Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sarah Palin, Meet Tom Eagleton

Sarah, Sarah, Sarah. You should have known better. Did you really think it was going to take more than 48 hours for people to dig around a bit and find out that it's not your son, it's your grandson?

I'm going to bet you withdraw in... 24 hours.

Why? Because some pretty damning photos and information have been surfaced. Daily Kos and Alternet and both showing some pretty interesting family photos.

You know the ones, where your daughter looks pregnant but you do not?

Now, Sarah, before you start on with how much you run and how fit you are, I know what it's like to be pregnant more than once. Muscles stretch. And when you're 44 years old, on your FIFTH pregnancy, you show.

I don't care who you are or how much moose burger you eat. You show.

The story of flying 8 months pregnant, water breaking and you flying back to your own home town, well, that seemed a bit much but... pregnant women can be a little psycho at times.

My wife was a nutcase while she was pregnant. Not me, of course.

24 hours. Maybe 48. But there is no way this story isn't going to blow up just like Tom Eagleton's shock treatment sent him home.

It's a shame, you know. You could have talked about teen pregnancy, how to deal with your faith, love your children, and make it work without the lies. I think a lot of people would have respected you for it.

Instead, you'll be the butt of a lot of tasteless jokes for years to come.

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Saturday, August 30, 2008

McCain and Palin

Count how many times he checks out her boobs...

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Friday, August 29, 2008

Sarah Palin - Watch Out

I've been inundated today with emails and commentary about Sarah Palin, McCain's pick to be his running mate. I did not know of her before today, so please stick with me while I wade through it all.

Palin scares me. She's a woman, she's pro-life, she's a self described feminist, she's gone from Mayor of a tiny town to Governor of Alaska. She is a lifelong member of NRA and a avid hunter. She's taken on big oil.

I wouldn't be so comfortable chuckling in our seats, saying, oh, she's just a former beauty queen. No more weight that Dan Quayle.

Dan Quayle won the election. And he was a fruitcake.

Is it an insulting attempt to get women's votes? No. If anyone thinks this is going for the dissatisfied Clinton supporters, they are missing the bigger picture. Sure, she's a political unknown and has no experience. She is also a new face, a woman, a mom, and passionate about her causes.

No one can look at her son and say, well, he should have been an abortion. Having gone through the similar test when pregnant- all pregnant women are given the test- I'm not sure I can answer what I would have done.

It doesn't make me pro-life. But it makes a strong pro-life argument that is about being a parent, not a zealot.

She knows hard work- she was a television sportscaster and worked at the same time as a commercial fisherwoman. (I have to say in Maine? No woman would want to be called a fisherwoman. They all just fish. Or lobster.) She married her high school sweetheart.

Her oldest son is serving in Iraq.

This is a very savvy pick. I don't see Dan Quayle. I see thousands of middle American women, who work outside the home, who have kids, who are going to feel pretty good now about choosing John McCain.

I think we all need to be very very careful about how we evaluate this pick.

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Romney is NOT going to be VP running mate

WCVB TV in Boston just reported that Mitt Romney is out of the running.

That really is too bad. He's such an easy target.

Who will McCain pick? We'll hear shortly.

I'm still waking up from the late night speech last night. Very good.

An amazing, historic moment.

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Fighting Upwind

I always try to go upwind when I go out in a boat. Kayak, row boat, canoe- doesn't matter. Upwind makes the ride home easy. I push myself as hard as I can, then when my arms are rubber, turn around and drift easy.

Del Martin, one of the bravest lesbian civil rights pioneers, died yesterday. She had been married two months.

She knew what it was like to push upwind, for decades.

Until 2003, the historic decision handed down by the Massachusetts court, I imagined I would maybe someday, when I was very old, I would see marriage equality happen in our country.

Not only has it happened, it's flourished. Now I can imagine, in the next ten years, federal recognition for our marriages.

Del fought for years. Trying to explain, over and over, being a homosexual was not a crime. It was not a horrible affect. It was simply who she was. The pictures and video of her wedding, she seemed slightly annoyed with all the attention. I can only imagine a lifetime of working hard against the current boiled down to a single "I do" would be frustrating.

She did so much more.

As we tune in tonight to the convention to listen to Obama speak, let's take a moment to appreciate another long, upwind battle. The first African-American man is going to be the democratic nominee for President.

There are ways in which our community, the LGBT and the African-American community, have struggled against the same winds, and times we have fought very different battles. To label our fights as one and the same would be a slight to both communities, but we have weathered many storms where the wind, the sea, the waves were a common foe.

May Del Martin rest in peace, able to turn and glide now.

And for the next two months? It's time to fight the same wind and get the first Black man in this country elected.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Clinton Rocks

She hit every note she needed to last night. Even my stubborn wife said, yes, it's time to fully support Obama.

And what a video to open with...

If Obama loses, it is the Democratic party at fault. Not Clinton. Not anyone else because there are no Clinton supporters for McCain. She made that very clear last night.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Clinton Watch

Dinner is finished... it's very quiet now. The boys have fallen asleep to the drone of the convention on the radio. I'm waiting to hear Clinton speak tonight. I'm not going to get every facial twitch or smile or wince. I think it's better this way.

Clinton isn't going to fix the world with a single speech, as she didn't hatch a career overnight. The pressure is on, though, for her to do so. The buzz in the news, over and over again, is Clinton versus Obama.

As a Clinton supporter- because I am not a former one, I will continue to support her as the Senator from New York- all I can do is roll my eyes. The pressure on this woman to perform a miracle is beyond my imagination. Not only did she suffer the loss of the nomination, now- as all women often must- she has to clean up the mess.

Damn. Remind me to stay out of politics- I'm no where near that gracious. I'd go and say what I think. I'd push my former foe, push him to recognize my ideals.

Clinton can't do that.

It's a shame, you know. All this ass kissing makes us weaker as a party, not stronger.

We'll see.

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Monday, August 25, 2008

Massachusetts Equality Opponents At It Again

Seems the folks in Massachusetts that are against equality- you know, the ones who think marriage is only for them, not everyone, the laws and systems cannot be shared equality without having them get cooties- have successfully petitioned the Attorney General's office to get a ballot question to repeal the .. um repeal of the 1913 ban on out of state folks getting married here.

Why? Because they hate anything that smells like equality for gays and lesbians.

Why? Because they are certain all of the LGBT movement is aimed at sending them to hell.

Why? Because. Oh, just because they have money in their pockets and clearly nothing positive to contribute to society.

And I have to point out, Brian Camenker quoted in the piece? His group is about 100 people. Total. Statewide. Equal time in the press, tiny group. But don't get me started...


By Kyle Cheney

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, AUG. 25, 2008.....Validated Monday by Attorney General Martha Coakley, a citizen petition to undo a recent law favored by advocates for the gay community is shaping up as the newest confrontation in the Bay State over the rights of same-sex couples.

The petition would reverse the July 31 repeal of a 1913 law that banned same-sex non-resident couples from marrying in Massachusetts. Proponents hailed the repeal as a blow to discrimination while opponents blasted Massachusetts for “exporting” its marriage policies to other states.

Having passed the attorney general’s review of its constitutionality, the petition must now garner 33,297 signatures by Oct. 29 – 90 days from when Gov. Deval Patrick signed the original law – to appear on the November 2010 ballot. Meanwhile, petition opponents are contemplating countermoves.

“I don’t think we’re going to have much trouble getting the signatures,” said Brian Camenker, a gay rights opponent who spearheaded the petition. “People have just had it up to here with this social experiment being pushed in their faces. The Legislature has been just so disconnected from the people in Massachusetts.”

Camenker, who heads MassResistance, described the same-sex rights lobby as a “small special interest group” and said lawmakers “underestimated” the anger and passion surrounding the issue.

Camenker was particularly incensed that lawmakers attached an emergency preamble to the 1913 law repeal, a fairly common practice but one that prevents petitioners from delaying the law’s implementation. Under the rules governing referendum petitions, if backers gather the required signatures within the allotted timeframe, the underlying law is suspended until the voters weigh in. But laws treated as emergency measures by the Legislature are not subject to delay.

Backers of the bill contend that adding an emergency preamble was always part of the plan for the bill.

“In some ways this is kind of crazy,” said Gary Buseck, legal director for Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders. “Today, I don’t think they could pass this [repeal]. I don’t think there’s any interest in going backwards.”

Buseck said GLAD was eyeing the petition process before deciding whether to take action.

“We’re interested in seeing if they even muster the signatures,” he said.

If they do, he said, GLAD attorneys could file suit against the secretary of state and attorney general to attempt to invalidate the petition, “a tried and true mechanism that’s also happened a goodly number of times.” Such a move would put the case before the Supreme Judicial Court.

In a statement, Coakley said her approval of the initiative petition did not signify support for the substance but allowed petitioners to move on to the signature-gathering stage of the process.


Serving the working press since 1910

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You Tell Me...

I'm back in Downeast Maine with the kids, Walter and Allan, for the last week of summer. The leaves are starting to turn up here and it was cold enough for a fire last night.

I have a lot of stories about this house I could tell. In WWI, there was a couple, man and a very manly woman, who rented the place. Everyone believed them to be German spies from the noise of a teletype could be hear on the point. After a storm, someone came to check on the guests and heard the machine. The next day, the "couple" left.

A ship's Captain built this place for his daughter, with wood from a shipwreck. We have the plaques on the doors, as witness to the former ship.

The Captain's daughter lived here with her "friend." She then sold it two women who owned it for many years who then sold it to another single woman, who then sold it to another single woman... get the picture?

The Sorenson house, just down the road, is known to have the original owner, Mrs. Nash, come back to sit on the porch in a rocking chair, even though she died back in the early 1900's.

The Point is full of interesting history and houses kept the same for over a hundred years. The old hotel was burned to the ground by an unhappy nephew Rumbull, who was cut out of the earnings put the shoes on his horse backward so it would seem he did not go to the hotel, rather walked away. The hotel burned quickly and was the only commercial effort, build in 1891 and ashes in 1904.

When you walk down the road to the shared pump, you smell the pine and the history all at once.

Last night, at 1AM, Jake, sleeping in the upstairs of the main cottage, called out to me. I got out of bed, on the first floor, and went upstairs. At the doorway of the stairs, I smelled an intense, rotten egg odor. At the top, it was worse. Their whole room, which spans the entire house, reeked. At first I thought maybe Jake had an accident. He did not. He was standing next to his bed, clearly half awake, half asleep. I got him back in his bed and rubbed his back.

The smell was too intense. Mother alert, once fully awake, went off. I woke up Zachary and took both of them downstairs.

Why you waking me up? Zachary moaned.

Because it smells up here.

He wasn't very happy.

I tucked them in and went to investigate. I was certain it was the propane gas leaking. I went back upstairs and went to the lights- that had not been lit that day or any day recently. Not stronger there. I went downstairs and went outside- perhaps it was a bad low tide- nope. Outside did not smell at all like sulfur. I went next to the propane refrigerator, nothing. I went to every light in the downstairs- nothing.

In fact, the only place with the smell was the staircase and upstairs. Not even the dining room, where the stairs let out, had a smell to it.

I went back to bed and thought of what it could be. I was fairly certain it must be gas and that I was an idiot for not waking up Walter and Allan to help investigate. But the windows were open and... well, propane falls, it doesn't float. It's a very heavy gas.

Why only upstairs?

I finally fell asleep, knowing the CO2 detector was working on the top floor, and there was no fire lit, no sparks to fly.

This morning? Gone. The place smells completely normal.

So... you tell me. What was it?

Saturday, August 23, 2008



The only openly gay man in the olympics- Matt Mitcham from Australia- JUST WON GOLD.

Pride takes a new leap.


Okay, I'm suppose to be happy. I'm suppose to be thrilled with a great choice by Obama.

Rah. Rah.

I had a dream last night that Obama picked someone unknown, fabulous and exciting. It was a woman. She had pizazz.

Biden is a solid choice. He makes good sense and is more LGBT friendly than Bayh.

Rah. Rah.

I'll pull it together. I'm looking forward to the convention next week. I'm hoping for some excitement. Somewhere.

And no, that doesn't mean I'm another Clinton supporter who is going to vote for McCain. I hear that one more time from one more person, I'm gonna blow. I know a lot of Clinton supporters and we're all taking out our checkbooks to write one for Obama.

It's up to the Obama campaign, now. Win it or lose it, there is no one to blame. Let's get to it.

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To the Swing Voters

In honor of Obama's VP choice... let's take it back.

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Friday, August 22, 2008

On a Quiet Walk Home

We're walking back from Perkins Cove tonight, slowly, chatting, talking about school. Ben, Zachary, Jake, Jeanine and I.

A guy in a van drives by. Shouts out. Stops.

Guy says, Hey hey hey woman....

We have our KIDS with us.

I smile, wave and say, Thanks, we're all set.

He stays.

No really, we're good.

I like your friend, he says to me.

Yeah, I like her too. Bye!

Guy finally drives off.

Jeanine pulls the boys in taking advantage of a teachable moment. If you ever see any of your friends talking to girls who are not interested...

That's so weird, Ben said.

It's what women have to live with, Jeanine said. Did I look like I was looking for a guy?

Ewww, all the boys said in unison.

That's how it feels to have someone check you out, I said. It's not nice.

It's a moment that will stick in those three, white, privileged boys minds. I'm grateful.

Even if it didn't feel very good.

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Good luck, Ian

I have my best friend from growing up with me in Ogunquit for the week. Who ever knew Suzy would end up with four great kids, plus one, and I'd have three of my own. I love Suz, she loves me. We had moment when we thought we'd be lovers... it never happened, even thought I wanted it to, she wanted it to, never on the same day, the same moment.

I guess it's better that way. She's beyond my sister now. She's a choice in my life. My family of choice.

Suzy's son Ian is going to college. I can't quite believe we've moved from Ian, infant baby with Yoda ears to grown man, full beard, taller than me, going to college. Asking me about Belvidere vodka and wine. I love him. I cooked his mom and dad chicken Parmesan when he was a baby. This week? hamburgers, hot dogs, pasta and salad, eggs, bacon, and sandwiches upon sandwiches to take to the beach.

Tonight, I knew they were all hungry. I took some flat bread, olive oil, asagio cheese, mozzarella, cooked it up. Then I cut up an entire watermelon.

Gone. When I put it on a plate and take it into the living room, it's like a tornado hits. They are hungry. It makes my heart jump a happy beat to see them eat.

However, as I sat at the beach today, I watched people. I observed a few things...

1. Men with tiny weenies tend to wear very tight Speedos. I'm not sure why. Knowing that it's not any bigger than my pinkie finger sure isn't a turn on to me but what do I know. And no, they are not gay men, but straight men.

2. There are a lot of really white people in Maine.

3. If you lay out a towel, a child will walk across it. It doesn't matter how many times you yell...

4. I think there should be a kind of handicapped space at the beach for people like me. A separate space, clearly defined and a tag above my head that says "does not like to be touched with sand. does not like to be sat in front of, or even remotely near. may bite if personal space invaded."

5. Gay men are beautiful not because they are necessarily all that much better looking but because they care. They take that extra effort to... shave their chests. Or wax their backs. Or, for god's sake, wear a tee shirt. And if they wear a speedo? They're packing something serious. Or a sock.

Hey, it's the beach. Of course I look.

Meantime, I'm saying goodbye to the "dude" man. The little boy who always smiled when we walked in the room- he had no idea I wasn't going to change his diaper. The boy who pointed to pumpkins calling them "dudes" along with everything else when he was two, the boy who made me think... damn. Yes. I can have a baby, too.

If Suzy did it, so can I.

I love you, Ian. Remember- just beer. No booze. Get your feet under you first.

And above all, find great pizza.

How Many Homes?

Listen, I own more than one home. I know where all the receipts are. I know what work has been done where because I arranged it.

You want to trust McCain with small business? Really? A second home is a small business.

Excellent ad, Obama campaign. Excellent.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

McCain Supports the Draft

No shit. Two minutes after I wrote, puts this up.

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I have read that Obama’s VP will be announced by text message, on Friday this week. New, unusual, different. I think it’s a brilliant grassroots effort and an excellent start to the head to head campaign season. It’s a least something interesting to liven up the otherwise dull campaign of late.

I know. I shouldn’t complain.

I’ve heard that some folks, like Michael Moore, are calling for Caroline Kennedy to be the Vice President.

Hey, why not Oprah? I tell you why not, BECAUSE WE WANT TO WIN THIS RACE.

I’m a little edgy, can you tell? Might be the three boys I am raising, one of which will be draft age soon. Or all the boys I know that already are draft age. The one thing that strikes me about all of them?

They are only boys.

I do have a plan. I have a friend with a second home in Canada. Yes, I really would go there rather than have my kids fight in a war that is about oil and greed and conflicts older than the sand they are fighting on.

I am awake late at night wondering if any of the conspiracy theories could possibly be right- could Bush cancel the election? Could there be a catastrophic event that would lead the American people to hand over their final, few civil rights?

Could we all be so blind to the flip-flopping angry, crazy man McCain is? I’m not talking simply about calling his wife a cunt; I’m talking about all the documented cases of him losing it on the Senate floor. Can we afford to have this nutcase control the big red button?

Time and time again, I come back to the war. Sure, I want marriage equality, and I want a decent, balanced supreme court. I want social progress and taxes that make sense for everyone. I want universal healthcare, even though I want Clinton’s plan, I’ll take Obama’s as a start.

Mostly, though? I want the war to end. Now.

I talked with a friend today who is from Dansville, New York. It’s is a rural community in central New York State and very poor. 75% of the kids in the public school qualify for free or reduced meals. Deeply rooted poverty that grabs people by the throat and holds them barely above water. There is no hope it will ever get better.

Unless, she said, you join the service.

And now, imagine the opportunity it is to serve next to convicted felons because enrollment is so low. Proud families with little choices now have even fewer.

The war also sucks up all the money for the programs they need to claw halfway out of the water.

When we become a nation without hope, without opportunity, with giant divides between the haves and have-nots, will we even recognize ourselves in the mirror?

I’m glad the Obama campaign has come up with an exciting, new way to get the news out. I look forward to the technological moment far more than I do the announcement- Bayh will be a tremendous disappointment for me.

Mostly, though, I will sit on the edge till November’s election. I fear our country’s very soul is to be chosen.

And whether or not I’ll be able to stay here.

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Monday, August 18, 2008

Now? Please?

I love my children.

I do.

And I want them back in school... NOW.

I'm out of sorts, out of rhythm, out of my mind.

"Batman" is running around the house- I had to pull him in for a lice check. Jake and his friend are shrieking with delight because Batman is chasing them. Ben is miserable because we've started to wake him before noon so the shock of the school schedule won't kill him.

Or us.

Did I mention the screaming? Yelling? Noise?

And the scratching. That would be me, constantly, as I am certain I have a thousand lice running all through my hair. A friend said if I was worried, I should lather my hair in mayonnaise, put a swim cap on for an hour.

I guess I'm not that worried.

Jeanine looked in the refrigerator and asked, Will Miracle Whip work?

She's itching, too. Which is a little odd because she did not cut Zachary's hair, pick out the nits or wash his clothes.

Did I say I need vacation to be over NOW?

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Equality For All

Do you know what does not discriminate between gay and straight? What doesn't care if you are transgender or questioning? That gives not a damn if you are bisexual, pansexual or asexual?


Zachary came home with a head full of lice yesterday. Yes, the joys of tiny critters has finally come knocking at my door.

Everything is packed away in plastic bags. I'm washing the laundry in hot water not once, but twice. I shaved Zachary's hair- yes, we have clippers and a box of lice shampoo always on hand for just these kind of moments.

I'm itching like crazy. I may have to shave my own head.

Okay, that's only a butch lesbian fantasy I have, to take the clippers and let loose. I am itching like crazy, though.

I asked Zachary, who was oblivious, Didn't it itch?

Nah, he shrugged.

Equality for all, baby. Lice don't care.

And man, they can jump.

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Friday, August 15, 2008

The Killer, Not The Killed

Once again, Lawrence King is in the news. His parents have filed a lawsuit against the school for “not enforcing the dress code.”

I think I’m going to scream.

Lawrence King wore feminine attire to school. He wore what all the girls were wearing. He was a kid with serious issues, often out of control, and in need of help. No one is questioning that.

But when is anyone going to ask questions about the killer? When the kids were killed in the Columbine High School shooting, no one asked what they did to get themselves killed. Every moment of the press coverage was dedicated to Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold.

What they wore, who they hung out with, how their parents were raising them- even the spots they parked their car in when they arrived at the school that horrible day.

Do we know what Brandon McInerney wore that day? Do we know how he got the gun into school? Do we know what created such rage in this boy of 14 to have him take a gun at point blank range and shoot? Do we know who his friends were, what pushed his buttons, what kind of movies he watched or internet sites he visited?

No. We know what that Larry King favored a pair of brown stilettos.

Schools, especially middle school and Junior high schools, are notoriously difficult for anyone who does not fit in or conform. I watched my oldest son go through the doors of middle school for the first time last fall. I watched a boy who loved music and dance, fashion and treasured his copy of High School Musical, toss it all aside.

I wanted to tell him to stand up and be himself. To be proud of not only the way he could play soccer but also the way he could pick out an outfit, or how he knew the top twenty hits every week. We live in a progressive school district with strict anti-bullying rules.

He’d be safe, right?

As long as the focus continues to be on King, my answer is no. He won’t be safe. This lawsuit will send chills down every school administration in the country with the focus on those who are different rather than the violence inflicted on them.

What do we know about McInerney? How are we to learn from this event if we do not know what motivated this boy to grab a gun and shoot another? Some of the obsession in the media over killings is macabre, no question, but some of it teaches us something about our kids, their lives and what needs to change.

We need to learn about the killer, not the killed. That Larry King was a kid with behavioral issues is true but what do we learn by focusing on his behavior? To say he is the rare occurrence of an out of control kid is to be blind to what goes on in schools today.

If Lawrence had not been allowed to wear girls clothes, he would still be alive the King’s lawsuit suggests. Call me a cynic, but maybe if McInerney didn’t have a gun and didn’t pull the trigger, King would still be alive today.

Clearly, the McInerney’s family has no money and a civil suit against them would be financially pointless. Financially draining the school system will only leave more kids at risk and leave the most important questions unanswered.

A 14-year-old boy shot and killed a 15-year-old boy in a junior high school. We know the killed was wearing “tennis shoes, baggy pants and a loose sweater over a collared shirt.” we know where he sat in the room, how he looked nervously over his shoulder.

What do we know about the killer? When will the focus turn from the killed?

As a parent, I cannot understand the King’s lawsuit. They are blaming lipstick and glitter instead of the gun and the hand that held it. The message, loud and clear, is the dominant culture can wield a gun and shoot at will at anyone who doesn’t conform. And our Schools should enforce that conformity.

In doing so, they put my son, and anyone like him, at risk. And that really makes me want to scream: How can you miss the point?

It's the killer, not the killed.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Obama And Clinton?

You have to admit it, the Obama campaign has been a big snore since Clinton dropped out of the race. Oh, sure, the Germany speech was great and he didn't pull a single Dukakis/tank moment in Iraq.

But the excitement isn't there.

McCain, meanwhile, is busy busy busy. His numbers are frighteningly good. He continues to raise a lot of money. I recently learned that the co-owner of, Jonathan Critichley, has maxed out his contributions to McCain.

Keep up those memberships, boys, and you can guarantee you'll get fucked twice.

Doesn't seem to matter what McCain says about reproductive rights, about the war in Iraq, about anything. He keeps snipping away at Obama's lead. I love his recent ad proclaiming his capability to clean up Wall Street.

This from a man who also claims to not know very much about economics. Which is it Johnny?

Meanwhile, Obama's commercials are bland and hard to tell apart from McCain's. While watching the Olympics, the ads run often side by side.

Which one do we like? my son Jake keeps asking.

Obama. He's the good guy.

You sure?


The Democrats are doing it again. Blowing a sure thing in the home stretch. I can't even mention something I saw today on the internet because I refuse to propagate a rumor, especially against my candidate. But damn, lemme tell ya, it's damaging.

It's time for the bitch to come back because as we know, bitches get things done. Clinton needs to join Obama on the ticket and be let loose. She can rip into McCain- who needs to be ripped into- and Obama can keep his nose clean. Her mere presence is electrifying because you either love her or hate her.

It will give some life back to this campaign.

On the floor, at the convention, post roll call vote- a vote that Clinton will be listed in contention- why not have a little political theater and get the juices flowing again.

Obama Kerry? Obama Bayh? Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Obama Nunn? That'll give you some splash but the wrong kind.

We're starting to stall, people. We need some fire. Some splash and excitement.

Obama and Clinton, 2008.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Sun Came Out!

No, seriously, it did come out. I saw it.

Then I stayed and watched it for a while so I didn't get a lot of work done today. I did have a friend tell me about this old ad- well, take one of an old ad mind you- featuring Zsa Zsa Gabor.

I love Zsa Zsa. (I checked. She's still alive.)

I couldn't work that way either.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Cat Came Back...

Update on the cat.

Charlotte Rose, clearly amused by my attempts to keep her from peeing and pooping on the boy's bedroom carpet, let me know today who is in charge.

I had cleaned with the nature's miracle. I had bought a new litter for the upstairs. She stopped going on the carpet. I was thrilled. Today, I got the NoMark stuff- just to be sure.

Five minutes after I sprayed the NoMark? She went and pooped on the rug.

Then she came down and sat on my table in my office. On top of my newspapers, and some work papers. Ears flat, tail twitching.

Ok. I give up. You win.

Reminded me of a children's song the boys loved when they were little...

The Cat Came Back
Written By: Harry S. Miller (with later folk additions,
Copyright Unknown

Old Mister Johnson had troubles of his own
He had a yellow cat which wouldn't leave its home;
He tried and he tried to give the cat away,
He gave it to a man goin' far, far away.

But the cat came back the very next day,
The cat came back, we thought he was a goner
But the cat came back; it just couldn't stay away.
Away, away, yea, yea, yea

He gave it to a man going up in a balloon,
He told him for to take it to the man in the moon;
The balloon came down about ninety miles away,
Where he is now, well I dare not say.

But the cat came back the very next day,
The cat came back, we thought he was a goner
But the cat came back; it just couldn't stay away.
Away, away, yea, yea, yea

He gave it to a man going way out West,
Told him for to take it to the one he loved the best;
First the train hit the curve, then it jumped the rail,
Not a soul was left behind to tell the gruesome tale.

But the cat came back the very next day,
The cat came back, we thought he was a goner
But the cat came back; it just couldn't stay away.
Away, away, yea, yea, yea

Away across the ocean they did send the cat at last,
Vessel only out a day and making water fast;
People all began to pray, the boat began to toss,
A great big gust of wind came by and every soul was lost.

But the cat came back the very next day,
The cat came back, we thought he was a goner
But the cat came back; it just couldn't stay away.
Away, away, yea, yea, yea

The cat was a possessor of a family of its own,
With seven little kittens till there came a cyclone;
Blew the houses all apart and tossed the cat around,
The air was full of kittens, and not a one was ever found.

But the cat came back the very next day,
The cat came back, we thought he was a goner
But the cat came back; it just couldn't stay away.
Away, away, yea, yea, yea

(there are other lyrics that are more gruesome, but this is the version from a book we had.)

McCain Fears For His Viagra Prescription

He doesn't know enough about this or he knows he's in deep shit with whatever answer he gives?

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A Brief Pause in Reality

I’ve been glued to the Olympics the last few days. After the flaming vagina of China at the opening ceremonies, how could I turn away?

I love watching the games. The swimming, volleyball, synchronized diving- I do wish they’d show the archery and a few other less “popular” sports. It reflects the magnitude of how many athletes are there ready to compete on a world level.

The boys have been watching with me. They are more focused on the USA rather than the sport itself. The whole Michael Phelps drama is a little over done, although I admit, I have watched all his races so far. The kid makes it look easy.

The coverage of the beach volleyball duo- May-Treanor and Walsh- are the poster women for heterosexuality. Over and over again the announcers mention how both are married and “ready to start a family.”

No question those girls like to do the deed with a big strong man!

Personally, I’m more in awe of their play, their ability to cover the court and the speed they can hit the ball into the sand. Their husbands, wedding rings and birthing plans do not interest me.

To be fair, nor does what Michael Phelps has for breakfast. It is part of what has happened to the games, the multimedia-advertising spree. I don’t like that at all but I tend to sit with a crossword puzzle so I can ignore the fluff.

Women’s gymnastics, to me, are a sport that demonstrates what’s wrong with how we treat girls in this world. Yes, it is awesome what they can do with bodies. And I’ll eat my hat if all those competitors are really 16 years old. Too young, too much pressure.

Maybe I’m just jealous because I have never been able to do a handstand unless I was in three feet of water.

The Olympics are a brief escape from the reality of the world today- Georgia being attacked by Russia, the poverty behind the walls China built to hide less than perfection, the ridiculous notion that offshore drilling could do anything to help the current gas prices at the pumps. In a few weeks, school will be starting. The Presidential race will kick into high gear. My heart starts to race just thinking about the growing possibility of a McCain presidency. The conventions will take place, VP’s picked and the discussion will be far from civil.

I’ll be ready when the shit starts to fly. But for now? I'm going to take a brief pause in reality and watch the best athletes in the world compete.

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Serious Crime in Suburbia

Someone is stealing my flowers.

I wrote about it last year. This year, the thief- or thieves- have become more bold and are digging up Dalia's and Delphinia's left and right.

Who steals flowers?

I decided I'd get a sign. Video Surveillance, Don't Steal the Flowers. The response? Three more plants dug up and whisked away.

Yesterday? We installed a real live video camera on the fence. The cost of the system is about the same as the cost of the flowers nabbed to date.

And when I catch my pansy pilferer on tape? I'm going to call the local paper. I am going to freeze a frame and blow up their photo and hang it on the fence.

Yeah, I'm mad.

Saturday, August 09, 2008


We all take napping in Downeast Maine very seriously. The cats and I, that is.


Friday, August 08, 2008

Politics Aside...


Remember Munich?

In 1972, I was in that horrible cottage my father rented.

I went fishing with my Uncle. And then I remember Olga Korbut and Mark Spitz.

I remember, coming home, and my mother telling me about the shootings. The hoods.

Through the smiles? Remember the killing at Tienanmen Square.

For Peace On Earth

I'm back in the land of electric lights and no excuses for poor editing. Jake and I left Allan, Beanie and Buster alone in compost toilet land. Oh, wait... he's off to Donald's tonight to watch the Olympic opening ceremonies.

No pity for him. Donald's a great cook.

On our way home, Jake and I made a couple stops to catch some rural Maine flavor for you all.

That and Jake was a little carsick.

Tell me this place doesn't beg to be stopped at and wandered through. Just outside of Cherryfield, Maine. The next time I'm up there, I am going to stop, kids or not, and wander through the place. It's hard to see from this shot- I didn't want to upset anyone by taking photos without permission- but there are a million fabulous old antique signs.

Next, while thinking of my good friend whose husband got a huge promotion, I saw a place that would be perfect to celebrate at. And it's all inclusive, too.

I mean, Golf, a buffet dinner and buses welcome? Please. It doesn't get any better.

The night before last, there was clear skies at night and a small crescent moon. The stars were glorious. Allan and I sat on a couple chairs with our heads turned to the sky.

Look! Allan kept saying and I kept missing the shooting star he saw. I finally kept my head in one place.

Have you ever seen a shooting star where you can watch the trail light up the sky, if for a single second?


What did you wish? I asked Allan, breaking the rule.

For peace on Earth, he said.

He was serious and if ever there was a shooting star bright enough to hold such a wish, it was there in Downeast Maine that night.

If you watch the opening ceremony tonight? Look in the faces of all those kids competing and remember, it's possible. It doesn't have to be a wish.

Maine was a delight, as always. I come back refreshed with new eyes. The day to day fight for rights sometimes fogs the bigger goal.

For peace on Earth.

Victim to Scapegoat: The Tragedy of Lawrence King

Another piece I put up while in the woods.

Victim to Scapegoat: The Tragedy of Lawrence King

Thursday, August 07, 2008


We caught fish! Jake, Logan (his friend) and I went out in high tide yesterday afternoon caught fish.

Not a fish.

Not a tiny fish, but four decent sized mackerel. At least I think it was mackerel- I’ve never fished in the ocean before. We brought out a can of baby clams, stuck them on the hook and cast the line. After many unfruitful trips out, I did not expect to catch anything but seaweed.

Tug, tug… and then the arc of the pole…

Our- yes, mine, too- shouts of glee did not tip over the boat. We looked at the fish. Touched the fish and then let the fish go.

It was Logan’s first two fish ever. Jake’s second, and third. We could have stayed out all afternoon, if the tide wasn’t slipping away.

I loved to fish as a kid. We would go down to Holmes Pond, digging some worms along the way, and grab the poles Mr. Holmes had made from sticks and some fishing line attached at the end. It was for us to use, and he had shown us how to put a worm on the hook, wrapping it to disguise the hook, careful not to hook ourselves. We pulled up bluegills and sunfish, just dangling our lines off the dock.

One by one, we would catch fish and save the few we thought big enough to cook over our campfire, toss the others back to catch again in a few moments. I knew how to bone, and filet a fish. It never made me feel bad for the fish. I knew I was using it, tossing the guts into our neighbors garden compost pile.

I went out once with my Uncle Rex when I was a little girl. He was my father’s older brother and a quiet, gentle man. He also loved to hunt deer and catch fish. He took me out one morning, pre-dawn, because, as he told me, that’s when the fish were biting.

He taught me to be very quiet. To pull the line gently, luring the fish. Never tug. You’ll end up with a hook in the side of a fish. Be patient. It may take all morning, it may take all week, but you will get one.

And then, after hours, he rowed me back to my father, in his underwear, at the table.

It was a week we spent at the murky, weed-choked end of one of the Finger Lakes. My father had rented a cottage with a shore that locked us on land. I had my mother’s critical eye- how could he be so stupid? Why was everywhere he took us so dirty?

Fishing was lost to me that week, years ago.

Today, the three of us were on the boat, the boys laughing and giggling and fighting over the single fishing rod, all at the same time. I rowed to where ever they wanted. The sun has disappeared again but the water was calm.

The first tug was certain to be seaweed until it wasn’t. The boys screeched and we delighted and terrified by the eight inch flapping monster of a mackerel. They felt how smooth he was, once I had removed the hook.

Then they wanted to keep it for a pet.

Maybe dinner.

It was too small, I said and tossed it back in the water. It’s also not a toy. You need to send them back if you don’t want to eat them.

Each boy caught two fish. I saw the rocks growing dark lines from the receding tide on the island nearby. Life is not always fair but with these two boys, destine for a lifetime friendship, it was even steven.

We rowed back and the fish they caught grew, and grew as we got closer and closer to shore.

Now you are real fisherman, I said. Real fishermen tell tall stories about the fish they caught.

They laughed and the fish became bigger than the boat.

As they scrambled up the rocks shouting of their accomplishment, the other grownups looked at me for the reality- was it a minnow?

No, I said, they caught some serious fish today.

I set out this afternoon to paddle around with the boys and a fishing rod. Next time, I will bring a bucket, a net and a pair of pliers. My love of fishing, tucked away and obscured by my father’s shadow, has come out again. I found the little girl on Holmes Pond,

My son and his best pal caught fish. There was no better a view on this whole coast than the delight in their faces. I found one of those buried pieces of myself in their smiles.

I love to fish.

And I just fell a little more in love with this place.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Another Book Excerpt

Mother Triggers: No Shorts in the City

My mother is never very far from me. Even dead two years, I can have her at my side in an instant- or on my back, depending on her mood. The other day, I watched a friend dry dishes with a towel and I heard my mother’s voice.

Never dry dishes- It’s not sanitary. Let them air dry.

I don’t know why that always triggers her voice in my head but it does. She had a lot of rules, my mother. Never show up on time for a dinner party- always ten minutes late to give your hostess some extra time. Never cross your legs, fold them gently to the side, crossing at the ankles.

And never, ever wear shorts in the city.

Always about conformity, always about doing the right thing- as if there is a single right thing- and always be appropriate in public.

My family worked hard at looking the part. Appropriate behavior was explained, demanded and never questioned. Except for my brother, who seemed to get a pass on any standards set by my Mother.

Boys will be boys. It’s just want kid’s do.

I heard those things over and over again in my life. They trigger a different reaction in me. One of rage, powerlessness and clenched teeth. But that’s for another chapter.

My sister and I, as girls, had a lot of rules. We were always expected to not only set the standard but also exceed it. You never cleaned your plate, you always left a little bit to show you were not a pig- or a growing child. Never ask for seconds, smile politely and never speak unless you have been spoken to.

We didn’t have to follow the rules at home but we had to know them Sometimes, when enough bourbon was poured before the meal was served, it was required out of the blue. We had to snap to attention in a heartbeat.

Once, my mother set a pile of books on my head. I was to walk down the hallway and back, without dropping one. She wasn’t serious, or at least I don’t remember her being serious. But when I did it with ease, she was very proud.

She never asked my sister to do that. Her body was always suspect to my mother. Never right. Always under scrutiny for being a red flag to less than perfection, drawing attention to her self-perceived failure.

I know my brother was never required to sit up straight. Or ever follow rules.

We worked hard at our image because the ultimate of shame had already happened- my parents were divorced. In 1970, parents did not get divorced. It was a stain of failure my mother could not wash out, no matter how hard she tried.

And she tried.

I can remember once my mother getting the house ready for a visit from her father and stepmother. I knew them as Granddaddy and Grandmother. I did not understand the concept of my mother’s mother having died years before, and Granddaddy remarrying. Grandmother was… Grandmother.

Not Grandma. Not Grammy. Not anything less than the full word. I thought it was a way to keep separate Grandma, my father’s mother, and Grandmother. I understood later that it was about the rules and formality.

Silver spoons, lace tablecloths and those shoulders back where they belong.

My mother painted the entire house inside to make it perfect and without children’s finger prints smeared at the two-foot level. She got on her hands and knees and scrubbed the kitchen floor.

She was terrified.

My mother grew up in a world where decent white folks did not clean their own homes. They had maids. It was rural West Virginia, in Bluefield, but standards kept the middle class white folks apart from the mountain people. From the “PWT’s,” my mother explained.

Poor White Trash.

When she moved to Upstate New York, she did as she thought every young housewife did when they moved into their first home- she hired a maid. The older woman, with gray hair swept up on her head in a bun, serving me coffee- mostly milk and sugar with a touch of coffee. I don’t remember her ever cleaning.

Problem was, in Upstate New York, only the wealthy had maids. The notion of having someone else clean your house was foreign. My mother did not fit in, with her southern drawl and gracious manners. When she spoke, people marveled at the accent they read about in books, or saw in movies but never heard aloud, in person.

Where you from?

West Virginia.

I didn’t know anyone ever came out of West Virginia.

She eventually gave up the accent and the maid. When people asked where she was from, she would retreat to the safety of her Grandfather’s home- Virginia. Lynchburg, Virginia.

The rules changed and she adapted. But when her father was coming to town, she frantically tried to create an image he would be proud of. She was caught between two worlds.

I know how she felt. Something as simple as washing dishes sends me back to a world where every motion was inventoried and considered.

(to be continued…)

Monday, August 04, 2008

The Divide?

The more I sit still, the more I wonder…

Why do I need to move, groove, and change the world? Is it possible? What do I believe?

I finished Matt Taibbi’s “The Great Derangement” and I’m left wondering what is the most effective way to create change. Our current government is corrupt- and has been for a long time. The Republicans screw the Democrats and the Democrats screw the Repulicnas all in the name of special interests and power.

Getting the best offices on Capitol Hill.

Our two party system is a joke. As Taibbi points out, it’s just one money grabbing group or the other in charge of a big ol’ checkbook we all pay for.

Nothing is that different in policies. Democrats are not always good guys, and Republicans not always bad guys, and the truth is, we are all pretty much in the middle.

And we’d rather think that there is a vast conspiracy created by right to end our way of life- all that personal liberty, justice and fairness. As the right think the same thing.

What if, as Taibbi suggests at the end of the book, we’re really not all that different? We’re really in the same boat, with the same general needs- life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, say. What if we focused on cleaning up the corruption instead of voting with our passions? Or what ends up being cooked up as us vs. them?

It would make for very boring television, that’s for sure.

Are we really a bunch of stupid ass sheep that sit in front of our televisions waiting for the next piece of news? And I include myself in that- maybe I don’t watch TV but I certainly take in my fair share of mainstream media on a daily basis.

When I’m far away from it, I wonder… is the wedge in our country, left vs. right, real or created for prime time entertainment?

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Ready, Willing and Able

Jake arrives today! I can’t wait to see him. I know, and I’ve said it before, when Jake no longer wants to sit in my lap and snuggle, I’m going to need a puppy.

We had dinner at Donald’s last night. He thought it didn’t come out right but the rest of us thought it was delicious. A great paella, grilled zucchini slices with just a little olive oil and cheese melted on top, and a fabulous blueberry dessert- we are in Maine after all.

I was warned that even though it seems like those blueberry fields go forever and no one would miss a little scoop, to stay off the fields. Unless I want to get shot. Or have my house burned down.

As we drove back and dodged a few porcupines taking their nightly jaunt on the side of the road, we came up to the big blueberry field near our house. It was foggy, wet, and the car lights made all the ripe berries look shiny white. It was surreal to see.

One more touch will make this place doable for Jeanine. She is a little cranky this morning about having to drive to a spot where the internet connection via card works well. So cranky she yelled at me on our last morning alone together. As if I am the one who brought the fog in… please. I’m not THAT much of a narcissist.

Our week alone has been great. I will not mention what we’ve been doing because it will pass the Weezie meter. I can only say I am very sad she’s leaving tonight after dinner to drive back to Boston.

I realize this is a place for me. I will be here for the next week with some friends, Allan, Jake. The solitude, quiet and ocean sounds are like turning a tap open and I cannot help but write.

Jeanine is more of an urban gal. She relaxes when surrounded by the certainty of work done, her online classes up to date and long, hot showers are a given.

We have come a long way, the two of us. Eighteen years. As she said once to me, when we were in the worst year of all, marriage is like wine. Not every year is good. Sometimes you have to wait to enjoy it. Young wines are full of fruit but lack any layers.

It’s true. We are a layered pair, the two of us.

We’ve shifted into a very good year. A time to open and enjoy. A time to be at peace. The next stage of our lives, as our kids grow more and more independent, is our next challenge. Being able to connect without the pitter pat of little feet, or little league baseball games, or the daily routine of getting the kids out the door.

A few more years of transition. For now, Jake is still only eight years old and coming home from his camp. Our boys are still deeply rooted in our every thought.

It is nice to know we can weather our foundation swept away and come out stronger than before. There is comfort in where we’ve been, although I hope we never go through it again. We didn’t end up divorced, although I was certain we would. As we fought and pushed, and hurt each other to the core, the one piece we both refused to give up the dream of our family.

People end up divorced and it is the right thing. I cannot imagine my life had my father been in the home, day and night. There are times trust is frayed beyond repair, no matter how hard you try to mold the edges back together, they come apart in a moment of inattention. Or when mental cruelty thrown back and forth like a medicine ball leaves you unable to focus on anything else, lest you end up flat on the floor from the impact.

We were lucky. Not better or more in love or more capable. Simply lucky that it didn’t go too far.

As we get ready to see Jake and crew in a few hours, I want to sit quietly with Jeanine on the porch. Listen to the waves. I am so grateful, not to God, or the fates, or any celestial source, but for the willingness we both had to do the hard work to get to the other side. Not everyone does. Not everyone should.

I can’t wait for Jake to get here. I miss him. It has, however, been a delicious week alone with my wife.

The best part? I believe, again, we are ready, willing and able to grow old together.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Take My ‘Copter Wings Away!

I have to confess. I come across all tough and certain. Sure and confident. I make rules and the kids follow them and that’s all there is to it. Period, no discussion, because I said so.



I have to confess to a helicopter parent moment. I had one today. While I was out and actually in cell phone range- I am in Downeast with Jeanine for the last few days of our alone time together- I received a text from Ben. Sent the day before.

Since he’s not supposed to have his phone with him, I was annoyed. But then I read the note, Mom, I know this is just for emergencies. Can you pick me up at end of camp out? Or I will be depressed.

I am not using all the short cuts he used. I’m surprised sometimes how well I can read it.

Tug, tug. Out comes the helicopter wings. I talk to Jeanine. She says, see if someone can get him. We are not going anywhere. She’s not particularly bothered one way or another. If he can get a ride home, fine, if not fine.

I check and yes, I can have him picked up.

But, my friend asks, do you really want me to?

Okay, I need to talk to the camp director. While waiting at the edge of the rocks where I have about a two foot range of cell phone reception, I talk to another friend- is this about me? Am I rushing to save him?

Yes, you are. Leave it.

Finally, a few hours later and back in the foggy rain in the one spot I get connection, I speak with the camp director.

He’s having a blast, she said. In fact, he and (another girl at the camp) recruited a few kids to stick around for the second half of camp.

Hmm. I realize, in a moment, when I did not respond to his plea, he worked it out. He found a way to make it work by getting other kids to come to the second half. He took the initiative. He dealt with it. He was not depressed.

At all.

As they always do on their own.

Everyone is amazed that I send my middle son to a month long camp. I have to admit, I hate it for me. But for him? It’s a month where he makes his own decisions and his own bed, and changes his underwear not because I told him to but because it’s the right thing to do.

In short, he learns how to be independent. In a healthy way. I learned how to rely only on myself and do everything alone because I didn’t trust a single soul. No one around me, as a kid, was trustworthy.

That’s not true for my kids.

When I swoop in and try to make it better it’s about my need for control, my need to make it better because no one else is remotely trustworthy.

Someone needs to take my ‘copter wings away. I’m robbing my kids of valuable lessons when I step in and fix it. Ben’s solution was much better than mine. Not to mention the biggest tragedy of the moment was he was worried he’d be bored.

I see the note and I see a panorama view- everything he’s been through in the last couple months, the struggles he’s had, and the emotional push/pull.

I want to fix it. I hate seeing my kids, any of them, in pain. And that’s when I realize, the reason why Zachary is so confident and strong now is because of the camp experience. Last year, when we left parents weekend brunch? He started to cry. He had jumped into my arms when he first saw me and when we were leaving, he was so sad.

And he learned to rely on his friends, his counselors, and to talk about the feelings. Funny thing is, all the kids were feeling that way.

I walked away; I did not turn around because I was crying. I knew then it was the right thing. Today? I struggled with it. Maybe because I don’t trust Ben to make good decisions. Maybe because he’s struggling with bigger issues at 12, almost 13 years old than he seems to be able to handle.

Maybe I see him as more fragile, which is all the more reason why to let him figure this out in safe spaces, like the camp. With caring adults around who are trustworthy, he can learn how to reach out, ask for help, and express his feelings.

I’ve never seen myself as a helicopter parent. My friend the Martha Stewart of parenting has always accused me of being a hard ass. Of course, she has two quiet girls and I have a herd of boys. Today, for a moment, I thought, I’m too hard on him.

That’s not it. I might be too hard sometimes but this was not the place or time.

I learned a couple things today. I do swoop in to take care of my kids and that is about my anxiety, my lack of trust- not theirs. I need to count to ten before making any decisions- I did. And listen when people raise good questions- I did.

Mostly? The next time he goes to camp? I take his phone away.