Thursday, November 20, 2008

Old Naked Women For Peace

sung by The Righteous Mothers

Mind you, no bailout for the Auto Industry. The Dow falls below 8000. But what the hell, we can all take our clothes off for peace.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Visiting my Daughter and Beanie

The Secretary of Strawberries loves The Wizard of Oz - the movie. She can sort of sing all the songs (Weoff tsee dizard unerfoo izardoz; Dindon thitch is ded itchoitch titchoitch) you get the picture. She looks at me as her best friend - and we play so well together. So all my worries seem insignificant when I am with Beanie.

Meanwhile, there are realities: the person who'd agreed to be my backup financial support as I build my business has conveniently forgotten the amount agreed upon. This presents a significant problem for me, as I have almost no income at the moment - two months behind on mortgage payments, late to the point of default on two credit cards, late on my health insurance, two months late on car insurance - on and on. And I'm not alone in this - so many people are suffering, everyone in the Travel business is experiencing the normal slow season woes, but this is worse. Some agencies are closing their doors. Restaurants are suffering. House sales are down as people can't afford to sell (let alone buy). Will I be able to do something to avoid foreclosure? I don't know.

I have business - I have clients who are traveling, booking trips, but they are not going until March, April, May, June, July -- all future travel, and I will not be paid until they travel. It is foolish to give up hope, but I am looking for a job, to supplement while I build my own independent business. Fear? Yes. Despair? Not yet.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Just Like Marie Antoinette

My dear Utah Savage is passing around the love once again. This image of Marie Antoinette is intended to go to bloggers who have something to say, who tell the truth. And yet, she chose to include me. Hey, I ran for Diva President and lost. Utah was to be Big Chief Supreme, but now we have to look at another administration. Oh, well. Sometimes, the only solution is to laugh. When it hurts too much to cry, all that's left is laughter. That's where I am these days.

At any rate, we are to pass this on to others who tell the truth. So I'm gonna do that as well.

1. The wonderful Border Explorer is a real blogger. I adore her. She gets it.

2. FranIAm is a real blogger. I adore her too. She gets it.

3. Dianne, Forks Off The Moment is another real blogger. I adore her. SHE gets it too!

4. The Pagan Sphinx really gets it. I adore her. She's a real blogger.

5. Pursey Tuttweiler because SHE gets it. I adore her. She's another real blogger.

Today is Gordon Lightfoot's 70th Birthday. Yikes. And

Thursday, November 13, 2008

When did our priorities get so skewed?

"People are grieving. There was a death. Their money died." BARBARA GOLDSMITH, a semiretired psychotherapist in Delray Beach, Fla.

Bye, Bye, the American Pie
Drove my Lexus to the Bank
But the Bank was dry
Those AIG Boys are drinking
Champagne and Rye
And This will be the day
That I tear my hair out in frustration.

What happened to our values that we grieve money over all else? I look around at new housing developments - all "Luxury Homes", rather than affordable housing. All for the uber-wealthy. Good people are struggling horribly, and AIG throws a party for the top Executives with some of their share.

Really, I am a natural blonde, going grey. Somebody explain this to me, because I am really too pissed off to make sense.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Where is my bailout?

I believe I am as deserving of a bailout as anayone. What do I have to do? Be AIG or build motor cars or something?

The terms of the bailout are sort of limited to “qualifying U.S. banks, savings associations, and certain bank and savings and loan holding companies, engaged only in financial activities.” But since the $700B bailout package is now down to $60, Karl Rove's former boy Jeb Mason gets to pick and choose which companies he'll approve or whack. They include automakers, banks, S&Ls, cheesemakers, Credit Card companies and they all get in line and beg at the hand that may or may not feed them.

And if the government runs out of money? No worries. Jeb's got a printing press and they can just print more.

I need an official lobbyist to go get me a piece of that pie. I work hard, I know my business, and I want to keep my home. So there.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

November 4th

It never ceases to amaze me how a date on the calendar can take on so much significance for an individual. I was married on November 4th, 1969, in a suburb of Tel Aviv Israel. My parents had flown over for the event - I was four days after my 21st birthday and still a baby in so many respects. My mother, who would be a story in and of herself, was distraught. She didn't like my intended one bit, and she made it known any way she could. One moment in particular stands out: we were walking to a restaurant in the old city of Jaffa, all cobblestone streets and Yemenite restaurants - and she flung herself to the ground and said she'd tripped. My dad, my intended, and I had all seen it - she hadn't tripped, she truly flung herself - tossed her purse, then collapsed. It was almost funny.

But November 4th came, and we married, and I was so afraid. I went literally from my parents' house to my husband's house, and that was no longer on Kibbutz. We lived in a neighborhood outside of Tel Aviv that was made up of Iranian Jews, a slum, where kids routinely shoved live rats into milk bottles. They didn't like me, they called me "Blondini from Romania" - and would toss mud at my wash hung out on the balcony to dry. They knew I was afraid. And I had no voice. I grew up without a voice, swallowed by family events.

So we moved back to the States. Back to Illinois, to a suburb of Chicago, and I became involved in Political Organizing, for Abner J. Mikva. Mr. Mikva was both a great lawyer, and a great politician - a rarity I've not seen since until Barack Obama. I began to speak. I began to believe I had a point of view, and began to find my voice.

Fast forward a few years: November 4, 1980. It was my 11th Wedding Anniversary. We were at dinner, perfectly miserable, as we already new the results of the election - Ronald Reagan had just demolished President Carter in the Presidential election by almost 10 percentage points. It was a disaster of epic proportions as the Reagan Revolution moved forward.

November 4, 2008 - I voted first thing, for Barack Obama, and at 11 AM, got the call that my Aunt Jo had died, 93 years of age. Turns out that my cousin had not been able to turn in Joey's absentee ballot (Joey was voting for McCain, and no on Prop 8- how weird is that) - but there you have it.

Since Joey died, though, I've not felt like doing anything. It was exposure to family, all the good and all the bad. I'm struggling financially right now - business is down for several reasons (not the least of which is that it is "slow season" until after mid-January - Fran knows this, she's in my industry) - but also because of the economy. I had been working for three months with a client on three cabins on a luxury cruise when he decided not to travel. Huge booking lost, and I'm worried. I'm 1 1/2 months behind on mortgage; late on car and health insurance; behind on credit cards; behind on everything; new medical bills because deductible was so high. After I return from Chicago I will be looking for part time work so I can get benefits (Walgreens, Starbucks, Borders, and I think Home Depot all pay benefits if you work 20 hours) and extra income while I make my business work.

But it's the other part of this: the emotional part. My dad was one of 7, and they are all dead now. My mother was one of 10, and there is only one still living but she's not been with us mentally for years. Both my mother's and father's families had challenging and colorful histories - my paternal grandmother used to tell us stories of how her mother would hide her and her siblings during pogroms by burying them in shallow "graves" with straw for air. My mother, while pregnant with me, was babysitting my cousins when one died from pneumonia. My mother was blamed for the death, and she became incapable of loving me. She was hard on everyone, but as her behavior in Israel shows, she was mentally unstable and incapable of real rational thought or action.

There's more - so much more. My Aunt Jo was married to one of the most destructive, evil people I've ever encountered. He was a monster. And when he appeared at the funeral, he was kept hidden from the family by a curtained-off area. He came to the gravesite briefly, but was shoved away. Still, even that brief encounter, and I lose my voice. I swallow it. My cousin, while eulogizing his mother, spoke directly to each cousin who was there - and when he got to me, he referenced how hard my mother had been on Joey. She was hard on Joey, she wanted her to leave the monster. But, but. I found myself shrinking.

Joey died four days after my 60th birthday. She never missed a birthday, and when I visited her in the hospital on Sunday to say goodbye, she made sure I'd gotten her card. She asked about my cat, Mr. Bean. She was all love, tolerance, forgiveness. She felt mentally young and physically exhausted. And I get it. I feel mentally and emotionally like a child, and physically exhausted.

Yesterday I called my ex-husband to wish him a happy birthday. We chatted about Obama's victory and what it might mean for all of us. This is the guy who said he finally got the chance to vote for Bobby Kennedy. Maybe, in time, I will feel the joy I know I should. Today, not so much.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Thank you, Utah!

Utah Savage, one of the most colorful bloggers I know and my friend and sister traveler, has awarded me this gem, the Scribbler Award. It comes at a time when I've been feeling really silent again - my Aunt Joey's passing has really made me reflective and quiet - and so Utah's gesture means more than I can fully express. In the face of my family, I feel like my voice gets swallowed. But apparently, others don't think so and Utah could not have timed this better.

But there are rules. I hate rules. It's one of the things I don't do well. Rules, and singing. Nevertheless, here they are:

*Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends.
*Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.
* Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to This Post, which explains The Award.
* Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we'll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives This Prestigious Honor!
*Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.

So, my blog roll is long. All the people on it are amazing writers, so picking five is a real challenge. However, I'm going to give it a go:

1. Border Explorer never ceases to amaze me with her unceasing dedication to human rights and justice. She's just brilliant and tireless, and I adore her. Plus she keeps me in farm animals at Facebook.

2. ThailandChani of Finding My Way Home writes about mindfulness - it is an exquisite blog. It's a peaceful blog.

3. Grandmere Mimi of Wounded Bird is someone I've just started reading. She's quite entertaining, and interesting, and covers a variety of topics. Sometimes, with irony.

4. I love Mathman, of When Will I Use This? Sorry DCup, I don't mean it as anything more than motherly love. Besides, he's a White Sox fan. I forgive him that, because he is a real educator. A real one. Not a faux educator, but someone who takes it to heart.

5. And Distributorcap New York is always thoughtful and entertaining. He covers politics, Constitutional law, and humor, and I love his blog.

I also would tag Randal and several others, but they've been gotten already. So go forth, read something. It's good.

Friday, November 07, 2008

A Message from the (presumed) Secretary of Strawberries

So but I waiting for a call from ether Presinet-elec Obama or his Cheefsaff Rammanul, telling asking me to be Secretary of Strawberries an Cream an such even tho my gramma din't win the lecshun. She voted for Obama insted of herself but she paid he Campaign Manger Randal six times nuthin slavery. An she thanks everbody who sported her campaign wich wasn't too many but thanks anyways.

We like Rammanul, he blongs to the same singog temple as my cuson David and he went to the same skool as my mommy an my unka Aman went to only not at the same time. Coz he's older than my mommy and unka Aman.

So this in'sit a dreem we all gonna wake up from an say oops. Barack Obama is reely the new Presinet-elec an we be done soon with the Bush.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Blog for Peace

Today is the day: the 2nd anniversary of BlogBlast For Peace.

For reasons beyond me, Blogger won't let me upload my peace globe - but you can see all the others at the above link. I made my peace globe using a program that Blogger doesn't seem to like.

Let me just say this: I feel hopeful for the first time in seven years. I believe that the USA can once again become a beacon for peace. We can send that energy out to the world. We can be the change we want to see in the world.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A New Dawn

I have never been so proud to be an American than I am this morning. Yesterday, a massive change happened and we moved from being a nation afraid to a nation that believes again in our ideas. It was a massive generational change as well. Those of us who grew up in the '60s are so aware of the significance of this election: a Black man as President, a Black family in the White House - built by Slave Labor - and we can hope that this ends Racism. Those who are the ages of my daughter and son see it differently. They grew up differently than I did, with friends of all races and nationalities and so to them, it was a choice of age, ideas, demeanor, and style. I voted for Barack Obama for those reasons as well, but I also saw the historical significance and I shed tears when I vote. I voted with pride, with hope, with fear - and waited.

So at 8 PM last night, in Los Angeles, when Keith Olbermann made the announcement, I cried with joy. My friend Peggy (the former Republican) called me crying. I called my daughter, crying. My friend Nancy was in Grant Park, in the second row from the Podium, and she called several times. My friend Teri called me, in tears, thrilled. It was an enormous decision, and we are proud.

John McCain's concession speech was gracious, generous, and real. I was finally proud of John McCain in defeat. He spoke as a real patriot, a real American who will work with Obama.

My ex-husband told my daughter (with tears in his eyes) that he finally got to vote for Bobby Kennedy!

Jesse Jackson's face said it all.

And I slept soundly for the first time since 9/11/2001. I felt safe, for the first time since 9/11/2001.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Aunt Jo

My adorable, 93-year-old Aunt Jo died about 40 minutes ago - not unexpected - sad nevertheless. Joey was one of the most warm-hearted, tolerant and loving people I've encountered. She had a hard life, was the second youngest of ten - one of my mother's sisters - married to a dispicable man who scarred everyone in his path. Still, Joey forgave, was tolerant, and sought joy and positive energy.

I spent Sunday with her at Kaiser Permanente in Woodland Hills - it was to say goodbye. She was having trouble letting go - her body was done, she was tired, but her mind was as sharp as ever - and she sought permission from all of us. So that's what we did - one by one, people went in to say "I love you, it's okay, you're tired, it's okay, good-bye."

And she waited until today to die so that we'd all get to vote. Her own ballot was marked on Sunday, my cousins turned it in today to the polling place - even though she voted for the wrong guy for President, she wanted us all to have the chance.


Having major blogger issues. Please vote.

I keep getting frozen out of blogger, and am having trouble uploading images. Not sure if it's blogger's fault, or if my computer needs more memory. Probably the latter.

Also, some family issues going on, which is keeping me distracted. I'm not ignoring your blogs, but yikes!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

A Message from the Secretary of Strawberries and Cream

So my gramma got a kitty cat an his name is Mr Bean an I'm Ellie Bean so we relugates reltated. He makes noise an bites gramma's nose an toes an such. I like to play in fountuns. Vote for Obama. This is Mr. Bean: