27 November 2008

Thanksgiving Day!

I find the winter holidays in the US strangely depressing. Thanksgiving and Christmas demand the kind of attention that disturbs my routine quite obnoxiously. I don't want to make huge meals and hang out with people. What a waste of a day.Let's not even talk about all those millions of unsuspecting turkeys callously murdered for the sake of some ridiculous tradition.

Admittedly, it was nice not to have to go to work yesterday (Wednesday) and today. It rained most of yesterday - a nice, steady drizzle quenching our parched grounds. I spent most of the day by the fire rereading Obama's DREAMS FROM MY FATHER. This morning the sun shone brightly and the sky was blue and cloudless. I started the day by reading the blogs on Huffpost I enjoyed Jamie Lee Curtis and Erica Jong expressing what they are thankful for. It helped lift me out of my depression. Paul Krugman's article defending Obama's choice of economic advisers was a good read too. I'm so glad he wrote this. It's so weird that folks on the left are being so critical. As Obama himself pointed out yesterday at a news conference, with the current economic crisis, experienced advisors are necessary. He cannot risk hiring all new people under these extraordinary circumstances.
Last Tuesday I went with some friends to a talk by Maureen Dowd who is a columnist for the NYT. I have mixed feelings about Dowd. I used to enjoy her clever, insightful criticisms of Bush, et al. but during the primaries she turned me off with her constant and consistent cattiness and pettiness toward Hillary Clinton. So I wasn't sure if I would enjoy listening to her. The talk turned out to be quite enjoyable. Maureen Dowd seems very gung ho about Obama. She was part of the press crew who accompanied him on his trip to Europe and Israel in the summer. When someone in the audience asked what she thought of Obama's appointees she expressed support. She thought it was wise to hire people with diverse ideas. She also mentioned that a lot of the people from the Clinton administration that Obama is hiring are the best and brightest who hadn't been able to do the work they hoped to do under Clinton. They now had another opportunity to use their talents. After the talk I decided I liked Maureen Dowd after all!

We spent Thanksgiving with our friends, Premi and Sri. We prepared tofurkey (tofu turkey), roast potatoes, brussels sprouts, and other veggies. Premi prepared roast leg of lamb, shrimp and crab, and a rice dish. Earlier in the day we took advantage of the gorgeous weather and went for a walk on the beach. It was fabulous. The air after a good rain is so exhilarating.

And now it's evening and I'm glad for it all to be over. But starting tomorrow I'll have to endure godawful Christmas music and jingling bells and flickering lights and stupid snowmen and Santa decorations. Is there anyone out there who would like to join me in petitioning to abolish this ghastly holiday?

14 November 2008

Another Big Fire!

Friends,

Just wanted to assure you that we are safe. The fire is about 10 miles from us so we aren't in any danger. This fire that started yesterday (Thursday evening) grew rapidly and destroyed about a 100 homes in the wealthier part of our area. My school, Roosevelt Elementary, is closed and is in an evacuation warning area. So all my students live fairly close to the fire and many of them could be evacuated before the day is over.
We are still recovering from the July fire so it's frustrating to deal with a huge fire again.

11 November 2008

Post-election elation

It's Tuesday morning, Veteran's Day, and I'm home taking things easy. I'm listening to amy Goodman's "Democracy Now". Her guest is Alice Walker, who just read out her letter to Barack Obama - an open letter which she has posted on the WEB. It's a sort of "mother giving son advice" letter. She's a passionate supporter of Obama. During a short break in the program Amy played Miriam Makeba's "Click" song. I'm very saddened by Makeba's death. I have all her albums and listen to them frequently. I'm so addicted to her voice and music that I go through withdrawal if I hadn't listened to her for a while.

Today I feel I can finally breathe again. I feel like I've been holding my breath for two years and now I can turn my attention to mundane matters. I'm about to go into my garden and check on the broccoli and chard I've recently planted. The sun is shining, the sky is deep blue. There's a chill in the air. Winter is definitely on its way.

04 November 2008

Woohoo!

It's late. I'm tired. But, what joy! O-ba-ma! O-ba-ma! We are happy. So, so happy. We hung out with our friends Adrienne and Bisi and a few others and watched with increasing excitement as the results came in. and exactly when the polls closed in California at 8:00 an Obama victory was declared. Bisi opened up a bottle of fine champagne and we celebrated.

I'm still worried about how things turned out in California though - especially Proposition 8 - banning gay marriage. Tomorrow we'll know the final results. But tonight I will go to bed with a great big smile.

02 November 2008

Just 2 more days!

Two more days. Long, long days. It's beginning to look like nothing's going to jinx things. But we always remember '04 and '00. So we stifle/suppress/compress our optimism. Should we buy champagne and expect to be celebrating? And if things go badly how on earth are we going to face the world on Wednesday?

For Halloween this year I was Joe the Plumber. When I asked my 3rd graders if they knew who he was someone said "Obama's vice-president?" I was going to make my sign "Joe the Dumber" but you know, got to be professional and all.
It's the first day of standard time when darkness descends at the ungodly hour of 5:00. I hate it. At 6:00 it feels like midnight. Jeez I find this depressing. The weather's been amazing, though. It's still warm and I'm still in my summer wardrobe. We haven't had to turn on the heating yet. But it is November and any day now the air will turn chilly.

Meanwhile, we prepare for Tuesday. Signs all over the place announce who and how to vote. Obama/Biden bumper stickers far outnumber the other out here in California. We are a solidly blue state. But we have some nasty measures on our ballots that could go the wrong way. Proposition 8 to my mind is the worst - banning gay marriage. Hopefully the number of sensible people will outnumber the dummies.