Thursday, December 10, 2009

Obama's Nobel Speech

Whether you agree that he deserves the prize or not, this speech is a great mix of ideals and pragmatic reality. We as a world are getting there, but we have oh-so-far to go. And in our own country, particularly, it seems like we are often pushing cooked spaghetti up a hill with our noses.

Monday, November 30, 2009

An Open Letter to President Obama - from Michael Moore and Me!

Monday, November 30th, 2009 Dear President Obama, Do you really want to be the new “war president”? If you go to West Point tomorrow night (Tuesday, 8pm) and announce that you are increasing, rather than withdrawing, the troops in Afghanistan, you are the new war president. Pure and simple. And with that you will do the worst possible thing you could do — destroy the hopes and dreams so many millions have placed in you. With just one speech tomorrow night you will turn a multitude of young people who were the backbone of your campaign into disillusioned cynics. You will teach them what they’ve always heard is true — that all politicians are alike. I simply can’t believe you’re about to do what they say you are going to do. Please say it isn’t so. It is not your job to do what the generals tell you to do. We are a civilian-run government. WE tell the Joint Chiefs what to do, not the other way around. That’s the way General Washington insisted it must be. That’s what President Truman told General MacArthur when MacArthur wanted to invade China. “You’re fired!,” said Truman, and that was that. And you should have fired Gen. McChrystal when he went to the press to preempt you, telling the press what YOU had to do. Let me be blunt: We love our kids in the armed services, but we ****in’ hate these generals, from Westmoreland in Vietnam to, yes, even Colin Powell for lying to the UN with his made-up drawings of WMD (he has since sought redemption). So now you feel backed into a corner. 30 years ago this past Thursday (Thanksgiving) the Soviet generals had a cool idea — “Let’s invade Afghanistan!” Well, that turned out to be the final nail in the USSR coffin. There’s a reason they don’t call Afghanistan the “Garden State” (though they probably should, seeing how the corrupt President Karzai, whom we back, has his brother in the heroin trade raising poppies). Afghanistan’s nickname is the “Graveyard of Empires.” If you don’t believe it, give the British a call. I’d have you call Genghis Khan but I lost his number. I do have Gorbachev’s number though. It’s + 41 22 789 1662. I’m sure he could give you an earful about the historic blunder you’re about to commit. With our economic collapse still in full swing and our precious young men and women being sacrificed on the altar of arrogance and greed, the breakdown of this great civilization we call America will head, full throttle, into oblivion if you become the “war president.” Empires never think the end is near, until the end is here. Empires think that more evil will force the heathens to toe the line — and yet it never works. The heathens usually tear them to shreds. Choose carefully, President Obama. You of all people know that it doesn’t have to be this way. You still have a few hours to listen to your heart, and your own clear thinking. You know that nothing good can come from sending more troops halfway around the world to a place neither you nor they understand, to achieve an objective that neither you nor they understand, in a country that does not want us there. You can feel it in your bones. I know you know that there are LESS than a hundred al-Qaeda left in Afghanistan! A hundred thousand troops trying to crush a hundred guys living in caves? Are you serious? Have you drunk Bush’s Kool-Aid? I refuse to believe it. Your potential decision to expand the war (while saying that you’re doing it so you can “end the war”) will do more to set your legacy in stone than any of the great things you’ve said and done in your first year. One more throwing a bone from you to the Republicans and the coalition of the hopeful and the hopeless may be gone — and this nation will be back in the hands of the haters quicker than you can shout “tea bag!” Choose carefully, Mr. President. Your corporate backers are going to abandon you as soon as it is clear you are a one-term president and that the nation will be safely back in the hands of the usual idiots who do their bidding. That could be Wednesday morning. We the people still love you. We the people still have a sliver of hope. But we the people can’t take it anymore. We can’t take your caving in, over and over, when we elected you by a big, wide margin of millions to get in there and get the job done. What part of “landslide victory” don’t you understand? Don’t be deceived into thinking that sending a few more troops into Afghanistan will make a difference, or earn you the respect of the haters. They will not stop until this country is torn asunder and every last dollar is extracted from the poor and soon-to-be poor. You could send a million troops over there and the crazy Right still wouldn’t be happy. You would still be the victim of their incessant venom on hate radio and television because no matter what you do, you can’t change the one thing about yourself that sends them over the edge. The haters were not the ones who elected you, and they can’t be won over by abandoning the rest of us. President Obama, it’s time to come home. Ask your neighbors in Chicago and the parents of the young men and women doing the fighting and dying if they want more billions and more troops sent to Afghanistan. Do you think they will say, “No, we don’t need health care, we don’t need jobs, we don’t need homes. You go on ahead, Mr. President, and send our wealth and our sons and daughters overseas, ’cause we don’t need them, either.” What would Martin Luther King, Jr. do? What would your grandmother do? Not send more poor people to kill other poor people who pose no threat to them, that’s what they’d do. Not spend billions and trillions to wage war while American children are sleeping on the streets and standing in bread lines. All of us that voted and prayed for you and cried the night of your victory have endured an Orwellian hell of eight years of crimes committed in our name: torture, rendition, suspension of the bill of rights, invading nations who had not attacked us, blowing up neighborhoods that Saddam “might” be in (but never was), slaughtering wedding parties in Afghanistan. We watched as hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians were slaughtered and tens of thousands of our brave young men and women were killed, maimed, or endured mental anguish — the full terror of which we scarcely know. When we elected you we didn’t expect miracles. We didn’t even expect much change. But we expected some. We thought you would stop the madness. Stop the killing. Stop the insane idea that men with guns can reorganize a nation that doesn’t even function as a nation and never, ever has. Stop, stop, stop! For the sake of the lives of young Americans and Afghan civilians, stop. For the sake of your presidency, hope, and the future of our nation, stop. For God’s sake, stop. Tonight we still have hope. Tomorrow, we shall see. The ball is in your court. You DON’T have to do this. You can be a profile in courage. You can be your mother’s son. We’re counting on you. Yours, Michael Moore and River in IL P.S. There’s still time to have your voice heard. Call the White House at 202-456-1111 or email the President.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Knitting Indulgence

So the Learning Sweater is progressing nicely IN SPITE of having to RIP OUT 6 1/2" last Friday. Counting is important in knitting. When it says "repeat 8 times" it doesn't mean FOUR KNITS AND FOUR PURLS. It means EIGHT OF EACH. Oy. Rookie mistake, but easily fixed! Sooooooooooo. While at the LYS, there's a sale. Yep, Danger Will Robinson territory. Pictured is the Jordana Paige bag I couldn't resist. I have to change it over to use for the holidays, and I can't wait to see how it all fits together. It's for smaller projects. Honestly, I looked at the larger ones, but all I'd do is stuff it with "other stuff" and I don't usually bring larger projects along when I'm waiting or the like. I love the bright green, not because I like the color, but because you can see the contents of your bag! A thinking knitter's bag to be sure. Check out for more of her designs. I've eyeballed them in magazines, but this is the first time I've been able to actually fiddle with one to see if I'd like it. Heck, it's going to be a great PURSE period. You can pull up the handles to make it more of a shoulder bag or keep it as a "hand" bag. And our Knitsters group is having a "notions" exchange in February. What a great idea - first of all, to wait till after the holidays and do something in February, which is usually the slow month for us all, and kind of grim weather-wise. And notions? Who doesn't need another tape measure, stitch markers, etc.? The bag is probably my biggest indulgence (well, except for that silk yarn in my stash...). Once in a while, you get to a point where knitting out of a recyclable grocery bag just doesn't cut it.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

It's Old Enough to be Vintage...

OK, so I take a while to finish a project. This pillow was done in crewel work - by me - in the late 70s. I was never sure what I was going to do with it, so I stuck it in a box.
Needless to say, I used a metal hoop, and it's been through at least 4 moves. It's amazing I still have it!!
And I finally finished it into a pillow. It's not pretty, but I figure at this advanced age, I can claim "vintage."
It's sitting on my favorite chair, the one where I normally do my knitting, etc. I may end up putting it on the bed because even though that's "my" chair, Kid @2 and I share it! But he can't have my vintage pillow!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Learning Sweater...

OK, so here's what I'm learning about sweater knitting: (a) I'm not a fast knitter; (b) there are a LOT of stitches!!; (c) circular needles make the process MUCH less painful and quite a bit faster, even if you're a slow knitter.
The yarn? Well, it's a cotton blend. Cascade Yarns Sierra, which is 80% pima cotton and 20% merino wool. Color # 22. It's one of those yarns that's basically a "3-season" yarn. The sweater is a simple pullover. I did a rice stitch band at the bottom instead of a K2P2 ribbing. I want it more "tunic" than "stuck to my hips." I love the blue color; it'll go with everything from khakis to jeans to tailored pants. There are 2 images: the overall front and then a close-up of the band. I want to do the collar and cuffs in the rice stitch as well, and I think I can do the cuffs by changing to a smaller needle - not sacrificing "stretch" for the overall pattern.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Every Knitter Knows...

That there are certain "stash-worthy" yarns that you MUST have. Particularly if they're on clearance or on sale. Pictured is my most recent find. On our KnitWits Unite thread at Weight Watchers, one of our posters has all of us hooked on a scarf that uses 4 skeins of Noro. Well. Anyone who knows fiber knows that Noro is certainly a premier hand-painted yarn. I wasn't going to go forward with this project. Seriously. Stop laughing. I have a Finance final to study for; I have my Learning Sweater I'm working on. I haven't finished my eyeglass case. I have the ribbed shell in a butter yellow that I've just got about 3" of the back done. I have 2 baby afghans in mid-stream (and 2 gals with grandbabies awaiting those afghans). I have S.A.B.L.E. (Stash Accumulated Beyond Life Expectancy)... But I fell into the Fiber Hole. It was on clearance at Jimmy Bean's ( Seven bucks a hank. I got Noro #2 and Noro #5. According to our poster, we're supposed to use "really different" tones or colors on this scarf, and they blend in typical Noro fashion to create something yummy. This scarf ought to be nice; as you can see, the yarns are a combination of bold jewel tones and subtle earth tones. They are in a similar color family, but I think the combo of bold and tame will be interesting. As it progresses (a/k/a "When I get to it") I'll show pictures. Gotta love stash. It's comfort food for knitters with no calories.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Moment of Inspiration

I had to give a "reflection" at a meeting today. Here's what I chose. And here's why I chose it. A number of years back, I met, at a networking event, a woman named Bea Young. She did show us her driver's license to prove that. She was a yogini (female yoga practitioner) and was in her 70s at the time. She had the posture and presence of a queen, and she attributed that to daily yoga and daily rollerblading... The poem is by Dawna Markova. I have no title for this. Here it is:
I will not die an unlived life.
I will not live in fear
of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open men,
to make me less afraid,
more accessible;
to loosen my heart until
it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance,
to live so that which came to me as seed
goes to the next as blossom,
and that which
came to me as blossom
goes on as fruit.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


President Jimmy Carter is right. And that makes me sad. He's just been speaking about what most of us knew as a reality. The rage against Obama isn't just because he's a Democrat, or he's proposing something "out of the box" in the health care reform debacle. It's because there are more people who are racist. And they're becoming more open in that racism. And the reason I stated "more people who are racist" is because it's now pretty much "out of the closet" and almost (sadly) a badge of honor. You're a "patriot" if you oppose this president. And if you happen to not like the color of his skin, that's ok. It's even encouraged in a sub rosa way. "We won't mind...." This is so wrong on many levels. And it ties in to the whole "tote your rod" thing where the gun-happy crazies are bringing loaded weapons to Obama appearances. People. Here's a radical idea: Read about what it would ACTUALLY take for any president to overturn the 2nd Amendment. It's not like you wake up one day and say, "Hmmmmmm. It's Wednesday. I think I'll outlaw guns across the nation." Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight. That can't happen. He's not a king. He's not a Czar. He's not a President-for-Life. We have considerable rights in this country, in spite of what the past president tried to take away. Along with those rights comes an enormous responsibility: the responsibility of educating ourselves about how our system was formed, how it works and how we can help make it better. Toting guns, acting and speaking in a racist manner, intimidating and shouting down those with whom you disagree - those are not things that will help make our country better. They show the ugly underbelly of this country. I was hoping for better.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Open Letter to Joe Wilson

I tried a couple of times to post this to Mr. Wilson's website, and it's crashed. And his chief of staff's e-mail isn't working. Hmmmmmmm. Conspiracy??? ******************************** I always thought that Southern gentlemen had better manners. I lived in Virginia for quite some time, and for the most part, found that that cultural stereotype held. However in this case, Mr. Wilson, you have blasted that concept into the stratosphere. Of all the rude, inconsiderate, boorish, dim-witted, inane, juvenile and despicable things! To insult a sitting President? Was it just because you figured you could "get away with it" because Obama is black? The white Southern gentleman yelling at an inconsiderate "nigra"??? You have not only gone beyond the pale, you’ve leaped over into an area of incivility which is sadly indicative of your entire party’s current agenda. If you want to foment hate and discontent, you’ve certainly whacked at this with a broad sword and have once again hit your target market of stupid lemmings willing to believe that THEY are the only “true” Americans because you’ve told them so, removing the thinking part of their brains in the process. I suppose that if a DEMOCRAT had done that, the entire body of Republicans would have been calling for his soft squishy parts. Because “insulting the President” is un-American… but not if he’s a first-term Democrat only 7 months into his job. And particularly not if he’s asking you to do something human and be REAL Americans. And ESPECIALLY if he’s biracial. Instead, you act as if you are a bunch of screeching harpies who want the man assassinated. Which certainly sounds like what you’re hoping. And then you’ll all stand back and say, “Wow. We didn’t intend for that to happen. That’s a shame.” Hypocritical sore losers. That’s exactly what you and your entire party are. You people need to get your severe rectal-cranial inversion fixed. And, Mr. Wilson, you need to have your mouth washed out with soap.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Just so we're all on the same page...

I thought that I'd clarify a lot of the stuff being flung about at town hall meetings and in the blogosphere. Courtesy of The American Heritage Desk Dictionary, here are some handy references when you read about or hear some terms being used. Or if you choose to use them yourself, please do us all a favor and make sure you use the terms correctly. Communist: a member of a Communist Party. A person who believes in or advocates communism. communism: any social system characterized by the absence of classes and by common ownership of the means of production and common sharing of labor and products. fascism: a political philosophy of the extreme right, marked by strict government control of the economy, nationalism, and suppression of all opposition. Nazi:a member of a fascist party founded in Germany in 1919 and brought to power in 1933 under Adolf Hitler. Short for Nationalsozialist. Nazism: the doctrine and policy of the Nazis, including state control of the economy, racist nationalism, and national expansion. socialism: a doctrine or movement calling for public ownership of factories and other means of production. A social system that practices this doctrine. In Marxist-Leninist theory, the stage of society between capitalism and communism. Socialist: a member of a socialist party. Sooooooooo. From this we can draw some parallels and we can also see some freaks of logic (meaning, some parallels that defy logic). Folks who call the Democrats Nazi socialists are obviously confused. The two systems are polar opposites. Folks who call the Democrats fascists are obviously confused. And most likely to be Republicans - the more conservative of whom are actually closer to fascism than the Democrats. Folks who say that the plan(s) - because there are what? Five of them floating around - to "socialize" our health care are obviously confused because socialism advocates ownership, and if there's a public option as proposed in at least one of the plans floating around, there's no socialism. There's choice. For those who continue to bandy these often-misunderstood phrases around, I hope that by providing this compendium of definitions, I have helped clarify your thoughts. You may now return to your regular programming - which, by the way, can be improved by using your own brain and thinking instead of swallowing talking points.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Let's Try a Little Common Sense...

It probably won't hurt too much. Here's a clip of an op/ed piece by Roger Ebert, a man who knows whereof he speaks. I've cited the entire article for you - and you should read it. Do you know what the "public option" is? It would be the establishment of a federal fund to provide health insurance for those who cannot afford it or qualify for it. I have the feeling that if Jay Leno went Jaywalking among the protesters at a town hall meeting, even among those holding signs opposing the public option, he would find few able to define the term. If you lack insurance coverage, are you opposed to the public option? If your premiums have increased so much that you can't afford them, do you oppose it? If you have a "preexisting condition" that disqualifies you from insurance, do you oppose it? If it would provide you with equivalent insurance at a lower cost, do you oppose it? Most Americans, even those angry people at town hall meetings, now approve of MediCare. The public option would essentially make a system like MediCare available to the general population. Would it replace private health insurance? Not at all. It would provide an option. Who opposes it? Do the math. The insurance companies do. It would provide price competition for their extremely profitable businesses. Price competition. It's the capitalist way. Besides insurance companies, who else opposes it? The unwavering opponents of all things Obama. Having arrived at a qualifying age thanks to the love and care of my wife and doctors, I am writing this as the beneficiary of the excellent heath care my insurance plan covered (until my illness exhausted its provisions). I am now covered under MediCare. I continue to get the same treatment as before--and as, for that matter, all members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives do, no matter what their age or political party. You should try it sometime. Here's the complete link: In the overwhelming din of the crazies howling their talking points (or should that be "shreiking points"??), let's use a little common sense. Let's use the things our Creator gave us: our brains and our ears and our sense of logic. We are a great nation. We don't provide what other nations do. Why? Greed? Lack of respect for our fellow citizens? Lack of basic humanity? None of those things seems palatable to me.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Dickens was right...

I'm reading Charles Dickens' wicked-smart satire on poverty, riches and imprisonment, Little Dorrit. I confess it was because we caught an episode on PBS. Dickens also makes some very pertinent allusions to government. And what strikes me is how close they are to home right now! For example, there's this passage: "But, Precedent and Precipitate were, under all circumstances, the well-matched pair of battle-horses of this able Circumlocutionist. No matter that the unhappy honorable gentleman had been trying in vain, for twenty-five years, to precipitate William Barnacle into this - William Barnacle still put it to the House, and (at second-hand or so) to the country, whether he was to be precipitated into this. No matter that it was utterly irreconcileable with the nature of things and course of events, that the wretched honorable gentleman could possibly produce a Precedent for this - William Barnacle would nevertheless thank the honorable gentleman for that ironical cheer, and would close with him upon that issue, and would tell him to his teeth that there was NO Precedent for this. It might perhaps have been objected that the William Barnacle wisdom was not high wisdom, or the earth it bamboozled would never have been made, or, if made in a rash mistake, would have remained blank mad. But, Precedent and Precipitate together frightened all objection out of most people." (Little Dorrit, p. 427-428) Change "William Barnacle" to "Republicans" and you have the current uproar over health care reform. Republicans continue to tell us - using their usual tactics of Fear and Smear - that if health care is truly "reformed" that that's code for "socialized medicine" and "government run medicine." Hearken back to Ronald Reagan with Medicare reform wherein he posited that "one day, doctors will no longer be allowed to live in your town." An early example of "If you can't convince them with truth, baffle 'em with bull...." I'm happy to see that some Democrats are coming to their senses. The government already runs several healthcare programs: the program for active duty military; Medicaid; Medicare; the VA. And in many cases, the people who use these programs are just fine. Of course, there are problems. I don't believe it's endemic to the government running the program. It's endemic to PEOPLE being involved. What's wrong is that in this country, we have 47 million uninsured Americans. What's wrong is that according to the World Health Organization, we rank 37th in the world for health care. Columbia is above us. That should make every flag-waving Republican proud. A nation known to "disappear" people, murder missionaries, kill at random in vicious turf wars of drug lords. They're a couple notches higher than we are in health care. I would urge you to THINK. I would urge you to RESEARCH. And I would urge you to not swallow the "truth" as you read it until you've looked at it from a couple of different directions.

Open Letter to the President...

I am terrifically disappointed in you, Mr. President. Where is that dedication to change that you preached during your campaign? Your campaign was the first one I've been really involved in. Your campaign gave me hope that someone, somewhere, actually had a SHOT at getting change to happen in institutionalized Washington. Do you read the e-mails you get? Does anyone on your staff point them out to you? Because if you did - and if you were aware of what your supporters want - you wouldn't even entertain the possibility of removing the public option from your healthcare platform. Why do you back down? Why do you let people sway you? I can fully understand the idea of changing your mind. That means that you have the capability to think and consider. However, you must know - really, think about this: The Republicans wouldn't vote for this bill if it came engraved in gold with God's signature on it. No matter WHAT you cave in with, they won't vote for it. They are waiting to see you fall on your rear end. Publicly, and instantly. Please do not back down. We need the public option. If only 1% of the American public takes advantage of that public option, it's still a win/win because that's 1% more of the American public who can afford insurance. Don't let the (R) party dictate to you - because that's not how or why you were elected. You were elected to bring change. More change than just your color or your background. You say you can implement change. Do so. Don't back down. Don't compromise with people who have no intention of holding the good of the American people in their hearts. And people who are determined that you fail at all costs. Please. Listen to those of us who elected you. Put the public option back on the table. The Republicans won't vote for your plan anyway. So do something for the rest of us.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

We're Already Rationed

I have a friend who has a better insurance plan than I do. She's very overweight and has a host of problems associated therewith, including rampant diabetes. Her primary care physician, after much discussion, recommended bariatric surgery. Her excellent insurance company denied payment. Because she was "non-compliant" with several weight-loss programs. And because she was (wait for it...) "overweight and had food issues." Really? Say it ain't so. I have another friend who has Sjogren's Syndrome - it's an autoimmune disease in the arthritis family whereby all your "moisture producing" glands dry up. She has chronic dry-eye, produces nearly no saliva and doesn't sweat even on the hottest days. HER insurance company denied her Sjogren's meds because they weren't in the formulary they prescribe out of, and they weren't sure that what she had was "really" a disease. I have gone from an excellent insurance company to a sub-par insurance company, because of a change in my husband's job. I am on an anti-seizure medicine that costs about $1100/month. My insurance company has stated that I must begin paying for my neurologist because she's not in the plan. And she won't sign up to be in that plan because this is a sub-par company. One of our local hospitals SUED this company because its "reasonable and customary" costs for procedures were so out of line with Medicare, which is the baseline for these charges. The company that submitted those "reasonable and customary" costs was said to be independent. But (wait for it...) it turns out that it's OWNED by the sub-par insurance company. That company is under investigation by the State of New York as we speak - for conflict of interest and price-fixing. My sub-par insurance company switched me to a generic for my seizure meds. They don't work as well. But, the insurance company says, I can get the brand-name. If I pay the extra cost - they'll kick in the $17 that the generic costs, leaving me with $1083 to pay out of pocket each month. What's my point? The wingnuts are all screaming about "rationing." You've just read about 3 cases of rationing with regular insurance companies. And we pay a hefty price for these insurance policies. And they routinely deny care. And for those who say that they want government out of their health care, I have news for you. If you are of a certain age and eligible for Medicare, you are IN a government-sponsored and government-funded (you can thank me anytime, if you are so inclined) insurance program. I'm paying for you. My kids are paying for you. My husband is paying for you. So when would you like to cancel that Medicare policy and go purchase insurance? You can't afford it, you say? You're a senior citizen or on disability and have limited income? Welcome to the world of many other Americans. Take your government-sponsored and government-funded insurance and be glad in it. Count yourself lucky. You're not in the "donut-hole" where you might have been laid off prior to being eligible and you can't afford COBRA payments. You might be a spouse who's younger than your mate - and he or she has Medicare, but you don't and you're now without insurance with several years to go before eligibility. You can try finding a free clinic or a health department clinic. But the waiting lists are long and while they do their best, there's only so much you can do with limited funds and charitable donations. Be reasonable. There are no "death panels" or committees that will determine your health care based on your productivity. I realize that at some point, some northern indigenous tribes used to set their elders afloat on an ice floe - but we don't do that here. Be reasonable. Read the bill. Contact your representatives. Attend a meeting, with NO preconceptions, and an OPEN mind and listen. Don't let your brain be coopted by nutjobs out to disrupt anything and everything. Volume of the argument doesn't make it correct. Inciting people to riot is a crime. Disrupting the democratic process is un-American. We need a universal health care option so that I'm sure my mom is taken care of. I'm sure my kids are taken care of (they're young men, not yet working in jobs that supply health care, but too old to be covered under our care). To make sure that my mother-in-law and father-in-law are taken care of. We need reasonable discussion. Not disruption. Not fear. Not anger. Not hate. Those are un-American and irrational responses to a very American problem: How to help those who need our help.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

A Heavenly Fox Trot

I have a vision of two people, reunited after a long absence, greeting each other with open arms. And immediately beginning a graceful, floating fox trot. Yesterday, after a major stroke last Thursday, my Grandma passed away just before 6 p.m. I am sad that she's not here, but in truth, because of various illnesses, she wasn't "here" for the past year at least. She wasn't the woman I want to remember. So I shall keep my memories in my head and in my heart. Every stitch I take in a crochet project; every roski I make; every pecan nut cup that comes out of my oven this Christmas; every time I try to duplicate her chicken and rice... those are the times where I'll remember my Grandma. There'll be an African Violet on my desk in the next few days. She taught me about those, too. They were always blooming in her house. Rest in peace, Grandma. I hope you and Grandpa have a lovely reunion.

Monday, August 03, 2009

When it rains... most certainly pours. Our weekend was a blur as we went to and from the nursing home, and did a canine rescue run in the rain (with pooping Pomeranians, just for fun). When I talked to my mom today, she said that she and my aunt don't want anyone up to visit tonight. Grandma wants no extraordinary measures, so we're letting nature take its course. And I have to tell you, this is almost harder than watching my dad die of cancer. My grandparents pretty much raised me. This is like watching a huge chunk of my childhood disappear. Home wasn't a lot of fun and games for a variety of reasons, and Grandma & Grandpa's place was stable, happy and quiet. For those reasons alone, I was able to flourish as a child. Due to the instability of home, I was able to become strong. In a large part, I am very ready for God to take her. Now would be good. She would be totally mortified to see herself. No dentures; hair in disarray, in a Depends. She was always put together: shoes, neat clothes, hair done, lipstick... the whole package. We've encouraged her to go. I've told her that Grandpa's been waiting. The polka band is playing and the dance floor is ready. Her sisters and brothers are all there ready to greet her. She needs to get the gate ready for our second cousin, who's in hospice care in the end stages of breast cancer.

But the other part of me, the kid part, is having a rough time of this. Grandma's memory hasn't been what it used to be. And I have been TREMENDOUSLY lax in visiting her. Much more so than I should have been (it's that whole "not good with sick people" thing rearing its head). And the truth is, I don't want to remember her like she is now.

I want to remember her teaching me to crochet. Teaching me the "best way" to iron. Hanging clothes on the line. I remember being so proud when I was tall enough to string the clothesline from the garage to the house! Going over her recipe for chicken and rice - which, by the way, I have NEVER mastered. Trying to replicate her dumplings. A million memories come at me all at once, almost a sensory overload. And it's all I can do to hold it together today.

Hubby asks if I'm fine. Yeah. Sort of. Today is a weepy day, but I guess it's better to get it out now. We have her directions for the funeral. The dress is ready. I have the crystal rosary. We know the songs. Now, all we can do is wait. For God's own time, which is not our time. In a complete about-face, the dog is improving. She's blind in one eye, but we think the meds are working and she was back to her goofy self last night. I had a friend who used to write to me. She used to say that life was like a zebra. You got both black stripes and white stripes. Right now, it seems like the black stripe is pretty wide. I'm hoping to see the white stripe sometime soon.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Just One Thing...

So. In the last 10 days, we've flown out to the in-laws, saw my FIL in a near-death experience and ended up admitting him to a nursing home; came home to find that our one dog is half-blind because out of no where she contracted glaucoma; and then were notified that my grandma had a major stroke. That was our vacation. This past Wednesday, I attended a yoga class in which we did a series of "hip openers." (This all ties together, so just keep reading...) We were in a seated twist. Left leg bent and crossed over outstretched right leg, foot hugging right thigh. Left arm on the INSIDE of left knee area, right arm as a "kickstand" holding us upright, spine twisted from neck to hips toward the right, head turned to the left, and eyes turned to the right. As we sat there, the instructor said, "Now, doesn't this feel like life sometimes? You're pulled in a million directions and sometimes you don't know where to turn. "All you need to remember to do is one thing. Breathe." And that's all you CAN do sometimes. Just breathe.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

How Old is Too Old?

I read where the "oldest woman to give birth" has died, leaving nearly-3-year-old twins. And on the news I saw that in India, two women older than she had also given birth; one in her early 70s (that would make her MY MOM'S AGE) and another one just 70, I think. In full disclosure, I have nothing against in vitro fertilization. It's a boon to couples who want a biological child. It's amazing science. But. Assuming that nothing is wrong with your fertility, after a certain point, our pipes shut off. There's a reason for that. There are many reasons, actually. Hormone levels naturally wane. We get older. Pregnancy's not a disease, but it's not for sissies either! There are still many mysteries in the process, and yes, sometimes even in this day and age, the baby dies, the mother dies - all kinds of things can happen. At some point, whether or not you have had the chance to become a mother during normal childbearing years, you must submit to the fact that you are aging and there's a biological or religious or karmic or whatever reason that you can't have children. The woman who died recently said that she lied to the clinic - telling them she was 55 (their cut-off age) when in reality she was what? 63? And that it was something she "always" wanted but it didn't happen in the normal course. So you lie? And you huff and puff about how your mom lived to 101. And as you can see, that's obviously no guarantee that YOU did. The clinic literally had to bring her body out of menopause. HINT TO CLINIC: That should have been a clue? I'm not a medical person, but it seems that even 55 is a bit too old. See comments below. Whether or not it's fair that men remain fertile well into their 70s, I maintain that the oldest a woman should be is somewhere mid-40-ish - or prior to menopause. Once your periods have stopped, that's kind of your sign that a natural pregnancy isn't going to happen. Be a really, really good aunt. Be a foster grandma. Be a volunteer. Just don't try to fool Mother Nature. Medical science is phenomenal. We can do so many things. But just because we CAN doesn't mean we SHOULD.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A Little Light Reading...

As I recall, one of the reasons I started this blog was to talk occasionally about the books I was reading. I see I haven't done that very much!! Well, here goes. I'm reading an absolutely delightful book called The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society which is written by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. It's on the line of 84 Charing Cross Road - and if you haven't read that one, at least rent the movie because it's delightful. Anne Bancroft starred in it. The book was written by Helene Hanff. Both books are based along the timeline of WW II and are a series of letters. Hanff's book is correspondence mostly between herself and a bookseller in London (Hanff living in New York), while Guernsey includes more characters. This is totally summer reading. This is what you read when you want to "air out your brain" and clear the decks. This is a book that's destined to be re-read and one where, I believe, you can just open up and start reading (once you've read the whole thing through) at any point. I got a bunch of books for our upcoming vacation - and just because I'm addicted to books. No Kindle for me, thanks! Unless I can load a ton of reference books on it, but then 9 times out of 10, I can find something in the reference book (print version) much faster than in an electronic version! Anyway, this was a little bit of something I picked up mainly because of the title. And it's captivating. Borrow it from your library or pick it up at the book store. It's worth it!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Whites Only? What Year Is This?

As many may have read, a private club in PA contracted with a summer camp to allow the kids in the camp (K-7th grade) come to swim every Monday. However, apparently, some parents objected. In front of the kids. Oh, and did I mention that the kids were black? And the parents objecting - who pulled their kids out of the water - were white? And that they said the day camp kids "fundamentally changed the atmosphere" of the club? First of all, kudos to the two or three white kids who stayed in the pool. Someone had some smart, caring parents. Second, the club should be ashamed. You have no honor and no class. While you claim to have “…a diverse, multiethnic membership,” apparently some of the people in attendance on Monday didn’t get that memo. Or the multiple ethnicities you are referring to include mostly white backgrounds from different parts of pale European countries. Do you let brown and black people clean up after yourselves? Even if ONE parent made remarks which you are now categorically denying, there is no excuse to cancel a paid contract. Where are your guts? Where are your morals? The parents who pulled their children out of the water are nothing but small-minded, unenlightened and ill-educated bigots with more money than sense. What exactly were those people afraid of? Remarks regarding “fundamentally changing the atmosphere ” are more telling and Freudian than you can imagine. Words don’t often fail me, but I do admit that when I first heard this story, my jaw dropped and there were a few moments in which I thought, “Hang on, that can’t be right.” But as the story circulated more and more, it became a blot on the flag. Yes, a blot on the flag. To have such an incident occur in one of the battleground states which formed this United States of America is contrary to everything this nation stands for. I simply cannot believe, private club or not, that such a thing can happen in this day and age. And where’s your calendar? Don’t you realize that it’s 2-0-0-9 – not 1-8-0-9??? Anyone wishing to enlighten the pool club is encouraged to e-mail or call them at 215-947-0700. I'm sure they'd be happy to hear from you.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

The Hat...

This is the alpaca hat that's been driving me crazy!! I haven't switched to dpns yet, but it's getting there. I'm now on the k2tog part, having already completed the ssk part. Hopefully, I won't have a "conehead" hat when I'm done!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Other Things to Worry About...

So. Many conservative Catholics are still abuzz over President Obama's speech at Notre Dame. They're mad (a) because he was invited; (b) because he accepted; and (c) because he now has an honorary degree from the Golden Dome. They're also mad because they perceive Obama as "pro-abortion." Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. WRONG. Don't they listen? Obama has stated time and again that he is not "pro-abortion." The bishops, who have decreed themselves the "moral compass" of all "good Catholics," were all a-flutter - wanting to pillory the president of the University because he had the audacity to invite this man. I have so many problems with this whole issue. First off, let me let you in on a secret: PRO-CHOICE IS NOT PRO-ABORTION. Obama has said that his objective is to reduce the number of abortions. What's difficult about grasping that concept? Isn't that the goal of the anti-abortion folks? Second off, there is NOTHING inherently wrong about contraception. We are, remember, in a world of FINITE resources. We can't thump on scripture and continually "go forth and multiply" - otherwise, everyone would have been pleased as punch with Octo-Mom. She's gone forth and multiplied. Again and again. Yet, what we hear is backlash that "WE" will be supporting those kids. However, so many fervent conservatives of any religion seem to think that contraception is the worst evil. No. It's not. One of the worst evils is the predatory priest scandals. They've occurred over a couple different denominations, truth be told. But the Catholic mess is the most publicized. Which brings me to the contention of many bishops, who claimed to be the "moral compass" for "good Catholics" - a claim I doubt to the very depth of my own Catholic soul. My (now retired) bishop was one of the chessmasters in that predatory priest scandal. Over decades, he knowingly moved troublesome priests from one diocese to another, across the nation. And when it was finally disclosed, all he said was "I'm sorry if what I did hurt anyone." Really. The compassion that drips from that statement just moves me to --- well, not tears, that's for sure. I have a fine moral compass, thanks. And it's not a bishop. It's my own, God-given sense of right and wrong. To clarify: Would I have an abortion? I don't know. It would depend upon the circumstances. What I can say is that if I chose to do so, I would like the procedure to be done properly, with trained medical supervision. And the other thing I can say is that when my bishop has a uterus, he can then advise me as to what to do with mine. Do I know women who've had abortions? Yes. Do I think they made the decision lightly? Absolutely not. And they beat themselves up regularly. They often say that they wish there would have been an alternative. All this being said, you can bet your bottom dollar that conservatives will drive this one-issue issue to Hades and back. But there are so many other issues to tackle. Social justice activists can give us several: how about those who live in poverty here in the good old U S of A? Those who live in our country without clean water? Those who live in housing that the SPCA wouldn't allow a dog to inhabit? Not counting the international issues... And the Catholics? Let's talk about why the pews are emptying. Let's talk about where you might be getting your next priest. Have you seen a nun lately? How about all those Catholic schools closing? Having a hissy fit over a commencement speech is the least of our worries. There are so many other things to worry about...

Friday, May 01, 2009

Dear Mother Nature:

Dear Mother Nature: Please make up my mind. Either I'm having a period or I'm not. Either I'm having PMS or I'm just a cranky old woman. Quit fiddling around and messing with my body. I'm tired of the 5-lb. monthly gain. My family would like to see a CHEERFUL me once in a blue moon. I would like to not have to worry about sudden surprises. And yes, I'm done with kids. If you want me pregnant, you'll have to send 3 guys on camels and a big bright star in the East. I'm 51. I'm done. Please quit making me stay on the Menopause Merry-go-Round. Yours truly, Tired of it all...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

An Open Letter to Job Applicants

OK, so I'm hiring a new person for my office. And you know in this economy that it's going to be a "wild and wooly" time. We got a goodly number of applicants. Including a couple who "jumped the shark." By that I mean that they applied through our normal process but they also contacted my office directly. One of them did so several times. I am all for pro-active people. Believe me, I've been employed and unemployed. I've been laid off several times. I've been in the position of wondering "if" (not "when") the next interview or job opportunity would ever happen. But let me give you a hint, because I think the whole thing about networking has become slightly skewed in this economy. Asking for "an appointment to talk about the job" is not a good idea. That's called a "job interview" and if your resume merits one, you'll get an interview. Asking for that "appointment" 2 or more times in a week is a really GOOD way to land your paperwork at the bottom of the stack. Asking "did you get my paperwork?" is far more reasonable, but then, only ask once. Hiring managers are bombarded by many people: folks higher up the food chain who want someone interviewed; people in the organization who want their spouse or kid or cousin interviewed; people who want to be interviewed who are obviously unqualified, but desperately seeking a steady paycheck. I get it. But you need to understand that the quickest way to bug someone is to be a pest prior to the actual interview process. I wish everyone luck in their job searches. I know I'm very lucky to have secure (at least I think it's secure) employment. And I know I'm very lucky to have the benefit of many qualified people seeking the position we have open. Just don't derail your chances by being so persistent that we figure, "Heck, if they're like this NOW - what will happen if we hire them?"

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I'll give her points...

As a bona fide tree-hugging liberal, I must in full disclosure state that 9 times out of 10, I don't agree with the conservative Republican pundits out there. As a mom, though, I must give credit where credit is due. There's a bigg-ish kerfuffle regarding Meghan McCain's blog and her attacks - make that "attacks" - on Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham. And I'm not sure that I'm spelling Laura's name right - and I don't care, truly. I did not vote for John McCain. And I wouldn't. Aside from several things that gave me pause during the everlasting campaign, I think he's too old for the very stressful job of President of the United States. And on top of that, he waffles and then calls people names who waffle. Doesn't seem to see that, and other things, in himself. Introspection is a valuable thing to have when you're running the nation that purports to be the beacon for the world. Politics aside, I didn't think too much of Meghan at all, other than that she was his daughter. Then, she wrote that she didn't like - or agree with - Ann Coulter. And then, apparently, she didn't agree with Ms. Ingraham 0r Ms. Ingraham didn't agree with her. The upshot is that there's a "fight" because Meghan has had the audacity to speak her mind. And she's not speaking in lemming or via talking point or anything. She's saying what SHE personally believes. And that is, "there has to be a point where we can find common ground." And for that, Laura Ingraham called her fat. In a clipping where Laura herself sounded very "Valley Girl," she accused Meghan of that self-same sin and then said she was fat. Who's older here? I'd venture to say Laura Ingraham is. Who's more mature? At this point, it looks like Meghan is. She went on The View and basically stated that the whole thing is idiotic and that the best someone can do is call her fat. Look. No matter what party you're involve in, EVERYONE has a right to speak his or her mind. It's what our Creator gave us a brain for. And nobody should be forced to speak along someone else's train of thought, particularly if one believes something slightly or totally different. Meghan McCain is not a political genius. What she is is a girl with guts and the forum to speak her mind. And for that, some older woman calls her fat. Grow up. Listen to the fact that this kid (and she is - she's younger than my oldest kid) is speaking out for what she believes in. Isn't this what we as parents hope for? That our kids will develop into their own persons and be able to function in the adult world on their own? Calling this kid fat is just plain stupid. Attacking someone who dares to think differently based on their physical being is rude. Juvenile. Silly. Immature. And it's guaranteed to make more people listen to what Meghan McCain is saying. Meghan, while I don't always agree with you, I will most certainly applaud you for saying it. Good luck in the world of "adults." You'll need it.

Monday, February 16, 2009

I'm fed up.

I’m frustrated and I know I’m not the only one noticing a disturbing trend at one local church. Let’s call it the “Parking Lot Preakness” in honor (sort of) of the Triple Crown. Here’s the deal. I’ve been a cantor since 1979. I’ve sung in a lot of churches, for many things including the regular Mass: funerals, weddings, anniversaries, most holidays including Easter Vigil and Christmas. I’m there most weekends. And whether I’m at the front or the back, I notice what others have noticed, but it seems like I’m the one saying it. Stop leaving early! For heaven’s sake, Mass is what? About an hour? And yet you’re streaking out the front and side doors near Communion time. We’re singing and instead of the bass line of the music, our song is punctuated by the “whump, whump” of the doors slamming shut. Sometimes, in this particular church located in my hometown, nearly a quarter of the members leave during or before Communion. If you look at a watch, there are roughly 5 to 7 minutes from Communion to the recessional hymn. Five to seven minutes. MINUTES. The Early Birds bolt out, jam up the parking lot and are still stuck there when the rest of us leave at the proper time. So what did your early departure get you? A place in line? The theology is pretty simple. The average Catholic attends Mass once a week. Can’t you spare an hour? What is so all-fired important that you cheat God of your time, are disrespectful of your fellow parishioners, and are incredibly ill-mannered toward our priest? Look, I already make the announcement (yes, nearly every Saturday) before Mass to “please turn your cell phones and electronic devices to mute or vibrate” so that we’re not interrupted by chirps, tweets and snatches of melodies in an otherwise spiritual space. Is it too much to ask of you to stick around for Father’s final blessing? I talked to one of our Eucharistic Ministers last Saturday and he remarked, “I went back to give Communion and saw that it was practically empty back there! This must be the worst church for that.” And, according to what I’ve seen in my travels, it is. There are legitimate reasons to leave Mass early. Labor (as in giving birth). Physical ailment along the lines of violent nausea, heart attack, stroke, or other instances of near-fatality. A cranky child who is out of control. Fire in the church. Actual collapse of the building or roof. And that’s about it. At one point, I attended a military chapel. The priest there was so annoyed by people cutting out of Mass early that, for several weeks, we had Marines stationed at the doors. Father said, “Nobody needs to leave before we’re through.” Draconian? Probably. But he made his point. The same priest stopped us in the middle of the Creed and asked, “So how many of you are paying attention to what you’re praying?” I talked with one of our retired priests. He often helped out with Mass, and I mentioned how much this bothers me. He said, “My idea is to have banners placed at the side doors, and have them unfurled before Communion. They’d say: Judas was the first one to leave the Last Supper early.” Where can I write the check to contribute toward those banners?

Thursday, February 05, 2009

This has GOT to change.

So I'm reading today's Chicago Tribune ( and in the "Chicagoland" area I see an item about a man being sentenced to 8 years in prison on Wednesday after pleading guilty to his SEVENTH drunk driving charge. I read further. Now I'm really aggravated. "Illinois state statutes require a mandatory prison sentence from 6 to 30 years for someone convicted of six or more driving under the influence charges." SIX OR MORE????????????? This man had a blood-alcohol content of .15 - about twice the level of what's considered "legal intoxication" in this state. SIX OR MORE????????????? Drunk drivers kill people. If you drive while drunk, there is a nearly-certain chance you'll have an accident. Don't tell me you "have control" and are "above average" in your ability to drive while impaired. So, I hit MSN Live Search with "Illinois + drunk driving + accident rate." You will not believe what came up first. Illinois DUI Lawyers. A listing suggesting that one "fight your Illinois DUI." And hey, it's a free call. In an article I found at (written in 2005) it states that there are about 17,000 alcohol-related deaths per year. And it's been hard to keep that issue in the public eye. There's something to be said for good, old-fashioned letter-writing campaigns. Start with your local newspaper. Hit your state representatives. Do something toward making a change. Because the change we need is this: It should not take SIX OR MORE convictions for DUI to result in jail time. Most drunks are hard-core. They don't care if they don't have a license. They're addicts. ADDICTS. They crave alcohol. All they want are the keys to the car. So they can fulfill their craving. If you could ask them, I bet over 90% of them would say with an astoundingly clear conscience that they are "perfectly fine" driving because "they know where they're going" when they're drunk. Uh-huh. If the public has anything to say about it, where you're going is jail.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Touch Me Scarf

Here's a picture of the Touch Me scarf. It's been felted and is extremely luxurious. The color is a deep garnet.

The yarn was purchased from two sources (I didn't read the directions and had to purchase the final ball after I'd gotten the first two): Chix with Stix at and Jimmy Bean's Wool at and both are great sources!

The pattern is from Sally Melville's "The Knit Stitch" book.

My Cheese is Fried!

OK, I'm a little bit at the "fried cheese" stage... I have to stop watching the Today Show. The irresponsible mother of 14 children has her own PR person. And that PR person said (with a straight face) that "once you hear Nadya's story, you'll be inspired because it really is uplifting, and amazing." What???????????? I have close friends of mine who've been through IVF. I know what it cost them. What IN THE NAME OF HEAVEN is so "uplifting" about a woman who had health care "professionals" (quotes deliberate) who thought implanting SIX children in a single mother's womb was a good idea, and WHO IS THE STINKIN' IDIOT who did it this last time??? Sorry. I am SOOOOOOOOOO NOT carping on single mothers. I am carping on a woman who is obviously in the grip of some sort of addiction. Her own mother said, "She always wanted a big family because she was an only child and was lonely." THAT caused both DH and DS #2 to spit their respective morning beverages right thru their noses. She's "baby hungry" and now PR hungry. Corporations are NOT going to be flocking to her door. And the fertility professionals need to get a grip on some sort of ethical standard. I don't think doctors need to "regulate family number" as one expert was quoted. But they DO have a PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY to do the right thing and recognize when the situation becomes "just because we CAN doesn't mean we SHOULD."

Monday, February 02, 2009

What is THIS all about?

Ok, I like winter. Yeah, I'm odd. And I like winter sports. Particularly if I'm participating in them, and preferably when the temperatures are NOT -20! So, I ice skate. I snow shoe. I had done some downhill skiing in my youth, but decided that I really didn't need to get anywhere quite that fast. Instead, I cross-country ski, which is billed as an "all-over" workout. "All over" was about how I felt this past weekend. My hubby and I went to the path we've been using to snow shoe this past Saturday. Mind you, he's been doing this since at least college, maybe younger. We get on the skis. I immediately have trouble staying upright. Even with poles. I'm a person who can hold "tree" pose for 5 minutes without a wobble. Balance should not be an issue. We get going. I feel like I'm "shoving" the skis instead of gliding, and then we hit a nice slight downhill level so I can "schush" along nicely, using the poles to propel me along, and getting in a nice bit of upper body exercise. Then comes the first hill. I get half-way up, and I slide down. I get half-way up and slide down again. I'm stubborn. Hubby made it up there, so why can't I?? Finally, I conceded defeat and did the sideways shuffle up the hill. Went along a while further and then we hit a BIG (well, big in x-country terms) downhill. Hubby went down, and did fine. I went down and managed to over-correct slightly. Hubby says, "Aim for the trees." Is he crazy? Besides, he's got more life insurance than I do... Instead, I do what any self-respecting person would do. I sat down. It's amazing that the human butt is a great anchor. I popped the bindings, kicked the skis out from under me and walked down the remainder of the hill. So Sunday, he decides "we need to work on technique" so we head for the same area, only a soccer field that looks nice and flat. Ha. Deception abounds, my friends! It's a gentle maybe 1-degree downward slope toward the road. I did fine. I did the turn just peachy. Then I started back. Oh. My. Dig the poles deep, behind your rump into the snow. Puuuuuuuuuuullllllll with all your might on said poles to get the skis (and your body) forward. Take one pole out, gingerly and quickly - trying not to cross your skis or lose your balance. Poke it slightly ahead of yourself. Do the same with the other pole. Then, through sheer force of will, puuuuuuuuuuuuullll those legs and skis forward. Only to slide backward 6 or 8 feet. More than once. More than 4 times. Embarassingly more than I feel like it should have been. Particularly since Hubby scooted right up that hill as if it was flatter than an Illinois corn field. It took me nearly 20 minutes to "ascend the hill" - and yes, you may surely read a whole heap of sarcasm at the "hill" point. I got to the crest, popped the skis off and said, "I'm not sure why I like this anymore." So riddle me this... I can skate for a couple of hours on a thin blade. I can stop; turn; go forward AND backward. And stay upright. Even spin modestly. I can do yoga - I love balance poses. But on a 2" wide 5 1/2' piece of wood? I'm a total clod. Will I be getting back on the skis? Yep. As soon as we have more snow. I'm not going to let a skinny piece of fiberglass defeat me.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Bye-Bye Burris...

You'd think, living in Illinois, we'd kind of be used to our "dirty politics" and it wouldn't bother us to be the butt of nation-wide jokes. But you know, there's Barack Obama, who was supposed to make it all shiny and new again. Then, Rod had to go muck it up as if someone stuck a knife in his hairspray bottle. It's all sticky, nasty and just plain icky. Roland? Oy, don't get me started. First off, who in God's name calls their children by their own first name? Who's got a "compensating issue" with a monument as big as a Sherman tank? And who couldn't, on national TV tonight, pronounce "senator" correctly? Roland, please do us the favor that our governor refuses to do. Bow out gracefully. Re-think. Consider "spending more time with the family" and consider the fact that your partner in all of this is making a shameful display of his own bigotry. Bobby Rush, somehow strangled with his own importance, is calling the Senate's rebuff of Burris "plantation politics." Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. This man apparently doesn't know the meaning of the word irony though his own comments are dripping with it. He wouldn't support Obama; going instead for the rich white guy. Then, he hopped aboard the Obama train. Now, though, he seems to see some opportunity lurking somewhere. I can't see it myself, but Illinois politicians don't support someone just because they're altruists. They support the other guy because it's wired in their DNA. Pay-to-play is a concept but it's also an intrinsic part of Illinois politics. Once you have that part figured out, you can almost see where the next step will be. However, in Rush's case, I'm not sure what Burris has to offer. Burris is a joke. He can't make elected office on his own; he has to rely on a has-been governor, who hasn't got the sense God gave a goose, to appoint him to a position for which he may meet the bare qualifications (age, residence in the state), but for which he is in no way capable to handle the job (he's just not smart enough). This is one of those times when I shake my head. And I'm grateful that nobody in my family is in politics. We can just sit and watch the sideshow.