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Showing posts from 2010

It's Miller Time... Alaska's Endless Race

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I believe it was the great Louis Jordan who popularized the question:  "is you is or is you ain't?"...

Of course, the American music pioneer was asking his "baby."
We'll I'd like to put the question to Joe Miller.

Is you is or is you ain't.... done yet?
He's no longer standing in the way of her taking a seat in the new Congress..... but he's not quite giving up his quest to wrest said seat from Lisa Murkowski.

Nine weeks after the 9/10 elections, the Alaska senate candidate who lost to Murkowski in a historic write-in campaign says he will stop trying to block her re-election from being certified.

He narrowly defeated her in the Republican primary, but she wasn't quite done yet and launched the write-in.

It's the end of the line in state court, but it's still Miller Time in  Alaska, the Last Frontier.

The Tea Party-endorsed Miller says he will go ahead with a federal suit he filed last month challenging the write-in results.

&…

Happy Thanksgiving - Eat, Pray, Eat

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Funny man George Wallace, on CNN (why?), captures my feelings about feasting on Thanksgiving -- go for it. Eat like it's your last day on earth, Wallace advises.

There's no point in sticking with the healthy eating routine on this annual holiday that's dedicated to eating if there's not going to be another day, right?

I choose to take my chance encounter with Wallace as some sort of cosmic sign, considering the sage comedian's comments came on the day that I recommitted myself to a healthy, balanced diet (with just enough caloric intake to safely shed  two pounds a week -- when paired with sufficient physical activity). Or maybe I only vowed to recommit.

Whatever. Wallace's words just reached out to me on the day that I was planning ahead for how I might enjoy Thanksgiving ingesting just 12-14 food weight points? Already, I was stressing out and feeling regret over the gravy I would pass up and the cranberry cava  cocktail I would turn away.

Stress be gone. I&…

To Market, To Market

So glad to be back on my Saturday Autumn routine.
Walk to the market. Buy fruit and veggies. Walk back home. Exercise and healthy food for the week. Nothing like multitasking.

Now if I could just find someone to prepare the food and pack lunches and dinners for the week, I'd be one really happy person.

Here's a look at some of the sights from the market walk.

November 2010 Midterm Elections and Every Election

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I voted today. I walked exactly five blocks to the district precinct and stood in line for maybe five minutes before casting my vote.

I vote in every election that I can. Not because it's a privilege to do so, but because it's a duty and responsibility to my parents, my grandparents and all of the people who came before me who struggled so hard for me to be able to go into a voting booth-- without fear or intimidation -- pick up a pencil and darken a circle on a sheet of paper (or make my selection on a touch screen).


I can do that, thanks to the Voting Rights Act. But there's a lot of history between the struggle and the triumph of me actually being to vote. Even if there's nobody on the ballot that I feel is worthy of my vote and I still do it, because it always counts.

It counts because  the right to vote and how I actually acquired it on the backs of so many who endured so much that I can't even imagine -- from marches, to protests met with violence to the res…

Unfriend, Say Goodbye to Facebook Friends

How do you know when it's time to unfriend some of your Facebook friends? And is there an easy way to do it? Those questions are heavy on my mind because, right now, some people are beginning to feel like stalkers and some people who are friends in real life are just plain annoying on Facebook.

An Internet search for the social media etiquette involved in unfriending gave me the courage to just let them go. Er, actually it was this guy:


Don't Worry About It. It's not real or meaningful or consequential or some sort of sacrifice.

If you unfriend the people you no longer want posting on your Wall, they will know it. And then you have to worry about, or at least consider, what that will do to your real world relationship. Now, I'm obsessing over the meaning of friendship.

Obsessing is a good thing. It reinforces  (at least for me) the point that real world and virtual world relationships really are different and virtual world relationships should be even more precisely de…

Friday Excursions

Now that Fall has actually arrived, I celebrated with the first of what one hopes will be many Friday excursions. Yesterday a mini-roadtrip to the Western Shore. I didn't think to record the entire experience so here's just what I inadvertently captured on the Blackberry (along with a shot of the previous week's meal during my in-town excursion to the harbor)



I'm feeling a little sad that I didn't document all of my Friday excursions this year. There haven't been many. Had a hard time readjusting to normal after that two-year detour. But I'm back now and vowing to make each Friday special, because who knows how long this perk will last.

Free Fall

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Just like that, the mosquitoes are gone. That and the cool, brisk night are hopeful signs that the dreadful summer of 2010 may be history. I'm hopeful autumn has arrived ahead of schedule.

But this is swampland, known for Indian summers, when humidity and high temperatures suddenly return for week-long stretches at a time. Just to annoy me.

I do believe that weather has a powerful influence on mood, on behavior. I know it's had a powerful impact on my electric bills and on my psyche. Really, how many consecutive days can one listen to the drone of the air conditioning unit without going totally nuts? I do believe this has been the most  miserable summer heat on record here -- or at least the most miserable one I can remember. I hope it's gone.

I can't wait to pull out my collection of fabulous boots and chic leather jackets and cute gloves. Fall is my favorite time of the year. I love my fall wardrobe and look forward to adding fashionable season updates. I love layers…

Good to be Grown

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The end of a perfect day in New York City. A frosty Italian beer and a vine tomato salad with grilled salmon, on the patio of a little place I stumbled upon near Penn Station. It was a table for one. I drank the beer and drank in the sunshine. I enjoyed my company. I love being grown.

The meal capped a very pleasant day that included a first-round  interview -- for a job in New York. I left there feeling pretty good -- about the interview, about myself. I had been worried going in because I had not done any mock interviews or practiced making up answers to the scary interview questions you know are coming.

A few days ago I was feeling pretty down about turning 56. I mean, it's  just four years away from 60.  After allowing myself several days of feeling like life as I knew it was over and staring in the mirror willing my waistline to return to its 40-year-old-self, I have embraced the light.  I'm happy  finally to be grown.

As in grown folks can do whatever they want to whene…

Independence Day with Ray

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What can I say?

Nothing makes me feel more American than Ray Charles singing "America the Beautiful."


I saw him perform this with the National Symphony Orchestra on July 4th on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol.

It was One of the more memorable and moving live performances I've ever experienced.

The horns blaring at the beginning and the deep sound of the kettle drums resonating at the end  -- followed by the firing of cannons and then fireworks, impressive (militaristic, yes but you gotta appreciate the fabulosity of precision and showmanship -- besides my tax dollars helped pay for it).

Witnessing the genius of Brother Ray performing one of his signature songs brought tears to me eyes then and I am still moved to tears every time I hear a recording of it.

The lyrics make me sad because it is a song filled with so much promise and a vision of what we could be, could be, but never seem to be quite close to getting there.

Thanks Ray Charles for giving me hope, because with…

EmPowered or ImPrisoned

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How is it possible to spend an entire day doing absolutely nothing? This is time that I could have spent organizing my life, decluttering, doing laundry, making a "to do" list so I can get things done.

But on this amazing Friday -- still in the 90s but with low humidity -- I have accomplished.... well, I got up this morning, had coffee, made a balanced breakfast, watered the plants... and that's it.


I blame it on my Apple Macbook Pro. It won't let me get anything done.



First, I check my mail and then check in with my Facebook family and then one click leads to another and pretty soon I am  in Belize and then at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, planning next year's vacations.

I am stepping away from the Mac today, unplugging from all of my devices and living in the real world -- getting my life in order so that I may live. I'm an addict, according to an Internet addiction test, I am too far gone.

On the road to recovery, I vow to spend at least one full day…

R_E_S_P_E_C_T

WTF? Where's Aretha when you need to hear her demand r-e-s-p-e-c-t?

Why is it so difficult for some people to so easily disrespect others who deserve respect?

I have some wicked thoughts about the answer to my own question. But there's no time for me to rage on about this problem and where it's roots lie -- petunias must be planted.

But first -- I write on the day President Obama fired McChrystal, the general in charge of his Afghanistan war strategy, a week after some congressman named Joe Barton apologized to BP over the oil spill in the Gulf f Mexico.



Never mind that a promise was made to the people of the region by the British oil company behind the worst environmental disaster in the history of the United States (probably the worst in the history of the entire universe because they will never be able to stop the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, which will be dead to us and there goes the beautiful turquoise water lapping against the shore of the Yucatan peninsula -- …

Broken Vow

When I was much younger, I vowed never to be one of those old broads who clamor on incessantly about life "in the old days." There was a lot of serious stuff going on but that's a subject for another day.

Today I'm feeling a little nostalgic for the stuff that was great. Maybe it was that recent awful airline experience with two lost bags -- going and coming; flights canceled for no reason; airline security lines and little ziplock plastic bags with containers of liquids of no more than three ounces each. Whatever, life has me overwhelmed right now and I'm longing for what I imagine I'm missing.

Today I'm giving myself permission to break my vow and look back fondly on the old days. Because, honestly some things really were better back in the day.

Things like:
flying comfortably and arriving without hasslegetting a good night's sleep driving for funshopping for clotheshaving a waistlinenot thinking about what you atelong summer break from schoolcustom…

Grand role model

What can I say about Lena Horne?
Elegant, glamorous, talented, and a role model for accepting gracefully the rewards of age. A role model for how to be you, at whatever age. Thanks Ms. Horne, for being a living example of how wonderful growing old and wise can be.
She lived quite a life.

Lena Horne on Rosie O'Donnell


I appreciate the talent and the beauty and the public barrier-breaking. But it is the life off-stage, the tribulations endured long before I got here, the dignity and grace and quiet contributions that I treasure most about the life she lived. Ms. Horne died on Sunday. She was 92.

Lena Horne with Johnny Carson in 1982

Great Old Broad

Betty White is one of my "old broad" role models. Real talent never gets old, it gets golden. No Golden Girls pun intended.  She just gets better and better. She's funny and smart and really in tip-top performing mode -- at 88 and counting. Impeccable timing. And that's how I want to be: Smart enough to appreciate the rewards of age. And smart enough to appreciate what the youngsters are up too so I can continue to live in the here and now. As an "old broad in training" it is important to respect the children and let them go ahead and think they're reinventing the wheel. We know different, but we don't have to tell them. Don't laugh at them, they'll learn. Now, take a lesson from Ms. Betty.


Yes I Did

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Yes I survived grad school. And now that it's over, I find myself strangely devoid of feelings. Or maybe two or more feelings on the opposite end of the emotional spectrum cancel each other out. Or maybe it's just menopause.

I'm feeling a little sad because I will miss my comrades in cohort 11,  the 15 wonderful men and women with whom I spent practically every Saturday for a year-and-a-half. The hermit in me would never make new friends or spend more time than absolutely necessary outside my home. Thanks guys for making it fun.

I'm feeling happy because the alarm clock never  again has to rattle me at 7am on a Saturday morning when I've just closed my eyes at 2am. I always resented having to go to bed early and would start the day feeling a little cranky and a lot anti-social. Thanks to old-school soul music on WPFW on the drive across town, my mood would be lifted (just a bit, though) by the time I slid into my seat in the classroom and plugged in my Mac.

I'm …

20 Months

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Exactly one week from today, I'll be starting the beginning of the end of this adventure called grad school. It been great -- but I am so ready to have my life back.


Getting up every Saturday at 7 am -- Not Great
Working 6 days a week for 20 months -- Not Great
Homework on top of my real work -- Not Great
Every vacation a "staycation" -- Not Great
Despite all of that, I've loved spending this time with a really fine and talented and fun and generous bunch of people every week. Imagine what hell life would have been if it had been a less cohesive unit.

I've learned a lot from patient classmates (like how to work well in a group). And I suppose it helps a lot that they're the kind of people I can have a beer with  at the end of every course.

I'm happy the end is approaching, but feeling not quite satisfied. I don't feel like a master of anything, but I've learned so much: mostly that I'm a visual person (okay not a photographer, or videographer bu…

Long Time Coming

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It looks like Spring has sprung and another class is down -- only a few more Saturdays left.

I still don't have a finished project, or a finished portfolio and I'm nervous, really nervous, about the practical but I'll manage. I can't believe that I am almost done with grad school. I am very proud of having gotten out of the house every Saturday for nearly 2 years to work at remaking myself into a multimedia specialist.

That's what I am going to call myself
from now on -- writer and multimedia specialist. I can't wait to graduate on May 8th or 9th or whenever it is. I'm excited about putting on a cap and gown and marching with my cohort because I am so proud of my achievement. I was not going to participate in the ceremony -- at first. But I got to thinking -- I have to show myself appreciation for what I've done. It's like the veep said today -- "It's a big f#^Y#* deal."

I'm S(n)o(w) Over It

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This must be what it's like to be lost in a blizzard, or facing the end of life as we know it or living in Siberia.

Five days ago it snowed, dumping three feet of the stuff on us and it started again last night. This morning, it's still coming down -- and it's windy.

At first it was beautiful (still pretty) and wondrous and filled me with joy -- like a kid on a snow day.



But I'm so over it now. Now, I'm just weary -- and praying real hard that I don't lose power, making mental notes about where the candles, and lamp oil and flashlight are stored.

"Democracy Now" is running an excerpt from the Juan Gonzalez documentary on the history of Haiti, putting the post-earthquake reaction, reconstruction in perpspective. It's making me sad and angry.

But it abruptly shakes me out of the "woe is me, snow is boring me" mood in which I began this day. It reminds me, this snow thing is just a winter thing -- and it will be over soon.

Not So Good Vibes

What is everybody so angry about?



No doubt somebody else wrote even before then that Americans were angry, angrier than ever. Why are you people never satisfied?

Seems to me that if everyone who is mouthing off about whatever would shut up and do something, anything, one little thing -- then we'd all be on the road to a better existence. Whatever that is.

This "angry Americans" theme isn't new. Texas Congressman and former Republican presidential wannabe Ron Paul wrote back in 2006 that Americas were angrier than he'd ever seen them. (I couldn't finish reading it, cause it just made me sooo angry).

I'm so tired of everybody complaining all the time. Shut up, get up or get out and DO something. (And blogging doesn't count.) It doesn't take money to make a tiny improvement in a school, in a life, in a neighborhood. All it takes is time and we've all got plenty of that -- because most of us are just sitting around wasting it.

The next time some…