Friday, October 31, 2008

The Monster Mash!

Enjoy this song that I used to sing at the top of my lungs every Halloween. The tradition continues.

Have a Happy Halloween!

What About the Judges?

You're at your polling place on Tuesday all set to vote and there, among all of the other positions to vote on, is a list of names of judges that is your duty to decide whether they're in or out. Normally, I have followed my parents lead and voted "NO" to all of them. If I didn't know, I certainly didn't want to retain or vote in a terrible judge. These people decide the fate of other people--I better get this right.

If you have nothing else to go on, you don't want to just resort to voting for the woman as a default . Although, I have done this in the past. I figured women could have the same right to fuck it up as the men have had. That's not a good way to decide who gets to decide things. Some people have voted for the person with the less ethnic sounding name and ended up with Lyndon LaRouche supporters almost making it into office.

Who was Lyndon LaRouche, you ask? He was a crazy guy who believed Queen Elizabeth was part of a huge drug ring, and believed AIDS patients should be quarantined and we should have tanks go down the streets to enforce laws. You know, he was a moderate. LaRouche fielded some candidates here in Illinois and they beat out other Democrats in the primary and almost won their offices! There really is a better way to pick candidates.

Thanks to my friend, Unnamed, I have just read an assessment from the Alliance of Bar Associations for Judicial Screenings of judges running for office or retention in Cook County, Illinois. The alliance is comprised of: the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Chicago, Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater Chicago, Chicago Council of Lawyers, Cook County Bar Association, Decalogue Society of Lawyers, Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois, Illinois State Bar Association, Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of Chicago, Puerto Rican Bar Association of Illinois, and Women’s Bar Association of Illinois. They know the judges. I trust them to know if they're good or not.

I noticed that of the judges who were rated as not qualified, it was unanimous across the board. Every one of these groups thought the bad judges were bad. Universal disregard tells me something.

Thanks Unnamed. I now have a list of people to vote out, and a list to keep in.

This is better than just voting for some default or voting for extreme political crazies.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Obama's Infomercial

Well, I think that was great. Obama's infomercial was not too smarmy (I was worried it might be too emotionally manipulative) and was clear and reasonable. Maybe it's just enough to sway fence sitters and undecideds.

That's a good name for a band: The Fence Sitters and Undecideds. They could open for the Coup Plotters...

Who, at this point, is not decided yet? What are they weighing? What are they thinking? What concerns them?

If you are still undecided, could you please share why? What are you not seeing in either candidate that you'd like to see? What are you looking for?

I would really like to hear from you. I will not try to persuade you in any way. You can feel free to just share your feelings and insights without any recrimination or judgment. Plus, you can be anonymous. You don't have to give your real name when you comment--use a nom de plume. You could call yourself Mildred, or Percy, or Constance, or Gus. Make something up. I don't care--I just am curious...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Someone Stole My Obama Sign

Someone stole my Obama sign. Not Obama/Biden. No. This was my Obama sign that I put up the day after he beat Clinton. This sign has been up in our front yard for weeks and weeks and now it's gone.


So, you know what I'm going to do now? I'm going to print out Obama signs and put them in all of our windows that face the street. Ha!

People could try a little hope instead of fear.

How Much Will I Save With Obama?

How much will you save with Obama's tax policies? I don't know, but you can find out for yourself at the bottom of this blog. My family will save $1,000. Nice.

See the tax calculator there? Just plug your answers in the required fields and see what you will get with Obama's middle-class-supporting-not-socialistic tax policy.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

When is Election Day? November 4th!

Desperate people behave desperately, you know? When you see desperate behavior, doesn't it make you think the cause must not be worthy? If it was worthy, it would surely stand on its own merits, wouldn't it? There wouldn't be any kind of trickery, would there?

In Virginia recently, there have been fliers distributed stating that to ease congestion on election day, Republicans will vote on one day and then the Democrats will vote on another... Really? That's an interesting way to manage an election, but of course it is untrue. The article where I read this also left out which day was suggested for the Republicans and which for the Democrats--but, I have a good guess.

Election Day for everyone is November 4th! November 4th! Do not be fooled.

Vote on November 4th!

Monday, October 27, 2008


No time to post. My son is in a play and there's just too much going on.

It would be great, if I could post. But, in fact, I can't.

As you can plainly see...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Chili Cook Off/Music Making Merriment

Last night we went to a chili cook off at our friends' house. It was their son's idea and everyone had a wonderful time. We all had lots of delicious chili--all different types: curry with coconut milk, green with turkey, vegan without turkey, lots with beans, with meat, with various chilies. We had lots of good bread, and yummy sweets. We also had fun making music.

As we were nearing the end, we started singing songs together too. We sang Dream a Little Dream and while we didn't sound nearly as good as Mama Cass, still, we felt beautiful singing it together.

Let's listen to this lovely song sung by a beautiful voice--Mama Cass's.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Howard Fishman

I like you a lot...I like him a lot.

Listen to Hey Little Girl, part I

Listen to part II

Now. Who says music can't be discordant? Who says it can't be scratchy?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Pirate Hairdresser

"Really pretty!" my daughter just said as she brushed my hair, put it in a pony tail, and somehow made two pony tails coming off of that one.

She just dashed upstairs yelling, "I have an even better idea!!"

She is wearing her older brother's Robin Hood costume that he has outgrown, but since she's also wearing a pirate hat it is now, voila!, a pirate outfit. She got dressed in that first thing this morning--couldn't wait.

She's back now with more hair styling supplies. Brush, twist, split, rubber band it all. "There. That looks beautiful, Mom!"

Have you ever had your hair coiffed by an 8 year old pirate? No? You should.

Thanks, Daughter--you made my day. I mean, "Argh! 'twas right done by a bonnie buccaneer! "

Thursday, October 23, 2008

McCain to Spread the Wealth?! Socialist!!

Wait. I don't get this. McCain used to be for lowering the tax burden on the middle class and increasing it for the wealthy?? But, but--that's *gasp* Socialism!! According to him and his running mate and his subordinates in his campaign, that's spreading the wealth! McCain couldn't be for that! He's interested in the concerns of plumber (not really his job) Joe (not really--his name is Sam) who's worried his $250,000 plus income (well, again, not really--he makes less than that) will be taxed with Obama's policies (not really an issue, because he doesn't pay his taxes any way--owes back taxes now...).

Why would McCain want to punish the wealthy, who've worked so hard to get where they are, by making them pay MORE?!

I don't know. I'm just positively flummoxed by all of this. Let's see what McCain has to say about all of this. Maybe he can flesh out the details as to why anyone would want to rework the tax codes in this way.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Help!! I'm Drowning in Politics!

Help! I'm addicted to political wrangling...

I used to love hearing the Council Wars on WXRT with Aaron Freeman back in the 80's, recounting what was happening with Mayor Harold Washington and the lakefront liberals VS. the Vrdolyak 29 and the other naysayers of Daley's old machine. Mayor Washington and the liberals had to use the force against Ed Vrdolyak and Ed Burke.

I used to see Barack Obama on WTTW's Chicago Tonight with John Calloway, talking about the folks on the south side of Chicago and the dire problems they were facing.

Now, every day I obsessively read Daily Kos and Huffington Post and which has links to The New York Times and The Atlantic.

With the smear tactics of McCain's campaign and the worry of the roller-coaster polls, I'm getting sick of this round of fighting. Thank goodness the election is only a couple of weeks away. I can not take much more of this.

Or can I?

Check out Wasilla--This is the Real America...

Let's let some of the good people of Wasilla speak for themselves. This is Sarah Palin's "Real America".

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

What's Your Super Power?

On the way to a class the other night, the kids and my husband and I had a lively discussion about what our super power would be if we were a super hero.

It was a toss up for the kids, but they both agreed that stretching would be theirs. You could stretch into any shape, any thickness and therefore go anywhere and repel bullets. That's significant.

Years ago, I would have said the ability to produce milk. Both of my kids were exclusively breastfed until they started playing around with finger food at around 10 months old. My husband once marveled that every molecule in their body was nourished by me, by my body. And yet, here I was a mere mortal walking around. It was a super power. Lactators unite!

The other night, I said either invisibility--not for anything nefarious, of course--or flight. I have had flying dreams where I run down my street like it's an air strip, extend my arms out from my sides and take off and soar into the sky. I love those dreams!

Finally, my husband said his super power would be computation...What is wrong with him?!

Buzz kill.

What's your super power?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Why Did Powell Endorse Obama?

Here we see Colin Powell explain what the problems are that we all face as Americans. We see him explain his increasing distress over the McCain's campaign tactics.

These are the reasons he wants Obama to lead and doesn't want McCain.

Socialist Endorsed by Colin Powell?

If Obama has socialist leanings, how is it he has been able to raise over $150 million dollars from small donors in the month of September alone? The average donation was $86. I think over 3 million donors means a LOT of people support him. From all over America--there are no un- American parts of America, you know... That's some pretty good free market activity there.

Also, I've heard that Colin Powell plans to endorse Obama. Would a several star general endorse a terrorist sympathizer? Would someone so inside the Republican machine switch allegiance and endorse Obama unless he was sure he could make a difference and take this country in a new direction even though he's a Democrat?

Do the McCain/Palin smears work with anyone any more? Who?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

My Husband is Handy

The other day my husband and I were talking with our very nice next door neighbors. They saw that my husband was gathering up a broken branch to bring inside and burn in our fireplace. They wondered how often they should have their chimney swept. Huh. We've been here for 10 years and we've never done it. Which doesn't really mean that you don't have to do it more often, it just means that we have blown it off. Perhaps we should do it.

I was naturally thinking we would call some kind of chimney sweep service. I mean that's the kind of messy job that might require knowledge as to what you're looking at when you look down the flue and to know what kind of brush to use and to know when it is thoroughly cleaned out. Maybe you need Bert from Mary Poppins to come over and give it a bit of a brush up. Bert would know what he was doing, surely.

But, just this morning I saw my husband was at the computer looking at a site. It was a site selling chimney sweep supplies. So, that means my husband was doing research into BUYING chimney brushes (not an OK compact purchase--although could maybe be rationalized as a safety/health issue--so then OK...). He was contemplating sweeping out the chimney himself! Uh oh...

It's not that I don't trust his ability--he can do anything! He researches, asks people, reads, thinks about how to approach something. He's contemplative. He ruminates. He cogitates. He sketches it out. He sleeps on it. My husband is a thinker. He reverse engineers everything he sees all the time.

If we're in an old building, afterwards, he'll ask me if I noticed the windows at the top and how there was a mechanism to open them up. Um. No. No, Honey I didn't. Were there windows? I didn't even see them, much less how they were opened and closed.

He sees things that I don't see. He's observant in ways that I am not.

On the other hand, he sometimes falls into the trap of thinking that things will work as they are supposed to. He is always surprised and pleased when a job goes easily, quickly, and he doesn't have to run off to the store to get a certain kind of hex nut or an adze or something. Conversely, when a job doesn't go easily and quickly, he is still surprised! It's supposed to work like this!! This is supposed to fit in here!! And it makes him really mad.

I don't blame him--how frustrating! But, might it be a bit easier on his blood pressure, if we had a guy come in? Couldn't Bert come in, climb up on the roof and look down the chimney and know, because of his experience--because it's his job, which brush to use and how and when to switch brushes and for how long, etc.? Aren't there situations where an expert might be warranted?

I think my husband thinks it's just a matter of giving the chimney a good scrubbing with a stiff wire chimney brush and then we're done with it. Done and done! *claps hands and brushes soot off*

I can envision brushes getting stuck and my husband getting pissed off and the chimney quaking in fear as it refuses to give up the stuck brush. Soot and dust could come billowing out of the fireplace. It could go that way.

I also know that if my husband has decided something, that's pretty much it. He's doing it and that's final. If he feels strongly about it, so be it. That also works for me. If I feel strongly about it, so be it.

I don't have any strong feelings about this, I have mild trepidation. My husband has strong feelings. We'll see what happens. He's in the research phase now. Perhaps Bert will end up paying us a visit after all. Chim chiminey, chim chiminey, chim, chim, chiroo.

Friday, October 17, 2008

I'm Skipping the Fundamentalist Christian Parent Meeting Tonight...

There is a parents meeting tonight. It will run for two hours and will cover things I don't want to talk about. I am not a religious person--at all. Not a bit. And if I was, I would be a Pagan or more moderately, a Unitarian, not a fundamentalist Christian. I don't pray. I don't even like to lower my head, when others do pray. I don't believe that everything happens for a reason, and the reason is God's will. I think there is cause and effect. I also think things can be chaotic while there are simultaneously definite patterns in the universe. It's all a hodge podge. I'm completely comfortable with all of that. I have no strong existential angst about my place in the giant scheme of things. It's all good. My great-great grandfather was the first Reform Jewish Rabbi in the Midwest. So, now I'm so reform, I question everything. I am not the least bit observant, except we light candles in a menorah for Chanukah (if I remember to buy the candles in time...) and we also have a Christmas tree, just as it was my family's tradition growing up.

My kids believed in Santa until I told them there wasn't one when my son asked about Mary and Laura Ingalls hanging up their stockings and Mr. Edwards running into Santa in town and bringing the girls' gifts bundled over his head as he waded across a swollen river to get to them. Santa couldn't get across, so he sent Mr. Edwards in his place. My 9 year old son looked me dead in the eye and suggested that perhaps the parents were going to fill the stockings themselves and Mr. Edwards didn't really meet Santa but brought them gifts that he had gotten himself. Did he?

I was stuck. I had told my daughter a couple of years earlier that yes, of course there was a Santa when at the age of 5 she had asked me about it. She was skeptical and my older son was not. I just couldn't destroy Santa for my sensitive son who still believed. There would be no way for my daughter not to tell my son the absolutely earth shattering news that Santa was really mom and dad--she couldn't keep that big news to herself. I looked into her little, smart, earnest questioning face and told her that Santa was real and that he loved her and all the other children on earth and if she didn't get to sleep soon, he wouldn't be able to come to our house.

Yuck. That was terrible lying to her. But, it would have been terrible for my son to lose Santa when he wasn't old enough yet.

When he was old enough and asked about it, I told my kids the truth about Santa as I was reading Laura Ingalls Wilder to them and they both cuddled with me on the couch and sobbed. It was awful. They had lost Santa who, to them, was like a kind uncle. I explained that my husband and I were still Santa. We excitedly shopped for fun little trinkets to put in their stockings. We always took the packaging off because the elves didn't have labels and stickers on anything... I explained that we loved them and wanted them to have a sense of wonder and magic and to know that there are things in the world that are lovely and kind and fun. Santa was part of that.

The kids understand and they are not mad. They don't feel tricked. If anything, they feel the expression of love that is the Santa story and the fact that the world keeps this story alive for children. No one outs Santa. Even David Sedaris didn't reveal Santa's secret when he was a disaffected, underpaid elf in Macy's. Everyone keeps the secret. Isn't that in itself magical?

I don't want to go to the fundamentalist Christian meeting tonight, even though my son is involved with this thing with them. I've already been to one parent meeting, things are communicated online via e-mail and I am committed to helping out as I said I would. There is no reason for me to go tonight to this meeting. I would have to change out of my groovy tan Obama shirt because it looks too Che Gueveraish and I frankly do not have the energy to fend off Obama attacks. Nor do I want to offend these fundamentalist parents. It would be like wearing a "Steak Tastes Great!!" t-shirt to a PETA meeting. I'm not interested in fighting. I don't want to offend.

I know there are other parents involved who feel as I do--this is an inclusive group, that is everyone is allowed in even though it is fundamentalist Christian. They made it very clear at their website that it is Christian based, but everyone is welcome.

I don't believe in Jesus. I believe Jesus did exist, but I don't believe he was THE son of God. I believe he was A son of God. Well, I don't really believe in God either. Not really. If I did believe in God, I would believe that Jesus was A son of God, just like all of the other children of God. I can respect everyone's beliefs, however. I can see how people can believe almost anything really. I understand why people believe things. It's just that I don't believe these same things. I believe other things.

I believe we are children of Nature. I believe that we are of the Earth and are connected to it and to each other and to every living thing and are responsible for our actions to each other and to the Earth. I believe we owe future generations good stewardship during our brief mind blowingly short time. Phsht. We're gone in a flash. Snap your fingers. That is it. That is your life. It's over now. Snap. Gone. A little magical spark and then nothing.

I think we need to live as lovingly, beautifully, openly, honestly as we can because this is it. I don't know that there is anything else. There might be. I'm open to the possibility, but I don't believe that to be the case.

When I am around the other parents in this group they speak in terms of God's grace in their lives. The report that they've prayed about various issues in their lives or in the world. Individually they're all fine. Lovely. Friendly. But, as a group, they have a certain set of beliefs that include: denying rape victims abortions, evolution is wrong, the earth is young, homosexuals are sinful, the bible is the divine word of God and is literally true, Jews killed Jesus. I must say, it kind of creeps me out to be around people who think like this. Ironically, it doesn't seem all that Christian either.

They do have a great group, however, that my son loves and they don't proselytize. He doesn't know about these views of theirs. He's not exposed to this from them. He can go to their activity. It's OK.

I'm not going to the meeting tonight. I'm going to visit with my husband instead.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Joe the Plumber

Last night we learned from McCain that Joe the Plumber maybe can't buy his business if Obama raises his taxes. That made McCain very animated and angry. OK. But, Obama will lower the taxes for many people who then can do good things like buy businesses or go to school. That makes most of the rest of us very happy!

Any way, Joe the Plumber not withstanding, lots of plumbers are for Obama. He received their union endorsement way back in January...

Plumbers and Pipe Fitters Union Endorses Obama

by Seth Michaels, Jan 10, 2008

The Plumbers and Pipe Fitters union (UA) has endorsed Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) in the 2008 presidential race.

UA President William Hite said the endorsement, announced yesterday, was due to Obama’s record of service to working families.

Barack Obama is the UA’s choice because he has always fought for working people throughout his career and will do the best job of bringing badly needed change to Washington. Sen. Obama will help us keep existing jobs and work to develop new higher-paying jobs here in America, reform our health care system, fix our ailing schools and make sure that the pensions of our retirees are safe.

The UA is the first national AFL-CIO affiliated union to endorse Obama, who won the Iowa caucuses last week and came in a close second in this week’s New Hampshire primary. The UA represents 340,000 members.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), who won the New Hampshire primary, has earned the endorsement of 12 unions affiliated with the AFL-CIO: AFSCME, AFT, the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), the Bricklayers (BAC), the Letter Carriers (NALC), the Machinists (IAM), the Office and Professional Employees (OPEIU), the Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT), the Sheet Metal Workers (SMWIA), TCU/IAM, the Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) and the United Transportation Union (UTU).

IAM’s endorsement of Clinton in the Democratic primaries was accompanied by an endorsement of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in the Republican primaries.

Three national unions are backing former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) in the Democratic primaries: the Mine Workers (UMWA), Transport Workers (TWU) and United Steelworkers (USW).

In August, the AFL-CIO Executive Council said it would not yet make an endorsement for a 2008 candidate, freeing AFL-CIO unions to endorse candidates for the caucuses and primaries. The AFL-CIO will continue the Working Families Vote 2008 campaign to help elect a worker-friendly Congress and president.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Republican Pundits Say McCain Will Lose

Here it is straight from the horses' mouths. Um, no. Straight from the elephants' mouths...trunks. You know what I mean--a bunch of conservative Republican pundits think McCain is toast.


Are the F.B.I. Chumps? Do Republicans Pal Around With Terrorists?

Do you trust the F.B.I.? At least to the extent that they can gather accurate information? Are they easily snowed do you think? Are they wrong a lot of the time, some of the time or never?

I know they've done terrible things like bug Martin Luther King's phones and were complicit with tracking people like John Lennon...You talk about peace and you're a threat. Go figure.

Overall, though, as an organization whose job it is to find information, to investigate, do you think they do a good job?

I ask because this whole William Ayers is a terrorist and Obama palled around with him meme flies in the face of the F.B.I.'s competence. It's an insult really. "How?", you ask. OK. I'll tell you. Ready?

Barack Obama is a United States Senator with top secret clearance. That means he's allowed to see all of the information that would be dangerous for terrorists to see. He's allowed to know about troop movements and investigations, spy operations etc. He's part of the inner circle of information. The way he got there is the F.B.I INVESTIGATED HIM AND CLEARED HIM...they found him perfectly safe and so he stands as Senator from Illinois with top secret clearance.

So, I want to pose a question to the Republican friends who visit here and believe the whole Ayers nonsense. Do you think the F.B.I. are chumps? Do you think they got snowed by Obama? How?

Here's another question for you folks. Are the Republicans who worked with the Annenberg Foundation, and therefore also associated with William Ayers, people who palled around with terrorists? Why or why not? Please answer in essay form. Thank you.

Keep these ideas in mind as we watch the debate tonight. When, and if, McCain brings up Ayers, let's see what makes sense and what doesn't.

The F.B.I. are not chumps and neither am I. Are you?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

New Purchase Confession

We are impure. We are full of purchases that besmirch our good name in the Compact.

After receiving a FREE three month membership to the YMCA from a friend in our homeschooling group who can not use it, my husband realized that the tennis shoes he had bought earlier in the Summer at Goodwill (pure) were not enough support for running around the track. So, he looked up online what kind of shoe would be best for him and found a pair at Sport's Authority, or Dick's or somewhere like that.

If you've bought running shoes, you know that that was not an inexpensive purchase. And besides that they were NEW! Yet, how would my husband find something that would feel comfortable on his feet if he did not get a new pair of shoes? On the other hand, how do impoverished children in parts of Africa and Asia and South America run around barefoot all of the time? How did pioneer kids like Mary and Laura Ingalls go barefoot? Maybe because they're kids? And, they don't have a choice...Yeah, but what about the marathon runners from Kenya that train in barefeet and then come to Boston or Chicago and kick butt in running shoes? They're adults. How does that work? Well, maybe the fact that they're marathon runners and are already fit and so don't have as much bulk as my husband does allows them to pound their feet for 26 point whatever it is miles without special Nike or New Balance shoes made just for running back at home.

My husband decided it was OK to get new running shoes. He probably can't get away with running barefoot. Although, if you go to that link, you will learn that running barefoot would probably be the best thing. Being barefoot all of the time, would probably be the most healthy for all of us. Hello Barefooters! We have been going to the Y a lot and see it as part of our good health and fun for the kids and good for our mental health as a family. My husband's feet were hurting in the Goodwill shoes and now they don't. He needed cushy shoes. So be it.

Thankfully, we do have the money to buy things when we need them. The point of the Compact is to challenge ourselves to see if what we want is first of all what we need--it mostly never is--and to see if we can find it used somewhere--we mostly can. Shoes are tricky and we have decided that if we need to get them new, we can. Underwear, bras, shoes, bedding, all of those we can get new if we want to.

Our Compact is not about being austere and monastic. It's not even about being frugal, even though that is a direct result of not buying new. It's about really seeing how we interact with things. How much stuff do we need? Must we get more stuff?

Another confession: for my son's birthday party, we bought the kids some fun plastic flying bats and a set of googly eyes that go on the hand to make a creature for party favors. New stuff there. New, plastic stuff there. New, plastic, made in China polluting at every step of the manufacturing/shipping/packaging/getting-rid-of process stuff there. Actually, I'm sure they will not be thrown out when they're done being played with. They'll be donated to Goodwill, or freecycled or something like that. Our friends don't throw things out like that. These are kids who will appreciate such things. They like being silly together and pretending, even though they are all getting older. I like to support their innocence and creativity. Googly eyes are perfect for that, even ones made in China and that may decompose in about 1,000 years.

There are a couple of other things that we purchased that I don't remember now, but they seemed necessary at the time.

We don't buy it--except when we do... I confess.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Respondele a Obama

Early on in my parents' marriage, once my dad had finished business school, they traveled to Caracas, Venezuela and lived for three years. My brother M. and my sister S. were both born there. My sister D. and I were both born in Harvey, Illinois. Not as exotic and exciting is it?

When we were growing up, in order for my parents to speak in front of us about things they didn't want us to know, they would sometimes converse in Spanish.

"Donde estan los regalos?" "Estan en el armario."

What did they say? What was that?

We didn't know.

I have always liked Spanish ever since my parents spoke about hidden gifts. On Daily Kos, I enjoyed seeing this fun pro-Obama video calling for all Latinos to vote Obama. As the singer says, even his Republican mama is voting for Obama, and so is the guy I saw outside of Goodwill yesterday who told me he was voting for him after seeing me in my Obama Biden shirt. Si se puede!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

My Husband Right Now

"Kit was a Trans Am and now he's a Mustang. I don't know if I can go with that..."

I'm sorry, Babe. Remakes are very seldom as good as the original. Hang tough, Husband. Hang tough.

Why Wear an Obama Button Any Way?

On our way out to Park Day yesterday, I forgot to put on my Obama button. These days, I'm either always wearing that or one of the Obama t-shirts that I rationalized getting, even though strictly speaking that's not part of the compact. Still, I think it's OK because it's a political contribution and I think that's allowed according to our way of doing the Compact...

I said, "Darn it! I forgot my button!" as we drove down the street. Both kids wondered why I cared so much. So, I explained in the gentlest terms possible that I feel it's important for people to see a white mom from the suburbs showing her support for Barack Obama. I explained that the McCain campaign is trying to scare people into thinking Obama is "other" than them. They do this by highlighting his race, his name, his ability to speak well--a.k.a. know, he can pronounce "nuclear" correctly. They don't speak about his policy positions and how they differ from McCain's plans. They don't do that at all.

With the level of inflammatory rhetoric being e-mailed about like crazy, I think people should SEE visible, proud, clear support of Barack Obama. It's not enough to just vote for him on election day, although that is great, I think people need to help stem the tide of the increasingly threatening mob that is growing for McCain/Palin. When their supporters start yelling "Terrorist!!!" in reference to Obama and yell racial epithets at a black member of a TV crew covering a Palin speech, it's time for people to take a stand against this kind of vociferous, ignorant hatred.

Political discourse can't resort to smears and demonizing the other guy--it's untrue, and dangerous. Besides which, how does that even remotely address the extreme needs of people in this country right now? People are losing their money. They're losing their homes. They're losing their jobs. They're unable to get loans for college, homes, cars... People are having a hard time paying medical bills. This isn't about being frivolous, this is about day to day living for the middle class. The poor are going to have an even tougher time of it.

Recently, a Chicago sheriff said that he will no longer evict tenants who have dutifully been paying their rent, but their landlords have not been paying on their properties. He said it is unjust, and he won't put people out on the street who haven't done anything wrong. Damn straight.

Beyond concern about our own individual needs are the actions that happen in our name and that affect everyone worldwide. We are at war in Iraq--an occupying force that is unwelcome. The polar ice caps are melting away. The water supply is being polluted here, and crazily, being privatized elsewhere. They are genetically modifying everything, frankenfoods are popping up all over the place.

So, I wear my Obama button and shirts as a message to like-minded people who may cross my path--"Yes we can!" We can affect change and turn the direction of this country to a more just future. And, I wear my Obama button and shirts as another message to the opposition that Obama is reasonable. Obama is not scary. Obama has a proud supporter here in Very-Republican-Town, Illinois. You can question the right-wing talking points being spewed by Hannity, et. al.

When we got back from the park, I found my button where I had left it and I will wear it again tomorrow. Unless I wear an Obama shirt. I'm lucky to have so many choices!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Barack Obama: Too Risky for America

A friend of mine, E., recently had e-mail exchanges with people who had forwarded a video about Obama that says among other things that he not only has one Islamic (sic) name but three!!!

Wow. What an indictment...

Obama in his wisdom and his personal experience with "otherness" knew that this is the route the Republicans would go. They have nothing else to offer. $12 billion a month for Iraq? We really can't afford that now, especially for a war that does nothing but increase hatred for America around the world. Giant tax breaks for the wealthy? Well, that doesn't really seem appropriate these days. 'Cause if trickle down works, it would have trickled down by now.

Here we see Obama outlining how it would go way back in July.

Yep, you were right Barack. This is all they got...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

People Want Obama Buttons!

Do you know what people want? Obama buttons, that's what!

I have looked on my stat counter and have been seeing for weeks and weeks that people are doing google searches to find where they can get a free Obama button. I wrote about getting my free Obama button from and people find that post.

Look at all of these google searches by people from Pennsylvania, Indiana, Minnesota, Washington D.C., and Florida looking for an Obama button.

People come here every day looking for a button...unless, they're looking for other things.

These people are all looking for free Obama stuff. They're not picky. The just need some stuff, it doesn't matter if it's a button, or a shirt or a bumper sticker. "Where can I get some free Obama stuff?!" they eagerly implore! You came to the right place here, active citizens, as I am always extolling the virtue of not buying stuff and getting stuff for free, recycling and freecycling.

Look at the people from Kansas, Ohio, New Mexico and California all seeking out their free Obama stuff.

I don't know if you can still get a free Obama button or not. I read somewhere that has given out over 2 million buttons. They might be out...but, you could try.

Here's a link to them to see if you can get a button, or other "free Obama stuff"

Good luck activist citizens! If you do get a button, wear it with pride and the hope and expectation of an Obama presidency in January. Yes we can!

If you want to buy a button, you can go here to Obama's site. Some of you might still be buying things unlike my family...OK, a confession is forthcoming, but it's not all that bad. Really.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

This One... voting for "That One".

Classy, McCain. Real classy.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Keating Five

I've written about the Keating Five before. I had a link in that previous post that brings you to a site that speaks about all aspects of the Keating Five scandal. You can read it for a quick summary of what happened and why.

Obama's campaign has recently released a video that explains it all in further detail and shows the link between the deregulation back then and now and how it has led to the financial morass we are all in. McCain's campaign says the Keating Five investigation was a political smear job. Yeah, except the other four of the Keating five were, not a political smear job. Just routing out corruption and McCain was part of that.

At the time, December 1999, McCain thought he had done something wrong. He said, "The fact is, it was the wrong thing to do, and it will be on my tombstone and deservedly so," So McCain, how can you back pedal now? We have the Google you know. We have the intertubes, and the interwebs. We can see what happened for ourselves. We can look it up. You would know that if you knew even a little bit about the world wide google/web/tubes/yahoo/ thingy. But, ya don't.

After the investigation by Congress into the whole Keating Five scandal, McCain said that he was contrite and knew the error of his ways. Now, he says he never did anything wrong. Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa! You WERE contrite and now you say you did NOTHING wrong?!? What were you contrite about then? That makes no sense. That's a lie. Was the contrition a lie, or is now saying that you did nothing wrong a lie? Which is it?

Who else do we know that never admits mistakes? Who else has that kind of intellectual dishonesty? Who else lies a lot? (HINT: It's sort of spelled like "Lush", which is what he was...but it's pronounced more like "Push" which is how he got us into war...)

"You set up perverse systems that allow people to lie." says a former regulator in this video about the scandal then and now. Perverse. That doesn't sound reasonable or measured or smart or thoughtful or insightful. We don't want perverse policies do we?

Look at this video and judge for yourself.

Monday, October 6, 2008

I Like Dave Brubeck


Blue Rondo A La Turk


Take Five

Cool Jazz, Hot Jazz

So when my husband and I were talking about this the other day, my husband made the point that there is a certain temperature for cool jazz and for hot jazz. This had not occurred to me. Also, I was hard pressed to define each one. What are the differing characteristics? I came up with faster tempo and more horns for hot jazz and more mellow sound and perhaps more melody for cool jazz.

My husband feels that cool jazz is just above freezing and hot jazz is just under 100 degrees.

I think those are both extreme temperatures for the genres, but what do I know?

OK. What temperature for Cool Jazz and what temperature for Hot Jazz?

Give definition of each.


In the meantime, here is some jazz, be it cool or hot.


Sunday, October 5, 2008

Sleep Deprived

What do you get when you combine a few boys over here for a sleepover with 4 1/2 hours of sleep? A couple of cups of coffee the next day for the parents--that's what.

What is it about a sleepover that will turn kids into not-needing-the-10-hours-of-sleep-that-they-usually-get party animals? Can we bottle this energy? Is it possible to exploit this somehow? I know it will serve them all somehow years from now in college, as long as it's not combined with substances other than pizza and birthday cake.

Use this power wisely, kids. Use it only for good.

Can I have a nap?

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Are You Registered to Vote?

I feel strange even asking that because I naturally think everyone is of course registered to vote. Of course they are! Our life, our children's lives, the health of the world--its climate and environments--are all too important for people not to care about and be invested in the process and vote.

And then, I think,"Yeah, but not everyone is a political animal, even if they do care. Or, they're so cynical (they would probably say realistic or pragmatic) at this point that they never vote anymore, if they ever did. Or, they somehow never got themselves registered and they now think it's a big scary thing to do and don't want to be bothered. Or, they think Obama's got this all wrapped up so their vote doesn't matter, it's not needed." For the sake of argument, I'm just going to pretend that everyone is an Obama supporter. Yes, I know that's not true and I welcome you here any way! Hello Libertarians, Greens and Republicans! But, this urging is for the Obama supporters solely--the rest of you can stay cynical or lazy or complacent. That's OK for this election--otherwise, I would insist that you get yourselves registered too. This time, it's OK if you sit this one out.

OK Obama supporters. Go here to see if you're registered (in case you forgot--maybe it's been that long since you voted) and to see where your polling place is.

Let's not lose this one. Let's not muck this up. Get yourself registered if you're not, and vote once you are. We have to vote in Obama and all of the down ticket folks who will help support the kind of change Obama's championing.

We can do this. It is possible.


Protesters helped stop the war in Viet Nam. Without the political will of a nation, the powers that be can not keep doing what they do. Light needs to be shined on their activities so that we all can see their nefarious deeds, and then once we know, it's time to act. All you have to do this time is VOTE! You don't have to take to the streets. You don't have to suffer through tear gas or billy club beatings. Just go vote and end this war.

We can change the world.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Sarah Palin's Voice

My husband said right now:

"It was funny in Fargo, now it's just irritating."

You said a mouthful there hun! Yep, yer right!!

One Word...OK, Several Words


It's NuCLEar. As in nucleus. That's the origin of the word. It's not a nuculus. There's no electorn or porton or neutorn. Nucleus. The nucleus splits apart and releases the force that irradiates and melts and blasts to miles around. That's why it's called a nuclear bomb.


That's one word. Here's another word to consider:


Here's another one:


Here's another one:


Here's another one:


Here's another one:


Here's another one:


Well, that last one is not a word. Granted. But, I like the hyphenating to make up words. If it were German it might be Frausheistergetalkenkopf. But, we can hyphenate for fun if we want to.

She Just Keeps giving...

It simply boggles the mind. Sarah Palin answers Katic Couric's questions as if she is still in a beauty pageant. You know how the contestants just keeps bullshitting in their seemingly earnest way, and yet never answer the question at all. They just skirt around it with indignation and seriousness as they talk about world peace or in this case supreme court case decisions.

Sarah Palin doesn't know and can't even bullshit with details. That's what's lacking--details! Specifics. Facts. Actual reality. Sarah's got none of that at her disposal. None. My kids know more and they're not very political--yet. Look out power structure, 'cause they're coming!! They're charming too, so they'll be working from the inside. Bwahahahaha! *evil laugh*

Any way. Let's see here how Biden answers Couric's question and then let's take a look at Palin's answer.

You know, I could just post these clips of her every day. They are serious as a heart attack. They're hilarious in a crazy, dadaistic, surreal way. They leave me slack jawed in utter amazement. I think about it even a little through the day and my palms sweat from the nerves.

Really, she just keeps giving...

Third Person Singular

So, my son has discovered the joy of speaking about himself in the third person as in, "Samuel has found he likes this way of talking!" (Name changed to protect the innocent...)

He also gets a kick out of mispronouncing his R's in order to elicit an eye roll from me. Today it all came together perfectly for him.

"Mom! Mom! Samuel has discovuhed 2 new ways to iwwitate you! Isn't that GWEAT!!"

Me, "Yeah, how 'bout that?"

"He is hung-WEEEE!! Feed him now! He is hung-WEEE! Mama, feed Samuel now!!"

Do your kids do stuff like this? Kind of giggly and mischievous and excited all at once. The joy of it. The peals of laughter. The silliness.

And when my son says that he is "hung-WEEE", he means that he is absolutely ravenous all of the time, as in, he has grown 2 inches since August 1st. His legs squeak at night as his bones grow.

Do you believe that a kid could gwow like that? Lauwa does not believe this. She finds it incwedible!!

With this gwowth, she hopes a cewtain matuwity will also come that cuwbs the thiwd pewson talk and the dwopping of R's.

I'm just sayin'...
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