Lead Balloon

Just some thoughts from the airport
September 25, 2008, 1:59 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I hope this isn’t in any way offensive. But recently I was in an airport and saw many, many people traveling who were dressed in traditional, Hasidic Jewish attire. Like this. Anyway, I started to wonder about the rules that surround their dress. I’m sure it has something to do with modesty. Maybe a lot to do with tradition. But what if it has something to do with “not dressing like everyone else”? And what would happen if everyone started to dress like them? Would they have to find something different? I have no idea why I thought of this. I guess if that reggae guy didn’t start a trend, I’m not likely to.

Also, I see a lot of pilots, especially pilots for American Airlines, since I’m brand-loyal to them even though they piss me off. Those pilots are always so put together. Nicely dressed, clean cut, shined shoes, pressed shirts. They usually have the short-sleeved-shirt-with-a-tie thing going on. But I started to over-analyze them as a group, recently, and realized I’d never seen any of them with tattoos on their arms. I wondered if it was part of the dress code?

I also realized that I have terrible anxiety around boarding the plane. No matter how many times I do it, I always sit in fear that when it is my turn to board, there won’t be any room from my seat forward in the overhead compartments for my bag. I never check bags, so I’ve always got my backpack and my roller bag. I have always stressed about there being room for the roller bag…and this started BEFORE they started charging for checked bags. I used to be gold status, which meant I could always board with Group 1. But maternity leave knocked me down to regular status with no perks. So I’m wondering if “boarding anxiety” qualifies me for boarding first, with the kids with strollers and wheelchairs? I’m seriously thinking of trying that next time.

There was a little girl at the airport during my last trip who looked A LOT like Natalie. It’s what I imagine that Natalie will look like in a year or so. Interestingly enough, like Natalie, her hair and eye color didn’t match her parents’ at all. She was just like Natalie – blonde headed, blue eyed, with parents who had brown hair and brown eyes. Anyway, I bring this up because I was looking at this little girl quite a bit. I was looking at her fondly, thinking of little Natalie at home…When I realized that her mother thought I was eyeing her a little TOO much. She kept shifting away so that I couldn’t look at her. So I looked away, not trying to seem like a creep. But I couldn’t help but look AGAIN to see if the mother was still eyeing ME down! I felt like a total weirdo. I AM a total weirdo.


All the right reasons…
September 12, 2008, 12:38 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Last night I had to eat ice cream to get the garlic taste out of my mouth, from dinner.

Today, I need it because my throat is sore. And the coolness of the ice cream feels good.

Just What I Was Seeking…
September 4, 2008, 2:18 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I just visited Dooce’s Web site and she’s got a similar post today about her frustrations with this election. Granted, it’s definitely taking a harder stance and is much more eloquently written, but nonetheless, she put a link in her post that contains the type of “check your facts” information I was seeking.

You can check it out here. And I hope you do.

Family Values
September 4, 2008, 9:35 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I rarely ever “get political” on this blog, because it’s just no use, really. Writing about politics HERE just feeds what I absolutely hate about recent years’ elections. I can’t STAND the un-researched, unfair, idiotic, uneducated, untrue, left-or-right-wing slanted Internet or e-mail PROPAGANDA that is circulated around election time.

People say that they hate politicians. I feel sorry for them. I’d like to give them the benefit of the doubt — I’d say that if you had a chance to sit down with one of them — ANY of them — and ask them, they’d say that they’d actually LIKE to be spending more time in their day listening to their constituents, in activities, meetings, focus groups, developing policy and ideas that might help make this country a better place to live than spending time doing what they have to do now: developing spin, media and statements that defend themselves against the incorrect and blown up facts that are generated not only by “the other side” but by people like me and you who 1) read, 2) believe, and 3) FORWARD ON emails and links to the Internet which promote this type of propaganda.

Lately my inbox is full of them — from both sides. And as I read them, I can’t help but cringe. And when I’m done reading them, and scroll back up to the top of the email and see the VERY LARGE distribution list, I panic. I get worried about ALL THOSE PEOPLE on the list who might not think to challenge the content. Who might not think, “Hmmm, this is slanted one way,” or “Hmmm…that statistic just doesn’t match up with what I’ve heard before,” or “Hmmm…Obama’s middle name is Hussein??? Surely he didn’t choose that HIMSELF?”

Today I was so mad after reading a few of them that I got on a conference call with one of my clients and started venting to HER about it. How inappropriate is that? Clearly, I was moved. So clearly, I had to write about it myself.

We’ve got some good candidates this year. No, we’ve got some GREAT ones. All have their merits. And all of them have their shortcomings. I have some very strong feelings — good and bad — about some of the candidates. For example, am I pleased as punch to see a woman on the ballot? Hell yes! But do I think it’s the right choice? Maybe not. She’s a great lady with some good experience. But do I think McCain was irresponsible in making this choice? A little. If she didn’t have a special-needs infant (six months old!) who needs her full-time attention and a daughter in a delicate, scary state right now who also needs a full-time mother, I think the Palin decision would be easier to swallow. I’m not quoting any statistics here, I’m just saying that as a mother myself, I think her decision to hit the campaign trail right now might be a little selfish. They’re not kidding when they say “Country First”, are they? What about family values? I don’t in any way judge her or think she’s less qualified because her daughter is pregnant. Moms all over the country are facing this right now — it makes her REAL and STRONGER because of it. But again, I just question the timing of the decision. I loved when Obama was asked about the teenager’s pregnancy…He said he was offended by the question, he reminded the reporter that he’s said time and time again that family is off limits, and should be kept out of it That this goes for him AND his opponents. Tis true, tis true.

I can’t, myself, even write a post without having an opinion that is out there to be read and digested by the world. I just wish people didn’t believe everything they read. I got one pro-McCain email this morning that had tons of comparisons between him and Obama, especially in the area of tax increases and such. Then it said, “You can verify the above information at the following links” and there was a list of links there to visit. I visited them, and what I found when clicking on them was a lot of information NOT contained in the email. Information about tax cuts that Obama is suggesting that affect ME! In a good way! The email was so “doom and gloom” about how he’s going to tax the hell out of us and give us no relief. Well, that’s because it was only HALF of the picture. Taxes are a necessary evil, people. The benefits you receive from your government come from taxation…You have to pay to play. If you’re upset about the taxation, please do some research and see where those taxes go and how it balances out. I’m not saying that some of his proposed increases don’t affect me negatively — they do. Same goes for McCain.

The truth is I straddle the line. Several lines. There are more third parties out there that I am better aligned with on the issues — social and economic — and general interpretation of the Constitution. I remember in college in my “European Governments” class, thinking how GREAT it’d be to live in a country with a third-party system. Here, if you’re “republican” or “democrat”, it’s just a label you give yourself. The lines between the two are getting grayer and grayer, but the polarized “party politics” seem to never go away. Party platforms (which include probably 90% of the information you’re receiving in your emails) are great during election year. But if you pay attention, upon every presidential EXIT, you will hear a match-up of what he said during the campaign, and what he actually did in office. And it rarely matches up. I wish we didn’t hang on every word, and paid closer attention to our local, state and national congressional office-holders. That’s where you’ll see some impact.

I will say that there are parties out there that, as a Christian, I identify with more closely. And those are not the parties of people that call themselves the “religious right”. I’m talking about mankind — how we are tasked with loving and taking care of each other. How as a Christian, regardless of how I am taxed, I’m okay with sharing a larger percentage of my dollars if it means that someone else — regardless of their color, age, citizenship, etc. — gets to eat, has adequate shelter, or that a child doesn’t get the best this life has to offer. I could write a whole post on what I think “being a Christian” is all about, and how that is made manifest in the public arena of politics. But that would take time I don’t have today. I’ll just carry it in my heart and, in November, vote accordingly, hoping that I’m not jaded or swayed EITHER WAY by these stupid freakin’ emails.