Monthly Archives: October 2008

Homeward Bound

I’m in Minneapolis at a conference–it just ended and I’m exhausted. I brought 3 books with me to read (all are being considered for a freshman read at Purdue). Does anyone have an opinion about:

1. The Omnivore’s Dilemma
2. Three Cups of Tea
3. Lottery

As a sidenote–happy birthday to Greg! He’s now 28. His birthday was actually yesterday, the 24th. “Here’s a big shout out to Greg” (that is said with a Sarah Palin accent and a big wink!)

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Debating

When I was in high school I took debate during my junior and senior years. I did well at it, went to state, and won awards at quite a few tournaments. My debate experience is arguably the most helpful thing I did in high school. It made it easy for me to talk in front of crowds, it made me confident of my own thinking, and I think it probably helped make me a little pushy. It also got me my first job without even having to apply–the dean of the college heard me ask a question at a presentation, sought me out, and offered me the job of assistant editor for the yearbook.
It’s weird to think that I was debating at the same time that Karl Rove was, and in the same state. I wonder if I ever debated him? If so, I suspect he was one of those slick, smarmy guys I hated to debate back in those days. He went to East High, and I definitely went there for several debates.
I was thinking about how I was always “judged” during the debate–and there was always a winning team and a losing team. It was a little mystifying to me, and sometimes I was sure we had won–and didn’t, and sometimes just the opposite. It wasn’t like being in cross country where the first person across the line was definitely the winner. Anyway, I thought about this as I have watched the presidential debates. The problem is, that I cannot be neutral no matter how hard I try. I begin by saying things to myself like, “OK, pretend you’re a clean slate and you don’t already violentlly dislike McCain and admire Obama. Pretend like you don’t know which one went to Harvard and which one graduated near the bottom of his class.” It works only for about 5 minutes, and then I’m back to being totally convinced that Obama is winning every point and shocked that there are people who thought McCain won.
What I can’t understand is this: How could someone be undecided at this point? The differences between the candidates are REALLY clear. Are those people on the panel REALLY undecided or do they just like the attention they are getting and know that it will disappear as soon as they announce their choice?

Crucified Goose

I’m in Michigan for a few days (Scrabble tourney and then a conference related to work). When I was driving up yesterday it was beautiful. The trees are turning, and it was clear and bright. Ahead of me on the freeway was a school bus that seemed to be brand new. There were several of them, and they all had Georgia license plates, and no children on board. I was driving behind the bus in question and I saw a goose take off from the median and head for the other side of the road. I watched to see where it went and I couldn’t see it. I wondered if the bus had hit it, but I didn’t see it on the road. I forgot about it for several minutes, and then I pulled past the bus. I looked into my rearview mirror and there it was–the poor goose, looking like a cartoon goose, with its wings splayed out to the side, plastered to the grill of the bus. Poor, poor goose!

yard sign rage

Well, it’s official. I’m probably capable of doing bodily harm to another human being. I found a few I wanted to harm yesterday. A couple of college aged guys, dressed for “breakfast club,” and apparently drunk, came walking through my yard and tore up my Obama signs. Something just snapped in me when I looked out the window and saw this. I went running outside screaming at them. They had gotten about a block down the road, and just turned around and laughed as I yelled,”Get back here right now!!! WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?” And then the insult that I’m sure must be keeping them up at night–“YOU ARE SO RUDE…..AND INCIVIL!!!!” Why couldn’t I have thought of a better insult than that? Wouldn’t this have been an appropriate time to use the F word? I started running after them and then decided to call the police instead (I’m actually not sure it’s a a good idea to chase 4 drunk guys.) The police asked me to describe them and I said something like, “They looked like stupid drunk white guys.” He must have rolled his eyes. But I felt a little better.

And as long as I am ranting, I am SO irritated at Sarah Palin and her latest ridiculous accusations. If she gets elected I think I may very well have to leave the country–so I’ll get a few more Obama signs and hope that America wises up.