Sunday, September 26, 2010

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Blue Angel Mania

The Blue Angels are huge supporters of the Make a Wish Foundation. They are performing at the airshow in Kaneohe this weekend and we received a special invitation to watch them practice with other wish recipients yesterday.  I thought it was kind of fitting as our wish trip was a year ago. As the show started, the organizers wanted each wish kid and one adult to corral in a different area to meet the Angels after the show. Sigh. It was just me. With 4 kids. Like I already didn't feel pulled in 12 directions.  I didn't feel comfortable leaving any of the kids. We had friends nearby who offered to keep an eye on the other 3 so Lily and I ventured to the holding pen. Right behind the announcer's tent. Which managed to obstruct a perfect view of the show. Sigh. Insert jet noise. Bella starts panicking and tries to scale the fence separating us.  Phillip looks at me with big brown puppy dog eyes. What am I doing? He wants to meet the pilots so bad- I can see it. I wave him over. He lights up- I tell him to walk around and give him specific instructions to hold Lily's hand follow one of the adults and for the love of god try to look my way once with a pilot so I can snap a picture. I mean how often do you get to meet a Blue Angel? He is almost hopping up and down with excitement.  Lily sees what's going on and starts in on the dramatic crying. I tell her she can go with Phillip or we all stay together. She changes her tune.

The jets land while Bella continues to scale me. The noise has always bothered her but the simultaneous roar of 5 jets seems to be putting her over the edge. We are well past ear plugging. She actually has both legs wrapped around mine and is climbing under my shirt. Kiera is next to me chattering on and on about something or someone she saw. She wants to go talk to them. Really? Sure kid go wander around on your own at an airshow. I give her the look that makes her zip her lip and stand by quietly.  The kids are being led out to meet the pilots. People are every where. I can't get a picture. Oh well- the kids will have the memory. Then I have an opening- they are talking with a pilot, I yell to Phillip to look at me. He looks, tells the pilot thank you and drags Lily over to me on the sideline. Really? I explain to him what I am trying to do. Ohhhhh. he says. Yeah, oh. Now go and get me a photo opportunity- Go!  He laughs at my insanity and drags Lily back to the throng of people. A minute later,  I have my photo opportunity and the kids go back for the group photo. They finally work their way back to our section and Phillip proudly shows me the autographs of the pilots. Lily has a grimace. "I didn't get to talk to the girl one!" She crosses her arms grumpily. I didn't have the heart to tell her there wasn't a female Blue Angel right now that the lady she saw was either the event coordinator or flight surgeon. But to a 5 year old- a lady in a flight suit is a pilot and who am I to tell her different? After all- wishes make dreams come true.

It was fun hanging out at the airshow. It's been a lot of years since I've been to one. The Make a Wish Foundation and Blue Angels provided us with a great opportunity and yummy food and treats for the afternoon. So many yummy treats that Bella felt the need to regurgitate many of them at 3 am. Of course that could have been a result of the time I caught her licking her shoe, but we'll never know for sure. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Meat Marketing

I am woefully behind on current events. I probably should talk to my Grandmother more, but that would only keep me up to date on the major weather changes across the globe.  I don't watch tv, we don't get a newspaper- so if it's major news and the moms at school are buzzing about it or facebook is a twitter with it- I might look it up. I have a friend who usually posts editorials and pieces of interest- so that's usually the extent of my knowledge- and what is that really? Knowledge of someone's opinion? That's kinda like a soup sandwich, but whatever.

I like Lady Gaga's music. I think she has a lot of talent. I think she has the fashion sense of my 9 year old if my nine year old lost all sense of fashion. I rarely watch videos, so it doesn't really present a problem. The other morning we were late and I drove the kids to school. The radio was all abuzz with her outfit to some awards show. She chose a dress that would make a statement against the military's Don't Ask, Don't tell policy. It was made of meat from her fashion designer's butcher. I am not the first, and I will not be the last in saying WTF?

Generally statements by design make a comment on social or political conditions. They are opinion. There are usually sides. The side of beef Lady Gaga wore may have saved a couple of the 15 million children who die each year from hunger. According to America's Second Harvest, Over 41 billion pounds of food are wasted each year. I know how about 5 of it met it's demise. Dripping all over the stage of some awards show- ironic and appropriate all at the same time. Talk about a sanitization nightmare. I am offended by the very nature of her costume. Regardless of the fact that in no way, shape, or form does it have one single thing to do with anything much less a coherent statement. If people can not look at your message and know immediately what you are trying to convey, you probably have rotten communication skills.

So before we can even get to the message she was trying to convey, that no one would ever get, because it probably wasn't really the message, but yet one more attempt at shock value that took such a wrong, wrong turn that it immediately had to be labeled as political commentary so it wouldn't be ushered to the trash bin. Which ironically is where most political commentary belongs. Especially by celebrity figures who specialize in acting, singing and performance arts. I was going to give my opinion on the topic of homosexuality in the military, but it is irrelevant, unneccessary and just that, my opinion. It's as irrelevant as wearing a meat dress as a statement.

Had Lady Gaga been in the military and felt like a big piece of meat- it's a stretch- but it could be a statement. But she was not.  She has been a performer her whole life- by age 14 she was performing at night in clubs in New York. I don't know about you- but that doesn't scream moral high ground to me. I am saddened that she actually hurt the cause she was trying to help just by being associated with it. For the homosexuals in the military who want to defend their country, just like the next patriot- I am saddened that she feels she is their champion. Lady Gaga is openly bisexual. Great. Congratulations. I don't care. I don't care who you are sleeping with as long as you do your job and it doesn't interfere with it.  That is the basis of Dont ask, don't tell. That is  also why she probably doesn't understand much about the military and policy and these things called rules.In Hollywood everything is based on who you are sleeping with. Some crazy degenerate things happen in war. Some crazy degenerate things happen everywhere.  Many are not half as depraved as stuff you can see on cable and those are "reality" shows. Good guys have to do bad things because bad people are doing worse things. I learn that lesson every day in parenting. I would love to go and play at the park- but someone has to make sure everyone is clothed and fed and not in mortal danger. Someone has to wipe down the soap dispensers because someone's daughter feels compelled to lick them. And shoes. Mortal danger, no, but then she could start licking dresses and heaven forbid we run across Lady Gaga in her bacteria laden smorgasborg.

As for the policy. It is not ideal. It's akin to not allowing someone to vote based on color or gender. The problem is, you can see someone's color or gender. Even those lines can be blurred at times. Remember SNL's Pat?  You can't see someone's sexuality. Yes they may ooze it, imply it- but unless someone tells you- you don't really know. I am not sheltered enough to believe that everyone is as open-minded as me. Believe it or not I actually know people who think homosexuals will rot in hell. And in the next breath they will cite scripture about loving your fellow man. We all make choices. We don't always get to choose who we fall in love with. Sometimes it hits you like a ton of bricks. I saw a bumper sticker the other day- Straight but not narrow. I get the idea- but why do you still feel compelled to declare your straightness?  I remember not being allowed to play with certain kids because they weren't nice kids. I have made the same choices for my own kids. We are all judged on how we look, dress and who we hang out with. Clubs, sororities, fraternities, even businesses allow legitimized ways to segregate based on values  and personal characteristics. In business they call it an interview. In the military, you go through background checks. Women still cannot hold certain positions in the military. I am ok with that. Would you hire a baker to do accounting? Only if they were good at it. I am all for anyone being in the military as long as they can do what the job requires. Especially if part of that job is fighting alongside my husband.

As for Lady Gaga, perhaps we should throw her to the wolves in war and see what happens.