Tuesday, September 23, 2008


We have a date and a venue, a beautiful farm in Virginia:

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Nine to five.

Last week I moved offices and now not only do I have a window and a printer and speakers and two lamps but somehow I think they switched out my mouse so it's the kind that CLICKS in the most satisfactory way. Life is good.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

This is why I don't like cell phones.

I’ve been secretly and not so secretly dreading today for a while: first race ever in the morning, when my lackluster training attempts haven’t led to me running farther than 30 minutes and 2.7 miles as a personal best; and moderating a book panel with some highfalutin’ authors in the afternoon, when public speaking and being in charge are two of my least favorite things.

Well, the race was fantastic. So exhilarating! I kept running the whole time and in fact beat Chris and Shelby, who were parking the car and didn’t expect me to be done yet, to the finish line. A personal best, distance and length of time. And the book panel went fine, despite 90 degree heat, glaring sunlight, and a crazy lady with a shopping cart strolling up and interrupting the proceedings with a broken-English yelling match.

After the panel was over, we went out for lunch to celebrate. I parted ways with my companions at the subway and, strolling home in a pleasant margarita haze, decided to call my grandmother, who’d donated to my race-fundraising efforts, to let her know I'd finished it successfully.

We chatted cheerily. I was almost home when the bombshell dropped.

“Now, you remember that my cousin has a daughter who works for Senator John McCain?”

“…Oh. Uh, how nice!”

“And she says to me, she says, “Norma, John McCain is a good man.”

“That’s very nice, Nanny.”

“I mean, I’ve never met John McCain. But when Barbie—I mean, Barbie’s daughter Amber, who works for him—says he’s a good man, doesn’t that give you great confidence?”

“…I’m really glad, Nanny.”

“Now—I just hope…I mean, who—well, I hope that helps you with what you’re thinking. Have you been following it much?”

“Nope, not really. I mean, I just … I don’t like to get into politics too much, I like to keep family things … I just don’t like to get into it.”

“Well, just as long as you’re not going to vote for someone who’s going to raise taxes!”

That’s when the tequila—or, I prefer to think, a hitherto-untapped source of bravery based in deeply felt convictions—kicked in.

“You know, Nanny, under Obama’s tax plan the middle class will benefit MORE from tax cuts than under John McCain. Under McCain the middle class will have to pay more taxes than they would under Obama.”

“That is not true! Obama wants to raise taxes for the middle class!”

“No, that’s just Fox News rhetoric. If you look at the facts, if you actually look at Obama’s tax plan side by side with McCain’s, the middle class will benefit more from Obama’s, and that has been reported by the Wall Street Journal, which is a conservative newspaper—“

“Obama is going to raise taxes for the corporations and for the rich people. And when we have to buy groceries, buy clothes, from these corporations, we are going to be suffering and paying more.”

[Blink.] “…Nanny, I just don’t like to talk about politics with family; I love you guys so much and I just want to keep it—I just love you guys so I don’t like to talk about it.”

“Okay, well…I’m just going to pray that you find the conviction to vote for the right candidate.” [The Right candidate?]

“Okay Nanny, I love you. Bye bye.”

So now my sweet grandmother, who was clearly so alarmed about my (never stated by me in family settings because I detest conflict) political standing that she brought the topic up at all, as indicated by her nervous laughs throughout the conversation, is going to be even more disappointed in me than she already is (because I live in sin); and I have to sit here and actively think about something I generally try to ignore which is that my entire family is so brainwashed that they are willing to ignore plain facts and vote for John McCain because he’s “a good man,” as my grandma’s cousin’s daughter (whose paychecks are signed by him) says, the man who will—if we let him—drive this country even deeper into the ground. There goes my high for the day. I’m throwing my cell phone out the window and watching it smash.

If they lived in Kansas, I’d probably be more able to let things slide. Naturally, they are--ALL--swing state residents.


I truly hate giving my grandparents distress. THIS coming after YESTERDAY’s lunch at which Chris had to intone “I don’t want to talk about it. I don’t want to talk about it.” in the face of HIS grandfather’s repeated attempts to compare Sarah Palin to Teddy Roosevelt. Grandparents, listen up. We are TRYING to respect our elders. Please don’t make it hard for us. Allow us to respect your life experiences and don't get in our face with viewpoints that will force us to lose that respect.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Bear with me.

It's been a little nutty around here...big reorganization at work, office moves going on all week, a race and a book festival on the same day this weekend...please forgive me if I haven't responded to your email or phone call recently.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Barack the vote!

I've been feeling so distressed that I'm on the verge of physical nausea. Finally I went to the Obama campaign website and made a donation.

I feel so much better!

Update: Well, I've calmed down, I'm sure you'll be glad to hear :) I think what gets to me is not the prospect of losing--I survived the past eight years, I'll survive four more if I have to. Instead it's the physical disgust I feel at the scurrilous techniques the Republicans have been using. Nothing new there, but just brought home forcefully.--Although I'd like to be firm and say I don't think we are going to lose. The Republicans were always going to vote for the Republican, after all. It's the swing voters who are being fought over, and I don't think they're going to fall for the wild reversals Jon Stewart among others has kindly pointed out.

What bemuses me at the end of the day is how someone so rigidly evangelically Christian in her viewpoint can possibly think it's acceptable to get up on a stage and tell blatant untruths. Isn't "Thou shalt not lie" a commandment from God?

A down coat was already on my shopping list...

You know, all those times in 2000 and 2004 when people would say, "I'm moving to Canada!" I'd think to myself, But I don't really like Canada. But then this morning I remembered that MONTREAL is in Canada, and I LOVE Montreal.


I couldn't bring myself to watch the speech last night, but Chris gave me a full report:

"It was frightening. Because you can totally see how a large swath of this country sees her as another "maverick" and some women see her as the embodiment of female empowerment, both of which blow my mind. She really went on the attack. To me she sounded canned and defensive-angry. But a lot of reporters are saying that she was strong. I don't think she'll hold up as well in interviews and debates but she is positioning herself as criticism-proof, laying the case that she's a simple woman with big ideas that's going to get after the DC elite. And shame on anyone for saying something bad about such a nice gun-toting hockey mom. The more Obama and Biden attack her, the more they'll get portrayed as bullies and cosmopolitans. The best thing for them to do is ignore her. Totally ignore her. Because her bite is very limited on her own. You missed the pitbull quote and it sort of sums up everything...At the beginning of her speech she said "You know the difference between a pitbull and a hockey mom? Lipstick." And the crowd erupted into cheers...We are doomed if this happens."

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Look, I'm going to leave aside all the fascinating details that have made this story the most absorbing public train wreck since Britney Spears shaved her head. The fact of the matter is, this person is not qualified to be vice president. I'm quoting from the Wall Street Journal, which is a conservative newspaper:

"She has been cramming on Sen. McCain's positions in preparation for a debate against Sen. Biden, who has been involved in national and international affairs for over three decades."

"'She is used to doing politics one on one and with small groups and with people she, in many cases, may already know,' Mr. Muller said. 'It's very personal.'"

"'She has to familiarize herself with every position John McCain has held over a number of years. That takes work and briefing,' one McCain aide said."

The town she was mayor of in Alaska--you know, before that time two years ago when she became governor of the nation's most isolated state--has a population of 7,000. And this is who we're supposed to put our trust in to potentially step in as commander-in-chief?

I am REALLY looking forward to the vice presidential debate.

Are they SERIOUS?

Dorok's been a lot more eloquent and articulate on the subject than I've managed to be, in part due to the fact that each new revelation leaves me increasingly speechless, but this photo sums up our potential vice president pretty well, don't you think? A MILF with a bear on her couch.