Sunday, October 31, 2004

The Electoral College

Today, we were discussing the electoral college and realized we did not have alot of facts. So, I searched and found this amazing site: and they have a great section on the electoral college. A portion of their information is shown below as it best explains the process:

"Each state has a number of electors equal to the number of its U.S. senators plus the number of its U.S. representatives. Currently, the Electoral College includes 538 electors, 535 for the total number of congressional members, and three who represent Washington, D.C., as allowed by the 23rd Amendment. On the Monday following the second Wednesday in December, the electors of each state meet in their respective state capitals to officially cast their votes for president and vice president. This year that day is Dec. 18. These votes are then sealed and sent to the president of the Senate, who on Jan. 6 opens and reads the votes in the presence of both houses of Congress. The winner is sworn into office at noon Jan. 20. Most of the time, electors cast their votes for the candidate who has received the most votes in that particular state. However, there have been times when electors have voted contrary to the people's decision, which is entirely legal."

So, this system, supposedly the check and balance for the votes by the people, can be out of whack. Colorado is voting on a measure to match the votes proportionally to the electoral college votes, making it effective for this election if it passes. Let's hope that we don't have a disaster again, due to the electoral college, and that Kerry wins, even if by a slight majority, but enough to make it a certain victory.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Two Days And Counting.....

In campaign strategy sessions, you count the available "get out the vote" days up to the election, not including the election day. So we are at two days, and counting, and the smear tactics from the Republicans are underway. If everyone went and rented "Farenheit 9/11" before Tuesday, you would see the lying, cheating, manipulative, self-serving actions that George W. and his father, Cheney, and the remainder of the circle of thieves have done, using the office of the Presidency. We cannot afford personally for him to return for four more years, padding his pockets with more ill-gotten wealth from crooked decisions. If someone calls you to vote for Kerry, and you have had several calls -- don't get mad at them, but understand the passion of which these calls are made --- change is needed in the White House.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

The Weather and Elections

I know that when it rains, seniors don't get out to vote. And when it is hot, they probably stay home too. So, it looks like the weather will be moderate here for election day. With all the other factors at play, you have to hope that the weather is good to assure that all the voters supporting Kerry can get there to vote. And all the Bush supporters get lost on the way to the polls, stuck in traffic or road construction delays.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004


Bush and Kerry are scheduled to be guests on SportsCenter on Mon., Nov. 1, Election Eve. It is a pre-taped segment talking about the role of sports in their life. What a creative way for ESPN to get into the election arena. My husband thinks that the Red Sox winning the World Series is a good sign for Kerry. I sure hope so. It is getting ugly in the final days. Bush is a desperate man and desperate people play dirty, especially when he has alot of friends and family members that make their own rules.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Campaign Signs

I have a Kerry-Edwards sign in front of our house plus two in the windows. Thankfully, the new Arizona laws for Homeowner Associations allow campaign signs in developments, with the individual HOA able to refine the guidelines within reason. I helped draft the rules for our HOA, and they are open for public discussion tomorrow night. I have three signs total, which exceeds the draft rules, but they will be down and put away before the rules are approved. I hope that Kerry-Edwards do win Arizona and the presidency. The Supreme Court balance is crucial as well as electing someone who is not a moron or a cheating liar. One week to go!

Sunday, October 24, 2004

I Hate George W. Bush (in case you forgot)

I still hate George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, the senior George Bush and, while we are at it, I hate Ronald Reagan too. Of course we must still doubt the credibility of e-voting machines in Florida -- why would that have changed since last time around. This is the big week -- working the polls on Nov. 2 promoises to be a really busy day, with new voter registrations up 21% in Arizona. Who knows where the chips will fall with new voters, unless, of course, people destroyed registrations for the Democratic party?

Saturday, October 23, 2004

I Gave Her Mine

A cashier at the grocery store commented on my Kerry-Edwards button. She said she had just decided to vote for them and needed to get a button. Needless to say, I gave her mine with delight. The movement in Arizona is growing and we can actually be hopeful that we will wake up with a newly-elected Democrat president on Nov. 3. That will be awesome.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Fun Television

We are watching "Diary of a Political Tourist", filmed last year on the campaign trail with all the Democratic contenders, mixed in some footage of George. It is captivating for me, a political junkie, and recovering Deaniac. Kerry is pleasant, Edwards intense, Gephart is friendly, Lieberman very positive. Many of the places and situations in which they are filmed make you realize how hard you have to work to get noticed and votes in the early primaries. It is a keeper for us on the DVR. Nancy Pelosi's daughter is doing the film and it is very enjoyable for a rainy afternoon. No matter which Democrat ultimately ends up in the White HOuse, they have really covered alot of miles on the campaign trail, full of lots of different foods and heavy on the carbs. I envy Chris Matthews for getting to ride the campaign bus with Edwards last week after the debate.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Campaign Buttons

My Kerry-Edwards campaign buttons have attracted a great deal of attention recently. Many people give the thumbs up or say "I like your button." More than a few tell me why they like Kerry, why they hate Bush and comment on their enthusiasm of a possible upset. I have worn many buttons over the years, but people have rarely commented on them. I see that as a positive sign that Kerry could do well in Arizona and am encouraged by the positive comments. People who are opposed just kind of glare at you.
My button collection includes Humphrey, McGovern, Bill Bradley and Howard Dean, plus a really giant red-and-white pin that says "KATHY" in large block letters that I somehow got as a child. You might wonder if future campaigns will ask me not to help them, given the collection of pins that I own.

Grassroots Again

My involvement in the 2004 Presidential Campaign began with a small group of Dean supporters in Sept., 2003, when the Arizona office opened. There was a campaign manager, two phone lines and a bunch of volunteers to answer the phone and make packets of literature for a table at the State Fair. It is what Alexis de Tocqueville called "grassroots", true citizen efforts forming a group in order to create a change in our democaracy. That blossomed into a full campaign staff until it ended in February, 2004. I was sad and disillusioned, finally getting on the Kerry bandwagon in June, 2004.
The Dean campaign reactivated excitement about the political system for me, and many others who have sat on the sidelines for over 20 years. They taught me how to make calls to registered Democrats, get interest in Vote-by-mail, work in the polls, and generally do whatever it takes to get out the vote, including a scary task of posting campaign signs on busy streets. The metal rods of the signs are really hard to put into the dry Arizona clay and my daughter helped me pound them in with big rocks.
Fast forward to today, 13 days prior to November 2. I have often professed my hatred for George W. Bush. I intend, for the next 13 days, to do whatever it takes to get Kerry elected, and to get them the Arizona electoral votes. As the Kerry-Edwards campaign shifted its field staff to other states for the last big push, we are back to the grassroots actions again. Last week, I cheered and waved signs as a backdrop to the news analysis shows at ASU for the third debate. Next week it means lots of calls, getting voters out to vote, convincing undecideds, putting up signs and being the phone bank deputy manager (my husband offered to be the phone bank manager). I am so thrilled he is getting involved, at the very basic grassroots level, that I will even let him be the boss of me.
So, the Presidential campaign in Arizona has come full circle, back to the roots, to the people for which it stands. That feels great and we are more than ready to rumble.

Belated Birthday Gift

I am hoping that my belated birthday gift is a Kerry-Edwards win! I hope it will come on November 2, but more likely come true in the days following Nov. 2. Help me get my wish --- register to vote, and vote for Kerry! No matter if you live in Arizona or not, all votes for Kerry are appreciated. Thank you!

Kerry Campaign in Arizona

The Kerry campaign in Arizona is going strong--and it is possible that we could win this traditionally Republican state. With the tremendous population growth, there are many new voters from other places. They will, ideally, register, and even if undecided at this point, represent an opportunity to make the great state of Arizona a Democratic state for Kerry-Edwards. So many folks are from the South and Edwards is such an excellent choice, with strong character, family and presence.
My cheer is: "Go, Arizona, Go Kerry, Turn Arizona Blue" (I finally figured out that was because the ballots in the primary for Democrats were in blue ink.) OK, it is corny, but it gets the point across.

Monday, October 18, 2004


My husband and his friend have a rule on their blogs that they cannot write about bumper stickers. I don't have that rule, and frankly, don't see many bumper stickers these days. No one wants to put them on their cars, though Goop would probably remove all traces of them.
We saw a bumper sticker today: "Somewhere in Texas, a village is missing its idiot." I laughed and laughed.

Sexiest Woman Alive?

I don't know if I agree that Angelina Jolie is the sexiest woman alive, but, then again, I don't really evaluate if women are sexy or not. It is definitely good news copy. Angelina Jolie does have a big heart, supporting many causes and really getting into them, not just talking about them or writing a check.
But it is trivial discussion compared to the significance of the upcoming election and the remaining two weeks in which the gloves will be coming off. Bush and his merry band of thieves will be doing whatever it takes -- legal, illegal, covert, devious, cheating, lying, to name a few --to gather an edge. And if that doesn't work, there will be groups of Republican election attorneys to dispatch election night, ready to file suits in the morning when various courthouses open around the country. And if we let them get away with it again, we are the fools for a second time, allowing such a self-serving, money grubbing jerk steal victory again. These next two weeks are so crucial and people have to get informed and VOTE!

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Cactus Flowers

Just when I think my cactus is done with wonderful flowers for the season, new little buds appear! Isn't that just so awesome --- and hopefully, the same things happen in life. If you are sad or down, new little sparks of hope and happiness come along. Wow, that helps you get up in the morning, most days that is.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004


Sometimes choices are very difficult, particularly when you must balance what you want to do vs. what you know you should do. If I follow the lead of the late Rabbi Silberman, the choices are easy. It will be his legacy that will help me, and all the others that attended his Memorial Service last night, try to make the right choices in life, as we honor his memory. Thank you, Rabbi for showing us the way. May you rest in eternal peace. And please bless Temma and the family with his memory as a comforting blanket of love.

Monday, October 11, 2004

California Dreamin'

A return visit to the Bay Area this weekend made me realize how much I miss about living in the San Francisco area. It is definitely cooler, weather wise. The ever-expanding array of produce, food creations and liberal ambience are so energizing. I also think they drive more safely. Upon return home from the Phoenix Airport, I witnessed two idiots weaving in and out of the HOV lane at rapid speeds; got the finger given to me (or actually to my daughter) after I honked someone for weaving in front of me and had some guy behind me gesturing to go faster. No sure how he expected me to go through the line of cars in front of me.
But, I will be missing some aspects of Calfiornia. Tasting our new varietal olive oils and unusual condiments (marinated leeks, rosemary sea salt) will be comforting, until we can return again to the mecca of amazing (and organic) produce and food. And this week will be filled with events for John Kerry surrounding the debate here on Wednesday --- I am already giddy just thinking about the excitement! That will not stop me from dreaming about Acme Bread, however...

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Girls Night In

The plans were to start hip-hop classes and attend holiday services. Instead, we did homework, packed and chatted. When my daughter went to get her green tea ice cream, she was attacked by errant items falling out of the freezer (a common happening in our house with frozen food, dead bread pieces, half-eaten pints of ice cream, ice bags). She came in to say she was eating the partial pint of chocolate with mint chunks and was tossing a partial pint of peanut butter with peanut butter cup chunks. I watch what I eat so carefully and never treat myself to anything like ice cream -- so she was surprised when I said I would just eat it! I got out bottles of toppings (chocolate, caramel and yucky strawberry) left from her birthday party and we poured them over the ice cream. She squealed with delight about having a sundae party on a Thursday. Then she said she was so glad we were having fun as I eat such boring food and that I should enjoy and celebrate my mammogram. We giggled as we ate spoonfuls of syrup when the ice cream was gone.
I told her I thought I should do a walk after all that sugar, but she did not want me to go out late. So I got on the exercise bike for a few minutes as we watched a special on Britney Spears. While on the bike, I saw that one of the cactus flower buds had opened into a big flower. I bolted out the door to greet it and heard "Mom, that's a mammogram flower." Doesn't that just make your day!
Times have changed in our house as she used to sleep with me when her dad was gone. Tonight, she said she was sleeping in her bed so she could spread out, and that I could do that too. I will miss those little toes stuck under my back while I am sleeping, but I actually have something else really special -- a little (or not so little anymore) girl that truly loves me. Wow. Something to be thankful for at holiday services in the morning.

Drug Trends

Middle school parents were invited to an evening program, previewing a presentation entitled "Drug Trends". This presentation is being given to the 7th and 8th graders to talk about drugs and why not to use them, describing in horrific detail the issue of substance abuse and how it affects the lives of everyone, users or not. There was a small turnout, but for those that went, it was an eye-opening evening. Stephanie Siete-Kreiling, BS, CHES, is a Training and Education Coordinator for a non-profit group, Community Bridges. She is amazing at her job -- she is a true blessing for those who come in contact with her -- and she told it like it is. And we had no idea.....
She told about different drugs that kids (and adults) abuse, outlining the reasons for higher rates in Arizona. The greater substance abuse yields more drunk driving and fatal accidents, let alone all kinds of other ripple effects.
The agency she works for, Community Bridges, is contracted for education of school kids and they also work closely with police agencies, operate shelters and are down in the trenches. I sure hope that the 7th graders listen really good tomorrow when they hear this stuff -- and I hope it shakes them up as much as it gave my husband and I a real shot of reality! (Pun not intended.)

Eagles (both kinds)

It was an all Eagles ride to and from the Mayo Clinic today. The same two or three songs can get me through anything, from a mammogram to a spinning class. I still don't know if playing the same song on a CD four or five times in a row wears it out. What I also wonder is why doesn't anyone who can afford it or have the option go to the Mayo Clinic. They are the best. I know that 82,000 Arizonans have lost their health insurance since George Bush took office -- that is really horrible for those families impacted in that way.
Three environmental groups have filed lawsuits to keep the Southwest Bald Eagle on the endangered list. I am glad, as at the rate the desert is being built up, they are constantly losing their native habitats. Hopefully I will get to spot some little eaglets someday soon.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Under The Wire

We are getting our Tashlich ceremony in, today, just under the wire at sundown Oct. 6. That is truly the end of the Days of Awe, when the book is really closed for the coming year. The Tashlich ceremony consists of throwing bread crumbs (representing sin, misgivings, mistakes from the past year) into a moving body of water with fish. The moving water washes the sins away; the fish represent the eye of G-d who is watching. The prayerbook is ready, along with the breadcrumbs and a plastic fish. We will do it in our pool before sunset. We hope the rest of the year is good, probably hoping for something slightly less emotional than the first 12 days have proven to be.

I Wasn't Invited

Since I wasn't invited to Tiger Woods' wedding, I guess I will have to rely on "In Touch" magazine to find out who was. Every week, when the magazine arrives, I put it aside to read later, but once my daughter spots it, we argue about who gets to read it first. Whenever we, or frankly, any guests, read it, we go page by page to make sure we don't miss a single word or picture. My husband flips through it making nasty remarks or repeating "who really cares about this?". If it were not for the Olsen twins, Britney Spears, J Lo, Jen and Brad, Hilary Duff, Lindsay Lohan and Bennifer, they would not have anything to write about. And we would not have our weekly trash mag to look forward to. My theory has been, reading is reading, and if reading magazines will get my daughter to read, the more the merrier. We have "Teen People", "Seventeen", "Justine", "Cosmo Girl" and a new subscription to "YM" that I got to surprise her. I preview them for inappropriate content, but she reads them all and saves them to reread later.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

World Series Ring

There was only one World Series ring visible in the stands at Peoria Stadium for opening day of Fall League. It was an unbelievably beautiful day for a game, and there were probably 10-20 people there outside the players, scouts and MLB staff. I like the fact that the players wear their own team uniforms. There is no cheering as the scouts are timing base running and using their radar guns to measure pitch speeds. They show no expression or reaction as it might tip their hand to another scout. Usually this group has several World Series rings to see, but today only one guy who came to watch. I swore it was Mark Grace, but my husband said no.
Speaking of my husband, he was giddy with excitement. We got there early, he ran ahead to our favorite seats, put down his stuff and went over with the other fans to the dugout and took pictures. I told him they might let him sit in the dugout if he asked. It is truly a special way to spend the afternoon, in the sun, watching baseball, hearing every noise from the field and watching him soak it all up. It doesn't hurt that I can eavesdrop on all the conversations between the scouts and players who sit in the section we like, right behind home plate. But I still don't know who the guy was wearing the ring.

Foul Language As Promised

There was foul language at the Vice Presidential debate in our house, but surprisingly, it was not me screaming at Dick Cheney, who reminds me of the deceptive look of Richard Nixon. But I cursed at the Bush-Cheney campaign manager for his smug, nasty arrogant comments. I think both of them evaded the questions. Each used their rebuttal times to make additional points not on the topic asked. I think the interviewer did not ask good questions, or ask the hard questions that she could have in the 90 minutes.
But, I still hate George Bush and Cheney is disgusting, a liar, a cheat and a scumbag. That about says it all, in my mind.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Stem Cells

Stem cells are so important to our future, and also represent a key issue in the presidential campaign. The cells, derived from fertilized human eggs, are capable of treating disease and possibly slowing or reversing aging. The stem cells can be made to multiply and differentiate into a variety of cell types, each with a specific function. They can cure leukemias, lymphoma and diabetes, replace damaged heart tissue, replace destroyed liver tissue and become nerve cells in the brain (hence, the application for Alzheimer's or Parkinson's as supported by Nancy Reagan). In a recent report, researchers showed that the versatile cells can serve as "biological pacemakers," correcting faulty heart rhythms when injected into the failing hearts of pigs. In another report, scientists demonstrated for the first time that stem cells can become a cell crucial to vision. Many doctors believe that several vision-destroying diseases could be fought by transplanting these cells directly into the eyes
Wow --sort of miraculous that these diseases and conditions can be reversed. So, if one were to gather the cells from umbilical cord blood, many kinds of cells could be created (pluripotent) to grow rapidly. However, cells from embryos can form any kind of cells (totipotent), growing vigorously. Sadly this progress will be slowed down by a moral and political debate. The medical possibilities are endless. Debating this is like the discussion of abortion. The similarity is that is whatever you believe, you cannot be swayed, no matter how much someone tries to convince you. That makes this such a difficult topic, and therefore, a crucial campaign issue given the complete ideological opposites represented by the candidates.

Why Does One Blog?

I have analyzed why I like blogging. It serves as a sort of online journal, a place where you can let out thoughts, crystalize ideas and write down what you are thinking about. I find it helpful that it allows you to get stuff out of your mind, so it does not roll around over and over again. It has, in some cases, allowed me to stop thinking about something by putting it elsewhere. A wonderful boss told me once to write down my thoughts for something you were upset about. Then, a day or two later, take it out, look at it and then decide if you want to act on it or simply move on.
I found that I enjoy reading other people's postings periodically as I find there are lots of interesting, thoughtful people out there. I don't really care if anyone else reads the blog; you can track who comes to read it, how they got there, what they read, how long they are there, etc. Of most interest, is seeing what various search words lead people to my blog -- funniest so far are lettuce jammers, Kerri Strug + coach, chilig. There have been some others, but I can't remember them right now.

Going on with foods from "Seinfeld"

We have continued to list foods from various "Seinfeld" episodes for our Thanksgiving menu. Our rules have us including, not only food eaten, but food mentioned or discussed. This makes the list very long, but here goes more... navy bean soup, Tyson chicken, potatoes, shrimp, pancakes, maple syrup, vegetable lasagna, eclairs (partially eaten), hard candies, pasta primavera, O'Henry bars, Twix, coffee, cocktail wieners, calzone, Beefaroni, H&H bagels, beefaroni, Poland Spring water, pretzels, raisins, Arby's, olives, Hennigan's, butter, fusilli, ravioli, mutton. More to come, I am sure.

Focus and Clarity

This Monday, it is harder to focus than usual. I am so saddened by the passing of Rabbi Herbert Silberman, thinking of his loving wife and her facing everything alone. I am distracted by a strange series of phone calls with my brother. And it is a heavy breast cancer week, with volunteer time at Susan G. Komen, accompanying a friend to the surgeon appointment to discuss her lump and my own bi-annual mammograms...
On the positives, Rabbi Silberman leaves behind alot of people to comfort his widow, Fall League starts this week, it is only four weeks to the election, and my daughter is an amazing person. I look forward to the Fall League games as a chance to have some great time with my husband as this is one of his yearly highlights, and the venue in which we will have his annual birthday celebration. There are also three new buds for flowers on my cactus --- hooray!!!
I think I will take my own advice, and do baby-steps. I will find some fun, new music and exercises for my class today.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

A Gentle, Loving Soul Has Gone

The rabbi, Rabbi Herbert Silberman, with whom I have studied for my Adult Bat Mitzvah, died in his sleep last night. His wife, who is my Hebrew teacher, has become a special friend, and together, they were an inspiration to many. His reverence and kindness, along with ability to impart knowledge while remaining humble, made me want to be a better person and become closer to G-d. His passing during the High Holidays is symbolic, as it is said only the most holy die during that time. He was someone who was destined to be a rabbi because he demonstrated, with his life, the way you would want to be. The loving relationship with his wife was part of their religious teaching, each telling sweet stories about each other in their classes.
Tonight, he rests with G-d in his beloved night sky, bright with stars and the Sukkot moon -- close to the G-d he loved so much. I will remember him each time I look at the stars. My life is so much better for having the opportunity to learn from him. I am truly honored, and very saddened. I know his precious wife will struggle to figure out why she should continue breathing, or eating, or doing anything without him -- they were virtually inseparable, until today that is.

Friday, October 01, 2004


Today's earworm is "strawberries, cherries and an angel's kiss in spring..." Don't even know where I picked it up, except that I put strawberries and cherry vanilla yogurt in my daughter's breakfast smoothie.
Earworms generally are funny, and annoying -- they are songs you like but can't get out of your head once you hear them. The biggest all time earworms are "Strangers In The Night" (only Frank Sinatra's version) and "The Lion Sleeps Tonight", which I heard for the first time in 9th grade. Two years ago, for Hanukkah, my husband and daughter made me a CD from a list of earworms and I love using it for my exercise class.