Why Are We Surprised?

The Republican party’s Steele paid the tab for the Voyeur entertainment with donor money.  Single incident or got caught?

Sarah Palin recycles old interviews including one with a man she has never met.  Cute and spunky trumps integrity?

In every war, “God is on our side”.  I weep for God’s choices.

Political opponents are rarely labeled wrong.  Rather they are stupid, immoral, evil,  (fill in a negative).

Talk radio has become an exercise in shrillness.  Only the host and his groupies hold the moral high ground.

A recent incident on the Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri resulted in calls for the government to provide more safe and healthy entertainment for teenagers.  Excuse me?  These roving bands of bullies are all orphans?

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One To Eternity

That is my scale of importance.  It ranks close to the 15 minute rule in darker moments.  Something happens to rattle my calm and I need to find a buffer.  Enter the One-To-Eternity Rule.

Sarah Palin accuses the president of expecting Americans to sit-down-and-shut-up.  Questioned further about the source of her statement, she stumbled into a  remark about his condescending general persona, excusing her spin on the truth.

The Olympic silver medalist, Evgeni Plushenko, castigates the judges for awarding gold to  Evan Lysacek, a man who cannot execute the quad saying that a quad-less routine is not a sport but merely dancing.   Later, Bob Costas interviewed Evan Lysacek.  Lysacek was a gentleman refusing to take the bait of Costas reading Plushenko’s whine.

Scotty Lago won the bronze in half-pipe and posted questionable photographs of himself on the internet.  Doesn’t that qualify for some sort of annoyingly dumb award?

Back to my scale.  In true and valued importance these incidents rank on the single digit side, counting just a smidge more than a golfer who believed that skill and money gave him license to dismiss the rules of integrity.

The macro and micro world are racked by things that matter.  Haiti and the struggles of her people to eat and sleep in safety, to find jobs to earn what  replacements for moments of destruction.

Creeping nastiness in the world of politics and government, a nastiness that gives ordinary citizen a need to forget civil discourse in favor of personal attack.

A world economy that widens a rift between blue-collar struggles and white-collar comfort.

“Need work.  Ask for my resume.”  The new sign of the street corner times, replacing the, “Hungry, please help.”

Forty-five applicants for every available job on a government site.

A Man I Know taking the passenger seat from his car so he can replace it with plywood and pillow…his new home without a home.

A teenage boy will be tried as an adult for stabbing his cousin, killing her for teasing him.

The scale is tipped beyond balance.  These are matters for eternity.

President Obama, Sarah Palin andThat “Hopey, Changey Stuff”

“How’s that workin’ for ya?”

I was in the eighth grade, 1952, when Adlai Stevenson was a candidate for President of the United Sates.  Egghead was the label sarcastically pinned on Mr. Stevenson.  Many voters castigated him for being an intellectual, for being too brainy.  By any measure, he was smarter than a fifth grader.  Did that make him unqualified for the presidency?

Sarah Palin walked away from the Governor’s office 17 months prior to the end of her term.  17 months of service to her state handed off so she could do other things, like ‘spend more time with her family‘—– while doing book tours, TV commentary and ramping up for the 2012 election.

Her hopey, changey comment is very difficult to defend.  Would she campaign on a promise of no-hope-no-change?    Would dropping ending consonants and mispronouncing vowels endear her to world leaders?  Would she refuse teleprompters as she campaigned, preferring hand written notes on her hand?

Mrs. Palin is working towards the presidency using the strategy that she hopes will insure her success.  Maybe she is ‘crazy like a fox’ and knows her target voters very well.   I sincerely hope Sarah Palin is misreading the American voter.

Trading: Up or Down?

One year ago this venture began.  Feels like I could type “Once upon a time…” as a perfect beginning.    It was a fairy tale, a dream that was coming into our lives after years of persistence.  Our book, Four Ordinary Women, was in the process of being published. The promise was a launch at the New York Book Expo in May, 2009 and entry to major bookstores by June of 2009.  Euphoria comes close to describing the feeling.  We had realized a goal and the sparkle was blinding.

One year later and the dreaded ‘hindsight’ covers earlier due-diligence with a very gray cloud.  We question our business savvy as we relive the events.

There were moments of joy.  Book signings  brought us together with relatives, friends, high school classmates,  former colleagues, neighbors and wonderful strangers with whom we felt the bond of shared lives.  This was validating in so many ways.  And on top of that, it was pure fun.

Today?  Today the gilt  flaked.   Euphoria is long gone, replaced by frustration.

“Economic downturn” is the expression that  translates to an  octopus of failures.  The publishing business was not an exception and our publisher suffered the consequences.  His door closed on many levels, ours included.

Being the most ordinary of women, Patti and I refused to give up.  That is exactly what ordinary women do…refuse to give up.  It is the nature of our ordinariness, right?

We test our patience in so many ways.  We restructure our lives to fit new demands of time.  We falter.  We try something new.

Patti and I jokingly talk about meeting the chauffeur of a famous person, Oprah, Dr. Laura, Sarah Palin,  Margaret Warner, Gwen Ifill, Ellen.  We not-so-jokingly reach out in every direction that comes to mind.  We learn about marketing and distributing.

That famous dance? One-Step-Forward-Two-Steps-Back?  We know the rhythm and we make the moves.  It isn’t clear if we continue despite the set-backs or perhaps because of the set-backs, but we do continue.  Patti and I share the determination to prove that ordinary is amazing.