Sunday, August 31, 2008


There was the excitement of the announcement, the ambivalence, and then the hurtful nature of the press. Alaska bashing. New ways to trivialize women.

I didn't vote for Sarah, and I won't be voting for McCain-Palin. This is a small state (in population, not area). We meet our governors at the airport and picnics and (unless the governor is Murkowski) we get to know and like them. Talk to them.

Sarah is smart, tough and thrilling. I trust her, I admire her. Don't underestimate a woman who shoots, fishes, flies, and raises five children. Maybe running the PTA is adequate training for running the world. No one has tried it before. This is the first lactating vice-presidential candidate we are talking about.

Maureen Dowd was snarkier than usual today. I resented her characterization of Alaska as an "overgrown igloo" and Sarah as a "Cinderella chick flick".

The most painful parts of this are statements like "she is a hero because she gave birth to Down's syndrome child". That is little Trig they are talking about, and we are very protective and proud of him here. Not because his mother didn't abort. She never described the experience in those terms. Sarah and the First Dude presented him proudly and spoke candidly about the prenatal diagnosis and their efforts to come to terms with it. They never presented their experience in political terms.

I am horrified at the implication that a feminist pro-choice Democrat would automatically abort in those circumstances, Someone like me. If I had been lucky enough to be pregnant at 44, or any other time, and learned that the baby had Down's, I never would have considered abortion. There's nothing wrong with people with Down's. Trig is a beautiful baby and an Alaskan. He is not a pro-life icon and Sarah has never suggested that.

Now I am unexpectedly excited about the Republican convention. I am even distracted from "Nixonland".

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

conventions and history

I am watching the convention with interest, but it moves rather slowly. Worse than the Olympics.

So I sit in front of the television with "Nixonland" in my lap. Still convinced that Nixon is the story (and the horror) of my lifetime. I find, reading this, that I had forgotten a surprising number of details.

And its a big book - big enough to get me through both conventions.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

relax - mouse is dead

My new snake is, like my Sunshine corn snake, a stray. Adopted from the pound. This probably happens only in Alaska, since we have no snakes living here. Its just like Alaskans to rescue any snake they find and deliver it to the animal shelter.

She's a california king, not quite full grown, plump and mild mannered. I don't need another snake, but she is so lovely and so easy to handle I couldn't resist.

I have spent much of the weekend in various pet stores buying snake equipment of various kinds. And observing other pet freaks. I had a long talk with a man buying tropical fish. He said he hand-fed his fish and they would come to rest in his hand. He was bursting with excitement over the new fish in his plastic bag,

It seems odd, compared to the relationships we have with our dogs, How could I be so attached to my reptiles? They react to me, but I don't think they know me. But they are lovely and silent. I look forward to seeing them every morning and after work every day. I look forward to feeding them and cleaning cages each weekend. Apparently humans are wired to love fish, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates (when we are not eating them),

My frog is singing, a loud, plangent sound. I love him too.