The observations of a 50 something with lots of experience in politics, government, life and learning.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005


DUH!!!! You know, I'm not the kind of person to call other people names (well, maybe I am) but I was brought up that you don't call the POTUS names. (sorry, for some reason I can't use the return key to make a new paragraph, so this will seem run-on...) BUT HE'S A JERK! (Actually, he's an asshole, but I was trying to be nice.) We have needed to conserve energy in this country for at least the last 30 or 40 years. One of my FAVORITE presidential candidates, Paul Tsongas, suggested many years ago that we add a 50 or 75 cent tax to gasoline. Everyone was horrified. Well, right now, we're paying a "tax" that's a lot bigger, but it's not going to fund universal healthcare or education.

Oh, here comes back the ability to write paragraphs. Whoopee!

So for a while, GWB was happy for us to drive as much as we wanted and put $ in his friends' pockets. But eventually his SUV buddies started whining "Gee, W, it's costing me $75 to fill up my vehicle. I could have spent that on cigarettes or half-decent bourbon." So now we all have to conserve.

Some of us have been conserving for a long time. some of us have been carpooling. some of us have been limiting our speed to get the most gas mileage. Some of us even YEARS AGO bought cars that were relatively fuel efficient.

And the minute Prius makes a wagon for my dogs, I'm in line. And like, why DONT they make a wagon? Isn't it obvious that there are more people who want hybrids than there are hybrids available? Whatever happened to supply and demand?

OK, I'm ranting, but I'm tired and cranky and I've been awake half the night worrying about all the things I haven't gotten done. It's election day in Pittsfield. I hope it's stopped raining by the time I have to stand at the polls. VOTE MARCHETTI!!!!

Monday, September 26, 2005


or pretty close to it and I remember where I was.

In the Bahamas. I remember this for two reasons:

a. We went on the vacation because we had NOT found a house we wanted to buy. I whined to my husband and he (uncharacteristically) caved in. We bought our present house in 1986, so this was the year before.

b. It was mid-September because I am sorry to say that it was the classic time for mental health issues, and while I was on vacation, a young man that I knew took his own life.

So we went to a Club Med in the Bahamas and a hurricane approached as we were there. My husband's parents were taking care of our kids, and the priest from our church, Sinc Hart, very kindly called my in-laws and asked if they were OK as the hurricane approached the Berkshires and were they worried about us.

The hurricane was named Gloria. I remember THIS clearly because as it approached, we danced at Club Med until the wee hours to the song "GLORIA -- G-L-O-R-I-A -- GLORIA" which was an oldie but goodie.

Notice that it was mid-September and we were on the letter G.

It's now mid to late September and we're on the letter R. Do you get my drift?

And a month ago we were on the letter K. So not only had we gotten pretty far by the end of August, but between end of August and mid-end September, we had gone through seven more letters.

I rest my case.

Monday, September 19, 2005


In the midst of all the problems in the world, I suppose I should be embarrassed that I had one of the world's BEST vacations this month. We joined our friends Gerd and Duncan Ritchie in Orleans (no, not NEW Orleans, just Orleans...) and had loads of fun biking, hiking, walking the beach, eating, drinking, drinking, eating and laughing. I never did get any crab imperial or Wellfleet mix, but besides that it was perfect.

However, the reason I'm not embarrassed is that I am about to embark on a major outreach effort in my job, notifying 30,000 Medicare beneficiaries that their lives are going to change. I will be working nights, weekends and any other kind of calendar settings someone can dream up. I'll be on the phone or in public constantly. I will be the recipient of more unfocused anxiety than you can shake a stick at. So the least I can do is feed my soul in preparation.

My soul having been fed, I am also embarking in my private life working on the Affordable Care Today (ACT!) campaign in conjunction with Health Care for All. We are trying to collect 100,000 signatures, so my personal goal for Berkshire County (although if the truth be told my 'catchment area' is the whole Senate district...) is 2,000 signatures since we are 2% of the population of the state (Senate district is 2.5%) I'm trying to get 40 people to get 50 signatures each of registered voters. (I guess it really should be 50 and 50 to account for the whole Senate district...) So I'm going to try my best. If not now, when? If not here, where? If not me, who?

I am hesitant to make any comment on the state of the world, nation or state. I hear so much drivel that it seems virtually impossible that there are so many stupid people out there. So for now I will keep my thoughts to myself and just hunker down and try to make the world a better place. My commitment to this posture will probably last no more than five days, so I'm sure I'll be ranting and raving in this space soon.

But until then, I am going to try to bathe in the memories of the Cape Cod Rail Trail, the Nantucket Whaling Museum, dinner at Chillingsworth's, ice cream at Nauset Beach (September schedule: Open on sunny days 11-4), and more wine and lobster than you can shake a martini at.

Find someone today who needs a kind word. It's the autumnal equinox, and people who struggle with emotional ups and downs find this a very difficult time. I'm going to try NOT to think about the days getting shorter, but how beautiful the leaves will be in October.

Monday, September 05, 2005


I've tried to post twice re: the hurricane but to no avail. It just goes into cyberspace. Now everything erudite and pithy that I've said has been said better by others.

via con dios.