Sunday, November 23, 2008


Just in case you've not been paying attention....or don't have a young adolescent girl in the family...Twilight is a book. Which became a series. Which became such a huge best-selling series that there have been many weeks when all four books in the series have been on the NY Times Top Ten list of bestsellers.

And now it is a movie. It premiered on Friday. And Daughter15 has been counting down the days for months! And her and her friends, being the smart little teens that they are, decided it would just be madness to try to attend the movie on opening day. Just too crowded. Sold out theaters. Why would anyone want to do that?!?!

So they waited. They waited all the way to the next day. They planned on seeing the movie on Saturday. Surely they would be able to get in then. After all, the local cinaplex was showing the movie on five different screens!

Well, not wanting to see the looks of disappointment on their faces as they were turned away, I went online ahead of time and purchased tickets for her and her friends to the 4:00 showing yesterday. And yes, they were a giggling bunch of thrilled-ness.

So off we go to drop her and her friends at the theater. However, since I purchased online, the folks in the theater want to see me and my credit card just to make sure the little piece of paper I printed at home matches. So I did have to park and go inside for a moment.

What a sight to behold! It was like walking into some odd tribal celebration. Packs of teen and pre-teen girls roaming the theater. Small groups of 3 or 4. Large groups of 8 0r 10. Small packs merging into larger packs. All there for one simple reason. To see Edward and Jacob and all the other characters as they struggle with their young romances and their vampireness. It was definitely an odd vision...and no place for a sane man to be! So I flashed my card and made a quick exit.

And when it was all over? I picked up my small pack of beaming, smiling, Twilight-thrilled girls. A good time was had by all.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Day After

I must admit, last night was a very satisfying night for me. And a somewhat emotional time. I am very happy Obama is our new president-elect.

There is no way, as a middle class white guy, that I can even imagine the feelings that many African-Americans must be feeling today. When I grew up in the south, I went to "the white school" in our town while the African-American kids went to "the black school". We finally brought the two together when I was in the seventh grade. We went home for Christmas break and returned to find half the kids from each school had swapped places. It was unsettling to be missing some friends, but I surely never understood why all our parents were so upset about it. I couldn't understand then - and I can't imagine now - how anyone thought it could be a bad thing for all the kids to be going to school together. But they did think that. I grew up with that.

And I grew up with places that had separate bathrooms and separate water fountains for "colored men" and "whites" and "colored women" and "whites".

I lived in Alabama, less than a hundred miles from Selma when they walked over that bridge. But at my young age, I didn't even know it was happening.

I lived in it. In racism and misunderstanding. And many still live in those places today.

Last night was an honor. I'm glad I saw the first African-American elected president. And I'm confident that my feelings are only a glimmer of what the African-American community must be feeling today. The relief and satisfaction of finally seeing our country make that choice. And the hope that this really can be a change for the better in our country.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Two Unrelated Thoughts

I should preface this by saying it is not unusual for my thoughts to be unrelated to each other. In fact, it is not unusual for my thoughts to be unrelated to anything! Just ask my wife!! But that being said, here are two thought chosen especially for this moment...

Thought One...
Halloween has come and gone. Samhain has come. Candy has been passed out and eaten. Candles lit. Pumpkins carved. Etc. We had fun and I hope you had fun. But here are the things that were hard about Halloween this year...

My kids did not go trick-or-treating. This is their second time to stay home. Last year they just decided they were too old to go. Up until that time, I had walked the neighborhood with at least one kid for 18 years. I knew every house. I knew every decoration. I knew every uneven spot on the dark sidewalk. I had walked on warm nights, on cold nights, in sleet and snow and rain. And I gotta say, I miss it. I still feel melancholy about not going out. I had fun passing out candy to the witches and warriors and demons and angels that visited our home. But I miss going out.

The other thing hard about Halloween is that no one really wants us to have time to enjoy it. When we purchased the candy we were going to pass out, we had to walk among light-up reindeer and wreaths! The store already had Christmas decorations on the shelves with the Halloween stuff. Seriously?!?! Can't we just enjoy one holiday before we have to start spending money on the next one? I love Christmas. But let me have Halloween and Thanksgiving first. Then I'll jump into the deep end of the Christmas pool and have some fun there.

Thought two...
Mine is not a political blog. I just write stuff. But I try to avoid politics cause we hear enough of that on TV, radio, internet, etc. But for those of you who have been living on Mars the past 24 months or so, you might be interested to know we have sort of a big election coming up on Tuesday. I don't mind saying who I'm can see it right over there to the right of the page...I'm voting for Obama. But this is not an attempt to get you to vote for Obama. This is just to say...please vote. It is astonishing to me how many people fail to go to the polls when we have elections. I know politics can turn some people off. But voting really isn't hard. And it is such a fundamental right and responsibility, I think. Our state is expecting nearly a 90% turnout on Tuesday. If that happens, it will be incredible. I just hope lots of states reach that mark! So no matter who you support, please go and vote on Tuesday. And if you live close to me, I'll see you in line!