Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Old Folks At Home

Rick and I were watching television this morning, waiting for Meet the Press to come on. Local news was doing some segment which featured a story showing a huge, opulent house.

Me: Good heavens. Look at that huge house. Can you imagine just the two of us rattling around in that enormous house?
Rick: No.
Me: I'd never be able to find you.
Rick: (looks off into space, grinning thoughtfully)
Me: (charitably ignoring that) You know how I hate to holler.
Rick: And I can't hear you half the time when you do.
Me: By the time I did find you--
Rick:--you'd forget what you wanted me for.
Me: How old are we?
Rick: Huh?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

John McCain Is A Big Fat Liar, But That's Not A News Flash Around These Parts

Somebody had better buy John McCain a dictionary. After his big grandstand play of announcing he was halting his campaign to zip back to Washington to focus on this latest national crisis, even going so far as to cancel Friday's debate, he "promised to suspend his campaign, cancelling all advertisements and events, after a speech in New York."


Except that as I was sitting on my couch at home in Ohio last night, I was treated to no less than half a dozen McCain ads sleazing their way across my television, spreading their lies and pandering their campaign garbage right into my living room. I want everyone to know that.

He just never, ever stops.

Perhaps along with inventing the Blackberry, he's invented a new meaning of the word "cancel".

This creature reminds me of the kid everyone hates on the playground in first grade who, when you get in an argument with him, resorts to just repeating every single thing you say. That's McCain's strategy. "Hope," says Obama. "Hope," says McCain. "Change," says Obama. "Change," says McCain. "We have a woman running for our office," say the Dems. "I've got one now, too," says McCain.

He's been pandering for so long that it's just the way he does business. He's a Play-Doh Man: he just morphs into whatever he's looking at, into whomever he's talking to, into the very person he needs to be at the time in order to get what he wants. He's the politician's politician.

Now he pulls the big fast one--pretends that he's "putting the country first." Bullshit. Obama's poll numbers are up and Palin's news cycle is in the toilet. Everyone knows that McCain will blow into D.C. and try to act like he's the Seventh Cavalry and Jesus all in one and save his reputation as an Economy Dunce. Sadly, some Limbaugh-Louts will suck it down like the KoolAid it is.

Me, I'm onto it. And I've got to hope that there are plenty more like me who are, too.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

In Which I Lament That, If It Is Not, In Fact, All About Me, Then Dammit, It Should Be

How is this happening? It is a gorgeous weekend here in northeastern Ohio. The sun is warm and the temperature is in the mid-seventies. There is no rain. Beyond the borders of my small, midwestern town, the world continues to move on and events occur, one tumbling after another. Even my mother is on a little vacation.

What is wrong with you people? Don't you know that I AM SICK?!

Geeze. Where is the love?

It's not bad enough that last weekend, when Jared came home for a brief visit, that I had the raging PMS. No. (And, hey, when can I expect all that bullshit to stop, anyway? I'm 49; I mean, come on, already.) Here is a brief snippet of the Quality Time I had with my son:

Me: Holy Crap! I have the dreaded PMS so bad, and it's in the Carbohydrate Loading stage. It's making me absolutely nuts.

Jared: Are you all, like, "I'm gonna eat this whole loaf of bread right now, and then get really, really crabby afterward", or what?

Me: More like, "If you don't give me that bag of Lay's Original, I'm blowing your effing head off."

Jared: Wow. Yikes.

But I digress.

So, last week the ice man cameth and naturally, so did the Practice Ohio Graduation Test, which I had to administer for four days to three of my classes who, throughout the duration, sounded like the Infectious Diseases Ward at the Cleveland Clinic. It was like a frikkin' symphony of coughs, sniffles, and snortles. I was horrified, in light of the fact that my shoulder condition has an auto-immune component, which means I'm walking around with a somewhat compromised immunity. (Oh, did you employ the Hand Sanitizer? you might ask. It is to laugh! I did everything short of wear a surgical mask and gloves and garlic necklace!)

To no avail. I have a beastly headcold. Damn them all. My nose is running like a car thief on "Cops." My temples are pounding. Sudafed? Ha! Might as well eat M&M's, except that I have zero appetite. My nose is chappy and sore, but at least it matches my lips! Now would be the time for me to eat some of my wonderful Curry Chicken Soup that I so wisely froze in small containers...but I gave the last of it away to Jared and my colleague Andrew, who shares my classroom and is...SICK WITH A HEADCOLD! A HA!!!!!

In the meantime--while I plot my revenge on them all--I wander about the house in misery.

How can everyone else in the entire world be well and happy and carefree? I AM SICK! IT'S SO UNFAIR!

I carry around a box of Kleenex anti-viral tissues and a plastic bag full of snotty wads.

It makes me feel like those dog-walkers who have to follow their canines with plastic sacks full of their doggy poop. How demeaning!

And why is it, that when you feel least able to deal with it, your body decides to manufacture eleventy hundred gallons of snot a day? Huh?

How come there isn't a shot for this? Why can't I just take a pill and have it go away in, say, a day or two? I suspect a Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. I do.

Dammit. I hate being sick.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Turns Out That I've Had What It Takes All Along!

Sorry for the hiatus, but I've been in a sort of self-imposed Cone Of Silence here at the Dept. I'm shying away from The Media Circus as of late. Why? Well, holy crap! It turns out that I'm super-qualified to be Vice President, that's why! Let me run down my case for you:

1. Foreign Relations: My roommate in college was Jewish. I've had foreign exchange students in my classes from Finland, Germany, and Switzerland. I am half Croatian and my best friend all through school was Serbian, which shows that I have excellent skills in negotiating beyond age-old nationalistic Balkan grudges.

2. Foreign Policy: I have travelled in Canada often, including the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario. In 6th grade, my foreign country report was on Norway, and I received an "A." I have seen all of Daniel Day-Lewis's movies set in Ireland and feel pretty well-versed in the whole IRA thing. Also, since my concentration in college was in English literature, I'm pretty up on England.

3. Lipstick: I wear it daily--Revlon Rum Raisin. Once in a while, Revlon Cappucino.

4. Domestic Issues: I've travelled to 27 of the United States. I've flown over more, but I don't think it's fair to count those. My husband is a terrific handyman and my two sons aren't oddly-named or prematurely parents, but I am a MOM and a WIFE, nonetheless. I chose to have both my children...oh, wait. Wrong script.

5. Fiscal Responsibility: I worked at City Bank as a teller across from U.S. Steel and Lake Terminal Railroad during summers to put myself through college. On the Fridays those two places got paid, the lines were out the doors nonstop. I would run hundreds of thousands of dollars through my window alone, and at the end of the day, I would still balance to the penny. As newlyweds, Rick and I had the two worst careers in 1981 in NE Ohio: teacher and carpenter. Neither of us could find a job. I worked at the bank and he sold shoes. We balanced our checkbook to the last cent and that summer, we rolled change to see A MOVIE. And my prowess at shoe bargains goes without saying. Come ON. Well-documented. A given at this point. Duh.

6. Executive Experience: I have been the advisor for the school's literary magazine for 20 years. I have one year of experience as a junior high student activities advisor. I have been in charge of a high-school classroom five times a day for 182 days a year for 28 years. And for 8 memorable years, I was Third Floor Tornado Spotter, a weighty responsibility that stays with me still.

7. Technology: I don't have to put up some crap on Ebay. This blog. 'Nuff said. Please. I'm boring you right now. Do I even have to href a bunch of baloney? No. I can html and snipurl rings around...oh, nevermind.

8. Wardrobe: I was wearing pencil skirts way before Certain People were even thinking about stacked heels and cropped jackets. Spare me. Let me just say that I have moved on to several other Fashion Planes already, people. Oh. My. If I posted my Burberry plaid pumps right now, there would be Bedlam. I'm just saying.

9. Bridge to Nowhere: I've been to Ketchikan, one of the proposed terminii of the Bridge. It is "Alaska's first city and the salmon capital of the world." There are more salmon there than people. There are more jewelry shops there than people. It's way tiny. Very scenic, but it would be like connecting your front and back yards with the Golden Gate Bridge. I vote No before, during, and after. Period. I'm not a fan of bridges anyway, except for Jeff Bridges, who I think is a pretty good actor and sorta underrated.


Personally, I want my Vice President to be Someone Who Is Way Smart and NOT YOUR AVERAGE PERSON OFF THE STOOL AT STARBUCKS. Who cares whether or not you can "identify with" your President or Vice President? People, give me a big freaking break. Isn't it time to have someone sitting in The Big Chairs who is so damned smart that it takes your breath away? Someone who is dignified and together and brilliant and inspirational? And wouldn't it be great if other leaders and other people met them and said, "Wow! What incredible individuals!"

And if those people then, by association, thought that about ALL OF US?

Sunday, September 07, 2008

The Crying Game

At times I worry about my lack of sentimentality. I don't take pictures, save baby things, remember lots of "firsts", or even have the faintest idea where my one highschool yearbook is. I do, however, have the Crying Gene intact, and it is ever ready to respond, sometimes at the oddest thing. Oh sure, it springs to life at the Standards like weddings (even those at which I barely know the bride or groom), really sad movies (Terms of Endearment, Life Is Beautiful), and incredibly happy news (it's not cancer after all; you're having a baby!).

My Crying Gene can also be roused by the following, in no particular order:

1. The scene in the film To Kill a Mockingbird when the verdict is delivered and Rev. Sykes says to Scout, "Miss Jean Louise, stand up. Your father's passin'." All around her in the "Colored Balcony," all the spectators are slowly rising to show their respect. I have seen this film eleventy thousand times, and even in a room full of sophomores, my eyes fill with tears.

2. The lobster bisque at Cabin Club restaurant.

3. The lobster risotto at Brio, which, for a chain restaurant, is darn good.

4. The mussels in pernod butter sauce at Carrabba's, another chain restaurant that does good food.

5. Pretty much 2/3 of Chapter 31 of To Kill a Mockingbird. I had to stop reading it aloud to my classes. The part where Scout turns around and starts to narrate how things look through Boo's eyes on his porch..."and Boo's children needed him"...I just can't get through it.

6. The wordless scene in the 1996 film The Crucible when the camera pans the crowd during the hanging of Rebecca Nurse. It shows her elderly husband in agony, clasping his hands prayerfully among the other self-righteous Puritans. Again, I've watched this movie countless times, over and over again in the same day with classes, and it never fails to move me.

7. Visiting the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. I once had a guard in the Dutch Cupboard approach me as I stood, tears streaming down my face, in front of the Vermeers. "Are you all right, Miss?" he asked me as he touched me gently on the arm. I was completely embarrassed. I had no idea I was crying. I was overwhelmed. I could see the brushstrokes. On one, I could see an actual hair from his brush! Do you know there is a DaVinci there? I almost threw up.

8. The song "One Thing" by Finger Eleven. There's an association with it that I can't explain here, but hearing it prompts an involuntary tearful response.

So...what about your Teary Tendency? What sort of odd things get your waterworks working?

Monday, September 01, 2008

I Know Hillary Clinton, I Supported Hillary Clinton, And You, Sarah Palin, Are No Hillary Clinton.

Forgive me if I'm a little late to the party on this one. And, you know, I wasn't even going to say anything at first, but I find that I just cannot let this go. It's too much.

The vice presidential selection of republican John McCain is an insult to women everywhere. Giving Alaska governor Sarah Palin the nod was an obvious play for disgruntled Hillary supporters, the number of whom has been grossly overstated by the media since Barack Obama snagged the nomination.

How ridiculous.

Let me just say this: I supported Hillary Clinton. Sarah Palin is no Hillary Clinton, and women Democrats everywhere will not be fooled.

Women, Mr. McCain, are not interchangeable. When Sarah Palin, your designee, stood beside you, she invoked the name of two other women--political pioneers--and who were they? Elizabeth Dole? No. Condoleezza Rice? No. Geraldine Ferraro and Hillary Clinton, both Democrats. How will that play to your Conservative Christian NeoCon base? What was Mrs. Palin trying to say, Mr. McCain? Just exactly what party is she representing? How will that speech play at the RNC fundraisers or at the Convention? It won't. And the Family Values Voters are already cringing at the news that her unmarried 17-year old daughter is pregnant. (Let's all remember Governor Palin's vociferous denial of support for anything beyond abstinence-only programs in schools.)

Mr. McCain, I live in Ohio and I voted for Hillary Clinton. She stands for what I value and she has the fighting spirit I admire. Sarah Palin is in direct contrast with everything Hillary Clinton stands for, and therefore me as well: Sarah Palin would take away a woman's right to choose a safe and legal abortion, even in cases of rape, incest, and the health of the mother; she is against stem cell research, she opposes the use of birth control pills and condoms, even among married couples; she supports the teaching of creationism in the classroom--already declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court...oops; she supports drilling in the ANWR and is against the polar bear being on the endangered species list, despite the fact that the government has already done it...oops; she supports No Child Left Behind. I'm not sure what else she stands for, and I'm not sure she does, either. Her speech was...well, let's say...'scant.' We do know that her husband is a super snowmobiler and that she fought to cut property taxes. Yay.

But I digress.

My point is this: if the McSame campaign thinks for one moment that Doing The Math is this:



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