Saturday, August 30, 2008

Thoughtful Political Commentary...

...can be found elsewhere.

Me, I'm having a hard time taking the whole thing seriously.

If I think of a beauty queen from Alaska, what comes to mind is

And if I think of Vice President Palin, what comes to mind is

I'll try to get more thoughtful about it and get back to you.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Watching the DNC

Barack Obama just came out for some of what Lehrer (Who, btw, should totally be DONE with television, dont you think? He looks so tired. I want to give him a nice warm drink and help him over to the fire for a rest.) called "small remarks" and smooching after Joe Biden's speech.

I try to remember that politics is not, after all, what will save us, but my heart is still in my throat.

Back in February, E and I were looking at book on the civil rights movement he brought home from the school library. I tried to explain to him some pictures (which are so hard to understand, even for a big jaded grown up like me) and I started to cry, which always worries him. I kept trying to explain, because that's what I know how to to do. "I'm crying because I'm sad to think about a time when people hated other people because of the color of their skin...." And he said, "Oh." And then turned the page. "Tell me about THIS one, mom..."

Way back in February, I honestly could not imagine today.

Because a man with black skin is headed for the presidency. And beautiful Michelle Obama's children are going to school this fall, same as my little boy, without being stopped by troops, or firehoses or shouting crowds. That's how I know that although much is wrong with world, not everything is getting worse.

Some things are certainly getting better. Slow but sure, they are.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Emotional Intelligence

Thanks for the kind comments and emails re yesterday's post. In a funny way, being sad was relief - much better than the night before when I was scurrying around trying to get (say it through clenched teeth) THIS HOUSE CLEANED UP and eating my weight in triscuits. After I had that revealing dream and woke up and cried a little, I said

"Oh, this is sadness. I can do this." So I felt it for a while and then it went away. It did not lift me up and carry me away, which is what I'm always worried will happen.

Our current video watching (now that Lost and BSG are in a lull) is a Stargate 1, which is (first season, here, so correct me if I'm wrong) just sort of cheesy Star Trek . 2 minutes in, you might have this conversation about any random episode: "What's this episode about?" "Oh, remember this one? It's the one where they go to the strange planet with the beautiful half nekkid women and they..." "Oh, yeah, that one." Dont get me wrong by the use of the word "cheesy" here, I really am enjoying it.

So tonight we watched this sort of unusual one, where the Jack ONeill double from The Planet of Emotionally Intelligent Crystals comes to earth and tries to heal Jack by sharing all Jack's pent up feelings of grief and guilt with his ex-wife. It's such a great fantasy, that someone else would have and express all the feelings that we would rather not have to deal with. But I know how much work it is to resolutely not have any bad feelings and on the whole I've found the energy it takes to not have them is much much much greater than the energy it takes just to have them.

Probably good not to be taking emotion lessons from SG1, I guess.


Just about exactly one year ago, I sold what I thought was almost everything we had in a garage sale, and packed the rest into a moving truck, which turned out to be quite a bit, after all. I left Seattle, which had been our family's home for 8 years, pretty much without a backward glance. I mean, occasionally I'll miss the really great BLT you can get at the sandwich shop by our very first apartment, but mostly I've jumped wholeheartedly and joyfully into the deep end of the pool of our new life.

I'm kind of a weeper, but I really dont think I've shed a single tear over our old life.

There is so much good about our life in Portland, we are only 4 hours a way by car (so we've been able to visit Seattle a couple of times), we've been so taken up with things here (new jobs! new school!), and perhaps most importantly our really good friends moved here too soon after we arrived, so that we dont feel lonely.

This morning, though, I woke up from a dream in which I was dancing in a glade of woods with some other people.
We sang beautiful, melancholy songs and danced in a circle, with candles carefully balanced on our heads.
Garrison Keillor was there (In my waking life, dont get me STARTED on THAT guy - as R says "Such a good storyteller, such a toxic human being..."). Anyway, he was there and offering therapy to people -- but in 2 chairs facing away from each other and I thought how typical that was of him, to try to connect but in such a limited and false way.
And then I saw that CC, a dear friend and certainly E's best and most beloved caregiver, was leaving the woods and I began to cry like my heart would break.
"Tell me you wont go!" I cried.
"Honey, I have to go," she said so gently and firmly, just like she would in real life.
And then she turned and kept walking.

And then I woke up with tears in my throat, really aware now that one year has passed, of all the threads of connection and community that are broken now, that even email and phone calls and Facebook and a few visits a year cannot keep woven together.

And for the first time, 363 days later, I am crying.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

It's the dog days

Oh, I was going to make a really long bulleted list of all the things we've done this summer, mostly good, but honestly it was too boring even for me. Because what I really want to tell you is:

*We got a good dog.

*She is a goldendoodle (but black), she's 6 years old and weighs 70 pounds for you numbers people, she went into heat the minute she moved in but that's taken care of now, her only bad behavior is asking for more petting when you think you are ready to be done with it.

*Have you ever had a dog you could leave alone with a cinnamon roll in a car (windows down, in the shade) for 10 minutes while you go in the store? Did you even know such dogs existed? Me either.

*Her name is Rainy.

*I know, you're wondering what happened to the cats, right? Turns out J is allergic, or something, so we took the kitties to other homes and instead we got a dog.

*We got a DOG.

*I used to think that dogs only happened to other people, people who had the secret Dog Code figured out. And then I read this post and then a little while later, we went right out and got a good dog.

*See how superb the blogosphere is?

*The Casa Juniper Official Photographer has been stricken with pneumonia but he's getting better every day, so I imagine photos will be forthcoming.

*In other news.

*Please pray (if that is your style) for the de-stupidifying of the person or persons who threw a rock through the church fellowship hall window last night. Not making a statement, if the beer bottles and cigs scattered around are any indication, just ending a party with a bang. Sigh.

* Sometimes I think all this church stuff doesnt really sink in with him, like it's just a place to duck old lady kisses and have cookies, but when I told him we were going to church today to sweep up broken glass, E's first words were: "So who did that? People who dont like God or what?"

*After I reassured him that they were more thoughtless than mean, we did have an excellent teachable moment about What Happens When People Are Not Careful About Where They Throw Things, a topic of about 493, 698 conversations in E's young life so far, and probably more to come. But this one did seem to hit the mark a little more than most, you know?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Can you hear me now?

So, when I jotted "oil change" to vitalist today, it came out "Boy, you'll change."

That's how God sneaks in everywhere, even your to-do list.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

We borrowed a TV for a couple weeks so we could watch the summmer Olympics: An Elijahlogue

Mom: Mmm, sure would be great to have a nice, cold beer right about now.
E: Mommy, that is a commercial. It is just trying to sell you something you don't need.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Summertime notes

Dear Guy who works the scoreboard at PGE field, who (as we walked past on our way into the 3rd inning today) tossed our son a ball:
Thanks. That was awesome.

Dear Multiple Guys who took off their shirts during the game because they were too hot:
Ew. Please dont do that.*

Dear Team
Even though you guys didnt end the game with the grand slam that seemed really possible, you are honestly turning me into a baseball fan. I actually said today, "Shhh, not now honey, mommy's watching the game." Who is THAT woman?

Dear Mr. Trader Joe
If you would like to, you may feel free to sample out your products using our new favorite recipe. I'm calling Saturday Sundae, although we dont save it for Saturday, natch:
Combine in a bowl:
1 scoop TJ's French Vanilla Ice Cream
11 (one serving) TJ's salted peanut-butter filled pretzels, crushed
1/2 organic banana, sliced (you'll probably get it at Trader Joes, right?)
1 TBS TJ's grade B Maple Syrup

Dear Madame Weight Watchers
I would figure these points as something between, say, an apple and a Big Mac with large fries.

Dear Mr. McMennamin
Your Grand Lodge is the total bomb, and having a couple study days there was almost the best idea I ever had. Do you think we could talk the Rev Gals into a BE there sometime?

Dear People of Yachats
Thank you for being so nice to us while we visited for a couple of days. Thanks also for arranging to have the lowest tide of the year while we there, and visits from both seals and whales.

Dear People in Charge of Google Maps Street View
Sheesh. If I'd known you were coming by, I would have pulled the garbage cans behind the house. Also, mowed the lawn....

Dear Parishioners
As we close in our first anniversary of time together, I am feeling so grateful I could burst. And although from this list it hardly seems possible, I am actually getting some work done this summer.

*Seriously, what ARE the rules for male shirtless-ness? E wanted to take HIS off but I told him shirt-off is for the pool and the beach. Otherwise, he has to wear one.