Just some random musings about stuff:
* Welcome to Kawana Aminata Oliver, a 32-year-old stroke survivor who has had an extremely interesting life already and, through hard work, hard faith, and miracles, has more interesting things to come. All I could think is, "Here I was complaining about *bedbugs*!" Thank you for the hit upside the head with a perspective stick. I've been getting whiny.
* But bedbugs still suck. Our landlady and her sons have been told by their attorney that they were remiss in not having our house pre-treated. To make up for it, they are paying for half our dry-cleaning and *all* our vet bills!!!!!! This about floored me. L'Ailee was very reserved and simply said, "Thank you," in this cool tone that implied she really shouldn't have had to acknowledge it at all. I ruined it by exclaiming to the guys, "Y'all better step back before I kiss one of you!" (They're gay; they don't want my kisses.) But I *am* grateful--nobody else we know who's had bedbugs got a deal like that from their landlords/ladies, and though we were better off than others, the infestation was like a nuclear to our budget. Besides, our cats feel good, we're not feeling itchy, the rabbits are back from L'Ailee's friend's house, the sugar glider is back from my friend's house, and all of us are sleeping and resting comfortably. Awesome.
* I thought the space bag system (As Seen on TV!) was really stupid, but it turns out that it does have a practical application. Several NYC friends and acquaintances of ours have used it to protect their stuff from bedbugs. Wish we'd thought of that earlier. We used a random mix of plastic trash bags, totes, luggage, and dry cleaning bags.
* I'm still amazed at the multi-car and semi-truck pileup on I-4, in Polk County, yesterday. I don't have people in Polk County, but I had to see how my Florida friends and family were doing anyway. I-4 plays a big part in many Floridians' lives, Central Floridians especially. Three died, 38 injured, all doing something so normal. I'm still grateful that all some of my people got was inconvenienced. So basically I am about overcome with gratitude at the moment. I feeling grateful at other peoples' expense, but I can't stop, either.
* Oh, please, no, not Bloomberg for president...I'll stop complaining about how stupid the primary process is...
* There have been a couple of elections in which, having nothing really else to base my vote on, I decided to vote for entertainment value and pick the craziest candidate. If I could bring myself to do that for the presidency (and don't think I haven't considered it), I'd do everything I could to make it come down to Ron Paul and Mike Gravel. I still can't believe this speech Gravel gave at Phillips Exeter, a well-known prep school in New Hampshire! It's a shame most high school students can't vote.
* Of course I really wouldn't vote like that. This is the most important presidential election in American history! At least, that's what my brother said more than once this week. It's also the first presidential election in which he personally will vote. Now, before you smile at an 18 or 19-year-old's excitement...the Dorkfish is 26. Think I'll get that entertainment value after all.
* I hope Hillary Clinton's display of emotion and back-to-the-future hiring practices aren't what got her the New Hampshire vote. I do believe the emotion was genuine (and how weird that such a question even came up), and I believe everyone, even presidential candidates/senators, is entitled to a bout of the self-pities every now and again. I've seen a bit of unexpected kindness push many a strong woman's cry button many a time, too. (L'Ailee is about the only woman I know who stays perfectly calm for that--her cry buttons are elsewhere.) It was still more than a little embarrassing.
* It occurred to me, talking with friends, why I'm attracted to Barack Obama as a candidate, and it's not because he's good-looking by politician standards or has that amazing voice. It's because he seems like part of the future, in the best possible way. Since about 1999, we've experienced so much of the scary, dystopian future predicted for us in the 20th century--a combination of 1984 and Brave New World and V for Vendetta and Michael Crichton's oeuvre. Obama's speeches, background, precious few actual stances, and even his clothes suggest the fun, cool future that was also predicted for us in the 20th century--the Jetsons and Star Trek and Tomorrowland and Robert Heinlein's oeuvre. Maybe we still wouldn't get our flying cars in his future, but a reasonably-priced hydrogen-burning car that's fast enough for NASCAR seems much more possible. Well, roll on South Carolina!
* I'm so, so, so glad Huckabee got such a tiny share of New Hampshire voters!!! There are all the obvious reasons, but also, between his campaign manager and his "help" from Chuck Norris, I really question his judgment as far as hiring practices. I vividly imagined Huckabee as a fat, nerdy little Bible-toting boy who said grace over his Little Debbies and pork rinds, seeking protection by sharing with the biggest bullies on the playground. And he's still impressed by the bullies; still hasn't figured out that they're not worth anyone's time. Sara Robinson's Orcinus blog entry about Republican men as insecure little boys came roaring back to me.
* But in honor of something profound that I share with Huckabee--the fact that we both have been known to play bass with rock bands--I share something that made me feel all better after Iowa. Bassist jokes! Why don't bass players catch a cold? Even a virus has some pride.
* And because I'm a fair-minded female--what do you call a female bassist with two brain cells? Pregnant!
* Between the primaries and American Idol, it's not like we're going to have any need for scripted TV shows this winter. Plus there's hockey (L'Ailee made me say that), plus NASCAR comes back in February. But watching the Diwali and Initiation episodes of the Office Tuesday night did remind me of how good it could be. I came up with an idea for a game show to be aired if the strike persists: "Win a TV Writer's Paycheck!" Check it out: three players are asked to complete various comedic scenes, dramatic scenes, jokes, and character studies through open-ended questions in categories such as "It's Obvious He's a Bad Guy Because...," "Places for Joggers to Find Bodies," "Funny Euphemisms for Private Parts," and "Things Married Couples Fight About." Answers are rated by the audience, using an applause meter. The one who gets the most applause overall gets what would have been the weekly pay of a writer for a top-rated show, and the network is entitled to keep the ideas. I think it's at least as good as the karaoke shows and the one with the lie detector.
* Don't get me wrong--I think the writers have a point. It's just that the strike's getting annoying and I'd like a settlement to come soon. My SIL, an education major and dyed-in-the-wool unionist, believes that this would be a fantastic teachable moment for America's children. It would be a great time, she says, to teach them about the labor movement and its contributions to America. It would be nice if something like that could be derived from the strike.
* The Redskins' loss is NASCAR's gain! Joe Gibbs is going to concentrate on NASCAR full-time, as well as his family! I know how Jimmie Johnson's car tested, but between Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, the dump trucks of money from Toyota (sorry, Alan), and now Gibbs back in the captain's chair, that Hendricks team is now going to have some real competition.
* Think we're going to Eureka Springs, Arkansas for a vacation. Other bloggers already pounced on this, so I have little to say. But apparently, because they are LGBT-friendly, they are Sodom and Gomorrah both crammed into one charming small town, at least according to the American Family Association. In fact, it seems the gays have taken .. Of course, we queers already have NYC and San Francisco and Orlando and New England. Eventually there's going to be special communities for people who believe like the AFA, like the Amish, only with electricity and without pretty quilts.
* If that doesn't appeal to you women-loving-women, how about a trip to New Hampshire's Les-B-Inn? The politicians and media types are gone...
* Damn, that new Cherry Chocolate Diet Dr Pepper is go-ooood!!!! No, I'm not viral marketing. I wish I was. I think it's high time for one of these soda companies to pay me back a little!
* Finally, I know I often feel like I'm not doing enough for the environment. (That NASCAR thing!) Well, if you feel that way, at least this TopFive list, and this one, too will make you feel a touch better about yourself!