26 May 2009

Patriot Act

I am a very liberal-minded, and liberal-voting, person, who happens to have many close friends who fall at various spots on the right of the political spectrum. Many of my friends not only vote republican, but participated in some of the more, in my opinion, ugly and hateful Obama-bashing before (and since) the last election (and some throw some nice immigrant/gay bashing into the mix). When it's an online post or a forwarded email, most of the time I don't respond because we've had the discussions, and when we have it again I'd rather we can both really hear each other.

One of these friends (we'll call him S) is someone whom I've kept in touch with pretty regularly since I left North Carolina almost two years ago. He is a huge Texan man, an MP in the Army, and a loyal and protective friend and husband. He also sends me email forwards on a weekly basis, and while most of them are funny, a chunk of them consist of inflammatory right-wing rhetoric. Whereas usually I'm pretty good at letting things roll off and picking my battles, when I actually read one of those yesterday, a 'school teachers letter to Obama', it just really pissed me off.
What follows is my reply to him:

"Hi S,

I want you to know I hope you are doing very well; I hope you are happy and safe where you are.

I would love to hear from you, anything at all from you, but I would like you to stop sending me all these forwards.

I would love to have a conversation with you, an intelligent conversations, about what you think about the president and why. I know you are a smart man and have an opinion that I have no doubt I'd love to hear. Personally, I've supported President Obama for a long time and think he is doing a pretty good job, especially considering the shit sandwich he was handed.

Why is it that when it was President Bush in office, and somebody opposed him, they were being unpatriotic, especially because we were at war, but people who shamelessly attack President Obama with spite and vigor (although we are still at war, whars he opposed but has now taken as his own), are just doing their duty as citizens?

I want to hear someone honestly answer that question. I think a true patriot is someone who does think, who questions themselves as well as their leaders, and is willing to speak out in dissent. But where did our respect for each other and each others opinions go? Just because we don't agree on many things doesn't mean we can't still have respect and love for each other.

I am offended by the hateful and dishonest propoganda that speeds around the internet stirring up fear and distrust in its wake. If I wanted to participate in that kind of thinking, the 'if you're not with us you're against us' thinking, I would watch Fox News.

Everything is not black and white, in fact, I think most of us are in the gray, but somehow we are being convinced that whatever side you're on, there's just no way to meed in the middle.

Please don't take this personally S, as I have the utmost respect for you, your job, and your family. You know me and I think you understand that.



21 May 2009

Farmers Market Flowers

At the very end of packing up at the farmers market today, an adorable sweet young farmer man walked up to me with a bouquet of white flowers and said, "Do you want some more flowers?"

I hesitated because at first I wondered if he wanted to trade for something and then for another second I thought that he must surely think I was someone else, like one of the really cute coffee girls from two stalls down. I also considered for a quick moment that, since I had sold some bouquets of flowers today and I had a display arrangement still on the table, that maybe he had found this perfect bouquet on the ground somewhere and thought I had lost it.

Then it dawned on me that maybe he just thought I would like some pretty flowers and so I said, "Sure!"

He handed them to me, smiled, and walked away to me oohing and aahing with the baker next to me about how pretty they were and how sweet that was.

It occurred to me a minute later that maybe I could have asked his name as we are in the same place every Thursday morning, I loved his curly blonde hair, and it's been a while since somebody gave me flowers (regardless of whether or not it was an accident or just an end-of-market donation).

20 May 2009


I have a big crush on Kai Reisdal. He is the Marketplace host on NPR. He is funny, plays good music between the bits, and talks about financial issues in a way even I can understand. I really like his voice. On the occasion he breaks out into laughter it's and extra scoop of sprinkles on my ice cream sundae fantasy.

I have no idea what he looks like, or how his name is spelled. I don't want to look it up because there would probably be a picture of him, and that would probably ruin it.

10 May 2009

Mother's Daughter

Who would have thought that Mother's Day would be so full of almost-crying moments for me?

Very early this morning in the car I was listening to NPR as they closed one of their shows by announcing who did what (for example "This show was executively produced by Ona Motapia") but instead of saying their own names they said Daughter or Son of their mother's name. It took about a minute to do all the credits like that and I laughed first then got all choked up. And I know it wasn't just because I was up before dawn on a Sunday because that's par for the course these days.

Mid-morning I made the Mom Day phone call to the home base in Wisconsin, chit chatted with Daddy for a few, who then passed the phone to my sweet little mother. Most of our conversation consisted of talking about re-doing the windows of the house and spring allergy attacks, but at some random unexpected point in the conversation I had to take a moment of deep breaths so I didn't burst into tears. Not that crying on the phone to Mom is totally out of the ordinary, but it doesn't usually happen when talking about weather/home improvement.

Earlier this evening I was again listening to NPR as I worked on my very slow-going needlepoint project, and I caught the tail end of a story which consisted of a grown son who was given up for adoption speaking one side, and his biological mother speaking on the other. It was the story of him finding her and greeting her for the first time, and when the woman spoke of the feeling when the child that she had given up walked up to her to "initiate a hug" I choked up and once again had to reach for the kleenex.

I don't have kids and I'm not expecting them anytime soon, so the multiple teary-eyed moments caught me a little off guard. Maybe because as I'm watching more and more of my friends and contemporaries have kids I can relate more closely to parenthood? Maybe because I recently realized for the first time that I do indeed want to raise children one day?

Maybe because deep inside I'm just a little girl who really misses her Mommy.

07 May 2009

Break Up

I know there are two sides to every story; this just happens to be mine.

"It's over" cannot logically be followed by "No, it's not" although it never fails to surprise me when people seem to think it can.

"It's over. I'm done. I'm leaving." "No, it's not, and you're not."
See? Imagine that conversation. Crazy. I've had it. It was laughable. In my case, it sounded more like this (and I'll be paraphrasing this so as not to bore):

"You're taking advantage of me. I'm done. I want you and your shit gone." (Actually, I said that, it's a direct quote.)

"No. I'm not leaving. And neither are you. Neither of us are leaving for at least two months." (I think it was two months; it was around that because it was whatever we had left on the lease.)

"Oh really? Yes, I am."

And I left.

Maybe laughable isn't the right word. It has been two years and it is still difficult to describe the feeling I had as I watched the look on this persons face as I calmly (as I had always been the one who yelled) did what I said I was going to do.

This person, who had held such control over me for so long, as it dawned on him that I really wasn't staying this time.... I had tried to keep him on a pedestal that I had built for him, I had unearned faith in him (that he didn't deserve) and I had made a commitment and tried to really build something with him, and after 18 months I finally saw him for what he is.

So I left, and two weeks later he still didn't believe it. When I came by to get some things he locked himself in the bathroom and left a note for me on the bathroom mirror, typed and printed from the computer, that said, in big enough letters to fill the page, "I HATE YOU". He piled all my things in one place and every gift I'd ever given him stacked in what had been our room.

Three weeks after that, when he knelt in front of me crying saying he would do everything I had ever asked him to do, he would change, that I was the best thing, that I was too good for him and he thought he'd die without me, and I told him it was way way way too late for that, he got up and vomited.

My six foot tall 127 lb frame couldn't help but see the tragic comedy in him regurgitating whatever was in his stomach at that moment, as I had lost about 30 pounds since moving in together a year before and he had gained weight steadily.

That final morning was the first time he had ever made coffee for me, had it waiting for me when I arrived. After the begging, the tears, and the vomit, I said goodbye to the dog and I drove away. He packed his truck and left that afternoon, leaving me with a house full his things to get rid of and a whole new lease on life.

06 May 2009


This is are my thoughts for this gray afternoon:

I just watched a trailer for a movie coming out called "Paper Heart".

It looks to be a sweet story about a girl who says she doesn't believe in love and then, inevitably, as we watch, falls right into it.

It just made me think, isn't what we all want, ultimately, is to love and be loved in return?

I know we all want to feel safe, and I think the person that I know is on my side no matter what and provides me shelter from all the storms - that's the person that I will love.

04 May 2009

Bbbaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa (or not)

"Every time I think of that, I just picture a herd of mute goats."

- Uncle Ridge, commenting on the goat tongue dish that my aunt Colleen and her friend Loretta Keller, who is up for a James Beard Award, are serving to 1500 people at the James Beard shindig in New York tonight.

So Fresh and So Clean

It has been raining since last Thursday, and although we still need the rain, I am eagerly anticipating the return of the warmth and roses and joy that started busting out just before...

Looking up the hill from the house.

You could get addicted to the smell of these roses.

t thing I see in the morning.