Thursday, October 30, 2008

Just Because I'm Paranoid...

I know you know the rest of the line. The election is less than one week from today. I know my choice, I'm proud to say I'm voting for Obama. However, I also recognize that while part of me wants to believe that he'll sweep the electoral college, part of me is terrified of what could happen instead. What if he doesn't win? I'm not kidding, I've not been sleeping well for the last several days, and I honestly believe it's because I'm so worried about the outcome of this election.

I'm 40 years old and I've seen enough Presidents to know what I want and what's important to me. I hate that our country is so desperately divided right now, and that our economy is in the toilet and that I and a few others are actually worried about our civil rights. I hate that we are in an illegal war and that every day we go deeper in debt because of it. I hate that our current President has lied to his country over and over again, has abused his power, and, quite frankly, is less intelligent than I am.

So much of my hopes for this nation, THAT I LOVE, are riding on what happens on November 5th. Not the 4th, because I believe that people will turn up, and that most folks will vote the way I want them to. No, I worry about the next day. The day of the returns. I'm not the only one who feels this way. Mitchell Bard, writing for the Huffington Post, put it beautifully- talking about voter fraud:

The Ohio problems are not unique. Early voters in West Virginia had their computer monitors flip their Obama votes to McCain, and a confusing North Carolina ballot, which excludes the presidential race when someone chooses to vote a party line, may cost Obama, by one estimate, tens of thousands of votes. Today brought news of a flyer in Virginia telling Democrats to vote on November 5 (the day after the election), and a man in Florida posing as a worker for a Democratic candidate for Congress (but whose information was traced back to a consultant of the Republican incumbent) taking ballots from Democrats and promising to deliver them. And that doesn't even include the widespread purges of voters in Democratic neighborhoods conducted by Republican state officials.

Writing about race:

Both the New York Times (Pennsylvania) and the New Yorker (Ohio) have recently done features on rust-belt white voters, and in each case, it's clear that Obama has to overcome some pretty strong race-based biases. The Times piece features one voter saying, "I'm no racist, but I'm not crazy about him either. I don't know, maybe 'cause he's black" (the person claimed to be voting for Obama anyway), while another remarks, "He scares me. The coloreds are excited, but my friends and I plan to write in Hillary's name." When I read the last line, chills of fear and disgust literally shot up my spine. I don't know what bothered me the most: that someone would care so much about a candidate's race (the positions of Clinton and Obama are so similar), that the person would admit it to a New York Times reporter, or that the person would use the term "colored." It's 2008. How often do you, in your day-to-day life, hear that word? I can remember someone using it to me once in the last 20 years (and, oddly, it happened a few weeks ago, but it had nothing to do with Obama).

So, yes, I'm having trouble falling asleep at night. But at least I'm not the only one thinking about it.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Flu Shot Drama

I ran over to my Doctor’s office for a 5-minute flu shot.

Waiting for a spot in parking lot to open up: 5 minutes.
Waiting to be called: 5 minutes.
Shot’s potentially lethal side effects read to me: 4 minutes.
Shot given: 1 minute.
Explanation of the fact that the nurse somehow got a spot of my blood on her finger: 2 minutes.
Coaxing of patient to allow them to draw blood to be tested for HIV, Hepatitis B & C: 3 minutes.
Patient sits and waits for paperwork and needles: 15 minutes.
Patient has to sign release form and give out life’s sweet nectar: 5 minutes.
Patient is allowed to leave: Priceless

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Life In A Jar

Irena Sendler_1950
Irena Sender and her daughter, 1950. Photo from Irena

I just found out about this, and thought I'd share the news:

Two performances of Life in a Jar, the heroic story of Irena Sendler, a Catholic social worker who saved 2,500 Jewish children from certain death in the Warsaw ghetto will take place Sunday, October 19 at 2:30 PM and again at 7:30 PM at Ohavi Zedek Synagogue, 188 North Prospect Street. This play was written by three girls from a poor, rural high school in Kansas, who found a brief reference to Sendler's heroism while doing research for a school history project and were moved to use the story. Governor Douglas has proclaimed October 17th as IRENA SENDLER DAY to honor both her legacy and the Life in a Jar students, who rescued Sendler's remarkable story from obscurity. The performance is suitable for all adults and for children in middle school and high school.

Six Kansas students and their teacher, Norm Conard, are coming to Vermont to present the play in Montpelier, Middlebury and Burlington. These Kansas students have performed their play in the U.S., Canada and Poland. Their presentation highlights the legacy of Irena Sendler, her belief in the worth and dignity of all people, the need to respect all people and the power of one person to make a difference in the world. Due to their efforts, Sendler, who recently died at the age of 98, became a national hero in Poland. In 2007, the President of Poland and the Prime Minister of Israel jointly nominated her for the Nobel Peace Prize.

The local performance at Ohavi Zedek Synagogue is sponsored by Christ Church Presbyterian, Merchants Bank, The University of Vermont Carolyn and Leonard Miller Center for Holocaust Studies and the University of Vermont Hillel Center. Tickets are only $5.00 apiece and are available at the door.

Monday, October 13, 2008

She's Crafty! (again)

I managed to do it; make things. I've started making jewelry using scraps left-over from all the collage work I was doing. So far just a few simple earrings and some pins. So far, I like the pins best. I have ordered some beads, however, and will be testing the waters and trying to make some bracelets and necklaces.

Here are a few images from the test runs:

Summer of Love Summer of Love earrings

Wild style 1 Wild style earrings,

modern girrl Modern girl pin, and

Virgin Virgin pin.

The Gwiz! name I am using for now, but that will probably change. I'm meeting with a few folks to talk about where to try and sell these, and am starting to think more about what I want my "look" to be. Pop art meets vintage? Yes, but how to pull it off... sigh. For a complete view of what I've documented so far, go here.

Education Change

Theresa is a good friend of mine.

Friday, October 10, 2008


I just finished reading a very interesting book by Greg Bottoms, who is an English professor up at UVM. It's titled The colorful Apocalypse and is about visionary Outsider artists. I looked up a few images, and it's really amazing work:

This is Idolatry by William Thompson and Norbert Kox (who is also a VA), and this image:

river of jordan
I'm calling River of Jordan (since I don't know the title) is by Howard Finster, who did the cover of the Talking Heads Album Little Creatures.
Bizzare and cool.