Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Little Debate Bit

Watched a bit of the most recent Democratic debate last night. Substance? It is incredibly annoying to watch the front runners--particularly Clinton--dance around simple yes/no questions. Give me an answer, then equivocate and reason and do si do all you'd like. Feels very weak and fey to me. Edwards called Clinton on the carpet several times, which I enjoyed.

I was also tickled by the attempts (and successes) at humor by several of the candidates. Among others, Biden said that there are "only three things" Rudy Giuliani "mentions in a sentence: a noun and a verb and 9/11."

Appearance? Why was Edwards blinking constantly? It detracted from an otherwise strong performance in which he manhandled Clinton. Clinton is very presidential in demeanor these days: measured, confident, assertive and non-defensive, even last night. She handled the attacks well. Obama, on the other hand, continues to miss opportunities to define himself clearly. He's not looking much like a leader to me right now.

My current prediction is Hillary Clinton wins the nomination and the presidency. She's the only Democratic candidate who is organized and strong enough to defeat the right wing smear machine (a very real entity out there, folks). And the most likely Republican nominees, Romney and Giuliani, aren't savvy enough to capitalize on the party's smear prowess while being strong enough to face Clinton.

Personal note. Having surgery on the lady parts tomorrow AM. No biggie (d&c, ablation) but send a thought my way that it fixes what ails me. :-)


Monday, October 29, 2007

Politics and comedy--serious business

As someone who is seriously into politics, I think I'm supposed to be appalled at the candidacy of Stephen Colbert. But I don't appear to be. Politics is an awfully funny way to approach a serious business. It's part entertainment, part popularity contest, and part Important Issues. It's theater, at its best and worst.

We often whine about how this is so, the world is now going to hell in a hand basket, the sky is falling, and look longingly to the old days. But a comedian running as president isn't new comedy. Amusing, but not new. Remember Pat Paulsen's various and assorted runs? I have a soft spot for Pat, as he adopted Traverse City, Michigan as his summer abode during his later years.

Comedy and politics are a natural twosome. Something that should be solemn and serious--the fate of the nation--so often becomes trite and amusing when placed in the context of Elect Me. I, along with many others, take it so seriously that we need comedic relief to make it through these long campaigns. Probably more to the point, politicians take themselves so seriously that, as a society, we need someone poking fun at them to illuminate the insanity.

How else can we explain the popularity of Countdown with Keith Olbermann ? Government and politics in the oughts has landed smack in the middle of Farceland. And Keith is there to analyze, react, ridicule when necessary and yell when called for. Marvin Kitman in The Nation said, "What I like about Olbermann as a newscaster is that he makes the evening news look like life itself, very absurd but serious, very angry, very stupid, very silly, very snarky, very much about pop culture."

As Kitman points out, the most invigorating part of Olbermann's show is the Special Comment. During these rare moments, he's dead serious. He doesn't mince words. He never represents opinion as fact. But he doesn't hesitate to cite facts, and cite them in cutting fashion. I remember well the Comment Kitman quotes. It bears repeating:

"I accuse you, Mr. Bush, of lying this country into war. I accuse you of fabricating in the minds of your own people a false implied link between Saddam Hussein and 9/11. I accuse you of firing the generals who told you that the plans for Iraq were disastrously insufficient.... I accuse you of subverting the Constitution, not in some misguided but sincerely motivated struggle to combat terrorists, but to stifle dissent. I accuse you of fomenting fear among your own people, of creating the very terror you claim to have fought. I accuse you of exploiting that unreasoning fear, the natural fear of your own people who just want to live their lives in peace, as a political tool to slander your critics and libel your opponents. I accuse you of handing part of this Republic over to a Vice President who is without conscience and letting him run roughshod over it...."

At the heart of Olbermann's humor sits an intellect capable of seeing both the humor and the heartbreak in our politics, our government, and our current administration. I'm glad to have comedians and journalists who specialize in both around. Though I could use a little less heartbreak from those Republicans . . . .


Friday, October 26, 2007

Friday's Feast - 26 October 2007

Name a great website you would recommend to others.

Animal Care League. I volunteer at ACL, walking and socializing dogs. It's a great place, full of staff who care deeply about the dogs and cats and people that they serve. One thing I particularly value about ACL is that the staff cares about good permanent placements. If they think a dog isn't the right one for your home, they'll tell you. If you're looking for a pet, check them out.

On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 as highest), how often do you dream at night?

7. I dream fairly regularly. But my dreams are rarely regular. :-)

Did you have a pet as a child? If so, what kind and what was its name?

Many dogs and cats. My favorite cat was Pyewacket. He was a big tiger cat who loved nothing more than to sleep curled around my neck and head every night. My bedroom was darn cold, and I was lonely. I was always very happy to see Pyewacket hop up on my bed.

We also had a number of dogs. Taffy, Bobo, Holly, Fred, George . . . . Many of them were rather ill behaved. Taffy went to live with Grandma after she bit me. Bobo went "to live on the farm." Holly was hit by a car. Fred ran away--and we didn't look for him, as he was a maniac often found on a dining room table nibbling on dinner remains.

George was a keeper, though. Big and sweet. Formed my dog prototype.

Main Course
If you had the chance to star in a commercial, what would you choose to advertise?

Sounds like torture to me. Don't care for being in front of a camera. Right now, though, I'd happily munch on a Honeycrisp apple and proclaim its glories for all to hear!

What is your favorite kind of hard candy?

Lemonheads, of course. They are made right over in Forest Park. They are perfect. The outer coating is nice and sour, puckery good. And the hard ball in the middle is sweet and crunchy. Ahh.


Thursday, October 25, 2007


It is one of those crystal crisp fall days. Even living in the city, where the air is anything but clean, days like today appear just a bit more distinct. Maybe it's the way the light glances off the leaves in the midday sun. Or the sharp shadows cast in the cool afternoon breeze stark against the impossibly azure heavens. The edges of life seem more clearly defined than usual, shapes more comprehensible.

On days like today, I feel like the world is an apple. Biting into it is joyful overload, full of satisfying tastes and textures. Every bite is different, and good. Very good.

I had bible study this morning. I've been attending this particular group for a few weeks now, and am enjoying it. The discussions are interesting, whether they are directly applicable to the topic of the day or far afield. We're studying Genesis this fall and one of the women is sharing a version of the Bible I hadn't yet run across. Its rendering of the scriptures is like fall: clean, crisp prose turned poetry by stillness and movement.

It's why I was attracted to the Bible as a teenager. The cadence of language, the rise and fall of voices, telling story, telling history--and her story. Story, history, is an abiding interest of mine. I find nothing so fascinating as the story of you. It's one of the reasons that, for all I am a creature of habit (same breakfast for 27 years, I kid you not), I love new people and places. Because new people and new places means new stories. And, if I'm quiet and interested, I will hear them.

This fall, I am busy learning the stories of this new place. And, as I've spoken of before, each story has many sides to it. The staff member who caused such pain for some brought great comfort to others. The church that opened its arms to some slammed shut for others. The school that is a beacon and a haven for some is a place from which to escape for others. Not surprising, really. There is no one view of any place or person. Yet, time and time again, we are shocked to learn through other's stories that they experience X or Y differently than we do.

This is the stuff of fascination for me. Yes, there's always the prurient motive of gossip in wanting to hear those stories. I don't pretend to be above wanting to know because I want to know. But how can anyone not be attracted to the more of any story? The knowledge of why we do what we do, how it compares to me and mine, shared experiences and defining differences? This is the richness of the history of us. It opens us to others, knowing the times we haven't shared, readying us for those that we might share.

History can be a bulwark, for good or ill. It can be a wall that keeps newcomers out, and certainly has been used as such. We are often supremely comfortable with who we are and who we are with. Why change what is?

I like comfort, too. I have no elegant argument for change. But, if you tell the story again, each new hearing weaves the listeners into the story. It becomes a little piece of their history, too. Through listener, the hearer may understand. Just a bit. And couldn't we all use a bit more understanding in our lives?

Share your stories with me. Please. :-)


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

By The Numbers Questions

41% of Americans could not name a Republican Presidential candidate. While I know I'm a bit of a political geek, I still cannot fathom a citizen removed enough from our country's election process that they couldn't come up with at least one Republican name. Even I can dredge forth four Republican candidates, and my brain currently has trouble remembering the names of close relatives.

Remember, Liz's anemia drill goes like this: I describe the nameless item or person in question until the name burst forth from the ether. Oh, you know, our son, the tall offspring obsessed with zombies and the right wing, brown eyes and hair--ah, J!
So I'm a bit perplexed and saddened that ordinary folks can't remember a candidate or two. Aren't you?

So far, the California fires damages are estimated to exceed $1 billion. Katrina redeux? More have been evacuated so far than from Katrina. But the loss of housing is predicted to be less, and be less devastating to those in economic straits. Is that because we assume everyone living in Southern California is rich? What about immigrants, legal and illegal? There must be workers who serve all those rich folks, yes?

Dennis Kucinich has apparently heard directions from at least 1 ET on 1 UFO. Hey, he's not denying it. How can a person who has such rational positions think this? Is this the place where I'm supposed to laud the fact that at least he's honest and not just thinking of how this will look? Ack. I'm hearing Howard Dean screaming again . . . .

Speaking of presidential candidates, Mitt Romney twice "slipped" and called Obama "Osama". Anyone could make that mistake. Couldn't they? Particularly if they were a not on the tip of the tongue Republican candidate whom at least 41% of the American people don't even know who wanted to throw a little less than holy water on Rock Star Obama. Next, he'll be mentioning that Muslim madrassa at which Obama studied as a youth. Not.

How is it that Hillary Clinton, whom we've been told for years is unelectable, is currently polling ahead of Barack Obama by 31% of likely voters? A medium sized right wing conspiracy comes to mind surrounding this unelectability trope. If you repeat something often enough, it is regarded as the truth? Or is it simply possible that Clinton, while still so not what the US wants a woman to be, is viewed as the most competent--if not likeable--choice?


Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Why, exactly, is it our job to spend billions of dollars fixing other countries and their problems? I've never thought I was an isolationist--certainly not in that pre-WWI Wilsonian stance. And I'm very supportive of helping other nations in need of humanitarian aid. But do we really need to build a missile defense system to protect Europe from the Bad Guys?

Europe seems reasonably capable to me. If the European Union wants a missile defense system, perhaps we could let it take the lead here? Oh, wait. It isn't really a humanitarian effort to possibly save the lives of Europeans? It's really all about the power struggle between us and Iran and Russia? It's really all about natural resources aka another kind of power? Oh what tangled webs we weave.

The President has finally sent his "emergency" Iraq war funding request to Congress. I won't rehash this--see previous posts on the subject. But please note the irony of it coming on the heels of the veto of SCHIP. More to the point, it is a revolting propsect that a majority of our elected representatives will approve throwing more money to a government completely incapable of keeping track of it.

Why in heaven's name would I approve sending more money to a government that inspired the following headline today: U.S. cannot account for billion-dollar Iraq contract? The US watchdog agency trying to keep track of such things suspended its investigation saying that "administration officials told investigators they had no confidence in their own accounting records."

Let me repeat that. The Bush administration has no confidence in its own accounting records. Yet we are trusting it with a $600 billion dollar war. Leaving out all questions of the morality of this war, on that basis alone we should pull out our troops today. A government that can't be trusted to spend our money certainly can't be trusted to supervise a morally questionable war.

And speaking of boondoggle, see this article for a full discussion of the false hope of biofuels as a solution for the oil crisis and global warming. The short version? Food made from fuel is a dumb idea and is just another way for government to subsidize big agri-business.


Friday, October 19, 2007

Friday's Feast - 19 October 2007

If you were a dog, what breed would you be, and why?

Such a funny question to ask a dog aficionado. I'm not particularly partial to any breeds, particularly now that I volunteer at our local save the mutts, er, mixed breeds shelter. I've seen so many sweet dogs of no particular make or model that my previous affections for breeds has waned. Having said that, I must answer the question.

I would probably most enjoy being a golden retriever. Why? Because golden retrievers are the most satisfied dogs I know. They are an incredibly happy breed on the whole, perpetually bouncy and good-natured. Our first dog, Boomer, was a golden. Our off-color family joke was that Boomer was such a happy dog that he even smiled when you took his temperature. And you know in which orifice that occurs for a dog.

What does the color
purple make you think of?

Women in general and friends in particular. Hanging on the silly side of life for a while. My funky friend Ann. My toes in the winter (cold) and in the summer (polished). My hair on my 40th birthday.

Approximately how long does it take you to get ready each morning?

Depends on what I'm getting ready to do. If I'm off to deliver teenagers to school, I can rise and shine (or at least rise) in 5 minutes, arriving at my car door bleary-eyed and ready to drive. Then I crawl back home and get ready to start my day. Feed the dog, give her the 1st dose of doggie meds, make a pot of tea, make some oatmeal, eat said oatmeal, read the newspaper, do Sudoku, read my email, stretch, roller ski, walk the dog, and take a shower.

All set now. :-)

Main Course
How many cousins do you have, and are you close to them?

4 cousins. One on my dad's side and three on my mom's side. I am not close to any of them. I see them at occasional family gatherings, maybe every couple of years. Sad, I guess.

Take your initials (first, middle, last) and come up with something else those letters could stand for. (Example: SFO = Sweet Funny Otter)

ETG. Exceptionally Tenacious Girl. Enhanced (P)terodactyl Goo. Enraged Televangelist Gumbo. Elongated Tongue Gizmo. Excellent Tautological Groove.


How Companies Treat Workers

So one of my brothers works at a company related to one of the US auto companies. They do contract work. He's a CAD type designer. I think. He does technical stuff about which I am clueless. As you can imagine, it's not exactly a field full of job security. He's been out of work as long as a year, I think. But he's good at what he does and is usually held on to until the last possible lay off.

He called my dad this afternoon, needing to release some tension. As they were talking, company security was moving from desk to desk, informing people that they were being let go. Those let go were then allowed to clean out their desks before they were escorted from the property.

THIS is how we treat our workers, our employees? What a lousy way to lay someone off. What a lousy way to treat a human being. My brother is a very conscientious worker. He does his work and he does it well. He is this kind of guy who always focuses on doing the best job he can. I know this because I know my brother. He's smart, focused and a hard worker. Always has been. He doesn't deserve that kind of treatment. Nor does anyone else.

Would affording a small amount of dignity to employees be such a difficult act for employers to accomplish? Would it be a whole lot of skin off their collective million dollar parachute protected noses to speak privately with each individual as they let them go? Deliver a private letter to each of their desks? Gutless wonders.

And does the deed have to be done by security, branding those who are let go as possible criminals who might somehow rape and pillage the company on the way out? Or is it simply that the management of these companies doesn't have the nerve to fire people face to face? Again, gutless wonders.

Today, my brother was one of the lucky ones. He still has a job. His dignity? Maybe not so much.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Splattering of spattering

Had to listen to that nattering nabob, that Paternalistic Patriot President of ours today while exercising. George W. Bush is a nattering nabob. He has an incredibly grandiose view of himself. And he is paternalistic. His manipulative twisting of facts to meet his own wants shows such a blatant disregard for anything approaching the truth that I am often left fish-mouthed agape while doing the sweaty heavy breathing thing.

Apparently the purpose of this particular press conference was to try to frame Congress' inability to pass SCHIP into law as part of a grander view of Congress as inept non-achievers. They just can't get anything done, can they? Nope, they can't, Mr. President. Particularly when you and your minions keep the pressure on those foolish few Republicans to support you at all costs on very unpopular issues like the war and SCHIP.

Today, Bush made sure to continue lying about the income level of children SCHIP will reach. He really likes that $80,000 figure, doesn't he? Yet it is false. There is only one state--New York, with its high cost of living--that will expand to such a high level. 85% of the children who will be covered have family incomes below the currently accepted levels. In other words, nowhere near $80,000

Based on previous data, 91% of the children covered by SCHIP in 2006 had incomes below 200% of the poverty line. Even with the raised income level, this is not expected to significantly change. And why would it? If you make $80,000 a year in most parts of the country, you would have access to employer-provided insurance. Who wants to deal with the hassles of government-provided anything if they don't have to? Makes no sense.

Of course, no one has every accused George W. Bush of making much sense much of the time.

I'd imagine Bush felt he was facing a group of nattering nabobs of negativity today. The press was on attack, thank goodness. Not that they managed to get any true information out of him. But at least they tried.

If you'd like to hear a bedtime story about why you should care about the whole Blackwater thing, read this. I lied. Don't read it at bedtime.



Friday, October 12, 2007

Friday's Feast - 12 October 2007

When was the last time you were surprised?

Oh, gosh. I am surprised most every day of my life, by things and people and places and observations and experiences. Sometimes, I surprise myself. Yesterday, I was at a small dinner party. Nice, funny, smart people. Having a great time, I felt so comfortable that I decided to have a second piece of the very yummy yet fat free chocolate dessert.

One of my sister guests said to me, "How do you look the way you do, eating two pieces of that?" What a sweet thing to say. I was immediately seized by a social brain cramp, neurons searching between being honest and being throw-away polite. Somehow, I was compelled to say, "Hon, I weigh 190 lbs!" ROTFLOL! What WAS I thinking? Boy, that was a surprise. :-)

Fill in the blanks: My eyes are ________, but I wish they were __________.

My eyes are brown, but I wish they were brown. I love warm, mushy brown eyes.

If you were a Beanie Baby, what would you look like and what would your name be?

I would be a tie-dyed elephant, spattered with a nice array of bright colors. My name would be Mama E, and I would have a baby elephant or two hanging around with me. A staunch Democrat, I've always loved elephants and their wonderful mothering skills.

Main Course
Name two things you consistently do that you consider to be healthy habits.

I roller ski 5 days a week for 35 to 40 minutes. Physical exercise is incredibly important to my physical and emotional health. Buoys my spirits, helps me sleep, keeps my blood pressure low. And I get together with friends regularly. Buoys my spirits, helps me sleep, keeps my blood pressure low . . . and makes me laugh. :-)

What brand of toothpaste are you using these days? Do you like it? Why or why not?

I have no earthly idea. I go back and forth between Colgate and Crest. Whatever it is, I like it, though. Toothpaste must NOT be paste, it must be gel. And it cannot have any of that whitening stuff in it, as it makes my teeth ache.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Electability and briefs

I finally got around to taking one of those "which candidate would I really support if I just voted on the issues" tests. I was unsurprised to find out that Kucinich should be my main man. Because I am a weenie (or would that be practical?) Democrat who will not vote simply on the issues, it is also no surprise that I will not be voting for him.

When did elections become all about "electability"? I suppose when elections began to be popularity contests alone, rather than issue-driven events. Why is Kucinich unelectable? Because he's little? He's elven? He's dweebish?

We know why Hillary has been tagged "unelectable": because they say that no one likes her. And, in fact, very few people I know do like her. My informal and highly unscientific survey says that she is not warm and fuzzy. She is also viewed as highly pragmatic to the point of being manipulative; she will do anything to get elected. Most in my survey would vote for her, though, if she's the candidate.

How does that translate to unelectable? I think that pragmatism is probably a plus. Manipulative is, perhaps, pragmatism to an extreme. Seems likely to me that most politician in the past 40 years have been somewhere on this spectrum. And we bemoan this fact. At the same time, we refuse to rebel and vote for those candidates who actually reflect our values, who are true to themselves, who are most concerned with the issues than whether or not people will vote for them. Sometimes, I wonder if this approach begets unelectability. Sometimes, I think it stems from unelectability.

Either way, the result seems to be negative. We are saddled with mediocre, middle of the road candidates who we hope will appeal to enough people to get elected over the other party's mediocre, middle of the road candidate whose take on the issues is way too the right of us, but not nearly as far off from those in the middle.

I find this rather unsatisfying, don't you?

Speaking of unsatisfying, in brief:

What are the Democrats in Congress thinking, extending wiretap powers under the Patriot Act? I thought we told them in the last election that we, the People, didn't like that Act. I know Kucinich will vote against something like this. Please tell me that the front runners will, too.

If there is no other reason to oppose ANY Republican candidate running for any office, follow this story and think about whether you want people willing to indulge in this kind of behavior representing you. Nice. When you're a conservative, apparently there are no blows too low to be struck.


Tuesday, October 09, 2007


Anyone else notice that raising children is really hard sometimes? The challenge in our house right now is managing the competing needs of Annie and Jonathan. Competing is a very appropriate choice of word, unfortunately, as J views life as a competition between himself and A.

He's never much cared for her. Classically first child, he couldn't figure out why we wanted a second child--after all, we had him! J has been pretty unpleasant to A most of her life. I have tried all manner of consequences, punishments, rewards, and outright bribes in a futile effort to change J's behavior. I am able to stop the behavior, but only temporarily. Now the dynamics between them are ugly, as Annie gave up trying to get along with him a few years back.

Every few months, there's a major conflagration between them. I know, not so abnormal for sibs to be fighting. I had sibs. We fought. My brothers shed blood between several times. That was fun.

The level of animosity J carries is very sad and beyond the norm. He talks a good talk most of the time, boasting of his superior intelligence. But during these fights, J exposes his true feelings of never, ever measuring up to his sister, who he views as having no problems whatsoever. A has everything he wants: grades to "prove" (sic) her intelligence, friends and, usually, our trust.

J, incredibly bright, struggles with meeting the standards that demonstrate such aka grades, and always has. Standardized tests? He's a whiz at those. But crafting a paper to meeting exacting requirements of content and form? Not so much. He's had few friends in his life. One at the bus stop in 8th grade. A few online buddies, including an on again, off again romance. But that's it.

As to trust. Very difficult issue. J used to say that he hadn't lied since he was 7. I don't know why he got stuck on this issue. But we knew that this statement wasn't true. He lied with regularity. Sometimes, they didn't seem like lies to him, as he can be both literal and quite black and white. Sometimes, though, he had to know.

So when it comes to deciding who to believe when A tells one story and J tells another, we tend to find her stories more viable and reliable, to Jon's great chagrin. It is a nasty position to be put it, to have to chose to believe one child over the other. If you refuse it, there is always one child who is telling the truth and hasn't been believed. If you take it, it's not healthy for either one of them, in many ways.

This was probably more appropriately a diary entry. But I needed to splash this out of my head to organize my thoughts. It's time for therapy, time to figure these things out. Wish us luck.


Saturday, October 06, 2007


Olympic medalists, particularly gold medalist, can be incredibly inspiring. You didn't have to be an athlete to have been moved by the underdog 1980 US Hockey Team's run to glory or Dan Jansen's triumphant final grab for the gold after years of personal and athletic tragedy.

I eagerly followed Marion Jones during the 2000 Olympics. Couldn't believe she'd actually declared she'd win 5 golds. Seemed like such a braggy guy thing to do. But I liked her. And I really wanted her to live up to that brag. We Olympic fans were all disappointed when she didn't. Her accomplishments were impressive, all the same.

So it's not surprising that I found her public confession and apology for using steroids during those Olympics riveting. Countdown carried most of it. I know I'm supposed to be talking her down at this point in the story arc. Acceptance of her apology, respect for her public self-shaming is all supposed to come later in the game.

I find myself unable to do so. Her statements were thoroughly clean, unlike her Olympic medal winning steroid-enhanced body. And unlike her many previous statements over the last 7 years, in which she repeatedly denied any involvement with steroids.

But, in the end, Marion Jones did come clean. She confessed and took complete responsibility for her actions. Such a rare, rare choice in our day. Yes, confession does happen. But it so often comes with excuses. Ms. Jones made none.

I'm hoping that Keith Olbermann used much of his precious airtime letting us hear her words because he was impressed with this choice. I want to do the same. She said, "Making these false statements to federal agents was an incredibly stupid thing for me to do, and I am responsible fully for my actions. I have no one to blame but myself for what I've done.

"To you, my fans, including my young supporters, the United States Track and Field Association, my closest friends, my attorneys, and the most classy family a person could ever hope for, mainly my mother, my husband, my children, my brother and his family, my uncle and the rest of my extended family, I want you to know that I have been dishonest, and you the have the right to be angry with me.

"I have let them down. I have let my country down. And I have let myself down. I recognize that by saying that I'm deeply sorry, it might not be enough and sufficient to address the pain and the hurt that I have caused you. Therefore, I want to ask for your forgiveness for my actions, and I hope that you can find it in your heart to forgive me.

"I have asked Almighty God for my forgiveness. Having said this and because of my actions, I am retiring from the sport of track and field, a sport that I deeply love. I promise that these events will be used to make the lives of many people improve. That by making the wrong choices and bad decisions can be disastrous. I want to thank you all for your time."

Wouldn't it be amazing if other leaders in our world--say, our President--were able to take the same brave step and come clean? Not hiding behind "The Buck Stops Here" pretend responsibility, all the while lying, torturing and breaking the law with impunity. Instead, being honest and forthright with we, the people of the United States. Stepping up, admitting he was wrong, admitting he'd both done wrong and condoned wrong-doing. Wouldn't it be amazing?

A girl can dream, can't she?


Friday, October 05, 2007

Friday's Feast - 5 October 2007

On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how much do you look forward to your birthday?

5. Carl is usually gone on my birthday. It's often seemed like an afterthought to Christmas (January 2). My friends have often helped me celebrate, though. :-)

What is one word you don’t like the sound, spelling, or meaning of?

Eww. Moist. It gives me the willies. I don't want anything near me that is moist. Wet? Good. Dry? Fine. But not moist. Sounds like mold is growing out of it.

Do you wear sunglasses when you’re outside? If so, what does your current pair look like?

I forget to wear my sunglasses. Then I note that I'm perpetually frowning and my forehead hurts. Then I scrounge around for my glasses. Sometimes, I actually find them. Sometimes, not.

What do they look like. Hmm. I have no idea. Black, I believe. Vaguely aviator-shaped, though not in the 70s way.

Main Course
If you were to write a book, to whom would you dedicate it?

My dad and FMAH (feminist mothers at home--an email list to which I belong). Both the list and my dad have been very supportive of my writing over the years.

Name a beverage that you enjoy.

Lemonade. Particularly when served with French Toast. Now, that's a comfort food that goes way back for me. French Toast was one of the first things I learned how to cook. I often made it after I got home from school during my high school years, when mom was working, sleeping, or studying. And I absolutely had to have lemonade with it. Go figure. :-)


Thursday, October 04, 2007


I've been thinking about it today. Reality. And how very different each of our individual perceptions is. Or would that be are?

I heard a story today that I'd heard before. The bare-bones facts were upsetting, just as they were the first time I'd heard them. But this time around, I heard it from a different person's perspective. And the story was transformed from a tale of small meanness to events more tragic than anything else.

Whose story is correct? More correct? Is it wishy washy to acknowledge that they both may have been factually accurate, though different? How much can we accept what others tell us when account of an event can undergo a transformation when being told by person A then person B?

Is truth merely what can be mutually agreed upon? Seems if that's our path, there would be no truth. Because rare is the fact or observation or experience that brings universal agreement of its singular meaning.

There are a number of different strands here. Accuracy of observation. Competency of tale-telling. The ways in which our experiences shade our perceptions. I guess it's the last that intrigues and puzzles me most. I see it occasionally between myself and my husband. Together, we hear someone say something, the meaning of which we often take in two completely different ways.

There's the old chestnut about the truth being a multifaceted object, like a diamond. It looks different from every angle, glistening, spilling colors in the light, transparent or blindingly refractive. If truth is a diamond, then it's not it which changes; it's our perception changing what we see.

I think truth is a teardrop. At its essence, the same drop slips down each of our cheeks. Chemically identical, with perhaps slight variations for differing body chemistries. Its shape changes, though, depending on where it falls. And its reasons for being are legion, from the purely physical irritation to frustration to release to laughter to grief to anger. What we see through the tears, equally variable. How tears seem to others or to oneself? Again, dependent on many influences.

Truth is a bit more fungible than a diamond. My muddled thought for the day.


Wednesday, October 03, 2007

No brainer

I am a no-brainer, that is. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am once again enjoying the cognition-free life. Crossword puzzles are beyond me. Sudoku is a bit better, until I fall asleep in the midst of the puzzle about 8:15am. My vocabulary consists of nouns like "stuff", "things" and "whatchamacalits". A conversation with me is currently an adventure in discovery:

As in, "Annie, could you bring me a . . . . one of those things in the, um, cold place where we keep food . . . ah, refrigerator?" "What??" "Oh, you know. Round, red and green . . . ah, oh, an apple!"

I am anemic. Well, not officially, as I don't have an appointment for a blood test until tomorrow. But I've been there, done that, worn the t-shirt a number of times in the past few years. So I recognize the symptoms.

A night's sleep is never enough. I get up before 7am. Deliver kids to school as needed, or watch them go. Have my oatmeal. Start the sudoku. Fall asleep by 8:15, drooling in the papasan until 10a or so.

Molasses has replaced the gray matter in my cranium. Synapses are not firing. Rather, little air bubbles slowy drift to the surface when thinking is supposed to occur. When the bubbles pop, information may--or may not--burst forth.

I wobble. Go for a walk? Wobble into a chair. Make myself exercise? Wobble and trip in the street. Several times. I rarely fall when roller skiing. But add anemia to the mix and I stumble, bumble for 3.5 miles.

My memory is shot. Those of you who know me know that my memory isn't terribly impressive to begin with. That's why I have a husband with Rain Man abilities. But I'm generally pretty good at keeping life organized so that I don't forget, um, things and stuff. Not so much right now.

Yesterday, I got into the car at 3:15p. I sat for a moment, as I couldn't remember why I had gotten into the car. Ah ha. Pick up daughter from school. So I drove south to pick up Annie from school. Several more moments of driving passed before it occurred to me that I wasn't supposed to pick up Annie until 4:15p. I make grocery lists then forget to consult them in the store, coming home with half the necessary items to make dinner. I call people specifically to tell them something, then forget what that something was before they even pick up the phone.

And that's with me using my Palm, stickies, and Personal Information Organizer.

So you might well imagine that blogging is a frightening prospect in such a state. I can't get much beyond basic adjectives like dweeb and jerk when referring to Dubya. No descriptive terms available to wax rhapsodic about the beautiful fall weather. And certainly no intellectual skills left to figure out what in the world those Republicans are thinking, depriving children of health care while spending billions to blow Iraqis up.

Thus, do not be surprised if my blogging is somewhat sporadic for the next few weeks. And, if I am able, keep your expectations low. Very low. ;-)