Monthly Archives: April 2008

Lafayette, IN–the epicenter of the political world

Wow. I never would have thought that TWO presidential contenders would find their way to my very own little corner of the world. Last month we had former president Bill Clinton stumping for his wife at one high school, and then a week later Obama spoke at another local high school. Today Hillary Clinton will be talking at the train station at 5:30 pm (just 3 blocks from my house), Caroline Kennedy will be campaigning for Obama today at the local library at 2:30 (just 4 blocks from home), and then tomorrow Madeline Albright will be at Purdue stumping for Clinton. It’s enough to make my head spin!
And then there are the ads on TV. On our little local station (WLFI) Obama bought 1300 spots this month and Clinton bought 500. For someone who cannot ever remember seeing presidential ads on TV, this has just been amazing.
So think about it, in past years, by this time, both parties had their candidates, so why campaign in Indiana? And then when the time comes for the election, why spend time and money in Indiana, which is so very republican? Why spend energy here?
I’ve already voted (for Obama, of course) and I am really hoping he can win here, although the pollsters say it’s neck and neck. I’ve got my Obama button, I’ve volunteered at his headquarters, and now I’m telling everyone who asks (and some who don’t) who I voted for and why. I read Lessons From My Father and all I could think was, “Is it really possible that someone this smart, this thoughtful, and this moral could be the president?” I am really hoping it is not only possible, but that it will happen.

Jumping the Gun

I knew it was risky–that I was taking a chance. But I’m usually so, well, averse to risk. So I threw caution to the wind and planted about $100 worth of plants well before the last frost date (see earlier post with photo of my porch when I demonstrated such hubris). What was I thinking? All the time I was doing it, I was thinking, “Wow, my back really hurts,” and “Isn’t this way too early?” but then my obsessive self just decided to ignore the clear-thinking part of me and I just kept going. So although it was 80 on Saturday and it seemed spring was really, really here, now I find myself covering tomatoes with old sheets because it will get down to 31 tonight. It actually hailed today. And I’m having back spasms–especially when I burp or hiccup. Bodily functions can be so painful!

Church and China

Sometimes going to church is like flying to China–it’s really long and boring, you can’t use your cell phone, and you’re scrunched into a seat surrounded by people (that you may or may not like). And church is sometimes even worse than flying over the Arctic Circle, because nobody serves you any food and there aren’t any movies. OK, you can say it in unison: “She’s got a bad attitude!”

Martha Ballard worked way harder than I do

This past Thursday my book group met at my house and talked about A Midwife’s Tale, which is a book that won the Pulitzer Prize 15 years ago or so. It’s about a woman named Martha Ballard who lived in Kennebuc, Maine in the late 18th century. She kept a diary for more than 20 years, and it survived. I learned a lot about women at that time–primarily that in most ways they were just the same. They worried about their kids, they had lots of work to do, they sometimes quarreled with their husbands. But Martha also worked–she was a midwife. And besides that, she had a huge garden, and could sometimes keep cabbage all winter long.
So today I kept Martha Ballard in mind as I did my Saturday work–laundry (in a fine machine), dishes (in a dishwasher), and gardening–with plants I bought from a nursery. The photo shows some of the things I planted–note the hanging pots. It’s more work than it looks like, trust me.

Addendum

I wanted to add, that part of my weird day included being invited by E-vite to a “cleaning party” at someone’s house where, I kid you not, I was invited to help clean her house. Now mind you, I really like this person, but I am paying good money to have somebody clean MY house once a week, so really, the last thing in the world I want to do is clean somebody else’s–no matter how much I may like them. I hope that doesn’t make me a bad person–I can’t imagine that it does!

Living in a Driver’s Ed. Movie

When I think about it, it was an amazing thing that Provo, Utah had electronic faux cars that we got to use during Driver’s Ed. What tecnhological progress! I can still vividly remember taking that course–because I was trying SO hard and it was so important to pass. “Keep your eyes moving” and “Keep your hands at 10:00 and 2:00” are still things I think about as I drive (although I have heard that because of air bags, the whole 10 and 2 thing has been revisited so that you don’t break your arms in an accident). Anyway, using the little cars in a darkened room was about the best thing I had ever done–remember, I had never played any video games, since they hadn’t been invented in 1968. The instructor would turn off the lights and we would sit in our little cars with brakes, gas pedals, and steering wheels, and he would play a movie that made it seem like you were driving a car. Then you got graded by whether you braked, turned, or stopped at the right time. The thing about it was, in this movie, everything bad that could possibly happen to you while driving would happen: balls followed by little kids came bouncing into the road; people opened up their car doors; trucks pulled out in front of you; and trains came barreling down at railroad crossings. It was terrifying!
So today is one of those days I’m living in a driver’s ed. movie–in more ways than one. In a literal way, for example, I have had trucks pull right in front of me, students run into the street chasing a frisbee (they might be drunk), and doors open out of nowhere. In a more figurative way, I’m getting e-mails from left field, disappointing news about projects I’m working on, and strange e-mails from even stranger people with whom I work. There are some days when it honestly is better just to stay home.
The only thing keeping me going is the thought that in less than an hour I will be home, will change into my grubbies, and will be outside digging weeds and planting my cute little raspberry bush. Hallelujah!

Contacts and opera–strange bedfellows

This photo shows the contact cases I found while searching for my lost contacts. None of them contained the actual items I was seeking. Isn’t this pitiful? I ended up having to order new ones, and now since I’m Typhoid Mary with conjuntivitis instead of typhoid I can’t wear them anyway.
On a brighter note, my great-nephew Noah (5) is visiting and we went to see an opera last night–Dido and Aeneas. Afterwards I was explaining to a Chinese friend what the word “spurned” meant and I said it was like rejected, only usually it was reserved for people of the oppositie sex–a boyfriend might spurn, but friends reject. Anyway, Noah was sitting on my lap taking everything in and looked up and me and said, “I won’t spurn you.” it was adorable.