Tuesday, August 26, 2008

the questions I want asked

I am not much of a political blogger. I registered to vote when I was 18 because my grandmother said that if you didn't vote, you had no right to complain. The year was 1982. My parents were divorced and I lived at home with my mother who is a very conservative person. I also attended church every week and had attended an ultra-conservative Baptist school, although I graduated from public school because I changed in my senior year. With the popularity of Ronald Reagan, it is easy to guess that I registered as a Republican.

Dad is a "yellow dog" Democrat, which means he would vote for a yellow dog over a Republican any day. I never really got the chance to let his opinions influence me when I was young. We really never discussed politics at all until I was in my thirties, I would say.

I voted for Gore when he ran against Bush. I thought that anyone who made unflattering comments around a live mike, when he didn't know it was live, was too stupid to run a country. Remember that? In New Hampshire, I think. Anyway, I think he called a reported an asshole. My father had actually met Al Gore and assured me that he was a very intelligent man who knew government.

I couldn't vote for Kerry, mostly because I couldn't see his wife as first lady. I thought she was way too brash of a person. She seemed to always want to "tell it like it is". She made me nervous. Perhaps that wasn't fair, but it is the truth. I am sure if I thought more about it, I could make up a much better reason for not supporting Kerry, but it is what it is.

I like the idea of a smaller government and local control. However, it doesn't seem to be what the Republicans are about anymore. Spending is out of control. Anyway, this is what I want to know:

1. Have you ever ridden on public transportation. If so, what do you remember about it?

I recently had the occasion to ride the MTA bus #20 from downtown Baltimore to Catonsville, in Baltimore County. It was late at night, about 10 pm. I saw a woman with an infant in a carrier. The way she held her sleeping baby gave me the impression that she treasured that child. She also looked very tired. I wondered about what her life was like, as she got off the bus with her sleeping baby and all the gear a little one requires. I wonder how often she rides the bus with this little infant. She got off the bus in a very run down part of West Baltimore. I saw a woman who had a staff shirt on from the Baltimore Orioles. She probably worked at the concession. She looked exhausted and I figure she probably makes this trip after every home game. There were many more tired looking, hard working people on the bus, but these two stuck out in my mind.

2. Have you considered how someone is supposed to live on minimum wage? Have you sat down with a pencil and a piece of paper and figured out a budget for a family or even an individual earning minimum wage?

3. When was the last time you toured a public school in an urban environment? Would you feel like your country served you well if you had to attend a school like this every day? Take a look at the bathroom there, would you like to use it?

4. If you had to choose between prescription medication or food, which would you choose?

These are a few questions I would like to see answered.

What's are the chances that it will happen?

What questions would you like to be asked?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Yankee fans in Baltimore

I really wanted to go to all three Yankee/Oriole games this past weekend with my husband, a Yankee fan. He buys tickets to all the Yankee games in Baltimore because he is a Yankee fan and doesn't always get to watch them on TV, so I get that. I wanted to wear my Cal Ripken jersey every game because it was a gift from my husband and I really love it and I should be able to wear an Oriole jersey at Camden Yards without any hassle from anyone.

You would think it would be enough for any Yankee fan to be able to come to a beautiful stadium and watch their team take all three games. You would think you could find it in your heart to have a little sympathy for the loyal fans that do still show up for a team that has not finished a season above the 500 mark in more than 10 years. But no. It's not enough. It is hard to see that we are the minority in our own stadium. It is difficult to realize that when we go out to get a hot dog, we can't tell by the cheers if the Orioles made a good play or the Yankees, because there are so many Yankee fans there. It is hard to hear "Let's Go Yankees", constantly. It is hard to hear a rendition of "New York, New York" at the end of a home Oriole game. It is disappointing to hear the Yankee fan beside me laugh to his girlfriend about the Oriole fans who still do something as passe as "the wave". After all of this, I can't even leave the stadium in peace. As I was leaving the game early on Saturday night, some Yankee fan noticing my jersey, had to ask me if that "Ripken guy" was any good. I couldn't believe it, two Yankee fans in their 30's, two guys, picking on a middle aged woman for daring to wear an Oriole jersey to a game in Baltimore.

I just couldn't bring myself to go to the Sunday game. I just couldn't take any more of the poor winners.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Callaway-Garrison is a neighborhood found in the Northwest part of Baltimore. The northern boundary is West Cold Spring Lane, southern boundary is Liberty Heights Ave and it is framed on the east and west by Callaway Ave and Garrison Blvd.

It is a residential neighborhood consisting of single family homes built in the 20s and 30s. There are many bungalow style homes found here.

A home in this neighborhood was selected by Fritz Haeg, a California architect, and author of Edible Estates: Attack on the Front Lawn. He has created edible front lawns across the country.

The average sale price of a home in this neighborhood in 2007 was $133,553.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

One month

On the 12th of August NJG and I had been married for one month. So far, so good. I usually don't write much of a personal nature here, but it is the only thing I truly feel like writing about, so forgive me.

People keep telling me I seem happy and calm. I am, this is true. Funny thing though, there are stresses to this relationship. There is the stress of combining households. We still aren't completely moved in. There is the difficulty of not being used to each other's habits. I know I disturbed him when I emptied the dishwasher without bothering to close the bedroom door early one morning. There is the stress of a good friend staying with us for a little bit. There is the stress of a certain family member making decisions we do not agree with and feel helpless to change. There is the stress of being accountable to each other for how we spend our time. It is even stressful in a way to let him help me with the kids. I have been a single parent forever, even when I was involved or married to my children's father(s). I have the opportunity to make this different, but change is not easy, even for the better.

I am getting used to who I am and where I live. Yes, I did change my last name to his. It is not natural yet. Yes, I did wait until we were married before I moved in. It will take a while to decide where everything goes in the kitchen but it is fun. I am somewhat obsessed with keeping the house clean because it is so new and beautiful and I want my husband to know that I truly appreciate this wonderful place that I get to call home.

He is a wonderful, considerate husband.

So far, so good.

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Outside of the Onion

Early this morning my great aunt Madeline passed away. She was in her mid nineties and had lived in a nursing home for the last couple years. I was not close to her and never visited her, but my mother visited every Sunday and would sometime take my youngest one with her. She was the last of my grandmother's siblings. She was the last living relative of that generation on either side of my family.

As the eldest member of my generation in my family, I think about how life is like the layers of an onion. The inside of the onion is tender, juicy, small and protected by so many outer layers. I am so much closer to that outer, protective layer. Then there are the final layers of the onion that are thin and paper-like and could easily be flaked away.