Saturday, November 18, 2006

The Political Mom

The soothing voices of C-SPAN drone in the background as I sit in front of my computer. "If you can't be a highway, just be a trail," pops out at me, and I realize I'm watching the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Groundbreaking. It reminds me why I care enough to share my political views.

Political expression is not encouraged in the United States. In fact, it's downright discouraged. Expressing your political views at the office is considered career suicide, unless maybe you are a political pundit or a politician and even then it can get you into trouble. For years I kept my political mouth shut in public. Who doesn't like having a paycheck and a place to live?

Finally, my conscience broke through and I got politically involved again, campaigning for candidates, leading meet-ups and blogging. Politics is not pretty. It's an ugly process. If report cards were given, many of the people involved, perhaps most, would receive marks like, "Does Not Play Well With Others," "Talks Too Much," and "Does Not Pay Attention." Nonetheless, it's the best way we have to shape our collective future. It's not always fun, and it's not always rewarding, but I just can't get over the fact that it's just too important to let go, especially now that I am a mom.

Beantastic Trivia

In perusing other mom blogs recently, I've noticed many of us seem to share let's call it an affinity for coffee. Probably has something to do with the acquired skill of surviving on 45 minutes of sleep.

Curious person that I am, it raised many coffee questions in my mind and I found some great coffee trivia at

I liked this one:

"Caffeine is on the International Olympic Committee list of prohibited substances. Athletes who test positive for more than 12 micrograms of caffeine per milliliter of urine may be banned from the Olympic Games. This level may be reached after drinking about 5 cups of coffee."

Friday, November 17, 2006

Thanks to President Bush -- Part of the Thanks Giving Series

Lest you be confused, let me pause for a moment and clarify, I am not a Republican. (Repeat after me. I am not a Republican.) But as I reflect upon the past several years, there are some things that, really, I just have to stop and say thanks for. Way to go G. Dub.

I must stop and say thanks to him for single-handedly leading Republican politicians in the repeated, intentional mispronunciation of the word "nuclear" as nu-cu-lar, creating a class of apparently phonetically-challenged political lemmings.

I am also thankful for his many verbal foibles having forever left us with the term "Bushisms," and supplied comedians and humorists an ample supply of political material. (Here is just one example of a Bushism from "The Complete Bushisms" on -- "You took an oath to defend our flag and our freedom, and you kept that oath underseas and under fire."—Addressing war veterans, Washington, D.C., Jan. 10, 2006)

And God bless G. Dub, with Karl Rove at the helm, they restored America's faith that dirty tricks are alive and well in our nation's capital. The orchestrated release of information revealing the identity of CIA Officer Valerie Plame let us all know, "If you oppose us, there will be a price to pay." Hey guys, thanks for the heads up.

So, as we approach Thanksgiving this year, I must say I am thankful to President Bush for making it abundantly clear to me that I am not, nor shall I ever be, a Republican.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Mom Blogging -- The Hip New Thing

"What is a Mom Blog?" you might ask. ZoKai is a Mom Blog. The key is, you guessed it, moms blogging. It's a way for moms to connect to each other and the outside world, even at midnight or 5:00 AM when the teething babies are finally sleeping, the laundry is almost done and connecting to a reality with more than a ten-word vocabulary once again becomes a possibility.

My friend Karin of DoubleDutyDiary clued me in about a year ago. I read her blog and was hooked.

There are many different kinds of mom blogs: baby blogs, complainer blogs, saccharin blogs, humorous blogs, opinion blogs, photo blogs, my-life-in-annoying-detail blogs and more. ZoKai was started primarily as photo/baby blog, an alternative to clogging up the email boxes of friends and family with newsletters and unbelievably adorable photos of my twin daughters Zoe and Kaia (ergo ZoKai).

During the 2004 election, I was a political blogger, an experience that graced me with just enough technical expertise to be dangerous as I began my mom blog. At its inception ZoKai featured primarily photos and updates to keep friends and family informed and create a kind of online scrapbook. As a stay-at-home mom with infant twins, that was all there was time for. Zoe and Kaia have now reached toddlerdom and as they are growing so is ZoKai. More sleep time for babies means more blog time for Mama.

Recently I've ventured out onto the blogosphere, reading other mom blogs and learning what a diverse group we mom bloggers are. I have found some real gems and some stinkers. Here are a few of the gems for your review: (Brace yourself.)

Pull up a chair, take of your shoes and enjoy some easy reading.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

What Would Your Super Parent Power Be?

This week I asked my husband if he thought it would hurt me if I ate coffee straight from the bag. He thought I was kidding. It smelled so good (Vanilla Nut) and seemed like it might just turn me into Super Twin Mom. More likely it would just make me sick and very, very jittery. But it did get me thinking. What if we could have parent super powers? Hence today's poll to the right for your participation pleasure:

Poll completed.
~And the winner is: Mood Mender Mind Meld -- The ability to make any child happy simply by placing your palm on their forehead and looking into their eyes.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Giving Props Where Props Are Due

A little explanation about the recent changes on ZoKai:

Hi Karin,

I’m dropping a line to say thank you for the inspiration. Your blog looks great and I love what you’ve been writing.

Thanks to you, I’ve spruced up the place at ZoKai a bit and am trying to post stories more often. I’ve figured out a few template hacks and even learned a teeny teeny bit maybe about making a header, but it has not been painless. Crazy fool that I am.

“Oh yeah, I think I can carve out four hours on Saturday afternoon. I’ll just teach myself web design.”

Nutty, nutty girl.

So with my vanilla nut coffee and my free trial version of Adobe Creative Suite, I sit down in front of my computer and watch every free online tutorial about AdobeGoLive they offer on their web site. Did I mention I am crazy? Three cups of coffee and 8 hours later, I had designed one puny little low resolution sort-of banner, which my husband Scott promptly appeared to lose into the vast computer abyss when he improperly (Yes, that’s right. I am blaming him.) inserted “The Wiggles Magical Adventure” into the DVD drive for the girls, and the computer became unresponsive and displayed three different colors of snow on the screen. I think if it could have coughed up blood, it would have.

The computer was miraculously restored to normalcy about 15 minutes later, undoubtedly because I wisely decided we (most notably Scott) should leave the computer alone (aka the Little Bo Peep method of restoring lost computer files – leave them alone and they will come home).

Anyway, since then I have designed two more banners, picked up a couple of template hacks from the Blogger Google group, and have actually started seeing a little sense in the html code (way different than the BASIC I studied in high school, but in some ways similar too). The third banner is currently implemented in my header, and I will be working on more.

Thanks so much for the inspiration! My brain needed a good workout and this has been lots of fun.


Take a minute to check out Karin's great blog at

Site Remodel

The goal is to make the transition seamless, but in case you see strange things happening on your screen, be advised that a site remodel is underway.

Welcome to ZoKai

If you're visiting for the first time, I'm so glad you're here. Have fun, take a look around and drop me a line to let me know what you've been up to.