Friday, November 28, 2008


I love The Child's playlist. Oh, sure, it's got a full complement of all things pop and teen-y...plenty of Hannah Montana and "High School Musical". She is also really into the soundtracks for "Grease", "Moulin Rouge" and "Mama Mia". Sometimes she likes to compare and contrast the latter with the original Abba songs. She also has a decent showing of hip hop and R&B (it cracks me up when she says "R&B"...I don't know why). The 80s are well represented, which makes mama very proud. The Beatles are on there.

It makes me happy that her taste is becoming broader and more eclectic. It also makes me happy that when she plugs her iPod into my computer to listen while she's doing the dishes what I hear doesn't make me throw up a little in my mouth. But the thing that makes me happiest is when she says, "Mom, I've gotta play this song for you" and then she turns me on to something like this:

Muse "Supermassive Black Hole"


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Dinner is at 3

This tree is a few houses down from ours. I wish you could have seen it this morning. It was alive with birds, foraging for the last of whatever seed or berry it bears. Sometimes a whole flock of them would fly over to The Neighbor's to scavenge bits of apple and cherry that haven't yet been taken by the squirrels and crows and then they'd fly back to this tree to chatter and chirp and peck. It was a Thanksgivingy sort of scene and it made me very happy.

I am thankful for many things this year, not the least of them being a meaningful, fun job and the fact that I get to eat a glorious Thanksgiving meal without lifting a finger. (Not quite true...I chopped onions yesterday. But turns out I didn't bake because some women's group came by yesterday afternoon with 3 pies...and we already had 3 plus cakes and I really was in the mood to eat the pie that others baked rather than fuss myself. So instead I've been very lazy this morning and I'm thankful for that. And for pie).

And of course, among all the many gifts and graces in my life, I'm thankful for you, gentle blog buddy. I hope you have a very lovely day.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

And Tonight I'll Make a Pie

I find it very amusing that even though I am now gainfully employed, I will be spending today doing many of the sorts of things I would have done if I were still at home. I will be going to the grocery store to get the last of the treats for Thanksgiving dinner. I will be chopping onions and celery and making salad dressing. I will be picking up someone at the airport. The fact that I am going to be paid for this just cracks me up.

My side of the family isn't convening for Thanksgiving this year because, well, frankly because 2 nieces + husbands + one baby are going to be in Oregon with the Stewarts and George Clooney's family isn't coming as originally planned because they have to save their travel time to come out when Mr. Stewart finally passes. Since The Spouse and I both work on Friday, we weren't going down until Saturday anyway and now hardly anyone will be there. It feels very raggedy and sad but there it is. Meanwhile, The Spouse's brother and his wife were going to be out of town and now they're not but it's too late because, in light of all this, we had already committed to joining the Fisher House party. It's going to be a spectacular feast.

So anytryptophen, today is the day for early dinner prep and picking up surprise guests from the airport. (I'm not surprised but there's a mom who's gonna be). And it still cracks me up that I'm getting paid for all that.

I may also crunch some data and make a chart.

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Team Edward

Three guesses what movie I saw this weekend and the first two don't count.

The truth is, I was as excited to see "Twilight" as The Child and her friend J were. I've read all the books and while I haven't been going on line looking for every bit of every interview or fan vid ever created, I have been hopeful that the film would be worth seeing. This is one of those wickets; not unlike the one the Harry Potter people had to unstick. When you have a series that is as popular and well-loved as that, or this, you had better make sure you do your level best to get it right. If you don't you risk being torn into a million pieces and being burned so the pieces don't rejoin.

Even if you don't live with a teenage girl, you can't help but have heard about the Twilight series, written by Stephanie Meyers. The books follow a very human teenager named Bella, who falls in love with a vampire. Edward and his "family" are all "vegetarians"...they have trained themselves not to drink human blood. But that doesn't mean a relationship with a sweet smelling human is going to be easy.

What's great about the books (each one better than the last, imho) is that Bella is a regular teenager. She's smart and pretty but she doesn't have a ton of self-confidence. She doesn't see herself as particularly capable or lovely and she's a terrible klutz. Then she meets this absolutely beautiful boy and falls in love with him. The complication of his being undead and her being mortal is only the beginning. Hey. The course of true love...

The movie hits all the high points of the book without "wasting" any time on exposition or back story. (This distressed The Child because she thinks the stories of how the Cullen "family" found each other are integral to the tale). The focus is decidedly on Bella and Edward. Fortunately, this is successful because Kristin Stewart ("Panic Room", "Into the Wild") and Robert Pattison ("Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire") are perfectly cast. Ms. Stewart is Bella, with her cloud of dark hair and soulful eyes. She registers perfectly a discomfort within her own skin, which vanishes whenever she's with Edward. She also does a good job of slipping and bumping into stuff. (Bella's clumsiness really is an important part of her character and I'm glad they didn't leave that out. Perfect teenagers are such a bore).

Pattison, as Edward, is equally compelling. It doesn't hurt that the young man is absolutely beautiful. Edward is a tortured character, obviously. A) he doesn't know whether to kiss or drink his girlfriend and 2) he views himself as a monster even though he doesn't kill humans. He is, in other words, not 100% down with being undead. Pattison does the dark, brooding thing really well.

My biggest problem with the movie, frankly, were the effects. They were, in this day and age, pretty lame. The vampires of Meyers' creation are very fast and powerful while being supremely elegant at the same time. The special effects folks just couldn't figure out how to convey both speed and grace in a convincing way. And, for those of you who have read the books, they didn' t really get the sparkly thing right, either. I'll give 'em snaps for one thing, though...there's a scene where Bella and Edward are high in the top of a tree and that was for real and done without CGI. It's awesome.

The film was shot in the Northwest (mostly on the Olympic Peninsula and a bit in Portland) and the misty, moisty beauty of the area is beautifully captured.

Finally, the trick to adapting a series is creating a film story that stands on its own, without needing to read the books. I think the parties involved with "Twilight" have done that successfully and the ending of the film left no doubt that sequels are being discussed. For fans of the books, this is good news. What I'm not convinced about is whether anyone who hasn't read the books would particularly care about this movie. It's hardly a waste of 2 hours but with so many other good films out right now, you could probably wait to Netflix it and be ok.

The Czarina gives "Twilight"

out of five koihead.


Friday, November 21, 2008

Today's Jukebox Brought to You by the Letter S

S as in schmalz.

This song is kinda schmalzy. It's perky and chick-lite. When you hear it you might, if you're that sort of person, ask "how do I know this song?" and the answer, which is as schmalzy as the song, is "you must watch TLC". But I like it anyway so shut up.

It also has quite the hook, which repeats over and over in your brain.

The production values on the video are lame. I'm pretty sure that this was made with a cam corder and edited on someone's home PC. No matter. You could just go unload the dishwasher while the song is playing and just listen. Trust, you won't miss anything visually.

But part of why I like this song goes back to our brief chat yesterday about my BIL, Mr. Martha Stewart. When he was first diagnosed with melanoma, it was one of those weird down, up, down things. Down because he had something suspicious. Up because they got it all in the surgery. Then down because further tests showed that a wee bit was in one of the lymph nodes. And that is what led his doctor to say that it could recur in 6 months, 6 years, maybe never but that "if you have anything you want to do, get it done".

Here's the thing: that sounded to me like pretty good advice regardless. Based on the pretty solidly verifiable evidence that no one gets out alive anyway, ought we not all be living in a "if you want to do it, get it done" frame of mind? I think so. And whether that "doing" is writing a novel or sailing the 7 seas or just making the commitment to be more faithful about showing the people you love that you love them, "get it done" seems like a reasonable mantra.

August was the last time I saw Mr. Stewart. He, Martha and Keira had stopped over during a family vacation. It was just a normal evening...Martha and I talked in the living room, the guys outside in the garden. The cousins hung out wherever. The next morning, Mr. Stewart spent 2 hours training for a marathon he was soon to run, then came back and asked Martha if she'd make him a fried egg sandwich for breakfast. Before they left, we all held hands by our front door and prayed together. It was just like every other time with the Stewarts. And even though we knew Mr. Stewart had received that initial diagnosis, there was absolutely nothing to suggest that he was anywhere close to a recurrence.

Less than a week later Martha called to say that the cancer was in his liver and lungs and that he had, maybe, 6 months. You wanna know the real irony there? This was discovered during his routine checkup, preparatory to him getting a clean bill of health so he could travel, with Keira, on a mission trip to Rwanda.

Well, the trip to Rwanda is something Mr. Stewart didn't get done. He did run in his marathon, placing 1st in his age group. He also preached every Sunday at his church up until about 2 months ago. He got to hold his first grandchild, who bears his name. And I also know that every night he goes to bed having told his wife and daughter that he loves them. He's not afraid. He is, I suspect, a little annoyed at this point that he does, in fact, keep waking up the next morning. He's done. But he trusts that even that has a purpose, that there must be one or two more things he has to do or learn or something before he goes.

As far as I'm concerned, this really is a very sucky situation but man oh man is there a lesson in it for all of us...about will and love and dignity and grace. So I'll take that from it and try not to think about the suckier parts.

Anyway, here's the song and maybe next week I'll play something really head bang-y.

Fisher "Beautiful Life"


Thursday, November 20, 2008

(Insert Clever Title Here)

I think I'm going to pop into the office a little early today. MAB took a comp day yesterday and I was consequently very busy but didn't finish any of the things I needed to finish because so much of what I do tends to be emergent. My desk looks like downtown Kabul.

My niece, Jane Austen, is engaged. I told her that I am very much looking forward to being her matron of honor, singing "O Promise Me" and performing the ceremony. (I could do that...I'm a Universal Life Minister. Which is kinda like being a notary, without the nifty seal. It's not that big a deal but it could come in handy some day). She is marrying a guy I really, really like and I think it's all pretty superfantastic. (However, thus far the three nieces who have married have chosen guys whose names begin with the letter M and that is getting tedious. Jane's sister is also dating an M. The Child and her remaining girl cousin, Keira Knightly, have been forbidden to even go for coffee with anyone whose name begins with that letter. Really. Come on. It's too precious in the not good way).

Meanwhile, my sister, Martha Stewart, is maneuvering through uncharted waters. Her husband is dying. This has been going on for a few months now and it's been hard to find a way to write about it because, well, party because it sucks so much. Mr. Stewart is a young age if you want to be specific. He's always been crazy fit and healthy. But he has melanoma and the end is near. Frankly, I still don't have much to write because we're all still wrapping our heads around it. Some of you already knew this anyway and you've been praying for them -which, btw, continues to blow Martha away...knowing that people all over the country and the world who they have never met are holding them up is an awesome thing. And she is at peace. She attributes that peace to nothing other than grace because she knows that on her own she'd just be a blubbering mess (her words). But she's not. She's amazing. Anyhoodles, anyone else inclined to offer up thoughts and prayers for my BIL and the fam would be greatly appreciated.

On a happier note, coffee is really delicious and hugging is good.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The New Cat

Buck asked after our new cat, suggesting I write about her. And I realized that I haven't said a peep about her since she was rescued and became a part of our family.

  • The chief concern, of course, was how she would get along with The Dog, especially given how much Phoebe (may she rest in peace) hated him. But to Phoebe (may she rest in peace)The Dog was an interloper. She was there first and his skittering, furry black puppy presence was not appreciated. Not ever. This time around, it's The Dog who is alpha and Kitty had to accept her place in the pack and she is just fine with The Dog, so long as he doesn't pull one of his, "Oh, yeah, I'm The Dog, I was here first and I feel like barking at you" things. Because if he does that and gets in her face she swipes at his nose with her very sharp claws. But then he doesn't usually do that again for a while.
  • She likes to hunt. Well, at least, she really enjoys pouncing. You will be walking around, la la la la la, going about your business and all a sudden she will leap out at you and try and grab your legs. It's very disconcerting. And, as I mentioned, she has very sharp little claws.
  • She sleeps with us. And The Dog. And quite companionably, too. Although last night she must have done something to disturb The Dog because he started snarling at her. I think it is because she walked over his head to get at my bedside water glass. Which, btw, eeeewww.
  • She is way more people oriented and friendly than Phoebe (may she rest in peace), who was so unsociable that many of our friends didn't even know we had a cat. This one is quite the opposite. She prefers to sit on a lap or perch on a shoulder and generally be in the room where the most people are. It's quite sweet.
  • She also likes to lick people. Like a dog. Once she perches on you and you start petting her she licks you. She especially likes to lick heads. The Child believes this has to do with the litter that she never brought to term and her deep desire to be a mommy even though she never will be now because she had The Procedure. I think it's because we taste like meat. But it is very funny because one thinks of cats as licking for grooming. That we have one who does it to show affection cracks me up. (Unless I'm right about the meat thing).
  • We intended to keep her as an inside-only cat but she's having none of it. She likes to roam. She comes over to The Neighbor's every night at cocktail hour, which is amusing. She likes to poke around the garden and climb the fence. I don't know how much farther she's gone than The Neighbor's but she comes back so I guess it's ok. I certainly don't mind the whole not-having-a-litter-box-in-the-house thing. BUT I also don't like it because we have coyotes around here and they like to eat cats. So I worry about that. Unless she mistakes them for dogs, swipes their noses with her very sharp claws and gets away in time. Mostly, I try not to think of it and take a que sera attitude about it. Although it would totally suck if she didn't outrun the coyotes. (And I do wish the city would do something about it because it's a little scary to think of these pack animals roaming the streets eating pets. I worry that they'll eat someone's baby). But she's a cat and her catness cannot be stifled. So I just pray to St. Francis a lot.
  • The Cat likes to sleep in very small spaces. She once curled up in a soup plate. She enjoys the basket that contains the TV remotes. The smaller the space, the better. It's quite amusing.
  • She likes to explore. She's fascinated with the dishwasher.
In short, we like her very much. For those of us with a cat inclination, a home really isn't a home without one.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008


This is so funny it almost coulda been written by one of our gang.


Don't Even Bother. Today's Post is a Yawn.

November mornings in Seattle present in 1 of 2 ways: either it rains or it is biting cold and very foggy. Yesterday was foggy, today it's raining. Compared to wild fires, blizzards, and sub zero temps I suppose it's nothing to complain about.

After 3 months of being a working girl I'm finally getting a handle on managing what I must manage at home. Still don't have it down pat but I feel less and less like I'm waving my arms aimlessly. That's a good thing.

It's still pretty weird to me, though, that at work I can be so efficient and proactive and on top of everything and at home not so much. At work projects are never left to the last minute. Partly that's because most of what I do is so immediate. There is very little of a project nature to my job; there's a monthly report that takes me, like, 10 minutes because I built a spread sheet to provide all the statistics and I sometimes have writing projects (a new brochure, an article here and there and content for our superfantastic new website which is still being tweaked but of which I'm very proud) but mostly everything that needs to be done in a day gets done in a day. Every night I go home with my to do list crossed off, my desk tidy and generally speaking nothing hanging over my head.

There is slightly less satisfaction in that regard at home, but the house is generally cleaner, all the bills are getting paid and we're not eating take out every night (although I'm still getting dinner on the table later than desired a lot of the time). What I really haven't figured out is all the little errandy stuff...not just the things that require running around but things like coordinating with tour companies or filing police reports for stolen cell phones or emailing teachers. Seriously. When am I supposed to do that?

OK, this is really boring. In fact, I'm going to rewrite the title to spare you. What? You didn't listen? Whose fault is that? I warned you.

Hey! Barack Obama is still President-elect of the United States! (Man, that still gets me going every time)

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Monday, November 17, 2008


Lorene is my oldest friend in the world. She's actually younger than me; what I mean to say is that while I am pretty good at keeping friends, no one has as much tenure as she does. We met in college. That was a while ago. Our history would make a very compelling tale, I think. Anyway, she has a new blog and has, like all bloggers, heard the siren call of "tagging".

The task? Open the book nearest your computer (no fair hunting for something that sounds intellectual and impressive) to page 56. Post the 5th sentence (plus one or two thereafter for context).

"First there is a lot of politics surrounding the guest list; people do tend to get offended if they consider themselves a close friend and aren't invited. The is fact that you don't always want the same people sitting around the table, which is important to remember when you find you haven't been invited somewhere that you think you ought have. So how to get around this tricky situation? Never apologize and never explain - it is as simple as that."

This comes from Domestic Bliss by Rita of those books I read every year pretty much like clockwork. Konig takes a much more laisse faire attitude toward all things domestic than does, say, Martha Stewart, and is very irreverent and funny in the process. At the heart of her book is finding lots of little ways to make your home life more blissful, from advice on how to deal with contractors (bring them beer on Friday) to decorating a bedside table for a weekend guest to the perfect remedy for "Fat Saturday" (when you don't fit into anything, have no money and nothing to do). It's a fluffy read and yet I always take away the renewed inspiration that the little things matter.

Now let's see what Sageweb, Leah, Willym, Kimberly Ann and Miss Healthypants are reading.


Friday, November 14, 2008

La Di Da Da

This song has been on my mind for the last 2 days. I don't know when it flew through the transom of my mind but it did and then it got all hung up in there and I can't shake it loose. Probably because it's high on the list of Top Ten Catchiest Songs Evah.

As an added bonus my darling Anne loves this band and it's her birthday on Sunday so it seemed a fitting song for the Jukebox.

Here's a picture of Anne, taking pictures at my house, back when she visited in early October. This might not be the most "hi, I'm Anne and I'm darling" photo in the world but it's my favorite of her and here's why: girl is a mad fool with the camera. Seriously, if she wanted to, she could totally be the next Annie Leibowitz. Here's the thing about good's not just about having a camera at the ready (which Anne does) but about first seeing something and then capturing that same something through the lens so that others see it, too. Anne can do that. In spades, So catching her in the act of seeing was kinda significant to me. Also, she was wearing this ploofy purple thing in her hair, which is called an "Instant Party" which MAB gave her when she came to our office and which she then proceeded to gamely wear for the rest of the evening. And I thought that was super cute.

Happy Friday. And a happy early birthday, Anne. Love you.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

How Did People Parent Before the Invention of Cell Phones?

Turns out, I'm not 100% ready to let go.

The Child is going to compete in gymnastics this year. She's never done it before but she's all inspired to learn, which is awesome. Except that there is no activities bus (unless you play football. WHY IS THAT?) so either she needs to chill at school until I can pick her up or she can take the bus up to meet me at work. The bus up to work plan seemed reasonable and I even had a bus ticket. She knew what bus to take, how to get a transfer, where to catch her connecting bus, etc. etc. I figured it would maybe take her 40 minutes to an hour to get to me...let's say 5pm. That's only an extra 30 minutes of hanging at the office and lord knows there is always something to do.

Did I mention that her cell phone was stolen at the Homecoming dance and hasn't been replaced yet (because the insurance people need a police report number. Seriously. Like the police are going to investigate a stolen cell phone. Remind me next time...even if it IS tell the insurance people it's just plain lost. Thank you).

I was pretty busy at work so I barely thought about her arrival until close to 5 o'clock. At which point there was no Child. Fine. I wasn't sure of the exact times for the bus plus who knows if she actually got out on the dot of 4. I did kinda wish she had her phone so I could check on her progress but really, it's fine.

5:15, I shake off the little ripples of nervousness. Hello? She's nearly 15. She's a big girl. She knows how to ride a bus. More importantly, she knows how to sit near the driver, listen to her iPod and ignore anyone creepy while on a bus. I look outside. It's dark and lashing rain. I hope that she is on a bus and not shivering at a bus stop.

5:30. MAB stops in, taking a break from the board meeting. "She still not here?"

"No, and it's kinda making me nervous".

"She's fine. Geez, she's 15".


"14. You know what I was doing when I was 14?"

"As a matter of fact, I do, and those stories aren't going to be helpful right now".

"Oh, yeah. You're probably right".

MAB went back to her meeting, I went back to the computer to look up bus schedules and try to figure out where my baby was. Stupid bus schedules. They are never very detailed, are they? The times for one stop will be listed and the next stop is 412 blocks away or something, with you left trying to divine if the stop you care about is before, in the middle or after stops A and B. (Which was part of my issue because I really don't know anything about the burg wherein High School is located. I know how to get there and that's that).

I call The Spouse to see if he's heard from her or seen her (maybe she selfishly got a ride home and totally spaced calling to tell me. In which case I'll be pissed but relieved). No Child.

I look outside again. It's darker and wetter than before. And something twisted inside me and I was full on worried. Where was she? How in the world did parents (like mine) let their kids out into the world without cell phones? That's what's bugging me. I let her out of my sight all day but the assumption is she is at school or on the school bus and I have faith that she's OK. But being in that in-between place of not knowing where she is and not being able to call her that is freaking me out. That and the fact that they have late start on Wednesday so I was out of the house before she was and have no idea what she wore to school so how the hell will I be able to give the detectives a description? (Because, obviously, at this point I assume detectives are going to be involved).

At 6pm the house door bell rang and the security camera shot me a picture of this wretched, bedraggled teenager. Poor kid had missed the first bus and the next one didn't come until 5. 5,
I tell you. She stood for an hour in the cold and dark and rain waiting for the bus. (She couldn't go back to school and call because apparently the doors are locked from the outside after 4 or something).

Needless to say, I was thrilled to see her and I told her that the whole riding-the-bus-in-winter-without-a-cell-phone thing was off. Until her new phone shows up I'll be schlepping down to get her. (Not to mention if I'd done that in the first place we would have been home a good 45 minutes sooner than we were).

Yeah, I am ready to let her out into the world on her own. Provided I have a long enough leash.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

O, Joy!

Today marks the official start of the holiday season.

Sure it does.

Today is the beginning of that most sacred triduum, Iwanskifest. The Box o' Gout will arrive today and we will begin the festal season with the singing of Iwanskifest carols and the indulgence of Chicago dogs. I'm sure all of this will be even more tasty given the added filip of joy that comes from the election of a certain senator from Chicago. It's like 2 celebrations in one.

It bears noting that today is Mr. Iwanski's actual birthday, so it would be very pleasant if you would all go buy him a McRibb sandwich and take it over to wish him well. He's a fine and brilliant man with a heart of gold and that's the sort of person that deserves all the celebratin' you can muster. We love him.

We also really love Chicago dogs, ribs and deep dish pizza. Win/win.

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Monday, November 10, 2008

This and That

I spent most of the weekend in bed with a cold. I could have functioned but I have this crazy belief that if you don't feel well you shouldn't try to ignore it, thus allowing your body the time it needs to heal. I feel nearly human this morning.

I watched a lot of TV. I'm all caught up on "John and Kate Plus 8", know everything you could possibly need to know in order to successfully flip a house and discovered that Mike Huckabee has a talk show on FOX. That's hilarious.

I've settled down a little since the election although whenever I hear the words "President-elect Obama" I start grinning like an idiot. On Tuesday night I was obsessively snapping photos of my TV. It seems kinda silly now but what else was I going to do? History was being made, I was a part of it, you record history, even if it's being played out on a screen. Here are some of my favorite shots of that night:
It's almost like I was there.

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Friday, November 07, 2008

And Suddenly I'm Craving Mrs. Wagner's Pies

This is my all-time favoritest songs to harmonize with whenever I hear it or anyone plays it on the guitar which sometimes in my life people have done and then I've harmonized with them.

It also has some of the greatest lyrics ever.

Once upon a time I nannied for a great family and after spending the weekend with them on the Jersey shore I took a city bus into New York. I got the chance to count the cars on the New Jersey turnpike. That was cool.

I've always loved this song because it is a little sad and wistful, coming as it did out of another time in our history when there were a lot of questions and struggles and folks wondering who we were and what we stood for. But there's also hope and triumph in the music, if not the lyrics.

The crazy thing about America is that it is as much a notion as a place. Despite our myriad failures and mistakes over the last 200 plus years, America has been a symbol of intangibles like hope and freedom. We have lost our way in the last 8 years, big time. We lost America. But I caught a glimpse of the old girl on Tuesday. I saw her in the lines at the polls, the tear-streaked faces in Grant Park, the spontaneous street parties all over the country. I saw her in the faces of little black and white children standing on the stage after Barack's speech. I saw her in the shining eyes of Jane Austen...who had voted in her first Presidential election... and in the similarly shining eyes of The Child who knows she'll get to vote for Barack's re-election. They will only ever understand intellectually how truly monumental this election was; as opposed to myself who bawled like a baby for a good 10 minutes after the announcement. Sling summed up those tears later in the evening when he said, "Rainey, this hasn't been coming for 8's been coming for 40 frakking years".

America is a little worse for wear. She could probably use a makeover. But ding dong, I think we've found her again and we need to do everything we can to help her become beautiful again.

Simon and Garfunkle "America"


Thursday, November 06, 2008

I'm Psychic

Four years ago I wasn't a happy camper. None of this frothing with joy like an uncorked champagne bottle, no pride at the thought that America was once again a land of promise, no hope over the prospects for the future. Four years ago I was distraught, as were many of my friends. I kept fielding calls and emails from friends who were as depressed as I, who were wondering "what now?" I sent them this email:

A friend just asked if I had any words of encouragement for the posse. Nope. I am sick in my gut, sick in my soul and I'm crying like a baby. I'm sitting here wondering what else I could have done, wondering what is wrong with 52% of this nation. (And let's just keep that number in mind, shall we. No matter what we'll be hearing, that is not a mandate. 48% of us obviously still have functioning brains). Kids, all I can say is that I'm going to sit around today being sad and depressed. I'll probably listen to some Springsteen records and weep. But tomorrow I'm going to pull my head out of my fancy gas oven and get back to work turning up the volume on the progressive voice in this nation. We've been way too passive for way to long and this is the result. We've got four (hard, long) years to get our shit together so let's do it. We can't spend too much time wringing our hands and being babies. We have to work. Or else learn to appreciate hockey and buy a farm in Canada. It's an option, eh?

I would like to point out two bright spots in this otherwise gloomy day. (The sun is shining. The nerve.) Hang on to this: Barack Obama (woof). And Martin Sheen is still in the West Wing.

Maybe I'd better listen to the soundtrack from "Annie" as well. "Tomorrow, tomorrow".

Peace out,

Your depressed little pundit,


Well, Martin Sheen is no longer in the White House but Barack Obama soon will be, for real. How did I know, you ask? I just did. When I heard him address the Democratic convention in '04 I heard a voice. It told me that I was watching the future President of the United States. I've only heard that voice one other time, the time it told me I was talking to the man I would marry. I guess it's a voice that only troubles itself for the really big stuff. But I knew. Frankly, I didn't know it would be this soon. I think I thought it would be down the road, after he'd spent a little more time in the Senate. But do I care?

Barack Obama is the President-elect of the United States of frakking America and I'll tell you, I for one have not yet come down from that high.

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A Photo Essay




Tuesday Morning

Tuesday Night

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Oh. And Another Thing...

Y'all are wakin' up in a different America tomorrow.

How cool is that?

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Can America Elect a Black President?





I VOTED FOR BARACK OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And I have the sticker to prove it. Ran into The Neighbor at the polls. It was nice to share that moment with her.

I also have to say that my polling place is generally best described as "sleepy". Using half of the poll workers are knitting or snoozing. Not today. There weren't lines, yet. (Although I heard one of the workers making provisions for that). But every voting booth was full, folks kept filing in and I'll betcha within the next hour they'll be standing on line to vote.

And that is awe.some.

Have you voted yet? Get out there!



I'm taking the day off. First of all, I want to spend some time doing GOTV stuff and making sure that everyone in my little circle actually does the deed. Second, no way I'd be able to concentrate on anything at work.

Yesterday was crazy. We had 6 families scheduled to check in and got an extra 2 others. One family wasn't going to show up until later. Normally we don't do check in after hours but the couple in question have been to the house before and I love 'em a lot and I wasn't going to be in today anyway so I went home for cocktails with The Neighbor, then went back to the house until 8 frakking p.m. But it was ok. I did a report, set things up to make MAB's day easier and generally puttered until my folks arrived. I'm so productive.

Look at that. I just spent a couple of minutes blogging about something really mundane on this, potentially the most historic election in the history of American elections.

There's a little town in New Hampshire that is always the first to vote, Dixille Notch. Crazy name for a town. Anyway, they haven't voted Democrat since 1968. No, wait. They haven't voted Democrat since 2008. Last night 21 votes were cast: 6 for McCain, 15 for Obama. A trend? Here's hoping.

Man, oh, man, oh man. Today is going to be Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. But won't it be awesome if 'round about 8:30 my time I'm dialing all my buddies in Chicago - who are all going to Grant Park for the big Obama party - and drinking champagne and celebrating the fact that we live in a changed America? Because, my friends, if Barack Obama is elected, America will be a different place. For the first time in a long time the politics of hope will have, in fact, triumphed over the politics of fear. We will have a calm, intelligent, creative thinker in the White House...which we're going to need for the mess the next President inherits. We will live in America where that whole "you can be anything you want to be" mantra will actually be true for ALL children of ALL backgrounds and ALL ethnicities. We will live in an America where no pundits will ever again ask the question, "Yeah, but can a black man be elected President in America?"

If Barack Obama is elected tonight, we will still have a sucking chest wound of an economy, 77 more days for W to continue the wrecking ball that is his legacy and 2 wars. People will continue to lose their homes to foreclosure, families will still have to opt out of sending their kids to college and folks will still be lamenting the balance in their 401k. But it will signal a change. We will have a president who will, and I believe this with all my heart, unite us. He's going to inspire and encourage us. He'll take the reins and start steering this puppy out of the ditch. Because, yes. He can. And we can with him.

That's why I'm off to vote - proudly and with tears in my eyes - for Barack Obama. And if you haven't already voted, I hope you'll join me.

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Monday, November 03, 2008

One More Day

If there is a slimy shoe left to drop, it'll be today...a grainy photo of Obama at an orgy with Monica Lewinsky, Saddaam and Stalin, perhaps? A tape from bin Laden endorsing Barack? That's the paranoid in me. And I earned my crazy fair and square.

But maybe nothing will happen. Maybe it'll just be a last, final day of campaigning that ends with the candidates in their home states, hanging with their families and waiting. Because after today, it's all out of their hands.

I don't think anyone is sitting around today thinking, "Dang it, I can't believe the election season is over. This sucks!" We're ready to move on, ready to see what the future holds.

It goes against the nature of most Democrats to be excited today. It ain't over til it's over and we know that all too well. You won't catch us counting our chickens before they are hatched. We'll do that tomorrow. Right now we have to wait, maybe make some phone calls, talk to a few neighbors, find out if any one needs a ride to the that. For now we just have to get through one more day.