Category Archives: Politics

P(r)etty Thieves

BrewfestI’m glad to see the whole Harvard-professor-break-in incident is finally off the media radar blip since the peacemaking at the brotherly brewfest between Obama and The Players.

I had a similar incident happen in my neighborhood, but it was I who was the star player, and I couldn’t exactly cry racial discrimination in my very white-bread neighborhood. And I didn’t get a beer out of it, either.

Recently, I drove my very suburban SUV into my very suburban garage, only to have the garage door revolt on me, plummeting down its tracks as it attempted closure, popping and screeching loudly as springs sprung, wood splintered, tracks warped and the entire door collapsed in a crooked cave-in halfway down its descent, dangling a mere six inches above my car. The Mister and I sprinted to manually shove the door up just enough to back my car back out of the garage – just in case demon devil-door wasn’t finished with its destructive forces – and watched as it proceeded to buckle and slam down to the ground only seconds after we extracted the car.

Luckily, the company that installed the door accommodated us with an appointment the next morning. As The Mister headed off to work the next day, I hung around waiting for the door man. Knowing they would need the serial number and dimensions off the door, I proceeded to tiptoe with my morning coffee in my bare feet out into the garage to scribble down numbers, whereupon I slammed the mud room door behind me. Freeze frame. I winced as it occurred to me that hubs had decided to lock that inner door – which we never do – to thwart off anyone getting in through the now semi-exposed garage (how? by morphing through the slits of the quarter inch door panel gaps???). He’s a bit anal when it comes to safety. It’s an occupational hazard…post cop syndrome.

There I stood, locked and confined in an empty garage on one of the sultriest, muggiest days on record…with no exit access in sight. I immediately went into Suburban Survival Mode, gazing at the tools, garden equipment and 260 cans of alphabetized canuba car wax, wondering if they would find me in a few days in a prone position with the headlines reading “Woman Attempts Suicide from Carbon Monoxide Fumes, but Forgets Car.”

phone_resizedI immediately flashed back to moving day into the house, when my husband insisted on putting yet one more telephone in the house, choosing his man-room garage. I snidely mumbled something about overkill, as he judiciously ignored my attempt at emasculating him and proceeded with his TimAllenesk task of installing yet another toy, grunting with pride.

Ah-ha! The phone…yes! I have a neighbor with a key to my house. I’ll just call her and she’ll pass the contraband…er, key…through the crippled garage door and I’ll be free! Wait… I don’t know any phone numbers without my speed dial or directory on the upstairs phones. Sigh. On to Plan B.

It was then that my brain went into uber-logic mode, and I remembered she had called me only a day or two earlier. I picked up the phone to view “previous callers,” and was able to auto-dial her.

Angel108My little Tatooed Angel of Neighborly Necessities brought the key over, peered through the slat, snapped her finger and shouted through the pane, “Oh no you diiiiiin’t!!!” Snorting the entire time, she finally slid the key under the door. Jiggling the key in the lock, I soon realized she had an older key, as we had recently installed a new lockset. Dohhhhhh. On to Plan C.

In unison, she and I hummed, “We shall overcome.” Hell, we’ve raised children…this should be a cakewalk. She then proceeded to get on all fours, scraping her knees on the cement driveway, with her rear end jutting toward the neighbors, whereupon she lifted one panel of the garage door off the ground as I shimmied on my back out of the small access like an elephant squeezing through a turtle’s birth canal.

coverlargeTrying not to pee in our pants, we laughed loudly enough to raise the dead, and we envisioned nosy neighbors peering out of their windows at the two women who looked to be breaking into the townhouse. “I cain’t be sure, officer….they looked white to me, but with the shadows from that Mandevilla Vine and all, I really couldn’t identify them in a court of law…”

I was finally able to phone my husband from her house. (Darn, what’s his number again?) He eventually appeared with THE key, like a white knight ready to save the damsel…his masculinity now intact. But he hesitated for a split second before letting me in, saying, “And what was that ‘overkill’ comment about the garage phone????” Oh mea culpa already…

And it was only later that my neighbor smacked her forehead with a duhhhhh! and said, “Oh, wooops, I just realized I had brought you the key to the OTHER neighbor’s house!”

Well, at least if we get caught next time – breaking into the other neighbor’s house – I’ll willingly offer up my AARP identification card to the arresting officer…..without resisting.

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Keeping up with the Joneses



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Come on ah'my house, ah'my house!


Boys and Girls! You, too, can have your very own Guantanamo Bay replica doll house – complete with semi-furnished rooms, collectible items, decorative touches and idle soldier figurines. Just plug into any water source for simulated water boarding and drowning effects. And if you order now, you’ll also receive tiny replicas of 250 one-way airline tickets for the most recent occupants to fly to Kansas, where they will be housed with the Wicked Witch of the East and Toto, too.

imagesTen detainee figurines available. Also, if you call within the next 30 minutes, we’ll include actual passports and paperwork tucked into the pockets of uniforms with an actual stamp of approval which will provide your fun figurines with the same legal rights as U.S. citizens.  (Certain figures not available, including Khalid Shaikh Mohammed.)

ACT NOW! Only $19.99 – taxes and shipping not included…

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Right is Not Wrong

Make My Day...

Go Ahead, Make My Day...

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From the Mouths of Babes

‘Twas the night of elections, and all through the house…The Mister snuck up the stairs, quiet as a mouse…

My daughter came home from college to vote, and this being her first chance at choice, sat with me as we settled in to watch the elections.  The Mister, sick to death of being inundated with the television commercials and bashing over the airwaves, folded and dealt with it as realistically as he handles most things…“Watching it won’t change the outcome, I’m goin’ ta bed…” 

I was thinking the same thing, but for some reason, the election coverage was sort of like watching a car accident…you don’t really wish any ill-will on the parties involved, you know there’s usually at least one tragic outcome, but you just HAVE to look!

Watching Sara Palin exit the stage, shoulders drooped, my daughter quietly commented, “Wow, she looks pissed.  I can just hear her kids now…” 

Bristol: “Oh, crap, mom’s gonna be in a really bad mood. Think I’ll go stay over at Levi’s for awhile.”

Piper: “What do ya mean – I can’t go onstage anymore??? I was getting really good at looking cute cleaning Trig’s hair..”

Willow: “Does this mean I have to help with the laundry again??”

Track: “Phewwww, got outta that house just in time!”

My daughter made me laugh with her SNL-like production. Personally, I’m glad those poor kids don’t have to go through the media barrage and scrutiny under a microscope anymore. And when mom gets back into her routine, I’m sure calm will once again prevail in the household.

First Dude, though, might be wise right now to whip up her favorite batch of moose stew, bring her her slippers, and then hightail it to the garage and work on his snowmobile. initial


Damn, she's back...


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They Called Him Sky King…

My father, now in his eighties, is suffering from the pains brought on from barbaric, strategically directed radiation treatments needed due to a cancer in the soft pallette of his throat.  His courage and strength humble me. But it won’t be the first time he was faced with excruciating pain, discomfort, loss and a real test of fortitude. 

At only 20 years young, he became a prisoner of war in Germany in World War II after being shot down from his Flying Fortress (B-17), dragged through the streets by the local townspeople, and almost hanged. But some soldiers stepped in and decided, since he was an officer, he would be put to better use by being interrogated. Lady luck had stepped in. But he remained in a prison camp for a year after being shuffled through miles of wintery confinement in a cattle car – standing room only – for days, and was simply reported missing in action to his mother and sweetheart (my mother). Although finally rescued, his suffering would resurface in years to follow and his fortitude tested time and time again. 

My father logged most of his prison days in a journal. His “blog” was scratched down on paper provided by the Red Cross with nubby pencils, broken pieces of charcoal and homemade ink.  It is probably the last of many diaries that we will be able to touch and feel and smell. 

It makes me sad to think that our blogs and text messages will go into a big black abyss, never to be recorded or saved.  Yellowed, faded pages with leafs used as bookmarks will never be touched and felt by younger generations; stories of heroism will become obsolete; and our fathers’ bloodstains will be washed away without empathy or recollection.

He is now mostly deaf from the din produced from constant flying. He is wracked with macular degeneration of his eyes. He watched my mother succumb to cancer, and had to have mail read to him telling him he will no longer be allowed to fly his beloved airplane which he has had since I was a young child.  These are just some of the setbacks besetting this man of incredible dignity. Yet his spirit soars, he is relentless about living and is glad every time his feet hit the floor every morning.

These heroes won’t be around for much longer.  Their stories of sacrifice, tales of friendships made, persistence through the worst environmental conditions a human could endure, will never be fully appreciated by most of us.

The lines at the voting centers in a few days will be long.  People will complain.  Babies will cry.  Eyes will roll. Tempers will flair. And people will forget. They will forget what strides were made – and what liberties were taken away – by a few, in order to provide them all the luxury of choice.

– Artwork and poetry by Alexander King


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Make it stop…

“Are we almost there, mom?”

Please make it go away….

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