Thursday, January 27, 2011

Lies, lies, and more lies

Numerous Republican senators yesterday news conferenced about their desire to propose a balanced budget amendment. Well that could be a fine proposal, I don't know. I was most irritated, however, by their rationale. They claim that the budget deficit has skyrocketed under Obama. He has gone on an unprecedented "spending spree."

Lies, lies, and more lies!!

Bush rang up this deficit by waging unnecessary wars and starting new federal agencies in the wake of 9/11.

Bush, with the complicity of Republican senators, deregulated the financial industries.

He and the Repubs are clearly responsible for this crisis.

Yes, the deficit increased under Obama. First, he had to bail out industries whose failures would have doomed our economy. He had to create a stimulus bill to save numerous jobs (of teachers and firefighters). He made sure this spending was put on the books.

Bush, however, didn't put the Iraq and Afghanistan spending on the books. So, when Obama, did, yes, the deficit increased.

Obama has not gone on a spending spree. He has saved our nation from a fiscal crisis caused by the irresponsibility of the Republicans and the administration of George W. Bush.

Everyone agreed that taxes shouldn't be increased on the middle class during this economic crisis, but the right cried foul and insisted that millionaires should also get more tax breaks.

Cha Ching. The deficit increased by billions.

When elected officials pursue such irresponsible lies they should be held accountable. They should be prosecuted for such deception.


Have to admit when I heard for the first time the title of the hit movie "The King's Speech" I assumed it was an MLK documentary!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

coffee and sandwiches

My best friend Cheri asked if I had read the popular novel about the "girl who kicked the hornet's nest." I've heard it's a good read but haven't taken it up yet.

Cheri said it reminded her of my family because the people always stopped for a lunch of sandwiches and coffee.

Yes! That is the lunch that makes me most happy.

A hearty sandwich with a cup of black coffee. Nothing in the world could beat that!

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Blue Parrot

In high school my sister and I would stop at the Blue Parrot, a vintage clothing store, when we visited the big city, Springfield. That was after we'd stopped by a sandwich shop that would customize your sub with prime cuts, cheeses, and oil. I learned there about provolone and admired their amazing speaker system that played the Stones, Creedence, and Van Morrison.

Van was also the mainstay on the Blue Parrot's stereo.

"Lyndon Arden stole the highlights."

"Natalia, Natalia."

"You don't pull no punches, but you don't push the river."

They had vintage sweaters, dresses, coats, and jackets.

I bought a grey wool Pendleton bomber-style jacket for $8.00. I was in heaven. It fit perfectly, had a pink lining, knit collar and cuffs, and seemed to me like something a movie star would have worn in the 50s.

I came home that afternoon, put Van's "Wavelength" on the living room stereo, and admired my jacket in the mirror.

Mom came home, tired from working in the factory, and asked me to turn down the volume. She didn't notice my beautiful jacket.

All the girls at school were wearing fading-dye angora sweaters that fall. They'd be royal blue at the cowl neck and baby blue at the hem.

I couldn't afford those, but I could buy classic vintage at the Blue Parrot, or better yet, lamb's wool and cashmere sweaters (with just a few moth holes) at yard sales.

One of my favorite sweaters was a camel hair with leather-patched elbows. It had a few holes. My best friend would sing the Tom Petty hit "you don't have to live like a refugee" every time I wore it. We laughed.

At school, however, the girls in the pink puffy sweaters laughed at my jacket. Oh well, I thought, they have no taste and can go suck an egg.

"Baby you know what they are writing about ….  It makes you wanna cry sometimes," Van sang as mom cooked supper.

Friday, January 07, 2011

dream stories

For some reason I am blessed (or tormented) by incredibly vivid, imaginative dreams.

Last night I dreamt that I was in my old high school on the last day of classes before senior graduation.

I had anxiety about finishing up all my work but also an overwhelming sadness that this might be the last day to be with my friends.

The whole dream then turned into one of my recurrent nightmares - trying to get out of a place - but being met with conundrums and roller coasters.

I found myself navigating a series of airport terminals, baggage claims, long hallways, and lunchrooms, just trying to get all my belongings together, finish classes, and of course, eat lunch.

Lunch was important because it gave me one last chance to be with all my friends.

This last day, in the dream, was wrought with poignancy.

Thinking back, I don't even remember a "last day." I know I did work-study in the afternoons, as I had become toy department manager at the local Ben Franklin. Maybe, as a result, I didn't even attend classes at the end. I really don't remember.

But in this dream, I cried at the thought of never seeing these dear friends again.

I do wish I had been that tuned in during the spring of 1980.

I know that when we met in July 2010 for our 30th reunion, I felt a powerful connection to these people that I had known since kindergarten (1967 Auburn Grade School).

And I wished that I had been more in touch with them during high school and the intervening years.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

going outside

My young dog, Meisha, suffers these days from cabin fever. She wants to swim and spend time outdoors with me and her brother, Banjo. The Banj and I, however, are content with running outside to do basic tasks—filling the bird feeding stations or shoveling a bit of snow. The extended times enjoyed in the yard last fall have been greatly shortened by ice, snow, and extreme cold spells.

Today, the sun shone down and the temperature was relatively mild, so I bundled up and told Meisha to "bring her ball." She placed it in her mouth, shot out the door, and promptly dropped it at my feet. Before my fingers froze, I think I threw it at least 25 times. But she still had energy.

As we chased the ball around the yard, my thoughts shot forward to early April. I have so many dead weeds to pull out, so many fall plantings to watch for, and so many plans for a vegetable garden and more lively flower beds.

As always, I'd like January and February to just hit me with their best shot. I can survive whatever they send my way, but I'd just like to get on with it.

As always, I'm ready for spring a few months ahead of schedule. And so is wee Meisha.

Monday, January 03, 2011

something to cry about

John Boehner, he of the orange tan and easy tears, takes over as Speaker of the House on Wednesday.

Pundits predict that in his first speech he will most certainly let loose some of those infamous tears, choked up over his success from humble origins and lamenting the loss of the American Dream among today's youngsters, whom he admits he can no longer "visit in schools." (It's just too depressing.)

Well, John, here's my perspective. I too come from most humble origins. I had only three siblings, but we shared beds and a bathroom and had rats climbing in the walls of our house, which wasn't far from a farm machinery dump. We grew our own vegetables, bought $100 cars and kept them running by sheer force of will and my dad's mechanical skill, and worked at whatever jobs we could find. Today, there is nothing glamorous in that background to reflect upon. And I don't try. It pretty much sucked.

But, unlike you, I am not teary eyed when it comes to the American Dream. I believe we have so much potential as a people and as a nation. We have so many young parents, babies, and children living in poverty. We need to lift these people up. Make sure they have food, health care, and an excellent education. There is no reason why this, one of the greatest nations on earth, cannot provide these necessities.

Yes, our economy is in crisis. But George Bush, you, and other Republicans are to blame for this situation. You left us with something to cry about. You cut taxes on the wealthy, waged unnecessary wars, and deregulated financial industries, leaving us with staggering deficits and a collapsing economy.

People are hurting. They are out of work. They are fighting your sorry wars. The luckiest have only lost their livelihoods. Others have lost their arms and legs and their lives.

But, guess what, John? Those survivors aren't crying in their coffee. They are moving forward, they are envisioning a better America, they are imagining their own and our country's future. That's what rugged American's do.

So shed some selfish tears on Wednesday. But know that stronger Americans are keeping up hope for the future. They want to lift up all Americans. And they will fight that good fight. Without tears.