Monday, October 20, 2008


Spent some time this weekend feeling under the weather and decorating pumpkins. I stuck these on the outside of our patio fence and I've gotten a ton of complements on 'em from people walking past. Here's hoping no one gets a wild hair and goes on a pumpkin-smashing spree.
Aunt Bobbi crafted Frank and Rita some adorable sweaters which make them look like candy corns. I can't say that either of them are thrilled to have to wear clothes, but the sweaters are awfully cute.

Well *I* think *you're* a giant baboon's hiney, how d'ya like that?!

Scene: A semi-deserted call center-cum-campaign phone bank. All around me are these sort of brazen, elderly Democrats laboring over every digit they dial.

Me: ::dials number. Phone rings. Much to my surprise, someone answers::

Woman's voice: Hello?

Me: Hi, is [woman's name] there please?

Woman: This is she.

Me: Hi, I'm CaptainLaura calling on behalf of Senator Barack Obama. I was just calli-

Woman: We think he's a stinking pile of crap!

Me: Well, heh, I'll just put you down as a 'no' then!

Phone: Click.

Yeah. It's like that. Huh.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Franklin is quite meddlesome most of the time. That's pretty much a dachshund hallmark, but dam it can get annoying. I've been working diligently to wash, iron and fold a boatload of fabric that I recently procured (for a good value!) and Frank insists on being in the middle of everything. Generally I don't mind, in fact, I think his tenacity is kind of cute.

This weekend, however, he's been acting especially bad. I don't know if it's because he's bored, or what, but in the past 24 hours he's:
  • Chewed 3/4 the buttons off my favorite green sweater, leaving big holes behind
  • Mounched the strap off of one brown T-strap shoe. My only brown dressy shoes, of course.
  • Terrified the neighbor's cocker spaniel
  • Gotten into my craft supplies and helped himself. See below:
Even Rita has been badder than usual this weekend. She was definitely an accomplice in the craft supply heist; when I walked in she was chewing on a pinecone (no idea where that came from?). Last night I dropped her leash and she took off towards the rabbit patch and hid in the bushes for 10 minutes , while I wandered around looking for her.

One of Jeremy's big things as we look for a house is having a space to himself where the dogs can't go. Now I can understand why.


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Shmear Campaign

Since the VP debate last week, I've been thinking very critically about the role of government in domestic issues.
My liberal side tends toward the side of socialism - we've got to take care of everyone in a benevolent fashion. It's the government's duty to see to it that everyone gets a fair chance. There are plenty of people who are brilliant and hardworking, but for one reason or another, real life got in the way of great potential.
My conservative side feels like if everyone just took on the personal responsibility that's expected of them, we wouldn't have the kinds of issues we're facing today. I work hard in order to take care of myself and my family; why should anybody be allowed a free ride just because they can't hack it? Why should my tax dollars be used to bail out corporations and consumers who made risky decisions that I wouldn't abide by in a million years?

No where is this issue clearer to me than in the arena of health care. Having navigated the health care system both as a consumer and as an administrator, I feel like I have a good enough grasp on the health care situation to understand McCain and Obama's proposals. This is a good jumping off point for me to understand the candidates' platforms on other issues as well. I heard something during the debate this evening that scared the daylights out of me: something that completely cleared my indecision regarding the role that government should play in domestic policy issues.

In response to the absolutely great question "Do you believe health care should be treated as a commodity?" I didn't hear a straight answer out of either candidate. But at one point, while explaining his health care proposal, John McCain said:

"But the point is that we have got to give people choice in America and not mandate things on them and give them the ability. Every parent I know would acquire health insurance for their children if they could."

That's simply not true.

Someone very dear to me was strongly affected by a parent actively choosing not to insure his child. The fallout from that decision, made over 5 years ago, is still creating challenges: financial, emotional and physical.

The fact of the matter, from where I stand, is that there are plenty of people who still don't prioritize insurance. Whether it be a parent or a single individual, young or old, low or middle income, working or not, there are always better things to spend money on than insurance. While I agree that some people simply can't afford to pay, there are legions of others who spend that money on other things. Things that sometimes I feel should be lower on the priority list. There are others that I know who have worked very hard for not a lot of money, just to make sure they had reliable, reasonable health insurance for their families
Some of these first kinds of people carry on as usual, trusting that if they fall, someone will be there to catch them. And there always has been someone there to pick up the pieces and pay the bills after a medical catastrophe, be it a benevolent parent or relative, or Uncle Sam himself.

I think we can all agree that it's the administration's responsibility to help people who can't make it on their own. The question, in my mind, which has suddenly become clear to me, is this?

Is it better business to provide reasonably-priced (but federally mandated) health coverage and preventative care to every citizen, or is it more beneficial to let individuals deal with the free market of health care and coverage unhindered, then bail them out when they've gotten themselves into a hot mess over assuming too much risk?