Tuesday, October 30, 2012


The Great Not-Quite-a-Hurricane-But-Much-Worse Storm of 2012 has blown through, and thankfully it was a little bit oversold around here. There are some power outages, and the coasts suffered some serious flooding, but we were very much spared the worst of the storm. It was rainy and windy and there are a lot of limbs down, but it doesn't seem like there is much severe damage.

Very much not true south of here, as a huge swath of the country, from central Connecticut, through New York and New Jersey and all the way down into the Mid-Atlantic got walloped pretty good. New York and New Jersey seem to have really gotten the worst of it...massive flooding and dangerous levels of power outages. Roads, bridges and tunnels seem to be closed in large numbers.

We never even lost power, which is a blessing. The girls thought the whole thing was quite an adventure - day care was closed yesterday afternoon, so we hung out in our pajamas and watch Jake and the Neverland Pirates all afternoon:-). We didn't really do a whole lot of storm prep, but Munchkin and I did bake a spice cake with cream cheese frosting on Sunday so that we would have some comfort food. The cake, not surprisingly, is gone...

The next big news, of course, is the election next week. I haven't voted yet...I am a traditionalist and like to vote on election day:-). Despite some apparent tightening of the race, I still think Obama will win, and I don't think that we will be up all night waiting to find out. Romney just needs to many things to break his way to pull out a victory...he needs to win a bunch of states that will be close, but that he seems to hold small leads in right now (Florida, Nevada, Colorado and North Carolina) along with several that are basically tied (Virginia and Iowa). And even then, everything will come down to Ohio, which he appears to be losing by a small margin now and positively has to win in order to win the election. If Obama wins any of Ohio, Florida, Virginia or North Carolina, he will win...and he can lose all four and still find a way to win if everything else goes his way.

We have an interesting Senate race in Massachusetts, too. Scott Brown won the seat two years ago in a special election in one of the most remarkably astonishing elections I ever remember...a Republican simply can not win that race under any circumstances, and he somehow did. Now he faces a very stiff challenge from Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard Professor and the architect of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This one, I will admit, confuses me...most recent polls show her with a small lead, and yet I don't know anyone who likes her. And I don't know anyone who is going to vote for her except for people who always vote for every Democrat.

And it has been a funny campaign...he has consistently attacked her character, noting her phony claims of Native American heritage used to get preferential treatment in academia, along with her professional work on behalf of "big corporations" - the exact kind that she rails against so incessantly. For someone who has the likeability ratings that he does, that is a risky strategy. She, meanwhile, hasn't run against him very much at all...her message has really centered on the threat of a Republican majority in the Senate. She has run more against Republican leadership than she has against him specifically. She has taken a couple of half-hearted shots at specific positions of his, but they have been pretty weak. The real focus has been on running at the party level.  And, now that it looks like there is almost no chance of a Republican majority, I am not sure that her message remains relevant.

Obama will win Massachusetts by quite a bit, probably something like 60-40. That means that, for Brown to win, he will need at least 10-11% of voters to vote for Obama but to cross the party line to vote for him...a really interesting dynamic.  If I had to wager, I would say that she ends up winning a razor thin race, but I don't have a lot of confidence in that...it could be very close.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Missing her already

I am leaving early tomorrow because Munchkin has a soccer game and I want to go watch it. She has...gasp...a grand total of about three weeks left in her high school soccer career. That is a little misleading because she is technically only doing three years of high school, but it is still a pretty monumental realization for me.

It seems like every couple of weeks she goes through another "This is the last time I..." thing. The last time she picks her spring semester schedule. The last parent-teacher night. The last back-to-school night with the other parents. The last Halloween. The last "Fall Festival" at school. Her first application (and hopefully the only one) has been delivered, which means she may very well be entirely done with the college admissions process already. Yesterday, we talked about dress shopping for her last winter formal (also misleading..."dress shopping" is generally done in the closets of her pretend sisters.)

Now, if all goes well, she will be about three miles from me in a straight line next year. And a grand total of four stops on the red line. I am not exactly shipping her off to another corner of the world. There will be no end to chicken finger Thursdays (because I will force her to go with me if I have to!) and I will likely see her all the time. But... I probably don't really need to explain this. It's just not the same.

There will be a lot of these moments between now and next Labor Day, when I pack her up and drop her at her freshman dorm. I can promise to be a blubbering mess at least three times over the course of the year. Maybe more.

Frankly, I am not really in the best emotional state to handle this these days, but I am sure I will manage. This is supposed to be fun, right?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


I know I have been silent here for a while, which I apologize for. The stuff that is dominating my attention these days is not really stuff that I want to blog about, which leaves me with little to write about.

I can, however, cover the debate, right?! If the first debate was a resounding win for Romney, this one was a narrower win for Obama. He was much more engaged, much sharper and seemed like he was much more prepared. That shouldn't be a surprise, as he was pretty routinely beaten up after the first debate, which you would imagine would encourage him to take this one more seriously.

But, what I really want to talk about is moderator etiquette, because I feel like Candy Crowley was a complete disaster last night, and she committed a mistake that has huge ramifications. The moment in question was, by many accounts, the single biggest point of the night for Obama...Romney accused him of staying silent on the Benghazi attacks for two weeks, and Obama claimed that he called it an act of terrorism the very next day.

The truth is that Obama's rose garden speech depicted the attack as an extension of the outcry over a movie that Muslims find offensive. He did eventually refer to "acts of terror" but he never explicitly called this attack a terrorist action.

Side note: I find this to be incredibly unimportant, and the whole argument to be stupidly semantic. It also had nothing to do with the question they were both allegedly answering. But that isn't my point.

Crowley corrected Romney, saying that Obama had called it a terrorist action in his remarks the next day in the Rose Garden. I have two problems with this. First, a moderator should never correct a fact if that "fact" is open to some interpretation.  I would tend to give Obama the benefit of the doubt on whether or not he intended to label this explicitly...but there is clearly some room for argument. If a moderator is going to tell a candidate that he is absolutely, positively wrong, then he better be absolutely, positively wrong...not "mostly wrong".

My second problem is that this was a debate with back and forth, and Obama had plenty of time and opportunity to make that correction himself. It's his role to engage with Romney over facts and interpretations of events...not Crowley's. In fact, Romney was trying to direct that question directly to Obama, and she intervened on Obama's behalf. She is there to ask questions, keep them on schedule and follow the rules, not to insert herself into the debate. At least not in a "Town Hall"...if this were the two of them in a Meet The Press style interview, it would have been much more appropriate, but not here.

Until that point, I thought the debate was pretty even. That was a huge point for Obama, and he proceeded to really own that whole segment (a segment that probably should have been a liability for him...it was his best work and Romney's worst all night). That segment, to me, was the only part of the night that was clearly dominated by one candidate...and the moderator played too large a role in that.

On another subject, the unwillingness of each of them to answer the questions they are asked is really maddening. This is where we really miss Tim Russert...

Tuesday, October 09, 2012


Had a fantastically relaxing long weekend! I made The Boy take Friday off, so we left right after we brought the girls to day care in the morning, drove a couple hours west and checked into a hotel in the Berkshires for three days of absolutely nothing:-) Smoking Hot Roommate and Munchkin took excellent care of the girls, even if they did possibly promise them that we were bringing back a pony...

We've been to this hotel before...when I was pregnant we spent a weekend there. So, last week when it was painfully obvious that I desperately needed to get The Boy a little bit of time to unwind, it seemed like a nice spot to do it. It is not quite foliage season (another week or two) but it is still a beautiful place to be in the fall...especially when we get unseasonably warm days like Friday and Saturday!

Basically, we checked in and, other than spending Saturday afternoon in town wandering around, we just bummed around the resort for the whole time. We played 9 holes of golf late on Friday, which was fun other than my complete inability to play golf.  We ate a lot, went for some long walks, had a lot of really awesome sex, lounged in bed, read, soaked in the tub, had massages and just basically acted like we had no other responsibilities:-) It was lovely!

He did break down and do a little bit of work on Sunday morning (I was getting a pedicure, so I couldn't stop him!) but other than that he did a very good job of relaxing. It can sometimes be a little hard to get him to disengage, but he didn't fight me too much this time:-)

So, all in all, it was a really nice weekend, and a much needed getaway. Frankly, it is going to be sort of a tough fall, so I am glad that he got the chance to recharge a bit...I am not at all ruling out the possibility of having to do this again before the year is out!

Monday, October 01, 2012


I haven't written in a while, and have fallen woefully behind in reading all of your blogs as well. It's been a tough week or so, and also extremely busy, so this sort of fell by the wayside.

Nothing terribly exciting to report...girls have recovered from their colds of last week (did I write about that? They were sick in back-to-back weeks). The best news is that they have finally started to consistently go to bed in their own beds and sleep there all night...they have been sticklers about either falling asleep in the living room or getting up in the middle of the night and going there to sleep. Fingers crossed that we are finally done with that.

It is suddenly October, which is horrifying...when did that happen? And how? It was August like five minutes ago...wasn't it? The first of the Presidential debates is this week, but I would be surprised if much happens. I have felt since early in the summer that this was never going to be a race, and I am sticking to that. There is huge disappointment and discontent with the President, but Romney doesn't have the ability to articulate a case for his election. So, barring some terrible economic news (or, more accurately, news that is more terrible than the utterly atrocious current state of the economy) Obama looks to coast to an easy win.

I took the afternoon off last Thursday to go to Munchkin's soccer game, which was just about the best idea I have ever had. After running all over the place on a million things, it was an hour and a half of absolute peace and quite. And it was spectacular! Then I got sad remembering that she has very few of these games left:-(

Weekend was busy, too. The Boy had some stuff to take care of on Saturday, so I took the girls to a birthday party. There was a bouncy house, which is a cause for celebration. For LK, this was her second weekend in a row at a bouncy house...there was another party the weekend before that she got to go to with The Boy while I stayed home with a very sick MA. Hopefully, she does not think that this is the beginning of weekly bouncy house trips...

We are going to try to get away this weekend for a couple of days, but that is up in the air. We also may or may not take the girls with us...that is up in the air as well. The Boy desperately needs a few days away...even if we can't find a baby sitter, I may send him away on his own for a night. He could use some rest:-)

Worst of all...I am completely unexposed to the new TV season. Tragedy of tragedies...I have had so little time to do anything that I haven't watched any new shows, or the new seasons of old ones. What am I missing?