Friday, November 30, 2007

My second look at The Daring Book for Girls

It's my turn to revisit The Daring Book for Girls to report back to the MotherTalk blog community.

And as I look for it, the book is missing. Rather, it's out in the field. Probably a little warped by now by being bookmarked with a screwdriver. Instead of sitting on the shelf, the Daring Book has been outside, as my daughter and husband worked on making the ambitious scooter project (to be completed tomorrow if all goes as planned). The book has been mightily grabbed and passed back and forth at a slumber party, and pored over by my daughter in her alone moments.

In short, The Daring Book for Girls has given us a lot to do and my daughter a lot to think about. I love the browsing nature of it. Just open to any page and start reading, dreaming, doing. Some have asked if the book is a little old-fashioned. I prefer to think of it as classic and timeless. I will say that my favorite summer day camp of all time (the only one I ever really liked) was the Tom Sawyer-Becky Thatcher summer camp put on by the Indianapolis Children's Museum in 1977. We went on field trips spelunking in a real cave, panned for real gold and garnets in a stream, made whimmy diddles and learned how to play marbles. I was "8 and a half" when I attended this camp, which I remember because I got my photo in the newspaper, wearing a woven straw Tom Sawyer hat, and I made them print "and a half" in their reporting.

Now, at about the same age, my daughter is having that kind of exploration with The Daring Book for Girls. During this holiday shopping season when everything my daughter asks for is an electronic game that she has seen on television, it's great to know that she can still have real-life fun with her friends or on her own thanks to Miriam and Andi's wonderful book.

My recommended age range for gift-giving: 8 to 12 years old.

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Update on jailed nursing Mom

It's been a busy week and I've gotten a little behind in my blogging, but I wanted to post an update about the jailed nursing Mom who was separated from her young baby.

As of Wednesday, Danielle Ferreira was reunited with her children, but the long-term issues remain. Jail officials are asking for a review of breastfeeding policy. Other jails have said they don't allow breastmilk pumping because of the liability issues in case the milk would become contaminated and the baby got sick. What a cop-out, or put more positively, this should be a solvable problem.

I am most worried about people being incarcerated for status offenses. I am not an immigration expert by any means, but local activists have told me about the severe effects of ICE raids in North Carolina. Equally worrisome to me is the idea that anti-immigrant sentiment is the last bastion of sanctioned racism.

The Charlotte Oberver says that "Since last year, the Mecklenburg jail has participated in a federal program that identifies illegal immigrants after they are arrested and turns them over to immigration officials." We all need to learn a lot more about this program that empowers local law enforcement agencies to perform immigration functions. See the US Customs and Immigration page for more information on this "ICE ACCESS" program. Of course it is promoted as an effort to reduce violent crime it's also sweeping up people who have not committed anything other than status offenses. Please read this recent New York Times editorial on the midnight immigration raids that have terrorized families.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Jail denies nursing mother's request to feed baby

This breaking news story from Charlotte, North Carolina has me truly outraged and ashamed of my home state.

A Brazilian woman was jailed in Charlotte on Friday for immigration charges, and has been denied the opportunity to pump breast milk for her son, who is younger than two months old.

You can imagine what it means for a breastfeeding infant and mother to be separated and needlessly denied the opportunity to at least pump the milk to be delivered to the baby.

When my nursing daughter was 5 months old I had to go away for a day where I had little opportunity to pump, and just the pain of engorgement was absolutely agonizing. Yet I knew I'd be back in a day, and my baby was safe at home with a stockpile of plenty of breastmilk to feed her.

I can't imagine what it would be like to be ripped from my toddler child and nursing baby and worry about their welfare and the little baby's nourishment. The Charlotte Observer news story reports that baby Samuel is "crying incessantly and keeps spitting up baby formula."

I feel angry but rather than remaining totally helpless I am doing what I can to at least magnify the awareness of the story. Now that you know, is there anything you can do to help?

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Post-holiday slump; reconnecting with Mojo

The Thanksgiving holiday is over and I feel a fizz of effervescence escaping from me, leaving me deflated. The cap was screwed on tightly all weekend, and now that we are finally back to "normal," a delayed emotional reaction is hitting me. I feel irreversibly tired and more than a little twitterpated.

I've never been able to solve the mystery of why family life is inherently difficult (not even in my head, much less in a way that I can write about). I don't spend a great deal of time with my extended family, but whenever the generations cross paths, we seem to cross wires. There are many complicated threads among all of us, but one that I can share is that just about every female from age 8 to 90 in our brood is tempermentally an alpha female. So put us all together and it's an interesting, insoluble puzzle, as we try to reach a new equilibrium, but never do.

I happen to be reading She Got Up Off the Couch by Haven Kimmel right now. Haven is such an amazing writer that I feel completely inadequate to even describe her brilliance. She's also one of the most unassuming, natural people I've ever met so she'd probably hate hearing me say that. The best I can do is to say that she has been paying attention her whole life, and she has an uncanny ability to find the numinous in the absolutely ordinary backdrop of life, without being sentimental or mawkish.

Haven may be best known for her earlier memoir, A Girl Named Zippy: Growing Up Small in Mooreland, Indiana. Although she doesn't generally believe in sequels, Haven continued telling her family's story in She Got Up Off the Couch, in large part to relate that story of what happened to her mother Delonda after she stirred from her semi-permanent place in the living room, went to college and excelled as an English major, against all odds. I am not finished with the book yet so I haven't seen the full extent of Delonda's transformation, but as I read about her awakening, and anger, this weekend in particular I feel a kinship toward this woman with whom I would have thought I had nothing in common.

My own writing feels like it will be my salvation. As I drove away from my house this morning feeling overwhelmed and frustrated, my mind started to wrap itself around a complicated set of issues relating internet safety and privacy. Just having a new puzzle to work out in the form of a CNET blog post (to be written after this one) set my mind at ease. Even though it's a family and technology blog post, at the core of my being it's still a Mojo Mom activity because it's exercising my brain.

One of my favorite quotes is from choreographer Twyla Tharp: Art is the only way to run away without leaving home. I remain convinced that stressed-out Moms, who have less of natural opportunity for art than just about anyone, absolutely need art in their lives, whether it's through reading, writing, singing, dancing, watching or participating. You fill in the blank: what does creativity mean to you? Keep that flame burning, whatever it takes.

Two of my favorite books on creativity are Twyla Tharp's The Creative Habit, in addition to Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way. Whatever else you do as a mother, please accept the mantle of discovering and becoming the artist that you are meant to be.

This is not meant as pressure or another duty to add to your overburdened to-do list; it is an invitation to come out and play!

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Fashion! Mom tips & advice! My blog is....

Fashion! Mom tips & advice! My blog is being stolen by blog scrapers. These bad-faith content pirates take your entire blog post and repost it, without link, attribution, permission or compensation, in their blog shells, surrounded by pay-per-click ads.

I am working on a response, and I want to reassert my copyright to my work. All material posted on is copyright 2007 Amy Tiemann.

Fair use is encouraged, but copying my work without compensation, for commercial purposes, is a clear violation of copyright law.

Copyright © 2007 Amy Tiemann. This Feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this material in your news aggregator, the site you are looking at is guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact so we can take legal action immediately.

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Kids' laptop designs catch fire on the web

Life is funny. Just yesterday I was co-teaching the blogging session at the North Carolina Writers' Network conference, and one of our take-home messages was that you never know which of your posts will catch on. You just need to keep writing and let the serendipity of the web do its magic.

Then today, a project that resulted from something I wrote a couple of months ago burst onto the net and caught fire to an unexpected degree. Back in September, I wrote on my CNET blog about kids' laptop designs--the product of second and third graders who were drawing detailed laptop interfaces on construction paper "computers." I thought it was really interesting to see what the kids had already internalized about computers and which functions they should perform, but I assumed the story would end there.

The designs caught the eye of Rosecrans Baldwin, the editor of the website The Morning News. He asked if I could collect a few more designs for him and he'd turn them into a featured gallery.

I said sure and sent Rosecrans a packet of artwork, and he interviewed me about what I thought the designs told us about kids interacting with computers.

The Laptop Club gallery was published this morning on the front page of The Morning News, and to my surprise and delight this story has caught on. It has been linked to by
and MetaFilter, among others.

I never would have predicted how this story would have taken off. The comments on MetaFilter were pretty funny for me to read. The kids' designs feature lots of buttons dedicated to pets, and sounds like more than one adult is jealous that they don't have a "kitten" key on their laptops.

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Proud to be a North Carolina Writer

I am just wrapping up a weekend at the North Carolina Writers' Network's Fall Conference, and my mind is crackling with the charge of ideas and new possibilities. This weekend was a major Mojo boost and I hope that my story might get you thinking about ways to inject more arts and creativity in your life.

This annual conference, which brings together about 300 writers from all across our state, provided a milestone to remind me how far I've come, as well as a refresher course about the many new avenues that allow writers to share their work with the world.

Rewind seven years to my first NCWN conference. In the fall of 2000 my family relocated from Los Altos, California to Cary, North Carolina for a "temporary" 6-month move. I was a stay-at-home Mom busy chasing a one-year old who had just learned to walk. I had settled into the daily rhythm of motherhood, but I could also feel the stirrings of "what's next?" I was starting to feel that I wouldn't try to go back to classroom teaching. As a fish out of water for this 6-month adventure, I was curious about North Carolina, open to new things, and at the same time I felt largely invisible.

I decided to turn my Bay Area exile into an opportunity. For six months I would focus what little free time I had on finishing the novel, High Water, that I had been working on in fits and starts for five years. I had had plenty of opportunity to finish it during the summer breaks from teaching high school, but while I had added to it over time, I had never found the drive to finish it. Motherhood kept me busy most of the day, but gave me plenty of opportunity to wonder, "If I did have free time, how would I spend it?"

I went online and found the North Carolina Writers' Network and signed up for their upcoming conference in Raleigh. It was immediately apparent that this North Carolina was a great place to be a writer. There was a supportive community--experienced authors turned out to generously share their art and expertise with the throng of aspiring writers who were hoping to one day finish their stories. This stood in stark contrast to the feeling I had about the Bay Area, where you had to find a way to stand out among not only famous writers, but the crazy culture of the internet startup bonanza, in the days before people came down to earth.

I was enchanted with North Carolina for many reasons, and the real possibility of reinventing myself as a writer was a big draw. Six weeks into our six-month experiment, I told my husband "I've found the house of destiny and I think we should move here." (That is such an embarrassingly cheesy thing to have to admit to saying, but it happens to be true, so there it is.) As and impulsive as this decision was, we jumped in.

We settled into our new home, and I kept going to NCWN conferences. Years later I can remember Dovey Coe author Frances O'Roark Dowell's advice that you have to be really committed to write. You have to give up television, drinking, all sorts of comfortable, mindless time-wasters. I don't always follow her advice but I remember it, and her wisdom helps me stay centered. Getting work done is all about keeping your butt in the seat--showing up with a rested, lucid and open mind that is ready to be inspired.

The Network helped me connect with writing teachers and an ongoing group. I kept writing and took Short Courses at Duke for inspiration. In 2002, when my daughter started attending toddler preschool, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9:00 to 11:30 am, I wrote. I didn't shop, cook or heaven forbid clean that house during that time. I treasured those few precious hours when my mind could run wild, and I finished High Water. Then I wrote a screenplay for a family drama called Shadows of Fire (still unproduced--Lifetime TV, give me a call!), and finally, Mojo Mom. I pitched traditional agents when I started writing Mojo Mom. They came back with, "good idea, but it's a crowded marketplace, and you don't have a platform." In other words, I wasn't famous. What a chicken-and-egg problem for every new writer! I was never going to get well-known just by sitting and waiting, so I decided to take my career into my own hands and publish Mojo Mom independently.

The NC Writers' Network deserves a lot of credit on many levels. Early on in the process of writing Mojo Mom, a fall conference manuscript mart critique with O Magazine editor Dawn Raffel gave me wonderful encouragement and helped me solidify a great title that could extend to my whole author universe. This meeting gave me the shot of confidence I needed to keep going, no matter whether the New York publishing world was ready to embrace me yet.

The Writers' Network has been responsive to squeaky-wheel members like me. A while back I responded to a member survey by saying that I didn't feel quite included in their programs as a nonfiction writer. The Network has grown from literary origins, but what could they offer to those of us who were not solely literary writers or poets? The leaders responded by inviting me to teach a class at this year's fall conference, and that's just what I did.

We assembled a panel of four writers to teach "DIY Career-Building with Blogs, Podcasts and Self-Publishing." The room filled to capacity with creative people who find themselves at every imaginable stage in the writing process. This was a real full-circle moment for me. It encouraged me to think about how much I had accomplished over the past seven years. I don't really think that I believed that I would finish an entire book until I had actually done it. And here I was teaching at the conference that had originally solidified my commitment to take my writing seriously.

The great news about technological advances over the past few years is that if you want to write, you can find a way to publish, whether it's a blog, podcast, or book. Self-publishing has come a long way from the disrespected margins of "vanity presses," as many independently published books stand proudly alongside traditionally published works. Even I can't keep up with the new possibilities that continue to evolve with Facebook, My Space, YouTube, different forms of podcasting, and print on demand technology. Don't let the vast array of choices overwhelm you. Pick one avenue and give it a try.

Here's my bottom line for budding writers: your excuses for not publishing are vanishing in the digital age. If you are passionate, keep writing and find an avenue to reach your audience. When you share your work, you are not only developing your craft, but you will be sowing seeds that will open possibilities that you can't even imagine yet. I am not a big fan of the book The Secret, because it oversimplified the so-called Law of Attraction to the point of wishful thinking, but there is merit in the core idea that if you have a passion, and put it out there in the universe, you'll make amazing connections. The blogosphere provides a perfect mechanism to actively court this kind of serendipity.

So I want to thank everyone at the North Carolina Writers' Network, because you'll never know how many writers you've inspired. This weekend in I learned a lot from my fellow faculty on the DIY Career-Building panel: science fiction writer, podcasting expert, and Creative Commons enthusiast Mur Lafferty; biodiesel activist and blogger Lyle Estill, and lawyer/travel blogger Joseph Anderson. Each of them had original ideas to share with the class, and their experiences illustrated the wonderfully unpredictable nature of online outreach. Both Lyle and Joseph had their blogs turned into books, and Mur is embracing Creative Commons sharing to solve every author's challenge: how to rise from obscurity and reach out to fans who will love your work. She is podcasting her new novel in serialized installments, which is an exciting idea.

We have so many multitalented people here in North Carolina. Bay Area, go ahead, it's okay to be jealous.

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Friday, November 16, 2007 goes national

One of my favorite nonprofits announced this week that they've gone national. connects public school teachers with citizen philanthropists" who can make a difference by contributing as little as $10 to fund a classroom project.

Now DonorsChoose is open to every public school in the country. Help spread the word by telling a teacher today! Over $15 million has been raised to date, helping more than 750,000 students, and this is just the beginning.

I wrote all about it today on (parent.thesis), the parenting and technology blog that I write for the tech news website CNET.

It has been a real challenge to write two blogs but I've renewed my commitment to (parent.thesis) and you can even say I've found my mojo over there. So hope you'll check out today's post and learn about a very worthy cause.

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Kickstart your fashion mojo without buying a thing

I've learned a few things from my own challenges battling disorganization and clutter. Throughout my twenties, I moved every year or so, and this forced me to go through everything and cull my belongings on a regular basis. I could pretty much fit my possessions in a Honda Civic hatchback.

But we've been blessed to put down roots in Chapel Hill for seven years now, and the downside is that I finally started to feel buried under all of our stuff. Our books and clothes were particularly overwhelming us with the sense that we just didn't have room give everything a "place."

So I have experimented with adopting a policy of "unshopping." Apparently there is a whole unshopping movement--see, and my friend Perri Kersh's excellent Enough is Enough blog--but I am going to tell you about my personal approach to engineering a wardrobe upgrade without buying anything new.

Sometimes when you feel like you have nothing to wear, it's really just that you:

1. Have nothing clean to wear

2. Have lots of old and/or yucky clothes cluttering up your closet resulting in a situation where...

3. You don't really know what fashion gems you have tucked away in the midst of the junk.

Moms in particular are susceptible to fashion clutter, because let's face it, when you have kids, you accumulate a lot of stained t-shirts and a wardrobe that is at least temporarily unfashionable. Fun/depressing fact: if you do a search on the photo-sharing site Flickr for "fashionable mom," almost all the photos that come up are either extremely UNfashionable moms OR Victoria Beckham.

The good news is that you can significantly upgrade your wardrobe without buying a thing. In fact, if you are unhappy with your wardrobe, you shouldn't buy anything new until you've gone through the unshopping process. The key is to get rid of things that are not working for you. If you can't wear it or don't like it, it's not doing you any good. You can donate clothes that are in good repair, and either mend of pitch worn-out clothes.

Mojo Mom's Unshopping Strategy:

They key to my image upgrade is to get rid of your yuckiest clothes and promote your nicer clothes to everyday wear.

If you are beyond the mess-intensive nursing/baby/toddler years, throw out any item that is stained, worn, ripped. You may want to save ONE old t-shirt and not-nice jeans outfit for art projects, but celebrate your maturing family by LETTING GO of your outdated schlumpy-Mom Wardrobe.

Feel like you have nothing to wear even though there are plenty of clothes in your drawer or closet? Good--start by looking at those "nothing to wear" clothes as a place to start unshopping. A good way to find your "nothing to wear clothes" is to wait until you have a huge pile of laundry saved up: the clothes you do wear are in the pile, and the clothes you don't wear are still in the drawer.

Some of your favorite clothes may get caught in a dry-cleaning or hand washing dead end. Look for those neglected piles of dirty clothes and get them cleaned. Voila, you may have just redoubled your wardrobe with just that one step.

It may be time to say goodbye to some of your beloved oldies. Even if you have the legs to wear a baby-doll dress, does that image still suit you? I am all for saving some favorite or unusual clothes for future kids' costume wear, but if you can move these items out of your main closet, do so.

Even if you are not at your "ideal" weight or shape, start putting your best fashion face forward as you are now. Don't wait for a mythical "someday...." If you haven't worn an item in two years, seriously consider getting rid of it.

After you've concentrated your wardrobe to the "best of the best," see what you have left and start wearing it. I think most Moms (ahem, speaking from experience here) would benefit from getting rid of their crummiest tier of clothes and promoting more of their "nice" wardrobe to everyday wear. Cut out the sweatpant/sweatshirt ensembles and dreaded "Mom jeans" and kick everything up a notch. There's nothing wrong with jeans, by the way, as long as you do the work to find a pair that truly fits and flatters you.

It's a little more work to stay on top of the laundry/dry cleaning process when you wear nice outfits, but putting in that effort will extend the use of the clothes you already have.

It may seem like I am stepping out of my normal Mojo Mom realm here, but isn't just about fashion, it's about living consciously. Take a step back, get rid of clutter, and enjoy the best of what you already have. Think about the image you are projecting: is it really you? Dig out of the classic Mom trap of "letting yourself go." Really think about who you are now, who you want to become, and how you can align your best inner self with your presentation to the outside world. This is about taking good care of YOU.

On a related note: the holidays are upon us in full force and are taking up more and more of the calendar every year. Remember when "Christmas shopping" started AFTER Thanksgiving, rather than before Halloween? I'd like to propose that we establish Unshopping Month between Halloween and Thanksgiving. It's a great time to get rid of things you don't need so that you can enjoy the best of what you already have. And that's something to be thankful for.

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Monday, November 05, 2007

Julia Roberts: I love ya, but give me a f*%@ing break!

One of's "popular stories" reports Julia Roberts' "dream," snipped of all its context:

"Julia Roberts envisions a future of domestic bliss. 'My dream is to be a highly fulfilled and productive stay-at-home mom and wife,' the Oscar-winning actress tells Vanity Fair magazine. 'The highest high would be growing our food that I then make, and then composting and growing more -- that kind of circle.' Roberts, 40, says that life would involve having 'my own creative outlet, even if it's silly needlework and stuff like that.'"

I don't really know how to take this comment, other than with a grain of salt. If she wanted to leave her fabulous career for a life of compost and kids she could. Really.

But I have to believe that she likes her career as the world's most successful actress. And that yes, some days, she would rather be home with the simple life. But I see her voting with her feet, finding a way to continue to make movies as she raises her three young kids. More power to that. Please don't give it up in favor of "silly needlework."

It's not often I find myself sounding like Linda Hirshman but there's a first for everything.

I hate it that the media always wants to pick up on the thread of "I have an amazing career but really I'm just a Mom" and I hate it that women have to come back to that point, as if they are minimizing or apologizing for their careers. I remember an egregious People Magazine profile of Celine Dion that had the same focus, that she had a one-women show in Las Vegas but was really just a Mom. I think they had a photo of her vacuuming her rug while wearing a satin dress and high heels. The dress fit her great--the vacuum looked really out of place. (Google has finally let me down as I cannot find the original May 2006 article.)

We know we can love our kids and still have careers. Why do we have to pretend otherwise to the media?

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Saturday, November 03, 2007

Trapped in Seinfeld's nightmare

Jerry Seinfeld and Dreamworks have teamed up to deliver a real stink bomb. Bee Movie is a premise in search of a story. There are plenty of designers on hand but apparently no screenwriters.

The first ten minutes was actually rather enjoyable as the Bee World was rolled out. The animation looks good. The bees were represented in a mildly amusing, satiric, anthropomorphic way but at least a coherent picture was forming.

All logic flies out the window once the main character, Seinfeld's Barry B. Benson, leaves the hive. He flies around New York City and falls for a human woman. See, it turns out that bees could always speak English but were forbidden from doing so. Barry crosses the line to speak with humans, the story loses its way.

The interactions between the bees and humans are not funny or enjoyable. I am not sure who this movie is really aimed at. I laughed a grand total of four times in the movie and my 8-year-old was puzzled by most of the pop-culture references. How many kids know who Ray Liotta is? How many adults think it's funny that he shows up as an arrogant actor-honeymaker with an anger management problem?

Barry B. Benson finds out that humans are taking the bees' honey, and sues humans in a protracted court case. Barry's discovery of the humans' treatment of bees felt like a nightmarish tour through Seinfeld's id. It was truly weird, with some scary random violence (Barry's human girlfriend dies in a fiery glider crash in a "dream" sequence), and strange allusions that made me think of the Holocaust, 9/11 terrorism, slavery, and the downside of Native American Casinos. Barry argues his case, wins, and almost causes the end of the world. Oops.

Am I crazy, or is Seinfeld? Hopefully not me. I can report with confidence that as far as the movie goes, it is not funny, it has little heart, and the story arc makes no sense. I really felt like the people who came up with the bizarre plot either did not understand kids or did not like them. Seinfeld himself basically said that he thought of the idea of a movie called Bee Movie and immediately got a green light without really knowing how to fill out the story. It shows. Seinfeld is a talented comedian but this effort to make a family film did not translate in the least.

This movie will make a lot of money but don't let that suck you in. After Shrek the Third it was clear that Dreamworks was going downhill fast, and Bee Movie is Dreamworks's storytelling at its laziest.

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Thursday, November 01, 2007

Why is a failed executive "worth" 160 teachers' careers?

I have to hope that we are about to reach a tipping point in this country, where we wake up to what is really going on around us. Ordinary families' bread-and-butter issues don't automatically translate into sensational news segments, but we need to wake up to the fact that families aren't doing as well as they should.

Families did make headlines in the South this week, were a new study revealed that for the first time in four decades, low-income children make up a majority of public school students. The "majority" statistic is what made the news, but if you look at the national map, 49 out of 50 states have a low income student rate of more than 25%.

The national rate is 46%. Unacceptable, any way you slice it.

We also learned this week that fired Merrill Lynch CEO Stan O'Neal is receiving $161.5 million in stock options and retirement benefits. This is not a successful CEO; this is a guy whose financial bets on the subprime mortgage market resulted in an $8 billion loss and "risked the entire franchise," according to financial guru Jim Cramer, speaking on The Today Show.

How much is $161 million? A teacher making $40,000 a year, working for 25 years, would earn a million dollars in a lifetime. So we've come to the point where a losing CEO is valued at more than 160 times the LIFETIME EARNINGS of a full-time teacher.

I don't have the solutions to this conundrum but it's clear that our national/economic priorities are totally screwed up. It's time we all take a grown-up look at the future of families. Between the expensive and demanding crunch of child care, and unbelievably expensive elder care, I fear that many families are headed for worsening crisis in the near future.

I'll be writing more about this, but in the meantime I encourage you to read mothers' real-life stories posted this week at I also highly recommend the October 23 episode of The Diane Rehm Show talking about long-term health care for seniors. Her expert panel talked about alarming trends including an investment trend in health-care communities that sounded like it could do for nursing homes what subprime mortgages did for the real estate market. (Don't take my word for it; listen to the show.)

This may seem like dry policy but it is really important stuff. 78 million Baby Boomers are headed for their elder years. When the caregiving bomb explodes, the repercussions are going to end up in our laps as mothers, wives and daughters.

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