Thursday, September 18, 2008

Cukoo's Nest, Revisited

"Society as a whole benefits immeasurably from a climate in which all persons, regardless of race or gender, may have the opportunity to earn respect, responsibility, advancement and remuneration based on ability." ~ Sandra Day O’Connor

Other than a presidential election, can there possibly be very many activities that will make you certain the inmates are truly running the joint? Even given the ever-widening gap between ethical politics (oxymoron alert) and Politics As Practiced, the utterly ludicrous course this campaign has taken since Sarah Palin was selected as John McCain’s running mate is surely a sign that Hell has frozen over like a wooly mammoth in a glacier. (Not to worry – with global warming, the glacier will be releasing Hell sooner or later.)

What were they thinking? Did McCain and Company cynically believe such a photogenic, personable female (yes, the camera does indeed love her) would (a) automatically pull in the female vote because Palin is a female and (b) automatically pull in the male vote because Palin is a “hottie” female? If that’s where they were coming from, they’d better get a new tour guide because this road is getting rocky real fast. I sincerely hope most people – female and male – are smarter than that.

Those of you who have kindly shared with me a mug or two of the sacred brew over the past few years – you know I rarely get political on this blog. I’m usually very wary of pressing my opinions on others. If we agree, I’d be preaching to the choir. If we disagree, we probably aren’t going to change each other’s minds and we run the risk of straining perfectly good friendships. Besides, let’s face it – this is not a blog that is read by vast numbers of people, no matter what their persuasion.

Still, sometimes I feel something is so terribly, vitally, utterly important that I just HAVE to stand up and be counted. This is one of those times so please bear with me, Coffee Mates. For the last two-plus weeks, I’ve been digging everywhere I can to find out who Sarah Palin really is and what qualifies her to be our vice president, if not (shudder) our president. At best, the news is not good. At worst, it’s terrifying. At least, that’s the way it looks to my mind.

But you make up your own minds. If it’s of any use to you, I highly recommend this most absolutely kickin' Alaskan web site, Mudflats. This woman writes with intelligence, humor and, I believe, fairness. If you scroll back through the entries since Palin hit the headlines, I think you’ll see what I mean. Be sure to read the (mostly) thoughtful comments following each of her posts. You certainly won’t be bored. Another site that may be helpful is the very new Women Against Sarah Palin site. Letter after letter from people who are angry, horrified and/or insulted by what is perceived as a cynical, self-serving and dangerous choice. (The above Sandra Day O'Connor photo and quote were "borrowed" from that site. Thanks, folks.)

Your mileage may vary. That’s as it should be. Different strokes for different folks. I just hope the majority of us choose the strokes that will, in the long run, be healing and productive for ALL of us.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Somebody Else Is Cooking -- Yay!

As much as I enjoy fooling around in the kitchen, you had better believe I absolutely quiver with joy when someone else is slamming those pots and pans around and producing meals that enhance my bliss status. Earlier this evening I got to enjoy just such an occasion. My brother and his wife are here on their annual vacation and they took me to dinner in Bandon. We opted for the Crow's Nest, which is the upstairs lounge affiliated with the elegant downstairs Wheelhouse restaurant.

The Crow's Nest has windows overlooking the boat basin with a table ledge beneath them so you can eat your meal while enjoying the view. The above picture is what we beheld while moaning and groaning in ecstasy through our calamari and crab appetizers. By the time we had put away the dinners that followed, the lights were coming on outside and there was a red-tinged fog bank veiling the sunset.

I had a tender, juicy chicken breast that was smothered with a cilantro-feta-pesto that was simply to die for, accompanied by steamed mixed veggies and roasted red potatoes. My brother keeps nagging me every year to try something else besides the chicken. For some reason, I always choose a chicken dish from any menu we peruse. It isn't that I've never done other things. I like prawns and crab and various fish offerings. It's just that there are always those intriguing chicken dishes to tantalize and tempt me -- and I can resist anything but temptation.

Especially when somebody else is doing the cooking. Not to mention the cleanup after.