Friday, July 18, 2008

My Take On My Book

I mentioned in my last blog, that I am reading Barack Obama's book, "Dream of My Father". I actually have wanted to read this for a very long time, but once he announced his candidacy for Presidency, it was his second book I kept finding, and not the first. This first book is about his experience growing up bi-racial, in various parts of the US and when he lived in Indonesia as a young boy.
First off, I am only about half way through.
Second, this book has been severely mis-quoted by both Liberals and Conservatives. As with any book, there are some areas open for interpretation. But I have read in newspaper columns that this book proves Obama is a flaming liberal, recovering drug addict, supports Islamic Terrorists because he is Muslim, and openly hates white people. I can't speak for Obama, but none of that is found in the book, regardless of what you think of him personally.

This is not the first book on...I guess for lack of a better word, African-American History I have read. I read bio's on Thurgood Marshall and Medgar Evers. I read James McBrides "The Color of Water" before it became so well known. I think I read "Cane River" before Oprah did. Especially with Thurgood Marshall's bio, I read first hand accounts have how hard the NAACP struggled in those early years, and some people would argue how they still struggle. But life, for all of us regardless of color, race, religion, or creed, is such an individual and personally journey that I wanted to read this man's take on growing up in the circumstances he did.
The book makes me sad and isn't so much about Obama but some of his personal observations, if that makes any sense. I don't agree with all that he says, and even though this book was written before he was even elected to the Illinois Senate, I can tell he is covering his butt for the future. I can't say I blame him; it just takes away from the story. You write about how much fun you and your friend had throwing rocks in a pond on a summer day and someone from the opposite party will make sure to let the world know that you not only particpate in animal cruelty but you also destory environmental habitats with your slovenly ways. Welcome to the year of an election-twisting words around for all to hear. Don't admit to youthful mistakes, misteps, or wrong directions because according to the uninformed voter, anything you did when you were 5 could be, and will be held against you.
What makes me sad is his take on race relations in America and as much as I want to disagree with him that color doesn't matter, and we should all jsut get along, the truth is, we don't. And it isn't about regions or areas, or maybe rural areas are more prejudice than sophisticated urbanites. It is just people-we don't get along like we should.
Every "group" has a hurt. And I know many of them can actively point to racism or just plain ignorance. Hispanic's complain about not enough representation, African-Americans complain about profiling, Women talk about the glass ceiling and pay ineaquity. The Irish can point to the lack of jobs and blatant hatred of Catholicism, Jews can say the same thing. Eastern Europeans were historically treated with scorn and derision when they arrived and those coming from that area today talk of the same problems. Do you see where I am going with this?
Man's inhumanity against Man (or should I say Human's inhumanity against Human) is legendary, long standing, and currently continuing today.
So what makes me sad about Obama's book is that the groups he talks about all seem to be shouting the same thing-mistreatment. And they are right-I am not denying that. It just frustrates me that through all the pain, and loss of hope and dignity, people don't see that that is our common bond. We have all been trampled on, kicked around, and treated like dirt somewhere in our history. It is, unfortunately, our common thread. And instead of striving to end the barbaric practice of trying to be the strongest and not be trampled on, we just keep pointing the finger that another race is to blame, and then claim to be the one most hurt. What we should be doing is working together to take out the bullies of every race, religion, and creed that exist. Sme fo worst deaths due to Mexican illegal immigration have come at the hands of other Hispanics supposedly helping their own. And James McBride talks about his Jewish mother's beatings at the hands of her father, his grandfather. No group of people is immune from their own personal assholes.
I am reminded of a scene from "Brighton Beach Memoirs", a movie from the '80's when Blythe Danner tells her movie sister that nobody had it worse than her Jewish parents, and her sister says that the Irish neighbors have their own hurts-are their families less important that it doesn't matter the pain they have suffered?
Sooooooo, "Dreams of My Father" is so far a fine book, but I wish it weren't so true in places.
Let me be corny-"What the world needs now, is love, sweet love. It's the only thing tht there's jsut to little of."

Thursday, July 17, 2008

My Night Off

Last week was pretty stressful. We took a 3 hour trip to visit a sick friend of my mom's (thankfully the friend is doing better), attended a memorial service, and had relatives in over the weekend. On top of this, I am getting the baby's room ready so the kid at least has a place to sleep and clean clothes. I figure Asa can provide the entertainment.
So Wednesday night I decided was my "night off". No baby chores, no talking with friends, no worrying about what needs to be done yesterday, tommorrow, or next week. Just a nice quiet evening of relaxation with my family, and after they go to bed, my current book ("Dreams of My Father" by Barack Obama).
We pick daddy up at 4:00p, go to the store to get Grandpa Anton's birthday gift, check out the near-by toy store and endure 1 temper tantrum since Asa didn't get a new toy, go grocery shopping, hit the new drive thru of the new chicken eatery, get home and put away just the perishable food, eat dinner, clean up Asa, clean up where Asa ate, unload the dishes from that morning, do the dishes from that night, take out garbage, take out recycling, watch daddy fall asleep, change one diaper complete with solids (details not needed), take out Asa's diaper pail, water outside plants (it was 91 degrees), put away the rest of the groceries, and sit down at 10:00p to read my book.
So glad I got a night off to relax.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Parents-To Be or Not To Be

Ironically, in the last few weeks, this topic has comes across my radar from numerous different sources-how do people know if they want kids or not? How do we know parenthood is for us? I write this from the shoes of someone who not only DOES NOT like babies, but as a woman who never wanted to give birth AND sat on the "HMMMM-kids, no kids" fence post till my early 30's.
Often, when people talk about having babies, I hear a lot about "lifestyle changes", "desire for children", and "ticking clock". I can't argue with any of that, but from a personal stand-point, I don't agree with it either.
In my advanced years, I have decided there are no such things as lifestyle changes, simply because everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, changes our lives. That is the one thing about life-change is constant. New jobs, marriage, divorce, where we live, hobbies we try and discard, new friends and old friends, drugs or no drugs, and the list goes on. Granted, if we get a new job and move, if might feel like a new lifestyle, but I realize now that it isn't my lifestyle that has changed, but more about thinking if I am on the path I want to be on. Life is a one shot deal-am I walking the areas I want to walk or did I veer to much? Am I at the right career to give me satisfaction or will I regret it in 5 years? Am I living in a home I like, or is the area less than I dreamed of? Granted, I may be arguing over semantics-if I move my life may change. But I think of it as putting my life back to the course I wanted in the first place. (FYI-I am not moving-I like my home).
So when I think of kids, I never think of them as a lifestyle change. Duh-my life changed with them. Along with the changes my body gets as I age, my views as I learn new facts, my relationship with the people around me as they change too, etc. What it came down to for me, is what I wanted out of life. When I am 90, and looking back on myself, what will I wish I had done? Kids was one of them. I realized that I wanted to wake up, and see someone excited because Santa stopped. I wanted to take little people camping, watch some crappy cartoon for the hundredth time, and explain why we really shouldn't pick our nose in public. I wanted to be around children. There are a lot of ways to do this. I knew I could pick a career with kids, adopt kids (my first pick), or go the old-fashioned route of reproducing. Since I had to share the decision with my husband, adoption was out and reproducing was in, but that is truly NOT the only way to have children in our lives. Again, it comes down to what you want out of life. I know teachers who are around kids all day long, and have decided not to reproduce but obvously have devoted their life to children. I know scout leaders with no children of their own who picked a different career path but devoted their free time to children. It is not the same as being a parent, but don't tell me they didn't have an impact.
So that is what it boils down to-at the end of the day, what do you want? It isn't a an easy question, and usually not answered in 2 seconds or less. But it's impact is huge.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Cravings part 2

Okay, when the local Taco Bell runs out of Dr. Pepper, do I freak out and explain to them how I NEED Dr. Pepper now, or do I accept the fact that it is the pregnancy hormones making me envision driving my car through their front door? I would never do that; I would never want to hurt people like that. However, at the drive through window, I did say to the clerk that I had been salivating fro a Dr. Pepper all day, getting me looks from the three Taco Bell employees at the window. Lesson to self-don't use big words at the drive through window. They don't get it.
Let it be known on Blog Land though that I didn't get me Dr. Pepper and I am typing very fast because I am UPSET!!!! Dr. Pepper, Dr. Pepper, Dr.Pepper-chant with me.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

The Ties That Bond Part 2

Oops-my bad. Even though I had EXAMPLES of why I married Nick, I forgot to state in one sentence why I married Nick.
No really. I married a life partner. I married someone who wouldn't desert me in bad times, and enjoy the good times with me. That if I really wanted to, they would hold my hand, and not make gagging noises when I ate liver. I married someone who was either willing to take the same path as me, or at least understood if I diverged a little on my own path. Love is great and all, and obviously Nick and I have a connection, but it is hard to remember why you love someone when the kid is throwing up at 4:00a and the husband is demanding to know why as he panics and gets a hand towel when I really need a big bowl to catch the fluid. If I could communicate directly with any of Asa's body parts, I am sure I would have won the lottery with my ESP powers.
So remember-marry a life partner. It will serve you better down the road.