Wednesday, September 24, 2008

700 billion

With only 40 days left in charge, who would possibly have thought that Bush and his band of cronies could find yet another way to screw this country? But, they have. The repercussions of handing 700 billion dollars over to a couple of people, not expecting accountability or disclosure to ANYONE in government, is mind-boggling. Then again, so many of the appalling decisions of this administration leave me slack-jawed.

Even more stomach-turning is that half (give or take on any day) the people in this county will vote for McCain/Palin, who could very likely be even worse. If that's at all possible.

Monday, September 22, 2008

in the blink of an eye

Last night, as we were waiting to cross the corner of 12th and University, we heard a thud. A really loud THUD. I looked over and saw a bicycle flying up in the air, as person hit the street, a cab in between the two. For a moment, everything stopped. Then several people ran to help. The bike was totalled, both wheels twisted and torqued. The rider, assuring everyone he was ok, picked it up and walked away. The cab driver just sat there for a couple of minutes—stunned. We saw some friends across the street and stopped for a moment to compare notes on what we had just seen (and chat about the off-broadway auditions Alice had been running all week). I took the accident as an opportunity for a real life lecture about safety on wheels and potential dangers lurking at every corner in the city. Jack said, "ok mom," hopped on his scooter and jumped off the curb. Iz froze. And started sobbing about how she could have been killed, might be killed, would never ride again . . . totally and complete panic. Jon told me to leave her and stick with Jack, that he'd handle this particular meltdown. 3 minutes later, my phone rang. "Do you have tissues? She's got a bloody nose." Her first, ever. Jack and I circled back and saw Iz, covered in blood, back in the saddle (more literally, back on her scooter) crossing 5th Ave. She had blood on her legs, arms, hands, shorts, shirt—it was still dripping down her face. She called herself the bloody scooter and flew down the street, doing tricks the whole way home. Lesson learned? Bloody noses trump panic attacks.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

abusive relationships

If you were in a relationship and you were lied to, given no voice, and treated like you were stupid, would you stay? What if your partner drove you into debt, destroyed where you lived, and ruined your reputation? People would tell you to GET OUT. Hopefully your self-preservations skills would make you open your eyes to that fact that you were being used, taken advantage of, exploited. Doesn't matter how charming or personable the other person is, no matter how attractive the package, it's still abuse.

That's what's happening with this country and not enough people are acknowledging how badly we, as a people, have been treated. The war, the economic breakdown, the lack of health care for so many. How about approval of torture, taking away individuals rights, spying on citizens.

Have we been so battered we're afraid of change? To stand up for ourselves?

People, we HAVE to BREAK UP with the Republican party. We've been abused for far too long.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

a moment of reality for all the jews out there

To all of you who are supporting McCain because Republicans support Israel, get over it.

This country, our country is in a state of crisis. If McCain/Palin are elected our daughters' reproductive rights would be in jeopardy. Our children could be taught creationism at school. We would be continuing the disastrous track record of the past 8 years. Businesses will continue to collapse. The number of those who can't get jobs will continue to grow. Our standing with the rest of the world? Our educational systems? Health care? Come on. We need to deal here. HERE.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


This morning I saw a man, wearing a jacket and tie, standing in front of the New School with boxes of super small bright green covered Gideon bibles. As I walked down 6th avenue I saw a woman with a stack handing them to anyone who would take one and several people thumbing through as they strolled down the street. And then a woman at my coffee shop was holding a bible studies brochure. My first reaction was to get in her face and ask her just how she could support Sarah Palin and John McCain. No, that was my second thought. My first thought was: idiot. And then my mind raced thinking about how small-minded she was, didn't she know the division religion caused in this country, why and how did she buy in to all that nonsense. I was pissed and offended and inappropriately judgmental.

Just because someone had a bible or was carrying a pamphlet was enough information for me to categorize them into something stupid and evil. It would almost be funny if it wasn't so scary. I am scathingly judgmental about people who hide behind their religious beliefs. But I am equally as rigid about them being wrong.

Monday, September 15, 2008


Yesterday, we were out of the city, and while Iz was swimming in a friend's pool, a younger kid slid towards the deep end. He couldn't swim, panicked, grabbed onto her and pulled her under. She's not the strongest swimmer and she was/is terrified. Her first words this morning were could she have drowned? I reassured her that in that situation, no she couldn't. Plenty of grownups were there (although I wasn't) and someone would have come to her rescue. Last night though, I had endless nightmares about not being able to save her. She was trapped in an elevator without air and I couldn't open the doors (my biggest fear). She was on a rollercoaster that was out of control and no one could stop it. As she gets older and grows more and more independent, I can't always be there to protect her. When she was little I could check on her in her crib to make sure she was still breathing (I only did that when she was really little), take her temperature endlessly to keep track of a fever (I still try but she won't let me), mash her food into tiny pieces, hold her hand as we crossed every corner, not let go of her in the pool. But I can't be there all the time to make sure nothing bad happens.

Which leads me to a bigger fear and other nightmares. The Wall Street disaster that's pumping up the news today terrifies me. I don't even pretend to understand leveraged buyouts or bundled mortgages, but the fact that renowned institutions could fail so catastrophically, billions (BILLIONS) of dollars lost. Thousands will now be jobless. And what happens? This should send not a ripple, but a tidal wave of fear through the country. But, it will pale in comparison to what Sarah Palin makes for dinner.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

a rock and a hard place

I know so many people who want to do something to help. To get Obama elected. Even more, to keep McCain and Palin as far away from Washington as possible. But what? What can we do? We can donate money. We can take road trips to states where people are more undecided than those of us in New York City. Jon's ready to volunteer and the days leading up to the election and wants us all to come. That's a nightmare for me. What are we supposed to do? Be stuck in the middle of nowhere, I'd have to entertain kids while the panic inside's just rising. We did it last election and it was one of the most worst experiences I've ever had. I couldn't help, couldn't work, couldn't volunteer. I had two little kids to take care of. And the flight home from Florida, the day after the election, was one of the most painful experiences I've lived through. Half the plan was gleeful, the other half barely fighting back tears. It was sort of like coming home from a superbowl and being fans of the losing team, only this was our government that was relegated to 4 more years of a continuing nightmare.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

it should've been hillary

It's easy to look back and speak with confidence about what should have been. But I've always said Hillary was the answer. She is tough, strong, she has backbone, she fights. When she's shoved, kicked, relegated to the corner, she's showed strength, temerity and humor and came back almost every time.

I bet, if she were in Obama's position, she'd be blasting back. Indignant and furious. Strident and outspoken.

It should have been Hillary. And yes, Biden is right, she should have been the vice presidential candidate. If she were on the ticket, none of this circus would be happening. We'd be talking politics and agenda, not moose hunting and teen pregnancy.


This morning at drop-off another mom said she didn't feel comfortable about going to a back-to-school picnic tonight because of the day. I thought she meant because it was Thursday, that everyone would be worn out after their first full week of school. She meant because it's 9.11.

After that day, I never imagined I'd be ok again. I never thought I'd be able to sleep through the night, stay calm when I heard a siren, not panic when a helicopter hovered over the neighborhood, not be terrified every time a plane seemed to fly too close by.

That morning while I sitting on Iz's bed, brushing her hair, I noticed a small black cloud hovering over one of the towers. We live in the west village and our bedrooms face south; the twin towers were part of our daily view. It was the most beautiful day, the sky was crisp and blue and the cloud seemed so out of place. My friend Sally called to let us know a plane had hit one of the towers, which explained the black smoke hovering up so high. Minutes later a huge orange ball of fire exploded out of the tower on the left. Jon shouted from our room that he had seen another plane fly behind the building. The tv was on but no one had reported that explosion yet—it was like watching a scene in a high budget disaster film, only it was happening out our window. We heard that a plane flew into the Pentagon and time slowed down. That too felt surreal. We were under some sort of attack. Reality was shifting into this place I'd never been. Would we be attacked again? We bombs coming, gas attacks, aliens? Would we be ok?

We just stared out the window and tried to be in touch with people. Phones went dead. Traffic was stopped in the streets. I swear I saw one of the towers slightly shift. How was that possible? It was a HUGE structure, dwarfing everything else in its vicinity. But I know I saw it move. And then it just pancaked flat. It was gone. It was just gone, like someone erased it. I'd been there. Up at the top. With my entire family. And suddenly there was just one tower standing and smoke billowing everywhere.

The other tower fell and there was nothing. Smoke. White smoke. A powerful smell of burning. We looked out and saw lines snaking around the supermarket. We went to buy water and diapers (Jack was 4 months old) and discovered the line wasn't for supplies, it was to donate blood at St. Vincent's. Hundreds of people were desperate to do something to help.

My sister-in-law worked next door to the towers and we couldn't find her. At one point our buzzer went off and the doorman said she was on her way up. She got out of the elevator, covered in white dust, with people she had brought with her from her office. I burst into tears, so relieved she was ok. She took charge and made lunch for everyone as we all tried to figure out what was happening, how we'd get people home, what to do next, what any of this meant.

The city was shut down south of 14th street. We live on 12th, so things were silent, except for emergency vehicles. The hospital gave out masks, for kids to wear, to protect them from the smoke and dust. Missing people posters were hung on our building, our mailboxes, at the supermarket, in all the store windows. It was so quiet. No one talked. No one smiled.

I never thought I'd be able to look downtown without crying. I never thought this anniversary would come and I wouldn't feel great pain. I never thought anything would ever be ok again. But kindness and sacrifice and empathy came out that day. I was never more scared to live in New York. But I was never more proud to be a New Yorker.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

back to me

I am one of the few people on the planet at the moment with nothing to do. It's unnerving. And slightly surreal. Usually back-to-school means total chaos, tons of work, PTA meetings, fighting to get new projects out into the universe. But this year—nothing. What's even stranger is that I'm not panicking, which is my usual reaction to too much time on my hands. I'm not exercising like mad. Apparently I gave that up a couple of years ago. I'm not anxiety-ridden, freaking out, floundering in the depths of despair (except when thinking about the impending election). I'm ok.

some things never change

I watched Obama on Olberman last night and felt like it was John Kerry all over again. Lengthy explanations, calm, detached demeanor, head-shaking at those silly Republicans, twisting the truth.

Hasn't anybody learned from the past? Who's running Obama's campaign? Who's advising him? Niceness, logic, and explanations don't work. It has to be huge, tabloid headlines to get anyone's attention. Don't count on people thinking, being smart, discussing the issues and coming to their own conclusions. IT'S NOT HAPPENING.

I feel like I'm watching a party floundering in jewish guilt. Don't insult the other side, don't hurt anyone's feelings, don't say anything you'll regret. SCREAM your opinions. SHOUT the truth. Challenge the lies—call them out. Just tell it LOUD. Be outraged. Horrified. Angry. Enraged. INFURIATED. There are millions of terrified Americans out here worried about their lives, their country, their children, their planet.


Monday, September 8, 2008

an open letter to Barack Obama

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE be pissed off. Call McCain and Palin liars. Out them for who they really are. They are LYING. Their ads are lying. We live in a country where people have been trained to believe advertising. Don't take it for granted that the American people are smart. They're not. Collectively we're not. We've had 8 years of a nightmare president that WE VOTED FOR. Don't expect insight or intelligence or growth. People don't think. FIGHT BACK. Get aggressive. Challenge them. It's not the issues. It's the soundbites. The war hero and the right-to-life hockey mom. People aren't looking any deeper than that. You can't make them with logic, with sanity, with reason. You have to fight back on their level or you will loose. And that terrifies me.