Monthly Archives: July 2004

A wonderful, sappy feeling

I was going to write about politics now but I am still too much under the spell of the events of the weekend. We (me, my dad and my uncles) threw a three-day party for 50 guests from around the country in honor of my grandparents’ 60th anniversary and my grandmother’s 80th birthday. I did a lot of the planning and logistics, and leading up to it I my mind was too occupied with the details to think much about the significance of the event and what I felt about it. The reception on Friday went off fine, with a few glitches. The lunch on Saturday in Chinatown went less well,

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A familiar, distressing feeling

You know when you’re connected to both parties in a conflict, and you can see each side totally clearly, but neither side can see what the other sees and you can’t explain the other’s viewpoint to either side? It’s so frustrating. It feels initially like you’ve been given this vantage point so that you can help solve the problem, but as time goes on and you realize things aren’t getting better at all, you start to wonder if your attempts to translate are helping or hurting.

My mother and my sister don’t communicate well, or almost at all. I understand pretty clearly why each of them feels the way they do, but I can’t help them, and it feels crappy. I love them both so much.

Complaint letter

My sister, who teaches school online to kids who aren’t in school for one reason or another, assigned her kids complaint letters as part of their business writing curriculum. They had to identify some product or service they’d used which didn’t perform properly and write to the company asking persuasively for compensation. One kid got a case of Shout, a certificate for dry cleaning, and a credit to a sporting goods store for his letter about how Shout didn’t get the grass stains out. If it didn’t get the grass stains out in the first place, what the hell is he gonna do with a case of it? I want this kid to write my letter to Cingular, about the hours of my life I’ll never get back trying to get a replacement phone out of them. After over 2 hours on the phone, they sent me a replacement that’s…you guessed it, broken.

Baby talk

Clementine says “boobie” now and points to my chest. When it’s inconvenient to admit this, I pretend she’s saying “baby,” but mostly I think it’s hysterical and encourage this behavior.

A Nice Evening

Certain issues in politics and the media have been weighing on my mind lately (in fact, driving me a little crazy), but I have my father’s entire family, plus friends of my grandparents, in town from all over the country, and I am reminded of my grandmother’s sign on the wall at our most recent family reunion-type event that read: “Discussing politics accomplished nothing and can ruin a nice evening.” So while my family is in town, I will respect that sentiment and focus on enjoying the company of our 50 guests, who have travelled so far to celebrate my grandparents. The first event of the weekend went off well tonight; two more get-togethers tomorrow and then the AIDS Walk on Sunday. Then I will throw off the good girl mantle and rant a bit.

Book club naughty

I am on page 109 of a 618 page book that my book club is discussing tomorrow. What’s my excuse? I…
a) thought I was going to have 2 more days of childcare recently that I didn’t get
b) thought the book club was on Tuesday
c) failed to realize that this book completely defies speed reading
d) just started my weblog and am posting to this instead of reading
e) all of the above.

Sorry guys, I suck.

BTW, the book is Sometimes a Great Notion by Ken Kesey, which Chris was sure was called Sometimes a Great Nation. It’s a rich, dense book that I think I will end up liking, but it’s clear that Ken Kesey did a LOT of drugs and might have benefitted from some restraint at some point in his life.

More on grandma

This is my Grandma Esther in 1958. Compare with recent picture.


Clem and I are doing the SF AIDS Walk next Sunday, July 18th. We are walking in honor of my grandmother’s 80th birthday and her and grandpa’s 60th anniversary. We’ve got 50 people coming in from Arizona, Oklahoma, New York, Wisconsin, Chicago, Texas, etc for a weekend of partying, and about 10 of us (including grandma and grandpa!) are doing the AIDS Walk on Sunday. Here’s a picture of Clementine and her great-grandma. Yes, I know she looks 40, not 80. It’s weird. My dad’s the same way. He looks 35. And John Edwards. It’s Dorian Gray nation here.

Writing letters for the MMOB

I went to a letter-writing party this Friday hosted by Mainstreet Moms Opposed to Bush, or the MMOB. We wrote to single working moms in heavily democratic districts and included voter registration info. I hand wrote four letters in about 45 mintues. I got a handcramp. The statistics are compelling: if unmarried women had voted in the same numbers as married women in 2000, they would have added 6 million predominantly progressive votes. The 2000 election was “won” by 527 votes. (well, stolen, but you catch my drift). So, I’m going to commit to writing 100 letters to women through the MMOB, but I’m going to print the fucking things. I know people who hand wrote upwards of 600 letters to voters in Iowa for the Dean campaign, and I just have to ask if the dubious advantage of hand written over printed (I will still sign personally and hand address the envelopes) was worth the carpal tunnel syndrome risk. So, if you’d like to donate to my letter-writing campaign, please send toner cartridges for the HP5550 printer (including the color cartridge; I am going to include a color picture of me and Clementine at the top of the page.)