It’s News! Sort of.

On the eve of The State of the Union speech by President Obama, I was trying to watch some political shows per usual.

“Vivien, let me watch the end of ‘Hardball,’ and then I will play dress up dolls with you.” I played dress up dolls while Hardball was on. Compromise.

I’m sure you are like me. You sit at home watching the news or reading it online, and you think,

“No, no you aren’t getting it.”

or “Um, that’s not how I see it.”

So here are a few of these random thoughts in no particular order.  I would love to hear from you about when you challenge the conventional wisdom of a news story. Political, pop culture, whatever.

QUIT CALLING IT A HUG! Florida Governor Charlie Crist did NOT hug Obama. It was nothing like that pathetic shot of McCain Squeezing George W Bush like his momma after she has been out of town for a few days. Crist grabbed Obama’s arm while they shook hands. It wasn’t even the “Straight Man hug,” the embrace while they each loudly pat each other on the back. Crist may be an overly tan moderate who has gotten on the wrong side of some conservatives, but news people stop saying he hugged a guy he didn’t.

MASSACHUSETTS SENT OBAMA A MESSAGE TO SLOW DOWN ON HEALTH CARE.

Yeah, not really. The Bay state sent a message that charisma plus retail politics still rules the day. That race was decided the same way most are: who is more likable? Who would you rather have a beer with? Martha Coakly seemed cold and officious and couldn’t talk about baseball (among other gaffes). Scott Brown is a hunky, likable pro choice Republican. He handled questions very well and the first person he called when he was elected was Vicki Kennedy. That’s a smart politician (weird comments about his daughters came after he was elected, oops). Yeah, the economy still stinks, people get nervous about some big proposals, but I think if I had met Scott Brown years ago I probably would have slept with him.  I’ll vote for that… in my mind.

WILL OBAMA STOP TALKING ABOUT HEALTH CARE AND START TALKING ABOUT JOBS?

I may scream if I hear some hack pundit say this one more time. Way to allow the health care business–and it is a business– to set the debate. It does have to do with jobs, it does have to do with job creation. If a business is crushed by the cost of insuring their employees, will they hire more people? No. Will they try to hire less employees and only pick up freelance people whom they don’t have to pay benefits too?  It’s already happening. If health care costs eat up the little profit margin a small business has, will they stay in business? The costs are soaring. I’m still perplexed at how cost containment isn’t more front and center for the debate on both sides. I’m not saying the Obama plan can fix these issues. I am a big hair less Dane or Swede in my heart when it comes to health care, I’m for cradle to grave, but fat chance getting that in the US. Bottom line, health care debate is NOT separate from jobs.

OCTOMOM PLEASE KEEP YOUR CLOTHES ON

Barf, who wants to see that head case parade her newly bounced back body? Not me. Right, I’m sure you are mother of the year with your 14 kids and your workout routine. Good for you. Go away.

And most importantly,

MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

Can we please discuss how our emphasis on being a war machine bleeds education and safety from our kids, robs the middle class of resources, and leaves our mentally ill and poor to wonder the streets and annoy as we walk out of Trader Joe’s? One doesn’t have to be a dyed-in-the-wool hippie to see that these huge companies that make the weapons and support staff (Blackwater anyone?) hide behind our patriotism and support our troops sloganeering. It’s called war profiteering, and it’s so ingrained in our country, few see it, and less speak about it. It’s not a mainstream discussion, and this mother thinks it should be.

What are some of your fist pounders or head scratchers?

Just cuz he’s cute…

Can’t Read the Paper

One of the differences between our younger selves and our more mature selves is the acceptance that it is the accumulation of small things that can make your life good. Our ennui and youthful boredom somewhat stems from thinking life should be like a Samuel Jackson film, even if that means snakes on a plane, or the excitement at the end of a romantic comedy when the dog has run into the wedding cake, the fat lady is thrown into the pool, and the guy tells the girl he has been in love with her all along. See the last scene of The Graduate for some reality on that one.

Remember how when you were little and your grandma’s friend was so excited about the new tea cup that goes with her collection and you thought, “What is the big deal? It’s a tea cup.” Well, I seriously think it’s better to embrace the tea cup collection. There are some small things that can really make your life good. For me, it’s having a strong cup of coffee in the morning with my husband. I must have half and half, a little sugar, and then I like to read the paper.

If I can.

Balloon Boy

There are those moments that people always remember where they were when they heard the news, Pearl Harbor, JFK assassination, 9/11. Then there is the next level that most people remember, for me one of those would be when John Lennon was killed. Even the recent death of Michael Jackson was a little moment, a “no kidding!”

And with a 24-hour news cycle always on high alert sometimes they try to create these moments. The OJ car chase (I will admit I know exactly what I was doing… driving to Menlo Park from San Francisco to see an ex-boyfriend in a community play thinking, “poor guy, no one will be in the theater tonight.”). The media is hoping we will get involved, stay tuned. Will the next one be a big phony baloney one? Rolling my eyes that I made sure not to turn on the news after reading about balloon boy online lest Vivien see it and worry that she too might be carried away, perhaps by a cluster of birthday balloons.

Baby Has Me In Training

I don’t know if it’s my general anxiety or my full bladder, but sleep has become a tad restless lately. Seeing that I’m only 21 weeks pregnant, I think it’s too early for this. But this is the third morning in a row that I am waking up at 5 am, unable to go back to sleep.

From 5 to 6 I have to lay and worry about everything and everyone. Or work up some dormant anger about some past slight. Having some time before the house wakes up is okay. I make my one cup of coffee for the day – a sweet half-cup before I’m forced to switch to decaf. Then I take a walk, read the paper, watch the news, space out online, but dang, I’d sure like more sleep.

I think the baby is nudging me to remember what it will be like when he arrives. No longer the leisure life of a kid in preschool, but growling at my husband if he doesn’t help with the 11 and 2 feedings. Oh, yes, I know what’s coming. Breathe in “miracle of life,” breathe out “someone will care when I die.” I must stay focused on the important things, not that disabled feeling for the first couple of weeks, or months, or year and a half.

If only I could take a sleeping pill!

Cool Mom Poll: Are You Recessed?

The economic downturn is on everyone’s minds. But is that because we are hearing about it, because we see some signs of it, or because we are directly affected by it? I have noticed many small shops near me go out of business. Several clothing boutiques, specialty stores, and nice stationary businesses closing their doors – those are the kinds of things people spend money on when they are not worried about basics.

I know a couple of people who have been laid off, and my husband’s business has seen some nicks in sales. But, knock on wood, we haven’t taken a big hit. That’s partly because I refuse to look at my 401k; I won’t need for a few more years, so why torture myself? We locked in our loan right before the bacon hit the skillet so phew to that.

What I want to know is, how are all of you doing? How is this economic downturn affecting you?

Given this is not the end of the problem, we might need to revisit this poll soon…

To view last week’s poll results, click here!

Sunday Styles

My husband has learned that there will be a wifely wrath if he dumps the New York Times Sunday Styles section before I have read it. I usually have to wait until bedtime to savor this tasty morsel. In the Vows section…all the engagements and weddings, I’m always curious about the ages of people. Do I think they are getting married to young, is it a May September thing? It’s funny I note that more than where they are from or their profession. Although, the happy couples profession and where they are originally from, does hold some interest.

Every week what is the thing you look forward to reading that you would throw a tantrum over if someone through out?

I just wanted to let you know, we will be taking a day off Monday for Labor Day. Don’t worry, we will be back up and running with new vlogs on Tuesday. Have a great weekend.

Frustrated Pundit

In all my years on TV I have only been able to do a few political segments, on a few shows. I use to be in talk radio and through that was fortunate to meet a few politicians: President Clinton (while he was in office), former president Carter, and almost president Hillary. But, my love of humor and improvisation steered me away from news. Yes, I did audition twice for the Daily show and didn’t even get a call back. Jerks!

Anyway, this is a set up to say, I watch political conventions like others watch football games. I don’t just watch the party I vote for. I like to see the stagecraft, the strategy, and the lack of strategy. Politics is human nature in action. Which is why when I hear “a new kind of politics,” I think, yeah right as soon as we get a new kind of human, we’ll get right on that.

I tried to watch MSNBC, CNN etc, but they keep yapping. I want to watch the C card speakers and the produced videos. The talking heads have been yapping enough. And unless I get to be one (oh please Lord, one day, please?), I’ve heard enough of them. Except for my favorite, Pat Buchanan. I know, might surprise you, but he is almost always right and doesn’t parrot party talking points. As my sister Carole says, “He’s almost an oracle.”

I’m just glad it will be over before Vivien watches “The Upside Down Show” before bedtime, or I’d be screwed!