Thursday, January 31, 2008

Clinton-Obama Debate

The Dalai Lama, when he came to Boston several years ago, said that Vietnam was a failed war, an unjust war, yet Korea was a just war.

Necessary. The Dalai Lama said that.

What would he say about Afghanistan and Iraq?

Is there a "higher moral ground?"

Clinton-Obama Debate

"It took a Clinton to clean up after the first Bush... it may take a Clinton to clean up after the second one, too."

Best response to a difficult question so far.

Clinton- Obama Debate

My boys- who I made watch for a while- all sat eagerly for ten minutes.

Then made some tea.

Then drank their tea.

Then fidgeted. Zachary asked a great question about healthcare .

Jake asked, Why are you yelling at the TV?

Ben said because Mom wants to run for president.

I don't.

I have to say, so far? it's a pleasure to watch two people smart people talk with some substance about complex issues and not pander or demonize...

Well, there was that moment of pandering in the beginning...

Clinton-Obama Debate

Obama nails McCain on his support of Bush's tax cuts at a time when we went to war. Never before in history was the American people- wait, that's the top 5% of wealthy American people- given a tax cut during a war.

Excellent comment, Senator. Excellent.

Clinton-Obama Debate

My kids just looked at me... do we have health insurance?

Yes. Your mother's company covers us.

Do we need universal healthcare?


Clinton- Obama Debate

Clinton scores a strategic pander- Universal Healthcare.

Can't look at her and not think Universal Healthcare.

You know, her and John Edwards.

Clinton - Obama

Obama- first to pander to Edward's delegates!

less than 8 seconds.

Historic Debate Tonight

Someone reminded me today, tonight's debate is an historic event.

A woman and an African-American man will debate about who is best fit to be the next President of the United States.

Think about it. Unless the Democrats blunder big- and I mean they would have to blunder REALLY big- we will have one of them as President next year.

History will be made.

While I rage against injustices in this country- too many things to list in a single post- I have to admit, I am proud of our country.

I support Clinton. I believe she is a better candidate. But Obama is a great candidate, too. Each has their strengths, each their weaknesses.

I personally can't stop thinking about Shirley Chisholm. She ran for President in 1972, gathered 152 delegates. I remember watching her on television. I remember my mother saying Chisholm was the smartest one in the race... and that she could never win.

Shirley Chisholm was in a category of her own, sending a message "in spite of hopeless odds, . . . to demonstrate the sheer will and refusal to accept the status quo."

It is no longer about hopeless odds. The status quo has changed. I am sorry Ms. Chisholm is not alive to see this day. On August 10, 1970, Chisholm delivered an address on the Equal Rights Amendment, in it she said:

"The Constitution they wrote was designed to protect the rights of white, male citizens. As there were no black Founding Fathers, there were no founding mothers -- a great pity, on both counts. It is not too late to complete the work they left undone."


note: I will be posting during the debate.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

WOW! Chips are Back, Under a New Name

Ever hear of Olestra? Remember when it first hit the markets and there was outrage about it?

On January 24, 1996, the FDA approved olestra for use in savory snacks such as chips, crackers, and tortilla chips.

People were getting sick left and right from eating the snacks with Olestra. While Procter and Gamble fought to have the warning label lighted, the WOW chips were doing their own advertising, causing abdominal cramping and loose stools. By 2002, the product was considered "dead" and the company "sold its Cincinnati olestra factory to Twin Rivers Technologies of Quincy, Massachusetts, though P&G retained the Olean brand name."

Why, you ask, do I care?

Yesterday, I spent the entire day cleaning my mother's condo to be put back on the real estate market. The realtor had announced there was an eager couple narrowing down which condo they would buy in the building next door, so quick like a bunny, I cleaned, washed, and tidied.

About six o'clock, I ran out to get a sandwich to eat, with floors still to mop, rugs to vacuum, no time to linger, I also had my blog to write.

There, in a Fernandina Beach supermarket, was the choice to have Pringles or... Pringles with 50% less calories.

Now, I ask you, which would you choose?

I love Pringles and they are so laden with fat and calories, I never have them anymore.

There was a small note on the top of the can "This product made with Olestra" in fancy script. It didn't sink in to me until later that is was Olestra.

I did not see a warning label and unfortunately, after I was done, I tossed the rest of the can. I'm trying to stage this place to look like no one lives here, it's just waiting for someone to buy it.

I had my sandwich, my chips, some milk, and a pickle spear at about 6:30pm. I was looking forward to finishing the cleaning so I could kick back, have a glass of wine, and write the blog for the day.

By 8pm, I was so miserable, the abdominal cramping was so bad I could not stand up straight. The diarrhea was quick to follow.

A quick disclaimer- I never get sick. My whole family can be barfing everywhere and I don't catch it, even though I'm cleaning it up. I can also eat pretty much anything. I do not have a delicate constitution. I'll eat anything once.

My first thought was the turkey- but I've had bad turkey before and I'll be honest- I always check it before I bite into it. Mayo? No, I had the mayo put on the side- I'm a Miracle Whip girl and I hate regular mayo. I just opened the milk and bought it the day before.

A pickle spear sure isn't going to send me over the edge.

Then I remembered. Fucking Olestra. I remembered all the reports, I remember thinking, I'm never going to eat that shit.

I'm tempted to climb down the garbage chute to take a picture of the innocuous label. If there was a warning sign on it, I didn't see it.

I will admit, half calorie Pringles pretty much clouded my judgment.

The good news is after that, Pringles are no longer on my longed for list. I can say, like tequila, I'm never going to want to consume them again, even with the calories.

Bad association.

But I want to rattle some cages out there- this product is back. It's nasty. If you see a snack that's singing to you with a promise of 50% less calories- run in the other direction.

And, unlike me, don't forget the old adage "too good to be true."

Or by a lot of toilet paper to go with it.

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Blog Bog

Due to an unexpected wave of nausea, Sue's post is going to have to serve for the blog fodder of the day.

Back tomorrow to bitch about the beauty contest that seemed to be enough of a loss to have Edwards leave the race.

But it didn't matter, now did it?

Great Post On Florida Election Results

Okay, I rarely do this.

Um... no I've never done this, but I love this post.

Sweetie, You Go Over There and Play with the Girls

Thanks, Sue!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Florida Results?

McCain wins by 200 votes early in the morning. Recount will be called for. Why? BECAUSE IT'S FLORIDA.

How can Canada have national elections and hand count ballots all within 24 hours?

Giuliani buys a condo in Boca Raton and becomes president of a gated senior community. I mean, why leave? he never did.

So Clinton SPANKS Obama and it's "pointless?" I never think a spanking is pointless. I understand Florida Democrats have been punished but I do believe they count.

Denver is going to be very interesting.

Labels: , , , ,

Cooking for Kids

Enough about George Bush. I'm going to look forward, not back. 1/20/09.

I know I've mentioned before how much I love to cook. I love food, textures, tastes, working with them, tasting something and thinking about all the different ingredients.

Last night, I cooked a recipe Jeanine had picked the other day.

Jeanine is a great cook. But it's hard for her to think about flavors and textures when they are written on a piece of paper. The other day, when she was going to cook dinner for the whole family, we went through a whole list of things.

I'm making salmon with a orange vinaigrette. What else?

I shrugged. Well, the kids would like white rice.

No way, she said.

We then proceeded down a list of choices that included squash (too orange), lentils (too boring), and mashed potatoes.

The kids don't eat mashed potatoes. Ever.

What about potato and leek soup?

You're going to cook a piece of fish with a sauce and serve soup?

(authors note: see piece on marriage survival 1/27/08)

Needless to say, she made a fabulous Parmesan risotto and sauteed spinach to go with the salmon. Incredibly delicious. When it comes to putting spoon to pan, knife to cutting board, she is way better than I am at following a recipe.)

Yesterday, as I looked at her recipe she had printed out (and bought all the ingredients for regardless of my horror) I thought.... grocery store or soup.

Soup it was.

What I find funny is that while this country version was simple, flavorful and bright, it was also big giant chunks of leeks. And potatoes.

Nothing else.

My kids would never eat it.

This is the kind of challenge I love in the kitchen. What to do... what to do... how about pureeing it so they don't know it's potatoes, or leeks.

The flavor still lacked any kid punch. I am not ever going to cook another meal for the kids. One meal fits all. I always try to make a choice that they like- bread- or a flavor I know will catch their imagination.


Don't laugh. My kids will eat spinach with enough bacon in it. Sure, it's killing them but their getting their greens!

Just a couple slices, chopped fine and stirred in and it's a dinner they ate.

Where's the bacon?

It's in there. Keep eating.

Except Jake, who was the only one who would have preferred the original recipe, not pureed and no bacon, thank you.

Cooking for kids, when you love food, can be a challenge. I've been blessed with kids who have never weighed too little or failed to gain weight at a proper rate. None of them ever eat too much except Zachary, once, with cookies but after throwing up he never did again.

They've all learned how to tolerate a foodie mother who insists on their observation of each dish.

And yes, they get taco night on occasion, too.

Monday, January 28, 2008

And Lastly...

Anyone struck by the image of John Kerry clapping for Bush?

That is the only lesson to take from tonight.

Next year? Let's be the ones giving the address instead of clapping.

We must.

Labels: , ,

State of the Union, part three

Of course our military has our gratitude.

How about money for proper body armor?

Troops coming home?

All they need to protect our nation?

Maybe my young blogger friend Finn is right- maybe Bush will sell oil from the strategic reserve. Then maybe we can afford to do that.

Labels: , ,

State of the Union, part two

No cloning. That's good George. We can all get down with that.

Faith, faith, faith... and then he says we have to read the constitution for how it reads? Didn't our founding fathers have a stick up their butt about religious doctrine coming out of the President's mouth?

Spreading hope, freedom and a lot of weapons.

Adding Marines to Afghanistan? We have not one single battle ready troop in American, but we are sending MORE out?

I can't take much more.

How many more days till he's gone?

Labels: , ,

State of the Union

This is disgusting.

No child left behind sure did leave a mark on all children. Like a bruise that requires DSS to investigate.

Clean energy technology? Is that the coal industry Cheney keeps pushing? Like inviting ExxonMobil to the table to craft greenhouse gas policy?

Pelosi looks like she's going to vomit.

Or cry.

Wait, that would be manipulative.

NOW, Bush wants to do something about greenhouse gasses? After inviting the researchers from ExxonMobil to craft our policy around that?

I'm waiting for lighting to strike him dead.

Labels: , ,

Coffee, Coffee, Everywhere, But Not a Drop to Drink

You know when the fates whisper to you in some quiet way about it being time to change your life...

a fortune cookie reads exactly what you've been thinking

or someone sends you a posting for a new job out of the blue, one that is perfect for you

or you run into someone by accident that you haven't seen in twenty years and it reminds you of something you've lost along the way...

You know, Hallmark stuff.

And then there is the rock being dropped on your head.

I got the rock this morning.

Two weeks ago, I broke the coffeemaker. The carafe slipped out of my hands, smashed, and the display had been broken for months making it almost impossible to set.

Let's get a new one, Jeanine said.

She brought home a nightmare of a machine. I could not figure out how to make it work. It required grinding two different times. You had to press three buttons in a certain succession in order for it to work.

It's fine, Jeanine kept saying.

I refused to make coffee. I do not have a PhD in electronics. I don't want a coffeemaker that requires one.

Finally, one morning as Jeanine shuffled over the the machine and pushed one of the many buttons, she sent a spark into it (from shuffling) and zap. The machine was dead.

I smiled. Now we need a new one.

Buying gear, electronics, computers, anything with a switch and no real design options, are all Jeanine's domain. I don't want it to cost a lot. That's all I care about.

And how many buttons are on it.

This time, she required several days to accomplish the task. In the meantime, we were drinking Dunkin Donuts coffee, which I love but is NOT strong enough for 6:00AM. Not even remotely.

Not to mention you have to go out to get it.

You go, I begged.

No you go.

Oh, please...

Fine, I'll just have tea, Jeanine said, covers over her head.

Yuh, like you're going to drink herbal tea in the morning.

Which brings me to this morning and the rock. After purchasing yet another new coffee maker, I came downstairs this morning to find coffee so light I could see the bottom of the cup after pouring it.

The grinder feature- oh you know gadget girl needed to have an auto grinder- didn't work properly.

Finally, I got it.

Perhaps it's time to wean myself off my coffee habit. Twenty years ago, I quit smoking. I quit because I realized I would walk barefoot in a blinding snowstorm to get a pack of cigarettes.

Without even thinking there was anything wrong with it.

Maybe the fates tossed me a gentle nudge and seeing my oblivion, dropped a rock on my head.

Labels: , ,

Sunday, January 27, 2008

How to Survive a Long Marriage

While I was standing in line at the grocery store, I was looking over all the magazines. What engages people today- I mean, do we really care how Larry King is trying to combat heart disease?

I saw one headline that read something like "How to Survive a Long Marriage." My guess is it really read, "Love and happiness for years to come" or "The Secret to Successful Marriages" but that's not what I remember.

Funny how that works, your brain reads one thing, your mind takes in another. Like how Obama wins South Carolina and suddenly he's winning the race.

I thought about the article, and what I would write. I have been married 17 years and it feels more like survival, most of the time, rather than success. Success, to me, is more about roses, winning and an achievement that has a beginning and end.

Unlike the war in Iraq, with a questionable beginning and no end in sight.

I see it more as survival. We've survived each other. We've managed to love each other even though every illusion has been stripped away.

Actually, continues to be stripped away.

Because while there is a beginning, there is no end. We continue to grow, evolve, at different rates. Core issues- the ones that start to harden after the first six months of being together- take the form of socks on the floor or dishes left in the sink.

If I looked at my marriage and tried to determine if it were successful, I would have to say no. After 17 years, we still bicker. A lot. We know what our core issues are and they still can send us down the rabbit hole in a heartbeat. We've both quit, at different times.

I have looked at my wife and thought, I don't even remotely like you right now.

I know she's felt the same.

But have we survived? Oh yes.

While we were away over Christmas, with four other couples, all in long term relationships, I looked around and realized, Damn. We're all miserable. Some more than others, to be sure. But no one is basking in love and happiness.

We've all survived.

How to? I have no idea. Having kids is no guarantee. A good therapist always helps but therapy is about effort from both sides. It's about digging in and if your partner is healthy enough, making it work.

Big if.

So, it's not perfect. Sometimes we don't like each other. We're often miserable.

The reward? Well, my wife just looked over at me and asked me, Why do we have children?

This is our standard question to each other when we want something we know we can't have because they are in the other room, radar on and tuned to the minute we have a private moment.

Um... I dunno. Why?

Because I looked at the fire, and at you and... I wish I could take you upstairs right now.

There's that part, too.

I have no idea how we've made it this far. Not really.

But I'm glad we have.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, January 26, 2008


I found this on, and I must say, I am concerned for Mitt's candidacy.

Mitt Romney Defends Himself Against Allegations Of Tolerance

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, January 25, 2008

Football Fan?

Cowboy Fan?

You have to watch this... read the subtitles carefully.


Labels: , , , , ,

Blood, Guts and No Al Gore

We’re killing ourselves.

The LGBT leadership in this country is being thrown to the wolves, throwing each other to the wolves… And then complain to the national media that we are not getting enough recognition of our issues in the presidential campaign. The AP ran a story today, “Some Gays Frustrated with 2008 Presidential Campaign.” In the story, several leaders in the community said they were “ disappointed that the three leading contenders rarely mention gay-rights topics unless responding to a question.”

I have to say, I find that a little stunning to read, considering the LOGO Presidential forum last August, not only did the candidates participate in an LGBT forum, it was the first time in commercial television history it happened.

I know it happened in 2004 on CSPAN but I’m not sure many people outside the beltway actually watch CSPAN.

And each were asked about not only gay marriage, gay equality issues- they were asked about transgender issues, too.

I appreciate Susan Ryan-Vollmar, the former editor of Bay Windows, frustration. "They've merely settled on what the Democrats have staked out as a safe, consensus position, just far enough ahead of where the party was in 2004 to give a sense of progress but not so far as to threaten Middle America," Ryan-Vollmar wrote. "That's not leadership, it's poll-tested and party-approved pandering, pure and simple."

But unlike Ryan-Vollmer, I have to wonder how much of it is from our own lack of leadership.

We’ve been busy accusing, backstabbing, and ruining the reputations of our leaders. “A gay man’s lawsuit against the Democratic National Committee has revealed allegations of bitter, behind-the-scenes disputes that appear to pit black DNC officials against gays.”

Great. Like two underrepresented minorities need to be going at it?

And the Human Rights Campaign- like them or not, they are the largest LGBT group on Capitol Hill- has been continually hammered for it’s stance on ENDA.

I hated their stance. I’ve written about it. I complained loudly.

While I’m personally going to continue to push for an inclusive ENDA and HRC’s leadership around it. I am also aware it’s not the only issue HRC is involved with. It’s time to stop the infighting and win an election.

And have strong voices. I will say this for Mr. Solomonese- it was not an easy chorus to disagree with. Hate him or love him, you have to respect the fortitude.

The worst part of the current accusations flying back and forth around the DNC, and the leadership and the gay staff is the lack of cohesion at a time when we are desperate to win an election. Not to mention if you are on Capitol Hill, whom do you look to for leadership from the gay community?

You wait until the dust clears and see who’s standing.

I guess that would be Al Gore. Straight guy comes out for gay marriage equality. No one attacks him, celebration ensues.

I don’t know all the facts about the suit against the DNC. That is for a court of law to decide. In the meantime… I want to win the White House.

If we want to hear our issues be brought to the table? We better stop killing each other.

As the AP article noted, “Few constituencies are as eager for the Republican Party to falter this political season as gay-rights activists.”

I’m not asking for us all to get along all the time, but how about for the next 9 months? We need to remain focused. We have a mission.

The White House.

Labels: , , ,

Romney Gets Down

Who let the dogs out? Did he really say, Who let the dogs out??

Listen closely in the beginning.

Do you get the feeling he went and changed his shirt afterward?

Bad Dogs

My dog has been hanging around with a bad influence. Her name is Hannah.

She's a bad dog. Bad bad bad.

Beanie loves Hannah. Reminds me of my first girlfriend. Beautiful, smart and deeply troubled. Whenever Hannah's owner pulls up, Beanie is beside herself, wagging all over, whimpering at the door to get out.

Hannah is a gorgeous pure black German Shepard. She's a decedent of Rin Tin Tin. She's the dog of the carpenter who has been working on my house. Her coat is shiny and thick, she has eyes that sparkle with intelligence.

And she's naughty.

My dog is the epitome of a good dog. She listens to commands. She doesn't need repeated training sessions or alpha rolls. I don't even have a fence around the yard because she knows where the lines are and says in them.

Good dog. Smart dog.

I went to leave yesterday morning, and as I turned onto the next street- not my street, but the next one- there were Hannah and Beanie. Beanie was on the sidewalk and Hannah was swaggering down the middle of the road.

Bad dogs.

Very bad dogs.

Funny, it made me think of my boys. Which one will be in the middle of the street? Which one will be on the sidewalk? Will any of them know not to leave the yard?

I yelled both their names. Beanie turned around and ran towards my car with the hopeful look, Are we going for a walk in the woods? To which I simply extended my arm and pointed towards the house.

She put her head down and went straight back toward the yard. Not another word was needed for her.

Hannah... well, Hannah looked at me like she had no idea who the heck I was and kept going in the opposite direction until she saw Beanie. Then she went up and tackled my dog, playfully, as if to say,

Don't listen to that bitch.

Beanie kept going, Hannah kept dancing around her.

Bad dog. Bad influence.

What will be next? They're both out in the front yard smoking pot, chasing cars?

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Popular Party

The babysitter just filled us in about Ben's desire to have a "popular party."

Ben's term.

He only wants the popular kids here. He was on his cell phone all night trying to arrange it- while Jeanine and I were out.

Hmmm. Popular party? I don't think so.

It hits a nerve. I was never very popular. Sure, I wore the shirts with the little alligator on them. I wore the topsiders. I drove a bright green Chevy Chevette.

Okay, that was NEVER going to make me popular.

But I was also a lesbian, knew I was a lesbian, and struggling to maintain my closet. I was asked to a popular party once. My good friend Suzy's younger sister- who was my age- was THE popular girl in my class. I was hooked up.

It terrified me. They would all know I was a lesbian and then tell the whole school and I would be so tormented even the AV boys wouldn't talk to me.

No way.

Now, I have to say, only Ben and his friend is interested in this party. She's a lovely young girl I have had the chance to spend some time with and... I'd say she has some issues around gender/sexuality.

Just like Ben.

I'm not surprised there are very specific lines drawn by the two of them- but I am dismayed. Would you not invite this friend or that one? Kids you've known since you were a toddler? Who determines "popular?"

And the reality, I know, that when you try this hard? You always fall hard on your face.

Stay tuned... I am going to have a conversation with him tomorrow.

Labels: , , , , ,

Professional Basketball Investment Manager

What a day. One of those days where I hit the ground running and didn't stop till 9:30pm.

Loved my day. If I explained I spent an hour at a meeting listening to a description about emerging markets, company evaluations and... oh my god. I could have sat there all day. I didn't want to leave. I could have sat at talked about the 'China' effect, how to measure political turbulence and it's effect on private industry until the cows came home.

I love that stuff. I used to work for a Socially Responsible Investing Company and was responsible for finding new company ideas. Of course, it was a small firm, I was also responsible for taking out the trash- don't picture me in a three piece suit with six computer screens all scrolling something.

Only in my dreams.

But I loved what I did.

Operative word, though, is loved. My experience does allow me to serve on two private foundation investment committees, so I get the opportunity to delve into my financial geek world on occasion. Talk balance sheets, future earnings sustainability and competitive edges.

Drool. Drool.

I realized today as much as I loved what I did, I don't want to go back. It was a full time job that required complete attention. It taught me a lot. I had great mentors. I wanted to change the world.

I listened to a fabulous woman who explained, I have a husband. Two children. A job I love. And that's it. Nothing else. It is a sacrifice but ... I love what I do.

Not only does she love it, she's very successful. But I want more. I want friends, I want to walk my dog, I want to have dinner with my kids every night.

I still want to change the world. I think I have more tools available to me now. Helping a couple small foundations achieve their goals by investing in a way that supports change in our world- either by green technology or promoting women or better benefits packages or inclusive employment guidelines- is a big piece of what I do.

But I have had the good fortune to be able to find my voice. I have a range. I can sing the high notes- not so well- and the low notes. Some songs I'm better at than others, no question.

On a day like today, when I am in harmony, doing an old song I know by heart, it feels so good. I think... maybe...

And then I remember years ago when the WNBA first came into existence. Professional women's basketball, and there was a team in Hartford. Tryouts.

For a moment, I had that glean in my eye. I knew I could play. I had a great outside shot for a big girl.

And I was 33 years old and had a one year old baby.

Did I mention I was always slow, too? At 5'10", I was going to have to play point guard, not center.

It was not going to happen.

I never wore the three piece suit in the investment business. I brought ideas to the boss, some great ones but many that were shot down. I was an assistant, albeit a great one, but still just an assistant.

I loved what I did.

I am so glad I get days like today. It is a piece of who I am.

In reality? I no more want to be the fabulous investment professional I spoke with today, admire and respect, than I want to be a pro basketball player.

I love what I do.

And I am so grateful for the ability to do it.

Labels: , , , , ,

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


I am tempted to remove that last post. Right now. Before too many people read it.

I am so ashamed.

It's Ku Klux Klan.

"from the greek kyklos, "circle" and clan" my friend writes me.

She didn't write "DUH." But I heard it.

Ten letters.

No extra L.

I used to say "nuclear" like George Bush, too.

I am not kissing my diploma.

I am burning it.

Labels: , , ,

Failing Sixth Grade English

Um... I write for a living.

But I can't pass sixth grade English. I'm trying to help Ben with his similes homework.

She's as clumsy as a:

Ben circled pig.

I said, no it's ox.

Pigs are uglier.

It's not about ugly. It's about clumsy. And it's as much a figure of speech as it is a comparison.

No it's not.

Then you do the homework.

No, I need help.

He's as gentle as a:

Dove, Ben circles confidently.

No, it's lamb.

Doves are more gentle... peace and all. It's dove.


He looks at me. It's lamb? Really?


Finally, we finished the similes, some of which he refused to change because after all, what do I know?

I mean, Mom, you went to 6th grade a long time ago.

It's true.

Onto the Martin Luther King Crossword puzzle. I love crossword puzzles.

How do you spell "assassin?"


This leaves him howling in laughter. Too stupid for 6th grade similes but I am funny. of course, I typed it in Word first and spell checked it.

My confidence is shot.

"An organization of whites that sought to control blacks and keep them from gaining political power." 10 letters. second to last is the letter A.

Klu Klux Klan.

Mom, that's eleven letters.

Any ideas, folks?

I'm going to go dig out my diploma from college and kiss it. I'm so glad I'm done.

Labels: , , , , , ,

And From the Man Who Was Elected President...

But do to a Supreme Court single vote ruling, was denied an actual ballot count...

Ever wonder how dfferent our country would be if he had served the term he was elected to serve?

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Sixty-Four-Thousand Dollar Question

I have a few questions to ask, other than where the heck was John Edwards and what kind of deal has he struck with the Clinton campaign?

Why is it Obama can diss Bill Clinton? Can you imagine what would happen if Senator Clinton said a peep about Michelle Obama?

Doesn't matter though because the best line of the night was Clinton's "I've been taking it for 16 years..." She has. She's been investigated, maligned, scoffed at, humiliated... the list goes on and on.

And she's still standing. In fact, she's about to become the Democratic nominee.

I love the term "green collar jobs" but how many, realistically, can there be in a country where lobby money has kept green technology out of cars, out of houses, and out of industry for years and years? When are we going to address the oil industry's influence in Washington, DC?

We need a tax break, and we need it now. We are in a recession. Enough with the bullshit about inflation rates that don't include gas and food prices. How long can anyone live without heating oil? Or food? Give the middle class gets 600 dollars? They will spend it. It will go back into the economy. Give it to corporations or the wealthy? It does no good. Can we have a tax break that actually makes sense for once?

Why isn't anyone talking about George Bush's plan to make the tax breaks- that only help the wealthy and the corporations- permanent? Maybe Edwards can talk about that since he's clearly done running.

Who is keeping an eye on what those damn Republicans are up to?

And why did Obama play the political card- Ronald The Saint Reagan- and not expect to be hammered for it?

Slum Lords or Marian Wright Edelman? To all prospective political wanna be's graduating from law school? That corporate gig might look tempting now but when you can say you went to the Children's Defense Fund instead of defending the rights of scum living off the poor? It might not buy Armani but it will go a long way at the polls.

How many people are sick of the pandering to the audience? It's like a cheap wedding singer trick. “I am so glad to be here in (enter name).” “Thank you to the good people of (enter name.)” Quote Fredrick Douglass. Ask whom Martin Luther King would vote for. Enough already. Just get to the debate.

But now I'm going to jump ahead, assume that Clinton wins the nomination and Obama comes in second because clearly, Edwards is done.

The sixty-four-thousand dollar question?

Should Clinton have Obama be her running mate?

Labels: , , , , ,

Monday, January 21, 2008

The NorthStar

Fredrick Douglass printed a paper called the NorthStar... the banner read:

"Right has no sex, truth has no color."

Hillary Clinton's quote of the evening.


Waiting for his VP invitation...

Debate Tonight

This Obama is going to get a little pushing back on his Ronald Reagan fan club membership?

Will anyone ask Edwards why he's in the race, seeing that his advisers say they don't expect him to win a single primary?

Heck no, they're all going to comment on what Clinton is wearing!

Will be posting after the debate.

My guess? Clinton and Edwards take Obama to task over recent Republican party comments with their own "ideas." Obama will start to get nasty.

Everything is going to start getting nasty.

The one thing we can all look forward to? The countdown to Bush's last day.

364 days.
18 hours.
4 minutes.

Labels: , , , , ,

Going Straight To Hell

My kids are currently singing and humming this catchy tune...

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Red Carpet Party

The party was fabulous. This is a shot of Walter's centerpiece. The movie camera actually worked. I remembered all my words to my song and the finger cymbals were a hit.

I did feel pretty and I made an awesome Truman Capote. At least that's what everyone said to my face. The competition was fierce, Walter's Bjork was, in my opinion, the best outfit. I'll see if I can weasel out permission to post his photo.

I'll post more pictures tomorrow- as many as I'm allowed. It is, however, like Vegas- what goes on there, stays there.

For now? GO PATRIOTS!!!

Saturday, January 19, 2008


Party time!

What to Wear??

Silver Plum or Royal Red lipstick?

Ditched the dress... Ben told me I looked pregnant in it. And considering he is more of the... um... opinion of those coming, the 10 gay men, I am ditching the dress.

I had to answer the door wearing half my clothes and my gym shorts. Most my make up on. The mom looked at me and just kept talking. Dropped her kid off. I guess everyone expects this kind of behavior from me.


Plum or Red?

Doesn't matter because...

"I feel pretty
Oh so pretty
I feel pretty and witty and gay
And I pity
Any girl who isn't me today"

Report tomorrow with pictures, promise.

Make-Up, Boa and Pink Pumps

I'm getting ready. Going for a quick run first.

Question: How do you deal with a low backed, spaghetti strap dress? are there such thinks as strapless, backless bras or do you use tape?

Or in my case, duct tape?

Help, time ticking away here...

Friday, January 18, 2008

A Vote for Gay Marriage

My friend Michael Crawford has a great pro-gay marriage video on

Personally, I like Wanda Sykes explanation on why to be pro-gay marriage:

Name Change?

I have been in serious conference with my blog hero, who will remain nameless. He says it's time to move the site to my own as in and to change the name.

Not to protect the innocent, though.

I'm coming up with a few, a few he came up with have already been taken, but I know suburban lesbian housewife is kind of a long, cumbersome title.

I need new, refreshing, exciting.

(Yes, I did just roll my eyes.)

Any help or suggestions are welcome!!

Stoned and Drunk and Messing with Tigers

I read the headline “Mauling Victim Taunted Tiger” and my first response was to check it off to one weird headline in the newspaper.

But then I read it because the picture of the victim made me realize he was very young. Not much older than my kids.

Young men at the San Francisco zoo on Christmas day, mauled, one killed by a tiger they were taunting.

I could only respond from my place in the world as a mother.

Did I have to tell you NOT to do that? What about getting high, drinking and driving was not enough of a blatant disrespect for rules? You had to go and taunt a tiger?

I’m not trying to be funny. It’s a nightmare to me as a parent. What do I have to say, what have I missed and my god, when does common sense kick in?

I’m horrified to imagine one of my kids could do something so dangerous. And not have a clue how dangerous it was. Their friend is dead. The tiger is dead. The EMT’s and Police that came were put at risk not to mention the countless people who witnessed the gruesome event.

It makes me scared. Scared as a parent of three boys. What do I have to say to them? What kind of culture continues to encourage the level of risk taking seen in these young men, continually, all over the country?

The blame, as it is being bantered across many blogs, misses the mark. The victims, regardless of their behavior, were still attacked by a wild animal. Stupid, irresponsible, no question. A wild animal did what it is meant to do. I’m not sure how a zoo could be prepared for someone standing on a railing, drunk, high and creating a kind of disturbance that would trigger a wild animal’s instincts.

I’m stuck on the drinking, getting high and driving. The blood alcohol levels above legal limits. Pot in the car.

And the lying. Their friend was dead and they lied about what happened.

I know there is a dramatic rise in violence and outwardly destructive behavior in girls, and it’s not all about gender roles, but it is about gender roles. What it means to be a “man.”

Where does it start? Showing off, playing among friends, who can be bolder, crazier, sillier? For girls does it become a contest of who can get away with the most makeup, the shortest skirt while boys end up taking more physical risks?

I don’t understand why anyone would stand on a railing of a tiger enclosure and shout.

When does the bravado become uncool? When someone is dead?

I hope someone has the answer because as a mother, I can only ask why?

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Bring It On!

What a day. I've had my libido criticised, my locker room credentials questioned, and been told my medical proficiency sucked.

It does. I'm not a doctor, I just play one in my blog.

In other words, I have been causing trouble all across the blog sphere and I love it.

I love my work, I love what I do.

To everyone who responds and says supportive, encouragement? Thank you. You feed my soul.

To everyone who thinks I'm a jerk? Thank you. You feed my passion.

But to the guy who thought my Ann Coulter comment was over the top gross? Hey! I was just trying to make a friend laugh. Someone who I know is facing a huge struggle. Someone who just happens to have a talking Ann Coulter doll flanked by her Nancy Pearl action figure with the "amazing shushing action."

And I personally thought it was the best line in the blog.

I love getting my ass kicked across the internet.

The challenge, the discussion, the disagreement, makes us all better people.

Bring it on!

No, I don't need glasses

How many people have to take web pages, like say, driving directions, and copy them to a Word document so you can enlarge the type by... oh, say, ten fold?

Do you think it might be time for glasses?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Sandwich Results

Hey, Zachary, how did the sandwich turn out?



Yeah. I mean, you needed the Miracle Whip or it'd be too dry. Definitely.

Uh huh. And the raisin baloney combo?

Pretty good.

Will you make it again?

What are you kidding me? It was delicious! Of course I will.

Good to know.

Gay Sex Equals Death! Again! Always!

Oh, those gay men are at it again. Or is it antibiotic use?

In San Francisco on Monday, it was reported “A new variety of staph bacteria, highly resistant to antibiotics and possibly transmitted by sexual contact, is spreading among gay men in San Francisco, Boston, New York and Los Angeles.”

Where did this new horror come from? Was it the gay men themselves that created it?


In fact, “MRSA was first seen in several countries the 1960s. With increasing use of antibiotics, new strains of MRSA have developed over the past 20 years.”

And, “The culprit is a form of MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a bug that was once confined to hospitalized patients but, since the late 1990s, has been circulating outside medical settings, afflicting anyone from injection-drug users to elementary school students.”

Wait… gay men having too much sex is causing elementary school students to get it?

I’m confused.

And I’m mad.

I’m mad because, like Sean Bugg wrote, “These kinds of infections have been a problem in medical settings for some time, but when a report comes out that attaches "gay" with "disease," everyone's certain to pay attention.”

A quick google search came up with comments and stories from NPR to The Onion, everyone quick to discuss the new findings. Gay men have yet another reason to panic and abandon their wanton ways.

When is anyone going to panic about lesbian sex? I mean, I do. Will I have enough? When will I get more? Today? Tomorrow? Tonight?

Major anxiety.

Instead, lesbians get blamed for tabouli and Birkenstock shoes.

What strikes me, though, is some of the worst abusers of antibiotics are parents of young children. In an effort to keep kids in school/at day care, these parents insist on antibiotics for almost every illness. In fact, the American public is so confused about antibiotics that patients routinely demand them for viral infections.

Antibiotics don’t kill viruses, people do…

Oh, wait. I forgot. It's about gay men having sex. And always TOO MUCH sex. Maybe Huckabee is right and we should just quarantine them.

Personally, I’m going to go back to being panicked about lesbian sex. We need MORE sex. Much more. And if that makes it out to the general population... well... Ann Coulter better watch out.

This is a serious disease. It comes from a strain of bacteria first found in hospitals, our most “sterile” of all environments. Whenever gay men’s sex lives ends up being classified as deadly instead of focusing on the pharmaceutical industries responsibility for the continued growth of new strains of antibiotic resistant infections, I have to wonder why.

The headlines end up continuing negative images, reinforcing stereotypes about gay men. It won’t help the problem.

But it’s a damn sexy, isn’t it?

Labels: , , , ,

WAIT, a Sliver of Shining Light!

Thanks everyone! I've been nominated. I'll let everyone know when to vote, and vote often!!!

One of THOSE days already...

I woke up to a clogged toilet.

My car would not start- one of the boys had left a door cracked open so the battery is now dead.

The dishwasher ran last night and having been packed by a child who will not be identified, a wine glass smashed, thus requiring picking up teeny tiny pieces of glass out.

My wife yelled at me because I dragged her out to help start the cars in her jammies, bathrobe and boots. Well, she yelled because I took a picture.

When we came back in the house, after not being able to jump start the car, I found Zachary making lunches for him and Jake. He was spreading Miracle Whip on cinnamon raisin bread, to be layered with baloney. I started to laugh and he did not like that.

Baloney and cinnamon raisin bread? Who can eat that?

He went on the scream on the top of his lungs the complete unfairness of having to brush his teeth.

Had he not made lunches? Had he not had breakfast? Had he not made his bed? Why did he have to brush his teeth? WHY???

I won't mention the additional meltdown over the required coat he had to wear as it is merely 20 degrees.

Back to bed. Right now. Quick, before something else breaks, won't start or starts on fire.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

One Nation, Under God, Or Else...

Changing the constitution to meet God's standards?

But what about our right to not believe in God?

What about the separation of church and state? Guess that's not God's standards.

Labels: , , ,

Best Lesbian Blog?

okay, so ... I've mentioned I'm a tad competitive...

The Best Lesbian Blog of the Year is up for grabs and yeah, I would like to be nominated.

No, I'd like to win but... a nomination would be great.

If you are so inclined, please go add my blog name under the comments section. I already had my wife do it. Will be contacting all family and friends.

Although I won't cheat and put my own name in.


Ben and the Mink

I know the world is going to hell in a hand basket. Citigroup lost billions. Stock market is tanking, oil prices rising, and average Americans who thought they might retire someday are realizing it's a ridiculous, outdated notion.

I know there are bigger fish to fry, like Mitt Romney over pretty much anything that comes out of his mouth. Or Huckabee's connection with various religious extremists. Or McCain's inability to string a sentence together without the clear desire to use a profanity.

Not that I mind that- it actually makes me like him.

But today I realized, I have to do something about my son Ben and the mink coat my mother left me.

He was on his way to pick up his brother's at after school- it's a block away from home and he is old enough to do this "errand" for me. He opened the closet for a coat.

Mom? Can I wear the mink?

I paused a moment- it is an expensive coat. Not that I ever wear it.




Then he paused a moment.

Nah, just kidding.

He looked longingly at the coat in the closet.

Should I just give him the coat? Take it somewhere and have it refashioned into a men's style?

The gender rules he's struggling with right now are so painful. I know he wants the coat. I know he wanted to wear it, just the way it is. It's soft, smells great and is so warm. When he puts it on, he does a little twirl.

He loves it.

(All the PETA members can settle down- these minks have been dead since about 1950. The coat has been refashioned more than once. Let's not have the minks have died in vain.)

On one hand, you don't hand a kid who never hangs anything up, a coat worth a lot of money. In our neighborhood, no one is walking around wearing mink coats. Not adults, not kids- no one.

On the other, for him it's a beautiful thing. It's secretly feminine in his mind. No one knows it's a "girl" thing and he can get away with it. It's like being a lesbian and wearing men's boxer shorts.

Not that I know anything at all about that.

I want to help him find ways to express himself that won't get him teased, taunted or humiliated. He's riding high on being "popular" and it's a position that he's worked hard to achieve. It also makes him tense about every moment and every choice around his presentation in the world.

It's not earth shattering, to be certain. It's only a coat. Ben is 12 and he's been making these choices since he was two years old. He's struggled with what is expected of him as a boy, what his heart tells him and the reality of him having to make a choice to express it. Our society accepts masculine girls (as long as they grow out of it) but not feminine boys. Go to any preschool and count the girls in jeans and sneakers.

Count the boys wearing dresses and tights.

I want him to grab the mink and wear it. And my pearls, which he's eyed at different times. I want him to say fuck it to all the rules and be who he wants to be, wear the clothes he wants and do his little twirl in public. It doesn't make him gay, it doesn't make him unmanly, it just makes him someone with a highly developed sense of style and fashion.

And I know what would happen if he did.

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Gay Divorcee

Being a gay divorcee is not much fun.

Nothing like what you see in the movies.

The reality is it’s hard on you; it’s hard on everyone around you. If you’ve had the fortune of being married a long time? It just makes it harder.

I spent yesterday listening to a couple who are divorcing explain they did not understand why they were being asked to stop coming together to gatherings.

They have been coming, with their children to a group of lesbian moms for 13 years. We’ve shared the anxiety of pregnancy, the joy of birth, endless sleepless nights. Diapers, teething, potty training- some of us more than others. Some couples stopped at one, some went on to have three (no, I am not the only fool).

We’re family.

A dysfunctional family, in many ways, although we are trying so hard not to be.

They don’t understand why we want them to come separately. I don’t understand why they would want to come together.

Isn’t divorce about creating separate lives?

Everyone wants to be supportive. They feel singled out. The reality is, they are getting divorced and that is different from anyone else’s experience.

Where do you draw the line? When do you say, hey, I love you, but sitting here while you spit nails at each other really sucks?

Nothing about being divorced is fun. And gay people don’t do it any better than anyone else. Sometimes I think, we try so hard to push boundaries and lines, we do it a whole lot worse.

I sat with my friend last Friday and she told me that 60 percent of all marriages end in divorce. Twenty percent of the remaining people married are only married because they don’t want to be divorced.

So a mere twenty percent of all married people are happy. Great.

I wonder how much of the struggle, when a social group is faced with a divorce, is about our own discomfort around our own marriages.

I’m not sure but I know the image of the happy divorcee is only in Hollywood.

Labels: , ,

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Waterboarding- Romney's New Olympic Sport

I just read an article on Raw Story about Mitt Romney's refusal to classify waterboarding as torture.

No, it's not torture. It's a new Olympic sport. Why, it's so much fun, you might want to take a class and learn how to do it yourself. Or, just watch this video done with a leaked classified documents description of waterboarding to the novice interrogator. But be warned... it's not pretty.

Actually, I'm not sure which is worse. That our military has this kind of information being distributed to it's personnel or that Romney feels certain it's not torture if we don't call it torture.

Remember those folks in Gitmo? They're ready to take the gold medal in this competition.

Labels: , , , ,

School Canceled???

Not a flake has fallen. Only weather predicted, and school has been canceled.

I want to be a weather forecaster. I'd get up there and lie my ass off every night. Gonna be beautiful tomorrow. Everyone goes to school.

The kids are wild. NO SCHOOL NO SCHOOL...

Where is the wonder of waking up in the morning to a pile of snow and realizing you don't have to go to school? Look outside right now and there's mud. Dirt.

I swear, if we are not buried under three feet of snow by the morning, I'm going to have a nutty.

In the meantime, I have to get three wild boys into bed. Wish me luck because you know, there is NO SCHOOL NO SCHOOL...

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Drag Update

I think I have what I'm going to do, but it's not been easy.

Kate Hepburn was a great idea but I wanted to keep the heels to the beginning of the evening and move to flats, which means going in a dress, fabulous shoes and very feminine and then getting to do a guy as "drag."

Trust me, it's a safer choice after a few glasses of wine to avoid the heels.

I did have the best, ever suggestion sent to me. I am not that good with paper, or glue or ... well.. any of it. But watch- this is fun.

Slumber Party

I was up playing video games, watching YouTube and hanging out with the kids last night till midnight.

Double sleepover, both Ben and Zachary had a friend here. Jake was at Walter and Allan's.

Ever hear of Guitar Hero? Well, we have one for the Wii. Mind you, I am the only one in the house that actually plays guitar. A real one. The game consists of a small, plastic guitar with five differently colored pads on the neck that you push, following the highlighted buttons on the screen.

It's not guitar. On the way home from school yesterday, Jake said to me, Guitars have five strings. I rock at playing it.

No, guitars have six strings, I said, but you do rock at guitar hero.

Five, Mom.

Another mother was walking along side of us. Don't you love always being wrong? I often have my daughter say, but are you sure it's Tuesday? How are you sure?

I get more stupid as they get older, I sighed. Six strings, Jake.


I'll take mine out when we get home, okay?

Last night, after getting "booed" off the stage about eight times playing "Slow Ride," I finally started to rock. Seriously, that's what they say, in large letters, You Rock!

While waiting for other people's turns, I watched some YouTube video's with my girl. No, not Jeanine, I'm talking about Ben's friend who is also my honorary daughter. My boys treat her like a sister, no question, and complain wildly about my complete and total preferential treatment.

She's my girl, what can I say, I shrug to them.

She showed me this video and I laughed so hard, I could not help but think of my friend- you know who you are.

Sorry, but this makes me think of you. Can't shoot it back to me because I grew up around too many cows in too rural a place.

Word up, Tibbets!

Labels: , , , , ,

Friday, January 11, 2008

Is America Ready for This Nutcracker?

That’s it. I have decided who to support, who I want to be President.

In the 1970’s, I remember the rhetoric against the Equal Rights Amendment. Men in women’s bathrooms. Shared showers in schools. Horror of all horrors, men would become women and women would become men.

Here we are in 2008 and there is a product out on the market, a nutcracker, in the image of Senator Clinton. You put the nut between her “legs” and she crushes it.

Right. Okay. So why don’t we have an Obama doll in black face? Perhaps because that would be so racist the outcry would be deafening.

I haven’t heard any outrage about the nutcracker. Couple giggles. Isn’t that funny.

No, it isn’t. And it isn’t 1970 anymore. Nor is it 1870.

As a feminist who cut her teeth on abortion clinic lines, as a young woman who watched my mother fight for the ERA only to be told she was a man-hater (she was, after all divorced, too), I find myself in the position with only one candidate to support.

I am voting for Senator Clinton.

I’m not going to argue her record, because she and Obama have made 90% of the same votes in the Senate. I’m not going to argue positions, because for the most part, all three top candidates running for the Democratic nomination are basically the same.

If I were voting for my values, my positions, I’d be voting for Kucinich. The reality of the media’s influence today is once labeled “unelectable,” you are, in fact, unelectable. Which brings me to why I am voting for Clinton.

The media’s portrayal of Clinton’s “breakdown” “crying” “emotional moment” over and over and over again made me so angry I could no longer sit on the sidelines and pick on the Republicans. I mean, Huckabee alone makes it too easy by having friends who attack Cabbage Patch dolls- Bill Gothard called for immediate removal of all dolls because children, by “adopting a doll, … might not want to raise up their own godly children.”

I bet those American Girl dolls are the next incarnation of the devil. But like I said, it’s too easy to pull back the curtain and see all the freaks in Huckabee’s closet.

Clinton had a moment of real emotion, not unlike when she was cracking up being interviewed by Fox News. After all the years- and I mean years- of being framed in the most unflattering way by Fox, when Chris Wallace wishes her well, how could you do anything but laugh?

Ah, but the “tears” … maybe, some questioned, she was being manipulative and manufactured her emotion to get the vote in New Hampshire. Obama can sing and clap along with Donnie McClurkin, a homophobic, “ex-gay” nightmare and no one accuses him of manufactured love to get the vote. Edwards pushes the line of corporate greed versus the poor so hard you half expect him to come out with the Merry Men and Elizabeth dressed as Maid Marian.

I don’t know who those pundits thought lived in New Hampshire, but I can say one thing about my neighboring state- they don’t fall for bullshit. Thus Huckabee’s miserable returns.

I’m done with the nutcrackers, the “iron my shirt” comments, and the cleavage questions. I’m done with the glass ceiling, to be sure, but I’m more done with the symbolic annihilation of Senator Clinton in the media. She has, hands down, the most experience having spent 8 years in the White House already. She is the smartest candidate, without question and her analysis, is thorough and incredibly informed.

Even when I don’t agree, I respect her position.

People have said the “emotional” moment shifted the race for Clinton. It did for me. Not because it made her “real” or more “reachable” or made me feel like she was a pal who I could sit and chat with, because it didn’t. I get the impression she is driven, focused and would actually scare the shit out of me if we ever sat down to talk.

I don’t want someone to talk to. I want someone to fix the mess that George Bush created in this country. I want someone smart, someone who can work DC, and someone who passionately believes in the job.

No matter how threatening it is to anyone’s masculinity.

I am supporting Hillary Clinton for President.

Labels: , , , , ,

Release Guantanamo Prisoners NOW

Today, in solidarity with people across the world, I am asking for the closure of the prison at Guantanamo. Going on seven years without being charged with a crime, seven years with no legal representation, seven years of torture, is a national disgrace.

We should all be ashamed. Horrified. There is no justification. None. It makes us less safe and grows anti-American sentiment.

The following video is an interview with a British citizen held over a year without being charged. If he were not a British citizen, he would still be there.

Please go to the ACLU site and sign the petition.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, January 10, 2008

One Lobster Boat, Coming Up...

I hope Donald’s friends in Maine do not read my blog because if they do, I’m screwing myself as far as negotiations go…

I have a boat for Maine. For this summer. A lobster boat. Just a little one, with a little electric hauler to pull up traps. We’re allowed five because we own land up there.

I’m about to die. I saw the pictures and all my efforts to stay in the moment and be present were out the window. Suddenly, I was in the house, steering towards the next trap, as dawn was breaking on the horizon…

Oh. I have to have it.

Donald will have to own the poker face for this transaction.

One of the things I decided while away was that I was going to do a summer camp for the boys. I announced this to them New Years morning. They had a choice to go to the camp they went to last year- they all hated it- or they could come with me for a couple weeks to Down East and go to my camp.

They all moaned. A lot.

Hey, I said, I’ll have fishing, and boating- kayaking and sailing- swimming, arts and crafts- okay, only art because I hate glue and refuse to get my fingers sticky- creative writing, music, sign language class and cooking. Every day would have a rest period, and every day would have a work period.

They all moaned more.

I have not let them know yet they’ll get to invite one friend.

I realized while we were all cavorting in the ocean over the break, there would not be that many more summers when I would get to do this. Ben is 12 and soon he’ll be getting a job in the summer. The idea of such structured activities already gets rewarded with giant eye rolls and heavy sighs.

When the boys were little little, I took them to the beach almost every day. We’d get there at 7AM, wrapped in sweatshirts and carrying as many toys as humanly possible. I’d make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and cut them into quarters, along with grapes and juice and chips, and bagels.

They loved it. I loved it. I never got bored, they never got bored.

Now, they have longer over night camps that do not run the whole summer, leaving huge holes of time when they get to walk around and say, I’m bored. There’s nothing to do.

I gave up being camp counselor and sent them to day camps to fill in the time. They never liked their day camps, and I missed having a reason to go to the beach every day.

This year, I decided, I was going to put my best effort into it, perhaps bring in a few parent ringers in to help. I don’t know how to sail anything more than a sunfish and that was about thirty-five years ago and Allan is teaching the sign language class.

When I saw the picture of the boat today? I knew I made the right decision. Camp Sara starts after school ends. I have no idea how it will go and I’m not sure about the friends to invite- with no electricity and no phones, these parents are going to have to trust me.

A lot.

For now, I need to come back to earth. I’ve decided which candidate I’m going to vote for, work for, and really pull hard for. Homework needs to be done. It’s taco night- ugh- and I have to go cook the boy’s favorite greasy, nutritionally void meal.

I promised when they were all willing to eat the brown rice noodles and seared tuna last night.

Even though, there is a little part of me, standing on that boat… watching the bow crash through the waves, on my way to the next trap…

Labels: , , , , ,

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Open Doorway

I said there were a few moments of real clarity for me while I was away in Costa Rica. Some was inspired by the beauty around me. Some, from my friends, some my family. I would catch a glimpse of a look of astonishment on one of the kids faces, or listen to us all sing happy birthday. It moved me.

I keep going back to Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, "Eat, Pray, Love." A few lines stood out. One that did was a description of a soul mate.

“A true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that’s holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then they leave.”

I don’t think it’s about a soul mate, completely. I’ve had people- a very few- in my life who have shaken who I am, what I see, so intensely, I had to change. While being infatuated with each and every one of them., I didn’t necessarily sleep with all of them, so the soul mate description misses a little- I think of it as a mirror.

And when I think of a mirror, I think of someone very recent in my life.

My mirror was someone who had the same stories to tell, different characters, some different scenes. Played together, they were a symphony of discordant sounds, perfectly engineered, mathematically entwined and awful to hear.

We were both abuse survivors. She had recovered her memories years before. She pushed me- like a jackhammer on cement, a great force against an unrelenting object- to remember mine.

She told me a story about her grandfather’s basement, and I was in my own grandfather’s basement, with the tools and the workbench and the deer carcass, at times, waiting to be butchered.

The terror rose in my throat while I listened to her own. The rage was my own, it was hers, it was going back and forth so quickly I had no idea where it started and where it ended.

She would say to me, this is an incest thing. You don't even know, you haven't done the work. True at the time. It's like an out of body experience, I would explain.

She would nod knowingly, You need a level of intensity other people don't...

At a certain point, I stopped being afraid and simply let it happen. Everything was so out of control, why bother?

It was destined to end horribly. We were like fire, pushing each other, unable to draw boundaries, fighting like we’d known each other for 30 years.

We consumed each other’s pain.

I knew she needed someone calm. Rest. Peace. She needed someone to love her with kindness.

I knew because it was what I needed.

The connection we had shook me so hard, the layers it revealed bled uncontrollably. It was fucked up. It was about unbelievable understanding, a golden light of acceptance and searing images neither one of us could stand.

We cared too much about each other. We cared too much about ourselves.

I never want to go back. It was like a storm on the ocean, the waves beautifully crested with whitecaps, rising ten, twelve feet off the ground. You can ride them in, with a tremendous rush, but eventually, one is going to crush you, take your balance and leave you sucking in seawater.

It was a mirror reflecting all my fears. I saw a person who was unable to change, afraid to open her arms to any lover, chased by her demons every day of her life. I saw someone in the same place years after her memories came back. Someone who would hold her hand up and say STOP. NO. I CAN’T.

I couldn’t bear being that person. If I had to remember all these things, I had to be able to come out on the other side. I couldn’t live my life with the dreams every night. I tried to throw her on my own back and make her see she could, she had to…

Because I did. I had to. I had three kids and I could not be broken forever. I could not be afraid of their touch or to touch them; I could not eye every person who walked by wondering which one would hurt a child.

I imagine the reflection would have killed her, too. Too much pain to hold, barely limping along and watching yet another copy of herself limping along… I brought back all the dreams, the fears. My stories made the wounds new again, stirred up images put away in order to make it through each day. My held out hand was a ticket straight back to the deep, dark hole she had worked so hard to climb out of.

When I read the passage by Gilbert, I put down my book and started to cry. She wrote what I knew. It was too painful. It could never have lasted.

It wasn't meant to.

And I was so grateful. A gift, I realized. I no longer am walking through the world with my hand held up saying STOP. NO. I CAN’T.

For a long time, I missed my mirror. I missed being able to share the stories- not just the awful ones, but the good ones. The success.

And I read on, to this part:

“Send him love and light every time you think of about him, and then drop it. … If you clear out all that space in your mind to obsess about this guy, you’ll have a vacuum there, an open spot- a doorway.

Instead of feeling like a failure for not being able to hold on, or that I needed her to know I was OK, how I made it through, I found that part of me filled with love and light, the part so grateful, the healed part, from my hammock in Costa Rica.

I closed my eyes and sent out my love. A joke I knew would make her laugh, and then I let it go. I didn’t wait to see the reaction, I didn’t imagine the response.

I just let it go.

I had let go of so much in the last couple years. The rage, the hurt, the betrayal all faded. But there was something so different in that moment.

I felt the doorway.

And I felt free.

Labels: , , ,

That Bad?

Oh, god, was it that bad?

Should I delete it?

or are you all quietly nodding, Mmmm hmmm, sister, you should not be writing poetry...

(told you I am a narcissist)

If That's Not Enough Humiliation Today...

I walked into the local Whole Foods at noon today and realized I was wearing Ben's Abercrombie sweatshirt. I picked it up earlier today, because I was cold, I couldn't find my fleece and his sweatshirt was hanging right there so...

But I never meant to actually walk out of the house wearing it.

Not to mention the elusive "tags" for a blog, something I thought was too hard to figure out, were finally explained to me.

Um, the little box at the bottom that is called, labels... yeah. That's it.

Note my TAGS, baby!

Labels: , ,

A Poet?

The problem with knowing someone for 20 years, is if they love you? They keep tabs on you. They remember the small moments and the big ones. This morning, I had something handed to me that I wrote almost twenty years ago.

A disclaimer: I am not a poet. I do not write poetry. I was, however, 24 at the time and I wanted to be a poet. Please forgive the earnest attempts.

The reason why I'm posting them today is that I know when I wrote them? I was writing about other people. I was not psychologically savvy enough to understand "projection."


Sparks that
dance and dart
like tiny atoms-
causing friction in the body;
an inferno
in the soul.

I'm not a therapist but I think I understand where that came from. At the time, I was harboring a huge secret.

And I had no idea what a feeling was.


Softly, She Weeps

deep, dark circles
hound the eyes,
in the bandaged rocking chair-
Wind whips the cotton housecoat
about the knees,
calloused by an eternity
of marble, wood, linolium

softly, she weeps
'ain't got no more to give,
jus' ain't got no more.'

a picture,
uniform and flag,
worn from the thick hands
stroking, caressing, loving-
after a black car
with two black overcoats

softly, she weeps
'ain't got no more to give,
jus' ain't got no more.

That was from the first Gulf War. Ok, a little earnest and I was reading a lot of Zora Neal Hurston at the time. I did, however, understand the enormity of being empty inside. Of being drained of all that you have and not knowing what else to do.

I won't torture you with the others. They don't get any better. A poet, I'm not. But it is a wonderful treat to have someone know you, remember you, and love you enough to keep something like this for twenty years. It's like being handed a time capsule.

Thank you.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

NH Results- My Guess?

McCain- NH voters have seen enough of Mitt Romney from across the border and aren't stupid enough to vote for Huckabee.

and Edwards. I think Edwards is going to eek out a surprise.

Fried Chicken Flop

The other day, I was going through my cooking magazines- I get Bon Appetit, Cook’s Illustrated, and Gourmet- and I came across a piece in Gourmet about Scott Peacock, the great chef from Atlanta. I see grits, and biscuits and - fried chicken. True southern food.

I've been trying to cook fried chicken since I was maybe about 10 years old. My mother showed me, over and over again and damn if I could ever do it. She'd always take over, at some point, because I was about to burn it or I didn't have enough flour on it or or or... I never could do it. Not even with her right there.

If I could learn how to cook one thing? It would be fried chicken. And not with some damn fry-o-lator, but the way they make it down south. People guard their fried chicken recipes like they guard their BBQ recipes. You inherit them. Everything is passed on by word of mouth because god forbid there is anything to steal.

I know how my mom made her chicken. Every step. I just can't do it. To be honest, I haven't tried for years. Over Thanksgiving, though, Walter asked me to try again. I think I had written about it or maybe I was just reminiscing- because it was perfect. The golden brown coating, thick, full of pepper and paprika and salt, never one spot more brown than the other, never clumped; the chicken was always steaming hot and juicy, cooked to the bone, no red streaks to gross you out, perfect through and through. And it had a hint of smoky bacon flavor. She cooked it in bacon grease, few tablespoons, whatever a pound of bacon would give her- that’s it.

I'd sit on the stool in the kitchen, munching on the bacon, waiting for the chicken. Or at least waiting to pick off a few pieces of the coating. If it was a hot and humid summer day, she would make egg and potato salad, too. If we were having company? She'd hard boil a bunch of eggs and make deviled eggs.

I would sprinkle the paprika on top after they were filled.

The fried chicken, for those Yankees coming to the house? Was something they had never experienced before and you could see it on their faces when they took a bite. Didn’t matter if it was served hot or cold, it was an experience. While my mother always hid the fact she was from the south, for the most part, she smiled knowingly when people would ooo and ahh.

That chicken was her southern pride, beaming from every pore.

I read the recipe and decided to give it a try. It's different than my mom's- far more time consuming, far more fancy- but after Walter asked, I've been thinking about it.

Why not?

I finished it a little while ago. It tastes like cardboard on very juicy, completely bland chicken. The coating pathetically thin and flavorless. The house stinks like grease (thank god it's warm today).

Jeanine, even though she is currently mad at me (don't ask) and generally in no humor to be nice, ate a piece and said Well… uh... it's okay.

She knows of my fried chicken quest.

More paprika, more salt, a lot less oil, more bacon grease, more pepper, overnight buttermilk soak good but need to get more flour stuck on the chicken for coating.

It's a failure- today.

But the image of that fabulous fried chicken, in a picnic basket, on one of the islands in Down East? Or of perfecting a recipe to whisper into my own boys ears someday?

It’s going to keep me trying.

Labels: , ,

Monday, January 07, 2008


I don't know if you all have noticed, but I can be a tad competetive.

I came up - okay, my friend came up- with a great idea. Miss Mazeppa from Gyspy- I even have a trumpet.

I email Walter, because I will need some of his costume help.

Now, I'm thinking, stripper, small costume, can I really do it?

No No No... Okay. I'll give it a shot.

Walter's response?

It's not fresh, honey.


oooookay. Game on. He wants fresh? I'm gonna come up with fresh.

Drag Party Time

Okay, Walter just walked in and told me I better get my ass in gear and have a song, a dress, and a persona for the drag party that is happening in two weeks.

Every year, there is a party. You have to have a routine- lip synch thankfully, a dress, and fabulous hair.

Last year, I did David Cassidy, I think I love you.

See, you go in formal attire for dinner. After dinner, you change and it is a competition.

Every year, there is a theme. Last year was Barbie, so I went as David Cassidy. Okay, enough martinis and the connection is clear. Walter was Lesbian Barbie. I can't remember his song.

This year's theme is the Red Carpet. Which means... uh... like I'm showing up for a red carpet event.


I've had Queen Latifah suggested but please understand- I am the only woman in a room of 15 gay men. I have to SHINE. Having real breasts is simply not enough.


Blog Update for Harlyn Aizley

Notice Aizley's link is still on the right? She has decided to go solo, start writing her own blog and the link is to her new site.

Stop in and say hello- especially now she can track who comes from my site!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

What do I Need?

One of the striking images of Costa Rica was the poverty. And Costa Rica is wealthy by many standards, although they suffer a high inflation rate, and have had a struggling economy until recently. But they have a 96% literacy rate, high levels of education across the board, and are lucky recipients of a fairly non-violent history.

They were the first country in the world to constitutionally abolish their military. Can you imagine ever doing that in the United States? I asked my boys.

Nah, too many people hate us, Zachary said.

So true.

Returning to this country, to my own home, I look around and wonder, what do I really need? Not in a guilt ridden, I’m a bad consumer and should live on bread and water forever, but an honest evaluation of what I need.

Need: something required, something necessary.

Do I need coffee in the morning? Yes. Actually I do. Do I need Starbucks coffee in the morning? Well, if I am going to drink coffee, it might as well be good.

Do I need a new car? No. My kids still fit in it, although a tad cramped, I can put stuff on the roof and it is reliable. If it stops being that? I’ll need one.

I have a lot of beautiful art, most of which I inherited from my mother. Do I need it? No but our society needs artists. We need people to write, to paint, to sing, to draw, to act because it keeps us honest, I believe, as a society. That’s a need. Maybe not mine individually, but mine as a member of society.

Do I need 8 thousand kitchen gadgets? No. But really, they are not mine, they are Jeanine’s and she swears she needs every single one. Me? Good knife, wooden spoon, spatula and tongs. I’m good.

I’m not trying to pick on Jeanine, because I know she loves her gadgets but I wonder, if we have three kinds of juicers, how many have been produced, how many are broken and how many end up in landfills?

When I get to the house in Down East (yes, you can all collectively roll your eyes at the notion I have more than one house), I go into conservation mode.

It feels good.

It’s hard to do at home. With three kids, and the accumulation of stuff from gifts, school, holidays, birthdays, not to mention our own impulse driven need to simply get something because it will make things easier, quicker, faster…

After seeing so much disparity, though, I feel overstuffed, and slightly nauseous, like after having too much Thanksgiving dinner, or eating a whole pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.

I also feel a little hopeless about how much I can do to make a difference. It’s funny, but I believe we can get marriage equality for gays and lesbians before we can tackle the environmental mess we’re in from over consumerism.

But I’m not going to go global in this act. I’m going to focus on my own little world, and do the best I can.

Because there is so much around me that I truly do not need, it makes the things I do get lost in the haze.

Besides, if we’re swearing in President Huckabee next January? I’m outta here. Not really worth it to pack three kinds of juicers, either.

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, January 05, 2008

I lied

Just one more picture.

me and my monkey...

Friday, January 04, 2008

One Last Look...

Okay, one more post about Costa Rica, then I'll stop.

You know that traveling with a huge group is both great and difficult at times. At one particularly stressful time, I secluded myself with my journal and wrote down all my complaints.

Bitch Bitch Bitch.

I needed to get it out.

In the middle, though, I stopped. Enough, already. These were all my friends and we were all exposing each other to states of anxiety, nerves, tension, frustration that are normally not seen over lunch or at brief, informal gathering. We were living together, in the jungle.

So I started to write down all the positives. Here is my list:

I learned I love rice and beans.

I remembered how much I love fresh pineapple, mango and papaya.

I love to have yogurt for breakfast.

I love and respect the ocean. It is beautiful and dangerous. I cannot live without it.

I love to read.

I love getting back in touch with my friend Susan, who is one of the kindest souls I've ever met.

I love the "Quartet" and will never forget M. walking around with his fresh cut coconut full of rum.

I love Allan, aka, the sloth man and his beautiful sarongs.

I can eyeroll as well as a 13 year old girl, and even keep a straight face.

I am amazed by Walter's ability to have a long conversation with the groundskeeper- neither one spoke a word of the other's language, but Walter's enthusiasm was infectious.

Spiritual awakenings do not require believing in God. And they are best achieved in a warm climate.

Cows in roads are something to take note of, like a large SUV swerving into your lane. Just a lot more fun.

I love how much fun my kids are (were) having. Their excitement is both new and familiar. Who knew Costa Rica had CANDY??

It's easier, you see, to look at these photos and be reminded of my positives than to sit and digest the fact that Huckabee won in Iowa yesterday.


Labels: , ,