January 2008

Likes, Dislikes, and Down-right Disgust . . .
I miss Ross Perot.
That’s right. That funny looking guy with the squeaky voice, with all those graphs and charts and maps. Yeah, that guy, remember him?
I have no idea if he’d had made a great president or not, and after 16 years (can it really be that long ago?) it hardly matters. But now that we’re in the political trenches once again, I miss how refreshing he was.
And smart. And honest.
Gee, no wonder he didn’t win.
We Americans aren’t used to such honesty in our politicians. But I think we’re finally beginning to...

demand more of that, and welcome the change. (Just look at the reaction when Hillary came close to tears the other day as she talked – honestly – about her fears that we may be going backward instead of forward. And how that moment of sheer honesty moved people, maybe even winning over a few more voters.)


And finally – finally – the majority of us have become absolutely disgusted and tired of the mud-slinging and nasty accusations and overall childish behavior.


For me, that’s always been the part that swayed me AWAY from a candidate. But then they all started doing it and so I had to try and figure out who was doing it in the most evil, backstabbing, underhanded way. Then vote for his opponent (the better of two evils so to speak).


To my recollection, Ross Perot didn’t talk much against anyone. He was too busy showing Americans EXACTLY what he would do if president, and EXACTLY HOW he was going to go about it. What a concept!


Then he lost. And in some ways, so did we.


But I don’t want to go back. I want to move forward


And as much as we may dislike all those “we interrupt this program” for political news bulletins, etc., we had all better pay attention because whoever becomes our president has his or her work cut out for him.


And now we get to Hillary. I may lose some Blog readers by this next sentence but I’ll risk it.


I like Hillary.


Believe me, this comes as a surprise to me, too. This admiration, respect and trust I now have of her was late in coming. Granted, she may not have a dynamite, charming, enduring personality (her husband seems to have covered that territory) but then, aren’t we past voting for a president based on good looks and charisma? I hope so (I’d hate to think Perot lost largely because of his looks, or lack thereof). While those physical traits certainly make it easier on the eyes to watch TV debates, it will ultimately be the decision he or she makes that will affect our everyday lives.


With that in mind, I watched the New Hampshire Primaries. And again to my surprise, it actually made a difference in how I thought before I watched it…


And it made me like Hillary even more. And not because I want to see a woman president. Frankly, I don’t care if our next leader is female, male, black, white, or Arnold Schwarzenegger (which I don’t think is all that bad an idea). I—like most Americans—just want someone who can get the job done right, on all the problems we face.


This night, like most I’ve seen, Hillary was focused and had specific plans on the issues. She even showed a sense of humor, letting people see she really does have a softer side. But she is tough. And isn’t that what we want?


Then too, the debates introduced me to many likable things about Bill Richardson (he’s practical, logical and intelligent). As a registered Democrat (but in truth, an Independent - I will, if a candidate persuades me enough, vote Republican, although that has yet to happen), all four candidates actually gave me hope for America.


Listening to the Republican candidates, I was most impressed with Mike Huckabee.


Again, he had concrete details about his plans, and intelligent thoughts on all the important issues. And he was professional (no tacky comments about this opponents). In fact, I was so impressed with him that should I decide that voting Republican would be best for our country, he’d be my man. (And it doesn’t hurt that he’s a musician, as you may know, I’m fond of music men.)


That said, the debates in turn dampened my enthusiasm for John Edwards (I appreciate his passion for the middle-class—after all, I’m one of them—but he just didn’t convince me that he’d be the best one out of a really good group of contenders). And I was disillusioned by a guy I’ve always liked (even have his excellent book, “Character is Destiny”) - John McCain. I was turned off by his continual disruptions when others, particularly Romney, was trying to speak, so points off McCain for blatant rudeness…


And after all was said and done, it gave me little to sway me in Obama’s direction. He just doesn’t have enough experience for me to be comfortable with him running a country at a time we have so many problems, like a war we shouldn’t be involved in, and terrorism, which no one should be involved in. . .


This night gave me hope. A lot more hope. I also found it vastly entertaining (another big surprise), and made me really anxious for that change we’re all so desperate for.  


Still, I miss old Ross… 


I love Ugly Betty 


I don’t really watch a lot of TV (mostly because my husband is a REMOTE CONTROL FREAK, see below) but Thursday night is my special TV night. I get a glass of wine, big bowl of popcorn and get entertained. Beginning with Betty. But last night, the 10th, was the best of all episodes. It addressed the issue that wearing a size 0 should not be a goal young women should be striving for. This was an important show all teen girls should have watched because being a size 0 is just not healthy, nor does it look good.


This topic hits me personally as a mother of two daughters. But it’s not just the super-skinny part that has me up in arms, it’s also the fact that today’s fashions seem to dictate that these girls show cleavage. And lots of leg.


Case in point. The other day, my teenage daughter got a “prom” catalogue in the mail (addressed to her, apparently they have access to a list of high school girls) from a company I’ve never heard of. This book filled with Angelina Jolie/Pamela Anderson/Paris Hilton look-a-likes all with come-hither expressions, wearing the slinkiest, lingerie-type, Academy Award dresses I’ve ever seen. And no, it wasn’t a Victoria Secret catalogue but it may as well have been. There is also a caption on the back of said catalogue promising that they will not “sell your dress to anyone else at your school.” Yeah, so only YOUR daughter can look like a hussy. (Sorry, that’s the mother in me talking). And many of these dresses were really slinky and showed way too much skin. To be fair (and I always try to be), there were maybe two or three dresses that were not bad. Of course, there were no prices listed, but with all that sequence and diamond (okay, probably cubic zirconia) studs, and boas (BOAS!!) it was obvious the cost for these gowns are as high as those slits that went all the way up the thighs.


There was no way I was letting her father see what prom dresses have come to, both in style and price. Not to mention (but I will) one shot of a young girl in an aqua lacey nightie (or so it looked to me) sitting up with her back arched to make her budding breasts look even larger, and another page depicting two girls posing around a David-like statue ….




WHY would we want our young hormonal teenage girls looking like and posing like that?


My only hope is that mothers are paying attention to this and not going to be buying anything from this company.


You all know I’ll be making a phone call… 


I Love New York



Okay, I’m calmed down now—well okay, a little—because I just came across some photos from when I was in New York. It’s been a more than a year since my last (actually only) visit to the Big Apple, but boy, what a town. I was there just one weekend for a writers’ conference, so didn’t get to see any Broadway shows. But I did get to the New York Library and the Library Hotel  which is heaven to book lovers. Imagine actually staying in a room with Books Everywhere! (Unfortunately it was way over this freelance writers’ budget).


And contrary to popular belief, New Yorkers are actually quite nice and friendly. And helpful (my friends and I couldn’t at first find that Library Hotel and simply stopped a person at random on the street and she actually stopped and made a phone call [!] to find out for us! Now that is the epitome of nice!        


A Very Cool Lady




Another really nice person is my friend and colleague, Aileen Gilmour, a member of the Writers of the Western Reserve group. But more than that, she is one of the most inspiring people I know. At age 80, she published her first novel (see photo) last year, and is rapidly working on her second, a fictionalized story about her family (which takes readers on many journeys, including Europe). Another cool thing about her is she still writes hand-written letters to friends! These little notes (often enclosed in a card) always says something nice For example, say when our group goes over our individual manuscripts, she’ll write to say what she liked about it, or some comment on the work. How cool is that?  




Speaking of writing, I’ve noticed several other writers have “Writing Blogs” that focus on the writing life. And while that’s certainly a great concept, there are two reasons I don’t have one.


Number one, a writing blog appeals to only writers, which eliminates a lot of people …


Two, I’d rather actually write, than talk about writing.


.That said, there are a few things about the writing life I think can be beneficial to everyone, but once again, I see that I’ve overextended my stay ( how do those bloggera stay under 500 words?


And so I’ll stop here before I get on to other topics and just say so long…


Except for this: 


Happy New Year To Everyone! (Especially to all you cool, nice people)


I’m sure you’ve all made some resolutions so I’ll add this:


Remember, The Road to Tomorrow - and Your Own Personal Dreams Come True - Begins with You. All it takes is one foot in front of the other.


Now go….




Oh, and one more thing – Spend some Time with Friends…

Happy Trails…