Tuesday, September 02, 2008

And so we begin another academic year

Welcome back to reality... it's the first day of school for Sarah and Becky, I'm back at work after a week's vacation at home, Hurricane Gustav just finished with Louisiana and there are three more storms lined up in the Atlantic, McCain named Sarah Palin as his VP and now we learn that her 17-year-old daughter is preggers...

The week at home was nice, though of course I had a long list of Things to Get Done and only a few of them actually reached fruition. Also, for two of the days, Ben's car was gettingfixed and he had to use mine to get to work (he took off only Thursday and Friday), so we didn't have a lot of outing options except walking to Valley Pond, but that was pretty much OK because the weather was good and we enjoyed swimming and learning to operate a canoe. However, the girls got major thrills from two of our trips, one to the Children's Museum -- where the most excitement came from riding the Red Line and squishing pennies in an inconspicuous hand-crank machine in the museum lobby -- and Water Country, where we had a fun time ridin' the rapids (sort of). The weather was a little chilly for my taste, but that was also a good thing because it meant it wasn't very crowded. I think we'll buy season passes next summer so we can go several times, perhaps with the kids' friends, and experience every single ride multiple times, which is what they really wanted, in addition to running around a watery playscape with a 200-gallon bucket that dumped water over the entire group every few minutes. The week wound up nicely with a short visit to Roller Kingdom (plenty long enough for me but way too short for the kids) and a leisurely pond visit and dinner with the B's, our old neighbors in the city. Mr. B was showing off his iPhone, which is so way cool, but I can't quite see the need for one just yet myself, though I could be convinced by a fabulous discount from my employer, should one appear.

Sarah Palin... can you say Quayle-ette? What a lightweight -- aside from the business involving her baby with Down syndrome and preggo teenager, which doesn't bother me except the calling attention to the need for more education/availability of contraception for teenagers. Mostly I'm pissed as usual at the obvious tokenism that's so transparent and stupid. McCain: "I must have a woman on my ticket because then everyone who voted to Hillary will vote for me! And the gal must be very conservative! And not old like me! Who cares if she's actually qualified for the job itself?" Paging Clarence Thomas... Also it seems that McCain picked her in haste when his aides finally convinced him he couldn't have his buddy Lieberman, and the vetting process was pretty sketchy, with some suggesting despite his denials that they did not in fact know about the pregnant teenage daughter before the selection was made. There was also this interesting piece noting that Palin's selection re-raises the issue of the work-life balance -- "the Mommy Wars: Special Campaign Edition." As one woman said, "You can juggle a BlackBerry and a breast pump in a lot of jobs, but not in the vice presidency." I'm all for mothers AND fathers working as a team to achieve the right emotional and financial balance they can in terms of the woman working as much (or as little) as she wants, but I'd have to agree here that if I had a baby with Down's (not to mention four other kids and a soon-to-be grandchild that will need a lot of parenting help), I'd think long and hard about taking on any major new full-time job, whether it's mayor of Iglooville or the American vice presidency.

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