Monday, September 29, 2008

Beware the Stomach Virus!

After spending all weekend, and all day today in bed, I can say with certainty - don't get this stomach virus thingy. It is not pretty.

I am feeling better, though still a little tired. Back to work tomorrow, I'm thinking.

And yes, TH has been taking excellent care of me. He's the best.

Take care of yourselves and stay healthy!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Grrrrl Power??

I'm all for women, I think that's clear. I love being a part of history, and watching women change and shape the world. That's pretty awesome, considering that it hasn't been 100 years yet since we finally got our right to vote legislated.

But I just have to say it or I'm gonna explode. I didn't vote for Hillary automatically because she was a woman; so McCain choosing Palin as a running-mate is not automatically getting him my vote either. It's about the ISSUES, know, things like: the war in Iraq? Poverty? Crime? Constitutional rights? Health Care? Our economy? Our personal freedoms?

Yoo hoo, politicians. Pay attention now: I AM NOT STUPID. I can think about complexities. When I ask you for leadership of my COUNTRY, an influential and powerful Western nation, with big big problems that need solutions, do not give me a hockey mom who I can relate to. I don't want to relate to her. I don't want to relate to my president. I don't vote for someone who is "just like me." If I wanted that, I would be running a campaign for apagefromherbook! I want to know what the candidates, what Palin stands for. I want to see how she handles tough questions. I want to know her experience. And I don't mean the beauty pageant experience. I want her to be exposed to the media, the vultures, and the pundits, just as much as any man would be. But I don't want those questions to be about her parenting (unless you also ask McCain and Obama and Biden the same questions). I want questions about foreign policy, about budgets, about health care, about the war, about abortion, about the death penalty. I want to see her inconsistencies. I want to see her strengths. I want a clear view of her humanity. Then, at least I know I'll be able to make an informed decision.

By choosing Governor Palin, I believe McCain and his advisors are basically telling me there aren't ANY women out there more qualified to be VP than she. Which I find extremely hard to believe. And which tells me a few other things: they are pandering to women voters, they are playing politics instead of seriously considering what's best for this country, and they are insulting me. As a citizen, yes, but also as a woman.

Palin Rorshach Test, Cagle Cartoons

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Ugly Tchotchke of the Week, it's....ahhh.....well..... I don't know what to say.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A Day Off

It has been such a hellish week, and TH is out of town visiting his kids, and I just needed to escape. So I drove up to gold country - Grass Valley, to be exact. After my breakfast of fresh coffee and croissant, I hopped in the car and drove on up the hill.


Lunch at a little Italian cafe. Ravioli with pesto, and a cherry Italian soda. Yum, yum.

Then, on to Empire Mine State Historic Park. This is a pretty interesting place. There are about 367 miles worth of tunnels under here. I walked carefully.

The entrance to the Main Shaft - you can go in, and walk down a flight of stairs to see the track.

It's a widdle schpooky.

You can also visit the mine owner's "cottage." Isn't it beautiful? There was a wedding scheduled there for this evening.

The weather was perfect, and I feel lighter at heart. I'm so glad I didn't spend all day inside!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Trying to take my own advice

That quote over there? About not waxing indignant? Not weeping? Understanding? I'm working on it.

My favorite student - he's baaaaaccccck. And angrier than before! So maybe this semester I can get him referred to the student conduct committee. Meanwhile, I still need to serve him, since there's this legal mandate and all.


That's it. I'm moving to the Canadian wilderness and living as a hermit.

Monday, September 15, 2008

I'm just sayin'.

Happiness is a full belly, a purring cat, and an evening on the couch with a book that's an old friend.

What's your happiness?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

I think Paul Krugman is great.

Another great column from Paul Krugman.

Time for something completely different.

I've read two books about rape/assault, in the last week. Lucky, by Alice Sebold - a memoir - very intense, very powerful and moving story. The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian - fiction - suspenseful, mysterious, and sad.

I think it's time for something light. Any suggestions?

Ankle update

I haven't posted about it in awhile, and I know you all are anxious to hear about my recovery. Today marks week 6 from the date of my ankle injury. Or maybe week 7. I've lost count. REGARDLESS - my ankle is much improved and I am going to start working out next week. I'm signed up for aqua-aerobics, twice a week, and I have yoga twice a week. I'd really like to start my running plan too. We'll see how it goes this week.

All better, Mom?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Toy Story

An email making the rounds has got me thinking about my favorite toys from childhood. I loved anything to do with clothes - dress-up, wearing mom's and dad's shoes, dressing up dolls (although I didn't want to play "house" and pretend they were my children...and now, I am happily child-free...interesting...), playing with Barbies (for the clothes!), etc. And I love clothes even today. I love shopping, putting outfits together, playing with new combinations, following trends, etc.

One of my favorite toys, and I still have it someplace, was the Fashion Plates toy.

This brought me hours and hours of enjoyment. You chose the plates, either two small or one medium, plus one large, then put them in the slot on the left, put paper over them, then put the gray slide down, and did a tracing. Then, you put the paper on a flat surface, and colored away on your outfits. Too cool!

What were your favorite toys? Can you connect your love of them to your current interests?

Monday, September 8, 2008

I'm just sayin'.

I wish everyone used those paper toilet seat covers.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Saturday, September 6, 2008

" what bwings us"

On this day, eleven years ago, TH and I slipped rings on our fingers, made a bunch of gooey, romantic promises, partied with friends, and headed off to SoCal for a week of fun. Yup, today's our anniversary.

What a crazy, funny, loving, scary, frustrating, enlightening, negotiating, exciting, comfortable, delicious, and wonderful ride.

I love you, Cliff. Here's to another year of happiness! (And then, 38 more because remember, you owe me 50. You promised.)

Look at that handsome face! Am I the luckiest woman in the world, or what??

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Thoughts on Health

I've been reading some good articles lately about health care, an issue about which I'm passionate. Here is a good one from NY Times columnist Paul Krugman. Krugman asserts that overall, Republicans don't see health care as an issue for most Americans. Here are some comments from his article:

Despite attempts to feign sympathy, the leaders of today’s G.O.P. fundamentally feel that Americans complaining about their economic and health care difficulties are, well, just a bunch of whiners. It’s true that elected Democrats are often too cautious — and too beholden to major donors — to be as progressive as the party’s activists would like. But even in the face of a Republican Congress, Mr. Clinton succeeded in pushing forward policies, like the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, that did a lot to help working families.
And what one sees on the other side is a total lack of empathy for and understanding of the problems working Americans face. Mr. Clinton, famously, felt our pain. Republicans, manifestly, don’t. And it’s hard to fix a problem if you don’t even think it exists.

I feel so strongly that in a country as rich as America, it is unconscionable for anyone to be without basic health care coverage. But I also know that health care isn't cheap, and I don't know if I think the government should operate health care systems. What I do know is that we are a sick country, and that health is more than just putting a band-aid on a wound.

This article in the local alternative paper provides, well, an alternative view on health care. It discusses the work and beliefs of a local physician who suggests that we take a more holistic view (and he had me at 'holistic'). He suggests that it's time to take a community-focused approach, considering environment, the media, urban development, location and proximity of open air/parks/grocery stores/etc., and how treatment of an individual affects others. Here are some thoughts:

If our primary approach is to try to fix [a health problem] after the fact through medical intervention, we can't afford to do that anymore. It's getting too expensive. It's too resource-intensive.

Is it [doctors'] main job to be effective deliverers of health-care services, or is our role to actually improve health? It it's just to deliver health-care services, certainly we need to do it more effectively and a higher quality and so forth, but it's a fairly narrow role. But if we're supposed to be seen as healers in the broader sense, then we need to engage people in the community. As health-care professionals, we bring a certain amount of the table. We then need to partner with people in the community to help develop broader health.

It is the community itself that creates the social norms. [It is important] to develop the capacity of the community to make the changes they need to affect their health, to empower the community, to develop social networks in the community. ... Helping coach kids in softball and soccer can help community health as much as just doing doctor things.

To reduce costs we have to look at prevention and the environments in which people live. ... Recognize that social connectivity is part of health, poverty is part of health. When one wants to improve health, it requires both individual and societal intervention. No man is an island.

I am thrilled to read about this approach to health. I'm a HUGE believer in the power and importance of community. My life's work is in creating and sustaining connections between seemingly disparate units - in my office, at my job site, in my thoughts - and in helping others see connections in these areas, as well. Mother Theresa said, "If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other." I believe we need to get back to the connections we have with others, as a way to solve our problems. This may seem over-simplified, but it is such a radical idea, with such life-changing consequences.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

RT = Really Terrible.

I've just about had it with the public transportation in this town. Tonight my train was both late and packed. (And by packed, I mean PACKED. I got to know my fellow passengers a little too well, if you get what I'm saying.) My commute, which is about 12 miles, takes about 20 minutes on average. With public transportation, it takes.....[drum roll] one hour. If all goes well. Which is why I bought a parking pass for work. For the first time, in over 10 years.

I'm all for saving the environment, but some days I just want to save my sanity!