Tag Archives | Romney

does this mud make me look younger?

So I’ve done something to my shoulder.

I don’t know what I did but it’s been sore for months. Maybe I over-eagled my arms in eagle pose, or perhaps my efforts to be Miss Plank Body in chaturanga have backfired, or maybe it’s just a warning shot across the bow about what’s going to happen once I finally bid farewell to my late-mid-forties.

You know the signs. You’ve got A Back, maybe; or perhaps it’s The Knee.  Getting out of bed is no longer a bound-and-greet-the-day, instead it’s a calculated swivel of feet, leg, hips, and oof.

And there’s the face. I had the misfortune, while we were in Jordan, to stay in not one but two hotel rooms that had magnifying mirrors right near the sink. I kept catching my reflection in the well-lit surfaces and my friends, in the morning, my facial skin resembles nothing so much as the fabric of a waffle-weave t-shirt. Or, to go more high-end, some kind of fabric that Issey Miyake might use in a couture creation. Pleated, is what I’m saying.

My aching shoulder and pleated forehead–plus the rest of me–were thrilled about the prospect of “taking the waters” at the Dead Sea. For millenia people have pilgrimmaged to these salty waters, lured by the curative powers of salt, heat (the water is quite warm), and the famous Dead Sea mud, which is packed with minerals.

 It’s impossible not to laugh when you get into the water: you are, literally, weightless. Your feet float up to the surface of their own accord; you could, if you wanted to, float in the water and read a magazine without once getting the pages wet.  Diving below the surface is almost impossible; my kids tried to sink themselves by clutching big rocks in their hands, but even then, they barely got their chins wet.

We could have stayed floating on our backs forever, except that Caleb kept flipping over: he’s so light that each passing ripple spun him around like a pinwheel.

Searching for the cure to all my ills, I smeared myself with mud, rinsed myself in the salty waters, and then besmeared myself again. I repeated this process four or five times during our overnight stay at the resort.

Am I cured? Well, my shoulder still hurts. I finally went to an orthopedist who, after I had six x-rays, came up with a brilliant diagnosis: I have a sore shoulder. He prescribed an anti-inflammatory which, as near as I can tell, contains no Dead Sea salts.

And as for my skin?  While the mud dried on my face, Liam looked at me. “Wow,” he said. “I can see every single line and wrinkle. Your face looks like some of those buildings in Petra.”

Great. My face is a crumbling monument.

True, my post-mud skin felt smooth and soft – soft enough that I bought a packet of mud to give myself facials at home.  But I’ve discovered the double-whammy cure for pleated skin: First off, don’t wear your glasses when you look in the mirror. What you can’t see doesn’t exist. (Hey, it works for Mitt Romney and poor people.)

Second cure?

No magnifying mirrors.

Continue Reading · on October 29, 2012 in expat, Travel, yoga

Labor Day & A Metaphor

It’s Labor Day weekend in the States: the last hurrah of summer, the beginning of fall, and–given that it’s an election year–the beginning of revved-up campaigning from both the right and the left.

The Repubs just finished their hot-air balloon of a convention (with apologies to hot-air balloons everywhere), leaving the world with a legacy of Lyin’ Ryan, The Empty Chair, and Ann Romney loving that her son spoke “great” Spanish (she knew it was great even though she says she “doesn’t know a word” of Spanish). Happily unleashed from facts–because, as a Romney pollster said, their campaign won’t be dictated to by fact-checkers–the Romney/Ryan campaign bus, full of animatronic Mitts,  trundles onward towards November.

Now, granted, Obama’s campaign has had its share of playing fast-and-loose with truthiness, but in a recent column, Charles M. Blow cites Mediaite as saying that Romney’s campaign is ahead in the “liar liar pants on fire” race, with a score of 46% to the Obama campaign’s 29%. Nearly 1 in 10 statements coming from the Romney camp is likely to be false, as opposed to 1 in 50 from Obama.

No matter how you slice it, that’s a grim statistic. I suppose politicians and world leaders have been lying to their flocks since forever, so maybe now it’s just that we have ways of discovering the lies (except no one can crack the mystery of Mitt’s taxes. Where o where have you hidden them, Mittens? Are they Romney’d to the roof of one of your many cars, perhaps the jeep you use in the Caymans?)  But if I have to choose a liar, I’m going to choose the person who lies the least.

Some of you, perhaps, want to throw your hands up in disgust and say “screw ’em all,” and stay home watching reruns of “Burn Notice” on the telly. Two words for you, people: Supreme Court. Be as disenchanted with the process all you want, but the person who is sitting in the White House for the next four years will choose two, maybe three Supremes. And anyone who wants even a remote shot at health care, transparent political systems, reasonable immigration policies, clean air/water/land, or relatively stable individual freedoms, should care deeply about who will be picking the next members of that abaya-clad group.

No, Obama hasn’t been perfect. Probably no one other than Clark Kent or god could’ve lived up to the national expectations that greeted Obama’s 2008 victory, and if you’re feeling disappointed, a recitation of his accomplishments probably won’t convince you – so I’m not going to say anything about child tax credits, or killing bin Laden, or Ledbetter, or Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell, and I won’t send you to this list for a fuller account of what this “do-nothing” President has done.

I’m going to ask, instead, if you have any t-shirts that you wear and love, even if the t-shirt is a little rumpled, a little faded, a little bit stretched out?  I bet you do.  Maybe it’s the fave because it fits just so, or maybe because of the memories it connotes, or maybe you love the slogan blazoned across the front or stitched on the sleeve.

I have a t-shirt like that:

Yeah, it’s a little faded, a little wrinkled, a little stretched out, and the letters look a little worse for wear. But I love what it says. After all, hope was the only thing left in Pandora’s box after she released all the evils into the world; hope is “the thing with feathers/that perches in the soul,” says Emily Dickinson. What do we have without hope? We’ve got truth strapped to the roof of a campaign bus, like just another Romney pet, that’s what we’ve got.  And that, my friends, is simply not enough.

here’s what might be enough: come see what’s happening at yeah write this week (this month, too): the mommy bloggers will be blogging without help from our cute tykes and irascible partners. yeah write: one of the forces for good on the interwebs

Continue Reading · on September 3, 2012 in Feminism, NYC, Politics

Monday Listicles: Anxious, anxious, anxious

Today is the beginning of the new semester, which means it’s time to crank up the teaching machine, dust off the notes, realize that these notes are too dusty to use yet again, re-write the syllabus, and generally panic about what the hell I’m going to say for fourteen weeks.  Because it’s the beginning of term, I’m not going to write a “bucket list” of ten things I hope to see happen before I die, which was one Listicle option we were given by Ally, one of two normal moms.

In any case, my list of what I’d like to see happen before I die would be your basic lefty media-elite wish for clean politics, clean air, clean food, clean water–and for there to be a veritable blizzard of invitations swamping the post office as gay couples all over the world decide to get (legally) married.  Oh, and I’d like teachers to get annual salaries that are even a fraction of what Newt and Mitt declared on their taxes (eighty gazillion and 3.1 million, respectively).

Yeah. That’s what I thought you’d say. Dream on.  So the other option for the listicle today was things that make you anxious.

Did I say it was the beginning of the term? At this time of year, me and anxious are like besties. We’re tight. We’re IM’ing each other and DM’ing each other and generally just inseparable.

1. The opening day of the term. I’ve been teaching for years and years but still that first day, walking into the classroom…Anxious. I’m always sure I’ve forgotten my notes, forgotten where the classroom is, forgotten how to work the computer for powerpoint.

2. Anxiety #1 links to the fear that it will be this term when I am unmasked as a fraud. That someone will storm into my office or stand up in class and say “Lady, you’re just nuts and this stuff doesn’t make any sense and where you’d get your graduate degree anyway, back-of-the-matchbook university?” (Confession: Husband and I were married by my uncle, who was licensed as a minister by…yep, the church of the back of the matchbook.)

3. Anxiety #1 and #2 combine to create the recurring nightmare that all teachers have, in some version or another: you suddenly realize that you were supposed to be teaching an entire other course in addition to the one you’re teaching and you’ve never set foot in the classroom; or you’re being observed by your supervising teacher or your tenure committee and realize that you’re naked; or you’re standing in front of the podium and the wrong notes are in your hand, you have no idea where you are, and no idea what you’re supposed to do.

4. Unrelated to teaching: bugs. Cookie’s Chronicles gave us a lovely upclose picture of an earwig and I’d like to return the favor: Giant water bugs. Or as I like to call them chichihuahua bugs (with apologies to small dogs everywhere). They’re huge. They move way the fuck too fast; they crunch when you get someone else to step on them. I can’t actually post the picture here because then I’d scream and knock the computer on the floor and that would be bad.  I will say that as I write about these horror beetles, my toes are all curled up and I’m scanning the floor, wondering if something is about to come waving its antennae out of the drain.

5. That my children’s fears about me ruining their lives by moving us all the way to hell and gone are right. Well, okay, I don’t think that’s going to happen, or at least, not because I moved them here. They’re not teen-agers yet. I’m saving the big guns of life-ruining for a few years down the road. The life-ruining hasn’t even started, kids.

6. That my parents’ comment (repeated over and over again when I was in grade school and middle school…and hell, in high school too): that I’m not living up to my potential, is going to come true. Of course, given how close I am to fifty, I wonder how long a person has to have “potential.” Is there a statute of limitations on that concept?  I mean, can I still be searching for the fulfillment of “potential” at fifty-five? At sixty?

7. What if I’m attacked by giant water bugs and never finish my novel? What if I’m not attacked by giant water bugs and then I don’t have an excuse for not finishing my novel?

8. What if I can’t finish my novel?And in the meantime, what if writing blog posts and fiction have so thoroughly insinuated themselves into my brain that I can’t go back and write professorial prose when I need to (see earlier on FRAUD).

9. What if these yoga pants (purchased on sale at Marshalls in NJ with my beloved sister during the winter holiday. God I loves me a big-box store. Not enough of them out here in Petro-dollar land, unless you count the mammoth Chanel emporia scattered throughout the various malls)–what if the fact that I’ve worn these pants so constantly for the past ten days means they’re never going to come off?

10. What if I don’t wring every drop out of this opportunity to live in another world for a while? What if I get back to the States and think “why didn’t I….?”

So there you have it folks.  I’m riddled with anxiety and the only thing preventing me from dissolving into a puddle are my Marshalls’ yoga pants. Omigod. Why didn’t I buy a second pair? What am I going to do when these fall apart?

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Continue Reading · on January 24, 2012 in Abu Dhabi, expat, Monday Listicle

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