Sunday, January 27, 2008

Politics unusual

It's fabulous to be watching a campaign where I feel there is a choice! I would truely feel great if either Hillary or Barack were nominated to run for President. I will be even happier the day that either one of them takes office. But in the meantime, we have a primary to vote in, and that's where the choice comes in. Obama is an inspiring figure. A young man would bring a whole new generation to the polls. A black man whose assent to power can symbolize the hope of a new beginning.

But really, Hillary is my gal. I bought a Hillary for Prez in 08 button in 2000 and still have it. She has the kind of no-nonsense leadership and powerful friends who will hit the ground running when they get in the white house. I am looking forward to voting for her on Tuesday. But whatever happens, I'll do my best to make sure that one of them makes it in. It's fun to be discussing and comparing and debating.

Monday, January 21, 2008

A straight line

I found this site fascinating. It's a mash-up with google maps that allows you to pick a spot on the map of the globe, and then choose a direction. Let's say I want to travel due east from San Francisco. Heading at 90 degrees east, going in a straight line, when I get to the east coast, do you know where I'd hit the Atlantic? I guessed that I'd go through St. Louis en route to somewhere in New Jersey.

Can you believe it's Jacksonville, Florida??

We are so used to the flattened out map of the world that we can't imagine it in the three dimensions.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Friendly patterns

What makes people become friends? I was listening to This American Life this morning, and Ira Glass was talking about friendships. I started wondering what it is that sparks friendship between people, and turned my attention to the things that were there to light a friendship flame in the past..

Selby (pre school) - she lived 3 houses down the street. That's all it took when you are babies in a small town.
Sally (grade school) - she played flute (like me), liked the Monkees (oh, all right), had several brothers and a sister (like me).
Choddy (jr high) - she wore miniskirts (despite the ban), lived in an A frame house (cool), had a big family (like me).
Roxanne (jr high) - she liked the same music I did, was loud and funny (like me).
Teresa (high school)- she was in band (like me), was part of a clique (like me), interested in mind expansion, travel and rock and roll (like me), her dad had tattoos on his chest(not like my dad).
Michael (college) - he liked Joni Mitchell (like me), was sarcastic and talkative (like me), enjoyed arguing (like me).

Monday, January 14, 2008

Stories of some men's lives

We saw three movies in the past week. I don't like to read any reviews before seeing a film, and I prefer it if I haven't even seen the preview. That way I can go in ready to experience the film without any preconceptions or media hype. This is hard to do at the turn of the year, because everyone is printing "best of" lists and making oscar predictions. We saw "No Country for Old Men", "There Will Be Blood" and "Into the Wild". All were well done and riveting in their own way. I think, of the three, my favorite was "There Will Be Blood", mainly because Daniel Day-Lewis is so immensely watchable. You can't take your eyes off him - no matter what kind of character he plays, he is so charismatic on film. His eyes communicate so much.

All three of these films were primarily about men, and their lives. "No Country" was the story of a man dealing with no longer being able to face how evil some people can be. "Blood" was the tale of what happens when a man and his son can not communicate. "Wild" was the tale of a young man's journey to find and test himself.

Can you think of any movies that take these basic themes and explore them from a woman's point of view?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Welcome, Violet!



My niece and her husband have added the newest member of our clan, Violet Lorraine Ashton, born on the 8th of 08. Isn't she beautiful?

I am her great-aunt. I had a great-aunt named Auntie Mickey, my grandma's sister, who rarely visited us but always sent fruit cake and ribbon candy at the holidays. She was very rich and lived in a mansion in Pittsburg, PA. The mansion had an organ in one hallway, and a solarium with walls made of glass that was full of plants.

I hope I will be more interesting to Violet than my great-aunt was to me!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Stormy weather

Every two years, I have to have a colonoscopy, which honestly is the procedure most in need of a better name. Who wants to say "colon" or "osopy"? Couldn't it get more obsure latin name, or even something pedestrian like, "lower GI scan"? The first time I had one, I had to drink about a million gallons of some nasty tasting stuff. This time, the doctor said that things had improved, and I could just take some pills. I looked at the instructions, and I still had to drink a lot, but it could be any "clear liquid" of my choice. I stocked up on juice and jello. Starting Thursday night, I guzzled and guzzled some apple juice, tangerine juice, water and limeade. I took four big pills every 15 minutes, and I spent a lot of time in the bathroom.

On Thursday night we watched the news and they were predicting a series of storms to hit overnight. We haven't had much rain this year, so we were thinking it was just the hyperbole of the media. GET READY! HERE COMES SOME RAIN! IT IS GOING TO FALL OUT OF THE SKY!! WITH WIND!

By Friday morning, the rain was falling sideways and anything not tied down was flying around the backyard. Nonetheless, I had guzzled more water and taken more pills, so we got in the car to go into SF for the procedure. When we got on the freeway, cars were not moving. The big electronic sign on the side of the road near our exit first said "high winds... no trucks on the bridge" and then as we sat there, it flipped to "bridge closed..." and then "101 south closed". The cars were directed to the next exit, and Barb got on the phone to tell my doctor that I wouldn't be coming in. All that prep for nothing! But I'd rather go through all that again than be sitting on that freeway for four hours, and getting stuck in the city all doped up afterwards.

So we got home, and I had something to eat, and then the power went out. And stayed out til Saturday afternoon. We found out that we are not very well prepared for an emergency. We had to go out for D batteries for the flashlights. All of our new appliances sat beautiful and silent, and we couldn't even take a shower because the tankless water heater requires electricity. Today we escaped to the mall to get coffee and the rain started again, this time with hail.

But soon after coming home, the power came back on and we are once again warm and cozy, with soup on the stove and the laptop humming away at the kitchen table. As we like to say "thank god for the infrastructure!"

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy 08

Some resolutions, for a change:

I'm going to start making arty things
I'm going to take the bus to work, instead of driving
I'm going to get the craft room organized
I'm going to creatively organize all of our new spaces at home
I'm going to talk more to my family on the phone
I'm going to have more dinner parties

I don't think I've made resolutions for many years, but this year, I feel inspired. I think all of these things will shine some energy on my more "usual" intentions, like winning a quartet competition, exercising more, being more efficient at work, making new friends, etc...