Friday, February 29, 2008

Happy news! Congrats Kathi and Tony

Just wishing Kathi and Tony many very very blessed and happy remaining years of their lives!  Click here:  Our Wedding 2/28/08 to see photos of their (small, private, HAPPY) wedding yesterday! 

(Kathi, pretend I've added a lot of pretty, fancy, beautiful graphics and Psalms here, kay?  Meaning, pretend I even know HOW lol.)
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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The morning after.

The morning after.

It took me about 40 some minutes to figure out that M's school has a 1 hour delay, and my work has a 2 hour delay!  We rarely get a delay or closed, it's usually the equivalent of "if you need to take time off, you're allowed to use your vacation or sick time or take off without pay if you don't have vacation or sick time." Today, there's enough ice and freezing rain and "wintery mix," that it's warranted. Worse last night, however. Solid ice in my neighborhood, where it's half melt
ed now. Every blade of grass, every pine needle, is coated individually in ice, some now dripping.

We enjoyed a show by Trinity Irish Dance Company in Gettysburg. Frankly, I enjoyed the music almost more -- live musicians, the song Lark in the Morning (I could HEAR that lark, a beautiful and rousing reel), and a song near the end, Extraordinary. The singer had written it for a good friend also departing Ireland, who ended up happy in Australia. I thought of Dougie for that one.  (Musicians Christopher Layer, Brendan O'Shea, and Barret Harvey).

There had been more snow in Pennsylvania, and I'd never seen "the square." It's really a roundabout / traffic circle with little shops about. Beautiful, really, in the snow.  Traveling to my mom's town, who then drove us on to Gettysburg, SO many accidents south of us, many major roads closed. This morning, I hear route 15 near Thurmont is closed due to a traffic trailer overturning. We drove along there last night in the freezing rain, seemed okay enough with few on the highway, except my mother's wiper blade was getting coated in ice
ice itself and so not working as effeciently as it should.
It was beautiful, and, as the musicians stated, quaint. My mother commented a few times how she'd like to return and spend some time in that restaurant (caleld The Pub but really a restaurant). The whole place seemed stepping back in time a mite there in the snow, too. The Majestic Theatre a renovated historical building.

The dancers werefantastic, all obviously the top of the top, Open Champions sure, but better somehow.Ah, yes, many world qualifiers, one won nationals at least once, their piece, The Dawn won the gold medal at Worlds, etc. I like the overall show of M's ID schools better, to be honest, but this was quite enjoyable.  (M's ID school's various performing troupes have dances that are more likely to tell a story, especially in their "Big Show" that's coming up, and have varying costumes and visual art.)  A Trinity piece with East Indian music (called Goddess), and a piece with drums, (called Black Rose), were both really great.  Some of the others pieces showed traditional steps in their choreography -- done exceptionally well, mind.  The sole male dancer did fantastic hardshoe, as did some of the females, those Treble Jig(s) were fantastic, albeit his was highlighted more and WOW WOW WOW.  We met up with "the other M" and her mom, too.  We're all glad we went.  Waiting to get into my mom's vehicle, M was shivering a bit, said, "I want to DANCE!"  FYI -- Trinity Irish Dance Company are performing at the Weinberg Center in Frederick, Maryland, tonight (

During intermission, I called a girlfriend for primary election results.  I voted during lunchtime combined w/ my quick posting, and at first the registrat couldn't pull up my particulars.  He typed in my name 2-3 times.  He was able to find me via my street address, and said I was the third person who this had occurred with.  He did report the problem to the election judge.  I was still wearing my "I voted" sticker Maryland polling locations hand out, when my girlfriend called me back later.  She left a message as the second half of the show was on, so scrambled, it sounded as if she said Huckabee had won Virginia.  Pennsylvania didn't vote yesterday so I wasn't going tobe able to find out THERE, with no media going on. I found out later, the huge amount of weather and traffic difficulties had the Maryland Election Judge declare that polls would remain open until 9:30 p.m., instead of 8:00 p.m. This makes sense, no matter whom someone was attempting to vote for. Too many were delayed getting home, to families, pets, and their own voting location.  Italked w/ my friend again on the drive home -- better results at that point but still not 100% in. It was sounding good.

This a.m.? The front page of The Washington Post shows Barack Obama smiling, holding a box of Duncan Donuts, standing near D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty, and a young girl, from a campaign stop he'd made in D.C. yesterday morning. In LARGE font: "Obama, McCain Sweep Primaries."

M tried to watch results last night on television, but even though she'd slept to and from the show, I had her get tobed. She'll be happy -- from the paper: The District: Obama 75%, Clinton 24%,; Maryland: Obama 62%, Clnton 35%. Virginia, Clinton 64%, Clinton 35%.  NOTE:  These were tentative resultsbased upon poll results received by the time the newspaper had to go to press.  While the overall results of who won remain the same, the exact percentages, and not sure but perhaps even the exact number of delegates assigned, are likely not to turn out exactly as listed here.  It is reported everyplace I've seen that Senator Barack Obama is now ahead in number of delegates, and THAT is exciting, too :)

I was a mite amused to hear reports that the demographics didn't stick to the supposed mold.  Ahh, gee, so us Democrats who are older than 30/35/40, white, and make under whatever amounts were said, actually can vote NOT for Hillary Clinton?  At the Barack Obama rally on Monday, a diverse group of people, of a wide age range, were not only there but supporting him or on the fence.  If someone wants to vote for Hillary Clinton -- great -- let him or her; a Presidential election should not be based upon gender or ethnic background, but on him or herself, and his or her policies.  I'm happy the demographers have figured out that many of us have already figured this out:)

Senator John McCain won between 50 and 67% of votes. The 50% was in Virginia, where they have open elections -- the rumour? is that many Republicans were thinking of voting for Hillary Clinton as they figure she's more likely to lose, is easier to be beaten

in the National Election. * (Update:  my understanding is that how Virginia holds openprimaries is that a registered voter of any party, Democratic, Republican, or Independent, can vote for either parties ballot on that date -- perhaps I'm incorrect and only Independents can chose.  I agree with "ravenjuiced" that no self- respecting person would vote in a game-playing manner, but I've heard of this potential for years, and don't put it past some (of any political party.  I don't know if this occurred in this particular primary or not -- just that some talked about it as if it was occurring this way -- and hence my use of the word rumour).

Many Independents in Maryland wanted to be able to vote, but they would have had to sign up in November to switch parties. There is talk of trying to change that, allow the switch much closer to the primary instead. That I could support.  I'm leery of allowing ANY registered voter to vote in ANY parties primary, because of the chance to game play negatively. 

The next bit headlinedown says "Freezing Rain Shuts Many Highways." Yep. More later today, too, yet it should get a fair bit warmer, too. It never got out of the 20F's yesterday, and today may hit 40 (oh, hearing maybe 50F now! still with chance of snow after 11:00 p.m. / midnight).

Just a side note: Those extended hours voting in Maryland had ballots that won't be counted fully for potentialy a week, which could make a difference in some of the more local races (but not really for Senators Obama or McCain). Virginia did NOT extend its hours. Perhaps only northern Virginia had difficulty? Not sure.

I suppose I should arouse sleeping Cinderella......  (I think it's a breakfast in bed under warm blankets, after I show her the front page! type of morning.)

Stay warm, safe, and dry, all. Even if it's really not bad walking the dog in this coldcold rain, comparatively. Last night it was an ice skatingh rink outside. And, yes, I'm THRILLED with the Obama-momentum! :) Yes we can. And, are.

(Another note -- several who put up Obama signs in my county, said they'd been stolen -- I don't know if other signs for other candidates had been stolen or not.)


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Today is the anniversary of the birth of our nation's great President Abraham Lincoln.  I've always liked him.

Today is the anniversary of my cousin Dougie's death.  I've always liked him, too, but in quite different ways.  His wife was headed out to a St. Valentine's (singles) dance party.  Oy.  I've been e-mailing more with my lovely freshman in college goddaughter LEL, Dougie's niece.  She misses him, too.  I need to contact her mom, my cousin Stephanie.

Today it's cold.  "MOOMMMM!  Is it COLD-cold, or just cold?"  "Will it be like yesterday cold?  "Just" cold.  Sunday the winds were 55-60 mph, me in my performance black skirt and tights trying not to blow away before or after our fundraiser show, E thinking he'd try to light a cigarette ha, I did make sure I walked out with him, but I left him to attempt that cuz, well, it was also 12F degrees.  My car sounded like a warmer idea.  So, comparatively, today's anticipated sleet, this bit of snowing now, it's COLD, but it's not like that.  A wetter cold than yesterday where we stood in "only" about a mile / mile and a quarter line to get inside the filled to 95% capacity (holds 19,500 but some tables for media, et al, so estimated holding 17,500), arena. * [Update:  saw an official estimate of 18,500 people. WOW.] Yesterday, she still rode just not two horses, being M landed on the floor of the indoor ring with a spooked bucking pony.  That's unusual, but even the very best riders have that occasionally, this one requiring M to soak in a nice warm bath later.

Today will be more ice than snow.  I think.  Or sleet.  I've always liked snow.  We'll see if we visit my mom and see a fantastic Irish stepdance show further north tonight or not.  If we do, as tired as M and I both are, "the other M" in M's dance troupe and her mom happen to have tickets to thee same event.  It'll be fun.  I AM feeling worn out, but we'll push forward, and yes, it WILL be fun!  (Even if I'm fine to have it canceled, is that bad?  A fantastic enjoyable show, I know just could use more downtime.)

Today, as "frankandmary" points out, is Kimberleigh's birthday.  I love the poem Mary includes.  (I'll try to link this.)

And, of course, today is the Potomac Primary / Chesapeake Primary, for Maryland, D.C., and Virginia.  I will only write politics when I'm on my home computer, et al.  instead, I'm on a downtime / breaktime right now.  I will say that there is excitement, there is concern that the impending weather may keep some voters away from voting, combined with the 16 point predicted lead in Virginia and 18 point predicted lead in Maryland that the polls last predicted, keeping some voters feeling that Barack Obama will win without them personally leaving home in less than ideal weather and going a few blocks to make their vote.  On a radio station M and I listen to, 107.3, President Bill Clinton came on and spoke.  Gosh, I do still like him -- I can still sense his appeal.  I'd write more, but, not while I'm here.  He sounded as if he was starting to get hoarse, still upbeat, and of course supporting his wife for President.  Later, Senator John Kerry came on -- I couldn't listen to all of that interview as I had to go into the office!, but he also sounded great (and is supporting Barack Obama).   They'd invited all the current candidates.  Hillary Clinton has/had flown on to the next state, I heard?, and Barack Obama was meeting and greeting people at the Eastern Market metro this morning.

I still say that the important thing is that people educate themselves sufficiently, and go VOTE.  The risk of a democracy is that some people a) are not knowledgable about the candidates and their positions, b) are ignorant (i.e., perhaps hold racist or other generalization concepts that are fallacies), and c) don't vote -- perhaps don't even register TO vote, or just don't get around to doing it.  The benefit of a democracy is that all of the citizens of the USA (sans a few criminal types or whatever those details are), once of legal voting age, have that chance to voice his or her opinion.  I also get to vote for my Congressional representative again.

We can do this -- make it through the day -- for those who are not longer here with us and can't do it themselves, for our parents and children and grandchildren (to be), for ourselves.

"This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."  -- Psalms something I should have memorized by now but escapes me.

I miss you, Douglas Everett [last name].  I will speak my voice today, before the weather gets icy (albeit, from home, I can walk to my polling location if need be), and share time with M and perhaps my mother, also, because we can.  Staying LIVING is something I know you'd want us to do.  I am still blessed, Tinkerbell warm under the covers with me this morning and Daisy at my feet (until the alarm went off, then she was trying to be IN MY FACE).  But I miss you.  Love ya always -- Robin

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Potomac Primary/Chesapeake Primary

well, this is a first (Potomac Primary / Chesapeake Primary)
listening to: How Far We've Come - Matchbox Twenty

In my recollection, no Presidential candidate has EVER campaigned him or herself in the state of Maryland. EVER.*  [Yikes, UPDATE:  found out chatting with friends, before Marc so nicely pointed it out to me, that Wallace had been here.  "Wallace.  He was shot here in Maryland."  "Oh, right, he was, was he campaigning when he was shot?"  "Yes."  To give myself some credit, I did say in my recollection.  lol  See, in the parts of 1972 when anyone would be campaigning, being a November baby, I'd have been only 10 years old.  I remembered he'd been shot, locally, but heck if I would have remembered that it was while he was campaigning.  My world only brushed with politics at that point.  Even if I helped register voters in my high school come 1979, when I ws too young to vote myself (17 until that November, and not sure what date in November the elections were that year).]

I'm a local, born in DC and grew up primarily in Montgomery County, Maryland, with some time in South Portland, Maine, two summers in Santa Barbara (Goleta), California, and some time in the greater College Park, Maryland (Prince George's County) area.

No one comes here. It's as if we're, I don't know, too close to D.C., not meaningful enough, something. Going door to door? I don't recall any political door-to-door person ever coming by, who was in support of a Presidential nominee/candidate. It's rare for me to see anyone going door to door campaigning, then again, I did see a few when at my father's house. It's closer in, and a house-house. My mother/stepfather live in houses and not condos or apartments or townhouses, but much further north.
The radio ads for Barack Obama started, hmmm, a week or so ago? He's switched from one to another, which I think hits out more of his message that way, and I've seen one of his on television. I haven't seen or heard of any from any other candidate so far, not here. I read today that Hillary Clinton has a television ad that was to start today (or yesterday?). I also hear that there's been more focus in Virginia, particularly from Senator Clinton. Ah, yes.
There have been campaigns for probably all four main current candidates, I'm told. Our otherwise fine Governor Martin O'Malley, along with gotta love her Senator Barbara Mikulski, held a rally for Hillary Clinton yesterday in Annapolis. M was off school, and if Senator Clinton herself would have been there, we'd have found parking somehow there and gone. Even if I'm a Barack Obama supporter. We went to a shipwreck exhibition instead:) oh, and window shopping for a beach-themed "big show" costume.  FYI -- Maryland Attorney General, Doug Gansler, supports Barack Obama.
The night of President "Dubya" Bush's latest state of the union address, Barack Obama held an overwhelming flowing out the doors successful rally at American University. If any other candidate has taken time to stop in D.C., it wasn't noticeably on the news. He's connected, and connecting more and more -- a surge a movement, whatever. He is taking the time. That can matter.
Today, Washington State votes, where my aunt Beth, uncle Len, my cousin Ian and his new wife, Kelly live. I'm not sure if she can vote yet -- I suspect not. She's a legal immigrant from Canada, on whatever visa, etc., she's allowed to be here on. I don't believe one can fast-track to citizenship that quickly. But, the others can vote. Len is still quite sick so he may not get out, and Beth may stay in with him, I don't know. I did hear that Barack Obama had a successful campaign stop in Seattle last night.
The caucus (I think) in Maine is tomorrow.  Both Senators Clinton and Obama were there, at University of Maine, and Bangor, respectively.  I wonder if LEL's gotten herself an absentee ballot or not, how my aunt Vesta and uncle Kenny will vote, Stephanie and the rest. My mother, from Maine but a resident in Maryland for years now, is a Democrat, but dislikes Hillary Clinton. Really dislikes her. Many of my Maine relatives have worked in paper mills, my grandfather at a rock quarry, etc. Would Mom have voted for John Edwards? Would they have?  (Note -- he's pulled out of the race.)
<FONTLANG=0 PTSIZE="10" FAMILY="SANSSERIF" size="2" face="Arial">M and I watched the New Hampshire Presidential debates, Republican and Democrat. I try to keep her educated and informed, about the process, about how to chose for yourself and vote. She'll be voting in the next general electoin 4 years from now. I'd ask her neutral questions, and why did you like him, why did you not? If she had to vote Republican, she preferred Rudy Guiliani, seemed most leader-like and liked his NYC policy on handling immigrants in emergency rooms.
M REALLY liked John Edwards, "He was just on fire, Mom, on FIRE." She had more reasons than this, and we laughed about tie style/colors and how it doesn't matter, yet can reflect an image yadda yadda. While we've talked elections in depth previously, other general elections are just not strong in her memory, other than the 3day wait to see who really is President.
M also thought that Bill Richardson should be Vice President. She believed him to be knowledgable in important areas, but not a strong enough leader him self to be President. I came into that debate knowing I liked John McCain as a person, but nothing politically, liking Hillary Clinton, thinking I could like Barack Obama, and not remembering a lot about John Edwards.
(As a POW, John McCain had spoken at a luncheon that my mother, brother, and I had attended once, in honor of those who had died in the Korean war. Mom's brother, Billy, had died as a teenaged POW in the Korean War. I forget the other speakers, but remembered him as a decent man. Again, I otherwise didn't know his politics which I'm learning about more and more now.)
I've always liked Hillary Clinton, even M did. M cut out a photo of Hillary Clinton from The Washington Post, when Hillary was First Wife. She was sitting on a White House balcony, as if thinking. It's a lovely shot, and M posted it in her scrapbook of bestest stickers. I also believe it was up to her, it was her decision, whether or not to stay sticking by her husband after his affairs became so public. Her, God, and him. Not us, not me. Heck, I like him fine enough, too.

But I kept hearing more and more about Barack Obama, from a few mentions as the freshman Senator, to personal comments from others. N had reason to take interns to "the" Hill for a Congressional session last summer for part of a day. N actually pointed out, of all the things he could have commented on, how very impressive Barack Obama was.  Shortly after the NH debates, friends of mine got together long overdue I needed that, and the conversation turned to politics.  My good dear "knight in black leather jacket" friend, E, die-hard Republican, said, "He's eloquent without opening his mouth."  Ah, yes, Barack Obama is eloquent, intelligent, articulate, and seemingly respectful.  It's not just that he's a man with a way with words, which I admit I'm a sucker for, but what's behind them.  From the things I've heard, such as his work in Illinois putting credibility back into finances (campaign? financing, something politically -related so they were no longer one of thee worse states), working to better public housing situations, and not messing in political mudslinging, to me speak towards Barack Obama's integrity.

I even liked how he mentioned that he'd been going back and forth between watching the Republican debate, and the football playoffs, when it came time for his interview during the NH debates. (Even if the Redskins lost that one.)
In watching those debates, I saw Barack Obama rise above the b.s. (not get into the negative stuff, just be classier than that), be a leader. Hillary Clinton looked tired, and as she stressed her experience, it clicked for me all whom she'd be beholden to, all those connections. Could she just run the country, or would her past, even a good past, get in the way of that? I don't really like how she's run her campaign, it's more politics as usual (like most of the other men competing, no worse).
The policies between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are relatively similar -- if either wen't such a strong contender, it'd be nice to see them run TOGETHER. But, Barack Obama? He's just got it together, inspiring hope, asking for ideas from any of us (just go to his website), what can we ALL do. He is NOT politics as usual. And, THAT is exciting. Even as his wife, Michelle, says he's still just a man, he forgets to put the butter away. LOL, yeah, only God should be worshipped.
So while more and more candidates drop out, the Potomac Primary or Chesapeake Primary, takes place Tuesday. That's the State of Maryland, Commonwealth of Virginia, and the District of Columbia (Democratic only for them, I believe, but being that the city is overwhelming Democratic, that's really a mute point).  Americans overseas also vote on Tuesday.
Hillary Clinton has put in an additional $5M of her own money (wow, that anyone has that much), yet she's not focusing on Maryland that I can tell. From what I've heard, she does plan to make a stop, herself, in Maryland but hasn't yet announced (confirmed?) a location. Uh-huh. She does plan to visit Manassas and Roanoke. Barack Obama will be visiting Alexandria (oh, I love that town), and Virginia Beach -- conflicting info that Virginia Beach is Monday evening, or tomorrow/Sunday.
I believe they will debate in Richmond, or at least they have a dinner there tonight. To quote today's The Washington Post (John Wagner and Tim Craig): "On the Republican side, Huckabee has an appearance scheduled today in College Park, and McCain announced a rally in Richmond on Monday." I will note that the Virginia Governor, Kaine, is supporting Barack Obama.
Monday, Barack Obama will be at Cole Field House, University of Maryland, College Park, doors opening 10:30 a.m. That afternoon, he will speak in Baltimore, at the Mariner Arena (a big convention center downtown), doors opening at 2:45 p.m. To get clarification as to when he'll be in Virginia Beach, and where, please check out
It's a first in my 46-year old memory to have any national Presidential candidate visit Maryland personally for campaign reasons.  [Sigh, having somehow not been politically savvy enough to remember Wallace's having been shot.]  I'm most comfortable with the UMCP site, but that's alright -- it'll be closer to the D.C. area and the many supporters he may have in Prince George's county, and otherwise. He picked a state school, a good one, but a state school, he is supposedly big with the college educated and the younger generations. (So how come so many not well off older whites support him? lol, many reasons.  And, hey, he spoke for benefits for seniors, too, when this so-called economic stimulus package was going on, I'm attuned now when helping seniors is mentioned). Anyway, this is a first for ME as an adult. 

And, as my mother pointed out -- in 1960, a year before I was born and Barack Obama was born (both in 1961), segregation was still strong and around.  Back in Civil War times, Baltimore city had the largest population of free blacks in the country. Yes, this is a huge first, also. I'm so glad he'll visit Baltimore, where the Star Spangled Banner was written, "for the land of the free, and the home of the brave."

When my grandmother, worked on "the" Hill for her (Democratic) Congressman from Ohio, I wonder if she'd have ever thought she'd see the day when a woman, and a man born of a Kenyan man and a Kansas white woman, would be running strongly and taken seriously as Presidential candidates (against a veteran).  (Grandma was born in Rising Fawn, Georgia, to Quaker parents, a doctor father and a school teacher mother, but went to college in Ohio, where she met my Irish immigrant grandfather.)  

This is history.

So, yeah, I'll take M out of school part of Monday. Been a while since she's been to my alma matter, anyway:)  Btw, there is a LOT of information on Senator Obama's website, about his (Christian) faith, about whatever, even social networks, etc. For those interested.

Primarily, people should get out to vote, whomever they wish tovote for. Even if the only campaign signs I've seen are one bumper sticker for Obama and several roadsigns for Ron Paul.  The ads here are just beginning.  We, all of us Americans, can do it.  We have the right to have our say.  This year, Maryland is getting some attention.

(Update:  Hillary Clinton did come to Maryland, Bowie State University and the GM plant.  As The Washington Post stated, Barack Obama had arena crowds (UMCP and B'more, but also at a cafe in Silver Spring), and Hillary Clinton's were more intimate gatherings.  Huckabee, I don't know how large, but he did visit, and unclear if McCain did or not -- but he's around, also.)