Sunday, January 11, 2009

When Hope and Fear Collide

Well. Long time, no post, huh? I don't really know why I haven't written anything - I just got a little scattered there. But now Abby's running around singing Joan Jett's Bad Reputation, Emma's making masks, and Leo's off kayaking, and I feel a rant coming on.

When I was in grad school, we had to read When Hope and Fear Collide. I wasn't super impressed, but I've always loved the title. It completely defines how I feel about the election.

I was totally psyched to watch Obama get elected. You go, Ohio, with your blue stateness! I watched his acceptance speech with about 50 students - we were crying and cheering. I am so proud. That's it. I had been white knuckling it for weeks, worried about how important racism is to our country. But hope won over fear.

But this election sucked. Thanks a lot, California. I am so ashamed of my state for Prop 8. We've been marching and sending letters and everything, but I was completely blindsided by the level of hate in this state. There's been a lot of great commentary on Prop 8 already - check out Keith Olbermann and Prop 8: The Musical - so I'm not going to blah blah blah too much. I just want to urge everyone to not let up the pressure - let's march on Washington. Boycott businesses that support bigotry. Just as importantly, support businesses that promote equality. We live in a country that values money and power over all - let's use ours to apply some pressure.

And wow, speaking of money, we really fucked ourselves over, huh? When we lived in Santa Cruz, we were approved for a $500,000 mortgage and told by the bank that if we asked for more, we could get an additional $200-300,000. A big, national bank approved us - it wasn't Bob's Mortgage and Tires. I remember flipping out on the lender, because we wouldn't EVER have been able to afford the monthly payment - it was more than we were earning. I asked him how he could sleep at night, knowing he was ruining families. He just laughed and said it wasn't bad - that I'd just sell that house at a profit, have more capital for the next house, and just keep buying and selling until I had made enough sales to actually afford a house. This was his PROFESSIONAL ADVICE. Ugh.

On a happier note, we had a great holiday! Instead of presents, we try to give each other experiences. We've given museum memberships, days at the boardwalk, movie trips, etc. For my birthday, Leo took me to Chez Panisse. This Christmas, we gifted our family a road trip. We went all over Oregon - hung out in Portland, visited friends, slept in yurts on the coast, played in snow, explored tidepools, went to museums and national forests and the aquarium. It was so awesome just to be together for over a week with no obligations, no plans, and an open map.

So, I promise to write more frequently. I've been planning my Bush retrospective for a while now!

1 comment:

Kalin said...

Ah, I've so missed the wisdom/humor/awesomeness you bring to this space! Keep it up if you can, it's marvelous, even when you're ranting...

I *love* your experiences-as-gifts idea. I think I'll share it with everyone I know, if you don't mind - think it might get Rob out of the house? :)

Love,
K