31 August 2008

So very, very tired

Would someone please explain why we would want a maverick for president?

Is it just the raw sex appeal?

29 August 2008

Phyllis Schlafly was a Woman Too...

And see where that got us?? Well, at least there aren't any of them un-i-sex bathrooms that will be the undoing of the American Family.

Oh... yeah... I forgot about those

But seriously, McCain's VP nominee is just plain insulting.

The woman has very few credentials. She's the governor of a state with less people in it than more than 10 American cities. Sure, she's pushed ethic reform, but she's also under investigation for ethic violations.

Yeah. Really.

So why did McCain pick a woman that he's only met six months ago and only met with once? hmmmm....could it be because she's a woman?? Could it be that McCain's camp is trying to get those disgruntled Hillary supporters by upstaging Obama's less-than-exciting pick of Biden?

Because if that's the case--and it sure looks like it is--McCain is playing a game of identity politics that are completely ridiculous considering the state this country's in. He, apparently, thinks that women can't tell the difference between policy and pandering.

I love that my mother-in-law is pissed off by his pick. hee-hee. So much for getting the second-wavers behind him. Now if the rest of them are just as smart.

But seriously, this is just ridiculous. If McCain's elected, and there's a good chance he will be*, this woman--with absolutely NO experience in the national or international arena will be second in line as president. And at McCain's age, with McCain's past health concerns, this is a real issue. She didn't even have a passport until 2007.** This is a woman who last month couldn't even answer a reporters questions about her prospects for being VP. She told a reporter:

"As for that VP talk all the time, I’ll tell you, I still can’t answer that question until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the VP does every day? I’m used to being very productive and working real hard in an administration."

Um... they serve as president of the senate... shouldn't a person with a poli-sci minor KNOW THAT?!?!

Holy cr@p.

If his ant- women and anti-family policies aren't bad enough--voting against equal pay for equal work, believing that the market can somehow correct the health insurance issues our country faces, his anti-choice stand--he's now proved that he has very little respect for women's intellects. Because to pick such an unqualified candidate, he apparently thought that women would believe that simply picking a woman was enough.

In her speech today she said, "“It turns out that women in America aren’t finished yet and we can shatter that glass ceiling once and for all."

Um...no. Being used as a pawn in the big-boys' political games does not count as breaking through the glass ceiling. Being hand-picked by a man to help out his ticket because you have a vagina does not count as breaking through the glass ceiling. Being second in command to said guy does not count.

It's silly and insulting and downright scary. Because if McCain gets elected and keels over, this woman would be our president. And if that happens-- I'll be looking for jobs in some other country, because this country will officially be certifiable.

*After 2004, I basically have no hope left that the American people even pay attention to more than one issue at a time. Abortion? Gay Marriage? Of course- THOSE are the problems we need to really worry about!
**J keeps saying- "I have more

26 August 2008

Please, Please Tell Me This is Just a Phase

If only babies came with manuals and toddlers came with warranties.

That terrible whining noise that my two-year-old is making should definitely be enough to send him back to the manufacturer, if one existed. I take comfort in knowing that this is just a phase. That’s what people keep telling me, at least.

Continue Reading

25 August 2008

Wordless Mondays

...when you're just too tired and overwhelmed to start anything...

The View From Our Room

Best Food We Had All Week

Our Last Day of Sunshine

All Smiling At the Same Time, For Once

Just in Case You Didn't Believe Me

X with his Cousin K

X and Grandpa by the Shore

23 August 2008

Home at Last!

Or... things we've learned about family vacations-

1. Don't go to the beach during a tropical storm unless you enjoy sitting indoors...a lot.
2. Four days is really the maximum that you should require anyone outside of your immediate family to be with you. Five is pushing it. Six and seven are right out.
3. Do buy alcohol in large quantities. Be sure that it can be blended into a fruity or creamy concoction once the kids are in bed. Trust me, there are some things that beer just doesn't work for.
4. Do bring a sharpie. Label your food. Label your stuff. Label your child if need be. It's disappointing when someone eats your child instead of their frozen pizza.
5. If a house has an elevator, you have a 50% change of not getting stuck between floors. Please see number 3 before entering.
6. Sand can, indeed, get into places you didn't know your two-year-old had. A diaper rash will make that worse.
7. Two-year-olds with southern accents are adorable. Be careful not to pick one up yourself. (The accent, not the two-year-old).*
8. Other people's children are not as cute/smart/well-behaved/clean/interesting/talented as yours. But that's ok-- sometimes the Silver is fine.
9. There should be treadmills attached to vacation food. Especially vacation food that is battered and fried or that comes with a side of melted butter. mmmm butter.
10. There's a reason that the Chevy Chase movies about family vacations are classics. Even if you don't have a Cousin Eddie.

*not that there's a thing wrong with southern accents-- you just don't want to look like you're mocking the poor thing

21 August 2008

Thar be a Hurricane a Blowin'

Ok- so it's mostly just a tropical storm, but being mostly trapped indoors might be its own little force of nature.

It's been interesting vacationing with a family that is only mine by marriage. I am completely used to my own family's craziness and ticks. Not that they don't bother me, but at least I know what to expect. Being with another family has been a...different experience. Usually, I only spend a couple hours all year with J's fam--right around Christmas. 24-7 for a whole week drudges up past wrongs, hurt feelings, and prejudices that remain unspoken but continue to simmer below the surface.

Mix that all together with the child from hell-- a 7 year old that is one of J's aunt's partner's grandkids--and you have yourself a certifiable time.

And now it's raining-- crazy hard raining.

I just want to go to the beach and sit in the sun and listen to the surf.


17 August 2008

Right-Wing Beach Vacation

We're here enjoying the surf and sand at Folly Beach- and while the water isn't as blue and the sand isn't quite as white as where we go in Florida, we're having a great time.

J's family rented this humungoid beach house-- beautifully appointed with a game room up on the third floor and windows that face the ocean in every room.

Oh yeah-- and pictures of Dubbleya everywhere. It turns out that our gracious hosts are part of the republican "Inner Circle." I couldn't make this stuff up. There's apparently an inner circle and they give out little signed pictures of our fearless leader and the first lady with certificates-- you know, like the type that you get in elementary school for having perfect attendance or clapping the erasers well.

There are pictures of republicans everywhere in the living room-- all beautifully framed and matted. There's one of Regan leaving on airforce 1 for the last time. And my favorite-- one of
Bush looking over his shoulder in a cowboy hat looking, well, wrangler-y.

I wish I had a little picture of Obama. We could just sneak it in on the shelf-- as a little parting gift.

14 August 2008

Well, At Least He's Determined

Tomorrow J and X* and I pack for a week at the beach. We have to drive to the airport tomorrow night and spend the night at a hotel because our flight leaves at the most god-awful early time in the morning.

The stress of a 6AM flight has only been exacerbated by the fact that for the last three days, my dear, sweet, lovely little boy has had a sore throat that has kept him refusing food and screaming most hours that "hurt, mouf hurt." For almost 24 hours the kid just wouldn't eat or drink anything. He sat with his little mouth open, lips dripping with the drool he refused to swallow. For most of last evening, he used my shirt as the receptacle for that drool. Yuck and double yuck. I'll give him one thing, though-- the little guy was determined not to let anything at all pass that oh-so-sore throat. It got so bad that we finally had to give him tylenol, um... through the other end.

I think we're through the woods though. Tonight he finally broke down and ate a cookie. And then he followed that cookie with about 8 more.

I'm still not looking forward to the 6 AM flight. Oh- and the airport is in a different time zone, so that flight is really 5 AM our time.

And it looks like the beach we're going to is infested with Jelly Fish.

And because of X's little sore throat, I didn't finish the work that I needed to do-- so this is going to definitely be a working vacation for me. Thank goodness it's at a beach. Because there was some talk about some sort of family retreat house in the middle of nowhere Ohio. This is much, much better.

Beach. Sunshine. Ocean.

Ok- I'm going to my happy place now.

*Little Man isn't so little any more-- we're going to a new moniker

12 August 2008

The Mother (and Father)hood Manifesto

So, there’s an election coming up this November.

A big one.

And whether you are blue, red, or purple, the fact of the matter is that as parents, we face real challenges today. From health care, to family leave policies, to problems with our schools, American parents face real difficulties.

I don’t want to use this brief column to advocate any specific party or candidate, nor even to advocate for one policy over another. But I do want to use this small space to advocate one thing–


08 August 2008

The Race Card

J and I have been following the presidential race fairly closely. J's all worked up and excited, but I'm more wary. I never thought that Bush could win a second time, and I'm not sure that I believe enough in the American people to be all that hopeful about this November. But for someone who was only a few credits away from a PoliSci degree, elections and politics are always interesting.

The recent development about the whole "race card" issue, though, is just plain frustrating.

Recently, McCain's team claimed that Obama played the "race card" when he made a speech claiming that his opponents were trying to frighten voters by saying that he had a funny name or didn't look like past presidents.

But here's the problem--that's exactly what's happening. That's why Obama supporters feel the need to organize a facebook group called "My middle name is Hussein,too." That's why the New Yorker decided to run that ill-advised "satire" on it's cover-- you know the one with a turbaned Obama giving a black panther looking Michele a fist bump.

It's also the reason that the New Yorker cover got such negative press. Because the truth is, conservatives and Republicans--if not McCain himself are playing on Obama's difference to remind voters that he is not one of "us." That cover was too close to what too many Americans actually believe about the Obamas to do any real satirical work to undercut those beliefs.

The fact is, bout 12% of Americans still believe Obama is a Muslim, just because of his middle name. That percentage rises to almost 20% among evangelical voters--the same voters who have been the Republican party's mainstay these past few elections.

The number of times that the mainstream news as confused his name with Osama is just absurd-- don't believe me? Check out this link.

Hilarious and sad all at once.

But here's the problem I have with the whole race card debate. Is it really the "race card" if it's the truth? White America has a real problem with the race card issue--especially ever since the OJ team pulled it out and apparently got their man off on all murder charges. Black man killing a white woman and getting away with it? Historically, that doesn't go over well.

But what if what Obama says is true? What if McCain's camp are using subtle--and some times not so subtle--reminders that Obama isn't white. (Forget that he's 1/2 white, apparently the 1 drop rule is still in effect.) Why is it that Obama can't call attention to it, if only to say that it shouldn't matter. Why is calling attention to racism a bad thing?

Maybe it's because no one is racist anymore. Right? The "n-word" is not something most people say out loud (or at least in mixed company) because we all know it's bad and demeaning and blah, blah, blah. Everyone has a black friend (or a daughter from Bangledesh), so no one is racist any more, right?

So to imply that someone is racist--or at least is playing on the racism of others for political gain--somehow becomes worse than actually being racist. It doesn't matter that John McCain voted against making Martin Luther King day a national holiday in 1983 and against the Civil Rights Act in 1990. Nope-- the bigger issue is that Obama played the race card. That is the bigger problem here. That is the real red herring. Right?

It makes me tired and it makes me irritated. Do I think that Obama should use race to get into the White House- no. It's not a job qualification. But do I think he should be allowed to call a spade a spade? Absolutely.

The term the "race card" carries with it tremendous emotional power. It is aligned most closely with the fiasco that was the OJ trial, and that trial with the long history of white Americans' fear of black men. (You know, lynching, Emmet Till and all of that? Remember?)

Obama has come out and said that ""In no way do I think that John McCain's campaign was being racist...I think they're cynical," he said. "And I think they want to distract people from talking about the real issues."

But, honestly, I'm tired of the whole issue. Why should it even matter? Only because there is still a significant portion of Americans who might have black friends and might never use the N-word that are afraid (even subconsciously) of darker skin, and there's a significant portion of Americans who are more than willing to use the N-word because they still believe that people are different from one another--that some people are less than other people--and those people are more than happy to have a reason not to vote for Obama.

It will be his own fault, after all--playing the race card and everything.

03 August 2008

Strawberry Fields, Forever

He gave me strawberries from a bright orange pumpkin, pulling them out one by one so that I could taste them, and then he went off to pick some more.

How he knows that you even pick strawberries is beyond me. The only kind he's ever encountered are in little plastic containers at the supermarket. But somehow he know.

I'm not sure when this all happened, when I knew for sure that all of his baby-ness was gone. That he was a real little boy--some Pinocchio-like transformation that boggles the mind. Maybe it was when I realized that he takes up most of his crib now, when at first, we could lay him vertically just on one end. Maybe it was when I saw his long, lithe body in the bathtub and realized that soon he won't be able to swim in it. Maybe it was when he actually asked for a time out, because it was better than having to sit through dinner with us.

It's been cumulative, with no real point of reference for me to say, "ah, there it is--the end of infancy." It still surprises me--when he remembers where something is that J and I have long forgotten about. Off he'll go, disappearing into the other room while we sit confused, and then amazed, because he knew where he was going all along. When he sings me songs in the car--knowing all the melody and the words, even though he doesn't know what they mean--no frame of reference for "fleece" or the "live long day."

It always unsettles me at the same moment that it delights me, those small moments that show me just how much he's grown, just how much he really knows., but playing pretend has been the most startling and delightful of all. He loves to play drive through at this one playground we go to. Running back and forth to get me cheeseburgers and shakes, taking my money and making change. We don't really ever go to drive-throughs, I don't know where he gets these ideas from.

But he does, and they delight him. So off he goes to pick more strawberries for me. And I take them, invisibly in my hand and eat, wishing that I could pause this all just for a moment, but then also in wondering anticipation of what comes next.

02 August 2008

Breaking Dawn

My favorite thing about the book? That the spoilers were so crazy that no one on the various message boards believed them....

Turns out crazy wins :)