Sunday, September 28, 2008

A stay at home weekend

We did nothing this weekend even though we had plans -- a literary festival, a play, a meditation class, dinner with friends.  All went by the wayside because Mark and I were both under the weather.  Colds, and feeling crappy.  So we exchanged our theater tickets and dropped out of everything else.  And did nothing.
We did watch the debate Friday evening and we both thought Obama did us proud.
We did watch a movie Saturday evening, Lars and the Real Girl, which was sweet and strange, and enjoyable.
And we did get the fifth new door installed and most of the new hardware too.  There's the new front door handle.  It's really my third choice as the first two I selected seemed to be completely unavailable in any way.  But this is fine.
All the doors and the new frames need staining and painting but we'll hold off on that until after the driveway/retaining wall/front entrace step project is done.  If things go well that will be  a week from now.
We'll see.
But in the meantime, Dexter and Californication start new seasons tonight so, while my head still feels like it's in a vise, I'm kind of happy for a Sunday night.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Driveway

This is why the driveway is being replaced.  The job supposedly starts late next week.
The retaining wall is in even worse shape.
And the front entranceway is just plain ugly.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

There are many Sarahs in my life

There is, of course, the scary Sarah Palin, hilariously moronic when she actually does speak without a script.
There is the beautiful and brilliant Sarah Schindler (who shared the video I'm about to pass along).
There is the sweet Sarah (the dog) Nichter, a frequent, and current, houseguest of ours.
And there is the creative, clever, crude comic Sarah Silverman.  
Here she is at her best in The Great Schlep.

The Mother of All Search Functions

David Pogue (Pogue's Posts) writes a user friendly techie blog, and weekly column in the NY Times called Circuits. It's always interesting, and so are the clever videos he makes. But today's column gave me an "aha!" moment.
So simple yet so smart.
And I do love my Google!

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Doors

I'm off today, because I worked Saturday at a literacy symposium, part of next weekend's literary festival, Deep Carnivale.
But also because we are having another door installed today. 
We are doing a few home upgrades, we had a couple of windows replaced, and now we are replacing all of our exterior doors.  So a few weeks ago the one from the garage into the house was installed, then this one on the right from the kitchen out to the pool.  It's got a nice glass insert but Mark and I both keep thinking the door was left open; I  guess we will get used to it eventually.

Today the front door is being installed.  I'm really loving the Frank Lloyd Wrightish glass.  It lets in the light but doesn't let you really see in, so no worries about walking by the front door without clothes on.
Later this afternoon the door from the garage to the side yard will be installed.  Then we have to order the fifth external door, the pool bath, because we totally forgot about that one, so it will be a few more weeks. 
None of the hardware we picked out has arrived (the guys are installing the old hardware or loaner hardware if need be) and nothing's been stained yet.   But still, isn't it  so pretty?
Next project -- the cracked concrete driveway gets replaced with gray pavers and the disintegrating wood retaining wall in the front gets replaced with matching gray "stone".  
The front is going to look so nice but this is all so expensive, and long will I be able to go without repainting the house and replacing the garage door so it all matches?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Oprah Picked My Book!

I am ridiculously excited that Oprah picked my favorite book of the last good while!  

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Listen to Barak's Plan

Barak Obama's plan is clear, intelligent, and feasible.  And absolutely necessary.

And you can read more of his plan on his website.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

We made the cover!

Yes, that is Mark and me both at Hillary's right shoulder! This is on the cover of the local African American newspaper, the Florida Sentinal Bulletin this week!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Carolyn Wonderland

Last night we went to the WMNF Birthday Bash which was really nice, like Tropical Heatwave but less crowded and less frantic. We heard some good music and danced a lot. Carolyn Wonderland was an amazing new find for me. I've heard her on the radio lately but there is nothing like seeing someone like this, who lives every song, live. The woman is a musical genius and if you are as old as me, you will flashback to Janis, in a very good way.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Hillsdale is Obama Territory!

From Susan and Paul Solovay upstate in Hillsdale NY, a beautiful green sign of the future!

If you supported Clinton but will vote for McCain because of Palin you are a Moron

By Mike Smith of the Las Vegas Sun.

And if you prefer words to pictures, read what the editors of the NY Times wrote about Palin today and what Gail Collins and Bob Herbert wrote for today's NY Times OpEd page.

Previews:  the editorial:  It was bad enough that Ms. Palin’s performance in the first televised interviews she has done since she joined the Republican ticket was so visibly scripted and lacking in awareness.What made it so much worse is the strategy for which the Republicans have made Ms. Palin the frontwoman: win the White House not on ideas, but by denigrating experience, judgment and qualifications.The idea that Americans want leaders who have none of those things — who are so blindly certain of what Ms. Palin calls “the mission” that they won’t even pause for reflection — shows a contempt for voters and raises frightening questions about how Mr. McCain and Ms. Palin plan to run this country.

Gail Collins: If you fire the governor’s chef and then charge the state a per diem for every night you sleep in your own house, does that make you an agent of change or Charles Rangel’s accountant? And the airplane, of course, was sold so ineptly that Palin should have been encouraged to consider a new career in the home finance industry.
Still, you cannot blame McCain for misrepresentation. He has mutated into so many different versions over the past few months, his memory banks are probably totally shot.

And best for last, Bob Herbert: With most candidates for high public office, the question is whether one agrees with them on the major issues of the day. With Ms. Palin, it’s not about agreeing or disagreeing. She doesn’t appear to understand some of the most important issues....
John McCain, who is shameless about promoting himself as America’s ultimate patriot, put the best interests of the nation aside in making his incredibly reckless choice of a running mate.

That lying McCain

If you, or someone you know, is considering voting for McCain because you think Obama will hurt you taxwise, will force small businesses out of business with his health care plan, will not make real serious needed change, is an elitist, has been rude, or whatever, please, educate yourself and your friends.  Start with this chart from today's NY Times or read the whole article here.   Then move on to and read the plans and fight the smears.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Palin's first interview

From The Caucus, a NY Times political blog, on Sarah Palin's interview with ABC's Charles Gibson -- 
Palin "seemed blind-sided by the question about the Bush doctrine, guessing that Mr. Gibson was asking about Mr. Bush’s 'world view.' Mr. Gibson explained later that he wanted to know what she thought of his idea of 'anticipatory self-defense.'  Granted, this might not be something that your average hockey mom would know, but it probably is something that a commander-in-chief-in-waiting might have considered.Ms. Palin appeared as an eager student, someone who has crammed for an exam and was repeating talking points."


All week I have been having very unusual dreams about Willy. Last night's was so vivid. We were visiting a friend and Willy was there and I suddenly realized we had left him there, given him to her, and now I wanted him back. Interesting because, of course, that's exactly how we got Willy. A friend left him with us, but then never did want him back, so we got to keep him for 14 years. When I woke up it was all I could do to not get in the car and go get him. I felt so strongly that he was there.
But then I realized that he's been in my dreams all this week because he died one year ago Saturday. The missing him hasn't gotten any less yet. And I have been longing for a cat, but trying hard to resist. Realized recently that I have not used my inhaler for a year. Still, one of these days....

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

More reasons to vote for Obama

From that very New York former Mayor, Ed Koch.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Hillary part 2 -- we really were there!


You can't see us both at the same time, but we were really there and we were sitting next to each other.  We both got to shake her hand.  And you can even see us, well mostly me but some of Mark's hair too, on this video.
Photos, and video, courtesy of The Tampa Tribune, our local reactionary rag.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Hillary brings Change We Can Believe In!

Mark and I were so excited that we got tickets to see Hillary speak in Tampa this evening.  
Loads of people lined up and waited in the heat at a county gymnasium to see Hillary.
That's my friend Darlene; she's been working hard for the Obama campaign for a long time now.
We couldn't believe our luck when we were chosen to sit on the stage behind Hillary.  Yes, we saw her back through the whole speech, but we were so close!
She spoke about the economy, but also health care, education and the environment.  And how badly the Republicans have messed up every single thing.  And how frightening it would be if they had four more years to destroy this country.  And how important it is for all of us to talk to people who haven't made up their minds yet, to get them to support the intelligent and progressive leadership we will have with Obama/Biden.
After she spoke she shook our hands!  It was truly thrilling, Bruce Springsteen singing The Rising in the background, I was so happy.
And so was the entire crowd.  

Sunday, September 7, 2008

An Oak Tree

We saw a fascinating play at Gorilla Theatre today, An Oak Tree by Tim Crouch.  I won't say much about the play except that there are two actors, one plays a hypnotist and the other has never seen the script before he or she walks out on stage.  So there's a different actor for every performance and it was not only a good play but an amazing performance.  Afterwards there's a talk back in which the guest actor is debriefed.
It was a very unusual experience and we'd love to see it again with a different actor.  We got coupons to go back to another performance for free if we bring paying guests so if anyone here in Tampa would like to go please take us along!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Librarians Against Sarah Palin

Librarians can move very quickly, and politically, when we feel the need.  
Voila, a new blog is born!

Thursday, September 4, 2008


I started playing with the new Chrome browser tonight and I'm liking it.  I especially like the way it opens with my most visited pages right up front like cute mini pages.  Here's what David Pogue has to say about it on

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

Here's how Palin interacted with the library when she was mayor of Wasilla -- "as mayor, Palin continued to inject religious beliefs into her policy at times. 'She asked the library how she could go about banning books,' he says, because some voters thought they had inappropriate language in them. 'The librarian was aghast.' That woman, Mary Ellen Baker, couldn't be reached for comment, but news reports from the time show that Palin had threatened to fire Baker for not giving "full support" to the mayor."
By the way, the librarian resigned.
Read the rest of the Time Magazine article here.

Monday, September 1, 2008

The Tontis were here

This weekend Lorie, Kaiser, Mia & Shadow Tonti moved from an apartment to a house and so Mia and Kaiser spent some time with us while Lorie worked hard. There was plenty of swimming, snacking and reading and Mark and Kaiser did a science experiment.
And a lot of the kids played with pirates and built houses.