Friday, February 29, 2008

Leap Day Festivities

Here I am, bleary eyed and wondering what exactly I'm doing awake. I have an appointment later with my dreaded (and soon to be former) meds nurse. But I could have slept another 15 minutes, or even another hour! Sometimes I like to go to those appointment without the brave face I put on for all other occasions. It probably helps.

So first thing on the day which occurs on our calendar only once every four years?
A cup of coffee.

Or, more honestly, 15 minutes back in bed.

Okay, here I am back in bed (but blogging isn't resting, I call foul on myself), waiting for the water to finish boiling so I can make half a pot of coffee in the french press.

The rest of the day shall include: baking leap day cookies, eating breakfast and/or lunch and/or dinner, brushing my teeth, going to a party (maybe), wearing a dress I got for $5 (people, there are some great deals to be had at department stores this time of year if you are willing to dig - I got a great party dress at JCPenney a couple of weeks ago for less than $10, as well as two really nice cotton sweaters for the boyfriend for 4 bucks each!)and driving on the newly fallen snow (we have gotten record snow fall this year, and seem on track for 100 inches total).

I can't be the only one who LiveBlogs their life, can I?

Now I'm in the four minute waiting period between pouring the water into the press and pushing down the plunger.

And coughing. I really hoped my cough would go away by now, but alas...

And I'm thinking about things which I cannot discuss here.

And searching for how much snow we have had this month, because it's insane (but here's a link to a National Weather Service page talking about Wisconsin's worst snow storms)!

You know, now that I'm sipping my perfectly made cup of coffee (not too strong, smooth and not bitter, locally roasted fair trade beans from Nicaragua no less, with a splash of half and half), things feel a lot better. Thank you, coffee.

Okay, the coffee and the hunt for the exact info on snowfall totals are waking me up for certain.

Although I try to be an island (a lonely, barren island), I finally return to the social networking site where I know I saw the information, and found it! 31 inches of snow in February (which may or may not include the couple three we got last night). We had something like 28 inches in January, and have 12-16 inches of snow depth right now, and a total of 89 inches of snow for the season.


We've have more later this week it looks like, but who knows... maybe 100 inches isn't in the cards for this season.

I'm thinking about making chili con carne today, with chunks of stew meat, and fresh jalapeƱos and... oh, those big green ones. Damn, my memory is useless lately. And onions and lots of garlic and ancho chili powder. I went shopping at 10:30 or so last night because I discovered it was snowing when I was on my way home.

I found some great deals on my brand of tampons and bought $25 worth, so I'm set for months (I really wanted to tell somebody that - they were at least $2 less a box, that's a good price). There was a group of young men there and one of them kept trying to get my attention. I'm tired, cranky, frizzy haired and have social anxiety. Plus I was at least 15 years older than he was. It was funny, because I just couldn't even do the thing women do when they don't want attention, which was be nice. I just hid behind the People magazine.

We left at the same time and he rolled down the window and yelled something at me, not anything rude or scary, but just a final plea for attention. I smiled and shook my head. And the snow fell on my hair, and when I got my stuff into the car, I looked up at the sky and felt very in the moment, being pelted by snow and buffeted by wind.

So, if you've gotten this far, happy Leap Day.

I gotta go get dressed and go see the evil nurse. More coffee is needed.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

My life explained via an altered comic strip

garfield minus garfield is like looking into a mirror.

Semitic Semantics

Okay, the post title is kind of lazy (that is, not completely descriptive), but lovers of alliteration can see why I chose it.

Just read an interesting article by Professor Juan Cole, who is a Middle East expert and fluent in Arabic.

He writes about the ado made of Barack Obama's middle name, Hussein, what it actually means and how he got it. He also compares this family name to other names of Semitic origin in America. It's an interesting article, and I encourage you to read it, especially if you are an entomology geek.

And at some point I will post something that doesn't relate to Barack Obama. At some point.

Monday, February 25, 2008


Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen

Now I've heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don't really care for music, do you?
It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah

Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew her
She tied you
To a kitchen chair
She broke your throne, and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

You say I took the name in vain
I don't even know the name
But if I did, well really, what's it to you?
There's a blaze of light
In every word
It doesn't matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

I did my best, it wasn't much
I couldn't feel, so I tried to touch
I've told the truth, I didn't come to fool you
And even though
It all went wrong
I'll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The New Hampshire Speech

Another Obama YouTube (go ahead, roll your eyes).

The speech (a CONCESSION SPEECH, btw) which inspired the "Yes We Can" song/video.

Please watch and listen to this and then tell me that this man is NOT inspirational. Seriously, this speech kicks ass. And before you ask, no, it's not a policy speech.

People are saying (and it has become a buzz in media and on the streets) that there is some sort of over-enthusiasm in the Obama crowd. It's bizarre to frame that enthusiasm negatively. Could we also not say that there is a decided (or comparative) *lack* of enthusiasm in other supporters? Or even less controversially, say there is a different kind of enthusiasm? I think we could fairly say that.

Trust me, I am no more in the market for a saviour than I am... I dunno, a motorcycle. Although people keep accusing Obama of aspiring to be a saviour, I don't hear that in this speech or in other things I've read about his campaign or policies.

He's not saying anything that other politicians haven't said about working together or whatever, but he has the heart and voice of an organizer. He *gets* people, and although I've heard little about them (which, I think is a good thing), his campaign managers are doing an amazing job.

I feel oddly that I want to write about this, but I really do. I want to say that I, a person who has felt so hopeless in so many ways, has been, if nothing else, inspired by both the candidate Barack Obama and the reaction to his candidacy (although some of it depresses me, the shaded racist stuff I'm beginning to hear, for one).

The Boyfriend brought up a good point about Sen. Obama's policy, that he has pledged to raise the military budget, and what occurred to me (and what I said in response) was that *any* president will raise the defense budget. I am personally against both militarization and defense spending which outstrips domestic, but I understand that on that count I'm likely to remain disappointed for the rest of my life. I'm dealing with the reality of that.

Anyhow, I don't agree and won't agree with EVERYTHING that candidate (then President) Obama says or does. I've never found a regular human being that I feel that way about.

But I believe in him, in his ability and talents and "electability" (despite my grave misgivings about racism, which, admit it, takes a place in this race along with sexism). And even if he is not the Dem's choice for presidential nominee (which, I would point out to Democrats, is a bad idea), I'll still be believing in what his campaign and what his words have brought to me this year.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Prince Rupert's Drop

One minute explanation of a glass phenomenon. Watch that and then watch this for a demonstration (also very brief) of the "exploding" character of the drops.

There is this feeling in me, a yearning to pluck a metaphor out from this. But sometimes a drop of glass is just a drop of glass, right?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Just rocked my vote for Sen. Barack Obama, and I wasn't gonna write about it, BUT, when I checked my mail I had two mailings from the Hilary Clinton campaign, one of them extremely negative.

And to make things worse, the negative mailing had one of those horrible photoshopped pictures of people (some old people, some middle aged, a few young people) who weren't actually standing together. WTF?

The smart as always 8 year old pointed out that the other mailing used the "Yes We Can" slogan from Sen. Obama's campaign on the "What I will do" for you part of it. It was very untoward, in our esteemed opinion.

Anyhow, it made me feel mad, annoyed and disappointed. And contrarian as ever, very happy to have cast my vote for her opponent.

Get my Vote on!

Good thing: day of registration at the polls in Wisconsin.
I'm already registered in the old community where I voted this past spring, but not yet registered at my new polling place.

Bad thing: My driver's license has my old address on it. My utility bills are all delivered online, so I have none to present within the last 90 days. My bank statements ditto, and I don't have a paycheck to show. I've gathered a lot of things which I think should prove my residence beyond a shadow of a doubt, and will soon be going to casting my vote!

I really don't want to leave the house as I believe my headcold has begun to evolve into bronchitis. A walk in the -2 windchill doesn't seem the stuff to ensure my health, but I've been resting up in anticipation.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

love is all around, no need to waste it

So I have been reading all of these things by people who call valentine's day a sham, and I'm sick of it. Yes, it's a sham, but it's a sham where you get to make people cupcakes or a card out of construction paper (or if you are sick as a dog like I am this week, buy them cards).

And it's a sham where I get to buy my kid and I some lovely pink tiger lillies and pale sherbert orange roses at the grocery store, and the whole shopping trip turns into foods which match in colour (except the black beans and the milk, those were the odd ones out).

And it's a sham where I get to feel silly and happy and remember how much I enjoyed it as a kid. Yes, it's overhyped. Hell, nothing isn't lately. I remember walking down the aisles at Shopko a few days before Christmas and they were putting out the VALENTINE'S candy. And today, as I walked to the checkout line at-packed-to-the-gills Walgreens, I saw the Easter candy. So, yes, all the ads, and the "YOU MUST CELEBRATE THIS" are annoying, but it's a far simpler day to ignore than the three months of Christmas, and it's simply a better day.

I'm tired of cynicism. I'm feeling very vulnerable and being sick on top of being snowbound for a week or so... I'm just spent. All I want to do is sleep all day (and since I've been up nearly all night, that is likely a good idea).

As far as Valentine's Day goes with me and my man, I told him I don't care about a present, but I want to be with him and have us both say "happy valentine's day", celebrate it by just being together. It's not a big deal, but it's a *deal*.

Happy Valentine's Day. Would you be mine?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Yes, We Can

I have officially gotten way into the Barack Obama run for the presidency. Despite my best efforts, I'm getting excited about it all. I'm thinking this cold will keep me from waiting outside to see him speak here tomorrow. But I'm trying to rest up the best I can to get better ASAP!

I found this funny McCain themed parody of the "Yes We Can" video (which juxtaposes Sen. Obama stump speeches with celebrity singers and actors singing or speaking along), which prompted me to finally go watch the original. And yes, I cried. I really do love the idea that we can change some of the awful stuff that's happened in our country.

First the McCain themed parody:

Now the original.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


It seems I'm actually getting a real, live cold! Hooray.


I still need to mop the living room floor. And do laundry.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Snowmageddon 2008

Holy Moly, is it snowing out there.

The Boy and I are watching Watership Down (which I've never seen, although I read the book a few times as a kid). OMG, it's scary. It's hard out there for a wabbit.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Some interesting perspectives on the upcoming election which I've read recently

First of all, I should say that I'm going to be voting for Barack Obama in the upcoming Wisconsin Primary. I'm excited about it, a little, although the overriding feeling I have about this election is still rooted in deep cynicism. I don't believe that the next four years is going to be good for our country (while we try to dig ourselves out of the bush/cheney hole), but it will be far better to have a human being in the White House.

My kids were the first people to convince me to stay involved (however peripherally) in the election. My youngest in particular is SUPER SUPER excited about Barack Obama. SUPER excited. Excitement is contagious.

I originally was going to vote for Dennis Kucinich in the primary, before he dropped out to concentrate on his congressional race, after which I decided to support John Edwards. Now that Edwards has dropped out I am firmly in the Obama camp.

This morning I read this article by guest blogger Naamen Gobert Tilahun at Angry Black Woman and I was struck by it. The "race" issue is why I have felt hesitant about saying I was gonna vote for Barack Obama.

It’s because I’m black.

See when I admit that I support Obama, people (mostly white) get this look on their face and that’s the end the conversation. They don’t ask why, they don’t start a dialogue, there’s just this look. The look is very much like a slap in the face. What the look says is “Ah, I knew you would”, “Of Course.”, “Well, I’m not surprised.”. The look rests on the assumption that as a black man of course I would be voting for the black man. It’s a racist assumption that insults not only myself but Obama as well. When we deconstruct the look there are two main attacks that are happening here.

Number one they are assuming that Obama has nothing to offer except being a black man, they are assuming that none of his politics matter that his only viability as a candidate stems from his race.

It's really worth a read.

Yesterday over at Racilious, various contributors gave their reasons for supporting Barack Obama. Some highlights:

Does Obama appeal to me because he’s multiracial, like myself? Because many of his relatives are Asian? Because in living abroad, he’s had the same international Third Culture Kid (TCK) experiences as me? In part, yes.

But what really excites me about Obama is that he is completely in touch with how race in America is lived in 2008. He understands that race is not just about who’s black and who’s white, or who’s a victim and who’s an oppressor. He’s fearless about addressing institutional racism, but is absolutely uninterested in playing oppression olympics. His message is one of hope and change, yet he doesn’t sugarcoat the realities of racism or insist on engaging in meaningless celebrations of diversity. He proudly identifies as a black man, yet is committed to bringing together people of all races.


Barack voted against the War in Iraq at a time when a substantial portion of America was convinced that going to war was the right thing to do. I greatly respect a leader who can see through the clouds of illusion that politics often create. And when it comes to foreign affairs in the Middle East, there is no better time than now to be incredibly diplomatic and make decisions with our country’s best interests in mind. Bombing additional countries won’t help the damage we’ve already done, nor will building additional military bases (which, as demonstrated in South Korea and Okinawa, can often lead to more problems with regard to security for the host nation’s citizens than before).


He is willing to radically depart from the politics of fear that various people have used to justify the need for military might and instead work toward global community and understanding.

All of the people I've heard talking about why they are voting for Hillary Clinton are white women of a certain age [ETA: I can't believe I played the Race, Gender and Age cards here, I'm embarrassed]. I've listened to a fair amount of "progressive" or lefty radio the past two days. What I've heard is these women talking down to the strawman/Obama supporters, talking about how the young aren't the people we need giving us [older folks] advice about who to vote for, and how the message of "Hope" is somehow empty. REALLY? Thanks, but no thanks. Hearing crap like that will make it really hard to support Sen. Clinton if she indeed takes the nomination. I really don't want to grit my teeth and vote for another uninspiring candidate.

Sen. Obama is far from perfect. Face it, anyone who wants to be president has to have something wrong with them. But he's become my candidate. Because of the many opportunities this race presents me with getting really mad, I'll no doubt be posting here about this. It should be, at the least, an interesting year.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Ice Quake

Apparently we had an Ice Quake* on one of our lakes last week. How cool is that?

*And now I have Prince's "House Quake" running through my head on a nonstop loop. Oy.

And that really hurt, Charlie

My little one was telling me about this all weekend, he does a great English accent.
This made me laugh, and think about when my boys were much younger.