun.

Friday was a reasonably nice evening at home.  Groblek made pot pies mmmmmmmmmm so tasty.

Saturday morning I took Kosh to the park.  
Pics and more details behind the cut Cute and Busy )
 
Sunday was nice enough that we biked to church (about 5 mi one way), in which Groblek and I discovered that we were more out of shape than we thought, but it was nice to be out on the bikes.  Straight from church I ran off to a baby shower.  The teaching A's are expecting a boy, and it was good to congratulate and encourage them, and hand off some of Kosh's outgrown stuff.  They're going to be such excelent parents!  There was much cuteness, and it was good to see some of Mr. A's family and friends that I haven't seen much since we stopped dating.


But I had to rush off early because our little socialite Kosh had a birthday party.  One of his daycare buddies had a birthday party at Giovanni's Pizza www.giosnypizza.com/.  

There was much cuteness there too, but I didn't think to check with the parents about posting pics.  There was a lot of space for the toddler troup to run around with.  It's really neat seeing the little guys playing together, and it was nice to get to know some of the parents better.  Groblek found out that one of the boys in one of the older rooms was really excited about it when Groblek stops in to play the fiddle.
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