Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Oh! The people that I met!

I just took a quick weekend trip by myself to Chicago for my nephew's baptism and met a few new people. I am fascinated by all the different people in the world and their backgrounds and what makes them tick. Here's a few encounters from my trip:

Old Man vs. City Girl - I was walking down the sidewalk in Park Ridge, doing a little shopping and an ancient old man was wobbily walking out of the pharmacy with his cane. If I blew on him, I could have knocked him over. I said hello to him and he stopped me. "Hey!," he said, "C'mere!" I hesitated but thought I could take him, if he tried anything, so I followed. He walked over to a fall sidewalk display and pointed to this picture on the right. "What is this?!" he asked. I looked at him thinking this guy doesn't know what planet he's on and said, "Um, a bale of hay????" He said, "Wrong! You city girls don't know nothing! This is a bale of STRAW. It's not good for anything! You can't feed cows with this! You can't feed horses! It's useless!" Alrighty, then. He continued on. "Here's something else you city girls don't know! See this ear of corn?" (There were corn stalks tied to the lamp pole.) "You will never find a cob of corn with an uneven number of corn rows! NEVER!" I smiled and said, "Thank you for teaching a city girl a few new things." He smiled back and said, "You're welcome! Have a nice day!" I almost asked him if I could take his picture but I was afraid I'd set him off again so we went our separate ways.

Here's a bale of hay. See how different they look!? NOT!

MS Guy in the Airport - While I was sitting in O'Hare yesterday, a guy in a wheelchair rolled over to me and we talked for about 45 minutes. His story made me sad but, at the same time, I didn't feel sorry for him. Marco introduced himself to me and told me he was on his way to Arizona with his parents for the winter. He's forty years old and was diagnosed with MS in 1995. He told me all about his divorce, his subsequent relationship with his ex (totally for the sex - TMI!), his beloved Pit bull, Lucky who recently died from cancer, his aversion to voting because he doesn't want to be called for jury duty (I told him he should rethink that one), and his career as a tool and dye tradesman. He seemed to have a kind of George Costanza type relationship with his parents and they all looked very similar to the Seinfeld characters. He didn't complain at all about his bad luck in developing such a horrible disease. In fact, I think it made him a bit more likable. The way he talked, it sounded like he was a pretty big jerk before the diagnosis. He called his wife all kinds of horrible names, he drove a Camaro and thought he was hot stuff, he declared himself a racist to get out of jury duty, he hated kids (still does). I told him I might blog about him and he had no idea what a blog was. He said he doesn't go on computers anymore because he accidentally bought a bunch of porn without knowing it and he's afraid it'll happen again. I guess he just keeps magazines under his bed now.

Bottom line, though, is he's lonely living with his parents and has no other social outlets. The MS has taken away his independence, his career, and his ability to have a normal relationship. I was glad to spend a little time with him in the airport and make him feel like a worthwhile person.

I met some others too (all without even making it downtown where all the interesting people are) and have a few more stories but this post is long enough, I think!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thank you.

This Veterans Day, the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) and the Ad Council are launching a campaign to help the men and women who have served and are serving in these wars. Go to http://communityofveterans.org/ to find out more.

Everyone please remember to take a moment today to thank those who have served or are serving in our military. Here's a video to show you how:

Monday, November 10, 2008

He still has his hand out!

Alright, I volunteered to help the Obama campaign. I put in time and money to help the cause. Throughout the whole process, I received weekly emails asking for more money. I would then turn to the TV and see a barrage of ads from my candidate (some good and some bad) and think, do I want to help fund more of this?! I stayed firm for the most part, but did fall for the "dinner with Barack" bait. My chances of winning were probably smaller than playing Powerball. I DO think that all my time, energy and monetary donations were worth it in the end and I have no regrets.

But, TODAY, almost a week after the election was called, I received in my inbox ANOTHER request. In it, the campaign says,
The Democratic National Committee poured all of its resources into building our successful 50-state field program. And they played a crucial role in helping Barack win in unlikely states like North Carolina and Indiana. We even picked up an electoral vote in Nebraska.

The DNC took on considerable debt to make this happen.
Then they ask me to donate $100 and I'll get this t-shirt.

Does this look like a $100 t-shirt to you????? It sure doesn't look like it is to me! Do I feel beholden to the DNC for spending money they didn't have to help out? No, I don't. Do I find this email way tacky? Yes, I do! As far as I'm concerned, everyone who helped out in the campaign should get this t-shirt for free and Barack Obama should make campaign finance reform a goal before the next round of elections.

Other than that, I have no complaints and think President-Elect Obama is doing a FINE job!

UPDATE - 11/12/08 - I just received another email informing me that you now only have to "donate" $30 for one of these fabulous shirts......Nah!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

I'm kinda like this.....

I laughed at this but the bullet hits pretty close.....

Another package from my punk rock knitting pal!

My package from Dawn arrived Thursday but I'm just now getting to post it. Dawn is such a talented, creative person so I feel very lucky to have been matched with her! Let me tell you about the goodies I got!

  • DPN's
  • A tiny treasure box
  • Pom Pom maker
  • Tape measure
  • Marzipan Chocolate which my kids watched me eat with puppy dog eyes
  • Fun magnets
  • Face oil made by Dawn that smells so good!
  • One skein of Rowan felted tweed
  • Three skeins of Lion Brand wool in lovely lemongrass (can anyone recommend a good pattern for a cabled bag for this?)
  • Turkey with a hand knit scarf by Dawn

Thank you, Dawn! You're the best!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

It's a sunshine day!

I'm still so very happy! This is the song that's been in my head all day.......

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Missing out

As you might have guessed, I am on cloud nine right now. The sun is shining. The world is good. Humanity is good. There is hope.

What's starting to dawn on me is that, while there are millions out there who are feeling the same way, there are also people out there who are feeling scared, angry, and hopeless. I have friends and family who are experiencing the same historical moment in a total alternate universe. They are afraid that we are moving towards socialism, that scary Democrats are in total power and we will all suffer, that Barack Obama will pull out his turban and yell, HA!

I'm at a loss. I will not let them burst my bubble but I feel sad that they can't share the elation that I'm feeling. My husband reminds me that Barack Obama cannot live up to the expectations I have of him. Maybe so. Still I am overjoyed. We have turned a corner and things can't not get better. I'm going to tune the naysayers out for a little while and bask in the special moment in history that we are all living. I hope that the dark cloud will lift for those of you out there who are not happy with the election results and that you can see things through my rose-colored glasses soon.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election excitement

Yesterday, the kids and I hung door hangers in the neighborhood to remind people to vote. After I finished my packet, we all stopped by Democratic HQ to drop it off and the place was buzzing! Peeking around the corner, I found out the source of the excitement because Terry McAuliffe was sitting right there! That man cracked my husband and I up during the final stages of the Clinton campaign when he'd get on TV and act like they had all but won! The whole family got to shake his hand and hear about his exploration into the possibility of running for governor here.

Today I went out canvassing with my friend Beth for the first time. It was cool to see everyone so excited about the election (we didn't look too closely to see if the guy who answered the door in his underwear was excited). After I voted, I started walking out and was stopped by the photographer of one of the local papers to see if I was willing to pose for a picture. If I get in, I'll post it so you can see what a celebrity I am! I can follow in Joe the Plumber's footsteps!

Now it's time to sit and wait for the results! I have no fingernails left to bite off so it's time to move to the brown paper bag......

GO OBAMA!!!!!!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008


A video postcard from our fellow Americans in Alaska: