Friday, September 26, 2008

Takin' hits and takin' names

Well, sorta. Taking hits and not falling...much.

Right at the start of my first full season of roller derby, I am still not entirely sure whether I want to stay with the newbies or get out there with the big girls. So last night at practice, several of the returning skaters, dying to practice hitting, got out on the track. I was left on the edge of our makeshift track, watching the skilled skaters move onto the track and the newer skaters head to the outside. I looked longingly at the safety of the far end of the rink and then thought, "Am I a woman? Hell yes I am!" And braced myself for the carnage to come.

So today, though I have no bruises to show for all the pain and suffering, I see a visit to the chiropractor in my very near future. Thanks a bunch, Bombadee. Derby love to you too.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Why you should never talk politics at a party...

Okay, so I am making a serious effort to stay informed on issues to be better prepared for the presidental elections this year. In addition to standard news sources, I have been reading blogs.

The problem I am having is that people are downright rude and political discussions turn into profanity-laden screaming matches. Now, I enjoy profanity as much as the next bad-ass rollergirl, but not when it is used to cover up the fact that a person has nothing intelligent to contribute to a discussion.

Obviously, tempers are bound to flare when people are discussing deeply held personal beliefs. And, truthfully, I enjoy reading the dissenting opinions--when those opinions are stated clearly and backed up with sound facts. I have learned much in my life from people with whom I have disagreed. Even if my opinion isn't guaranteed to fundamentally change after one of these discussions, listening to a well-reasoned argument always gets me thinking and examining my own beliefs. And that's a good thing.

Unfortunately, it seems to me that everyone is so entrenched in their own fundamental "rightness" that they can't even hear anyone but themselves. For example, an author I admire posted a video clip about Palin's campaign to eliminate wild wolves and bears from Alaska. There were a few intelligent comments on the blog, but most were abusive, misspelled, ALL CAPS, and/or just plain ignorant. And this was on both sides of the issue.


Monday, September 15, 2008

Not sure whether to laugh or scream...

It's the two little furry yahoos running rampant through my house right now.

We adopted two kittens from a wonderful no-kill cat shelter last year (Touched by a Paw). They are friendly and lots of fun, but they have one very strange quirk: they LOVE enclosed spaces of all kinds. They hang out in the laundry basket and are especially happy if there are a few dirty socks cushioning the bottom. But their favorite hangout is a toss-up between either my sock drawer or my underwear drawer. Now, it would be bad enough if they simply curled up and took a nap in there, but they burrow--and they are not small.

So, I come home from a looooong day at work to find that the two creatures had been partying like rockstars in my bedroom. My dresser drawers gaped wide open, the contents strewn from wall to wall. It looked like a lingerie bomb had gone off, tossing undies and derby socks everywhere. When I started reorganizing, it became apparent that my little darlings had attempted to squeeze their not-so-svelte bodies out the back of the sock drawer. I have no idea if they succeeded, though I doubt it. They had, however, managed to push several socks out that way. As I took out the drawer and dug around the back of my dresser, cursing a blue streak, Ally and Lucy sat a few feet away, watching.

And I swear, they were smiling.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Just say no to Palin!

As much as I would LOVE to see the United States progress to a point where a woman running the White House could be a reality, I am personally and politically insulted about the Republican party’s assumption that women will support a candidate who has nothing to offer except that she has a vagina.

Palin is against all the things that I personally believe make this country a place I want to live. She does not believe that women should have control over their own bodies or that we should educate our daughters so that they can make informed choices about their health and sexuality. She thinks global warning is a myth and believes that everyone should own a gun. As an English teacher with a love of controversial books, I find her views on book banning appalling.

As far as the “experience” McCain so glowingly talks about—organizing the soccer carpool and being the mayor of some Podunk town with a smaller population than my high school does NOT make her qualified to lead the nation.

I keep waiting for the McCain camp to call a press conference and say, "Just kidding, folks. Our real choice for VP is..."

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Cancer sucks

My father-in-law died of lung cancer today. Even though we knew he couldn't last much longer, it still came as more of a shock than we thought it would. The saddest thing is how little either of us really knew him. On our last visit, which was last year, he had just found out that his cancer had come back (even after having a lung removed). Bill planned on trying to talk about some of their unresolved issues, but his dad's life was already so sad that Bill couldn't bring himself to bring them up. The few times that Bill actually picked up the phone, his dad didn't want to have any serious conversations. So, no closure.

Bill is a mess and he's all alone in a hotel room halfway across the country right now. I hope he gets some sleep tonight because he has to wrap up his job and start the long drive home tomorrow.

Tomorrow, I will have to figure out what we'll do about the funeral and book our flight to California.