Thursday, September 27, 2007

Out of the mouths of smart-alecky toddlers

The other day when I picked the Peanut up from day care, she came running up to me, flung her arms around my legs, and announced to all present, "I want to keep my mommy forever!" And birds sang and rainbows sparkled in the sunny skies, and I basked in the glories of motherhood.

This morning I went into her room to snuggle with her a little bit before we started our day. She took this opportunity to look deeply into my eyes and say, "I have a little butt and you have a big butt."


The bridges are falling down and the public schools have to beg for money to provide luxuries like paper and books and we should maybe think about doing something about this whole global warming thing before, you know, Manhattan disappears into the sea, and New Orleans and vicinity remain a moldy debris-covered hellhole because we never bothered to clean up after that little weather problem they had down there a couple of years ago, but hey, we still need to spend hundreds of billions of dollars shooting and bombing people (mostly civilians) who never harmed us.

Osama bin Laden must be laughing his ass off.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Sprinting to safety

It was late in the afternoon, yesterday, and the Peanut and I were on our way back from one of our local playgrounds. She was in her stroller, where she doesn't always want to be, lately. She is getting so big -- she'll be 3 in a week! And now she wants to walk everywhere. But thank God yesterday she was in her stroller.

We were crossing a side street not far from our house. I glanced both ways before stepping into the intersection. I took a few steps and then I saw it: a tank of a gray Mercedes sedan, barreling down this suburban street at an unimaginable speed. (50, 60 mph?) I clutched the stroller handles and sprinted out of the way, reaching the sidewalk again a minute or two before the car came to a screeching halt, the smell of burnt rubber heavy in the air.

The driver and his passenger were talking, gesturing, not really paying attention. They turned right and sped off.

I pulled the stroller to the far end of the sidewalk, leaned against a building, tore my cell phone from my purse, called 911. The dispatcher told me a couple of times to slow down, because I was shaking with rage and she couldn't understand me. I was transferred to the local police department, and I gave them the license number, which I got a good look at before the car took off. The police told me they would look for the guy.

I called the police station back later in the evening and was told they were not able to find him.

What a metaphor, I thought. This is what it is to be alive now, and especially what it is to be a parent--always to be running for cover from some damn thing. Praying like hell that we're going to make it.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Best writing seminar ever

I just came back from beautiful Washington, D.C., where I attended this workshop, which offered the best discussion on writing and editing in the corporate environment I've ever been lucky enough to take part in. Plus lots of jokes involving assless chaps.

As a special bonus, I got to hang out in the hotel bar on Monday night with the presenters, Steve Crescenzo and Jim Ylisela. If you ever get to go to one of these events, be sure to have a drink or two with them. You won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

America the Beautiful

Trinity Church was packed that day, six years ago. The swaying crowd sang many songs, among them "America the Beautiful." When we arrived at this stanza:

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

it was impossible to keep from sobbing. A stranger, an elderly man, sat next to me. We looked at each other and embraced as we sang and tried to wipe the tears from our eyes.

My hope for this Sept. 11 is that we all live long enough to one day see the "patriot dream" of America restored.

Monday, September 10, 2007

There is such a thing as a tesseract

Long before Harry, there were Meg and Charles Wallace, kid lit heroes for the ages. I've just read that Madeleine L'Engle, the author of the indescribably brilliant "Wrinkle in Time" series, has passed away at 88. I must have read those books a hundred times as a kid. God, they were amazing. In many ways "A Wind in the Door" is my favorite. I loved the cherubim, Proginoskes.

I still have my original editions, as a matter of fact. I cannot wait for the Peanut to read them.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

My feelings exactly

This is brilliant -- both the diary and the many very insightful comments. I see I'm not the only one staying up nights.

Stay, Larry, stay!!!!

This is completely fabulous, for a number of reasons:

A: The longer Wide Stance Larry hangs around, clinging desperately to his Senate seat, the longer the cable teevee goofiness will continue, which means way less attention paid to the official lying about how awesomely the "surge" is going in Iraq, and

2: Should he somehow remain in office long enough to make it to the next election, it will give us the opportunity to pick up a Senate seat in freaking Idaho. Somewhere, Karl Rove is weeping.

Also, Larry gets bonus sheer-unadulterated-wackiness points for hiring Michael Vick's lawyer. (Because nothing says class like an association with a guy who electrocutes animals for fun.) At moments like this, I desperately regret leaving the newspaper business. Think of the snarky headline-writing opportunities!