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How to place a craigslist ad

1. There is only one "n" in the middle of "dining". Please, no more “dinning” room furniture.ugly sofa
2. Those box-like things that pull out of dressers and chests of drawers are drawers, not drarers, drars, draurs, droors or dros.
3. There is a difference between a dresser and a chest of drawers. A dresser is a wider, lower piece of furniture, typically topped with a mirror; a chest of drawers is more upright.
4. That shiny, reflective thing in which you admire your mullet is a “mirror,” not a “mirrow.”
5. Please note: That more upright piece of bedroom furniture is a chest of drawers, not a “chester” drawers. If your listing accurately describes the item for sale, your Uncle Chester’s stained boxers belong in the personals.
6. Please don’t list ugly, outdated furniture as retro, vintage or antique; it is simply old and ugly. Perhaps you could say “furniture even my mother-in-law couldn’t live with one more day.”
7. Please indicate the size of your bed, mattress or box spring within your listing.
8. A mattress and box spring does not a bed make; the piece of furniture upon which they rest is a bed.
9. If your mattress has disgusting evidence of bodily fluids, please take it to the dump; don’t try to sell it.
10. Don’t list the price of furniture as $1 unless you mean to sell it for $1 … and if you believe the value of the piece to be only $1, why the hell are you trying to sell it on craigslist? Please place it as free or take it to the dump.
11. A piece of furniture constructed of shaped iron is “wrought” iron, not “rod” iron.
12. When trying to sell used furniture, please don’t try to fool prospective buyers by adding a link to a website where new furniture is sold. Even if novice craigslist shoppers are taken in by this ploy, they will eventually see that your 7-year old son has been chewing on the legs of your “dinning” room chairs for seven years, and your 15-year-old Chihuahua has been pissing on your vintage “Shabby Chic” sofa for 15 years.
13. When aforementioned novice craigslist shoppers come to see the furniture, please restrain your ankle-biting son and dog.

 

 
Posted: Nov 16 2009, 11:19 AM by writer lady | with 3 comment(s) |
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Tallahassee cop Holly Lofland resigns after charges she falsified DUI arrest

(This is an update to a story posted 10/13/08.)

Holly Lofland was once regarded as one of the most effective cops in Florida when it came to picking up drunk drivers. Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) gave her an award for making 100 drunk driving arrests in a single calendar year. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement named her Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.

Yesterday she was forced to resign from the Tallahassee Police Department and give up her police certification amid charges by the State Attorney office that she falsified the evidence that helped her rack up those honors.

Lofland was charged with two counts of official misconduct, but fought the accusations for a year while on unpaid administrative leave. She turned herself in after being notified Wednesday that a warrant for her arrest had been issued. In return the charges against her were dropped.

The charges against Lofland stemmed from her arrests following a 2007 car crash. Lofland arrested Miguel Palmer for driving under the influence, though he claimed to he was only a passenger in the car. When his brother, David Palmer, testified in a later hearing that he was the driver and responsible for car wreck, Lofland had him arrested on perjury charges.

Lofland intentionally put false information in reports that led to the brothers’ arrests, and tried to get two other witnesses—one of them a police officer--to lie in their testimonies to corroborate her story, according to the State Attorney's Office.

 Other charges against Lofland are still being investigated.

Posted: Sep 25 2009, 10:31 AM by writer lady | with no comments |
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Natural pain relief and capsaicin burns

I’ve been having a lot of pain at my knees and elbows, so Sunday night I tried Capzasin, an over-the-counter pain reliever containing capsaicin, an ingredient in red pepper. It’s natural, OTC and recommended by my doctor, so it’s got to be good stuff, right?

10:00 Applied Capzasin, There was a little burning, but the makers say that’s normal.

11:30 Woke with horrible, HORRIBLE burning. Turned on the light and saw the skin on my elbows and knees was fiery red.

Helpful advice on the package recommends washing with soap and cool water if the burning becomes intolerable. If that doesn't work, try dish detergent. If that doesn't work, try vegetable oil.

1:00 Nothing worked and the pain was getting worse. In fact, the repeated washings carried the red pepper downstream, resulting in additional pain and redness on forearms and shins. Time to wake the husband.

Husband blinked twice, looked once, freaked out. The package warnings also say if skin becomes red or blistered, see a doctor. Husband thought we should head to the ER for a fun-filled night with our still-sleeping 7-year old.

Nothin’ doin’. Not unless my arms and legs burst into blue flames—which seemed a possibility. Instead we tried again with the soap, detergent and vegetable oil in various combinations. Still no relief.

1:45 Googled “Capzasin burns.” Found hundreds of complaints, some citing blistering and scarring. One victim found relief by applying cold milk to the burned areas, which we figured made at least as much sense as applying red pepper.

1:50 Pain and redness began subsiding almost immediately.

3:00 Back to bed with my arms and legs swathed in milk-soaked paper towels and iced dishtowels.

6:30 Most of pain and redness gone.

6:35 Remembered how much I love pharmaceutical pain relievers. (See 12/31/08 blog post, “High for the Holidays”.)
 

Posted: Jun 24 2009, 01:12 PM by writer lady | with 2 comment(s) |
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Cooking kids: Summer camps that last a lifetime

OK. So here’s the latest in summer camps: cooking camp. For a small fortune, we sent our 7-year-old son last week to learn all about kitchen sanitation, grocery shopping, veggie chopping and bread baking.

Of course the best way to learn is by doing, so at camp he made his own lunch and washed his own dishes after he ate. Then came the very coolest part of all: He spent the afternoon cooking and brought dinner home for the three of us every night!

He made a grown-up mac and cheese with smoked Gouda, ham and mushrooms; a Greek lasagna with béchamel; and a meatloaf listed on the menu as Not Your Mother’s Meatloaf, so he left out all the veggies I usually add.

Saturday morning we attended graduation where he received his own monogrammed apron and toque, and we bought a personalized DVD with pictures of Jack working in the kitchen and eating lunches with the other kids. (It looks like he’s the only one who needed a stool to reach the workstations.)

All week I dared to dream that Jack would someday make someone a good husband, and that he would take after me and grow up loving to prepare and eat good foods. His father didn’t pass on that gene. His father gets home from work earlier than I do, and so used to make dinners. But I could only eat so many boiled hotdogs, and BBQ potato chips don’t really qualify as vegetables, so I’m in charge of dinners again.

This week we’re back to our usual drudgery of making our own dinners, while Jack’s back to his regular camp and swimming every afternoon. But I’ve been thinking about a coworker’s suggestion: Why stop at cooking camp? I’d pay a thousand bucks to be able to send my son to laundry camp for a week.

The curriculum could include things like washer settings, stain removal, sorting to prevent thinks like shrinkage, fading and bleach spots. He could learn those sophisticated techniques to avoid ruining clothes by overstuffing the washer and then leaving them on the hottest Wrinkle Guard setting for hours.

My son would learn how not to ruin clothes like his father does, then he gets that pathetic look when I start screaming at him for the hundredth time about how he’s ruining brand new clothes, and don’t bitch about the money I spend on clothes, and if I didn’t have to keep replacing them … then he gets all defensive and starts screaming asinine things like “Screw it then! I was only trying to help! … You don’t appreciate anything I do! Don’t you dare! Don’t you dare talk about my mother! My mother is a saint and you’re …”

But I digress. It’s summer again, and I guess no matter how old I get, I still slip into summer daydreams.
 

Posted: Jun 08 2009, 03:48 PM by writer lady | with 2 comment(s) |
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Considering Grassroots Free School and the Summerhill education philosophy

I'm considering transferring my 7-year-old son to a local private school--Grassroots Free School--that’s structured according to the philosophies of England’s Summerhill School. This educational model is based on the premise that, given the opportunity, children will learn on their own because of an innate hunger for knowledge.

The internationally renowned, independent Summerhill School has no grade levels, nor a grading system. The Summerhill model demands a very low teacher: student ratio; at the local school the ratio is 1:6, compared to the 1:20 ratio in local public schools.

The focus at Summerhill schools is on character, compassion, egalitarianism, self-government and democracy. All students, teachers and—hopefully--parents meet weekly to determine policy, with the students having the final say.

The dominant philosophy is one of personal and global responsibility, and the unity and integrity of all things pertaining to the natural world. The lion’s share of the day is spent outdoors pursuing self-directed activities that lead to introspection and self-responsibility.

The Summerhill School in England has been in operation since 1921 when Alexander Sutherland Neill established it as an education experiment. The British government (particularly Tony Blair’s administration) has repeatedly tried to shut down the school, but has repeatedly been forced to capitulate in the face of opposition from students, parents and educational leaders. The Grassroots Free School was created roughly 30 years ago.

I have concerns about how my own child would function and fare after leaving a Summerhill-based school. But, in light of his innate leadership and strong opinions, I think that during his primary and secondary years he might fare better in a program of this sort.

One of the reasons I’m leaning toward this option is the remarks from the graduates of the local Grassroots Free School school. Attorneys, judges, physicians and even a Grammy Award winner (the daughter of my old friends) all attest to the school’s positive effect on their success, largely because of the lifelong hunger for knowledge and core appreciation of their own worth, talents and ability that were instilled at Grassroots.

I would really appreciate any input others have on this educational option.
 

Posted: Mar 27 2009, 09:05 AM by writer lady | with 1 comment(s) |
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The lies people tell

 Lies people tell

I’d like to think most people are basically honest, but when I look back over the years …

  • Your face is going to freeze like that.
  • The easiest way to catch a bird is to sprinkle a little salt on its tail.
  • You can grow up to be anything you want to be.
  • Smoking will make you look cool.
  • I’ll pull out.
  • I’ll never forget you.
  • I am not a crook.
  • It tastes like chicken.
  • You’re going to feel a little pinch.
  • You’d feel better if you’d just think positive thoughts.
  • You should try a waterbed—they’re really comfortable!
  • Trickle down economics benefits us all.
  • The friends you make in college will last a lifetime.
  • Women can have it all!
  • We don’t tolerate sexism here.
  • We’re like a family here.
  • I promise to love, honor and cherish till death do us part.
  • I don’t want a nasty divorce either; I want to be fair.
  • This car’s been real well taken care of.
  • This house has been real well taken care of.
  • I had a really great time. I’ll call you.
  • Yeah, she has big paws, but she’s already full grown.
  • You should try thongs—they’re really comfortable!
  • I don’t want to get remarried, either.
  • He’ll keep you young.
  • He’ll grow out of it.
  • No, your butt doesn’t look big in that.
  • This has nothing to do with your taking time off to take your son to the doctor.
  • You’ll be able to go back to work in a couple days.
  • You should try boy shorts—they’re really comfortable!
  • Fifty is the new forty.
  • I think you’re prettier now than you were when I met you.


Posted: Feb 20 2009, 09:44 PM by writer lady | with 9 comment(s) |
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What about homeless people with pets?

They call us the Sunshine State, but when the sun came up this morning it was only 32 degrees out in Tallahassee. With an expected high of only 47, our cat got to spend the day indoors. I decided that today was the day I’d bring my space heater to work. I left home wearing layered sweaters and a down jacket. I sent a blessing to the Swede who first put heated seats in a Volvo.

Less than a mile from my home is an open field bordered by pines. As I drove past I spotted a green mound that looked like a blanket-covered body. Even in Florida--a common destination for homeless people looking to escape the north’s deadly winters--people freeze to death on the ground. I parked and approached cautiously with a $5 bill in my hand. I was afraid I’d find that the body hadn’t survived the night, but if he had (why was I so sure it was a man?) with five bucks he’d be able to cross the road for a cup of coffee and hot breakfast from McDonald’s.

 “Did you make it through the night?” was met with a rustling beneath the blanket followed by the face of a startled man, then a woman, then a snarling dog. A quick reassurance from the woman and the dog quickly seemed embarrassed by its aggression. The pup was thin but wearing a collar and leash. Near the man’s bundle of clothing I spotted a near-empty bag of dog food and a near-full bottle of flea shampoo.

I asked if the woman if they thought they’d go to the shelter tonight, but the woman said they couldn’t go to the shelter because of their dog, and they could never get rid of their dog.

Because so many people in the path of a hurricane refuse to evacuate and abandon their pets, many emergency shelters now make provisions for both. But, in all of the United States, there are only two homeless shelters that accommodate people with their pets which are homeless year round.

I understand the need for a pet. Caring for another loving being gives purpose to people whose life may seem to mean little to other people. Especially for women, the protection of a dog may be all that keeps them alive and safe from sexual assault or theft. Their dog’s body warmth may be all that kept the couple under the green blanket alive last night.

The debate rages in my office: Should homeless people have dogs? Should homeless shelters provide shelter for pets? Would more homeless people go to shelters if they could take their pets? Should our tax dollars be used to feed and shelter the pets of people who can’t afford to feed themselves?
 

Posted: Jan 20 2009, 11:53 AM by writer lady | with 2 comment(s)
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I'll bet it makes you smile

The last few days have been full of sad news for my family and friends. Right now the only blessing of aging that I can think of is that I've learned to look for smiles rather than wait for them to come to me.

A few months ago I posted a link for Christian the hugging lion.  If you need a smile, here's that one again and another good link for you. I have to warn you though: The first video might make you cry, and the second one has a catchy little ditty you might not be able to get out of your brain.

 

Posted: Jan 13 2009, 03:07 PM by writer lady | with 2 comment(s)
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4-year-old Tallahassee boy, Christopher Robles, dies after being hit by car at Hartsfield Elementary

Just minutes ago a 4-year-old boy died in front of my son’s school. There is no one to blame in this tragedy; he jumped out of his mom's car and darted into the street in front of another car. There was an SUV parked next to his parent’s car, so the teacher who hit him couldn’t see him in the second before impact. He was just too fast and too small for either his mom or the driver to prevent this accident.

But I want there to be someone to blame. I think it’s natural for parents to try to find someone or something that can be changed to prevent this from happening again to our own children. Parents can’t—and shouldn’t—easily withstand feeling helpless to protect their children.

A few months ago I noticed that there were a lot of cars speeding through the school zones near my son’s school. I called the police and asked that they assign a patrol car to the area to ticket and deter speeding drivers. The response I got was one of commiseration, frustration and helplessness. There were only six officers available to handle all traffic management in the entire city, including dozens of school zones. And in that week those few officers were especially overwhelmed because two students had been struck by motorists.

We’re about to approve city and school budgets that further cut funding for school crossing guards and traffic enforcement officers. If the budget passes, there is every likelihood that more kids are going to be injured or killed. It’s no one’s fault that painful budget cuts have to be made. Our failing economy demands it.

Tallahassee has been recognized as having the best parks in the country and has always provided well for our families. Years ago Parenting magazine named Tallahassee the best place in America to raise a family. We’ve been named as an All America city. Our schools are among the best in the state.

We’re proud of these accomplishments and honors, but I, for one, am willing to forego some of our park services and perks. I’m willing to drive on patched and potholed streets. I’m willing to wait longer at traffic lights rather than pay for new road construction. I’m willing to volunteer in my son’s school to fill the breach. But I’m not willing to see my child’s safety compromised, nor should any parent or childless community member be.

Having an additional crossing guard or traffic cop on the job couldn’t have prevented this morning’s fatal accident. But it might prevent the next one.

Make the cuts somewhere else, but find funding somewhere to better safeguard our kids while they start and end their school days.
 

Posted: Jan 09 2009, 10:43 AM by writer lady | with 9 comment(s)
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There's no place like high for the holidays

I was so bummed when the doctor’s office told me my surgery was scheduled for December 22. I didn’t want to be the wet blanket who ruined the holidays for my family. Who would make dinner? Who would finish the decorating? Who would bake the cookies? I consoled myself with the fact that at least having surgery meant we wouldn’t be going to my mother-in-law’s house in South Carolina.

I usually begin planning and preparing for the holidays months in advance. But, because I’m a perfectionist and perfection is impossible, I usually cheat myself and everyone else out of enjoying the holidays. One year I was inconsolable because my perfect Christmas turkey slipped from the platter and bounced across the kitchen floor. Another year, I repeatedly made snide remarks about my husband for sticking to our agreement not to buy each other gifts.

But this year--thanks to the wonders of Demerol--nothing could dampen my spirits.

Santa’s cookies were store bought? Santa doesn’t care! Santa will eat anything when she’s high! HO! HO! HO!

Though I was certain we should still have at least one more roll of tape, I couldn’t find any to wrap the last few gifts on Christmas Eve, so I woke my husband and sent him out to buy more. The next morning he unwrapped a gift from me and found the lost roll of tape in it.

Santa mistakenly gift wrapped her son’s old books and put them under the tree? Oops! The look on his face was priceless, and the story has entered the annals of family holiday lore.

A beautiful table set with heirloom china, crystal and silver and a big sloppy wad of Smart Balance margarine instead of butter in the butter dish? No lid on the sugar bowl? I set out mismatched water goblets? So what! We were a group of 11 friends and family members and nobody cared.

My daughter stepped up and prepared her first big holiday dinner for us, and it was wonderful. Our older son got engaged to a beautiful girl who makes him very happy. Every day, while I laid in bed recovering, I could hear my little boy singing carols in the next room. And every day my husband was the happy recipient of my daily affirmations of gratitude and love.

The house is a wreck. I’m out of clean socks and wearing a pair of my husband's today. I gained five pounds in a week. It was the best Christmas I’ve ever had.
 

Posted: Dec 31 2008, 01:47 PM by writer lady | with 3 comment(s) |
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The Top 10 Reasons I Hate My Mother-in-law

My mother-in-law is going home today after a nine-day visit. There have been a lot of plusses to having her with us: She cooks and cleans while we’re at work. She does laundry. She lets us pick our own Christmas presents.

She’s an incredible woman. She knits, crochets, quilts, sews, embroiders, gardens, cooks, bakes, paints her own house, refinishes furniture, plays piano, is widely traveled and a brilliant investor. She lives alone in an area so remote that she inadvertently closed a bear in the crawlspace under her house a few years ago.

And, though I’ve tried, I really don’t like her much.

First of all, nine days is a really long visit, and it brings to 17 the number of days she’s visited this year.

Now, about the cooking, cleaning and laundry: She won’t use my groceries; she makes my husband take her to the grocery store to buy fresh garlic instead of minced stuff in a jar. She also feels compelled to replace our rice, croutons and steel cut oats (even though her son will only eat the Quaker instant oatmeal, and the steel cut oats were mine).

She cleaned out my refrigerator and threw out all the Thanksgiving leftovers because they were four days old. (To be fair, she also threw out a lot of other stuff that had been in there so long it probably growled and put up a fight.)

My mother-in-law doesn’t like my cleaning products, so she always buys something else. (Does she really think my house looks like that because I’m not using the entire Oxyclean product line?)

She’s 30 years older than me and freakishly energetic. I’m exhausted after work, and don’t feel like putting away the four loads of laundry she gathered from our bedrooms and washed while I was at work. I now have three baskets of clean laundry stacked in my bedroom. She apologized for not having the time or energy to scrub my floors.

Anytime she sees me struggling with my 7-year-old son she says “You should try it with three of them under five years old.” Excuse me, but she started her family at 19; I’m on the cusp of 50. For most of her childrearing years she lived near family; we have none close by. We also have two grown kids (and I mean at their full height, not maturity) who demand constant attention and support. Our 3-year-old granddaughter also spends lots of nights and weekends with us.

But, my mother-in-law tries to help in her own way, like when she says my son misbehaves because I spoil him, and what he really needs is “the back of her hand.” (To be fair, he really can be a defiant, whiny brat, but he breaks Hershey’s miniatures into four pieces and shares them.) She also demands that he say “Yes, ma’am” and “No, ma’am” though her son and I haven’t trained that into him. She attended military school. I enrolled Jack in Montessori. (He refused to kiss her good-bye this morning.)

She has repeatedly tried to bribe us into moving to South Carolina, though my husband and I agree it’s impractical--primarily because I’d slit my wrists. Then there was the time she gave this response to our plans for my best friend to care for our son if we died: “Just let her try it. She’ll have a hell of a fight on her hands, and I’ve got more money for the fight than she does.”

And she does spend a lot of time talking with her son about the million-dollar estate she’ll be passing down to him and his two sisters. She allows that the estate might be worth a little less than that when she dies, though, because she wants to take him to Carthage and to see the pyramids. (But, to be fair, she has helped us out of some financial jams, and I appreciate that.)

I walked in the door after work the other night to be greeted with: “When he (meaning her poor, poor exhausted son) wakes up from his nap he’s taking me to the grocery store where we’ll get something for the three of us to eat. While we’re gone, you feed Jack these leftover chicken nuggets, help him with his homework, give him a bath and put him to bed.”

The biggest problem I have with her visits, though? My husband doesn’t mind any of this and doesn’t understand why I do. By the time she’s finally gone I can’t even enjoy it because I no longer feel at home in my own home.
 

Posted: Dec 08 2008, 03:46 PM by writer lady | with 7 comment(s) |
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The sexiest man alive

Hugh Jackman is the sexiest man alive? Are you kidding me? People magazine is way off this year. It’s not that I don’t like Jackman; I know he’s multi-talented and acts on the stage as well as the screen. But sexy? Sorry. Doesn’t blow my skirt up in the least.

I think Salon.com got it right when they chose Robert Downey Jr. for the honor.


Robert Downey Jr.

His highs and lows sort of tracked right along side mine—though, thank God—mine weren’t as low or as public. I used to love the bad boys, the devilish choir boy types, and even married a couple of them. But my personal affinity for emotional torture eventually wore off, right around the same time Downey staggered into a stranger’s house and passed out in a bedroom.

For a while there, the only time you saw his name it was under a mug shot instead of heading a marquis. But, about the same time he was racking up a devastating rap sheet, I was leaving the bad boys behind. I started to think of him like a beloved relative I prayed wouldn’t show up for holiday dinners. And his real family members probably felt the same way.


But even both of my ex-husbands cleaned up their acts, and so did Downey. His wrinkles and gray hairs look hard won, but mine have been, too.

Maybe it’s a way of vicariously living out the bridal fantasies of my 20s while honoring the stupid mistakes that made me who I am in my 40s.
 

Posted: Nov 24 2008, 11:03 AM by writer lady | with no comments
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Election 2008 has global impact

I've voted in seven presidential elections, and I've never felt this kind of anxiety, hope, fear and anticipation. By 9 AM I was already digging around in the bottom of my purse searching for even the smallest chip of an Ativan.

Living in the Democratic Bubble that is Tallahassee, it used be easy to feel overly confident in a Democratic candidate's success, but 2000 changed all that. Even with all the polls showing Obama with a generous lead, I'm still worried about voter fraud or the Bradley Effect changing the anticipated results.

How will the rest of the world view us if Obama loses because of either of those?

Besides British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Obama has the wholehearted endorsements of many foreign leaders: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obama_endorsements#Foreign_political_leaders

And in a recent poll of 17,000 people, in 17 countries, on 6 continents, the global support for Barack Obama is obvious; in every one of those 17 nations Obama was the candidate of choice: http://www.rd.com/your-america-inspiring-people-and-stories/presidential-election-08-global-poll/article102098.html

My first hand knowlege of Reader's Digest is limited to elementary school handouts and occassional reading in my parents' bathroom, so before I put much credence into the RD global poll, I researched enough to learn that it is more widely read in households with an income >$100,000 than Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Business Week and Inc. combined. Doesn't sound like elite liberal media to me.

People all over the world are watching, and they're ready for a change.

Posted: Nov 04 2008, 03:59 PM by writer lady | with 2 comment(s)
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Jennifer Hudson's nephew found dead; every parent has imagined her sister's hell

I cried last Friday when I heard about the murders of Jennifer Hudson’s mother and brother. When I heard that her nephew was missing, I held out hope that he’d be found soon. When I read that a 7-year-old boy’s body had been found, I lost that hope. It’s been confirmed today – the boy they found was her nephew.

I keep thinking to myself “I can’t imagine … “ but I can. It’s because I can imagine that the tears come so readily. Thank God, I can’t know what it must be like for Jennifer Hudson to have lost her mother, brother and nephew. Thank God, I can’t know the hell of Jennifer Hudson’s sister, Julia, who lost not only her mother and brother, but also lost her 7-year-old son, Julian. For 72 hours her son was gone—not yet dead, just missing. For 72 hours before she knew for sure he was dead, she could only imagine, and try not to.

I’ve seen the TV news reports that show so many grieving Chicagoans. Like me, most of them never actually knew the family, so I know I’m not alone in my painful empathy. But I have a 7-year-old son, too. I’ve experienced those moments of immediate and extreme terror when the child who was right at by my side is gone. It takes just seconds for the adrenaline to flood a parent’s brain and fuel a crazed panic.

There was that one time at the mall when--for maximum entertainment value—Jack hid in a rack of clothes, laughing behind his hand while I spun around, calling his name. When his laughter overflowed his cupped hand and revealed his fine trick, my first impulse was to grab him and shake him, screaming “NEVER DO THAT AGAIN! NEVER! NEVER!” If I had given in to that impulse, and if I had ended up having to explain myself to a police officer, and if that police officer was a parent, I don't believe I would have been punished; I believe the officer would have nodded knowingly, sympathetically.

Last weekend we were at Sea World. We stood in line for 20 minutes with hundreds of other people waiting to ride the watery Journey to Atlantis. Then we lined up again to get some cold drinks. Then we returned to the Journey to Atlantis locker area to stand in line again before I could reclaim the purse I wasn’t allowed to carry on the ride.

When I came out of the locker area I saw my husband spinning in panic, calling our son’s name. Five seconds, maybe only three seconds, before Jack was back by our side, but that’s all the time it took for every imaginable horror to run through our minds.

With Jack's hand firmly in my husband's, we started off again for another exhibit. That’s when we saw the crying woman. She had let go of her 9-year-old son's hand 40 minutes earlier so he could stand in line and ride the watery roller coaster alone. She’d been standing there waiting and crying for 40 minutes. I'm sure that for 40 minutes every imaginable horror ran through her mind.

That's why so many of us cried again when Julia Hudson's son was found and confirmed dead: We could -- and had -- imagined it.

Posted: Oct 29 2008, 11:43 AM by writer lady | with no comments
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Butter-side down

I’m thinking I might start another blog called “Butter-side down.” You know, like when you drop your toast and it lands butter-side down on your shirt … in the car … at 75 mph … on the way to a job interview.

My most recent butter-side down incident occurred today.

I’ve been waiting several long weeks to undergo a nasty bit of outpatient surgery. I took half a day off work yesterday to go to the hospital for all the pre-op stuff. I did the disgusting pre-op purge as ordered last night.

We failed to properly set the alarm clock last night, so overslept this morning. Spent 15 minutes screaming at our little boy to get ready in 15 minutes, and still had to take the poor kid to school late.

Got to the hospital late, and had to run (painfully) from the parking lot to the pre-surgical waiting room. Were quickly sent back to our little curtained-off waiting area. Clothes off. Gown on. IV in. And there I waited for almost five hours.

After five hours on the gurney, the anesthesiologist came in and listened to my lungs, which were clear. Then he asked about my wheezing. Yes, I’ve been wheezing for a couple of weeks since the weather changed, and my sinuses reacted. No fever. No chest congestion. He agreed that it was just sinus drip crud causing the sound effects.

They cancelled the surgery. My surgeon is out of town for three days next week, so it looks like it’ll be two more weeks before I can have this surgery. I’m still waiting for the date from the doc’s office, so I can arrange to take off more time from my job.

In the mean time, I’m working 10-hour days and another half day Saturday to make up the time I took off this week for the surgery that never happened.
 

Posted: Oct 23 2008, 04:00 PM by writer lady | with 5 comment(s) |
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