Monday, November 2, 2009

55 million reasons to vote

dear virginia,

you are encouraged to make your way to the voting booth tomorrow, november 3rd, and cast a ballot... encouraged strongly by thousands of investors (many of them from out of state) that paid through the nose for their candidate to win tomorrow. the specific sum, a stunning $55 million, is a record for state races. you've come along way, virginia!

you already know the players. creigh deeds, the democrat, has the labor unions (from new york, maryland, pennsylvania...) on his team. bob mcdonnell has business, construction and insurance companies mailing him checks. both received the bulk of their funding from their respective political groups, and lord only knows where that money came from. a convenient loophole allows both candidates to withhold the full donor list from political groups. you know, the same groups that donated a full quarter of the cash to this race.

virginia, you and new jersey are the only lucky states with big state elections in this off-year. you're in the spotlight, baby! obama's people are afraid the results of this election will play as a referendum on the first year in office -- scaring away the blue dog dems in congress. the republicans need a win and see this election as a chance to slow down impending legislation, like the health care bill. state politics? the governance of virginia? no one cares about THAT. those are NOT the kinds of questions that draw $55 million.

it should be mentioned the interest the big labor has in virginia, because unions did buy our democratic nominee on the open market. unions plans to start the work of rolling back "right to work" laws in virginia. that law says both employees and businesses don't have to be part of a union/pay dues. if labor has their way, we'd have to unionize to work.

and it should be mentioned that super conservative people are backing mcdonnell, who is moderate politically but far right socially.

so that's your choice, virginia. i hope you can ignore the combined $24 million in muddy, pathetic radio and television ads and vote for what would be best for the state, not the white house, not the out-of-staters with deep pockets, nor congress or the media that has already decided what the election results mean for the country. your vote was worth a pretty penny, so make sure you spend it wisely, virginia!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

because god loves squirrels too

winter weather advisory: a very cold and long winter.

how do i know? well. you've got punxsutawney phil, the famous groundhog, to tell you when spring will start by his reckoning of his shadow. i look to another rodent in the fall to know what kind of winter i can expect. and this jumpy little friend has never steered me wrong in predicting what the winter solstice has in store. i trust the Sciurus carolinensis -- or Eastern Gray Squirrel -- for my weather report.

my proof: have you noticed all the gajillions of acorns underfoot this fall? i noticed them in late summer in my parent's yard, rocking and rolling around the lawn as i tried to mow. and i noticed those $&*@ acorns in old town when a puddle of 'em left me no traction on a run... and down i went. it means something, people. it means we're in for a mighty cold and LONG winter. why? because god loves the squirrels. those tree dwelling rodents need energy for all that tail twitching and street scurrying -- up to 2 pounds of chow a week, or 20 acorns (according to my sources). so when it's going to be a brutal winter, god makes some extra late-summer food storage for the cutest of the four-legged scavengers. don't discount my theory. it's science. or it's proven by years of intense squirrel gazing -- and isn't science just the latest theory no one has yet to disprove?

oh. and there have been fewer solar flares this year. so... yeah. there's something for the nerds to get behind. batten down your hatches and order your snuggie today! it's real and it's coming! brrrrrrrr....

Monday, August 10, 2009

gilded era

my roommate, annie miller (the pretty lady in the middle of the picture below), threw herself a birthday for the big 3-0 last week... a 20's lawn party. it was beautiful. everyone was beautiful. in fact, i believe we would all have been a lot better looking in the 20's. and the hit of the night? a photo booth courtesy of janine sides. if you look this good, shouldn't it be captured on film?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

totally radical

THIS is what I'm talking about. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


When you like American military history as much as I do, every day is Memorial Day, people. The American war du jour? The Revolutionary War. It all started with the John Adams HBO mini-series (pure awesome-ness). The family watched it over Christmas, pausing to discuss all the early politicking that got the upstart colonialists in a tussle with the most powerful army and navy of the world at the time. That’s when I realized how moderate I am. I found Bostonians to be a blood-thirsty mob of terrorists, and had I a vote in the Continental Congress in June 1775, I would’ve condemned the radical war-mongers from New England and urged more peacemaking with King George.

And my inner Tory goes further: I just might’ve shirked from allegiance to the patriots. When in 1776, the Brits decided it was business time and rolled into the New York Harbor with over 400 ships outfitted with tens of thousands of canons and carrying over 60,000 troops, I’m not sure I would’ve been brave enough to stand with George Washington and his band of 16,000 farmers and shop keepers.

And if the largest Armada ever assembled hadn’t done the trick, the New York battles would’ve broken my support. Washington lost – definitively – the first four out of five battles and the only reason the Continental Army wasn’t completely decimated is because fate stepped in and weather covered every retreat. Mother Nature was the MVP in Washington’s first five battles because Washington himself, as heretical as it is to say, made rookie mistakes. Big, awful mistakes. I guess that’s what happens when someone who had heretofore only managed a regiment takes on (it’s worth saying again) the most powerful army and navy in the world. Washington didn’t have one boat, for crying out loud. His soldiers didn’t have shoes!

Of course, history tells me my blood saving, peacemaking view is wrong. 1775 was the right time to jump into the great unknown -- armed with the right ideas and the right people if not all the correct battle accoutrements. Moderation isn’t always the safest, best course. Sometimes the times call for our indignation + action.

This new, aggressive thought draws my attention to the current front page. What would Adams have said about the GM bailout? Would Alexander Hamilton have gone apoplectic at the descent into national-security-threatening debt to China or is the bail-out, with all its risks, exactly the right solution? Would Benjamin Franklin have silently allowed our national press to founder, leaving us without a watchdog of government and human nature - a role so vital in a democracy that it rated a mention in the Constitution? It might be ok to be moderate with all the easy questions but for these hard ones... well... I'm thinking it's time to get radical. 

Sunday, February 8, 2009

letter to the first lady

dear eve -- 

i've been thinking about you, there in the garden experiencing the same -- if perfect -- day over and over. i wonder if the apple was a premeditated scheme. were you happy to blame the serpent for the fantastic plan you cooked up to get out of the routine? i wonder -- and perhaps this is a bit graphic -- did you have a period? did you wonder exactly how that biological nuisance fit into the plan if you were to stay childlike and childless? did that monthly interruption of perfection give you the insight and courage to do what adam could not: see a life outside the garden? 

were you afraid? when you took a bite of that apple, did it occur to you that adam might let you go and that you would be yes -- as wise as the gods, but still childless and now all alone and cast out. did you rehearse a few ways to present the original ultimatum to adam? whatever you said, it worked. we single girls could take a lesson on convincing a man that comfort and ease don't trump the terrifying unknowns outside the perimeter if you've got a good companion. surely being the only woman put a check in your plus column.  

we're a grateful world that adam took the bait although your curse is with us today. see, despite the eons of time between your shot at mortality and mine, the nature of man (and woman) hasn't changed much. we women are still usually the first to get the itchin' to leave the garden. most every woman that's walked the earth since you, flesh of your flesh, has been cursed to replay your definitive scene in the garden. some of us a few times. only now that scary apple has been replaced with other symbols: a ball and chain, a baby rattle, a diamond ring. millions of pages have been written on how a woman can convince her adam to commit to a new life... did this genesis of relationship stories set the template?  and any tips for a girl without access to forbidden fruit and fielding a handful -- ok a world -- of other females that sometimes can distract even the good adams.

help a sista out,