Friday, June 12, 2009

May I have some cheese with my whine, please?

I'm ticked.

I covered the Mrs. Alaska United States Pageant and had a blast doing it. I used to make fun of pageants but after I did one on a lark when I was pregnant with Starshine, I got hooked. Pageants represent the present culture and the women who maintain those norms. Writing this, I see exactly how what has upset me represents this idea.

The winner was someone who really had her stuff together and who told me that her platform was instilling confidence in young women, starting with the mothers. Her real agenda is marriage as a one man, one woman thing and denying rights to others who are biologically inclined to their own sex. Never mind that gays have families and are like the rest of the population, good or bad, but not because of their orientation.

Forty-six hours after her win, she was on TV getting press, leading children and protesting the municipal ordinance that would grant equal rights to everyone.

The pageant organizer told me that "I was there to make sure that she represented her position without taking an anti-gay position. She was clear that her position was neither for or against homosexuals, but was against her right to vote on this issue." News footage suggests other things. This woman is a member of Prevo's church and what she had said her platform was is quite different from what she is saying now.

This is probably under the carpet now-- but I am not happy that a pageant winner would be so openly against equal rights and be wearing a tiara and sash to get press on it. Gays are huge in pageants. You don't bite the hand that feeds you. I regret that this may have temporarily sullied the Mrs. Alaska Pageant, which is not like this.

I'd publish her picture, but it would probably just inflate her ego. She had seemed so nice!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

I am still here but not sure how to blog about life!

Ropi just asked if I am being fine as I've not been blogging lately.

Where do I start? Life is downright busy! I don't know if I have ever been this busy or been having as much fun doing it!

I have started getting some shows together for a small public radio station. I knew that being a housewife and not really getting out had taken a toll on me, but one of my friends there, and I think we are friends, had to tell me to stop apologizing to the people I was interviewing. Things would go wrong with the equipment and I'd be like, "OMG! I'm so sorry!" He told me that I am a professional, stuff happens with equipment, people get stuck in traffic, etc. and to just flex with the problems and waste no time saying I was sorry and to get on with things. I have been grateful and fawning to some big names that have granted me interviews to which he said, "You are media. You do your job, they interview with you and get publicity and time spent on telling people their story. It's a symbiotic relationship. STOP KOWTOWING!"

I am learning about putting together an actual NEWS story versus wanting to make my people look good. I have been asked, "Are you doing news or propaganda?" He was not suggesting that I be destructive, but honest. I just had to delete some of what I observed in a taped phone interview and when I did my cut of the show, he asked why I left a certain interchange out. I said that it wasn't flattering; he said, "An image is being portrayed by ______ and this contradicts that. You are contributing to their image by taking it out. Is this your intent?" (If it is, maybe I should be directing infomercials.) There was a lot to think about. I can leave it in and let listeners observe it without me pointing to it. They knew they were being taped.

The manager let me play with his i-phone and now I am hooked. This got me into using the equipment, too. I don't know why I had an aversion to using it. All I needed was for someone to show me what to do and spend an hour or so sitting with me and giving me direction, then turning me loose while they stayed in the room and acted busy and I could ask them questions when I needed help.

After we did that, I came home and edited alone and for the most part, was just fine. He was always a phone call or email away if I needed direction. Like me, he is a parent and stays up late with his technology so literally at 2AM we were Instant Massaging about what I was having trouble on. Radio is a medium like painting or writing. Once you have the tools and can use them even in a rudimentary manner, you can take off with them. I don't like the touch of plastic-- has that affected me? Every day I am getting better.

My eldest daughter gave me a laptop for Mother's Day. (One of her friends was selling hers as she updates every May for some reason so I got her old one.) I was shocked by what she spent and she said to me, "This is your tool for radio and writing. It's my contribution to the arts for now." She is an angel. I have an idea of what she spent, but it's not that that impacts me so much as the thought, her knowing what I so much needed, and her finding a way to get me something so important.

I have been writing for a paid news listing. My coverage of thoughtful things was getting a decent amount of hits, then I covered a beauty pageant. What do people want to read? They want lite.

I have been invited to the opening party of a local wine bar and restaurant because of another article. I will be covering a beauty pageant because a pageant organizer liked what I wrote about someone elses' pageant. I am really happy about this.

The kids are doing well, but if they are not entertained 24/7, they make mischief. I would so much like to have more money to be able to get them all into camps for part of the summer. We visit the library and go on hikes, but it's me just trying to give them something to do. I have started to feel like a prison guard as they spend a lot of time trying to get out of doing chores. The day before yesterday they didn't do their age appropriate jobs and yesterday they asked if I'd take them to the park and Cloud was mad that I didn't wake her up to go to someplace that she'd wanted to go (after staying up wayyyy late.) I told them that they had to do their jobs so I'd do the things that they wanted that we fun. I said that I was not doing wear and tear on my car if they were not helping to take care of where we live.

Calamity Jane has found a love of recipes in a children's party book. She is 6 and has found a notebook and has carefully started to plan out every member of the family's birthday parties and what is needed, from cake mixes to streamers. She loves going to the grocery store to price things out. She is a planner.

Yesterday I had to see the doctor for a cut finger. Mudd kept going up to the receptionist and offering her a toy banana that he said was a phone. She kept telling him that she was busy with her job. FINALLY after 30 minutes while I was getting stitched up, he offered her the plastic banana and she accepted. She pretended to talk on it for a couple of minutes, then she gave it to him, "It's for you," she said. He took it from her and looked at everyone in the waiting room, "She doesn't know it's just a banana!"

(That is one of his favorite jokes.)