Former columnist for the Los Angeles Post Examiner, the Baltimore Post Examiner, and Gatehouse News Service

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

I Hope Senator Scott Brown Can't Smell Very Well

Today I was very glad to have the opportunity to meet Scott Brown, Massachusetts Senate candidate, at Grumpy Doyle's in Reading.  I was not so glad that I had just come from the barn where I keep my horse, and could have looked and smelled a whole lot better.

Have you ever shaken someone's hand without really shaking it?  I offered my hand to the Senator then pulled it away before he had a chance to touch it, and mumbled, "Horse...barn...messy."  (I was a little kerfluffled at meeting him, and it showed.  I am a huge supporter.)  He nicely offered me a seat next to him and made me feel at ease, asking me what type of horse I had. "Hunter?  Jumper?" he asked, waving and smiling at people as they passed by while trying to eat a quick bite of lunch.  My answer?  "Normal," I said.  Normal?  My horse is normal?  No, idiot, he's a hackney/draft!  You know this!

I was very thrilled to meet the Senator, and have been proud to hold signs for him, make calls for him, and write about him as a candidate, both during this campaign and his last campaign, a special election to fill Ted Kennedy's seat.  This state needs two-party representation so badly, and Brown has done a great job for us in D.C.  He has not voted the way I would have liked every time. But we need someone of his character and independence watching out for us, and his opponent, while I'm sure very bright, is not worthy of a job in the United States Senate.  She has not answered enough questions, and has Harvard elitism etched into her persona.

My friend Julie was pretty insightful about my meeting the Scott Brown.  "You smell," she said.  I know, I know.  But I am still a citizen who needs a Washington watchdog -- smelly or not.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Inspiring Nurses Battle Sandy's Wrath

  As if we didn't love and respect nurses aleady - they wear cool scrubs, they secretly run the hospital/clinic/doctor's office, and they really do love to make you feel better - now, there's this: nurses carrying new babies down flights of stairs, manually doing the job their baby respirators normally do.

Thank you nurses, doctors, firemen, and all other responders.  Most of us can only admire (or blog about) what you are ready to do every day.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurrican Sandy and Other, More Political Thoughts

The hurricane has descended upon us here in the Boston area, or at least the beginnings of the hurricane.  I had to rush to the store this morning, and it was packed. I was a little embarrassed; most shoppers were getting those few items they had forgotten during their storm preparations - batteries, candles, water or packaged dry goods, while I was pushing a heavily loaded cart!  It was my weekly shoppng time - which just happened to coincide with a major hurricane.  As I heaved a heavy bag of dry dog food into my cart, a lady stepped by me carrying a plastic arm basket containing candles, chocolates, and soup.  Somehow, I think her day is going to be much easier than mine.

I have refrained from any political blogging for the last few months, and believe me, it's been killing me.  My nails are bitten to the quick, and I have a disturbing tic under one eye.  I have my reasons, though, which I can write more about later. I will say that on Saturday I was holding a sign downtown for my favorite senatorial candidate (Scott Brown), and had a blast doing it.  You should try sign-holding if you ever get the chance, for a few reasons.  1) It reminds you to vote.  2) The conversation, while extremely focused, ("he's got to win or I'll die" type of comments abound) is also stimulating, eductional and funny.  3) You get a unique perspective on your town.   This last reason was especially interesting, living here in liberal Massachusetts.  While we got a lot of beeps (to which all fifteen or so of us, gathered on one corner downtown, raised our signs in unison and shouted a very partisan "Yoo-hoo!") we got a lot of middle fingers raised our way, too! This was hysterical, to me.  Grown men and women resorting to the middle finger to voice displeasure and disagreement!  I have to say that the only thing a raised middle finger gets you, when pointed at a bevy of sign-holders, is their immediate convulsive laughter.  (There is such comfort in the group dynamic.)  I immediately signed up for four more shifts with my old and new sign-holding friends...I'm afraid I am addicted.  Plus, they give you coffee and donuts.

So, I will ride the storm out here, in the comforts of my home, and enjoy my family, who all have the day off too.  I have in my thoughts today the homeless and poor, who must always have the weather, which we can so easily forget, in the forefront of their minds.  Stay safe and don't forget to vote on November...6th!  That's it, the 6th.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

5 Hour Energy


 
Wow...it has been so long since I've blogged!!  Soooo rusty; my fingers are creaking, I can't remember how to upload a photo, my password had to be requested because I couldn't remember it...jeepers.
 
Anyhoo, it's fall, and election season, and I'm feelin' fine.  I just had a quick trip down to Maryland, and experienced something I have never really dealt with before...falling asleep at the wheel.  Almost, that is.  Pretty scary stuff!  Scary because obviously people who do fall asleep don't mean to.  So, this is kind of a PSA for not driving sleepy. Because sleepy kills.
 
It went like this: I started out from Massachusetts, my loyal terrier Neeley by my side, curled up in his special car blanket, and I was doing well.  Radio on, coffee in it's holder, directions in my brain.  But, I had stayed up until 2 AM the night before, and have been kind of sleep-deprived in general, kind of a cumulative thing.  So, in the cocoon of my car, relaxed and alone, I must have relaxed a lot, because on route 84, which runs through Connecticut, I found myself not remembering the last few minutes of roadway.  You know what I mean?  I was like, wow, I'm driving!  Weird!
 
So, I began talking to Neeley, and snapping my fingers.  This sort of scared me; how long could I go on snapping and chatting to Neeley? (Who bless his heart, sat up and listened courteously for awhile.)  Then I began thinking, this snapping stuff is not good.  I can't be doing well if I have to snap to stay awake.  So, I called my husband.  "Talk to me," I said, "I'm sleepy."  This prompted an immediate directive from hubby: get off the road!  (He also wanted to know if we had jelly; this seemed as important as my sleepiness, come to think of it.)
 
So, I pulled off the road, to a rest area in Connecticut.  Now what?  I was still exhausted, yawning until tears sprang to my eys, and it was only 7:30 am!  Could I just sleep at one of the Burger King tables?  (Surely they could just sleep - I mean sweep - around me.)  But then what about Neeley, who I knew was up and looking through the windshield, waiting anxiously for my return.  Would he just self-combust in a puff of smoke in the car, from pure neediness?
 
So, I went to the little store inside the rest area, and got a banana. (??)  As I was checking out, I saw a rack of 5 Hour Energy bottles.  They look harmless; they're tiny!    "Hey," I said to the uninterested clerk, "do these work?"  He nodded.  That nod was enough for me. I bought it, and a large coconut Dunkin' Donuts coffee, and went back to the car.
 
OK, here goes, I said to Neeley, who was limp with relief from my simply being back in the car.  I drank half the tiny bottle (it tastes horrible; it's like herbs mushed up with old juice and rotten limes).  Then I waited, like Alice in Wonderland holding the "Drink Me" bottle.  Sure enough, a few minutes later I felt sharper; not necessarily hyper, but just more in-tune.  Like I could drive to Maryland and also tell people their fortunes.  I started the car.  All-righty!
 
The problem was: Neeley licked a good amount off the lid, and he's a small dog, so...let's just say Neeley was super-focused for the next seven hours, barking at anything that hit the windshield (hint - it was raining; hard.)  So, I arrived at my parents' doorstep intact, but nerves jangled to bits.  We had to peel Neeley out of a tree before I stepped inside.
 
Thank you, 5 Hour Energy!  And Neeley, it's time to come down, now.  We've been home for days.