Friday, September 29, 2006
A note about education and Reason #1708 I'll be a bad mother
Because of some of the material we've been covering in our rhetoric and democratic theory class, I've been pondering what it means to educate citizens. How do we learn how to participate? Do we learn through local, local, local issues (like graduate forum and workplace meetings)? Do we learn through conversations? We we learn by participating in actual politics? Do we learn in our public speaking class when your crazy (read: me) instructor makes you study speeches and current political debates?

And me new line of thought....should we "teach" citizenship? In inevitably we teach "voting" and "dialogue" as the touchstones of democracy. Well, what about service? What about action? Can we teach that? Should we teach that? Inevitably, if someone is the teacher, that someone has the power. Why should I teach people what it means to be a citizen? Why do I have that authority? I'm not so sure I really understand the right lessons....

My 5 year old sister came running in after daycare. Her eyes wide. Her cheeks streaked. She crawled onto my lap.

"I chose the wrong one." *sniff, sniff*
..."You chose what? What was wrong?"
"The wrong president. I wrote Kerry and everyone laughed. I was the only one."

Ahhh...the realization of our conservative western Pennsylvania town hit me like a ton of bricks. So did every word I had ever said about the 04 election. My dad came down and filled in the holes of the story. Cait had "voted" in her daycare class. They told them what the choices were and had the children write a K for Kerry and a B for Bush. Out of 17 children, my sister was the only one who selected Kerry. Coincidence? Not really. She's the girl who boos Hummers with me when we pass them in the car and exclaimed one day that "Bush just doesn't get it." Not exactly "normal" five year old behavior.

Not really understanding the philosophy of voting, she obviously assumed that her "answer" was wrong... Not really understanding the philosophy of parenting I had obviously assumed that I was equipping her with helpful knowledge. I'm not sure that either of us "chose wrong" but Cait was well on her way to understanding the problem of participation.


Addison: [drunk] "I've decided that I'm gonna get really fat. Just as a stop gap, just until I figure out another plan. Eat all of these muffins and I'm gonna get really gloriously fat! It's over. Over. Ooover. I'm talking about the last 1/3 of my life Miranda. How can that be just over. How can that just end? Over a skinky pair of panties and bad tux."

Oh my HOT was Derek last night. Grrrrr.....

Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Coming out of the (water) closet

The first time I had an incident, I was 4. I vaguely remember telling my mother that I had decided I would go to the bathroom standing up...."just like my friend Kyle." The declaration came after a very private conversation between myself and Kyle. Crouched behind our babysitter's couch he told me that he "went potty outside. standing up." Um, WHAT?!?! HELL TO THE NO. I was outraged. This seemed more unfair than having to take a nap in the "girl's" room. I wanted to go to the bathroom upright. It seemed so much easier. And more convenient. Of course, this was well before I understood the workings of biology. But my mom humored me and thus began Phase One in the long history of bathroom incidents.

Phase two was the privacy phase. I would rather cower in my sleeping bag at slumber parties with my body filled to the brim with fluid than go to the bathroom at any friend's home. The reason? I was horrified at the thought of a male stumbling into the restroom on me. I didn't have brothers. I didn't live with my dad. I guess I just assumed that males barged into bathrooms without knocking. I would later discover a horrible irony.

Phase three was the safety phase. This girl wasn't about to sit her bottom on a dirty, public restroom toilet seat. I think I went years without seeing the inside of public restrooms. And if I was forced, it was two toilet liners for me. Then I read an article about how you were more likely to get some sort of disease from the faucet sink than the toilet and I moved on....

Phase four was the gross out phase. I had a roommate. And for some reason she could only go to the bathroom when I was in the shower. Didn't get it. Still don't. But I do get that I don't get down with that. Nope. You are not allowed to do things on the toilet when I am showering. You know why? Because that's gross. GROSS. We had to have a come to Jesus. Also in the conversation I asked her to stop leaving globs of toothpaste in the sink. You know why? Because that's gross too. Both behaviors stopped, yet, I have no doubt that her husband can never take a damn shower in peace.

The current phase is the confusion phase. No matter how many times I check the sign on the door or use the same restroom, whenever someone enters the bathroom when I'm in the stall I have the horrible thought that I am in the wrong bathroom. I immediately check under the door to make sure the shoes are those of a woman. I have no idea why this is...I have used the bathroom in my office building at least 500 times yet I always have the fear that I'm in the men's rest room.

Yeah...weird. But at least I'm not sitting upon 40 toilet seat covers. Or worse...standing up.

Saturday, September 23, 2006
Grey's Anatomy Quote of the Week

Because it was an awesome, awesome show, I used to do Weekly Arrested Development Highlights. Alas, the American people are idiots and never support the right people...I mean, shows....

But I think Grey's will be around for a while. So I'm making the big switch. I guarantee the quotes won't be as witty as AD but they'll be good just the same.

Without further ado....the GAQW

Meredith: What, so all of a sudden I'm the president of people with crappy lives?

Friday, September 22, 2006
Difference of perception

A lot of people see this picture of last week's Iowa State football game and think "Woah, that woman is offering John Kerry her beer funnel." I see this picture and think "WHAT?! Why is John Kerry in IOWA? At a football game? Mixing among locals?" It looks a lot like campaigning. And once I have those thoughts, I immediately turn into stern Kristen and want to say "JOHN KERRY, you get your butt home. NOW. Straighten up and stop campaigning. We don't want you." Phew.

Thursday, September 21, 2006
A word about compromise
K: As I was driving home a driver was riding my bumper but I didn't slam on my breaks. I know you hate that.

D: Really? I'm proud of you.

K: I just drove as slowly as I could to teach the driver a lesson.

D: Oh. Great.

Lines in the sand

On the same day that the Senate voted to move forward on a measure which will erect a fence along one-third of the US/Mexican border, the House approved a bill which will require Americans to show a photo id in order to vote. By 2010 all voters will have to "prove" that they are U.S. citizens.

Thursday, September 14, 2006
We'll Miss You

Former Texas Gov. Ann Richards, whose brassy, tough-talking persona and trademark white hair cut an indelible profile in Democratic politics, died Wednesday evening at her home in Austin, surrounded by her family.
"Poor George. He can't help it. He was born with a silver foot in his mouth."

Monday, September 11, 2006
Political Lurve
I love documentaries (The War Room is one of my favorites). I love Al Franken. I am going to love THIS documentary.


A cinema verite pursuit of Al Franken, shot over the course of two years, which follows the former Saturday Night Live comedian turned best-selling author and political satirist, from his highly publicized feud with Bill O’Reilly over Frankens blockbuster “Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them” to his relentless campaign against George Bush and the Right Wing.

Sunday, September 10, 2006
How to be born again
Step One: Buy Beer
Step Two: Hope your beer contains THIS flyer

Step Three: Understand the "new birth"

That's right, in Bible Belt US of A they've taken to putting Christian literature in our cases of beer. In grocery stores. Awesome.

..Ridcule shouldn't come this easy.

Saturday, September 09, 2006
A word about marriage
Communicating through wedding gifts....

Friday, September 01, 2006
Academic Year Resolutions
A blog I read has a brilliant idea--setting academic resolutions for herself, her research and her teaching. I like it...maybe these are resolutions I will actually keep.

...Unlike "learning all the words to My Sharona."