Saturday, November 08, 2008

Christmas is coming
And I'm sure you're scrambling for gift ideas. In an effort to be extremely helpful, here are two suggestions. First is this lovely Sumo Wrestler table. Suitable for any decor (in a house owned by a blind person) it features a glass top supported by a crouching wrestler (complete with extra large butt hanging out). Imagine the look on your mother's face when she unwraps this beauty.

Mom not a sports fan? Perhaps she likes movies. Show her your love with this homage to the most famous movie mother of all.

It's too bad my mom has a shower door and not a shower curtain.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Anybody want a kitty?
My mom has decided she doesn't want to keep Lily/Glory. She's a very sweet cat but very shy and she spends most of her time hiding under large pieces of furniture. My mom isn't the most patient of pet owners and keeps looking for her, rather than leaving her alone to come out when she's ready. So she wants to give her up.

I just don't have the heart to take her back to the Humane Society so we're going to try her here with Cipher But we're not too certain that will work out. Cipher's a pretty rambunctious cat -- not the best companion for a kitty that's afraid of an 84 year old woman. Plus we just adore Cipher and don't want her to be unhappy sharing her life with an upstart. Since we're naturally a bit concerned, I thought I'd ask if any of my friends would be interested in a little furball. So if anybody is in the market for a new pet, please let me know.

She's a really lovely animal. Small and charming. I've always found her to be rather affectionate -- she seems to love my lap. I think she'll be a great animal for someone who doesn't mind being patient with a shy little critter who just needs a good home and a loving owner. I feel responsible for her since I took my mom to adopt her and I also feel very protective of this cute little thing that completely endeared herself to me. All I want it to know that she's safe and loved.

But since I doubt anyone will raise their hands in the next 24-hours, I hope you'll at least wish us luck. We're going to pick her up tomorrow to introduce her to Cipher. I may never sleep again.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Little House...the XXX version
In order to get out of paying to have the entire Little House on the Prairie series watched and OK'd by the censors in Finland, the distribution company is releasing it as banned for under 18s. At last, we can find out what "Half Pint" was really up to in that hay loft.
Holy no hole, Batman!
Today I had my post-ulcer-diagnosis endoscopy which revealed (drum roll...) that my ulcer is gone!!! (I shall now pause for suitable huzzahs and handsprings.)

The meds have done their magic and my stomach is now intact. I get to cut back on the drugs to every-other day and have to stay off aspirin and Motrin indefinitely, but I'm doing great. I made it through the entire month of October without one episode of zarfing and I honestly haven't felt this good in ages. So, for now at least, I am no longer on the list of the walking wounded.

Ladies and gentlemen, the bitch is back!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Duck and cover
You know it's a weird day when you look out your front window and see this coming towards you.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

An unbelievable night
I cried when I heard the news. I am so proud of every person who voted for Obama. For saying "enough is enough" and voting for change, for hope, and for our future. Never in my life have I ever seen such joy at the outcome of an election. There are tears, there is singing, there is dancing in the street. And, in our house, there is champagne.

Today was an odd day. I have never been so careful filling out a ballot in my life as I was this morning. I slowly clicked through to the name Obama and then just stared at it. I clicked, and stared again. I double-checked to make sure I voted right. I actually checked each line on my ballot before submitting it. Then I checked each line on the paper print-out. Then I went home and began to pace. I couldn't concentrate on anything for more than 5 minutes. I baked brownies (my new passion is baking). I surfed the web. I tried to read my book. I put it down again. I channel surfed on TV. I panicked. I hated that I had to do my radio show tonight because I wanted to stay home.

And I still don't feel like it's real. We made our first donation to Obama the day he announced his candidacy. We've been with him the entire time -- which is usually the kiss of death for our candidate of choice. And we've obsessed, and we've worried, and we've gotten more and more excited about the prospect of this man actually becoming our next president. And now it's real and yet it feels so unreal.

There are rare times in each life where they feel like they are actually part of history. For me I've had two of those. The candlelight vigil in San Francisco after Moscone and Milk were killed, and the AIDS quilt display on the mall in Washington. An now I've had a third moment. I was part of this tidal wave that voted for Obama. I took part in the election that captured the eyes of the world. I was inspired to stand up with everyone who hates where the Bush administration has taken us and did my part to help bring about a victory.

There is no possible way I can be eloquent enough to capture what today has meant for so many. And I know the web will be filled with poetic personal reflections, witty observations, and intelligent commentaries about the day. All I can say is that for the first time in a very, very long time, I am proud to be American.
Happy anniversary
In my continued family tree search I found that my paternal grandparents, Elizabeth and Lloyd, were married 92 years ago today. November 4, 1916.
My New York Times Debut
The NYT has a fascinating gallery of citizen photo-journalists capturing today's election. My photos can be found here and here. It's surprisingly compelling to see how American's have captured their own small parts of history in their snapshots. Everything from lines and actual ballots to more whimsical depictions of the day.

If you haven't voted yet (and why haven't you????) I urge you to take your camera along. (Be careful, though, in some places you're not allowed to photograph the actual polling place.) But there are plenty of opportunities for other types of pictures.
Too scared to sleep
No, not because I watched a scary movie or read some Edgar Allen Poe. I'm too scared to sleep because it's 12:06 am, which means election day is upon us. And I'm terrified. I have so much emotion invested in this one. So many people do. We've given our money, our time, and our passion to make sure that this time, the right guy is actually declared the winner.

There's just so much riding on it. And for those of us in California, it's not just a matter of making sure the right guy (and, therefore, the American people) wins, it's about ensuring marriage equality. It's about voting for fairness and not discrimination - about giving our friends, our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, the right to wear white, throw rice, register at Williams Sonoma and have the same kind of loving, lasting, legal marriage that those of us who "choose" to be heterosexual have.

And so I can't sleep. I'm already counting the hours until I can cast my vote (at a local retirement home where they serve cookies and juice to those of us exercising our democratic rights). And I'm wondering if it's too late to take up God so that I can actually pray that Mister Self-Proclaimed Maverick and Mrs. Scary Mom have a truly awful election day.

Monday, November 03, 2008

About those relatives....
Thanks to the kindness of strangers (or a way long-lost, very distant 15th cousin twice removed) my family tree search has had a breakthrough. It turns out that my great-great grandfather and her great-grandfather were brothers. She's done a fair amount of research and thanks to her contacting me and sharing that research I'm now back to one set of great-great-great grandparents.

Unfortunately that leads me to yet another dead end all the way around. I've searched and searched, in vain, for the next set of ancestors in all directions and haven't had any luck. But I have found a few mysteries. For example, who was Jeanette? According to one document she was the daughter of my grandparent -- but my mother never mentioned having a sister named Jeanette. I have her listed as having been born in Canada in 1911 and dying in Detroit in 1952. My mother was born in Michigan in 1924. But in the 1920 census there's no record of a Jeanette living with my what happened to her? She obviously didn't die young. In fact, the record shows she married and had 3 sons. Is she my mother's sister? Did I find a record for another Frederick & Violet Campbell (not my grandparents) that have led me down the wrong path?

It's a fascinating search, and wildly frustrating. Where do I go when every road leads nowhere? On one side I have a John Campbell coming over from Scotland in the early 1800s. Unfortunately every other man who came over from Scotland was named John Campbell and there's no telling which one was my g-g-g-grandfather. On three other sides I have families whose names nobody knows how to spell. For one family alone (my paternal grandmother's) I've found no fewer than 7 different spellings of a last name.

So I dig on. Frustrated, but fascinated. I just wish it were a bit easier...