For the first time my 11-year-old son Rafi, at the urging of his grandmother, announced recently he was going to spend his allowance on a Mother's Day gift for me. He wanted to know what I wanted. He couldn't believe my response when I told him not a thing this Mother's Day and all my remaining Mother's Days. And sorry, floral shops across the Moldy Pueblo, I banned flowers, too.
I told him it was time for us to start a new tradition and I asked if he could write a one-page letter to me or make something like those early-childhood glory days of tiny hand prints and crayolas—whatever 11-year-olds are moved to make nowadays.
When it comes to things, I pretty much have all I want. Although, right now, as I watch my son navigate through middle school and do what I remember doing during that time—figuring out friendships and a place in this world (wow, maybe I'm still working on that)—I just wish I could have time. You know, just go back a few times to fix things or slow things down this very instant. This beautiful son of mine on the cusp of manhood: He towers over me, but his smile is the same—dimpled and glorious. However, my heart hurts a little knowing time won't slow down for this mother. No.
When my son was born, I remember clearly how I felt the first time I held him in my arms—the power of love I felt was so strong. I remember remarking I didn't realize what true love was until that day. He was and remains the love of my life. Becoming a mother also helped me understand my own mom better and I think it helped me become a better daughter. At least, with all my faults, I'd like to think so. Of course, you'd have to ask her.
I do know that once my mom became a grandmother she went into superhero mode, supporting me through every challenge that presented itself. Nowadays, she's opened her home to us, helps me with after-school pick-ups and care, makes dinners—especially my son's favorite foods. There are the special holidays and trips. But what I love about my son being able to spend more time with his grandmother are little things I hope add up one day—reminders to be polite, to wash his hands and cultivating independence.
But what's also wonderful about time spent with his grandmother is that he gets to hear stories. Many of them are stories I got to hear growing up. But because of what I know now—what those stories did, how they helped me become who I am today—hearing her share stories on family history or traditions means more coming from her. I don't know where my son will be 20 years from now, but if he moves away, I know those stories will come in handy when he visits. His grandmother will pop into his head and our family's history will unfold. I know it will, because that's what happened to me and still does.
Those stories fill my head and heart. They are about the people that make up a family. They are about my mother in her late 70s wanting to make sure a new generation has something to hold onto and doesn't forget. But no doubt, no doubt at all those stories are about Tucson and have a lot to do with why I moved back home five years ago. They are also why I understand the importance of family and cultural history. Rafi knows his family's ties to Tucson. Poor kid. Those things you learn by default when you live with storytellers.
Maybe one day I'll be blessed to tell another generation our stories. Maybe I'll get a chance to eavesdrop and hear Rafi tell some of those stories to wee people I hope he feels the same way about—he'll hold someone small and precious in his arms for the first time and be surprised at how he feels inside. That love.
Driving home last week a song came to mind. It's a song I used to sing to Rafi at bedtime from the beginning, the very beginning. A little song I wrote right there in the hospital room. It came to me and I sang a rousing song driving down Aviation Highway, the kid sitting shotgun with a smile across his face.
"You remember that song?" I asked him.
"Yeah," he admitted.
"Good, Mr. Beautiful. Don't you forget it," I returned.
Seriously, who needs gifts on Mother's Day, when in reality, I have everything I need.
Or at least, I am, and I don't feel bad telling you that you should go.
If you're not familiar with Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game series of books, here's a short synopsis: In the future, Earth is attacked by alien forces. To combat them, Earth forces unite to create a space-station/school for select children, training them from preschool to be the greatest tactical military minds we could ever need or want. Ender Wiggin is one of those kids.
From there, there's a bunch of floating in simulated war games, and child-on-child violence, and things blowing up mixed in with geopolitics and people having feelings about stuff.
As a huge fan of Ender's Game (and the companion Shadow Series following Bean, a supporting character from Ender's Game), I'm excited — not just because this was a favorite book of mine growing up, but because the cast and effects appear to actually do the book justice.
The movie comes out Nov. 1. I'll see you folks there.
The late summer and early fall of 2010 were some of the bloodiest Tucson has seen in terms of homicides. Believe me, I spent a lot of time covering and tweeting about it while working for another publication.
It got so bad during a five-week stretch (roughly Aug. 8-Sept. 10, 2010), with at least 21 reported homicides within the city limits, that Tucson police PIOs had started referring to the last workday of the week as Homicide Fridays because nearly every one began with them and us cop reporters rendezvousing at a deadly crime scene.
Most of those homicides were solved almost immediately, or not long after they were committed. Some of the assailants have been convicted and are already serving time.
But the death of at least one victim, 36-year-old Darwin Wells, had gone unsolved for more than a year-and-a-half until TPD announced Thursday it had arrested Gunnar Quick, 37, the night before in connection with that homicide.
Wells was found dead in the parking lot of the Sunflower Apartments on Golf Links near Wilmot around 2 a.m. on Aug. 27, and for a long time TPD had no clue who was involved in his death. That changed last November, according to a press release, and ultimately that led to Quick's arrest.
Those few weeks in 2010 were some tense ones around Tucson, with people trying to explain the sudden upswing in killings. Good to see that, even after all this time, police are still working to take an (alleged) killer off the street.
Looks like it's time for folks to get acquainted with the next thing that far too many people will freak the hell out about: the Liberator, the first gun consisting almost entirely of parts fabricated via 3D printer.
Named for the World War II era FP-45 Liberator pistols that were manufactured in secret and meant to be dropped behind enemy lines to aid resistance forces in occupied territories, the only non-3D printed part on the modern Liberator is the firing pin, which consists of a repurposed nail.
According to Gizmodo, the open-source blueprints have already been downloaded more than 100,000 times, which means that the single-shot gun firing .22 caliber rimfire rounds has already spread like wildfire throughout the web.
But if you were interested in downloading the blueprints via DEFCAD.org, the website for the folks behind the Liberator project, you might want to hold your horses: the State Department has sent a letter requesting for the blueprints to be pulled down for review. Apparently, the drawings may violate the Arms Export Control Act — via BetaBeat.com:
The group’s website currently has a red banner appended to the top that reads, “DEFCAD files are being removed from public access at the request of the US Department of Defense Trade Controls. Until further notice, the United States government claims control of the information.”
“We got an official letter from the Secretary of State, telling me who they were, what their authority was under U.S. law and telling me they want to review these files to see if they’re class one munitions,” [Cody Wilson of Defense Distributed] told Betabeat by phone. “That includes blueprints.”
In the letter, the State Department says that Defense Distributed may have released data that is controlled by the International Traffic in Arms Regulation without getting prior authorization.
“Please note that disclosing (including oral or visual disclosure) or transferring technical data to a foreign person, whether in the United States or abroad, is considered an export,” reads the letter. It also says that until Defense Distributed has received the legal all-clear, the company “should treat the above technical data as ITAR-controlled. This means that all such data should be removed from public access immediately.”
So if you really want to fabricate AR-15 lower receivers, single-shot pistols or magazines for your Glock, you're going to have to wait — but it's okay, as Wilson believes he's on the correct side of the law:
“I still think we win in the end,” he added. “Because the files are all over the Internet, the Pirate Bay has it—to think this can be stopped in any meaningful way is to misunderstand what the future of distributive technologies is about.”
Apparently, the concept for Does Someone Have to Go? has been kicking around Fox for awhile, possibly waiting for the economy to improve, so that television viewers, pushing giant piles of money out of their line of sight, would feel good about a program where people lose their jobs as part of the basic premise.
However, that day has not yet come (thanks for nothing, Obama!) and you have to fill the broadcast day with something, so the show that you'd think will likely end in a murder/suicide of some sort will debut on Fox May 23, right after Hell's Kitchen. I try to limit the hours I spend a week laughing at the pain of others, but if you want to see employees turn against each other for seemingly no other reason than to grab a rating point or two, six episodes of this atrocity are scheduled, two for each employer. Watch someone beg for the opportunity to continue feeding their family! Yay!
If the Kings of the Mic show on May 23 wasn't quite enough for your old school hip hop soul, AVA announced another show sure to send you down memory lane, remembering music videos on The Box and the fuzzy AM signal of Power 1490: Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, DJ Quik and Warren G & tha Dogg Pound, all on one bill, July 12. Personally, my tolerance for Bone Thugs is somewhat limited (despite the fact that they're from my sorta-hometown of Cleveland) and Warren G makes me miss Nate Dogg more than anything, but DJ Quik is amazing and probably worth the ticket price by himself. He could play his part from Tony! Toni! Toné!'s "Let's Get Down" on a loop for 45 minutes and I'd be entertained, frankly.
No info on ticket prices yet, but watch Casino Del Sol's page for details.
Because if there's anything the Internet needs more of, it's ways to aid people in their quest to possess the Ultimate Penis.
According to Jezebel, Pfizer (the producer and pusher of Viagra) is having quite a hard [snicker] time as of late, as Viagra is the most counterfitted drug on the planet. See, Pfizer's patent on the pill to plump sagging gentleman's sausages runs through 2020, leaving legitimate producers of generic pills in the lurch, and giving black market makers of "Viagrower" or whatever the opportunity to bilk people into buying herbal remedies and dried bull semen — and everyone knows that the only legitimate use for bull semen is in energy drinks.
Semen tangent aside, Pfizer's onto something new and interesting here in their attempt to reach boner-pill users who are too embarrassed to actually jaunt down to the pharmacy to remedy their secret shame.
"It's a very interesting and novel approach," says Judson Clark, an Edward Jones analyst who projects that Viagra sales Viagra sales could continue to decline 5 percent each year for the next five years. "Whether it returns Viagra to growth is hard to say."
By making Viagra available online, Pfizer could be setting a new standard for the drug industry. "If it works, everybody will hop on the train," says Les Funtleyder, a health care strategist at private equity fund Poliwogg.
|The Daily Show with Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
The Atlantic Wire captures an amusing CNN moment during the absurdly over-covered Jodi Arias trial in Phoenix:
It seems that Grace and Banfield are sitting in the same parking lot, facing in the same direction, and judging by the speed of the vehicles in their shots, they cannot be sitting more than 30 feet away from each other. Yet, they're behaving as if the are on opposite sides of the world.
I'm left to wonder: Who watches CNN all day to catch these moments? It deserves some kind of combat pay for the psychological damage it inflicts on people.
Farm Bloomington is another one of those cool, farm-to-table joints (not unlike a few of the cool places featured in this week's fantastic cover story, come to think of it), only this one tells you straight from the help-wanted ad everything that they require of you, listing 44(!) separate points they'd like you to adhere to.
I mean, that's all well and good — after all, who doesn't want a competent employee that cleans as they go, doesn't take themselves too seriously, asks for days off well in advance, is able to work double-shifts for days at a time, is willing to find ways to make suggestions look like the chef's idea, seasons everything properly...
Yeah. The list goes on. And on. And on...though admittedly, it's not a bad list. Though according to FoxNews.com, the ad only stayed on Craigslist for a short time before being pulled:
Harry Shafer, general manager at FARMbloomington, said a sous chef put up the job posting— which was taken from another site— without reading it thoroughly.
“It was taken down as soon as we were aware of the negatives listed. I promise that the ad does not reflect the kind of business we run,” Shafer told FoxNews.com in an email.
While the ad only stayed up on Craigslist for a few minutes, FARMBloomington admitted it did have some bad help in the past.
Shafer added: “’Sick’ associates are most often just hungover, so it is our policy that the managers decide if they cannot work.”
As noted, the original ad has been pulled...but happyplace.com has the ad in full. Check it out here.
This is a big day for the comprehensive immigration reform package put forward the by the Gang of Eight: The Senate Judiciary Committee is set to start hearing proposed amendments to legislation. Talking Points Memo rounds up the big issues:
On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee will begin examining about 300 proposed amendments to the bipartisan immigration bill, kicking off a new phase in the reform effort. While most are unlikely to pass, the amendments give a valuable preview as to which issues the final battle over immigration will be fought hardest over. You can expect to see lawmakers come back to some of these same debates many times over before any kind of legislation hits the president’s desk.
Comedy shows take place at 9 p.m., every Tuesday, in the Mooney Backlot, located directly behind Screen… More