Friday, November 28, 2008

Secret Santa Literary Style

If, like me, you're always ready to share/recommend books and cool journals with all and sundry, here's a neat idea: The Literary Secret Santa. Don your red suit, round up those merry little elves and direct the dog-drawn sleigh to your nearest Indie bookstore for a treat of anonymous giving.

Of course, working in a bookstore gives me some advantage in the pushing-books-on-strangers process, but it's easy to pick up. Trust me, you'll enjoy it.

Oh, yeah, check the link attached to my title for all the details.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Etruscan Dysfunction

Lately, I've had a plugged-up ear that's been driving me crazy; it came with a spate of dizzy-spells, a touch of queasiness and a pervasive, all-around crankiness. When I finally got around to seeing a doc, she prescribed heavy-duty antihistamines for my Etruscan Tube Dysfunction.

Wasn't sure I'd heard it quite right but it did explain my sudden interest in root vegetables and seared meat. I also had an inclination to lounge on the settee during dinner, secretly hoping my sweetie would feed me small bites and grapes while toga-clad musicians strummed lyres and tootled double-barreled flutes in the background. Roasted wild boar for Thanksgiving, why not? If it was good enough for the Etruscans, should be good enough for us.

But then, what about this "tube" business? Had I just narrowly missed switching my wardrobe to include tube-tops and tube-socks (not a sight for the faint of heart on either account), signing up for tube-a-thons down the raging Russian River, shifting to a diet of sausage, carrots, bread sticks? Penne pasta would count, yes, but what about burritos? I could only hope.

I mentioned my concerns to the doc, who at first looked quizzical, then perplexed and finally laughed outright.

"No, no," she said, "Eustachian Tube Dysfunction, the tube that runs from your ears down into the back of your throat."

So. Great. Now I'm Etruscan and I'm going deaf.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Night Songs

Once long ago, on a dark, crisp night near the end of summer, when the snap in the air presaged fall and the stars blinked on before we were sent to our cots for sleep, we kids lounged against the pines, trying to squeeze every last moment out of the day. Glancing up, I gasped: the aurora borealis, those glowing neon curtains, wavered over the lake. Sheer, celestial beauty; a singing of light. Even now, my insides get fluttery with the memory. I wanted to stay up all night, every night to see them. But they did not always show themselves, even as far north as we were. And so some nights, many nights, I’d be put to bed disappointed. Sometimes I cried, an inconsolable 8 year old, the bitterness of not seeing them overshadowing the times I did.

I was young then. And though decades have passed, I’m not really so much older. I still seek beauty during my day, dream of it at night. I’m still hurt, sometimes devastated, when I can not find it.

This does not mean that beauty, those electric celestial curtains, the muscled fabric that stretches through time and contains all space, isn’t there. Just that I have not sat still enough to touch it.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Resident for this President

This morning I realized that for the first time in 8 years I could stand to read the paper. I know the news is not all that pretty, but finally we have a real president, someone who can handle the situation, rather than make it worse. Someone who gets the big picture. I mean, doesn't Obama look presidential? sound presidential? act presidential?

I won't have to move to Canada, after all.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yipppee kiy YAAAAAYYY

Okay, we can all breathe again.

I've been mulling over this Obama-phenomenon for a few weeks(an eternity in the blogosphere, sorry), thinking about why I, my kids, my co-workers, shop-keepers, grandparents, professors, maintenance workers, voters of all stripes and inclinations are drawn to Obama -- President-elect Obama!

There is the historic aspect. That can't be denied, esp. for us older folks, who suffered through those terrible years when humans acted like animals, beating on their own kind; we who witnessed the horror, the bombings, the dogs, the malevolence, even if we didn't experience it directed at us first hand. The pain still resides, but maybe it no longer abides.

But for younger voters, race was really not the issue. Obama speaks to them directly about their desire for a more honorable country, for a country they can beleive in. He understands the way technology is embedded in their world, the economies they live under. He knows the power of many minds linked in a common cause; he understands that with the internet, a true grass-roots organization can function. Not only understands, but uses effectively, brilliantly.

Obama, in his run for the Presidency, brought honor and dignity to the campaign and to our nation. He knew that we are tired of the name-calling, fear-mongering, excluding world view of the old-style politics and the older minds. Obama understands we are a pluralisitc society and we are proud of it. He gets that young people often didn't vote because there hadn't been anyone to vote for. He operates with an attitude of respect for all, even his opponents, rather than hatred towards some, and I think this is his true nature. In that respect he's more of a Christian than the current, sitting (lame-duck) president and others of that ilk.

Obama has a vision for this country that honors the principles and ideals that created it. To me, he ran not so much because he wanted to be President (although I'm sure that desire is there, too, could one put up with the ordeal?), but because that was the way to re-instill these values, to re-set the nation on our course,to return hope to our country. He wants to revive that combination of acceptance and opportunity that makes this country great, fabulous and unique. He means it when he says that in no other country is his story possible and we all know that to be gospel.

McCain wanted to be president, period. In the end, he sold out, resorted to doing anything to accomplish that. That's when he lost the nation's respect. He used smear tactics, he fed into the hatreds of immature, unsophisticated voters, he pandered to the right-wing evangelicals. (I can't call them Christians when they hate others so much.) And who won? Perhaps now, the Republican Party will understand that the rightwing evangelicals are a splinter group. That they don't represent America or American ideals in the slightest. That there are few young Republicans for a reason.

Only in this country is his story possible. Only this country can redeem itself so spectacularly.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

President Obama!

Here we go...

I just can't take it anymore and I know you all are going bezerko-nutz, so here's a link to a sweet news story from Dixville Notch, New Hampshire: First Voters. I think they have the right idea.
One down, several hundred thousand to go.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Election Eve

It's been a day of spitting rain, soggy coats and a sudden rainbow at 4 o'clock. As we drove home from work, the sun slid behind an enormous bank of foaming clouds boiling over the horizon, obscuring the hills. Perhaps it was fog rising to meet the dissipating rain. Perhaps it was a whole new storm moving in to consume the hills, wash out the creeks and rivers, push debris to the ocean.

But there was no wind. The calm before the storm, perhaps, this election eve. For we, as a nation, are taking a collective breath, holding it, awaiting the results of tomorrow, all of us eager for a change in the political weather.