Sunday, October 26, 2008

the undecided and the fraudulent

So, how is it that 9 days before a presidential election there are still undecided voters? The primaries, the conventions, the debates, the relentless commercials... how could anyone not know who to vote for? There are many people who are legitimately undecided. Are they the people who wait to fill out their 85 deposit slips while they are in line at the bank? Are they the people who pull up to the drive-thru where they have eaten once a week for decades and don't know what they want to order? They hold up the line at the post office as if they have never mailed anything in their lives. It must be. They are the indecisive among us. They hold up the lines everywhere. They steal bits of time from each of us. Let's just hope that they don't hold up the lines at the polls.

And what about these 200,000 voter registrations in Ohio that can't be confirmed with government records. Why is it that the alumni fund-raisers at my college can find me within days of moving to a new address? Why is it that the red-light cameras can mail me a ticket when I wasn't even driving the car? Even if my car was driven by a wayward teen, the ticket finds me, the owner. With all of the government data bases that can be breached to find the scoop on "Joe the Plumber", why can't they use the data bases to root out voter fraud? Even I can look on Google Earth and tell if my weeds need to be pulled. We have technology. We have passwords and user names everytime we make a purchase online. We have tracking cookies on our computers so that marketers can profit from our profiles. We have MySpace and Facebook and blogs such as this, but we can't tell if someone is registered in more than one location for the same election. Find some teenagers. Give them 10 bucks to root out each bad name. Let them text and search and enlist all of their Facebook friends. The problem would be solved before the next episode of "The Hills"!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

the headphones

My headphones are an appendage of me. They rub ear pierces raw. They insulate me from the noise of kids—the tapping, the humming, the whistling, the off-key singing that clutters my brain. My headphones… they tether me to the TV. The cords surround me and entangle me with the DVD player. My ipod strangles me. I am caught in the connection I have now to electronic devices. Those devices used to be so insignificant to my daily life, but to connect through a cable seems so crucial now to my sane existence.
I suppose it is noise sensitivity. Perhaps it is the clanging around me that makes me lose track of my internal drumbeat, my internal song. My headphones are cheap therapy… releasing anxiety. They keep the song within me intact, undisturbed, and clear.

When I ask for quiet, I get challenged to measure the volume in each individual instance. They ask: Is this enough? Is this better? I say: No! I can still hear every word of rock music through the vents, pop music through the walls, and rap music down the hall. The mixture of noise, song, disharmony… it dislodges me. But there seems to be no relief. I thought they should have headphones, not me. I am the sensitive one that no one regards in their decisions. The kids are not mine to correct. They are not mine to mold into young folks aware of my sensitivity. They are unlike my grown children who share the same definitions of loud, disruptive, and insensitive. I would be the one instituting a police state, so therefore… my reprieve… the headphones.

The perimeter protects me. I am safe from the noise. I can think without interruption, without losing my thought when it releases from my unhinged head. The dog likes his den. As am I with the locus of points that surround my headphone jack.

I can see him across the room… my confidant, my best friend, my husband. But what is the latest development in my world? He is wearing headphones, too! I am two stages apart from him. He removes his. I remove mine. We are connected again. I talk. He listens.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

peely head

Have you ever had peely head? It's that one spot where you can't put the sunscreen, the part in your hair. For me it's this spot where my bangs meet the rest of my hair. Well, I suppose you can put sunscreen there, but what a yucky, greasy mess. So, a few hours in the sun, and I have peely head.

I started calling it that when my twin boys were 10. They were heading to cub scout camp. Their father thought it would be a good idea to cut their hair himself. Wrong! They are thick-haired, curly-topped red heads. And their father thought that shears with an extender would be perfect. After one slip of the shears, the extender fell off, and there was a strip of bald head. Twin 2 comes running into the house, "Mommy, Mommy, I don't want to be bald!" Before I knew what was happening, Twin 1 was nearly bald. Then there was a moment when I looked at these identical boys who no longer looked identical. Their foreheads were stuck together, deep in thought. They often problem-solved in this pseudo-conjoined position. Twin 2 emerged and said that he wanted to look like Twin 1. Cutest thing EVER!

Coming home from camp with burned heads, their skin peeled and peeled. I know it sounds disgusting, but I had to actually peel the skin off of their bald heads. Affectionately, and with much laughter about their father's one attempt at being the barber, we used the phrase that still makes us crack up-- peely head.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

the ribbon

How is it I am in my forties and I am so geeked out about a ribbon? I won an honorable mention ribbon for one of my photos in a local photo contest. Hilarious! I was smiling like I was 10 years old at the spelling bee.

I love this photo. It was captured at the merger point of three creeks. Hiking around the local parks is my escape my chaotic life. I could stand in this same spot every day for the rest of my life, and it would never look exactly the same as it did on this day at this time. It reminds me to keep perspective.