Saturday, November 29, 2008

Tom Kha Gai Soup

Brian's been dying for me to try and make his favorite Tom Kha Gai soup.

After perusing several recipes off the internet, I finally made a hybrid that turned out so well, I asked Brian if there's anything he'd change, and he said it was fantastic!

AND, if he WERE to make any changes, he'd have to go down to the Thai Restaurant in town to make a side-by-side comparison...

So here it is:

2 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, cut into bite-size pieces and cooked.
2 14 ounce cans coconut milk
2 cups water
6-8 mushrooms, sliced
2 TBSP minced ginger root (I bought the stuff in the tube at the grocery store and it worked fine)
2 stalks of lemongrass, cut into one-inch lengths (this is optional, but I found some in an Asian market here in town).
4 TBSP fish sauce
1 TBSP loose brown sugar (Thai secret to fish sauce is to offset the salty fish stuff with a little sweetness/It WORKS)
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 TBSP cayenne pepper
1/2 TSP ground turmeric
2 stalks of thinly sliced green onion
1/8 cup of chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:
1) Cut chicken and saute in oil for a few minutes til cooked
2) In a pot, bring coconut milk and water to a low boil. Reduce heat. Add chicken, ginger, lemongrass, fish sauce, brown sugar, lime juice, cayenne pepper and turmeric and mushrooms. Simmer 10-15 minutes.
Sprinkle with scallions and fresh cilantro and serve.

Serves 4-6, depending on how big of a bowl you want.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Turkey Day...At Her Cousins...


OK, so we're at Jill & John's house for less than 30 minutes, and my daughter is walking around shirtless, with a turkey balloon strapped to her. You know, so you can tell where she is and all.

AND it holds up her pants.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

And Just Like That, Black Jack Is Back.

Well, Brian wasn't home for 45 minutes tonight and he was the hero of the hour and found our missing kitty.

Turns out Jack was trapped in the neighbor's garage across the street this whole time!



Brian gave Nora her bath, then he decided to just walk outside a bit with her in her jammies and started calling for Jack, and you could hear Jack WAILING from inside the garage.

AND we tried to get the neighbor, and she wouldn't answer the door, and I could SEE HER IN HER CHAIR, NOT MOVING!!! I yelled and yelled, and nothing, so I went back to the house and started to call 911, and while I was on the phone with them, Brian just WHALED on the door and finally woke her up! She was in some sort of TV coma in her easy chair!


Anyway, Jack is back, he's ok, and very skinny and just talking up a storm about his adventure. Poor little guy, it was so cold these past few nights, I think another night or two we could have lost him!

I fed him a little food, and he's whining for more, but I'm not sure how much to feed him right away.

He's spent the whole night parked on my lap, and as you can see he's not going anywhere.

Welcome back Jack. You talk too much, but we missed ya, buddy.

Jack, Jack, Where Are YOU?


He's been gone for three days (this will be his third night) now.

I JUST put his collar back on now that the big Hopper has stopped kicking his a$$ and taking Jack's collar off. I'm grateful for that, so at least if someone finds him we might get a call.

Man, this is the one thing I hate about cats...you just never know if they're on a walkabout in the Outback, or if they're dead somewhere in a ditch.

I keep looking out the doors and calling for him every now and then. I'm just sad. He was my lovey dovey kitty cat.

:(

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Walk In The Park

Friends

My friend Tammy e-mailed me last week, asking completely out of the blue, how I was doing.

Not just "How are ya?" but "How are you REALLY?"

I just about spit my coffee out considering what I was thinking earlier this morning.

Now you have to understand Tammy and I have never met in person, so it's not like she can read my body language or hear my voice to know that I was having a bad day.

We've talked on the phone a couple of times, but she lives in Canada and is one of my friends from an online group that goes WAY back.

We have a lot of eerie similarities in some respects, and great big differences in others, but when it all boils down to it, we're friends because we respect each other enough to be able to appreciate what we do have in common, and not focus so hard on what we don't.

Tammy's intuition to write me that quick e-mail couldn't have come at a better time. I was sad that day. Very sad.

You probably know how it feels when it all just sorta piles up on you? And maybe you don't feel like you have anywhere to "put it"?

I don't think I'm alone in having rough days when it's hard to look out at the world as it is right now and wonder without joking "Where are we going, and what is this handbasket that we're in?"

Some of it is personal. Some of it is global. Some of it is just other people's problems that I am aware of and I'm sad because there is nothing I can do about it.

I have a friend whose struggling with a family situation I won't go into here, but it hurts her terribly. I have an acquaintance, a friend of my friend I've met a few times now at a girl's night out. This person is suffering from cancer, who just got the news that she may have 6 months to live.

And combine that with the blues of the season, the due dates of all my lost pregnancies, and Nora just getting a horrendous cold which = whiny baby...

Stack on that a bunch of school pressure (I could whine about my prof, but I'm getting an A, so I guess I can't really complain except that I think I've taught MYSELF more Chemistry than he's taught me this quarter), and a husband who's worked so many hours he can't see straight.

Well, suffice to say, this past week pretty much sucked.

But as my friend Tammy said, sometimes you have to ease up on your expectations of yourself and those around you. That life isn't going to be perfect, and grief will never truly be gone. She gently tossed some words back at me that I had used on her. "Grief is what it is."

Yeah.

Anyway, this wasn't supposed to be a "woe is me" so much as a "Thank you Tammy", because really what amazes me most is that despite tough times, personal, global, and otherwise, it's friends reaching out and picking us up and helping us dust ourselves off and keep going.

For all of you who wonder how someone's doing? Ask. You might be surprised at the answer, or find out how much you helped someone that day.

And for me, I just want to tell Tammy, "Thank you for being such a great friend."

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Daddy Time!

BOY Did we have a fun day with Daddy!

Brian, who apparently felt like he'd gotten enough sleep with 8 or 9 hours last night after averaging 5-6 the past week, got up with Nora this morning, and boy did they have a jam packed day of fun!

There was lots of tickle time, chase games, running around, a trip to the park...

And lots of wrestling around on the floor. LOTS of that.

As we changed the sheets on the bed, Nora discovered how FUN it was to be covered in sheets and started squeeling and trying to crawl off the bed.




Of course no day is complete without Daddy doing silly stuff like putting a sock on her hand and watching her try and figure out what happened!


Then tonight was the guitar jam session. The coolest thing about this is how Nora just LOVES to play any instrument.

Lately she takes a book her Oma gave her and presses "play" for one of the songs, and starts keeping a beat with her hands, and FULLY expects us to start singing the song.

I've never sung so much in my life as I have this past week or two.

God help me, I've even sung the @*%&# Barney theme song...


But better times are ahead for you: Here's a vid of Nora and her Daddy plugged in, playing their opening riffs on a jam session I hope goes on forever...

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Girl & Her Daddy

Brian worked very hard today -- got up at 4 a.m. and left early so he could get home in time to see Nora for a couple of hours before she went to bed.

As you can imagine, Brian's recent extensive travel for work has been hard on all of us to be separated so much. Nora KNOWS who Daddy is, so if you mention "Daddy" she heads for the door and even tries to open it.

She knows where her Daddy comes from!

Today we sat watching a little tube as we waited the last 15 minutes when Brian said he was on the way. She settled in to an episode of Dragon Tales and as the doorbell rang, I said "Daddy's here!"

We had to unlock the door since Brian didn't have his keys, and the poor guy couldn't get his jacket off or put his stuff down before the priceless grin came, and she all but leapt from my arms to his.

"DA-DA!"

Yeah, I think she knows him.

She climbed on him all night. They played the electric guitar and jammed for a while. He fed her dinner and bathed her while I made a special dinner for him.

It's been hard to have him gone so much. That instant feeling of "all is right in the world" when your family is together is priceless.

Despite her cold, Daddy ran her ragged, and she soaked up every minute of him, and him of her.

We can't wait til next week. With the Thanksgiving holiday, he has Wednesday-Sunday off, and we're almost unsure what we're going to do with that much time around each other!

I think we'll figure something out. But I'm sure a lot of it will involve Dada Time.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cute Picture of The Day

What can I say? I love my new camera.

And Nora pays a little attention to it since it's new.

And if you look real close, or click on the picture for the full size, you can see that 4th tooth up top on the left (your left).

She's just so dang cute. Even with a cold.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

This Is The Face That Greets Us Each Day


This kid is so cheery. I can hardly wait to see what coffee is going to do to her someday...LOL

Seriously...my new camera and I greeted her with her morning "Good morning precious angel girl!" that I give her every day...and this is the face I get.

There's nothing quite like the joy of that beautiful face when she greets a new day, knows Mommy's coming to get her, and it's time for breakfast and to play!

Ah, Toddler Joy. It's got to be the best.

Monday, November 17, 2008

14 Months Old

Still growing, but in such a different way.

This past month or two, Nora's grown by leaps and bounds, but not physically so much as mentally.

She calls Mama "Mama" and Daddy "Dada" with great accuracy.

She wraps her arms around my neck and holds on for dear life.

She cries when I leave, but I hear she recovers pretty well.

She loves her Dada so fiercely she can't help but hang onto him like glue when he's home.

She loves books, and will bring one to you to read if you ask her.

She keeps time to music and is learning new songs. If you play music in the car, you better turn it up. Our Nora's a musical baby who wants to hear it like her Daddy: "If it's too loud you're too old"

She thinks it's funny and will openly laugh AT you if you yawn in front of her.

She loves the cats and still isn't too sure about Lucy.

She loves to smile at people, especially in lines where they're stuck and have to be nice to her back. Like the post office, or a recent discovery: The Safeway pharmacy.

She loves to walk/run...she can't quite run yet, but she walks on her toes as fast as she can, propelling herself forward so far that sometimes she just wipes out.

She's very interested in brushing her teeth, playing chase games, running and screeching and laughing with joy.

Additional locks have been put on more cupboards.

She has a babysitter for Mondays and Wednesday when I go to my Chemistry class. Linda is a wannabe Grandma who's 68, has a 40-year-old daughter who hasn't had any kids, so she's thrilled to spend time with a baby, and now calls Nora "my girl."

Since Nora's real grandmothers both go by other names than "grandma" we call Linda "Grandma Linda". Grandma Linda brings books for Nora, who eats them up like most of us would scarf chocolate at that age.

Oma (Brian's Mom/Nora's grandma) bought us a membership to The Gilbert House, a local children's museum this month, and we've already made use of it a few times. Nora is THRILLED there and runs around like a girl gone wild. It's like she KNOWS it's "her place" so she just goes and goes and goes.

Last week we went to Gilbert House and Nora got a new basket of toy veggies, and we work on what they are, what colors they are, and we put them in the basket and take them back out.

Who can ever believe she was this tiny???

Tonight we sat reading books, and she points at things and loves ANY of those touchy/feely books that have pages where she can touch fuzzy things, and she bolts right for the scratchy bear's tongue, or whatever...She amazes me as she grows so quickly. So smart. So funny. A true gift.

Tonight I held her for a bit, since I had to go in to get things straight (Grandma Linda couldn't find PJs so I went in to check and make sure she was dressed ok for the night.

Nora was breathing funny (just congested) and woke up when I came in, so I held her in my arms for a few minutes to help settle her back to sleep.

I see her little face, now fat with a 14-month-old's maturity, and I think of how tiny and helpless she was, and what a fierce personality she is now.

I still cry over her and get all choked up when I sing her songs at bedtime like "You are my sunshine" or The Beatles tune "I will" that has a line that says "Love you forever, and forever, love you with all my heart. Love you whenever we're together, love you when we're apart..."

As I told my friend Susan the other day: There's nothing like Mommyhood.

It's the best job in the world.

From Dogwash to Carwash, It Was a Jam-Packed Saturday

This was a pile of Brian's muddy clothes from a mountain top experience at work. He came home CAKED in mud, telling me wild driving stories down muddy mountainsides and near-death experiences that make me think that cop's wives must do what I do, and that's listen, get scared, then put it out of one's mind what could/did/might happen.

And just in case you have never opened a washing machine to throw something else in and you wondered if you should bother...I opened it, saw the amount of dirt in the wash, added an extra rinse to the thing and closed the lid.

I love my new washer.

Speaking of washing, we decided to try out the experience of taking Lucy to a dog wash nearby, where Nora and Daddy ran free, and Jules washed Lucy in someone else's tub, using someone else's shampoo, a doggy hair dryer, five different hair brushes that basically finished the shedding process (good thing since it's November), and got Lucy clean enough and de-flea'd so she could be back in the house.

While Nora napped Saturday morning, Brian changed the oil on the Subaru and cleaned up the engine, topped off vital fluids and all the other stuff Grease Monkeys do.

While he worked on that, I cleared out the entire car, vacuumed it for the first time since I bought it last year while I was pregnant with Nora, then worked on removing MORE but not ALL the sap of when it was parked at Jeff and Judy's house last year.

Sap, by the way, is DURABLE...

Anyway, Nora and I then took the car to a carwash, also I think for the first time in nearly a year, and we went through one of those posh carwashes where people scrub off your car, and you go through a really nice big brush-car experience.

Nora was fascinated with it all...

This week we've been working on brushing teeth too.

It's hard to get a kid small enough to only have 5.5 teeth to stand still while you brush them, but I manage to get a few swipes in before my Fiercely Independent I Don't Know Where She Gets That Either -- Daughter decides to grab the toothbrush and do it herself.

This weekend (Friday morning exactly) Nora saw me and said "Mama" intentionally, then repeated it.

And ever since then, she's done it when she sees me.

She's 14 months old today, and she finally figured out who Mama is and how to say it.

High Five!

In Case You Were Wondering....

She isn't happy ALLLLLL the time.

Sometimes, when people like Mommy's decide to play with their new camera just a little too long, and try to get someone to smile a little too much, the Death Glare comes out...

But we got over it with some Goldfish pretty quickly.

I'm loving my new Nikon S550, a pocket size, 10 megapixel budget camera that I got to replace my Kodak which is blowing pixels left and right...

I'll post more tomorrow when Nora's fresh in the morning and feeling like putting up with me a little more than that top picture shows that she did today.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Chemistry On The Brain

So here's an update on my Chemistry class I'm taking.

One, I got my second midterm back from my Chemistry teacher Monday night...He said the high score was 81/90, and I got an initial score of 75.5. Well, he said to add up the points to make sure his math was good, and I checked and he left off the 8 points on the back page, so I got 83.5, the high score in the class! YAY! The test was horrific...I honestly couldn't have told you if I had gotten a 50 60 or 70, but I didn't expect anything near 80..

Then yesterday I had a quiz...It was kind of hard, but do-able, so it took us all some time. After the two midterms and 5 other quizzes that range from horrible to brutal, Prof. Chad said "I can't seem to write an easy test to save my life. I thought this would all take you five minutes."

To which I said "Well, Chad, you are the one with the Ph.D. in Chemistry."

The class laughed, along with Prof. Chad (who insists we call him Chad, BTW so I wasn't being overfamiliar or anything).

Then I said "sorry to be a smartass, but your tests are HARD!" and from the back of the room, I heard a girl say "Yeah, that's Jules. SHE can't stop being a smartass to save HER life." LOL Turns out she's one of my lab partners who's spent some time with me so we've all sat in the back joking around some during labs.

I got my grade so far and I have 95%. I need an 88 to get an A. So that helps take some of the pressure off the final.

I really didn't know if I would do well since I feel like such a mush brain sometimes. But apparently my excessive studying is paying off. :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day

Today is a special day.

It's my sister Jill's birthday. She went and saw "Lucy", that 20,000-year-old woman who was found in the Alps somewhere...I gave her a hard time today about going up to Seattle to see her at the museum there. "So, you're going to hang out with someone older than you, huh?"

Yeah. I'm the little sister. At 41 I'm still a pain.

And today is also our son Jacob's due date, in 2006. Though he was born and died months too soon, I always remember this day especially. If he'd been ok, been born on time, we'd be celebrating a 2nd birthday sometime around now.

And of course, it's Veteran's Day.

I know there are many people who believe that us Democrats are anti-war and therefore anti-military, I can't say "NO" loud enough.

I've studied war a lot more than most. I was a few credits shy of a second degree in History from the University of Washington because I have a favorite professor whose Ph.D. was in something like German Military/Warfare (Jon Bridgman for those of you who remember).

I studied war's effects. War's devastation. I still long to see one of the sites of German camps in Poland because World War II is so much more than just a few hours of Schindler's List.

I get the sacrifice, I suspect better than most my age.

I see yellow ribbons and "Support our troops" stickers on cars. And it always passes through my head that I support our troops.

I support our troops coming home sooner rather than later.

I am hopeful that these wars will end soon. I am hopeful that those fighting will be able to come home to their families and loved ones. I am hopeful that they will be able to put their lives back together and have the support they've been promised.

That is all.

Thank you to all those who are serving and who have served.

We appreciate all you've given to our country and the world.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Phone Pix

My not-long-for-this-life camera has been missing for several days, so the only thing I've had to take pictures with has been my phone camera. I just realized how many pictures are in there that need posting! Where have we been?

Let's start off with the best focused...here's Nora in her new rain slicker that proves she's an Oregonian...Thank you Aunt Julia!

On the darker side of a great box of clothes, came a pair of Barney slippers from Auntie Delois in Denver. Her daughters are 4 & 2, and so they've been unloading box after box of clothes on us as their kids grow out of them. The up side? We rarely have to buy anything for Miss Nora. The downside? Barney slippers show up.

But give Delois credit, they were wrapped in a note that said "Sorry about the Barney slippers, but I didn't want them in my house either."
Nora loves grocery shopping. Now that she's good on her feet, she loves being free to wander the store. We have a tradition now that involves us keeping her in the cart until we're ALL DONE shopping. Mommy checks at the check-out to make sure Nora hasn't pulled anything into her cart (like she did an entire glass jar of pickles once).

After we check out and load the car, we go BACK in the store, where Nora is able to run amok. I take her to the aisle with the diapers and TP where she can't do much damage. Sometimes she gets out. Like the time she saw this display of NUTS!

This picture I titled "Finding My People".

Aunt Mindi and cousin Schane' sent Nora this train the long way home (in Opa's luggage) from Disneyland. Nora and I sing songs with it, and she plays with it constantly. She LOVES to sing! The train track/station game has music like "She'll Be Comin' Round The Mountain" and "If You're Happy and You Know It". She loves to clap her hands and is absolutely fascinated with singing and "keeping time" by slapping her legs to the music.

I think she got the Mohr Music gene! YAY!

I LOVE this picture.

Miss Nora likes to lurk around the dishwasher, climb IN it, and of course take knives away with her. "NO!!!!!"

So I've learned to put unbreakables that might interest her on the bottom as quickly as possible.

The other day I accidentally dropped a towel, and as she picked it up, I praised her, so she dropped it back down on the cake pan and started to dry it.

It's kinda freaky to see a kid that small start to mimic you...

Nora likes being anywhere new, with anything new, like most toddlers...

So here she's investigating Daddy's backscratcher.

Working title? "Toddle softly and carry a big stick."
And what would a good day be without discovering the usefulness of TP.

If you ever find yourself wondering why things are so quiet...

And finally...

This is just cute because she's looking AT the camera AND smiling. Two things that are hard to find together.

The little nerd.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

My Corner of Cyberspace. Love It or Leave It.


This article came out recently about internet anger lashing out.

I've had to develop a thick skin over the past several months. Tuesday night I watched Heather Armstrong on Twitter say how within a few hours of the election loss, she started getting hit with hate mail from McCain supporters.

By and large the responses from most the McCain supporters I knew were very nice yesterday. From Elizabeth Hasselbeck on The View, my babysitter (who's a Republican)and a variety of online friends, there were many words of "moving on" and accepting the fact that the election was over.

I diligently removed my yard signs from my property and removed my signature from the boards so Obama wasn't in the faces of those who I knew didn't support my candidate.

I haven't changed anything here yet because I haven't had the time. Plus at this point, it's largely a political blog, so I feel I get to have a week or so to get some new art. Some of it may not change at all.

But in the past 48 hours, for some gals who know me just barely and who hate my politics, bridges that were already burned had to be torched one last time to see if they couldn't just get the charred remains to fall into the river.

I often mention a board or two I belong to, and even some of the blogs from those boards.

I have had some people rather angrily assert that I've had very "hateful" blog entries here. I know I'm not perfect, and I've probably said more than one or two things I can regret if I look back over it. I don't pretend to like Pres. George Bush. I get pretty darn vocal about it. But if I ran into the man I would be respectful and shake his hand as I have a number of politicians I've disagreed with.

But it's so interesting to me to be accused of being hateful, when I've tried very hard here to write what comes from my heart, which isn't hate at all, but a hope for the future, and a hope for a new day in American politics when Republicans (who I have repeatedly overshared as to why I don't agree with their general tenets) are not in power.

That's not hate. That's me disagreeing with what's going on in this country right now, and hoping for something different in the future.

I'm sure most of you Republicans who are still reading (both of you) will get that feeling very soon if you haven't already.

And then I was reading my brother's blog today. I'm so thankful that he's blogging about politics and not just his trips (although his pictures are great, his blog was originally set up as a travel tool, not necessarily something for him to share his opinions on.

So in his blog (shamelessly stolen), I read this today:

"So what is the consequence of this? The consequence is that when we discriminate against a whole people, or when we are willing to run each other out of political parties in internecine conflicts, we eventually come to fear that very thing being done to us. It is not that people see actual evidence of an Obama administration doing this to them nor are they imagining it being done to them. No, it is that they have lived it, done, carried it out, and can only imagine what it would feel to be on the end of those same actions. They themselves have provided the concrete model for that which they fear the most."

Oh, how very interesting.

Is the fear of Obama not the issue, so much as the fear that the shoe is now on the other foot? The torch is passed by a vote they want to tear down in order to try to illegitemize it?

I don't name-call in general, but I am sarcastic in an attempt to be witty. I am crass at times.

But as I pointed out on my board today: come to my blog or don't come to my blog. But don't drag me through the mud because you don't like what I say here. I have stopped going to MANY blogs because I don't see the point. I know most people believe what they believe. I don't have to respect it, but I don't fill my days angrily posting to them to try and Don Quixote them into believing that I'm right and they're wrong.

I wonder sometimes how these VERY same people could insist that I shut up, and by example say I should not knock on Sarah Palin, because she is after all, a maverick.

But let's say I'm a maverick. Am I supposed to shut up just because I don't espouse YOUR beliefs? Pardon the self-description here, but if a maverick is someone who does things differently, then I am by definition, also something of a maverick.

The shoe's on one foot, then the other. The reality is, I recognize that those who can't see past this are never going to quite get it:

You've HAD the past 8 years.

It's OUR turn, and Obama is offering you a stake in it by reaching out his hand. That you would slap it back is YOUR problem. I'm sorry if your feelings are hurt, but I cannot and will not apologize for rejoicing in this moment in history.

Yeah!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Moving Forward

I'll cool it on the politics someday maybe, but not today.

There's a smile on my face this morning. I suppose this is how Republicans have felt these past 8 years. Knowing your guy is in the White House (or in our case, our guy is going there) has a calming effect on a person.

I have to say I'm fascinated by the responses to yesterday's elections. The e-mails and text messages I've received from friends who supported McCain have largely been congratulatory and classy.

Still, I know there's a lot of bitterness out there. Some fears of what Obama will or won't do. I've never said McCain was a monster or was a bad person, and I'm surprised by those who have tried to demonize Barrack Obama.

But really? With a wave of my hand and a refusal to "go there", I wave away that negativity. I don't have time for it. As I watched the news last night I realized that the world is a new place today, that it wasn't yesterday.

This isn't about him being Black or hero worship. This is about a mandate for change in direction. About how Obama got people like me to contribute our time and money to this campaign so WE could own it, not the big companies or the DNC.

As people lick their wounds, I wonder what it'll take for them to move forward in their minds. How they need to see the world is a different place, and being protectionist and exclusive isn't going to solve anything.

I look at it this way: It's kinda like getting a new computer at your desk today and you've never used one before. It's not going away. The world has been using one for a long time. The sooner you learn how to use it and embrace it the better. You might find you actually like it!

Now take a moment and look at just SOME of the global reaction.

We made history. We didn't just elect a president, we elected a leader the whole world can appreciate:


Dare to dream...

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

We Have A New President-elect


"If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer," he said.

A Little Nora Break From My Political Gushing...

Nora and I went to Safeway today...

Brian was coming home, we were out of Diet Coke (he's hooked on it worse than I am) and it was time.

So after spending something in the neighborhood of $100 on groceries....I loaded the car up with food, then headed back INTO the store so Nora could have some time walking around saying hello to a number of things, including what I consider her meeting with "her people" when she met this large display of nuts.
We went home, and Brian headed for the showers.

Nora has this thing about PARENTS in the SHOWER.

She feels the need to BE RIGHT THERE AND WATCH.

This morning she watched me take my shower, and here she is...
moments after HER bath, deciding to drench herself watching Daddy get clean too.

Nora is just so cute watching her Papa. She is so thrilled when he comes home, and she dives right for him.

Welcome home Daddy! You can't even shower alone! LOL

Politically This Is "The Man On The Moon"

Grant Park madness.

On the phone with my brother Joel in New York City.

Watching the screen, and at 8:01 p.m. they called it.

Barack Obama will be our president 75 days from now.

Thank YOU voters. ALL of you.

But most of all, thanks to all the first-timers who got involved.

This one's for you.

The vision of tears in Chicago, New York, and elsewhere.

Let's party a minute while we wait for the final numbers.

Florida: ours. Colorado: ours. C'mon INDIANA!

Suh-weet!

Monday, November 03, 2008

The Day Has Come

The first vote of the election has come...The residents of Dixville Notch, NH, have cast their first votes.

I have to say that McCain's seven-state sprint today was impressive. You can't say that he decided to go to Bermuda a day early or anything.

A close friend e-mailed me today to ask about why I like Obama so much. She is one of those almost mythical undecideds out there...those ones you hear about but can't believe actually exist (Love ya J). I had to tell her the premise for why I am an Obama supporter, but you have to understand. It isn't JUST about Obama. This is about the people who've come out to support him.

My brother Jeremy was an early supporter. I never thought in a million years Jeremy would be excited about politics. He was, at one time, Ethan Hawke in Reality Bites. The Classic Gen-X'er. It's not that he doesn't care about stuff. It's just that politics is for you know, old people.

When he told me EARLY this year that he was working overtime and contributing his OT earnings to the Obama campaign believe me, it got my attention.

As a woman, and without thinking about it a lot, as the primary approached I figured I'd vote for Hillary Clinton.

But as the primary season wound down (Oregon's primary is late -- around Memorial Day in May) I realized that not only did I need to think about this, but it might actually MATTER, since Hillary and Barack were still in the throes of what looked like a fight for the nomination.

At that point, the thing that got me was a real difference in the Obama supporters I met, vs. the Clinton supporters. It wasn't ALL bad or good, but the impression I got of the Obama supporters was one of pure excitement over a man and more importantly the cause he represents.

I saw MANY people get involved in politics. There wasn't all the negativity surrounding his campaign. His message was decidedly positive. REPEATEDLY as necessary.

Don't get me wrong, I respect Hillary Clinton's historic race. And maybe someday I'll vote for her.

But this time it was Barack's message. In his book "The Audicity of Hope" I could hear his voice (long before I'd actually heard him speak a lot), and I got what he was talking about.

Yes, it's like going to church on Sunday sometimes. It's about inspiration. It's about believing. But before you get your knickers in a twist that there isn't enough planning to go with it, I assure you, there is. The thing is, I can't possibly start telling you what you need to know about his plans for Social Security...See, I've already almost lost you...

But if there's still a couple of you out that that wonder why some of us are Democrats and think Obama's awesome, here's why: Change and Hope aren't just catch-phrases. They are actual GOALS.

Don't get me wrong, it's not like I'm all wide-eyed, expecting everything to change overnight.

But I sure as hell don't expect them to stay the same.

The message alone of electing Obama to the presidency will have an immediate ripple effect on the world. Can you imagine what that tells people?

"Hi, We're the USA. Yeah, Um. Sorry about that whole 8 years of GWB thing. We're changing course. We actually want to be part of the global community and not just keep telling you guys to f--- off."

On top of that, Obama espouses the principles I believe in as a Democrat. I believe in choice for women, gay rights (although he doesn't say he's as liberal as I am on this issue), but he's for taxation that doesn't screw the middle class and ending this war.

I know Obama can't singularly take care of those things. He needs Congress to do so. And the two together can't do anything too crazy because they never are that organized.

The Republican Party, and McCain represent someone who does NOT support a woman's right to choose, he's against equality for gays, and his tax plan does nothing but make the rich richer and the poor poorer.

He thinks this war should continue. I disagree. Not only should we end it, it shouldn't have started in the first place.

As my friend pointed out: Yes, he's a good speaker. Yes, he's SUPER cool under pressure. But as I had to ask her: Don't you think that's what a president should be...for starters? ...

In my view, the presidency is simply a leadership/figurehead position that really is too big for one man or woman. He doesn't sit down and make law by himself. So either McCain or Obama are both decent men. Neither would suck as president. But the chances of McCain dying in office are pretty good given his age. You have to take Palin into consideration when choosing who to vote for because of it. She scares more than just Democrats.

I'm excited for what an Obama presidency will do for race relations in this country too. But that's a whole 'nother issue.

You don't have to drink my Kool-Aid...but I'm telling ya. It's GOOD."

Happy Election Day people...it's finally here.

Now let's go out and win this thing.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Whispers of Sweet Somethings...

I met my friend Patti at Starbucks on Saturday morning while I was studying for my Chemistry exam.

After a few minutes, we started talking politics. We can't help it you see. We're part of a rather large conspiracy in this country to make a change that doesn't involve four or eight more years of whatever the heck we call this last eight.

Like most liberals in this country (at least I think I'm like most liberals in this country) I wonder to myself as I go to sleep at night how the hell we got to electing and re-electing George W. Bush.

Then I realize that we didn't really. That's what really kills me. We have been robbed, defrauded and lied to so many times...many of us aren't even sure if we can trust this election to be open an honest anymore than the last one was.

And then I wonder how any great majority could possibly THINK that four years of McCain could possibly change anything.

I won't even get started on the people who actually think that NO change is a good thing. I'm not sure what bubble you're in, but trust me, I'm not in there with you.

No, the rest of us crazy liberals want to see the world open its eyes on Wednesday morning to a larger-than-predicted win for Barack Obama, so they can see that we're not a bunch of lunatics who think we're just the best thing in the world.

Sorry, people, but at the risk of being told I hate America...I'm here to tell you we're not.

We're a good country. We're a young country. We are WAY too much action and way too little on talk in places that involve people's lives.

So Patti and I had seen the news that Obama's in a serious hunt for the White House. There's talk of depressed McCain voters who might just stay home, and joyous Obama supporters who might come out in droves knowing their man is going to win.

We whisper all of this because like most anyone who's lived with the past eight years, we're aching for the shoe to be on the other foot, and we're simultaneously afraid of spoiling it, jinxing it, whatever...by saying it too loudly.

I wonder if Republicans will ever get how hard the past eight years have been for us, as we've seen our civil freedoms stealthily eroded and some taken away. If they'll ever understand how UN-democratic the past eight years have been. How things like holding and torturing prisoners in Guantanamo Bay is so NOT what this country is about. How un-Christian we treat people, under the guise of a holy war.

How on Earth...

And here we are, just 48 hours or so from polls starting to close across this country, and we whisper "Could it be?"

Yes it can.

I can't wait for the Obama administration to come into being. To watch him shock those fearful people into seeing that he says what he means and means what he says. That he really will try and unify this country, not tear it apart.

Vote Tuesday!

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