Quickly, make a movie

about this. I am getting a pretty strong Harrison Ford, Tim Robbins, Gene Hackman vibe from this.

Or is someone on it already?

Despite what may seem as a slow erosion of the US Constitution's First and Fourth Amendments judging from recent events, it is commendable that such gatherings can still be peacefully organised – and that such organisations are allowed to thrive.

Perhaps it's because they're only conspiracy theories after all?

But what happens when conspiracy meets with physics? What if a conspiracy theory is evidenced with scientific theory (versus wild suppositions and paranoid postulations based on politics and economics)?

Who do you believe? How can you NOT believe?

Like the Magic Bullet theory.

I saw a video that touched briefly on this possiblity (that the physics of how the towers fell do not add up) a few months back.

Let me dig it up.

Wonder if Oliver Stone's upcoming movie on the attacks will have this slant. Don't forget his controversial 'JFK'.

Can't wait.

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Small mercies

For the past week, I have been plagued by sleeping woes, but yesterday, something close to a miracle happened.

Usually, the girls wake up about seven, latest eight, so I have to be up latest by six to make sure I have time to prepare coffee and have some alone time to start the engines, before getting them up and ready for a full day of hard play, messing up the house and the Very Important business of visiting the playground.

I hadn't been able to sleep more than five hours on Sunday and Monday (each), but managed to survive a visit to this huge park Rae loves, a birthday party and several meltdowns from Skyler who has managed to pick up this habit of INSISTING that she does everything by herself, including using the toilet even though she doesn't fully grasp its function yet, prefering to think, rather, that it's a bucket of play water which she dunks her hands into and splashes about with nary a care, despite paranoid momma's screams, which you will be able to hear very soon on a frequency near you.

But.

Yes, thankfully, there's a but.

But, I've been able to sleep until 9am yesterday. Like I said, it's something of a miracle, because the kids slept until 9am with me. Rae crawled into bed with me at what must be 7am, and continued sleeping, cuddled warmly next to me. It was just glorious. Eight hours of undisturbed sleep.

Which is why I shouldn't be losing my head over chocolate milk and cream cheese on the carpet now, should I?

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Insert moral compass here

Not many people know this, but I used to be a Christian.

I say 'used to be' because by even the most liberal interpretation of the label, I am not one, although I still pray, believe in our Lord and Saviour Jesus, and the holy trinity. I don't read the bible anymore since I found out how it was put together. And I don't go to church anymore because I simply don't believe in an institution that's created and run by man. My faith has become an intimate, personal relationship between my God, his Son and me. And no matter what other people say, I know it's real.

You won't believe it too, when I tell you I used to be a very religious kid, although I had quite a tough time determining which was what when I was a kid because my parents, although they aren't Christians (were never baptised), believed in sending my sis and I to Sunday school and then to youth groups, while never ever having attended any sermons with us. We were simply dropped there every Sunday, where we'd spend the whole day with our church friends, and then mom would pick us up at five in the evening.

Nobody at the church ever met our parents, which must've been really strange to the church members because really, who do these kids belong to? And who drops their kids off at church and never checks to see if they're being inculcated into some kinda cult?

Thankfully, none of that happened, although for quite a few years, my sis and I were quite the goody-goody holy girls, which was good, I suppose, for my parents. And I loved my old church. Some of my best childhood memories were of my days spent there, attending Sunday School, and then service, bible classes, bible camps, playing in the church yard with my friends, forming crushes on boys, breaking some hearts as well.

It was just one big, seemingly neverending spiritual + social experience for me.

Now that I have kids, I'm in a bit of a jam as to how I can teach them about what is good and bad in the world. Just the other day, I was lecturing Rae about being safe at the playground, about how there are bad people in the world who would try to take her and her sister away.

"Where do bad people live, Mommy?" she'd asked.

"I wished I knew," I'd answered.

Wouldn't it be nice if all the bad people live neatly in their designated zones, and the good people in theirs?

"Are there bad people in OUR park?" she continued.

"They're everywhere, I suppose. And that's why we have to be really careful," I answered, not really sure if that was the right thing to say. I didn't want fear to overcome her each time we visited a park or playground. But one can never be too safe these days.

I don't think Rae understands still, the difference between good and evil, and this perplexes me because essentially, the Tan household is not religious. Lokes is an agnostic. But, although he doesn't believe in God, he allows me to practise parts of my faith, providing they're not TOO extreme. For instance, we pray at bedtime, and Lokes, the sweet man, will 'pray' with us, folded hands and everything, although I know he's probably just thinking about work.

I know not being religious doesn't mean you can't inculcate morals. Just that it makes it a much more challenging task. After all, what could be simpler than telling your child he or she has to behave because God is always watching? Of course, this depends on how smart (or not) one's child is. This climate of constant fear is exactly what Lokes is afraid of cultivating. And so, we always have quite a bit of explaining to do whenever we need her to understand that some things are just not done, like not telling the truth, or taking something that doesn't belong to her, or stepping on a bug.

How do you 'install' a moral compass into your child without getting too religious? Is it practical to have to manually steer your child away from 'sin', each time he or she trips up? How do you explain why showing off is rude while being proud is of your accomplishments isn't? And how do you deal with the times they successfully get away with doing something bad, and it's too late to punish them?

One answer I keep coming up with, is to teach by example. But it gets kinda tricky, waiting for a situation to arise that allows you to show your kids how to NOT lie, or NOT to steal.

Should we camp out at a playground just waiting for some other kid to misbehave so I can THEN tell Rae, "Okay, see that there? That's NOT okay."

I must be going out of my mind for thinking that up.

Ah well. Maybe this can be Daddy's job, setting his kids on the straight and narrow.

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More funny conversations

One reason I've wanted to do a podcast is, if for nothing else, to record the hilarious little conversations Raeven and I have, or the ones she and her dad has, which happen almost on a daily basis.

Just yesterday, while driving to a park we love to visit, she said what's probably one of the most adult things I've ever heard her say, God bless her little four-year-old heart.

Now Rae is into rock music, and likes the current top hits from Green Day, Staind, Coldplay, Bon Jovi and the like. Usually, I put the station we both like on, which plays the music from the 80s to the tunes of today. I don't really like to turn my radio on too loudly for fear of not being able to hear the traffic outside, so when something Rae likes comes on, she'll ask me to turn it up so she can sing along.

Sometimes, she gets the lyrics right. Other times, she fills up the rest with her own brand of nonsense.

So Bon Jovi was done with Who Says You Can't Go Home (her absolute favourite song) and up came Baltimora's Tarzan Boy, an 80s hit, for those of you who are too young to be reading this blog. Rae had never heard it before, so I introduced the song to her, telling her that it was a 'nice' one. Hey, I'm an 80s girl myself.

"It's about Tarzan, sweetie. Remember Tarzan?"

Of course she does. We have the DVD.

Anyway, as mommy howled the lyrics, if you can call them that, of Tarzan Boy, Raeven sat quietly at the back. I tried catching a glimpse of her to see what she was up to (she sits right behind me) but to no avail. So when the song ended, I asked her what she thought of it.

"Wasn't that a nice song, baby?"

"No."

"Why not?"

"It's a silly song, Mommy, Tarzan Boy."

I swear, the car swerved a little and I had to slow down because I was too busy trying not to laugh.

"Silly? Why?!"

"It's a silly song. I like only nice songs," she said.

God, I wished I'd stopped the car then and looked at the solemn little face that I knew was accompanying the serious voice.

After a pause, she continued.

"I'll listen, but I won't sing along."

That was when I slowly brought the car to a halt in front of someone's house, and promptly laughed my ass off.

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Sexy Canadian music

I'm not much of an explorative music listener. Lokes is more adventurous when it comes discovering new music and is always introducing me to new artistes and everything. We particularly enjoy jazz, and are old souls when it comes to that. Elle Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughn, a little Sinatra. Miles Davis. A little bossa nova and samba now and then.

And that is why I'm so surprised at myself for being drawn to the musical stylings of one Jackie Treehorn, or rather what I call Sexy Canadian music from some of Ms Treehorn's indie collections.

Definitely the kind of music to get all hot and sweaty over. Take a listen and see if you're not intrigued. 

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WordPress rocks my world

When I decided to transfer my blog from Blogger to WordPress, which was on paid hosting on my own domain, a lot of people told me not to because I had quite a following. But I was quitting my job and hence, did not have the luxury of paying for space anymore, I decided to go with WordPress and Flickr. I know Blogger hosts but it’s so damn slow.

Today is exactly why I am so glad I moved here instead of some other place or remaining at Blogger. Despite its limited offerings in terms of aesthetics, WordPress creators are always earnest in improving their services, aesthetics or otherwise. Plus everything is just so simple to use, which is the first rule of every technology built for the masses: being idiot-proof. WordPress isn’t perfect, but it’s close to it for the lay blogger.

You will notice I change my template quite often. This is because everything is done within two clicks. And now, I can even put my own images on the header. Don’t even need to use an image editor to crop the image to the correct size; WordPress provides that service online.

Awesome, isn’t it?

I heart WordPress. Totally.

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The I’mPerfect Mom, soon on podcast

Having been bribed with the latest games and hardware most of seven of the 11 years I was a journalist, there are times that I watch with smouldering envy my close friends and distant colleagues who are still on the take today.

It's been six months that I've been clean. Sometimes, I miss it. Other times, I'm too neck-deep in screaming kids to care.

However, having tucked said screaming kids to bed early today, I slipped and went for a little joyride back on the tech wagon, permitting myself around 1GB of downloads. From stupid little game trials to various little webwares, I piled them onto my already crowded PC. I actually cleaned out my unread feeds as well (boldtype stuff needling me whenever I check my mails, hate them), going through every little nugget of info I found interesting.

My latest addiction?

Podserve.

Even though it's not the friendliest of non-iTunes/iPod-users, I was quite close to leaving my two kids sleeping in their beds and hopping in the minivan to Fry's at 9pm to grab a super-duper DJ-mike+headphones thingie to start my very own podcast. Even signed up for an a/c and everything.

There have been moments in my life I've entertained the possibility of becoming a DJ or a talkshow host. Daydreams dashed by non-existent public speaking skills. I tend to stammer when I talk. Remnants of a very bad relationship that happened a million years ago.

And yet.

Maybe I should start a podcast for women. Who knows? Could end up the Oprah of podcasting.

I mean, if this guy can do it.

*guffaw*

Like real.

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