Wednesday, February 27, 2008

She's my idol

I'm a fan of Hillary Clinton - for the first time in my life I've donated to a political campagin in the hopes of seeing the first female president in 2009. While it hasn't looked good recently, I read something tonight that made me realize whomever our Democratice nominee is, this campagin has done the impossibe. Even durning the dark days of VietNam, I don't think our country has been so interested and motivated by an election. According to Reuters, last night's debate was watched by 8 million viewers - and it beat "American Idol" by 44% in the Ohio markets, which included Cleveland, Cincinnati, Dayton and Columbus. Everytime I think our country is in the $hitter, I read something like that - a debate beat out American Idol - thank god! There is hope for us. Go Hillary!

I promise knitting content next time.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Raindrops, Wondercon, Costco & the Oscars

It was supposed to rain, rain, rain last night and today but right now, I can actually see the sun. Not that I'm disappointed but I ran around and did all my errands and outdoorsy stuff yesterday, early in the day, so that I wouldn't be stuck in last night and today's mega-storm. So now the sun is shinning and I've got indoor chores & stuff to do.

Since the Oscars are this evening, I may fork out some $$ to watch Michael Clayton on Pay-Per-View. I haven't seen a single Oscar nominated movie and I probably won't even watch the show start to finish, but I so hate to feel left out.

I made an early am dash to Costco today to get a passport photo for my daughter. It takes all of 60 seconds and cost $4.99 - a great bargin. Unfortunately, I spent $125 on stuff I sort of didn't need - like a body pillow my daughter had to have, a book about clutter and fat asses from that Clean House tv show guy, flats of mandarin oranges, pears, apples and some Mexican cheese & organic salsa. The only really necessary item I bought was some printer ink - also at a great bargin price ($42 for 3). I have to remember not to go to Costco with children or a bar check.

Yesterday morning, we ventured out to Wondercon - a comic book convention that's held at Moscone Center here in the city. It's a definate geek infested event full of grown men in full costume as every comic book character one could possibly imagine. To my son's delight, 4 of the 6 women at the even, were almost nekkid dressed as super sluts. The other two women were me and Chewbacca's groupie - who looked like she'd serviced every band at Woodstock and hadn't yet recovered. Peter Mayhew (aka Chewbacca) was signing autographs as was the women who played the original Lois Lane, Timmy from Lassie and the Incredible Hulk. There was also some of the most amazing artwork. My son bought some prints from a guy who had the most amazing Batman sketch and some killer TMNT prints. He was one of dozens and dozens of very talented artists. The highlight of the morning for me was watching members of the 501 Legion assemble for pictures on the mezzanine. There had to be at least 30 of them - one in the most amazing bounty hunter costume I'd ever seen. Geeks rule.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Enough already

I've had the flu for 14 freaking days now. That's two weeks of aching muscles, three-hundred and thirty-six hours of fevers and coughs, twenty-thousand, one-hundred and sixteen minutes of being surrounded by water bottles and kleenex boxes, and one million, two hundred and nine thousand, six hundred seconds of just plain miserable bitchiness. ENOUGH already. I don't want to to be sick. I don't want my skull to feel like the inside of a felted purse. I don't want to sweat through all my clothes on the 6 block walk from BART to my office. I don't want my nostrils to show off a fire-y shade of red previously unseen on the human anatomy. I don't want to hack up a lung everytime someone says something funny and I'm forced into a coughing spell worthy of a 6pk a day smoker. I don't want my ribcage to ache like I just boxed 12 rounds with Tyson. I don't want to be winded everytime I haul my petite ass out of bed to grab another box of kleenex. No mas.

While I'm at it, I could do without the rain, rain, rain and more rain.

I want to see the sun shinning outside my window, hear the birds chirping and see humans dressed in something other than rubber. I want to smell the charred flesh of some animal bathed in bbq sauce and see big juicy red and green half-moons of melon and watch the condensation form on a clear glass of sweet tea. I want to see 6' tall sunflowers in my backyard and drive a car with the top down all through the city. I also want to win the lotto, quit my job and spend the rest of my days knitting. But I settle for just the lotto. :)

Hurry up summer!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


Hillary vs. the Patriarchy
By Erica Jong Monday, February 4, 2008; 12:00 AM
“Look, the only people for Hillary Clinton are the Democratic establishment and white women,” said Bill Kristol yesterday on Fox News Sunday, one of the many “news” outlets to expose Kristol’s reliable sexism. “The Democratic establishment would be crazy to follow an establishment that led it to defeat year after year,” Kristol continued in his woolly, repetitive style. “White women are a problem, you know. We all live with that.”
Bill Kristol has been much criticized for his war mongering, arrogance, poor writing and lack of fact checking. But at least the guy is honest. He considers women a problem – especially white women. And he feels confident enough as an alpha male to be open about it. “I shouldn’t have said that,” he demurred. But he can say anything he likes and still fall eternally upward. He’s a white man, lord of all he surveys – including Hillary Rodham Clinton.
I, too, have been watching Hillary Clinton with admiration, love, hate, annoyance and empathy since she appeared on the national scene 16 years ago. (Can it be only16 years?) I’ve had a hard time making up my mind about her. Perhaps that’s because I identify with her so strongly.
I’m hardly the only woman who sees my life mirrored in hers. She’s always worked twice as hard to get half as far as the men around her. She endured a demanding Republican father she could seldom please and a brilliant, straying husband who played around with bimbos. She was clearly his intellectual soul mate, but the women he chased were dumb and dumber.
Nothing she did was ever enough to stop her detractors. Supporting a politician husband by being a successful lawyer, raising a terrific daughter, saving her marriage when the love of her life publicly humiliated her – these are things that would be considered enormously admirable in most politicians and public figures. But because she’s a white woman, she’s been pilloried for them.
She’s had to endure nutcrackers made in her image, insults about the shape of her ankles and nasty cracks from mediocrities in the media like Rush Limbaugh, Chris Matthews and Kristol.
When she decided to run for the Senate she was called a carpetbagger. When she won the hearts of her most conservative constituents by supporting their actual needs, the same poisonous pundits who said it couldn’t be done attacked her.
Nor are poisonous women pundits any more kind. Maureen Dowd regularly gives her a drubbing. And “progressives” from Susan Brownmiller to Oprah Winfrey sport Obama buttons.
I, too, was a bluestocking from a woman’s college, straight-A student, Phi Beta Kappa, who found my voice as a writer while exiled to the boonies with a husband who cheated. With every book I published, I saw more clearly how uneven was the playing field for women. We were let into the literary world on sufferance. Unless we wrote unreadable academic tracts that nobody bought, or mysteries or romances or something called “chick lit” (whatever that is), or biographies of Great Men, we were booed off the stage.
I chanced to get famous for my work. Hillary got famous in the unspeakable role of “First Lady,” which Jackie Kennedy Onassis thought sounded like the name of racehorse. If she seemed uncomfortable in her skin, if she kept changing her hair, her image, her style, her way of speaking, how could we blame her? She was trying to be self-protective. Who wouldn’t be if constantly attacked by a beastly press?
Little by little, she loosened up. She learned how to dress and speak and smile and relax on the podium. I’ve watched this whole process with immense admiration.
Fame in America is unforgiving. And she had to grow comfortable in the spotlight – something very few people can do without having a nervous breakdown or drinking or popping pills.
Hillary made it without self-destructing. She was a tower of strength to her husband, who seems to have little impulse control, and her daughter whom she obviously loves and whom she never exploited even in the worst of times.
She cannot have enjoyed her husband’s playing around. She certainly never condoned it. But he was clever enough for her, he supported her dreams, and they both loved their smart and beautiful daughter.
Besides, what does anyone know about anyone else’s marriage? As a novelist I understand that I can’t even invent the complexities most people live with, the compromises made, the deals negotiated and renegotiated. If it works, let’s say hallelujah, rather than pick and quibble. It took me three marriages to find my soul mate. Maybe Hillary was luckier.
In the 1990s, when they became “Billary” as president, she gave her all. When the White House beckoned, she was true blue. When he took the hardest job in the world, she helped. And when he rewarded her by letting some tootsie do whatever it was they did in the Oval Office, she got really mad.
But she was wise enough to know what it did and did not mean. She did what smart European and Asian women have done through the ages: She kept her marriage but changed her focus to her own ambitions.
As a senator she has learned compromise and negotiation. She has gotten to know red America as well as blue. If she could win over the rednecks in upstate New York, she can win over any American. She knows this country is full of “security” moms as well as soccer moms. Since she is a woman, she has to show she’s ready to be commander in chief. Hence her “triangulation” on Iraq and her signing the absurd Lieberman-Kyl resolution, which calls on our government to use “military instruments” to “combat, contain and stop” Iran’s meddling in Iraq.
By the time it came up she must have known the Cheney-Bush war profiteers would never embrace even partial peace. She had to win over her America and theirs.
Who ever got elected in the United States without moving to the center? Not Ralph Nader the narcissist, nor Ross Perot the spoiler, nor certainly Adlai Stevenson the “egghead,” nor Ronnie Reagan the red-baiter from Hollywoodland. Dubya presented himself as a “compassionate conservative” and our dopey press bought it. They inflicted him on us because they thought Al Gore was a nerd. The right-wing media barons happily smeared the better man for no good reason. Noam Chomsky predicted all this 25 years ago, when he said that the concentration of the media would rob us of real news.
It certainly has. We can read all we want about Britney, Paris, Heath, Tom Cruise, the Spice Girls and all their buds – dead or alive – but we can’t read about how many children have been maimed in Iraq, or their dead and legless or armless mothers and fathers who were shocked and awed. But we know it’s happening. And we feel the great weight of our complicity.
You will point to Hillary’s complicity. You will quote crazy-like-a-fox Ann Coulter, who claims to be voting for her.
You will also quote left-wing bloggers who love Barack Obama, and peaceniks (I am one) who see no evil in him (nor do I). But I see little experience either. Obama is smart and attractive. Maybe he’ll be president someday.
He was lucky enough not to be in the Senate when the Iraq war resolution was floated after then-Secretary of State Colin Powell lied about WMDs. That was the true tragedy of race: a black man lying for a corrupt white administration that was using him as a token, much as they use Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice now.
Obama is also a token – of our incomplete progress toward an interracial society. I have nothing against him except his inexperience. Many black voters agree. They understand tokenism and condescension.
I understand my hopeful friends who think an Obama button will change America. But I’m sticking with Hillary. I trust her because all her life, her pro bono work has been for mothers and children. And mothers and children – of all colors – are the most oppressed group in our country. I trust her to speak for our children and grandchildren – and for us. She always has.