Sunday, June 28, 2009


Where has she been? The world needs lots, lots more Tracy Chapman.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

poor mark sanford

Mark Sanford's breaking my heart. Oh, I know he's been a judgmental ass, sitting up all high and mighty, yammering about Clinton's failure, about gay marriage; bloviating about family values.

I'm feeling sorry for the man, especially after catching Keith Olbermann's repulsive reading of Governor Sanford's emails to his lover.

The thing I detest about Republicans is this: they seem wholly unable to put themselves in another's shoes, to see the world from anything but their own vantage point. They lack imagination.

That Mark Sanford, with his proclamations on family values, his insistence that marriage is only for individuals of opposite gender, his emphasis on keeping one's word, would find himself caught up in an affair is really just unimaginable. I believe it was unimaginable for him when he condemned Clinton, Larry Craig, and others.

Now he can imagine it. This is my hope for Governor Sanford: That this experience will humanize him. That he'll get off that Republican high horse and recognize the fact that we are all human beings, all subject to failure, all subject to bouts of dishonesty, of less than stellar moral performance. We are. It's part of being alive and Republicans are just as likely to succumb as Democrats.

I hate his hypocrisy. I hope that he's learned something from this, and not just that he shouldn't cheat. I hope he's learned that he might not want to judge another until he's experienced life in their shoes. I really hope that he has a come-to-Jesus awakening moment in which he realizes that most people don't intend to do bad, they just fall into it. Republicans, Democrats, and all the rest of us. We're human. We all fail. We all manage to not live up to even our own expectations of ourselves at times.

Wouldn't it be lovely if we could just get past all this morality bullshit and work on good public policy and governance? Maybe the Governor will learn that a lot of what his party is about is the condemnation of what should be personal and individual and private. You know, that freedom thing. Oh, and I hope he gets it that live and let live is just pretty good policy.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009


When Bessie finally got Water Moccasin's truck fixed, the two of them took off to see how it would run. Water Moccasin always bragged on his wife. She could fix anything and did, because Water Moccasin himself was a drunk and if he wasn't on the job, hanging drywall, he was passed out in his recliner.

I loved to hear Water Moccasin stories, how he bragged on his wife, how strong she was, how competent and capable. She was a legend among the working men on the construction crews, a tiny little dark tanned woman, tough as nails, as hard working as anyone I've ever known. Bessie. I called her Mrs. Water Moccasin which never failed to make her cackle. Her grin was a little snaggle toothed, and she had laughing eyes. It was impossible not to feel happy in her presence.

I always wanted to be just like her, like Bessie, with her competence in the manly arts. I pride myself on my physical strength and my way with the power tools, but Bessie could out work most men, and she didn't mind dirty, a thing which has always stood between me and my urge to do physical labor.

When they took off that day, the truck was running rough. Over time, it smoothed out and as they traveled, it got better and better. It was finally running so well that Water Moccasin and his Bessie kept on driving until they hit the west side of Alaska. That's a long way from Oklahoma, a lot of driving for a drunk old man and his tough, merry little wife.

Water Moccasin died a few years after that. Bessie never came back to Oklahoma. That's how I feel a lot of days, like I could just get in the truck and drive. I could load up my little husband and hit the road. Never look back. Just let go of this life and responsibility and obligation. Goodbye to all of that. You? Ever want to run away, cut those ties? Did you do it?

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Sunday, June 14, 2009


When I was a little girl, my sister and I would collect two dimes from my mother so we could walk to the swimming hole and get a coke. It was a summer thing, this urge for carbonation and sweetness, and we only indulged on the hottest of July and August afternoons, at that lake where we spent summers for 16 years.

I always got a Fanta orange, and my sister got the real deal, Coca-Cola ("Co-cola") in a green glass bottle. In that time and place, all carbonated, bottled beverages were small-c cokes. We'd sip our cokes and hang out on the bridge over the boat dock cove, watching the fish guarding their nests, hoping for the occasional big bass to surface.

Once done, I'd beg my sister's bottle off her so I could put my eye up to the hole and see the world through that pale, watery green. It changed everything, that faint wash of the most lovely color. I always felt as if I were entering another world, looking at the summer sun, at the cabins surrounding the lake, through that pale bottle glass. Everything was hushed, beautiful, glowing.

"That green" has apparently had an appeal for a lot of folks. Back in the '30s, that pale, golden, soft green was actually called that green, for lack of a better word. But who couldn't know it from that? It was the green of Fire King, the green of Fiesta, of Riviera. It accented glassware, spatulas, stoves, and aprons. Martha Stewart practically built an empire on it. Most folks, even now, are enchanted by that green.

You can surely imagine my delight, then, to have launched myself from the east side of the beach at Chileno Bay in San Jose del Cabo, to find myself suspended in the most crystalline, glowing, warm, lush shade of that green I've ever seen. It was like living inside the coke bottle, suspended by an unceasing wash of water, looking at the sky, at the rocks, the fish, the sandy bottom of the ocean, and everything tinged with that indescribable color.

I wish I could take you there with my words. It was probably the prettiest thing I've ever seen in my life. If there's a heaven, everything will surely be that exquisite shade of green. I've snorkeled a lot in the Caribbean, yet I've never experienced anything quite like the green of the waters of Chileno Bay. I would give anything to go back.

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Friday, June 12, 2009

baja love

I've fallen in love again, with a wild place in Mexico. Though not usually a fan of desert, the eastern Baja peninsula has seduced me. We're just back from Cabo (yuck) but in the week we were there, we found the big empty up the eastern coast. I am in love. It's all I can think about, the incredible water, the amazing sea creatures, the mountains looming over all. I can't wait to go back.

My pirate . . .

Mermaid Beach at Cabo Pulmo . . .

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