Uncle Roger's Notebooks of Daily Life
My life is, to me, ripe with frequent challenges, occasional successes, spontaneous laughter, adequate tears, and enough *life* to last me a lifetime. To you, however, it surely seems most pedestrian. And therefore, I recycle the name I used previously and call this my Notebooks of Daily Life. Daily, because it's everyday in nature, ordinary. These conglomeration of events that are my life are of interest to me because I live it, perhaps mildly so to those who are touched by it, and could only be of perverse, morbid curiosity to anyone else. Yet, I offer them here nonetheless. Make of them what you will, and perhaps you can learn from my mistakes.
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Wednesday, October 22, 2008
What does it mean when, in an office with a number of gay men, I call up to ask someone to grab the No on 8 posters I left on the printer and put them on my desk, and they say, "I figured those were yours"?
I can't imagine that anyone reading this would even consider voting yes on proposition 8, the proposed constitutional amendment that would eliminate the right of certain couples to marry. Yep, some people want to prevent Catholics and protestants from getting married. Oops, wait, that was before. We're okay with that now. It's whites and blacks we don't want to let marry. Can't have that miscegenation going on. Oh, nope, that's okay too these days. So what is it that will destroy all life as we know it? Oh, yeah, same-sex marriage.
I logged into the website where I post the stories I write for Parentdish and was greeted with these statistics:
"You have written 500,212 words on 1,633 posts since you started publishing 2 years and 113 days ago"
I've written half a million words -- about five novels' worth. That's a lot of typing.
Would someone please tell that antiquated, pompous ass that I'm not his friend?
On our way to school this morning, I idly asked Sara what she wanted to be when she grew up. I had a feeling I knew what the answer would be, but I wanted to see if she had changed her mind and, if not, what she thought her choice entailed. So it was not so much what she wants to be when she grows up that surprised me, but what that meant to her.
It occurred to me this morning that my circle of friends is not really all that diverse. Among the people that I hang out with, that I would consider having over for dinner, whose kids I would invite to my kids' birthday parties, there are very few, if any, of certain groups.
The two groups that come to mind are republicans and smokers. I know very few of either, let alone count any among my friends. There are a couple of republicans in my office, but I wouldn't say they are friends outside of work. Similarly, I don't know many smokers. There's a father of a friend of Sara's from swim class and the husband of one of Rachel's friends, but that's about it.
I considered broadening my social circle, but decided it wasn't worth it. Let's face it -- I'm a snob, prejudiced against what I see as undesirable characteristics. Given that these are conscious choice made by people, I think I can live with that.
I managed to catch part of the presidential debate, the other night. Now, my mind is made up already -- I'm not sure our country could survive a McCain presidency. Still, there are those who, I'm sure, look to the debates to help them decide who to vote for (not that I understand that, mind you.)
What I noticed about the debate, however, was about McCain. You know the old saying that when the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail? Well, McCain has a hammer. McCain is all about the military. His answer to everything is the military. How to afford the $700bn bailout? Don't spend money on anything except the military and veterans' benefits. I guess that means that the schools, fire departments, courts, parks, and so on will all just take an extended, unpaid holiday.
What about Iran -- would he consider talking with Ahmadinejad? Absolutely not -- use the military. Same for Iraq, and North Korea, and everything else. I don't know about anyone else, but I'd like to think there are other possible solutions to problems than a military response. Too bad McCain doesn't feel the same.
Recently, CBS News anchor Katie Couric interviewed Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin. I didn't see the interview, but came across it on the internet. You can watch the video or read the transcript. What I found most interesting was the pattern of her answers.
This past weekend, we went to the annual neighborhood picnic, held at a mini-park in the center of the area where there is a large -- twenty-eight feet long -- sundial. It was unveiled, at night, oddly enough, on October 10, 1913 and beginning on October 11, 1913, generations of children have climbed it, some making it all the way to the top, others not. I was in the "not" crowd.
My kids, on the other hand, are daredevils (well, the older two, anyway -- so far) and both Jared and Sara made it to the top. Only, when Sara made it, she grabbed onto the end and looked down -- and was stuck. She couldn't get her hands to the sides in order to slide down safely. She wasn't going anywhere.
What is a necktie but a very skinny bib?
You can probably guess that I am going to vote for Barack Obama this November, even though he's not my ideal candidate. (Who is my ideal candidate? Well, actually, me. But I'm not running, so we take what we can get.) But why am I not wild about Obama? Well, there are a few issues where he and I don't see eye to eye.
First off, there's the whole God thing. The guy believes in a magic man in the sky. Give me a break. If I had my druthers, I'd be voting for someone who didn't believe in children's fairy tales.
Then there's the gay marriage thing. He's agin' it. Why? I don't know, but I do know that I can't fully respect someone who doesn't see men and women as equals and, no matter what he says, if he wants to check what's in your pants before letting you get married, then he doesn't really believe in gender equality.
And there's the smoking. I know it's hypocritical of me, but in this day and age, knowing what we know, and with all the support, encouragement, and programs to help people quit, I can't understand why anyone of any intelligence would smoke. (And, yes, I'm fully aware of the psychological parallels between smoking and being overweight, but 1) I'm not running for president and 2) weight loss does not come with the same tax breaks and other financial incentives that quitting smoking does. Also, while I've never quit smoking, I do think there may be a few degrees difference in the effort involved.)
So, does all that mean that I'm not 100% behind him? Quite the contrary. Obama is the first person to come along in a long time that I think has any chance of rescuing this country. I'll put it flat out -- if McCain is elected, I think we'll have, at most, one more presidential election before the United States of America is no more. If Obama is president, I think we have a chance.
You know, I can kind of understand the people that are behind McCain and the other republicans. They're completely wrong, of course, but I can understand them. They're afraid of bad guys, or they want to keep their money for themselves, or there's no way they could vote for a godless heathen... whatever misguided reason they have, at least they have a reason.
What I don't get are the undecided people. It's not like it's a choice between a cheeseburger with cheddar cheese or monterey jack. It's more like choosing between a cheeseburger and a punch in the face (regardless of which you think is which.) A vegetarian isn't going to consider going to Jersey Joe's any more than a meat-eater would choose Greens as a regular eatery. The undecided folks, however, are standing around wondering whether or not they want a cheesesteak sandwich with fries or a grilled tofu sandwich with a beet salad.
It's easy, folks!
If you've got a lot of money and believe in "every man for himself", vote for McCain (or, better yet, stay home.)
If you believe that the public schools are necessary because everyone needs an equal chance and an educated populace is better for everyone, back Barack.
If you believe we have to get them (whoever "them" might be this week) before they get us, you probably like the military and support McCain.
If you want freedom and rights, even if it means a less certain and possibly more dangerous future, vote for Barack Obama.
If you don't like where the country is today and where it's headed, you'll vote for Obama and change.
Quit waffling people! Make up your minds! It's really not that difficult! And vote for Obama!
Over at ParentDish, this week, the Daily Dish topic is jokes for kids and, while I wouldn't subject the readers there to this, I thought it important to preserve for posterity my mother's Shy Cow joke. This is a joke that she made up and considered it quite clever. I suspect she was alone in that assessment. None the less, in the perhaps misguided attempt to make the internet as complete as possible, here then, after the break, is the Shy Cow joke, as I remember it. I beseech you, do not click on the "Read More..." link, whatever you do.
Last Friday, I started having some pain in my mouth. At first, it was located in the lower back, where my wisdom teeth used to be, but then it moved to the front right side of my tongue. It got more and more painful and became rather unpleasant to look at. By Saturday, I had developed a headache to go with it and was having difficulty talking and eating. Some might say that's a good thing, but it wasn't much fun.
Rachel (and the kids) got me a gift certificate to Amazon for Father's day and I finally got around to using it. I was able to parlay that into a dozen albums and two films. I got a nice selection of stuff; I'm trying to avoid just buying all Blues music these days so the kids get exposed to a wide variety of music. So, what was in this order? Here ya go: