Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Uncertain

So, as you all know, I'm back to walking at least two hours a day at least four times a week. And it's having an expected but unlooked-for and undesired effect: I have lost some weight.

Which, not surprisingly, has been noticed.

What do I say when people comment on it?

I'd like to say, "I didn't mean to."

I'd like to say, "It's not what I intended."

I'd like to say, "It's not surprising given I'm walking at least two hours a day at least four times a week."

What do I say?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Monday morning summing-up.

Friday: Volunteering at son's school; work; faculty soft-ball game at son's school. Good time was had by all.

Saturday: Rain. Rainy rainy rain. Grocery shopping. Dinner at Jimmy's Old Town Tavern (aka host of the event for which I'm still awaiting pictures)

Sunday: Doorsdoorsdoorsdoorsdoors. DOOOOORS. Including the sighting of many of our yard signs at doors I had not yet knocked myself. I love spotting our yard signs in the wild.

This morning: Volunteering at son's school. Back at work.

Link of the day: Blue Commonwealth's interview with Mr. Spock.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Yesterday's doors

Were phenomenal. I only did a few (started late and had several long conversations), but each contact was one of beauty. Here are the top three of the night:

  1. The Donor. Terrifically nice man who I actually spoke to on the phone a couple of weeks ago. He gave me a check for $51.00, took two yard signs, and promised to work on his next-door neighbor.
  2. The Volunteer. He already had our yard signs up all over his yard. I admired what he's done with his house and schmoozed for a bit.
  3. The Guy With Our Opponent's Sign. Turns out he took it because the high school kid who knocked on his door was so nice. He promised to take one of ours as well. Took a bumper sticker, too. Promised to take a Deeds/Wagner/Shannon sign. He hates McDonnell and was appalled that our opponent voted to restrict women's access to birth control.

I love me my doors. LOVE MY DOORS.

Monday, September 21, 2009

I've lost count.

Sorry. The doors haven't been counted in a while. I know I knocked something like 150 in a group yesterday. Today I did...what...thirty? More? I just don't know.

I have 10 left in that pack. Ran out of daylight. I'll do 'em tomorrow and start a new pack of 69.

I've given out yard signs! And bumper stickers! And found volunteers! Four people at the event Wednesday were there because I recruited them at their doors or while they were out walking their dogs. As were a few at the event Sunday. I love coming in to the office and finding people who've come in because I sent them there from my walks.

Today started out beautifully (volunteering in MM's class), and had a really rotten center, but the doors were refreshing and so was reading Chapter 4 of Elizabeth Enright's Gone Away Lake to MM at bedtime.

How's by you?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The way my mind works

I was reading this beautiful post, on Uterine Wars, and choking up, trying not to sob out loud (at work) when I suddenly got this song stuck in my head.






And I'll write about it later, when I can come up with more descriptive words than AWESOME!!! and FANTASTIC!!!, but if you're curious, here is a write-up on last night's shindig.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Governor! The Governor!

He's hosting a party for Mr. Spock. Tonight!!! I am so nervous and excited and did I mention nervous?

I am wearing this dress and a necklace my mom gave me.

Did I tell you how nervous and excited I am?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Thumbs-up

Muffin Man gets out of the car and slides the door shut, peers in the window to look for my thumbs-up to show that he closed it properly, and heads on into school.

That last look into the car comes with a thumbs-up of his own and it is the image I carry with me all day. His sweet grown-up baby face, his tiny little huge hand.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Out of a Clear Blue Sky

Lorisa Ceylon Taylor, Age 31, Died 09/11/2001

A "happy woman, always laughing", a dancer, an athlete, a good friend, "full of life". She and her husband had been married ten years and a day when the planes hit the buildings. Their anniversary had been celebrated the Saturday before with an evening of dancing.The evening of the actual anniversary, the 10th of September, they celebrated quietly at home with their three daughters.

The morning of the 11th, Lorisa kissed her husband and children goodbye and took the train from Flatbush to her job at Marsh & McLennan on the 94th floor of the North Tower. Her mother rode the train with her.

She is sorely missed by all who knew her. Her daughters live part-time with their grandmother, who lives nearby their dad. A story from the NYTimes says,
Mr. Taylor said that leaving them with Mrs. Dunbar allowed his grieving mother-in-law "to hold onto a little of what she lost," while giving him "time to myself and to hang with my friends." She agreed. She craved the children's presence, she said, because they were "a piece of Lorisa," and the tasks of caring for them kept her from sinking into despair.


I got my information for this post from The New York Times (via globalaging.org), the Tribute Page for Lorisa Taylor, Legacy.com, and CNN's memorial page.




I've done this before.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The Speech I Took With Me to Alexandria

I didn't say exactly this, 'cause I tried not to look at the paper much and only had three minutes, but here is what I prepared after seeing Obama's speech to students yesterday (the stuff in italics is what I didn't say, though I brought it up later when McDonnell's Thesis came up):

Thank you for letting me come and speak to you all tonight. I'm so glad to be here representing my husband, Stevens Miller, in his race against Tom Rust for the House of Delegates.

I'm not sure how many of you watched Obama's speech to school children today. I know my son didn't get to see it today, but we're gonna fix that*.

What struck me most about the speech was how much it took from last year's campaign. Obama's message was not "Yes I can". It was, "Yes WE can."

And the school speech was the same. It is the government's, and parents, and teacher's responsibility to make learning as accessible to all as possible, but it is each individual student's responsibilty to take charge of their own education and not let any opportunity pass them by.

Which led me to think about this year's campaign. Are we, each of us, doing what we can help turn Virginia blue? Are we, each of us, doing what we can to make sure that we're not stuck in a nightmare situation where we've got Backwards Bob McDonnell as Governor, Bolling as Lt. Gov, Crazy Cuccinelli as Atty General, and they're backed up by a right-wing republican House of Delegates?

I don't know how many of you know Delegate Tom Rust. I know that on my canvasses - and I'm a canvassing addict - I love me my doors - I keep meeting people who are strong Democrats who think they know Tom Rust. But then I ask them, have you looked at his voting record? And the answer comes back "No." And I say, "Do you think Pharmacists and doctors should be able to refuse to fill prescriptions for birth control pills for adult women?" And they always say, "No." and I say, "Well Rust does. He voted to allow Pharmacists and doctors to refuse
to fill those prescriptions."


And that's before I talk about the Rust/Albo Abusive drivers fees and the voting down of Obama's $125 Million in stimulus money and the broken promise to parents of autistic children.

Every door I've knocked, every person I've spoken to, has made a difference. I can see it. I can feel it.

And I need your help. I need each of you, Each. Of. You. to take responsibility for how this election turns out. I need you to set a goal for yourself. Twenty doors a day. Call two friends to go canvassing with you this weekend. Make 10 phone calls. If you can't walk or call, bring food to a phone bank or bottled water to the start of a canvass. Donate money to buy bumperstickers. Agree to take a bumpersticker and a yard sign. Convince your friends and neighbors to do the same. Promise yourself you will do one thing each week. One thing. to ensure we win**.



*It's fixed. LCPS will show the video to every school child unless their parents opt out.

**I may have finished up by saying, "Dammit! We CANNOT lose this thing!"

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The really fun parts

Not everything about being Teh Candidate's Spouse is fun, but some parts are truly over-the-top fun, and tonight is one of those.

What does Teh Candidate do if zie needs to be in two places, making two speeches, at the same time? Hir Campaign Manager sends Teh Spouse to do one of them*.

And that's me!

So tonight, I'm going to deliver a speech to the Alexandria Democrats. If you happen to be in or near the Alexandria Democrats meeting tonight, come and say hi!

I'm pretty sure I'm gonna talk about doors and the fact that our opponent ain't the moderate he's pretending to be. I may mix in a bit about Obama's address to school children. I will definitely say something about how cool it is to live in this moment in this Commonwealth.

*Actually, this occurs only when we can get a sitter. Which we could tonight. I'm looking forward to it!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

The Superintendent of our schools has a history

A history of censorship in the face of controversy. And he's doing it again. He's decided that President Obama's speech won't be shown to our county's public school students. While I would not condemn him out of hand for deciding not to broadcast it on the first day of school, the thing that gets me steamed is this:
Since this is a webcast, principals or teachers may elect to retrieve the speech at a later time and with the preparation or related activities appropriate for students at your school level.
Which means he's not just saying, "this is disruptive for the first day of school." He's saying, whether we show it at all or not is a function of how loud parents scream at their principals and teachers.

This is cowardly. And it's wrong. Here's an excerpt of a letter I wrote to our Superintendent and the Chairman of the School Board:
An address on the importance of education, staying in school, and taking responsibility for doing as well as one can in school is an important one. Especially when that address comes from the son of a single mother who got to where he is through hard work and dedication to his school work...

I do understand that the first day back at school is a busy one, that there is confusion on all fronts and that another day might be more convenient for showing the address. If that is the only reason LCPS will not be showing the message in real-time then please announce immediately which day it will be shown to all students in every school, otherwise it will appear that we have another instance of [the case of three flightless waterfowl].
Seriously, the taxpayers of Loudoun County have provided televisions for every room of every school. The auditoriums each have projectors and large screens. All the schools have at least 2 of those fancy electronic white boards. How hard is it to pause the day to show a speech on the importance of education given by a man who embodies that sentiment?

And that is why I tweeted this yesterday:
I pledge allegience to the flag of the United States of America & to the Republic for which it stands but don't show me the President
Having said all that, I should just have said, "Yeah! What SHE said!" And also, "Yeah! What HE said!" (ht SewCreative who commented on a post on Our Loudoun Schools)

Friday, September 04, 2009