Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Contando los días

There are:

0 days until my first paycheck of the semester (I love a less un-cushioned bank balance!).

7 days until my husband moves to Mexico without me.

8 days until Rebe moves away, during which time I may or may not see her.

21 days (incluso hoy) until the written exam portion of my comps begins.

31 days to pack up whatever my husband doesn't take with him this trip and be out of the house so that our renters can move in.

52 days before I can escape for Thanksgiving break to visit my husband in our new coastal home.

2 months and twenty-some days until I'm free to leave this final semester behind me and move down to Mexico with my husband.

Being a verbal person, numbers are near-meaningless to me, so if I put my life into little numerical slots it seems less overwhelming and stressful. If there's any one emotion on which life is overdosing me these days, it's "overwhelmed".

Lola has a long wait ahead of her, to be followed by a long drive.

Monday, September 29, 2008


So, I know I should stop using my blog as a GOP-bashing forum at some point, but I can't stop laughing at them and at jokes about them. Besides, we need some lightheartedness in these troubling times, right? Is anyone else worried that the DOW dropped 778 points today? I think the bailout vote was a damned-if-you-do, etc. situation for Congress. I think it would have plummeted if the measure had passed, too.

At any rate, I submit the following visual displays for your snickering / horror / offense:

This first one I spied in a sculpture garden in Ft. Collins, CO. I think it's supposed to be whimsical because it was in the vicinity of other circus-themed pieces. Pero: yes, that is indeed a globe the elephant is standing on, and I think the symbolism is less than subtle. Tee-hee.

My husband and I saw this second one in the grocery store parking lot and pulled out our camera phones once the laughter subsided. If this joke is before your time, ask the nearest 30-something about Top Gun.

I'm trying to find some funny things that anti-Dems have to say or display, but they just don't seem to be as humorous as anti-GOPs, and Obama's ears are only funny for so long. I'm used to looking at them now. My mom has a T-shirt that she touts as pro-McCain that says "You have hope, I have skills". Funny, but the shirt says "Nike", not "McCain". Take what you can get, right?

Lola is ready for the elections to be over already.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Protesta, parte II

So, I figure I should justify my barbed anti-Palin remarks of the previous post by giving a brief (ja-ja) litany of my complaints against her. I could bag on her appearance and her annoying voice, but rather than stooping to that I’ll just tick off a wee list of some of my deeper concerns.

1. Book banning. While the media reports cannot confirm that she ever actually banned anything in the public libraries while serving as mayor of the thriving metropolis of Wasilla, there are confirmations that on at least three separate occasions she asked the public librarians how they’d feel about banning some books, and may have submitted a list of possible blacklist candidates on one of those occasions (rumored). That means she's okay with it, people. Not just that she thinks it's acceptable, but that she outright supports the whole atrocious possibility. She’s also in support of making individual’s library records accessible to government entities, which leads me to think she’s nowhere near a position that the Patriot Act ought not to be renewed. Our freedom to read whatever we please and other civil rights are at risk here.

2. Thinks creationism is science. I’m not strictly opposed to teaching creationism in schools, if it’s in a comparative religion or possibly a philosophy class (generally not offered at the K-12 level, last time I checked). It may have a place as background info in a Western Civ course. But, it’s not science, and has no place in a science curriculum. Here’s some science: the earth is at least billions of years old, fossils are not the creations of the devil meant to lead good Christians astray, the universe is expanding, and evolution of species by the mechanism of natural selection is a natural law, not a theory. Theories of human evolution are yes, theories. The law of evolution is not. I’m just waiting for her to come out against gravity and the rest of physics.

3. Thinks God is down with warfare, and apparently that she can read His mind. While I don’t assume to know exactly what’s He’s thinking, I do not say that I don’t know and then go on to put words in His mouth in the next breath. Don’t misunderstand me: I don’t think we shouldn’t pray for our soldiers. I don’t think we shouldn’t support them in their work. I don’t think we shouldn’t be trying to stamp out terrorism. I do think we need some better leadership among the upper brass, and some better efforts at diplomacy instead of just invading and pissing off the locals, giving them further reason to listen to Taliban-types. I suppose it could be argued (in a circular way) that we’re in Iraq “on God’s errand”, as she calls it, if you take into account that we’re cleaning up a hideous mess and trying to restore order and establish infrastructure—from what I’ve read in scripture I gather that God wants His children to be able to live in peace instead of perpetual fear (I could be mistaken on that, of course. Heaven knows that's not what Ms. Palin got out of it). However, if you recall that we created this mess in the first place by invading and removing the former government (dysfunctional and evil though it may have been), we’re only there to make a (flailing) effort to make up for what we’ve done. I also get the impression that she’s already gunning for Russia.

(A little caveat here of my personal, possibly wacky, philosophy on liberation of oppressed peoples: people have to want to be free, and they have to be willing to fight for it. You can’t “liberate” people who don’t value liberty enough to put everything on the line for it. I do think it’s okay to answer pleas from people who can’t do it alone; remember that a fledgling U.S. petitioned the French in our cause for independence from colonial oppression. But, to go around the world trying to “liberate” people who may not necessarily want democracy is a recipe for disaster and myriad dangers, not the least of which is being perceived as bullies and colonialists by the rest of our fellow earth-dwellers).

(Another caveat/plug: read “Three Cups of Tea”. Now that’s an anti-terrorism campaign. But who in government thinks of winning over enemies by exercising faith in humanity?)

4. Makes uninformed decisions about hunting and other means of wildlife management. Shouldn't a gun-toting "chick" from Alaska know a little more about this stuff? I’m not opposed to responsible hunting. I’m not opposed to responsible firearm ownership and usage within the citizenry. Understand, I’m from a family with a long history of ranching and hunting, and such activities are merely a part of everyday life in many parts of the West. Being pragmatic about it, it’s not too far off-base to see hunting as a necessary component of wildlife management, to keep down herd populations and cull unhealthy animals to protect the health of the species. Of course, if we hadn’t driven out and decimated natural predator populations we wouldn’t have this wildlife management situation on our hands. That said, I highly object to Ms. Palin’s means of wildlife population control. Alaska’s caribou herds were reaching lower levels than is healthy for the gene pool due to overpredation, so instead of issuing fewer hunting permits (a more practical and far less expensive solution), she had the state Game and Fish officers out shooting wolves in a bizarre effort to restore some kind of “balance”. ¿Qué? I can’t help but wonder, with her touting that her father was a science teacher, why she has such a feeble grasp on physics, biology, geology, and ecology, and who knows what other –ologies.

5. Thinks that being able to see the Siberian coast from Alaska constitutes foreign policy experience. Was she able to hear Russians shouting at each other at that distance, too? I’m sure that’s a fine way to learn a language, standing there at the far end of the Aleutian chain. I bet she understands the culture, too.

6. Can’t keep from sticking her foot in her mouth, even when she’s apparently been “coached” before an interview. See above complaints. (At least, the GOP claims that they’re coaching her. I’d hate to see her unrehearsed again).

7. Hypocrisy. I know this is common among politicians in general, but I have to bitch about it this time. She claims an anti-abuse-of-power stance, and yet. . .I cite the trooper-gate mess. Recent McCain-Palin campaign ads hype that she stopped the construction of the “bridge to nowhere”, despite the fact that she earlier campaigned on a promise to build the thing.

8. Lack of experience. To avoid the risk of repeating everything everyone else has said on the subject, I’ll refrain from citing the numerous available examples.

9. Even more ambitious than your average politician. Was anyone else shocked and creeped out by her comment that she believes she's ready to take the helm? Did anyone else get the impression that she's anxious for Mr. McCain to bite it so she can be Ms. President? I wonder if her handlers coached that comment.

I could go on, but I’ve got other work to do. I’m puzzled though, at why McCain/GOP advisors made such a blunder. She’s definitely getting lots of press and drawing some air time away from the Obama camp, but what good is media attention when it’s overwhelmingly negative? What were they thinking? Is this some feeble attempt to win over female voters? I feel both patronized and insulted. I’m not sure even the GOP respects her all that much, given those ridiculous “Hot Chick from a Cold Place” buttons many of them were sporting at the RNC. Is this really the way they want to be perceived in their oh-so-modern views of the value of women? Forgive me, I know very good people who are card-carrying Republicans, but the party as a whole freaks me out. There’s plenty of womanizing going on at all levels of government and on both sides of the party line, but the Republicans seem almost proud of their archaism.

Lola’s not converted to Obama (yet), but pleads with us all to consider who’ll be sitting behind the Oval Office desk when McCain screws us by kicking the bucket before his term’s up.

Friday, September 12, 2008


I've been practicing some restraint lately, and that's why this blog hasn't turned into a daily plea to the average uninformed US voter to PLEASE pay closer attention, and PLEASE don't believe everything you hear on TV. Please read, please dig a little deeper and investigate the issues. I could daily fill my wee blog with endless rephrased versions of that exhortation, but so far I've abstained. Though, I may not be able to contain my diatribe against that scary Sarah Palin character much longer.

But that's not why I'm at this particular spot in the wide world of internet at 7:00am, blogging when I ought to be reading something about the influence of ancient social history on the Iberian articulation of the Latin phoneme /f/. No, I had a funny thought that was far more accessible to the non-linguageek general public.

So, you know how voters-- those with and without media attention-- start making mostly empty threats around this time to leave the country for the next four years if their chosen candidate doesn't win? Sean Penn didn't do it-- I know because I have a photo of a friend (who shall remain nameless) chillin' in front of the Brown Palace Hotel with a (very, very baked) Mr. Penn a few weeks ago at the DNC. Some people make good on their words, other not so much.

I realized this morning that, given our impending move to parts abroad, I can make all the silly threats I want about moving away when Candidato Fulano doesn't win, because I'll be going anyway. Ja-ja! Of course, while my protest-promise may not be empty, it's certainly pointless, given that I'm moving to a nation with even less understanding of first ammendment rights than the aforementioned Ms. Palin. No, I'm headed to a place that is possibly more conservative, more indignantly and deliberately ignorant than even the US Bible Belt. «¡Gasp of shock and horror!» you say! «Can it be so? Does such a place exist?» Yes indeed, web-o-sphrere, Lola is moving to small-town Mexico! Woo-hoo! (At least it's not Puebla, known far and wide as Mexico's most conservative region).

Truth be told, I'm quite excited about it. Mr. Lola got a job down there that will do loads for his professional development and puts us about five years ahead of that plan. I don't have a work visa at present, though even if I were to get one I'd still probably spend the time writing, doing research, and digging for research grants without the stress of exams and due dates hanging over my frazzled head. Teaching there pays even dismally less than here. And, as my advisor astutely observed, it's "a great opportunity for data collection". She's right. Those words also warm my heart (brain?) with the hint of a promise of continued research support.

So there you have it, friends. If the McCain-Palin ticket heads to the White House, Lola's moving to another country. You can interpret it as protest if you like.