i'm feeling so disenchanted and disenfranchised right now, and my head is just swirling. i need a laugh. do you?
a friend posted this on facebook that other day and i literally laughed till i cried. then i saw that molly posted a different video on her blog the other day. and while the a-ha one is pretty darn funny, this one seriously cracks me up. maybe it's that the tears for fears guy is such a goober. who knows. but here ... please laugh. we need it. (and, tip: you can scroll down and hit pause on my playlist before starting the video. no musical conflict. just trying to help.)
so, harper still has that obsession with the nutcracker that started last year. this year i'm taking her to the ballet to see it and wanted her to have something special to wear, since it's our girl day.
i ordered this skirt from boden for her to wear, and to balance the cost of the skirt i got tickets to the local student ballet performance at a high school. i figure, if she ends up not wanting to sit through it, we aren't out $100 for professional tickets.
however - and this is where i put on airs - the beauty of ordering from boden is that it is a uk-based company, which means in the shipping information you get to choose your title. you know how in the u.s. you get to be mr, miss, ms, or mrs? well, in the uk you can also be a duke, field lord, princess ... or squadron leader.
yes, i am now squadron leader michele skinner. i thought that sounded like an appropriately elite title, given my daily to-do list.
obama resoles his shoes on the campaign trail. michelle obama wore a $150 dress on "the view." and buys from the gap, not valentino. sarah palin and her family have been outfitted in $150k worth of designer threads for the campaign ... paid for with donor money. john mccain's wife wore $300,000 worth of clothes and accessories on ONE NIGHT of the convention.
let's see if we can figure out who has a better handle on what average americans are going through right now, shall we?
for $150k, a family could pay medical expenses ... college expenses ... the mortgage ... pay off debt ...
for $300k, a family could buy an average home in most cities, a way above average home in smaller towns ("real" america, palin might say) ... send a couple of kids to college ... cover the costs of treating diseases that aren't covered by hmo because they were deemed "pre-existing" ... put money in the bank as a safety net ... donate to charitable organizations that help the less fortunate ("spreading the wealth," a socialist might say) ...
huh. i'm just gonna think about this for a bit.
while i'm thinking, watch this video, and read this article. especially if you are a conservative/republican. it's some powerful stuff, from your own backers:
i'd sure like to move into henry's school district and end the twice-daily half-hour round trip schlep we do nine months of the year.
and this place looks like it would suit our needs well enough:
it is so much closer to henry's school. in the warmer months we could probably just hop in the boat (because living on the lake we'd HAVE to buy a boat ...), zip across the water, and wave henry off. how convenient!
yes, i think this is the place for us. now ... the financing ... hmm ...
my friend shelley challenged me and some others to 'fess up and post things we've neglected to post.
well, two weeks ago marc wiped out my mac. no more bookmarks ... no more address book ... no more things saved on the desktop. sigh. not totally his fault ... the program he was trying to install wasn't supposed to knock my mac over the head and run off with her purse, so to speak. but still.
then three days ago i realized my computer (the back-up pc that's still sitting on my desk, thankfully, because i haven't yet forked out the cash for photoshop for the mac) was acting strangely. marc checked it out and found i had some funky virus, one that appears to gobble up credit card info. since i have several auto-pay things on my computer ... typepad, henry's school lunches, etc. ... we decided it was best to cancel the card and debug my pc. so now THAT computer is down.
both are finally up and running, but not yet at 100%. i still can't access photoshop, so i can't go through the past months and try to remember what i've forgotten to tell you. if that makes any sense.
but i CAN get to this folder, and i DID forget to show you more. so here: gaze on the loveliness that is mr zac. how cute is he??
i've sat back for the past week and watched everything that's been happening on the campaign trail of the obama and mccain camps. i've been reading about their rallies, about the things their supporters are doing and saying.
here's a small sampling:
mccain's rallies are growing smaller, louder, and more vicious. they are regurgitating the hateful vitriol that the mccain camp is feeding them. they are racist, fascist, hate-mongering, intolerant, and small-minded. they urge violence - cries of "terrorist!" "kill him!" and "die!" ring out. and what do their leaders do? smile and nod. keep flaming the fire.
obama's rallies and growing larger, louder, happier, enthusiastic, and optimistic. and there are ever more republican faces in the crowd, smiling and looking for hope.
15 minutes from my house on friday night, mccain spoke at a high school. the crowd started to go into loud, hateful mode and mccain - perhaps because deep down he's decent? perhaps because he knows that he's started this fire and it could spill over into a national tragedy come january if he doesn't try to squelch it? - actually told an audience that obama is a decent guy who they don't need to fear as president, he just happens to disagree on the fundaments of policy.
and the crowd? they BOOED mccain for saying that.
they booed him.
i thought, as a country, we'd moved beyond this. i had no idea racism and fear and willingness to be led like sheep was still so pervasive.
here's the thing, people: generations have fought for the right for a peaceful, equal country. we are on the cusp of something extraordinary, and instead of america embracing it with optimism and pride, small factions are becoming increasingly vocal about just how backward and unenlightened and ignorant they really are.
all it takes is a look at a mccain/palin rally side-by-side with an obama/biden rally:
wow. from hatred and yelling and looks of pure evil, to cheering and laughter in the rain. seriously - what country do we want to live in? i would rather cheer in a rain of hope and optimism any day than align myself with people so full of their own sense of self-righteousness that listening to the truth is beyond them.
two weeks ago i sent out an mail to some friends and family. in it, there was a story from a young woman who was trying to get from the miami airport to her new husband in norway. she was told she would have to pay a $100 surcharge for her worldly possessions that were now in two suitcases. she started to cry when she realized she couldn't pay the charge. a voice spoke up behind her, offering to pay. it was barack obama. this was 20 years ago when he was a poorly paid community organizer on the south side of chicago, and yet he did a wonderful thing for this woman without any expectations of agenda. when he started to run for office several years ago, she sent him a $100 campaign donation, and now says she is so proud to have had that experience all those years ago.
i read that story and thought, "how wonderful! a story about genuine character in a person who is running for the office of president." and i sent it out.
one of the people i sent that to sent it on to her own group of people, and then replied to not only her group but to mine and started a firestorm. her group, obviously, was in disagreement with my politics. it became a ridiculous back-and-forth, until one of her group sent out a link to the list that linked to a hate site about obama. a site that lists him as a terrorist, a muslim, and every other cliche lie that the republicans have put out there. this man, who i assume is fairly well educated and a christian because he is on my friend's mailing list, seriously bought into the hate machine and took it as truth.
the most important thing we, the democrats, can do right now is try to get the truth out there. if obama wins in november, there will be a small but vicious group of dangerous minds out there who will be a threat to not only our national security but also to this wonderful family man who is inspiring people all over the world.
it's unlikely these people will ever deign to learn the truth, but in case we run up against one willing to listen, here are some sites they need to see and read:
i look around my multi-ethnic, multi-cultural city, i look at the faces of my kids, and i have to believe that this country is on an upswing of acceptance. dr king dreamed of a world in which people would be judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin. well, quite honestly, if you call barack obama "bob," pretend he's white, and put him and his rallies up against mccain and palin and their rallies, whose content of character speaks to the kind of world you want to live in?