Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I May Have Drunk the Kool-Aid.

You can watch the original "Yes, We Can" speech (Obama's speech upon coming in second in New Hampshire) here:

And it's good. But then Will.I.Am from the Black-Eyed Peas made a music video from it. I stayed up last night, watching the NH speech, and then watching the music video, and then shivering and googling and trying to figure out how I can write more beautifully, speak more powerfully, and be a good citizen. In any case, it's all beautiful (I've heard now two or three Republican white men praise it, too), and if you haven't seen these, you should.

I wish I had written the Pledge of Allegiance; I wish I had written this.

Note: I realize that calling for change itself is foolhardy. As one snarky commenter on the youtube site wrote: "Change? From what? To what?" A worthy point. But that is where our processes come in, yes? Debate, representation, discussion, compromise, enaction, enforcement, refinement, and more voters to the booths. Also, the man who wrote this is named Jon Favreau; he is Obama's chief speechwriter, and he is 26 years old.

Monday, February 25, 2008

And waterproof.

An email I wrote this week reminded me of something I have long been grateful for.

The Email
Re: Last Night
I came home to a moth in our bathroom sink. The sink is white. I think the moth must have rested there, on the white it found in the dark.

It didn't move when I came near it, and I didn't move it when I turned on the faucet to brush my teeth. And so its wings got wet. I tried to move it then, let it crawl on my finger and put it up high on the towel bar or on top of the mirror cabinet. But it would fall before it had anything to stand on and would be stuck wherever it fell.

You don't think moth wings dry, do you? That the moth wings ever recover from being wet? I have a childhood impression that they, or that insects like them, aren't as resilient as we'd like them to be. The moth ended up in the garbage can, resting on a piece of folded white paper. I don't know if it's still there.

What do you think the moths do in the rain?

What I Am Grateful For

Being waterproof.

Stacey and I have often joked that we are glad to be waterproof.

"What's he like?" she might say.
And I might say in return, "Funny. Tender-hearted. Waterproof."

"How're you feeling today?" I might ask.
"Tired," she'd say. "And waterproof."

But on rainy days like these February ones, I am glad to be waterproof. And I'm hoping moths are, too.

P.S. I tried to embed (my first embedding ever) a third-party application to my blog that will allow you to listen to music tracks of my choosing at your choosing (I'm not myself partial to those that automatically play when I'm on a website). (Can you see it, use it? It should be to the right, just underneath the blog archive.) The first track I've added is "February," by Dar Williams. I chose "February" 1. for Anna, her second-trimester baby girl, and old time's sake. 2. Because it's super, super beautiful. And 3. because I've been thinking recently that we should go out of our way to love things in the months they were meant for.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

A McCain Conversation, Continued

A friend has been posting his thoughts about the current presidential primary race, and he recently responded to one of my comments on his blog. I then was going to write such a long additional comment that I thought I would just add my comment as a post on my blog, perhaps to momentarily silence the tinning, persistent voice that rings in the dark back of my head: Post more, post more, else Jess D. will start to hurt you.

In reply to
Despite this post's (what I would consider to be a) distinct mischaracterization of my previous comment, I think these are good answers. I think you are right to weigh heavily McCain's foreign policy (the lack of checks is a serious issue), though I still think that for the long-term good of the country, the possibility of Supreme Court appointments should outweigh almost every other presidential vote consideration, all things being equal. This election, however, they may not be equal, as you say, because McCain may well nominate justices who are fairly ideologically similar to whom the Democrats would nominate (Senate review considered), so perhaps foreign policy deserves overweighting, since the judicial nomination issue might be fairly moot.

Note: This isn't to say that, in any way, I think that if I were only going on the possibility of SC nominees, I would vote for McCain. I have so few clear thoughts about him. At this point, my presidential race score card reads something like this:
Clinton: 1 vote (because, according to an online quiz, my stances on the issues match hers the best of the current candidates' (I know--who knew?))

Obama: 2 votes (2/3 vote each because he makes me feel good when I hear him speak, because people I know who knew him say he really is wise and kind and intelligent, and because his wife appears to be a rockstar)

McCain: 0 votes (because I have, as of yet, heard of no reason I should vote for him--oh wait, maybe 1/2 vote; maybe I don't hate his immigration policies, at least as they were recounted to me), so maybe McCain: 1/2 vote
You'll notice these votes aren't necessarily cast for substantive reasons. I am still working on having intelligent, reasoned opinions about these things. No matter what the Founding Fathers may have hoped, this is a surprisingly difficult thing for some of us to do. Oh, the weighty burdens of democracy. Our own, modern American noblesse oblige.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The Dilemma Resolved

In case you were wondering how it played out (see post below): Michelle and I let the boys off the hook. Boy #2 still came to dinner (hooray!), and we invited another good friend (a girl) and were joined by our great roommate, Reija. So it was a good time with a ridiculous amount of food (including some unintentionally smoked pork), and I didn't even serve the corn I'd planned to.

But Boys #1 and #3 are on the docket for being invited again and for their sakes', we're pleased the Giants won.

(Related: The great Emily T. sent me this link in honor of my last blog post. And for her and for you, I include it here:

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Sports Widows, Already? or How We Learned (or Didn't) to Give in to the Super Bowl and Eat Our Tacos Alone

The dilemma: My roommate Michelle and I invited three boys over for Sunday dinner. Oral invitations were made last week post-church; all three boys said yes. Turns out, we discovered today, that we have invited them to dinner on Super Bowl Sunday.

The question: What do we do about it?

The situation:
  • Boy 1: Already said he can't come. (He promised his roommates he'd watch it with them, and he forgot that was this Sunday, and can we do it some other time?)
  • Boy 2: We're not sure how he feels about football. There's a distinct possibility that he doesn't care. We've heard no word from him regarding this issue (though we haven't contacted him to broach it anew).
  • Boy 3: I ran into him tonight doing some pre-Sabbath Saturday shopping (buying food for our dinner tomorrow--I'm reading a memoir about tacos, so tacos (though nice ones) it is). An account of that is included herein for your consideration. (The following text is from an email I just sent to my roommate Michelle, reporting on the run-in. She was already asleep when I returned home from the store. Note: The account has been slightly edited for public perusal.)
I ran into A--y at Safeway. Actually, he hailed me. It was pretty cute. He asked what time dinner was again, and I said, "It's during the Super Bowl," and he looked a little sad. Just a little. We talked about it, and he's totally willing to come (he said, "I don't want you to change your plans for me--no, let's do it, let's do it") but I felt bad. He empathetically explained (when I told him DW was out for the SB), "You have to understand the mindset. Never has a team gone into the Super Bowl undefeated, and this year, the Patriots are doing it. So that's historic. Also, the Super Bowl itself just happens once a year." And he held up one finger, raised his eyebrows, and smiled. But he's in--he's in for whenever we have it. But I feel kind of bad making him miss it (though I did just buy this meat--I guess I could make it for us or freeze it?). Anyway, should we try to have the dinner later--like at 7 (though he'll probably miss the tail end of it) or earlier, like at 4 (so he only misses the middle)? Or just leave it as it is and require AP (and maybe MK--any idea how he feels about football?) to draw deep upon his selflessness and goodness and come (and hope that he doesn't begin to resent the moments we're eating chocolate chip cookies?)? I don't know, MH. It's a tough call.

Oh, the gendered dilemmas posed by professional sports!

But I think dinner's going to rock.
  1. Michelle was disappointed that Boy 1 chose football (but also his roommates) over us.
  2. Michelle has purchased taco fixings that will not wait until next week. We could eat them tomorrow ourselves, or invite girls (and more non-football-interested boys?) over tomorrow. But then we'd have to think of a meal and procure food anew for when, eventually, we invite Boys 1 & 3 back over again.
  3. We have to make this decision by sometime early to mid-Sunday afternoon.
  4. By the time you read this post, this issue might be moot.
Care to weigh in?