Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Should auld acquaintance be forgot ...

Wishing everyone the very best in 2009!

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Some New Year's Resolutions

I figure it's about the time to start thinking of these. :)

1. Be the best mom and wife I can be to my little family of three.
2. Be the best daughter, granddaughter, sister, niece, etc. to the rest of my family as they've been wonderful to me.
3. Be the best friend I can be - my friends deserve it. :)
4. Continue to lose the weight I started to lose this year.
5. Direct a successful play to kick off '09, and stay involved in theater.
6. Use my maternity leave for Professional Development, taking a course or two - something.
7. Get a contract for September when I'm back to work. Or at least an long-term temp job given I've had some time off.
8. Possibly most importantly for ANY of these to succeed - enjoy life. Right now. The moment I'm in. I have a bad habit of either longing for the next big adventure, or living in the past, and missing 'now'. Which would be tragic right now given that this time of my life is what I've been living for - I'm a wife and I have a beautiful child and my career is going well. My family is in good health, I have good friends, a lovely home, food on my table and almost anything I could want - count those blessings instead of dwelling on things that go wrong. Because really, I've learned - none of it's worth it. The above is what matters.

Do any of you have any resolutions?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Merry Christmas and Hanukkah

Hi all,

Just wanted to check in to say I hope everyone has been having as great a holiday season as we have. I didn't get a chance to wish everyone a Merry Christmas as we were away on Christmas at my mom's but I hope it was spectacular. We got to celebrate Hanukkah today with Ari's family as well - Little Man has been introduced all around and has quite the fan club! :)

Not a whole lot to say - lovely company, lovely gifts, lovely memories. It's been a truly spectacular holiday ... only a few regrets and sadnesses ... and I hope everyone can say the same!

Love to all,

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Revolutionary Road

I want to see this movie:

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Hanukkah

Dear friends and family,

Tonight as we speak is the beginning of Hanukkah. Wishing all of you a lovely one as we at the Daigen household begin to celebrate the Chrismukkah season.

The Daigens

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Props to Barack Obama

Barack Obama selected Saddleback preacher Rick Warren to perform the Invocation at his Inauguration this January, upsetting many in the gay community and on the pro choice side of the aisle due to Warrens anti-gay marriage, and 'pro life' stance. Well as someone who both strongly supports gay rights, and believes in a woman's right to choose, I'd like to take the time to discuss this issue, and explain why I'm NOT up in arms.

  1. While Rick Warren falls on the wrong side of the tracks on these two issues, he is hardly a stereotypical, one-note conservative pastor. He has worked tirelessly to combat world hunger and poverty, and to advocate peace and human rights throughout the world. It's unfortunate he doesn't recognize the next logical step of his fight for human rights is gay rights, and their ability to do anything we straight folks can do, or to allow women to make the most intimate choices to do with their body, but does ANYONE get it completely right 100% of the time?
  2. Rick Warren is a personal friend of Obama's - he treated both Obama and John McCain with great respect at the Saddleback debates earlier in the US Presidential campaign, and asked some of the most impressive questions I've seen tossed to presidential candidates. He will not, I presume, use the dais of the Inauguration as a bully pulpit to push forward his own particular agenda, but to wish Barack Obama well and to pray for the Lord to guide him in the upcoming, and no doubt trying and difficult, next four years. Those are sentiments we can all get behind.
  3. I can't help but feel Barack Obama is kind of in a "can't win" here. He was blasted early in the presidential campaign for his association with Rev. Jeremiah Wright, a radically liberal preacher who in the past has wished eternal damnation on the United States, the very country Barack Obama feels called to serve. So he tries to take a more moderate approach, reaching out to those who are perhaps more conservative than he, and he gets blasted for that. He portrayed himself as a post-partisan moderate, people, we knew this; if you didn't want that, John Edwards or Dennis Kucinich would have been stronger candidates.
  4. The left should be better than this. After 8 years of non-cooperation and divisiveness from those petty, can't-see-past-the-ends-of-their-noses neocons, the country finally sees what we have all along, and elected someone basically in line with the change we want to see. Does it become us when we get there to become that which we hate? Petty sore losers who feel the need to rub it in and 'get back at' those who've been in charge the last 8 years by not reaching across the aisle in a spirit of cooperation? Reaching out to, including and embracing people of all different stripes is a grownup and mature thing to do. And it isn't like Obama is asking Pastor Warren to develop policy; he's asking him to say a prayer. I mean, really.
And really, if we lefties - or anyone, for that matter - want to raise a concern, bottom line is it's that. Don't get me wrong, I'm a Christian and a very strong believer, and if I were elected President or Prime Minister of anything I'd definitely want divine guidance on that path. So in that sense it pains me to say this BUT - with the separation of church and state being a principle that the United States was founded upon, should any one person be saying a prayer at the new president's inauguration?

A prayer should either be a private event with the Obamas and those in the cabinet who wish to join them, and a preacher of their choice in private, outside of official inauguration duties, or else several preachers of several religions should be involved to include the entire tapestry of the country Barack Obama will be leading for the next 4 years. THAT, if ANYTHING, moreso than a moderate Republican pastor being asked to lead a few-moments-long prayer, should be the issue.

Or then again - novel idea - we could just sit back, enjoy this moment in history, stop trying to create issues where there ARE NONE, realize that Obama's official presidency, as anyone's would, will bring plenty to parse and critique in the years ahead, and stop trying to jump on non-stories early. Just a thought.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Shoe Toss

I dunno: is this awful, or funny, or awful funny?

I mean, I do NOT like GWB don't get me wrong - but we shouldn't treat our world leaders and elected officials this way. And Secret Service, where were you? If that had been a bullet ...

But since it wasn't, and since I DON'T like Dubbya, and since even he was cracking jokes about the incident later, I'm going to go with funny. And kudos to the brave (and very stupid!) reporter for doing what I doubt any of us would dare to (or be dumb enough to).

Saturday, December 13, 2008


We had a lovely dinner tonight with Ari's friend J, her husband and her son.

I mention J because she will always have a very special place in my heart. Last year I was in a car accident. I was in a fairly light jacket, asI was just dropping Ari off at work and then going home. Well, black ice introducing my car to a light post fixed that real quick, and it was -10C at MOST out. J was actually quite coincidentally one of the first people to drive by and see the accident (we were both surprised to recognize each other), and as soon as she recognized me she gave me a hug and an extra coat she had in the car ... both of which were much needed at the time.

Well, now J is expecting her second baby and it was time to return the coat which we have been attempting to give back to her for a year lol (her 'extra coat' was not in use b/c it was a maternity coat - and yes, sadly, it fit). So we had them over, exchanged the coat for some baby gifts, and had a lovely evening visiting.

Not only is J the kind of friend I aspire to be, I hope our little Tyke (thanks Alex for the nickname idea) grows up to be like her little guy H when he's 2. Such a nice family. :D

Friday, December 12, 2008

Interesting times...

Gov. Blagojevich of Illinois, since my last posting, has been indicted for, among other things trying to sell Barack Obama's senate seat. The president-elect has called for Blagojevich's resignation, and the attorney general of Illinois today sought the state Supreme Court to temporarily remove him from office, as he is unable to properly exercise his powers - I'm assuming while under indictment.

I am disappointed in this turn of events for several reasons:

  1. First and most simply, and admittedly from a completely partisan point of view, I'm always dismayed when I hear of these stories from Democrats in the US, or Liberals/NDPers in Canada. These are the parties I support, whether with my vote in the Great White North, or morally, from the sidelines, in the case of the US. It makes it hard to justify that support to those who are perhaps of not like mind when these scandals come to light. And yes, many on the Republican side, or the Conservative side up north here, have plenty to account for themselves. But somehow, I always find lefties need to justify these things more than the righties do. Maybe that's just a persecution complex, I'll admit that, but I just feel we have a harder time overcoming our nonsense in terms of public perception. Perhaps it's because we already have the more controversial policies to begin with - usually involving higher taxes and a greater openness to deficit spending in order to fund public programs - so that if we then look corrupt to boot, well ... if it's a given both sides of the political spectrum are corrupt, why not go with the side that simply put makes sure we have more $$$ in our own personal wallets at the end of the day (while charging us for that same in terms of social programs previously free ... doubt schools are under-funded? how many of your childrens' supplies do you need to buy, or field trips do you need to pay for now, which previously might have been covered?)
  2. Which explains point #2: this simply leads to that attitude of "they're all the same". Which pols aren't. That attitude leads to cynicism, which leads to voter apathy, which leads to low voter turnout, which is poor for democracy. While we the public should know better than to focus on these bad apples, while many of our lawmakers and other public servants are in fact very dedicated, principled, intelligent human beings who simply want to make a difference (and this on any side of the political spectrum - most pols I've met of any party quite clearly care, and believe in what they say; I might disagree, but I have very rarely questioned their intentions, or their sincerity), it's bad apples like Gov. Blagojevich who spoil the whole bunch. Both for democrats, and for public officials as a whole.
In short - for shame; especially since he won't even step down. Even Stephane Dion - a stubborn old cuss who *I* have met and who I like personally, has seemed quite unaware of what his party thinks of him, but ended up doing the right thing stepping down for Michael Ignatieff in order to preserve the potential success of the coalition the Lib/NDP parties are trying to form here in the GWN. You've been indicted; your next step upon receiving bail, imho, is to release a statement announcing your immediate resignation.

But that involves humility, something Gov. Blagojevich clearly does NOT have.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Weekend with Baby

So it was a good first weekend as a family of three - so many people happy for us, which is so flattering. So many people try to tear others down at moments of great happiness, and it is so nice that I've come out of this whole thing with an incredible support network - while I realized that, as I shared in their happinesses as their families grew, that they were quietly (or in some cases not so quietly) rooting for us too, I don't think I ever realized just how many people, or how enthusiastically, or how excited they'd be when it all came together.

Going through a difficult and such personal process as adoption definitely teaches you a lot about what people think of you, and I had never flattered myself over the past year, in which I'd been so wrapped up in all this, that so many people had been waiting on this as eagerly as Ari and I. Thanks to our families of course (such excited grandparents oh my goodness! lol), but in terms of friends who have no obligation to be supportive other than just caring about us more than either of us could ever deserve or earn, particular thanks to Joanna (and CONGRATS AGAIN! Miss Mom, on your own expanding family), Alex and Marjorie for welcoming me to the 'mom' club with such open arms (your vote of confidence means SO much to me because you've been there, and if YOU think I can do it, I can lol).

So many others have been great too - cher, calling me LD from WORK to congratulate me; Elizabeth and Licia for being SO excited for me even though we're all busy and don't see each other as often as we'd like; Nick, for following little man's progress as closely as we have despite not even LIKING kids ... you guys rock, we love you, and thank you so much for such overwhelming kindness which we can only hope to return - and I'm afraid you guys have set a pretty high bar. Love you all.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Baby News

Now that he is home, I can announce happily that Ari and I have a little boy! No names or photos yet for confidentiality issues - as it is an adoption, it is not just our story or our information to share freely - but due to shorter and/or more infrequent blogs of late I wanted to explain why now that he is out of the hospital and the little tyke is doing well. Thanks everyone reading for your support!

Monday, December 1, 2008

A Political Break


Yes, the governor general asking opposition parties to form a government is undemocratic ... however, so is a party with 36% of the popular vote governing as if they have anything resembling a mandate. Bottom line: the parties forming this coalition have 60-some-odd percent of public support. Really, the Canadian electorate voted for a centre-left government, it just happens the centre-left is divided where the right is not. I'd rather see the citizenry get what they asked for, even if some strings need to be pulled. So proud of my party - the Libs - for showing some intenstinal fortitude for a change in the wake of Conservative bullying - the Cons expected them to cave, and they did not. WOOHOO!!!!

Also - Barack Obama made some awesome cabinet picks today, in Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, Jim Jones as National Security Advisor, and (I shall shock anyone who knows me by supporting a Republican) by keeping Gates on in Defense. Susan Rice is also a good choice for UN Ambassador, though I'd have sooner gone for MISTER Clinton, personally. ;)

And truly a red letter day in American politics - "W" admitted he was unprepared for war, and engaging in war on false evidence was "the biggest regret of this presidency". *doubletake* WHAT?! Well ... better late than never. Good on ya, Dubbya. Admitting you have a problem is the first step to solving it.