Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What you doin' Sammy Jo?

(Carrie to Samantha, "Sex in the Country," SATC, Season 4)

Author's note: this post will make more sense if you're familiar with the HBO show "Sex and the City."

This past summer, I commented to both an old (long time and older in age) friend and my therapist that I sort of felt like Samantha. Their eyes bugged out until I explained that Sam is about 5-7 years older than Carrie, Miranda, and Charlotte. While people are forever asking if I'm a student, I've discovered again and again that a lot of my friends are 26, my sister's age. My two closest friends are five years younger and five years older. Well, most of the women my age (36, a month from 37) have children and houses. So two things: I don't meet them, because we run in different circles, and two: we don't necessarily have lifestyle similarities. That doesn't prevent friendships, since one of my dearest friends has the whole kit: three kids, two car garage, minivan. I have the additional weird factor of growing up (grammar school) overseas, I don't even have all the pop-culture pieces that distinguish the typical 36 year old woman in middle America. (Wherever that is.) I'm familiar with the shows that the 26 year olds watched, because I watched them with my sibs, who are now 25 and 26. I seem younger, because along with having great skin (thanks Mom!), I don't have kids, the house, the husband. I seem younger because I lost a lot of time spinning my wheels before my diagnosis. So I fit better with the 26 year olds, except that I have already voted in four presidential elections.

(That was a ramble...) The other thing about Samantha, something I aspire to, is her non-judgmental sensibility. In SATC-TM, Sam is the one who comes with food to a depressed and sleeping Carrie, who has slept through at least a day and a half.

Carrie: "I'm tired."
Samantha: "That's okay, eat something, then you can go back to sleep."

Sam doesn't want children, but is kind of the mother hen out of the four women. (Miranda may be a mother, but she is NOT maternal, except to Brady, and Charlotte wants a child, but she's actually the youngest of the four and it sometimes shows. No one could make any sort of case for Carrie being maternal.) Because I've seen the entire series more times than I'd like to admit, I have certain portions memorized, and other portions that come to the surface when I need them. If only I had the same diligence with my Beth Moore homework or memorizing Bible verses...

For whatever reason, the conversation that came to mind tonight as I drove home was between Carrie and Samantha in "All or nothing" (Season 3, episode 40). After a house-warming at Samantha's new apartment, Carrie stays to help Samantha clean up. She tells Samantha she's having an affair with Big (Carrie is dating Aidan, Big is married to Natasha.)

Carrie: "Don't you want to judge me a little?"
Samantha: "Not my style."


I voted today. As an election worker, I can usually leave my post where I work to drive half a mile to vote where I vote. But there are no guarantees concerning next Tuesday, (don't forget to vote!) so I drove downtown this morning, on the last day you could apply for an absentee ballot. First, I went to the Federal Building. FAIL! Then I drove across town to the City/County Building, and went into the wrong building. FAIL! The entire time, in my mind was an unhealthy tape, that I should vote for the other candidate, it was the "accepted" thing to do according to "everyone." Boy is that inner voice dangerous. When I go that black and white and start naming "everyone" as the boss of me, it's usually one or two people that have judged me. Fortunately, when I got the paper ballot, my candidate was the first name I saw and it was as if it was the only name I saw, I filled in that bubble with my blue pen--I voted!! We had a referendum--Should we go into debt to clean up the water? Um, yes, let's please be healthy. That's a worthy thing to go into debt for.

At the end of the day, I called Bird (my sister) and crowed, I voted!! I just needed to tell someone! And be excited about it!! I got her voice mail, but crow I did! I've never been this excited about an election, but the act of voting itself was pretty mundane, standing in the City/County building with people who were going to be in Florida next week. I told Sally when I got to Bible Study this morning, but she knew that's why I was late, and I just mouthed the words, as the Beth Moore video had already commenced.

As for my Web 2.0 life, today I emailed, twittered, DM'd (Direct Message on Twitter), chatted on gmail with my boss about coming in late because my back was doing crazy things, and chatted on gmail with a friend while I was warming up to finish the pile of Dewey number checks. Oh, and I'm blogging! And I forwarded some blog links to my dad and a few friends. How grateful I am for technology. This morning before I left the house, I called my dad, because I wasn't feeling so hot physically or mentally. I needed coffee, and a hug. Before we hung up, my dad prayed for me, which I so needed--I needed to hear someone ask God to bless me. How I adore that man.

So all in all, a day well lived. I learned from my boss that if she is called as a reference for me, (no, I don't have news) she can't tell them about my health. It's illegal. I am grateful that I am able to be honest with her, and she encourages me to no end, but she knows that it is time for me to move on, when the right job comes my way. What a blessing she is. I went for dinner at the fancy restaurant at the bottom of the hill because I needed a little Sabbath. I can't take time off right now, but I can do little things, like have Bleu cheese dressing instead of my usual choice, Ranch.

Day is done. Gone the sun. How do the rest of the words go? Well, it's nearly eleven o'clock and Wee willy winky is I'm sure asleep by now, so I suppose I should tuck in too. I have a whole bunch of kids to sing to tomorrow morning.

G'nite. It's been nice writing to you, dear reader. You do put a smile on my face.

Monday, October 27, 2008


I just sent an email to a dear friend who has been attacking me for my voting choice. I have thrown in the towel and asked for the conversation to end (even when I asked her to not write me until after the election she wrote right back and said, but have you considered this??). I may have lost this friend. I hope my words were soft enough that I could eat them if I had to, but I am exhausted. This was the third and final attempt at words that might not make her see fire. I didn't want to lash out at her the way I felt lashed out at, but as I said in (was it only the last post?) the last post, it is so hard to get tone when you are writing on a screen.

I found this in a compilation of Madeleine L'Engle's writings. It's from the poem "Crazy Jane talks with the Bishop" by W.B. Yeats.

Love has pitched his mansion in
The place of excrement;
For nothing can be sole or whole
That has not been rent.

Well, I feel like, in my earlier angry thoughts at this friend, my exasperation, that I was in the place in excrement. And that maybe the only place to get out of there, if she is not going to honor boundaries, is to break boundaries and possibly "rent" (as in, rip) the relationship.

Maybe I can sleep now--what's done is done, and only in the morning or the next morning or the next will I either get a white flag or another diatribe on why I am wrong. Or maybe she will wait until after the election. Time will only tell.

In other news, my apartment is a mess. Nothing new there. But the new thing is that I have decided to have my birthday party at a restaurant. Because then I won't have to worry about buying too much or too little food and drink. And because I'd rather work systematically at the mess here, instead of just moving mess from room to room. I am exhausted. Oh, did I say that already?

This summer I moved the back room into the front room so that the sofa could go down the stairs. Then I moved the contents of the bathroom out into the kitchen so the plumber could unplug the bathtub. Then I moved the contents of my car into the basement so that I could carpool to the retreat. So now I still have things from the back room in the front room. I still have the contents of my bathroom in the front room. And while my car is pretty clean, I have no idea where my umbrellas are. (In that big plastic container that holds most of the contents from my car?)

I need to do laundry. I need to do dishes. I need to call the Student Loan folks and say, um, we need to reduce the payments. I need to see if I can get an absentee ballot (if we're as busy as we hope to be, I may not be able to slip away and vote at my own polling place, which is not the same polling place as the one where I'll be working on Election day.)


But, on the bright side, I have a roof over my head, a reliable car (and a full tank of gas) and maybe one pair of clean underwear. That's a big maybe.

I'll try to see if I can get some sleep.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Email, politics, friendships, n'at

So I have had an increasing problem with email, especially in this politically charged, what is it 13 days to go?

Because there's no tone of voice. There's no, "Hi, how are you," to gauge how the other person is doing before you practical joke them or tell them their faith hangs in whom they vote for. To put it another way, you have no idea that when they get an invite to your Tupperware party that they are broke broke broke.

Now, this is the part you have no control over. (You didn't know their kitty just died.) Yes, people reading emails need to chill too (Yes, SL, I'm talking to you!) (Okay, okay, okay.) But you do have control over your words. You do have control over thinking hmm, should I invite this person? Should I send this politically charged email to the person who will most likely disagree and be angry? Is it worth the heat? Sometimes it is worth it. But often, it is not. Often it drives a wedge.

Yesterday I spent most of the day in the ER. Yes, the Emergency Room at Shadyside Hospital. A dear friend drove me and sat with me. (Bless you, dear one!) I have some unpronounceable "itis" which is basically an inflammation of where the breast bone meets the rib cage. I was experiencing chest pain and shortness of breath. I feel better now, but yesterday was all kinds of uncomfortableness until I finally got to the pain meds. Recovery includes pain meds, more chiro visits, and warm compresses.

So I came home yesterday, exhausted, blurry, and I opened my email, at almost 4 pm. I had not eaten lunch. I was not in my right mind. So I opened an email from a dear friend who yes, disagrees with me on politics, among other things. When the email said "in this season of election" I thought it would be a prayer, because she is one of the most deeply spiritual people I know. But I mostly always open emails from her because she is a dear friend and remember, I hadn't had lunch and I'd been in the ER for over 3 hours. So to discover that it was a mass email saying I couldn't possibly be a person of faith for voting the way I was voting, I kind of shut down. I haven't yet deleted the email, but I will be deleting it very soon. The email, not the friend. I can't afford to lose her over this. She is a dear dear friend, whom I love. So I wrote to her this evening and said can we please not communicate until after the election? I hope I was able to write lovingly, but with email, there is always a danger.

Folks, these are phone calls, if you dare them. These are talks at a coffee shop if you live close by. Or, these are silences until mid November, or even longer, if you know there will be an impasse. These are not "I can't see you, (I'm writing things to the screen) but I have my ideas, so I'm going to spout them out." What are the three things you don't discuss in polite company? "Politics, religion, and money." Email, though it seems intimate, is polite company.

Let's be friends on November 5, whoever wins. My life (hopefully yours neither) will not end if the side I'm not voting for wins. I will not be pleased, but I will still live in my third floor walk up, I will still work at the library, I will still be related to people who voted opposite. People whom I love dearly, therefore, with whom I don't talk politics.

This is the first year I've really followed presidential politics, paid attention to the issues beyond the local scene. So I've been excited and GREEN. By green, I mean, I have talked to some people I should have stayed away from, and I have read articles that I knew would irk me. I have even posted things on FaceBook and gotten flaming (what my friend Heidi calls more heat than light) emails. This political piece is a learning process. My dear mother doesn't tell anyone who she votes for, doesn't talk politics. I wish I could be that way--but I am too excited to be in the issues and at work, frankly, most of us are on the same page. So at lunch, Marian (the Librarian) and I share stories. And at work, once we find out co-worker's allegiances, we pass on "oh look at that YouTube, or that website." But care is necessary. Be care full. Full of care. Because you may be tramping all over someone's American dream. And that, my friends, is not cool.

I still want to be friends with folks I know now after November 5, irregardless of their political leanings. I love my friends, even when I disagree with them. And moreover, I like having friends that don't agree with everything I say, because that is how I learn. I either learn that I believe more strongly in what I think, or that they may have a point, or that neither of us has a clue.

I do know this: I have great friends. I have dear relatives. Not all of them will be voting the same way I do on November 4. I cannot convince them. I will not disown them. I cannot. I must not.

So the next time you think about emailing someone even if it is your neighbor whose dog is driving you INSANE, think about tone. Think about how your email comes across to someone who is checking email after a day in the ER. Deep breaths. Deep breaths.

(This is one of those posts where I am writing to myself more so that to any of my dear readers. I need to learn what I am purporting to "teach.")

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Taking a break...

I'm in panic mode. But you'd never know it, sitting here in my jeans, writing to you, with SATC in the background.

(It's called--Sarah Louise didn't eat breakfast until ten minutes ago and now she's using the rest of the episode to decompress.)

Decompress from the major stresses of life:

  • the debate last night gave me jitters.
  • I couldn't sleep and slept around 3 a.m.
  • I am going away this weekend (yes, that sounds stress free except that going away for me is never stress free. But I have my meds taken care of, and the next thing to tackle is my car--because I might be carpooling.)
  • I can't afford my Master's degree (the one I got so I could be a librarian a couple years ago) and will need to renegotiate my student loan, AGAIN.
  • My car insurance went up with the new car. I need to talk to my car insurance company about stuff.
  • I still have this cold or a bad case of allergies.
  • (Oh, and I was supposed to go to the allergist this morning which I didn't know until 11pm last night) (I called at 8am and rescheduled.)
  • Oh, and I don't know if I have the reading material for the retreat this weekend. It might (please let it be) in the car.
Okay, enough decompressing. Time to check the car (which, did I mention I'll have to clean up if indeed I am carpooling?)

Thanks for listening. I hope you have a chance to take a few moments too. What's your decompressing M.O.?

Oh, it's my favorite part of this episdode. Maybe I'll just watch the end.

(and I did.) Now, the car...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Being bipolar

So a reader of this blog emailed me recently, because she saw that I had written something about being bipolar.

Not her actual words: "I couldn't believe that you were bipolar because you seem to keep your life together." She has family members with bipolar and attends meetings for family member support.

I always like to say, I have bipolar, it doesn't have me.

I like to dispel the images that people have of mental illness: images they get from the media, including the movies One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest, Girl Interrupted, What about Bob? (just to name a few.) I can't watch them. Images in film that I find a little more palatable: the uncle in Little Miss Sunshine who was depressed because he was jilted, the mom in About a Boy that attempts suicide, the woman in Cosi who is dealing with drug issues. (Funny, all of those movies feature Toni Collette, and two of the characters in this list are played by her.)

A bunch of confessional memoirs by people with bipolar disorder have been published recently. I can't read those either. Not to be petty or snarky but they are too drama queen-ish and don't reflect my experience. Not that I only read books that reflect my experiences (I've never been a mole learning about the joys of rivers, for instance) but I find reading books about mental health issues are either full of information I already know or experiences I narrowly (and gratefully) missed by what I can only call the grace of God.

Last night, in a fit of insomnia (darn that afternoon nap) I read the entire book Ana's Story. It's the story of a girl in Central America who has HIV. She is 17, has a child, and has lived most of her life with her HIV as a secret, even from her best friends. There is such a stigma. This is one of the reasons why I blog anonymously. I want to be able to write occasionally about my mental health, but I don't want someone to be able to Google me and discover information that I do not want to share broadly.

It was such a joy to get this email, so encouraging to have someone who knew a little bit of what I live daily, but also to have someone say you seem to have a stable life. I am very hard on myself. When I look at my apartment, which at the moment is in shambles, or my kitchen, which is full of unwashed dishes, or my piles of dirty laundry, I forget to look at the small amounts of progress: I have some clean silverware. I have clean underwear, clean towels, and clothes to wear (clearly I own too many clothes). Today I went grocery shopping and pretty much stuck to the list, which means I have food in the house for at least a week. Which means I don't have to rely on restaurant food.

It was a joy to have today to myself. This week I stupidly went over to Max's FB page (WHY do I do this) and found that he wrote about me as "a woman I know that is mentally ill." It took a day and a half of soul searching to realize that it was more that HE wrote those words than the words themselves. Yesterday I ran into someone I have been interested in on and off for a couple of years. I was glad to not have to hash those two issues out with my therapist just yet.

But one thing I did realize, as I was writing an email back to the woman who emailed me about bipolar. I have been wringing my hands over the fact that I lived undiagnosed for about ten years. That I lost those ten years. Which in some ways, I did. But the blessing is that by the time I was diagnosed, I had pretty much developed my identity as a quirky woman who loves books. My identity is NOT wrapped up in my diagnosis. It is a part of who I am, much like the fact that I lived overseas from age 5 to age 12. But it doesn't define me.

I love the Walt Whitman quote, from Song of myself:

Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)

Observers of this poem say that it is not so much a poem, but a list. And so I give you a contradictory list, I leave you to get some vittles.

1. I am an open book (except for when I'm tightly closed)
2. I'm low maintenance in relationships (except for when I'm not.)
3. I am a world traveler that longs for a hometown.
4. I am a de facto Pittsburgher but will never really belong as I was not born here.
5. I long to live in a place where I don't need a car, but I enjoy driving country roads on the way to my current job.
6. I believe very strongly in my beliefs, but I will fight for you to believe what you believe, even if we completely disagree. I actually prefer having a group of friends that don't exactly always agree with me.
7. I adore the show SATC and yet own very few labels and only one pair of high heels.

I'll stop there, because I need to figure out dinner. Listen to me, I need to figure out dinner, not "I'm off to microwave whatever is in there." (Which is probably still true, but I have choices!)

One last note: I had swordfish for lunch. I did the hot foods at Whole Foods. With drink, my lunch was less than $7.00.

Tomorrow is the election in Canada. They'll be voting for Prime Minister. I hope you will join me in praying for citizens there.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Where is Almanzo?

We all read the books. I think my favorite was the one where Almanzo builds a house for Laura, complete with drawers for sugar, flour...I guess our millennial example is the closet Big built for Carrie, except that there was more drama there...

So as I clean my apartment, preparing for who knows what? I tackled the silverware drawer. Out came the orange rubber silverware holder that I got at a hardware store but reminds me of Home Depot (there was no Home Depot in Pgh when I bought my silverware holder, but it is the orange color of HD signs.) I thought about Almanzo. I bet he built a drawer for Laura that had divisions for spoon, fork, knife.

As I ponder life these days, I think about how I will never be the geeky one who loves to balance her checkbook. So does that mean I have to suffer through that minutia? Or can I set up checks and balances so that I know what's going on, I'm not surprised, but that doesn't require entering every single last receipt or transaction. And how so many of my friends have already married that guy or gal. But it's just me. I'm the one that cleans the dishes, does the laundry, brings home the bacon, fries it up in a pan...

I also wonder in my mind what kind of conversations Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte would have about the upcoming election. I see Charlotte as a Republican, the rest as Democrats. (Well, maybe Samantha would be a Republican too...) I would love to see them talk about politics, the current issues. I would like to watch THAT episode. They'd talk about Cindy's dresses, Michelle's shoes. And much much more...

I also am thinking about where I want to hang my hat when I'm done with this flat. I have told my therapist I want to live closer to my family, which does mean my parents and sister in VA, but that NYC would put me closer to my extended fam, people that aren't likely to travel out to the Burgh. And since I don't have a ring on my finger or a baby in my womb, it's more likely that I'm the one who will be doing the traveling. That's okay. But I do want that connection with my second cousins. We don't have a big family, but the people that are scattered mostly in the New York area are people who I love to talk to. People that I saw a lot more of when my parents were overseas, because I couldn't go overseas for Thanksgiving. I feel that the life of my family grew when my cousin Kiki started her blog. But I want more.

Also, I'm pretty much a city girl. But I wasn't unhappy for the two years that I lived in rural Eastern Shore Maryland for college. (But I was in college...)

I want a situation where I'm driving less, not more, in terms of my daily commute. Right now all the grocery stores I go to are within 7 minutes. But I drive a half hour or more each way to work. Not that I want to move closer to my current place of work, because I'm NOT a suburban girl, and then I'd be moving away from all those great grocery stores.

I want a situation where I know the mental health services are top notch. Pittsburgh has some of the best clinicians on bipolar disorder--I don't want to move somewhere rural just to be geographically closer to the fam but have to give up my quality mental health care.

Sometimes I think, maybe I should just stay here. I know a lot of people who would applaud that. I wonder how much of a children's librarian I am if I really am only interested in reading to babies? (Huge generalization, I know.) But right now I'm working in an area where the kids are so over-programmed that library programs can't compete. It seems that all school age kids want are Webkinz and books off their AR lists.

Economics trumps all of these, but does it? Can I learn to live below my means? Pay off my debt, live on what I make?

My brain is so scattered. And I'm so sick of this cold. Where is Almanzo?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Broken things...

I'm a little late to work. I start the car, the radio comes on--strange, I was listening to a CD. I try to switch it to the CD and the display says LOCK. The book in the glove box says take it to a GM dealer and for once I do so. I call in late to work (I know, I know, it was a stupid radio, let's not go there...) So I spend an hour before work and $30. I drive to work, put a lot of records in the catalog (including 3 CD-ROMs!)

[The span of 7 hours go by.]

I come out of work, start the car, radio comes on, and I try for the CD and AGAIN with the LOCK on the display! This time, my brain remembers something, and realizes that the first time this happened (not this morning, but shortly after I got Elliot, the stealth blue Cobalt) was when the temperature abruptly changed from cool to warm. Yes, my CD player gets cranky in the heat. Great.

By the time I was 10 minutes into my drive home, the radio worked. I think I'll wait to finish my audio book when the weather turns cold again.

(Did I mention I live in a third floor walk-up?) (Yes, it was warm when I entered the abode after a hard day at work.) (Thankfully the a/c units are still in, I put them both on Fan.)

First movie: Friends with Money. I should always be suspicious when a movie says it opened at a Film Festival (unless it is Little Miss Sunshine.) This was the "Good Girl" Jennifer Aniston, not the "Friends" Aniston. I made it for about 20 minutes until the point where her blind date is trying to help her clean out a client's refrigerator. (Her character, Olivia, was a pot-smoking maid.) It was too horrible to continue.

Oh, did I mention the book I spent my last dollar* on yesterday in the book nook died on page 56 over lunch today when I realized the woman power was going a little too...um, earthy for me. Besides, I could already figure out who she was marrying, the plot was soooo see through. No, because then you'll want to read it. It's not worth it. And if I do mention it, the author will google herself and she'll see I didn't like it...I am too nice sometimes to be a good blogger of the Badger, Babelbabe, Poppy genre. Sorry, gals, to disappoint.

Let's see...so as soon as I killed Friends with Money (ejected it from the DVD player, no real violence, it belongs to the library), I put in Bring it On, a movie I'd been wanting to see for a while. I shouldn't have waited so long. The library copy must have been in a contest for the most scratches. And the thing was, it was a good movie. I wanted to watch it, so I tried my darnedest. But it would play a scene (great, great!) and then it would freeze frame (no, no, no!). I think I might have given it 45 minutes. I'll send a note with it when I return it, and maybe our librarian that deals with DVDs can resurface it with the fancy machine that's in his office. It runs on electricity and distilled water.

I, these days, run on Emergen-C, Corasedin, Sudafed, episodes of SATC, and lots and lots of peppermint tea. Oh, and sleep. I think I hear my bed calling me. I'm hoping this cold goes away SOON.

In case I don't post until Tuesday, Happy Canadian Thanksgiving and Columbus Day (or whatever the PC name is now.)

And for the record, I did some dishes tonight. Not all of them, but some. It's progress.

*not my last dollar, but the last dollar I had allotted for frivolous purchases such as Book Nook coffee and paperback novels.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Twitter meme--6 things

hmmm...I have to post six things that I've never revealed on this blog and then tag six people. Darn that Dani... I'm pretty much an open book (except for when I'm closed tight), so I can't imagine there are six things...but we'll give it a shot.

1. I love pineapple upside down cake. I had some last night due to the birthday of a friend's son. (I literally did a word search on my blog for pineapple to see if I'd ever mentioned that.)

2. I'm allergic to ragweed. Which is in the chamomile family. Which is related to Echinacea. Early in the days when Echinacea became popular (the late 90s), I had a cold and bought something at the health food store that had Echinacea in it. My throat almost closed up. Fortunately I worked in a bookstore, and we found an herb book and looked up the ingredients and found out the problem. This discovery made me realize why I had always hated chamomile tea. It always made my throat scratchy.

3. I hit a co-worker once. I also hit my brother once. Both of these events happened around ten years ago. People that know me cannot believe this, as I am fairly docile and not apt to fly into a rage (of the sort that would cause one to hit another person.) Both times, I was able to patch things up. End of story.

4. I do not like tea that is so sour that it requires you to add a lot of sugar: Raspberry tea if you get it at Tazza D'Oro, or the Cranberry Apple tea that is in our stash at work. I really like peppermint tea, especially because my brother recommends it if you are not feeling well. (Also, you don't need My brother is a tea connoisseur.

5. Two more! Ummm. I hate the book The Giver. I know, it's so brilliant, blah blah. I just don't like it. I like Lowry's other books, though.

6. Last one! When I was a senior in high school, I got a perm. One of my friends in college "refreshed" it in our dorm bathroom when I was a freshman. At the time, my hair was shoulder length. (I suppose now you'll be wanting pictures...)

Okay, now to tag 6 folks that haven't done this...

1. @alyssacreasy at life on rural street
2. @badgermeetswrld at badger meets world
3. @bibliophile81 at a work in progress
4. @cuileann at the holly and the ivy (except it seems maybe she stopped twittering...)
5. @schmutzie at milk money or not, here I come
6. @amydi143 at pretty shiny

Off to tag folks...

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Coming up for air...

I feel as if I've abandoned this blog, for all the posting I've been doing lately.

And a bit of it is Twitter, but it is mostly life. I don't know how to talk about politics with out passion and I don't think this is the place for it. I don't know how yet to talk about being a woman on the verge of 37, with hopes and dreams, some dashed. I don't know yet how to talk about the realization that I in some ways lost ten years (from 17 to 27) acting my way through undiagnosed bipolar disorder.

But I did want to say hello, dear reader.

I'm listening to Home by Marilynne Robinson, and I'm on the last disc. I've been weeping. But it keeps me from hearing the political ads, the ones that cut your soul. I'll be getting a new book to listen to today.

So I won't talk about the fact that I read the New York Times almost daily online, and that I've watched every debate. But I will tell you this: as you decide who you're voting for, pray for this nation. Because there is always the chance that the man you want to win won't. And you will need to accept that, and the nation will.

And watch the men themselves. Read as many interviews with them. What did they call it in history? Primary sources. Watch the debates, if you can. If you must watch the news, watch Jon Stewart, he makes fun of everyone. Do not trust campaign ads. Do not trust websites that are cropping up everywhere to say, "My guy is the guy." Go to the source. Go to the source. I will say it again, GO TO THE SOURCE. Passionate people that want their candidate to win will stop at nothing. If you've been paying attention, you know what I mean.

Go beyond the "one issue" vote. Please do that for me. I could go on, but for our sake I won't. If that's your thing, you know exactly what I'm talking about.

Look at the whole of the man. Is this a man that I will trust to talk to foreign dignitaries? Growing up in the government, growing up in the Foreign Service, I did actually meet a few presidents, if by meet you mean shake hands. And so I think about the man. Is this a man I would want to shake hands with? Is this a man my father would respect? (I respect my father greatly, readers of this blog will know that, but who knows how you got to this post.) I have been talking to my father almost daily, and we have been forwarding articles back and forth. My father knows a great deal about how politics works and he knows the history behind some of the things that the political ads are blasting, either for the right or the left.

Trust yourself, but talk to everyone you know that will talk to you (as you know, folks shut their mouths about politics REAL quick). Talk to the people you disagree with, if you can. Or at least have conversations with them in your mind. And don't worry about disappointing people. You will be the one responsible for your one vote. Even if you are in a state that's sure to go red or sure to go blue, vote! It's not fun, and you will probably have to wait in line. But it's a duty and a right. Don't let anyone steal that from you.

And if you are a pray-er, pray. Because whoever wins on Nov. 4, there will also be a loser. Pray that our nation will not become divided and bitter. And pray for the safety of everyone. One of the things I love the most about the Catholic and Episcopal church's prayers is that they call our president by his given name, George. As if he were the boy around the corner.