Thursday, May 29, 2008

weather forecast

The sun is shining, there are a few puffy white clouds in the sky, the dog has successfully treed four squirrels and there's a wonderful smell on the breeze.

Based upon these words, I conclude that this afternoon Indiana will be hit by its first tidal wave in centuries.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

One of my favorite historical photos comes from a 1973 issue of Life Magazine. I first saw it in my AP US History textbook and couldn't stop looking at it. The picture is of a POW finally returning home. We can't see the soldier's face - he could be anyone. What we can see are his four chilren and his wife, running, running, running toward him, arms outstretched, clearly delighted, thrilled, overjoyed.

It's not often that I advocate a position held by George Bush, but today I make an exception. He suggests that all Americans take a moment at 3:00 PM local time to pause, reflect and ponder (or words to that effect) upon those who have served, those who have died, those who bear physical and emotional scars.

Put down the home improvement project, let the coals on the grill burn for a moment and stop sending me all of those e-mails about honoring service, patriotism, support our troops, amazing battles - I've heard 'em all and taught many more - and just pause. Think movies, think of family or friends, just think generally, but take that moment.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

misery loves company

It's been a rough few weeks at lemming headquarters - nothing to blog about, just one of those times when everything builds up and gets nasty. (Evil student is not going to like their final grade, but I can prove that it's the grade earned.)

Then I learned that a neighbor is the latest victim of foreclosure and has experienced several other personal set-backs that make my life look downright tranquil and calm. Perspective is good. I have much for which to be grateful.

Poetry month got me trying to remember all of the bits of verse which I was either required to memorize or memorized along the way for other reasons. "The world is too much with us, late and soon" was for 12th grade British lit. I've managed to reconstruct it. Now I'm working on a piece by Edna St Vincent Millay which I memorized because I was in a play, one which had nothing to do with poetry. I had to spend 20 minutes on stage, reading a book, while all sorts of other activities happened around me. "All right, let's be practical with this time and learn a poem," thought I and so I did. I think I have about 2/3 of it and more comes back every morning in the shower.

I have a mind which remembers poetry. I have a body that can walk and reach and move. I had a reasonably nutricious dinner. I have a dog who was prepared to defend me from an earthquake. Life could be a whole lot worse.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

few things are better

Driving to work on Tuesday - sun shining, a light breeze, the flowers smell terrific, the road construction is done, I'm not running late and Aretha Franklin comes on the radio.

This is a second day of cold and rain and I'm still smiling.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

all but the shouting

Well, that's that. No more phone calls, no more mailings and the CNN camper is no longer parked downtown - Indiana has gone back to being a backwater. I got to cast a presidential vote that actually counted for something, but now it is back to the mundane dross of life; I will vote in November, but it won't matter. I do wonder how many of the votes for HRC came from crossovers who think that #1 she will be easier to defeat in November or #2 that she'll get elected, mess matters up and then a "real" Republican will get the nomination in 2012. I probably shouldn't say this too loudly.

I get to cover all sorts of wonderfully depressing topics today in my classes so, naturally, it is grey and wet. As a recovering English major, I will occasionally get random fragments of poetry stuck in my head, at which point I am then obligated, as per the terms of my student loan contracts, to determine the full text. For years, I struggled to find the poem with the phrase "when it is cold November in my soul" only to learn, eventually, that it is actually from a novel I thoroughly loathe: Moby Dick. Well, at least that's one brownie point for Melville. (For the reacord, I've read lots of Melville, all of it under duress.)

It's not a "cold November in my soul" but it feels that way outside. Sam has absolutely refused to set the smallest fraction of his being past the door.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

my little bit of history making

I woke up at 5:45. Bed was deliciously warm and comfortable.

"Hmmm..." thought I, sleepily. "The polls open in 15 minutes. I'll go back to sleep now and vote this afternoon." Then I remembered Joe's experience in the Great Gambier Voting Line of 2004 and jumped out of bed. No shower, just sweatshirt and jeans and off -

My polling place comprises several precincts. There's never a line. Never. I have voted at all hours of the day (though never 6:05 AM) and there's never a line. The place was full . Naturally part of this was due to Joe - admit it, Joe, you had something to do with this - as each precinct had only one functioning voter machine out of four.

There was an elderly man who could barely walk, a little confused by the technology, but determined. The woman ahead of me in line knew she would be late to work, but felt that voting should come first. Unusually for my polling place, I wasn't the youngest voter in the room. Most of us under-forties were clad in the same general attire, but enthusiastic.

Only took 45 minutes.

I'm sure that many of the people in the room were Republicans. I'm going to pretend that most of us were voting Democrat. This is Hoosier History that has nothing to do with basketball or fried brain sandwiches. This is awesome.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

scorecard update


Obama: 2 more
Clinton: 1 - the first one yet

Phone Calls:

Obama: 1
Clinton: 1

Can you tell I'm psyched? Does it show? At all? Nah, probably not. I'm a very quiet and subtle person when it comes to anything involving history, and this is historic damnit!!!

Indiana will go back to being an unnoticed backwater when this primary election ends, our citizens laughed at as hicks and denigrated as in-bred fools, but for a few precious days, even the BBC has sent reporters here. There's been a CNN camper parked downtown for days with reporters constantly standing outside and taping whatever it is that they tape in those segments.

Now then, what do I wear to the polling place...

Saturday, May 03, 2008

a scorecard

As of 10:30 Saturday Morning:

Phone Calls:

Clinton: 1 - very nice older lady, we had a great chat
Obama: 3 - they have an organizational edge in my book because they made sure that I knew when the polls opened and closed and where my polling place was located


Clinton: 0
Obama: 12

Visits by Jehovah's Witnesses: 1

I cannot even begin to tell you all how psyched I am for Tuesday. Indiana hasn't mattered since 1968. (For the moment, I am choosing to forget about RFK and just be excited.)