Election day

Can we hold the election for a bit? I need just a little more time.  Not to make up my mind.  I know how I’m voting from President Obama to reforming three strikes in California. No, I need more time to marinate in the season. Elections have always been a big deal for me, but this year, not so much.

Here is My Obama, actor friend Ronnie Butler

I was pretty non plussed.  It’s been a bit of a challenging year, however there was NO WAY I would vote for Romney. The closing of Campanile has consumed my life for the last couple of months.  In 2004 I went to Florida to campaign for Kerry.  In ’08 I was in Texas for Hillary in the primaries,

In Austin in '08, Hillary is on the stage behind me.

then phone banking in California while pregnant with Rex.  I gave money a plenty.  This year I gave about $85. $35 was to win a dinner with Obama and Clooney (didn’t win) and the $50 was after Bill Clinton’s fantastic speech at the DNC got my panties in a bundle for the big dog.  The Dems email and call me about 20 times a day.  They have my vote, but not my attention.

Until now.  Campanile is closed.  I’m more relaxed.  I’m adjusting to the new normal. It took me a few days to notice how hard a hit Monster Storm Sandy was.  I’m checking back in! I want to watch political shows, as long as I don’t have to see Ann Coulter, I could even do some door to door in a swing state ( if it was one where they paid my way, which was offered for Nevada).  It’s like Obama said at the DNC, all along it was about us.  Or in this case me.  My life didn’t have time for this little presidential election until right now.  So, can we hold off?  I’m sure people in Ohio cannot get enough of those commercials! There are some happy ad sales people thanks to Citizens United.

Tuesday night I should be home by 5:30pm PST  ( after soccer practice) My remote is broken so I’m going to be burning calories, walking up to the TV and manually changing it between various news stations like it’s the late ’80′s.  I have some great olive oil mashed potatoes  my husband cooked, Brussel sprouts and a couple of steaks.  I’m going to pick up some Red, White ( no blue) wine tomorrow. My husband is going to be next me watching with wide eyes. It’s going to be close and for Supreme Court alone I sincerely hopes Obama is reelected.

Vivien at 3 in '08

About to go to school today.

In 2008 Campanile was the site of a blazing Election night dinner with big screens and happy Democrats hugging each other.  That night I thought our family was rich.  Within 5 weeks, life changed dramatically for us. So, am I better off than I was four years ago?  On paper, no, but in reality, yes.  The money I do have really does exist.  In the last few days I’ve spent more time with my husband than I have in a year or more.  It’s like a honeymoon, except instead of Tahiti we move boxes to storage units. Four years ago I didn’t have Rex.  There are minuses to be sure…I do miss hosting my TV show ( and the check) and my dad, global warming looks scarier every day. These are not things I can lay at Obama’s feet.

I love the excitement that an election year brings. Yes, it’s disruptive to some Facebook friends when you don’t agree with their political posts, ( I have to “hide” some people right now) but Vivien is learning a lot.  At school they are doing a mock election with fictional characters.  She is campaigning for TinTin.  ”Please mommy, pinky swear that Tintin and Obama win.” I need more time to get this budding politico involved.  At her age I was going door to door for my dad’s campaigns.

I also need a little more time to decide about whether we should slap condoms on the porn stars of LA.  It’s Measure B.  Shouldn’t it be Measure P?

Note: so bummed I was fired up to vote first thing after I dropped the kids at school, but sadly, the moving has worked my back.  Mark was a champ and I need to ice up before I get to the polls.

Potty Patriotism

Like so many of motherhood’s hurdles – weaning, getting the baby off the bottle, remembering that my vagina used to be used for sex – toilet training seemed insurmountable. Now we’ve finally had a breakthrough. Praise the Lord.

Cool Mom Poll Results: You Know Your Country!

I asked on Monday what you thought would happen on Tuesday, not what you wanted to happen in the election. Fifteen percent thought there might be a McCain upset by a hair, but 84% thought Obama would win, and by which margin was split evenly.

Obama poll results Cool Mom

It’s funny that even though I thought Obama would win, when he did, I was – like so many others – quite emotional. And I was not in the tank for him for most of this. He won by more than I guessed.

Even though “my guy” won, I have such sympathy for those that lost: McCain and Palin. Especially McCain, since he has been at it for so long and this was his LAST chance. When my dad lost his local elections, my whole family felt like we had been kicked in the gut.

We forget how vulnerable politicians make themselves.  It’s one long audition. You keep asking people to like you, believe in you, be inspired by you, trust you! And then when they don’t, it’s a slap. It must be especially hard when you get 50 million votes and still lose. Kerry and especially Gore had this. Now it’s the other team’s turn, but I don’t relish it. One day, surrounded by Secret Service and screaming crowds. Yesterday McCain climbed in his car and drove himself home, no entourage.

And enough with the Palin bashing. She’s back home. If anyone should be ridiculed or blamed for the GOP loss, that should go to Bush. I still think that there is a viciousness that people – and especially women – unleash on other women that they don’t on men. I didn’t vote for her, but it was good to see a woman on a major ticket. And you know, I like the husband: Todd didn’t seem to have any ‘tude about being the guy behind the throne, and I like that in a guy.  I can imagine why many would be brooding or sulking.

Anyway, we are free at last, free at last, from the longest election cycle ever… or so it seems.

Victory!

Even though the polls were showing an Obama victory, I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel. I wanted him to win, but didn’t want McCain to suffer the fate of Mondale – a humiliating defeat. I think McCain is a good person, but Bush screwed him in 2000 and left the GOP smelling like pee, so it was an uphill battle. Plus, like I reluctantly came to believe with Hillary, it was not his moment in history. That moment was Obama’s.

Moms celebrate Obama victory - Cool Mom

I did LOTS of phone calling for Kerry in ’04 and Hillary in the primary, but when my sister Carole and I phonebanked to Virginia Tuesday morning, I saw further evidence of the Obama campaign’s superior orgnazing skills. We were given not just names of people, but their birthdate, address, other family members, polling place, everything short of blood type. I looked at Carole and said, “No wonder he beat Hillary in the primary.”

I was lucky to be with family and friends at Campanile (my husband’s restaurant) on Tuesday night. They had an amazing set-up with flags and big screen TVs, which is not the norm at this fine dining establishment. There were also election facts and a political quiz put together by yours truly. (I love quizzes.)

It was looking good and we were done with dessert. I turned to say hi to a lady I had seen at the phone bank and suddenly… Obama’s win was announced by CNN! Everyone erupted. I ran to my sister Cecily and hugged her, saw my friend Bonnie crying, hugged her. Then I started crying. Looked at my friend Molly’s sister-in-law Maureen, a school teacher who had made many calls for Obama, silently crying, and I walked to her and we shared a long embrace. I cry thinking of it now. The important struggle of African-Americans in the US is, in a sense, coming to an end. It’s a victory for all Americans, showing that anyone can achieve their dreams here.

Moms calling for Obama - Cool Mom

I was soooo mad about Bush being elected in 2004 ( I don’t count it as a re-election). I was pissed at many Americans. But finally people saw that he was the wrong track. And this is is such a 180-degree turn that it is exciting. 

I am so excited that  I can write in my son’s baby book that when he was born, the president was Barack Obama. My dear stepdaughter Vanessa texted me that she was so happy that Vivien and Junior (his pre-natal moniker) “Are going to grow up never wondering whether America would ever elect a black person as president in their lifetimes.” America beat my expectations, I freely admit.

Next up? Hopefully a woman!

My Week So Far: From Sprained Arm To Ice Cream

Well, I’m now wearing a splint (see picture below). And if one more guy asks me if I have a bowling injury…

Sometimes I have to take it off to get stuff done, like right now, as I am writing. I skipped my 9 holes this week, and I’m trying to be good, but it’s hot and this splint bugs me.

Also, I’m suppose to do hot-and-cold immersion a few times a day… I barely do it once. Need to get on that. Vivien hates the sling and wants me to take it off; I can’t pick her up as easily with this injury. But, it is a reminder to keep it on.

I take it off when I shot my show. Yesterday, I did a shoot with Nate Berkus (the decorator who goes on Oprah) – what a doll. We talked about trends in home furnishings. He has a new line on HSN (Home Shopping Network) that is vintage-inspired, and I collect vintage pieces so, oh my, Nate and I, we got along! He also said stone was a hip trend, like polished stone table. It “grounds” a room. I thought, “Just keep giving me those blue eyes and you had me at ‘table.’”

PLAY TIME

My dad’s “home” took a field trip to an outdoor food market right near us, so I got to have lunch with him, which was great (and I got to skip the long drive to see him). He seemed good and I told him about the post I did about elder abuse. He said, “Glad my girls looked out for me.”

Later Viv and I went to Giggles N’ Hugs, an eatery on the Westside of LA that caters to kids and parents. Great magic tricks and the BEST balloon-animal maker I have ever, ever seen. The guy made Vivien a monkey on a tree, with a face, all in a balloon! If you live in the area and want to use him, email me and I will hook you up. As a bonus, we were joined by Kristy Swanson (the original Buffy) and her young son, so between that, the fries, and Jersey Jim’s magic act, Vivien was in hog heaven. I was trying to pull her out of there so I could watch the debate.

We had most of the family together for the debate: Both of my stepsons, hubby, and mother-in-law, but after about 30 minutes, I started to nod off. It was a snooze. They both did fine, but I was missing the Bill Clinton emotion, which Obama doesn’t have. I wanted him to feel someone’s pain. And there was no wacky audience member who made people uncomfortable, asking questions like, “Senator McCain, I have HIV; will you share a sandwich with me?” I think whoever you started liking in the beginning, you still like. The economic downturn isn’t starting to make them both seem a tad irrelevant. It only seems to be getting both candidates more FREAKED.

Then Mark was a stud and made homemade vanilla ice cream with a peach swirl for Viv’s preschool potluck, where it was nice talking to the parents. Good folks. But phew, I’m tired, and my arm needs a rest.

Mommy Vacation

Does this look like a vacation?  For a mom away from home, it can be (it’s me in Austin for Hillary last spring).

Clinton 2008

 

My husband has to go out of town for work all next week. So it got me thinking that before I get any LARGER and certainly before our crown prince is born, I need to take some trips. I cannot leave Viv for more than 2 and half days. I just don’t feel good about that, and I can only leave her at all if Mark or my sisters can be with her. So my thought is that when he comes back, I should take a trip. Especially since after February, I’m going to be one grounded momma for a while.

Here are my ideas; what do you think?

1) Go to a spa/fat farm up in Ojai or something like that. It’s nice to be out of the city. I did this when I was about 4 months pregnant with Vivien and it was great to take walks, talk with other ladies, and eat bran muffins and poached fish.

2) Don’t be idle and get a tan. In ’04, I went to Miami and campaigned for Kerry. I have a condo there (aka, the money pit, as I am one of those people whose mortgage is now more than the appraised value of my property). I have friends in Miami, and Florida is a crucial swing state. So I could go to Miami, knock on some doors for Obama, and get to take a few dips in the Atlantic. Campaigning is tiring, but fun. Just wonder if I can hack it in my present state. But when I think of a possible President Palin, I wet myself.

3) I haven’t come up with three: do you have any ideas?

Vivien for President

Parents, listen up! It’s never too early to plan for our children’s future, right? We try to put away some dough for rainy days, college, shoes… So while we’re planning their future careers, shouldn’t we also consider the future of our country? In this video, I lay out my plan for young girls to take over the world – I mean, the USA. Let’s start there.

Moving to Canada

I think leftist political shows are usually funnier than right-wing parodies. The Daily Show versus that show on Fox for example.

But leftists as individuals can be a really humorless lot, taking themselves WAY to seriously. If anyone has seen Janeane Garofalo in the last couple of years, you know what I mean. So sometimes I think lefties need the piss taken out of them. As someone who grew up in alternative (hippie) schools, snacked on rice cakes, and still likes a swig of soy milk for comfort, I think I’m in a perfect position to do the skewering. Here is an attempt.

Pay Off At The Polls: Results Are In!

Hey, last week I laid out a Presidential poll and then never told you who won the “election.” And I thought the Supreme Court of 2000 was irresponsible!

So here are the results:

Now, of course you can’t have a more unscientific and biased poll than one on a website. I have espoused my pro-choice Democratic leanings here, so I can assume a majority of Cool Mom readers share this opinion – skew #1. What is interesting is that when I looked at the poll at about 4pm the day we posted it, McCain was in the lead by about 10 to 15 percentage points. So there was a late liberal surge, which does reflect the larger electoral trend that conservatives, older people, married people, and working people are more reliable voters.

The only way Obama can win is if he does get people who have never voted, or who rarely vote, to the polls. He has to get what Kerry got and more. That would mean his new registered younguns and every single African American, not to mention every latte-swilling lefty, has to show up, especially since he is losing some of his lead over McCain with women. The voting block that has the ability to push Democrats over the finish line has to be on Obama’s side.

Also, I’m always intrigued by undecideds. If any undecideds want to share why they haven’t decided, or what they still need to see, or if they are sitting this out, I would love to hear that. I understand if there is a lack of enthusiasm since my candidate of choice is no longer in the running. I am still voting, but not in a “whooppee!!! kind of way. But my distaste for the last few years is a huge factor… oh, and there’s that pro-choice thing.

Oh No, She Didn’t! The Sarah Palin Speech

Okay, for what it’s worth, I can’t close out the week without summing up my take on the Palin speech at the RNC. I hear that WHITE, MARRIED MOTHERS are who decides elections. Hey, that’s me!

I have many friends who have been fuming about her latest speech. I got messages like “I hate her,” “nasty bitch,” and “Well, I’d sleep with her.” (That last one was from a Republican guy friend.) I watched her speech a bit after the fact, on Tivo, after Vivien went to bed. I tried to watch with an objective eye, but I expected to want to throw her glasses on the ground and smash them. Surprisingly, I didn’t feel that way when I watched it. Here’s what I was thinking.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

In The Beginning
To start, where was the music? Where was the bio video, ’cause I love those. The Republicans know how to sell a war to us, but can’t figure out basic production value and stagecraft? Come on! I had to hand it to my niece – she won the bet on how Palin would wear her hair, which was mostly down. She looked nice, as did the family, but The Fashion Team side of me (BTW, this Tuesday we will do some political fashion critiquing on the FT at 8pm on the TV Guide Channel) feels her youngest daughter has to be worth a couple points in the polls. Her youngest daughter is a happy-spirited girl who lovingly held her baby brother – awwww! And the pregnant daughter gets an ovation. Which is kind, but can we try to remember it’s probably best not to encourage that?

Special Needs
Sure, Palin scored points with a lot of people by saying she’d be a friend to families who have kids with special needs. No specifics, but it was Bush #1 who signed the disability access law, so who knows? Then there was Todd, the first dude, who was happy to have his ovation.

Better Parts Of The Speech
She mentioned Truman? They wouldn’t let her shout out to Ferraro or Clinton anymore, but she got one Democrat in there. The pit bull line was great, and she ripped into Obama’s community organizing.

Sorry lefties, this was long overdue. I was just talking with my brother-in-law about this during the DNC. What the frig is “community organizing”? They keep saying it like I should care, but I don’t. Say something specific, like “helped drive old ladies to get medicine.” Or “took slumlords to jail.” I don’t know. It reminds me of when my friend used to work in “supportive housing.” After five years, I think I finally figured that out.

Palin scored another “ouch” moment with her “styrofoam Greek column” line. The crowd was so whipped!  She could have farted in tune and they would have loved her. I noticed Newt Gingrich in the audience was holding his applause.

Her delivery was confident, strong, and in charge. I found myself thinking, “If McCain loses, she could very well be the nominee in 2012.” Maybe even her against Hillary? She was slinging some insults, but no more than I expected all along from the GOP. When Obama fans were decrying the “rough” treatment the Clintons were supposedly giving him in the primaries, I thought, “Babies, the Republicans are going to rip him to shreds, just you wait.” I think one of the most cutting things was that she didn’t use Obama’s name until 3/4 of the way through the speech. As if to say, “I won’t dignify him by using his name,” which is meaner than the Democrats did to McCain at their convention.

Weaker Parts
I needed more bio. I needed to hear what motivated her to go from the PTA to the Governor’s Mansion. I think that’s a lost moment. I felt like we went from “Hockey Mom” to “Obama Sucks.” I needed the in-between.

I’m fine with snarky comments, but then she went into bold-faced lies and scary stuff: That Obama will raise your taxes (if you make over $250,000 and, of course, if he can get it passed, which is another thing), then there was the matter of claiming near-victory in Iraq… Hmm, not really. And the oddest statement along those lines was, “Instead of catching terrorists, he would rather read them their rights.” Oh yeah, a nation of laws is such a drag! Didn’t she just tell us for the 4,359th time about McCain being tortured as a P.O.W.? Wouldn’t it be nice if our country, above all others, learned from that? That was the point at which she really turned me off. And the more she plays up McCain’s heroics, the smaller it makes her look. The war hero and the hockey mom? Doesn’t help sell the idea that she could take his place.

The Billing
One thing I like better about the GOP than the Democrats is that they gave Palin equal billing compared to McCain. Her font is the same size as the McCain font, whereas Biden is smaller than Obama’s, like Biden is the sidekick.

Joebama better keep tearing into the economy, because Palin and the rest of the GOP really left that out. Since Obama is such a chicken about talking about being pro-choice (the lame response at Saddleback is a PERFECT demonstration of that), they better get some snappy sound bites about the party of Hoover if they want to win. At this point, I think Palin is an asset.

If only Obama had picked Hillary as his running mate…