Because I needed to save this someplace. Parenting is surreal, sometimes.

[Anja's sleeping, I'm at my computer]

"Yes, Anja."
"YES, Anja."
"Mom, mom... "
[I finally get up and walk to her door.]
"Yes, Anja?"
"What about time?"


[she is asleep]


Hi again....

So, I haven't written anything since November. Lame! And I keep feeling like, maybe today will be the day I jump back in... and then I never do. So, here goes nothing, right?

Some good reading for the day

I've been doing a lot of thinking/reading/learning lately about how to let go of other people's problems, and how to more constructively deal with my own. That's not to say that helping people is bad, by any means. It's just to say that one can be empathetic and concerned about others to the point where it's detrimental to one's self. I need to keep myself, my needs, my family's needs at the forefront of my concerns more than I generally do. Sometimes, for me to be ok, means not bending over backward to do things that other people would benefit from. It also means letting go...

"I am not responsible for fixing everyone else's problems."

I've been reading The Tao of Willie: A Guide to the Happiness in Your Heart the last few days. Lots of good thoughts and reminders in there, including the lesson to not invest energy in second-guessing past choices. The decisions are made, and you can learn from them and move forward. But kicking yourself is way less productive than taking the lesson and going from there. :)

More soon, including some pics from my trip to visit Jess and family last week, some thoughts on music and motivation, plans for the summer, and ruminating on moving (again) and living-space-needs, etc., etc....



What to say?

It's a historic night. Approximately 12 million other people have blogged that, nothing new to see here. I feel like I ought to be nervous, but instead it feels like I am just waiting for the inevitable good thing that is coming. I don't even really feel like celebrating, more just like letting my breath out that I've been holding since Bush was appointed...

To everyone who has worked so very, very hard to make this happen, to those who have given until they couldn't give any more, to those who have sweated and dreamed and given up money, time, sleep, energy for everything else... Thank You.

I cannot wait to live in a country where the color of one's skin is less important than it was yesterday. :D Where every leader has not been a white man. Where hope, hard work, perseverance and belief in ourselves finally beat out fear.


Concerned Educators Speak Out Regarding McCain/Palin Campaign Stoking "The Fires of Racism"

Very much worth the read: Concerned Educators Speak Out Regarding McCain/Palin Campaign Stoking "The Fires of Racism"


This statement is signed by research faculty of communication programs from across the nation. We speak as concerned educators and scholars of communication but do not claim to speak for our home institutions.

We wish to express our great concern over unethical communication behavior that threatens to dominate the closing days of the 2008 Presidential campaign.
It would be misleading, however, to imply that since “both sides do it” there is no qualitative difference worth noting. In recent weeks, the Republican ticket of John McCain and Sarah Palin has engaged in such incendiary mendacity that we must speak out. The purposeful dissemination of messages that a communicator knows to be false and inflammatory is unethical. It is that simple.

Making decisions in a democracy requires an informed electorate. The health of our democracy and our ability to make a good decision about who should lead our nation require the very best in communication practices, not the worst.
We see an effort to color code the election as between an urban, African-American Obama falsely linked to terms like “terrorist,” “unpatriotic,” and “welfare” versus small town, white, “patriotic” Americans like the mythical Joe the Plumber. “Intended” or not, the message is getting through, as reports have emerged of ugly scenes at some Republican rallies and racists hanging Obama in effigy in Oregon and Ohio. In an echo of McCarthyism, Representative Michelle Bachmann has called for investigations into un-American members of Congress, pointing to Senator Obama as the prime suspect. Speaking to warm up the crowd before a McCain rally, Representative Robin Hayes continued the theme: “Folks, there’s a real America, and liberals hate real Americans that work, and accomplish, and achieve, and believe in God.” The official website of the Sacramento County Republican Party compared Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama to terrorist leader Osama bin Laden and urged people to “Waterboard Barack Obama.” The October newsletter of the Chaffey Community Republican Women in California depicts Obama on a food stamp surrounded by a watermelon, ribs, and a bucket of fried chicken. The McCain/Palin campaign has not repudiated such actions taken on its behalf, nor has it done enough to respond to reprehensible behavior at rallies.4

The McCain/Palin campaign and its surrogates, of course, will deny explicit racism. But their purposeful repetition of inflammatory false statements is unethical and stokes the fires of racism.

The fact that even now, in 2008, we still have people living in this country who believe that the color of one's skin ought to be a determining factor in evaluating a person's intelligence, integrity, character and ability to hold public office makes me IRATE. I am intolerant of their intolerance!


To Do List.

Clean the bathroom
Organize Anja's room and get rid of a lot of junk
Organize filing system in our bedroom
Replace light fixture in laundry room
Clean basement, ugh
Take out garbage and recycling and compost
Pay bills
Drop clothes off at Berk's
Enter rest of quotes into quote database
Go pants shopping
Get Anja more socks
Buy stuff to make patio
Buy drinks for people who are making patio
Figure out about transferring money from Euro bank account
Get/make Anja's Halloween costume
Order heating oil
Order balance bars and contact lenses and contact solution
Order fair-trade coffee pods

Reading List
1 issue National Geographic
3 issues Rolling Stone
2 books on combat-related PTSD
anxiety workbook
The Evolution of Language
Little Brother
Lapham's Quarterly

I need more hours in the day... failing that, more days in the week. Failing that... I guess I just keep slipping further behind. /sigh


Sarah Palin makes me angry.

I know, it's been weeks again since I've written anything. I'm-a-gonna work on it, promise. :)

Anyway, I just came across this article. It's a couple weeks old, but it sums up so much of what's wrong with Palin as a serious political candidate, and how insulting her selection is, to women in this country. Intelligent women, who know they could do a better job than she is doing.

From the article:

At least three times last night, Sarah Palin, the adorable, preposterous vice-presidential candidate, winked at the audience. Had a male candidate with a similar reputation for attractive vapidity made such a brazen attempt to flirt his way into the good graces of the voting public, it would have universally noted, discussed and mocked. Palin, however, has single-handedly so lowered the standards both for female candidates and American political discourse that, with her newfound ability to speak in more-or-less full sentences, she is now deemed to have performed acceptably last night.


In pronouncing upon a debate, they don't try and determine whether a candidate's responses correspond to existing reality, or whether he or she is capable of talking about subjects such as the deregulation of the financial markets or the devolution of the war in Afghanistan. The criteria are far more vaporous. In this case, it was whether Palin could avoid utterly humiliating herself for 90 minutes, and whether urbane commentators would believe that she had connected to a public that they see as ignorant and sentimental. For the Alaska governor, mission accomplished.


It's worth reading the transcript of the encounter, where it becomes clearer how bizarre much of what she said was. Here, for example, is how she responded to Biden's comments about how the middle class has been short-changed during the Bush administration, and how McCain will continue Bush's policies:
Say it ain't so, Joe, there you go again pointing backwards again. You preferenced [sic] your whole comment with the Bush administration. Now doggone it, let's look ahead and tell Americans what we have to plan to do for them in the future. You mentioned education, and I'm glad you did. I know education you are passionate about with your wife being a teacher for 30 years, and god bless her. Her reward is in heaven, right? ... My brother, who I think is the best schoolteacher in the year, and here's a shout-out to all those third graders at Gladys Wood Elementary School, you get extra credit for watching the debate.

I mean, seriously. What the fuck. She makes no sense, she tries to rely on charm, and she manages to make an awful lot of people feel both angry and insulted, all at the same time. Ugh.


McCain and Obama on the economy

3 minutes - the difference is striking. Who's working on a plan, and who's just campaigning?

McCain thinks *Obama* needs to admit to his part in these problems?? McCain, who's been in cahoots with the BFEE and the Keating Five, etc., etc., ad nauseum!? *bangs head on wall*

Homeland Security testing *pre*-crime detector?

Link to story on Slashdot

This is so ridiculous. The false positive rate is going to be crazy, there are so many issues with it, in concept... I mean, is it worth screening people for suspicious activity? Sure, they have people do that at airports in more violence-prone parts of the world, and it works. But to have a machine that's supposed to be able to, and isn't somehow going to pick up all the people who are nervous about flying, worried about their kids/spouse/dogs/etc., who are having an affair on their business trip, who have GAD, etc., etc., etc. And as someone stated in the /. comments, if you have a 99.9% false positive rate, you're just going to start waving people through, and basically profiling within the positives. Which can be gotten around, as is also talked about.

In a word... Lame.


700 Billion *MORE* dollars?! Are you kidding?

Three Times is Enemy Action

This week, the Bush administration announced the beginnings of a plan to salvage what remains of the financial markets. At first glance, it appears that the plan will consist mainly of creating a kind of "garbage pit," a fund or group of funds -- cousins of the Resolution Trust that was created during the S&L crisis -- into which those people who have dabbled in bad debts can toss their problems. Only this time the cost to the taxpayers is at least $700 billion... and a big bite out of representative democracy.

Longish, but worth the read, to get a better feel of how we got to where we are... /sigh


EarlG News: Media Announces Bailout Of McCain Campaign

EarlG strikes again!

WASHINGTON, DC -- Acting to avert a possible crisis in the U.S. presidential election, the media today announced a bailout of Sen John McCain's (R-AZ) campaign. Cable news commentators scrambled to prop up the Senator's sagging poll numbers Friday as the fast-disappearing dream of a nail-biting horse-race threatened to bring down America's entire punditry system.

A senior CNN political analyst speaking on condition of anonymity said that the collapse of McCain's campaign could prove disastrous to the pundit industry. "A horse-race is vital to our bottom line," he said. "Without neck-and-neck poll numbers we can't maintain an air of suspense right up to election day, and our ratings will suffer. I could be out of a job by this time next week."

"These are desperate times, and we're going to take unprecedented action to bring the polls back into line with our preferred projections," said another anonymous insider. "We'll be ignoring all of McCain's gaffes on foreign policy matters and covering up his tremendous flip-flops on the economy. Then we'll focus tightly on polls which show the closest possible race between the two candidates."

If the first part of the media's emergency bailout fails to turn things around industry insiders say they could resort to more drastic measures, such as taking more of Michelle Obama's comments out of context to gin up another false controversy about her patriotism, or creating additional rumors about Barack Obama's religion. An anonymous source at Fox News revealed, "At this point nothing is off the table."

Reaction to the announcement was mixed, with many members of the public remaining skeptical. "Isn't the media supposed to tell us what's actually happening in the world, as opposed to cherry-picking stories in order to create a narrative that boosts their ratings and advertising revenue?" asked Bob Jenkins, 52, a mechanic from Harrisburg, Penn.

Despite the media's best efforts, John McCain's campaign has teetered on the brink of collapse ever since he selected a clueless moosehunter as his running mate.

It kills me that the best reporting, at this point, is the satire!! So true...