Scroogy’s Soapbox- AGAIN

Bear with me, Peeps.  I won’t go on and on about marriage equality or reproductive rights this time.  Although, I could.  For real.  But, here’s what I will go on and on about:

  1. Patriotism:  I got an email the other day calling into question the Obamas patriotism.  Apparently both Michelle and Barack have “disrespected” our flag and our National Anthem.  I have no clue if the claims made in the email are valid, I guess I should’ve actually bothered to research them.  But, I didn’t really need to. I truly think that having convictions about the flaws in our national identity is ultimately incredibly patriotic.  We are one of the most influential nations in the world and we should work to be more globally respected and responsible.  My grandfather was a gunner in a fighter plane during WWII, served in Japan during the Korean War, was a firefighter in his civilian life.  He’s pretty much as Real American Hero as you can get.  It’s been a while since we’ve been close, but I distinctly remember a conversation we had years ago about George W. Bush.  The gist of the discussion was that Pop-pop felt ashamed of our nation’s foreign policy and how we were being perceived by the world at large.  When he risked his life for the USA we were responsible, brave, and true. He felt like the leadership at the time had led us down the wrong path.  It broke his heart.  He said that being an American used to mean something good.  He didn’t feel that way anymore.  And he isn’t some supposed villainous politician with alleged socialist leanings and questionable heritage.  He loves this country and wants the best for it.  Much like how I suspect the Obamas feel on the matter.  See, Peeps, it really is just a flag and just a song.  They are just symbols.  The real honor behind those symbols is what we should really be passionate about, what we should really be fighting for.   Man…  I just deleted a great line because I don’t want to go too far.  I should put together a random blog post one day off all sentences I delete in fear.  Gah.  Moving on.
  2. Government assistance:   I read a CBS news article last night outlining reasons why Obama seems to be winning among women.  The article itself was benign.  What got me all crazy was the comments.  Oh, the comments.  Two that stuck out at me were “women must love handouts because they are always clipping coupons” and “women want everyone else to pay for their birth control”.  *sigh*  Okay, I’ll let that other one go for now.  I did promise not to get onto that particular topic again.  So allow me to address the women and handouts ridiculousness.  We’ll get into feminism later, mmkay?  Let’s discuss the term “hand out.”  I can only assume this commenter meant welfare, unemployment, food stamps, day care vouchers, etc…  Listen, Peeps, you never know when you’re going to need to rely on government assistance.  Hard working, responsible people face layoffs, mortgage foreclosures, unexpected family upheavals…  I’ve been on unemployment before.  My firm made big cut-backs back in 2002, and I found myself without a job, in a new apartment, and depressed.  It took me 6 months of sending out resumes and going to interviews and career counselors to find a job.  If it weren’t for the support (financially and emotionally) of my boyfriend and my family, I would’ve had to lose my apartment, who knows how I would actually feed myself!  I count myself lucky that all I had to seek assistance for was the unemployment checks.  I learned today of a woman who one minute was an employed, engaged, mother of two kids with a third on the way…  next minute she’s unemployed, heartbroken and single, and needs to find a way to keep a roof over the heads of her kids and food on the table.  She’s made it to the other side now and wouldn’t have been able to find her footing if not for government assistance.  So, if you think that most people on assistance are just expecting to be rescued and sit back on their lazy asses and collect cash and food and free health care, you’re a closed-minded idiot.  I hope you never find yourself in that same boat and have to swallow that bitter pill of regret over your words about handouts.  Kinda funny how when the rich get handouts it’s called a “bail out”.  Hmm.
  3. Feminism: Alright, now.  I am a feminist.  Duh.  I can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t be.  I’m not educated in sociology or politics enough to eloquently use smarty pants terminology about patriarchy or what have you.  What I am able to articulate is that not being a feminist makes as little sense as not recycling to prove a point or whatever.  You know those people who are like, “Yeah, our county has a free recycling program, but I’m not gonna bother.  It’s too much hassle.  They can’t tell me what to do…”  Aiye, yie yie!  Back to the subject.  Everyone in the world has a mother.  Whether they are close to their mothers or not is not entirely relevant.  Denying that the person that grew you in her womb and gave birth to you is remarkable, or thinking her somehow a lesser human being, just really indicates that you hate part of yourself.  Think about it.  And those married gents out there who preach against the “feminist agenda”, well, do you mean to imply that the woman you’ve pledged your life to, who provides half the DNA of your offspring, isn’t an equal person?  Hm…  what about you fathers of daughters?  Again, like with the example of the mother and wife, someone who will carry on your bloodline isn’t worthy of equal treatment/pay/opportunities?  Huh.  Mind-boggling.  Don’t even get me started on WOMEN who aren’t feminists.  I just…  no words…  Look, Peeps, being a feminist doesn’t make you some man-hating, hairy-legged, anti-establishment kook.  Being a feminist means standing up for equality for all people.
  4. Gun Control:  This one is a fairly new issue for me, Peeps.  I never took the time to think about how I stand on the issue until recently.  A school shooting in my town really brought the issue home.  Why are guns so readily available to our youth?  Why are they so readily available, period?  Alright, I get it’s a constitutional right.   Maybe I’m not very understanding of it because I’ve never really had the urge to shoot anything.  Unless you mean shooting fire or ice balls at evil little mushrooms or flying/non-flying turtles.  I don’t get why a seemingly sane person I know actually “Liked” the FB page dedicated to the Columbine shooters.  I’m hoping it was done to show some sort of solidarity for “The Right to Bear Arms.”  I can’t imagine he likes that kind of violence.  But, anyway…  I get that people like to shoot targets as a hobby.  They get adrenaline rushes and whatnot.  I can also understand hunting.  It’s a lifestyle and as old as time itself.  I can even understand wanting a firearm for self-defense or home protection.  What I don’t get is why you need to keep shot guns or high-powered rifles in your home…  Keeping a handgun locked in a safe place seems reasonable.  Keeping your gun case stocked with dozens of lethal weapons in full view of your family, your kids and neighbors and strangers alike? Unneccessary in my book.  Ya know how horse riding enthusiasts or hobby pilots keep their horse or planes “stabled” in proper places?  Why can’t shooting hobbyists or hunters keep their guns stored in some sort of club facility?  Safe from the general public?  You’d still have ownership and the right to use them, but they’d be kept safely away from loved ones and enemies alike?  Sounds like a plan to me.  Get on that, Peeps.

The reason I keep climbing on that soapbox and spouting off on my political, spiritual, and other personal philosophies is that I’m using the only real power I have, my “Voice”, to hopefully inspire a change in attitudes or to encourage more open-minded discussions. What good are beliefs if you don’t share them, talk about them, and learn from them?

Thanks for letting me rant.



Life’s (and Death’s) a Hoot with Lala and Loopsy

Over the weekend, my Mom’s father-in-law passed away after a blessedly brief bout with Cancer.  He was a kind man, and I’ll always remember his smile.

Yesterday was the viewing day at the funeral home, and seeing as our go-to babysitter was one of the prime mourners of the day, I had to bring the girls along.

As we got ready to go, I told them that we were going to Target, to the phone store, and then to see Grandma at a special place and that I’d explain it later.  I didn’t know exactly what to say, but on the drive to Target, they asked where we were going to see Grandma, and I decided to just tell them the truth.

They know about their Pop-pop Doug (my Dad) and their Grandma June and Pop-pop John (my in-laws).  They know they live in Heaven and that they are our special angels.  So, I started by explaining that Pop-pop Jim’s daddy passed away and now he’s living with the Angels too.

“Are we going to see Angels?”  Loopsy asked.

“No, baby.  We don’t really see Angels, but we can feel them all the time.”

“I saw Angels, Mommy.  On your ‘puter…  They were made of stone.”  Lala pointed out.  Guess she was talking about the Weeping Angels from Doctor Who.  Funny.  I had no clue that she even noticed.

“Those are just statues.  Not real.  Not real Angels at all.”

“Where we going then?” Lala wondered.

“Well, when people pass away, their spirit goes to Heaven, but their bodies stay here on Earth.  We are going to say goodbye to Pop-pop’s daddy’s body.”

At this point, I started to choke up.

“Um… why does it sound like you’re crying, Mommy?”  Lala said.

“Well, I’m thinking of other people I love who I can’t see anymore.  People I miss.”


“Like who, Mommy?” Loopsy asked.

“Like my Daddy and my Grandma.”

“I’m lucky, Mommy.” Lala pronounced.

“Why’s that, babe?”

“Because I don’t miss anybody.”

“Then you are lucky, sweetheart.”

This made me smile.  Things are just so simple when you’re 4 and a half.

“But I know that my Daddy’s spirit and my Grandma’s spirit are with me all the time, so I’m lucky too.”  I continue.

“What is a spirit?”  Loopsy asked.

“Uh…  Well…”  Deep, right, Peeps?  Man…  “A spirit is the part of us inside.  The part that feels and thinks and laughs and cries and moves our body to do things.”

“I think this is crazy.”  Lala giggles.

“What’s crazy, baby?”

“That our spirit can leave our body.”

“Well, that is crazy.  It’s hard to understand.  Sometimes a body stops working right and the spirit has to leave.”

“It’s crazy.”  Lala repeats.

“Is it sad?”  Loopsy ponders.

“Yes, well, it is sad for the people who are still alive.  They are sad that they won’t see the people they love again.  But the spirits that go to Heaven still visit us and see us and help us.”

“Oh.”  Kids just seem more accepting of these things.  It’s lovely.

At this point, we pull into the Target parking lot and I decide to tell them about how my Angels helped me.

“Remember how I lost my phone at Target?”

“Yeah, Mommy.  What did you do with it?” Loopsy prodded.

“Mommy where did you put it?”  Lala pressed.

I sighed.  Their Daddy kept asking me those same questions all day Sunday.  Meh.

I helped them out of their car seats and we made our way to the store.

“I still have no idea what happened to it.  But that day I asked my Angels to help me find it, and guess what?  It was found!  Isn’t that cool?”

“Can we climb on the big red balls?”  Loopsy ran ahead.

“Just for a second…”  I shook my head.  Priorities, right?  Why ARE those big red balls outside of Target anyway?  Mysterious.

After I got the phone and we were back in the car, I told them to help me say thank you to my Angels.  I said, “Say Thank You Angels!”

They repeated after me and then started hooting like owls.

I laughed, and then realized something…

“Why are you girls hooting?”

“I don’t know.”  Loopsy laughed and then continued hooting.

“Maybe we’re Baby Owls.”  Lala laughed and hooted too.

I got chills, Peeps.

My Mom-mom loved owls.  She collected knick knacks, lamps, light switch plates, tee-shirts, costume jewelry…  The girls have never met her.  She passed just before I got married.

Guess I know which Angel found my phone, huh?


RIP Robert Engelbach, our newest Angel.



Scroogy Control

Another late night post, Peeps…  I had physical therapy tonight, came home sore, drank some cocktails, watched some of my DVR’d shows, and here we are.  Isn’t that always the way?

I’m catching up on the Teen Mom Finale special and the first featured couple is Tyler and Caitlyn.  *sigh*  I can’t tell you how much I love them.  Yes, they were “troubled kids”.  Yes, they aren’t the brightest bulbs (I don’t. Understand.  A word. You just said.) Trust me, Peeps, Bestie and Murs are cracking up right now.   But they really made the best decision for themselves and for Carly.  And they are growing into really great people.  Coming through the wreckage into the brighter blue.  It’s inspiring.

But, I digress… Again…  The reason they inspired this post is BIRTH CONTROL.  And our right to reproductive freedom.

Full disclosure… I lost my virginity at 18.  Kinda old by today’s standards.  Even kinda old for the standards 20 years ago.  My first method of birth control was the good ol’ condom.  I was in a pseudo-stable, and as far as I knew, monogamous relationship, so, I soon went to either Planned Parenthood or the student health center and got on The Pill.  (Yeah, yeah, I don’t remember which.  Damn.  It was almost 2 DECADES ago. Gah.)  I know that at some point in that relationship, I got The Pill from both places, so…  Anyway…

It suited my needs.  I was desperate to be a mother, but I knew in my heart of hearts that this guy wasn’t The Guy and that we shouldn’t procreate.  Done and done.  And if an accident happened, I knew that I’d do what Caitlyn and Tyler did and put the baby up for adoption.  That guy and I weren’t fit to be co-parents.  Not then.  Not ever.

After college, we finally broke up for good.  I was single for quite a long time and decided to go off The Pill.  Again, my birth control of choice became the condom and I wasn’t afraid of buying them myself.  Ahem.  (Really, I’m thinking that I don’t care who reads this.  Even my daughters someday.  But then I think my god-daughter will read it and I get all verklempt- she’s a freshman in HS, Peeps.  Gulp.)  But yeah.  I was a sexually active person and I took care of myself.  So.  Good on me.  (God-daughter… sexually active does not mean promiscuous.  I swear.)  Regardless of that ookiness, I still held on to the fact that adoption would be option #1 for me, and abortion only the option if I couldn’t see a good outcome for the paternity.  Make sense?  No?  Long story.


Eventually I met my Hubster.  And he and I decided at some point to ditch the condoms and get on The Pill.  As I said before, done and done.  But something wasn’t done this time.  I saw…  forever with him.  I knew that right then wasn’t the time for baybays, but…  still…  if an “accident” happened???  This was The Guy.  We were gonna be together for life.  So, yeah, well.  Our kids were bound to be born eventually.  Who were we to decide when?  It’s all very complicated.  Because we were VERY not READY.

Then, two things happened.

First a dear friend and former coworker of mine (whom I’ve since lost track with and really miss very much) was the kinda person that was, um, rightish….  As in right wingish.  She was a soldier, actually, in the Salvation Army.  Yeah, I didn’t know that they called themselves that either, Peeps.  But she was a really good coworker and friend.  Someone that I confided in quite a bit and someone who accepted me and my Boyfriend (Hubby) for who we were even though we weren’t living by the covenants she believed in.  She was the one who told me that some birth control pills don’t prevent fertilization, but instead prevent fertilized eggs from implanting.

At first, I didn’t believe it.  I thought it was all conservative propaganda.  So, I did my research and found that she was right.  And The Pill I was on, in fact, could allow actually conception, but prevent implantation.  Well, that planted a seed that I wasn’t even aware of until….

Secondly, one Sunday night, after my Boyfriend (Hubby) left Baltimore to return to Staten Island, I went to take The Pill.  For whatever reason, this night, I happened to see the expiration date.

Now, I’m a procrastinator (lazy person  says Bestie) by nature.  I always kept a spare pack of pills in case I forgot or couldn’t get a GYN appointment for a refill.  So, I was using my spare pack.  Which were… you guessed it… expired.

I saw that date on the pack.  My heart started to race.  I saw by the number of “hanging chads” that I’d only been on bad pills for a bit over a week.  But…  Boyfriend and I had sex two days ago.  So…  Theoretically… I was unprotected.

Old instincts honed over 10+ years of pregnancy prevention kicked in and I looked up the number for Planned Parenthood.

I made an appointment as soon as I could to get Plan B.

I told Boyfriend.  His response was sorta, “Okay…”   I didn’t know how to interpret that.  At the time I took it as a “You do you” kind of response.

So…  I got the Plan B pills.  I took them.

Seemingly right after, I started having cramping and nausea and heavy, heavy bleeding.

I knew, logically, intellectually, that I was just experiencing increased hormonal effects that The Pill already provided.

Emotionally, I felt like I’d stopped something that was SUPPOSED to happen.  I felt awful.  When I voiced my feelings to Boyfriend, I found that he did too.  It was like we both realized…  Hey, wait…  We were ready after all.

So, yeah, Plan B cannot stop an existing pregnancy.  I know that.

This isn’t about what I KNOW.  It’s about how I FELT.

I remembered my coworker’s words.  Remembered that just because an egg didn’t implant, doesn’t mean it didn’t fertilize.  I thought about those dreams of a family I saw when I looked into Boyfriend’s eyes.  And I mourned.  We mourned together.

We actually briefly debated throwing caution to the wind and letting fate decide.  But ultimately, we decided to go back to the good ol’ condom.

Flash forward a year or so later and Boyfriend is now Hubby.  We decide to get pregnant as soon as possible.  I remember being in Jamaica on our honeymoon and wishing on a bright Caribbean star than we’d made a baby.

We didn’t.

But about a month later we did.  We actually made two.

Soon after our dreams come true – Lala & Loopsy – were born, we were faced with a decision.

What method of birth control fit us now?

Listen Peeps, those right wingers aren’t gonna like this…

We decided on Mirena.  It’s an IUD with a low dose of hormone.  It doesn’t prevent fertilization, but prevents implantation with more accuracy than a vasectomy.

So…  Why the change?

Well, our family is complete.  We are the Four Millards.

Our family.  Our choice.
Yet another example of why I will always, ALWAYS, be pro-choice.




Bullet the blue sky

That’s all I keep thinking today, the lyric of that U2 song.  Bullet the blue sky, bullet the blue…

Today’s sky looks identical to the one ripped apart on September 11, 2001.

Yeah, Peeps, I know, everyone is writing about this today.  Or has written about it in the 11 years since.  (11 years?  wow!).  But, ya know, I like Bandwagons.  They are fun.  Tons of people talking all at once.  Lots of singing.  Anyway…

Just now a plane flew over the house.  Planes used to symbolize adventure or business trips.  They made me wonder where all those people are going.  Are they coming home or going away?  I hope it’s someplace tropical and lovely.

The terrorists took those planes and turned them into weapons.  So even now, all these years later, all this distance from the crash sites, I still hold my breath.  Just for a second, until I hear the plane pass safely by.

Bestie called me yesterday evening b/c her Little A (who is not so little anymore, sniff-sniff) learned about 9/11 in school that day.  Wow.  That day that still shines so brightly in my mind is now a history lesson.  While the war still rages on.  While there are people still suffering and dying from what happened that day.  Time is a funny thing.

Bestie had told her kiddles about how she remembered that day and I’m sure when Lala & Loopsy are old enough, I will do the same.  Their father will have a different perspective, as he was working in Midtown that morning.  His perspective is different.  But, we lived through it, even though we were nowhere near the danger.  We experienced it in the way that our parents’ generation experienced the moon landing or the assassinations of the Kennedys and MLK.  (Another plane is passing by, Peeps, and I still check the sky outside my window).  This blog entry will serve as my account of that day, for my girls to read, to contemplate, when their teacher tells them about that historical event. (Note…  Events are mildly fictionalized.  I can’t remember exactly who was doing or saying what in the office, it was 11 years ago so…  Yeah.)

I step out of Bestie’s green-blue Hyundai into the crisp fall-like morning sunshine.  Swinging my purse onto my shoulder, I take a sip of my Big Gulp.  Another day at the office.  Only Tuesday too, I sigh.  I take a look up, feel the sunlight on my face, and wonder if it’s too early to make plans with that Dude for this weekend.

Bestie’s already high-tailing it inside, so I quick step it to catch up.

“Damn, look at that sky.  So clear.”  We walk across the black top to the unimpressive tan brick building with a fancy name.

She glances up and blinks into the bright blue, but doesn’t slow her pace.

I smile.  I’m not sure if she’s anxious to get inside so she won’t be late, or because of her new boyfriend in the department over from hers.  They make a cute couple.  Maybe those crazy kids will get married someday, I chuckle.

We part ways in the main hall.  I switch my soda to my left hand in order to pull my employee ID from where it’s attached via the retractable badge holder at my waist. Buzz, clink.  The day begins.   As I walk in, I look down to do one last check of my outfit.  Damn, did my pants look this wrinkled at home?  Oh well.

“Cornell!”  I hear my buddy Chris whisper.  I look up at him and he does that little head flick thing that guys do.  He’s weird.  But he makes me smile.  I wink at him and walk over to my desk in the corner.  I like being in the corner.

I put my bag under my desk and my Big Gulp in the trash.  Damn, done already?  I’ll have to go to the cafe earlier than I expected.  Oh well.  I log onto my computer and go over to the printer to pick up the day’s reject report.  I see that Denise had already sorted it, and I thank her.  Pretty sure I just got an eye roll for my gratitude.  Oh well.

Just as I sit down, I hear the “I’ll be your huckleberry” sound bite from Tombstone that Larry set up as my IM alert.  I click the mouse to open and see it’s from Bestie.

Bestie: Plane hit Twin Towers

I reply.

Me: Like a plane, plane or like that little plane that almost hit the Statue of Liberty last week?

Bestie: Dunno.  Try to get on  No one here can get it to open.

Me: Ok.

I try and get an error message.  Weird.  I become aware of the buzz going on behind me.

“I have a radio.” Glenda offers.  She’s setting it up on the ledge created by her cubicle and Amy’s.

“Bestie says a plane hit the World Trade Center?” I tell Cheryl.  She blinks and nods.  I think she might be stoned.

“Yeah,” Jeannie interjects, “A commuter jet, I heard.”

“A jet?” My heart skips a beat. How could that accident happen? Accident.  I hold onto that word.

I hear someone on the other side of the room say the word “hijack.”  But that can’t be.  That only happens in movies.  Or Europe.  My face flushes.

Glenda gets the radio to pick up a news station.  The announcer starts telling about how it appears a commercial airliner has hit one of the Twin Towers.  He says explicitly which one and where, but I’ve never been there.  I have no frame of reference besides photographs.  I can’t even imagine in my mind what it would look like.  I mean, jets are huge!  Wouldn’t it have flown right through?  How big are those buildings anyway?

I try to go about my day in a haze.  We get rumors, theories, scattered news coverage.  I go to the fax machine and send over an error report to my coworker, Sam, in NYC.  I dial the number once, twice, three times.  Busy signals.

My heart falls into my gut.

“Where is Sam’s office?”  I ask Jeannie.

“Um, I don’t know.  Somewhere in Manhattan.”

“Oh God.” I just stand there a minute.  Looking at the fax.  I check the list of numbers and offices posted by the machine.  There it is.  Sam’s in 5 WTC.

“Where’s 5 World Trade Center?”  I ask to no one in particular.

Larry answers from his desk behind me. “It’s a smaller building.  Not one of the Towers.”  I turn to him, my report in hand.

“But the fax…”  I grip the pages tighter, wrinkling them.

“Lines are down.”  He says succinctly, looking me in the eyes.  I can see his military training here.  He’s keeping calm.  All is well, soldier.  Carry on.

Just then Amy seems to pop up, out of her cubicle and runs out of the office, white-faced. Jen follows close behind.

I turn to Glenda.

“Jen can’t get in touch with Johnny or Mike in Midtown.  And Cantor…  Cantor is in the Tower…” She says and turns back to her work.

I look around the office, and everyone is either trying to work, or glued to the radio or the computer or on the phone, trying to call NY, or just reaching out to their own loved ones at home.

Soon, it becomes obvious that no work can be done.  No market in session.  No work.  We sit around and wait for someone, anyone to tell us what to do.

My phone rings and it’s my brother.  “Get outta there!  They’re targeting financial places!  Banks!”  I laugh.

“Doug, we’re a tiny office in Timonium.  No one knows where Timonium is!”

“Yeah.  Come home anyway.”

“We probably will.  There’s nothing to do here…”  My other line rings.  It’s my aunt.

“Gotta go.  It’s Josie.”

“Be careful!” He says as I hit the button for line 2.


“Oh my God, Jenny…” She begins, breathless, “The whole of Manhattan is covered in smoke…”  She travels there for work so often.  I’m certain she’s thinking of days she walked those streets, seen those buildings, been inside.

We talk for several minutes and she gives me the latest news she’s watching on TV.  I tell her about how we can’t get any work done.  That there is nothing to do.  She repeats over and over how she just wants to go pick up her kids from school.  She just wants to hug them.  The whole damn island, she keeps saying.  I think she is too stunned and scared to cry.

From across the room, I hear someone say “The Pentagon is on fire.”

“Aunt Jo?”  I say into the receiver I’m gripping in my suddenly sweating hand, “Is the Pentagon hit?”

“Um…”  She’s quiet for a bit as she reads the breaking news scroll.  “Yeah, they don’t know if it was a rocket or a bomb.”

“But the PENTAGON?”  I’m suddenly realizing the depth of it.  We are under attack.  How silly we’ve been to think we were safe.

Jeannie and Larry call us to attention and I say my goodbyes and hang up.

They tell us to go home, that they’ll call us tomorrow to let us know if we should come in.

I hear Val Kilmer and see a new IM from Bestie.

Bestie: Letting us go home.

Me: Us too.

Bestie: Meet you at the car.  I need a drink.

Me: Word.

That afternoon and evening was spent either glued to the TV in our living room, beer in hand, or glued to the TV at Kildaire.

We tried to make sense of it.  (“Look at all those birds falling,” Bestie said as we watched footage of the Towers burning.  “Those aren’t birds, Deb.”  I said quietly.  “Then what…Oh God!”)

We theorized about survivors. (The news reports say that employees of Cantor Fitzgerald were told to head up, to the roof. “Maybe there WERE helicopter rescues.”  I say, hopeful.  “Jen, there was no roof.” our friend Dave reminds me.)

We made horrible jokes to keep ourselves sane.  (My contribution:  “Guess Gary Condit’s pretty relieved.”  “Al Gore too.” Someone else joked).

We gathered as a tribe: coworkers, neighbors, friends, family.  All realizing at last what the United in the United States of America really meant.

God Bless America.  Never forget.









Lessons I’ve learned from The Doctor (so far)

Yes, I have been sucked into the vortex.  I am a Who-vian.  How did I resist for so long?  *sigh*  I have watched almost 4 entire seasons since Sept 1.  I’m not ashamed.

Here are some lessons I’ve learned thus far:

1. If you give up your whole world to follow a man, the results are usually disastrous.  Rose ended up being trapped in a parallel universe and Martha’s family is forever scarred from the torture and abuse they suffered.  And Donna?  Well… I just watched the episode where Donna Noble has been saved in the library, and I swear I will be furious if she’s really dead.  She’s, so far, the only companion who hasn’t gone all googly eyed over The Doctor.  She calls him on his shit and I think she’s awesome.  And really funny.

2. British TV shows/writers/characters seem to show a great deal more compassion for the value of life and more respect for diversity than American TV shows/writers/characters.  Maybe because it’s just so heavy handed in Doctor Who.  But I used to watch Red Dwarf and The Fades and Hex and, of course, AbFab, and well…  yeah.

3. They just don’t teach recreational mathematics anymore!

4. No matter how awesome it seems, if I had the choice of being a vampire, a Time Lord, or a human, I’d choose human.  Every time.  Watching the universe move on without you seems fairly devastating.

5. Some events are just supposed to happen.  No matter how devastating.

6. Rubber soles could save your life.  And the world.