Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Rumsfeld given the boot!

Looks like Bu$hCo has already started cleaning house. Hey Rummy, don't let the door hit you on the way out now, ya hear?

Me wonders: Will Dick Cheney now develop a health problem and be replaced for the last two years? One can only dream...

P.S. Expect to see even more shakeups at even higher levels in this administration as Little Boots becomes further unhinged.

Friday, November 03, 2006

808 days (and counting)

OK, so sometimes I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed but how can ANYONE compare John Kerry’s idiotic “botched joke” with the unwavering statement of support George W. Bush gave Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld the other day when he said he was going to keep Rumsfeld in office until the end of his term. Yes, Kerry is an idiot and hopefully this incident has sunk any plan of his to run again in 2008 but Rumsfeld’s foreign policy is the worst in our nation’s history and yet Bush supports Rumsfeld and bashes Kerry.

Over 100 U.S. service people have died in Iraq just in October alone and Bush has the audacity to crisscross the country using worn-out scare tactics like telling voters not to vote for the Democrats because “they don’t have a plan to win the war in Iraq” (or claiming that the terrorists win if Democrats are elected to Congress). HELLO? What is YOUR plan to win in Iraq Mr. President? After all, you and your cronies are responsible for getting the United States into this mess!

John Kerry is yesterday but we are stuck with Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld for another two years. God help us.

Interesting View of Diversity

Diversity adulation
By Walter E. Williams

There are some ideas so ludicrous and mischievous
that only an academic would take them seriously. One
of them is diversity. Think about it. Are you for or against diversity?
When's the last time you said to yourself, "I'd better have a little more
diversity in my life"? What would you think if you heard a Microsoft
director tell his fellow board members that the company should have
more diversity and manufacture kitchenware, children's clothing
and shoes? You'd probably think the director was smoking something illegal.

Our institutions of higher learning take diversity seriously and
make it a multimillion-dollar operation. Juilliard School has a
director of diversity and inclusion; Massachusetts Institute of
Technology has a manager of diversity recruitment;
Toledo University, an associate dean for diversity; the
universities of Harvard, Texas A&M, California at Berkeley,
Virginia and many others boast of officers,
deans, vice-presidents and perhaps ministers of diversity.

George Leef, director of the John W. Pope Center for
Higher Education Policy in Raleigh, N.C., writes about this
in an article titled "Some Questions about Diversity" in
the Oct. 5 issue of "Clarion Call." Mr. Leef suggests that only
in academia is diversity pursued for its own sake, but there's
a problem: Everyone, even if they are the same ethnicity,
nationality or religion, is different. Suppose two people are
from the same town in Italy. They might differ in many important
respects: views on morality, religious and political beliefs,
recreation preferences and other characteristics.

Mr. Leef says that some academics see diversity as a
requirement for social justice -- to right historical wrongs.
The problem here is that if you go back far enough, all groups
have suffered some kind of historical wrong.
The Irish can point to injustices at the hands of the British,
Jews at the hands of Nazis, Chinese at the hands of Indonesians,
and Armenians at the hands of the Turks. Of course, black Americans
were enslaved, but slavery is a condition that has been with mankind
throughout most of history. In fact, long before blacks were
enslaved, Europeans were enslaved. The word slavery comes
from Slavs, referring to the Slavic people, who were early slaves.
White Americans, captured by the Barbary pirates, were enslaved
at one time or another. Whites were indentured servants in colonial
America. So what should the diversity managers do about these

When academics call for diversity, they're really talking about
racial preferences for particular groups of people, mainly blacks.
The last thing they're talking about is intellectual diversity.
According to a recent national survey, reported by the American
Council of Trustees and Alumni in "Intellectual Diversity," 72 percent
of college professors describe themselves as liberal and 15 percent
conservative. Liberal professors think their classrooms should be
used to promote a political agenda. The University of California
recently abandoned a provision on academic freedom that cautioned
against using the classroom for propaganda. The president said
the regulation was "outdated."

Americans, as taxpayers and benefactors, have been
exceedingly generous to our institutions of higher learning.
That generosity has been betrayed. Rich Americans, who
acquired their wealth through our capitalist system, give billions
to universities. Unbeknownst to them, much of that money often
goes to faculty members and programs that are openly hostile to
donor values. Universities have also failed in their function of
the pursuit of academic excellence by having dumbed
down classes and granting degrees to students who are just
barely literate and computationally incompetent.

What's part of Williams' solution? Benefactors should stop
giving money to universities that engage in racist diversity policy.
Simply go to the university's website, and if you find offices of
diversity, close your pocketbook. There's nothing like the sound
of pocketbooks snapping shut to open the closed minds of administrators.

Dr. Williams serves on the faculty of George Mason University
as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and is the
author of More Liberty Means Less Government: Our Founders
Knew This Well.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

From the New York Times...

The Great Divider

As President Bush throws himself into the final days of a particularly nasty campaign season, he’s settled into a familiar pattern of ugly behavior. Since he can’t defend the real world created by his policies and his decisions, Mr. Bush is inventing a fantasy world in which to campaign on phony issues against fake enemies.

In Mr. Bush’s world, America is making real progress in Iraq. In the real world, as Michael Gordon reported in yesterday’s Times, the index that generals use to track developments shows an inexorable slide toward chaos. In Mr. Bush’s world, his administration is marching arm in arm with Iraqi officials committed to democracy and to staving off civil war. In the real world, the prime minister of Iraq orders the removal of American checkpoints in Baghdad and abets the sectarian militias that are slicing and dicing their country.

In Mr. Bush’s world, there are only two kinds of Americans: those who are against terrorism, and those who somehow are all right with it. Some Americans want to win in Iraq and some don’t. There are Americans who support the troops and Americans who don’t support the troops. And at the root of it all is the hideously damaging fantasy that there is a gulf between Americans who love their country and those who question his leadership.

Mr. Bush has been pushing these divisive themes all over the nation, offering up the ludicrous notion the other day that if Democrats manage to control even one house of Congress, America will lose and the terrorists will win. But he hit a particularly creepy low when he decided to distort a lame joke lamely delivered by Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts. Mr. Kerry warned college students that the punishment for not learning your lessons was to “get stuck in Iraq.” In context, it was obviously an attempt to disparage Mr. Bush’s intelligence. That’s impolitic and impolite, but it’s not as bad as Mr. Bush’s response. Knowing full well what Mr. Kerry meant, the president and his team cried out that the senator was disparaging the troops. It was a depressing replay of the way the Bush campaign Swift-boated Americans in 2004 into believing that Mr. Kerry, who went to war, was a coward and Mr. Bush, who stayed home, was a hero.

It’s not the least bit surprising or objectionable that Mr. Bush would hit the trail hard at this point, trying to salvage his party’s control of Congress and, by extension, his last two years in office. And we’re not na├»ve enough to believe that either party has been running a positive campaign that focuses on the issues.

But when candidates for lower office make their opponents out to be friends of Osama bin Laden, or try to turn a minor gaffe into a near felony, that’s just depressing. When the president of the United States gleefully bathes in the muck to divide Americans into those who love their country and those who don’t, it is destructive to the fabric of the nation he is supposed to be leading.

This is hardly the first time that Mr. Bush has played the politics of fear, anger and division; if he’s ever missed a chance to wave the bloody flag of 9/11, we can’t think of when. But Mr. Bush’s latest outbursts go way beyond that. They leave us wondering whether this president will ever be willing or able to make room for bipartisanship, compromise and statesmanship in the two years he has left in office.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Are you a True American?

Keith slaps down Bu$hCo yet again. Watch the video!

Monday, September 18, 2006

“Rozhinkes Mit Mandlen”

Translation: "Almonds & Raisins," a Yiddish expression meaning to take the bitter (almonds) along with the sweet (raisins), the good with the bad.

· August 12th my family gathered to scatter the ashes of my Father
· September 7th my oldest brother was diagnosed with cancer of the stomach
· September 17th we celebrated my Mom’s 75th birthday.

Sitting at dinner last night, I was overcome with bittersweet emotion: many of the people gathered to share and celebrate Mom’s birthday were also gathered around the table August 12th sharing memories of Dad; my oldest brother was with us by cell phone as he could not be with us in person.

“Almonds & raisins” best describes my life right now.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Thanks Keith

Full Transcript:

And lastly tonight a Special Comment on why we are here. Half a lifetime ago, I worked in this now-empty space. And for 40 days after the attacks, I worked here again, trying to make sense of what happened, and was yet to happen, as a reporter.
And all the time, I knew that the very air I breathed contained the remains of thousands of people, including four of my friends, two in the planes and — as I discovered from those "missing posters" seared still into my soul — two more in the Towers. And I knew too, that this was the pyre for hundreds of New York policemen and firemen, of whom my family can claim half a dozen or more, as our ancestors.

I belabor this to emphasize that, for me… this was, and is, and always shall be, personal. And anyone who claims that I and others like me are "soft", or have "forgotten" the lessons of what happened here — is at best a grasping, opportunistic, dilettante — and at worst, an idiot — whether he is a commentator, or a Vice President, or a President.

However. Of all the things those of us who were here five years ago could have forecast — of all the nightmares that unfolded before our eyes, and the others that unfolded only in our minds… none of us could have predicted…this.
Five years later this space… is still empty.
Five years later there is no Memorial to the dead.
Five years later there is no building rising to show with proud defiance that we would not have our America wrung from us, by cowards and criminals.
Five years later this country’s wound is still open.
Five years… later this country’s mass grave is still unmarked.
Five years later… this is still… just a background for a photo-op.
It is beyond shameful.

At the dedication of the Gettysburg Memorial — barely four months after the last soldier staggered from another Pennsylvania field, Mr. Lincoln said "we can not dedicate - we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract." Lincoln used those words to immortalize their sacrifice.

Today our leaders could use those same words to rationalize their reprehensible inaction. "We can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground." So we won’t. Instead they bicker and buck-pass. They thwart private efforts, and jostle to claim credit for initiatives that go nowhere. They spend the money on irrelevant wars, and elaborate self-congratulations, and buying off columnists to write how good a job they’re doing — instead of doing any job at all.

Five years later, Mr. Bush… we are still fighting the terrorists on these streets. And look carefully, sir — on these 16 empty acres, the terrorists… are clearly, still winning. And, in a crime against every victim here and every patriotic sentiment you mouthed but did not enact, you have done nothing about it.

And there is something worse still than this vast gaping hole in this city, and in the fabric of our nation. There is, its symbolism — of the promise unfulfilled, the urgent oath, reduced to lazy execution. The only positive on 9/11 and the days and weeks that so slowly and painfully followed it… was the unanimous humanity, here, and throughout the country. The government, the President in particular, was given every possible measure of support.
Those who did not belong to his party — tabled that.
Those who doubted the mechanics of his election — ignored that.
Those who wondered of his qualifications — forgot that.

History teaches us that nearly unanimous support of a government cannot be taken away from that government, by its critics. It can only be squandered by those who use it not to heal a nation’s wounds, but to take political advantage. Terrorists did not come and steal our newly-regained sense of being American first, and political, fiftieth. Nor did the Democrats. Nor did the media. Nor did the people. The President — and those around him — did that. They promised bi-partisanship, and then showed that to them, "bi-partisanship" meant that their party would rule and the rest would have to follow, or be branded, with ever-escalating hysteria, as morally or intellectually confused; as appeasers; as those who, in the Vice President’s words yesterday, "validate the strategy of the terrorists."

They promised protection, and then showed that to them "protection" meant going to war against a despot whose hand they had once shaken… a despot who we now learn from our own Senate Intelligence Committee, hated Al-Qaeda as much as we did.

The polite phrase for how so many of us were duped into supporting a war, on the false premise that it had ’something to do’ with 9/11, is "lying by implication."

The impolite phrase, is "impeachable offense."

Not once in now five years has this President ever offered to assume responsibility for the failures that led to this empty space… and to this, the current, curdled, version of our beloved country. Still, there is a last snapping flame from a final candle of respect and fairness: even his most virulent critics have never suggested he alone bears the full brunt of the blame for 9/11. Half the time, in fact, this President has been so gently treated, that he has seemed not even to be the man most responsible — for anything — in his own administration.

Yet what is happening this very night? A mini-series, created, influenced — possibly financed by — the most radical and cold of domestic political Machiavellis, continues to be televised into our homes.

The documented truths of the last fifteen years are replaced by bald-faced lies; the talking points of the current regime parroted; the whole sorry story blurred, by spin, to make the party out of office seem vacillating and impotent, and the party in office, seem like the only option.

How dare you, Mr. President, after taking cynical advantage of the unanimity and love, and transmuting it into fraudulent war and needless death… after monstrously transforming it into fear and suspicion and turning that fear into the campaign slogan of three elections… how dare you or those around you… ever "spin" 9/11.

Just as the terrorists have succeeded — are still succeeding — as long as there is no memorial and no construction here at Ground Zero…So too have they succeeded, and are still succeeding — as long as this government uses 9/11 as a wedge to pit Americans against Americans.

This is an odd point to cite a television program, especially one from March of 1960. But as Disney’s continuing sell-out of the truth (and this country) suggests, even television programs can be powerful things.

And long ago, a series called "The Twilight Zone" broadcast a riveting episode entitled "The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street." In brief: a meteor sparks rumors of an invasion by extra-terrestrials disguised as humans. The electricity goes out. A neighbor pleads for calm. Suddenly his car — and only his car — starts. Someone suggests he must be the alien. Then another man’s lights go on. As charges and suspicion and panic overtake the street, guns are inevitably produced. An "alien" is shot — but he turns out to be just another neighbor, returning from going for help.

The camera pulls back to a near-by hill, where two extra-terrestrials areseen, manipulating a small device that can jam electricity. The veteran tells his novice that there’s no need to actually attack, that you just turn off a few of the human machines and then, "they pick the most dangerous enemy they can find, and it’s themselves." And then, in perhaps his finest piece of writing, Rod Serling sums it up with words of remarkable prescience, given where we find ourselves tonight:
"The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices - to be found only in the minds of men."

For the record, prejudices can kill and suspicion can destroy, and a thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all its own — for the children, and the children yet unborn.

When those who dissent are told time and time again — as we will be, if not tonight by the President, then tomorrow by his portable public chorus — that he is preserving our freedom, but that if we use any of it, we are somehow un-American…

When we are scolded, that if we merely question, we have "forgotten the lessons of 9/11"… look into this empty space behind me and the bi-partisanship upon which this administration also did not build, and tell me:
Who has left this hole in the ground?
We have not forgotten, Mr. President.
You have.
May this country forgive you.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


So now there's Islamofascism. Can we can also use Christofascists, Hebrewfascists, Hindufascists, Buddafascists, Taofascists? Can we break them down by sect? How about Catholfascists? Baptifascists? Episcofascists? JehovahWitnofascists? Hey, this is fun!

But seriously, the major problem I see with the term "Islamofascism" is that it lumps together groups with very different objectives and methods of operation. For example: al-Qaeda is a Sunni group that uses terrorist tactics in its pursuit of restoring the Caliphate. Hezbollah is a Shite organization which has created a functioning mini-state within Lebanon. Hamas is a Sunni group that is focused strictly on the Palestine situation. The Taliban are an uniquely Afghan group that has more to do with Pashtun tribalism than Islam. And there are dozens of other Islamic groups that sometimes use terrorism but have no connection with each other. How does lumping all of these groups under one label help us to defeat them?

Early Warning Signs of Fascism

1. A powerful and continuing nationalism
2. Disdain for Human Rights
3. Identification of enemies as a unifying cause
4. Supremacy of the military
5. Rampant sexism
6. Controlled mass media
7. Obsession with national security
8. Religion and government intertwined
9. Corporate power protected
10. Labor Power Suppressed
11. Disdain for intellectuals and the arts
12. Obsession with crime and punishment
13. Rampant cronyism & corruption
14. Fraudlent elections

Perhaps Bu$hCo is just trying to justify it's actions by "demonizing" its enemies. Or maybe it's a strictly emotional term meant for the incredibly large number of people who depend on cliches and catch-phrases as substitutes for thinking.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Pluto Voted Off the Island

Talk about no respect. It seems the International Astronomical Union decided yesterday that Pluto no longer makes the grade under their new rules for what constitutes a planet: "a celestial body that is in orbit around the sun, has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a ... nearly round shape, and has cleared the neighborhood around its orbit." I mean COME ON, no celestial body is perfect!

Pluto has had planetary status since its discovery in 1930 (think of the millions of textbooks, exhibits and planetarium shows that will need to be changed, not to mention having to abandon my elementary school mnemonic for remembering the names of the 9 planets: “My Very Earnest Mother Just Served Us Nine Pickles” - Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto--pretty good, eh?). Does Mickey Mouse now have to change the name of his dog to Uranus? Actually, the dog debuted in 1930 as Rover, dog to Minnie Mouse. But Mickey and the dog hit it off, Rover became Pluto in honor of the planet, and Mickey became his master.

Now the IAU has decided (in their infinite wisdom) that The-Planet-Formerly-Known-As-Pluto be reclassified in to a new category called: “dwarf planets,” previously called “minor planets” (and to add insult to injury, not even capitalized). Who died and made these guys boss?

Well, Pluto, from one little girl who helped her Dad build a backyard telescope in the early 1960’s and spent many a wondrous evening exploring the heavens, I want you to know that some of us will always think planet size doesn’t matter.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Prudhoe Bay Lesson

I’ve been reading in the JuneauEmpire that the reason behind this scandal is more about internal Alaskan politics. There’s a nasty gubernatorial race going on right now in Alaska, and the incumbent republican governor Frank Murkowski is probably not going to win the primary on August 22nd. The biggest reason being a backroom deal he made with the oil companies for a new tax structure on the oil they take out of the state. This “deal” cut the Alaskan legislature out of the bargaining process and it apparently pissed off a lot of people, even people in his own party have made this the biggest issue of the campaign. The oil companies have also bought a lot of advertising bemoaning how damaging the increased tax (on them) will be to the Alaskan economy. Boooo Hooooo!

My view here from “the lower 48” is that BP is trying to teach us all a lesson: mess with them and they’ll shut down production. Or, as my husband is fond of saying “When you’ve got them by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow.”

Tuesday, August 01, 2006



Is it just me, or does anyone else find it amazing that our government can
track a cow born in Canada almost three years ago, right to the stall
where she sleeps in the state of Washington? And, they tracked her calves
to their stalls. But they are unable to locate 11 million illegal aliens
wandering around our country. Maybe we should give them all a cow.

They keep talking about drafting a Constitution for Iraq. Why don't we
just give them ours? It was written by a lot of really smart guys, it's
worked for over 200 years and we're not using it anymore.

The real reason that we can't have the Ten Commandments in a
courthouse........ You cannot post "Thou Shalt Not Steal," "Thou Shalt Not
Commit Adultery" and "Thou Shall Not Lie" in a building full of lawyers,
judges and politicians -- it creates a hostile work environment.

(sent to me by a friend)

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Write your Senator now!

The Honorable Paul S. Sarbanes
309 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington DC , 20510

Dear Senator Sarbanes,
As a native Marylander and excellent customer of the
Internal Revenue Service, I am writing to ask for your
assistance. I have contacted the Immigration and
Naturalization Service in an effort to determine the process
for becoming an illegal alien and they referred me to you.

My reasons for wishing to change my status from
U.S. Citizen to illegal alien stem from the bill which was
recently passed by the Senate and for which you voted.
If my understanding of this bill's provisions is accurate,
as an illegal alien who has been in the United States for
five years, what I need to do to become a citizen is to pay
a $2,000 fine and income taxes for three of the last five
years. I know a good deal when I see one and I am
anxious to get the process started before everyone figures
it out.

Simply put, those of us who have been here legally have
had to pay taxes every year so I'm excited about the prospect
of avoiding two years of taxes in return for paying a $2,000 fine.

Is there any way that I can apply to be illegal retroactively?
This would yield an excellent result for me and my family
because we paid heavy taxes in 2004 and 2005.

Another benefit in gaining illegal status would be that
my daughter would receive preferential treatment relative
to her law school applications.

If you would provide me with an outline of the process
to become illegal (retroactively if possible) and copies of
the necessary forms, I would be most appreciative.
Thank you for your assistance.

Your Loyal Constituent,
Pete McGlaughlin

(emailed to me by a friend; checked out on Snopes)

Monday, July 17, 2006

What if...

Any 8th grader can tell you that by controlling crude oil production, oil companies are artificially keeping gas prices high. Because Americans’ demand for oil is relatively constant with the U.S. economy and consumers dependent on oil, big oil companies can raise prices and we “hostages” will continue to buy at whatever price they set. (I mean, REALLY, what other choice to we have?)

This got me to thinking: What if Bu$hCo invaded Iraq not to acquire oil, but to stop it from getting here in the first place? We know the war is definitely about oil, but what if the original plan was not to actually bring the oil to the U.S., but instead to stop the flow of oil to decrease supplies and keep prices high? Who profits the most?

Anyway, in the long run, if oil prices remain at their current levels, a financial disaster is inevitable. Interest rates will rise (as they already are) and Americans will have to choose between paying their rent or putting gas in their cars.

Friday, July 14, 2006

If America were Iraq...

"If America were Iraq, what would it be like." This may have been originally written in Sept 2004 but it's sure still relevant today. Goes to show, some things never change.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

"This is America, please order in English."

Joey Vento of Geno's Steaks in South Philadelphia had the audacity to put a sign in his establishment's window that simply said "This is America, please order in English." Since when did it become a hostile act to express that you prefer to conduct routine business in English? Why is it that simply suggesting it would be better for all concerned if we spoke the same language such a major controversy?

Could it be because many of today's immigrants are coddled into believing they don't need to adapt to their new country's ways, customs and language? After all, they are taught in bilingual schools. They listen to radio stations in their own language. They watch television programs in their native tongue. The crux of the problem is that there is no urgency for assimilation, even though it has been proven over and over again that without assimilation only limited success is achievable in any culture.

In another time, no one would have thought twice about such a sign. Then again, in another time, the sign would not be needed. Only in America.

Flag Burning

If forced to choose between protecting the flag and protecting the Constitution, I’d choose the latter. I'm not a flag burner. I don't plan to burn the flag. I view flag desecration as a harmless, if obnoxious, form of protest. I even agree with people who say that flag burning is ineffective, misdirected, or "improper."

The problem is that we can't pass and enforce laws against flag burning unless we modify the US Constitution and remove an important part of the First Amendment. Supreme Court rulings have upheld that flag desecration is a form of political speech that should be protected by our Constitution. I agree. We do not need to amend the Bill of Rights to show our respect for the flag. Simply put, flag burning may destroy the flag, but an amendment to protect it would forever damage what it stands for.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Lemming Inspired Me

Today my horoscope says:

"People are saying one thing and doing another -- but hold your judgment on them. The only way to get what you know you deserve is to take a chance, no matter how enormous it seems. You can do this, so have some faith in yourself. While it may spook you, it'll be worth it in the end."


I've never been much of a risk taker. As I said in my first-ever blog post, I am fairly intense and analyze most everything to death. This is not the same as not being able to make a decision, I make decisions fairly quickly since I pretty much know what I want, like and dislike, etc. I just wasn't born with the gene they now say makes you a risk-taker or a "thrill-seeker." I see no sense in jumping out of a perfectly good airplane or rafting down raging whitewater. I have paddled soundlessly in my canoe through nearby sloughs and have crouched in wetland grasses with binocculars just to get a peek at a Snowy Egret or a Cinnamon Teal.

I'll have to mull over what chance it is I should take.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

An Iraqi Dentist named Zeyad

Even though I did not want my blog to become a political one, I cannot contain myself any longer. This is an Iraqi man living the horror and writing about it

Read the 10/17/03 beginning and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Things my Dad always said:

"Pears make you pretty" (so I ate a lot of pears)

"Eating/Doing --fill-in-the-blank-- grows hair on your chest" (whenever he didn't want me to eat or do something)

"Tastes like more" (when anything tasted excellent)

"It'll sure feel good when it stops hurting" (to make me laugh whenever I got a scrap or a bruise)

"Take one for each hand" (when trying to decide what cookie to choose)

"That's the good kind" (whenever he really liked something)

Next time I'll tell you the story of "Falling Rock, " Dad's version.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

My Father Passed Away 1/4/06

I have read that the death of a parent is a life-shaking event for which few are prepared. I never realized until now how much grief could feel like fear. I know the pain and sadness will eventually go away and I will be courageous and strong once again but it doesn’t mean I won’t continue to hurt from time to time. Some ache will be there forever, that’s just the way it is.

After the Tuesday 8 pm phone call from my brother suggesting we get to Tahoe as soon possible, I lay in my bed and began a silent conversation with my grandparents. I asked them to be there. I asked them to be the first to greet him – the first ones he’d see - when he “passed over.” I asked them for all kinds of favors for my father that night. I could almost imagine the joy at their reunion. When the phone rang again at 1 am and my brother said Dad had passed away about an hour before, I knew immediately that they had heard me. Thank you Nanny and Pop-Pop.

The morning we left for Lake Tahoe, there dawned the most beautiful sunrise I could remember in months, hot pink, flame red, and bright pumpkin orange against a pale, barely blue sky. I remembered that Dad was the one who taught me to see this way and appreciate these things. He gave me my love of nature, the stars, the sea, and the forest. Dad instilled my passion for art, books, learning and education. While gazing at the sunrise, a non-negotiable and excruciating reality hit me: I would never again hear his voice. I felt guilty, like I should have been there sooner so we could talk. But I have a feeling it would have been nothing deeply philosophical, nothing more than 'I love you,' definitely not the answer to all my questions, or the perennial answer to everything. I take comfort in my belief that he will never really be gone. I will have to listen harder but I will still hear him.

During the last years of his life, even before the lung cancer, Dad never let me forget that he was proud of me - not many children receive such a gift. The very last phone call I had with him, he ended the conversation with “I love you very much Cathy.” He said it three times. Now I know why.

There is a Chinese proverb that reads, "You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying overhead, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair." One of my heroes, Eleanor Roosevelt, believed that the true measure of a person was not his or her achievements, but rather the way in which he or she adapted to life's changes. During his younger years, Dad was not an especially happy person; thankfully he found peace and happiness later in life. Regardless of what happened in the past, I count myself lucky to have had him as my father.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

My first entry

OK, so I’m a tad late jumping on the blog bandwagon. As with most everything in my life, I do as much research as possible before making a decision to do (or not do) something. I’m often accused of being too intense (MOI?) For those of you also new to blogging -- HA, I’m already assuming my blog will attract readers-- go here to learn everything you’ll ever need to know about blogging but were afraid to ask --if that’s not intense, I don’t know what is! It’s a good place to learn what the word “disambiguation” means (then use it in sentence to REALLY impress your family & friends).

I was initially inspired by the December 2005 AARP Bulletin (pronounced A-A-R-P) that stated 0.3% of bloggers are age 50 or older Not that I care to reveal my age for all of cyberspace, but let’s say, like the AARP article, I’m an “Older, Wiser Blogger.” I also figured that if "80 years young" Millie Garfield of Swampscott, Massachusetts can do it, then so can I!

Maybe a good place to start is to tell how I decided on my blog’s name. In June 1999, I signed up for a free Yahoo! email account. For anyone who’s an experienced Web/Net surfer, having a unique or distinctive cyberspace moniker is der rigeur (jeez, look it up!) Anyway, when my youngest brother was learning to talk, he had a hard time with the word sister and it came out Sissy. Needless to say, the nickname stuck so when deciding what moniker to use –itsmesissy was taken- I went with “itsmecissy” instead because “c” is the first letter of my real name and because it looks better in print, don’t you think?

Well, I’d say this is a pretty good launch into the blogsphere (that’s a word bound to show up in the dictionary someday) with hopefully more to come.