Three New Years Thoughts for Thursday

After an Iowa New Year’s weekend full of family, fun, and food followed by the 2012 caucuses, it’s hard to choose just three thoughts for this Thursday. But, here’s my best shot:

  1. I received Parenthood, Seasons 1 & 2 for Christmas so our fam watched the pilot and first episode Sunday night. The story line, music, and actors hooked both kids and their spouses. Which makes me feel like one trendsetting, hip and cool jive momma!
  2. Hiram and I once again watched the Lord of the Rings Trilogy over Christmas weekend. Since then, the similarity between the hairstyles body types of college and pro football players and the orcs has disturbed me. Anyone else bothered by that?
  3. The Iowa caucuses are over. We won’t miss the constant string of robo-calls and survey phone calls. But before hanging up on the caucuses for another four years, take a look at Caucus Time…with a Muppet Flair by my friend and former reporter, Melissa Tagg. Which muppet would you vote for?

 

Three Thoughts for Thursday, December 1, 2011

It’s Thursday again, so here are three thoughts for the day before the weekend:

  1. You know you’re getting older when…the parenting books you write are ordered by your former third grade student who has three children.
  2. During presidential campaigns, we Iowans don’t have to buy tickets to a three ring circus ‘cause it comes to us. In the first ring, Cain’s falling falling fast while Newt’s moving up in the second. Standing tall in the center ring, Mitt and Michelle remain perfectly coifed.
  3. It’s only December first, and already I’m craving Grandma Josie’s heirloom Christmas specialties – wild plum pudding and tapioca fruit salad. What traditional Christmas foods are making sugar plums dance in your head?

Leave a comment and a recipe if you like!

Don’t call Me, I’ll Call You

Ever since we got home from vacation, the phone has been ringing off the hook. Apparently, it rang a lot while we were gone, if the flashing number on the monitor is any indication.

But the phone calls haven’t been from friends saying they missed us.
Or from enemies who called to ask when we’re leaving again.
No, the majority of the phone calls can be categorized into one of two groups:

  • They are either from solicitous Southwest Airlines customer service reps reporting on the status of our lost luggage.
  • Or they are calls associated with the 2012 presidential election which our fair state kicks off with the Iowa caucuses.

Since our bags arrived this morning, and the Iowa Caucus isn’t until January, I’ve further divided today’s calls into three irritating categories:

  • Robo calls from candidates. Don’t ask what the candidates say in these calls, because once it’s clear the call is taped, I hang up. I wouldn’t hang up if the candidate made a personal call, and we shared an equal sacrifice of time. But until that happens, I’ll keep hanging up.
  • Robo survey calls from various political campaigns. Don’t ask what the survey questions are, because I realize it’s an automated survey, I hang up. Again, it’s an equal sacrifice of time thing.
  • Survey calls from real people. Once, I agreed to do one of those surveys. But about ten questions in, I opted out. Why? Because the questions were peppered with emotionally loaded words, chosen to skew the results in favor of one party or another, one candidate or another. The survey’s sponsors weren’t interested in obtaining voter opinions. They were only interested in manipulating them. So now, I say no to those surveys, too.

With January more than five months away, the hang-up-to-chat ratio will be as skewed as a political poll. In fact, I may just turn off the ringer until the caucuses are over. So if you’re a friend who wants to welcome me home or an enemy who would like to wave good-bye again, send an email, a tweet, or catch me on Facebook.

I’ll get back to you. I promise.

Iowa Who?

I feel like a high school homecoming queen the day after graduation. Washed up, dated and insignificant. It’s like I don’t matter anymore. Don’t get me wrong. I was never a homecoming queen. But today, the morning after the Iowa caucuses, I have a great deal of empathy for all of them.

For the last couple of months, the citizens of our state were popular. Our phones rang nonstop. Everyone wanted our opinions on everything. Famous people called us daily – former presidents, senators, congressmen, family and friends of the wannabe movers and shakers of our country. Our mailboxes were stuffed with glossy flyers and Christmas cards from total strangers.  Radio talk show hosts begged us to call in. Our state, not Idaho or Ohio but IOWA, was mentioned on the national news every night for weeks. Even out here on our icy gravel road, a few potential suitors braved tromped through the snow and rang my doorbell. We were important. We really mattered. The nation worshipped at the feet of little old Iowa.

Today I’ve gotten one phone call. It was my Minnesota sister. “Iowa who?” she kept saying. “Iowa who? I hear New Hampshire is the place to be.” She gets so miffed when I get all the attention. But she made a valid point.

Though my state’s present tumble from the national throne has thrown me into the depths of despair, I’m reaching out to the people of New Hampshire. They need to know that popularity is fleeting in our political system.  It’s pretty heady stuff for innocent country folk. It can kinda turn heads, all the attention from important people with their fancy hair, great dental work and tailored suits with matching shoes.

Don’t fall for it, New Hampshire. No matter how pretty the candidates are, don’t dispense your political favors to every John, Mike or Hilary who sashays through the state. Come January 9, those sweet-talking, love ‘em and leave ‘em politicians will drop you like hot potatoes and move on.

I don’t want you to get hurt like we Iowans did. It’s not worth it. Stay home. Turn off the TV. Throw away your mail. Bar the door. Save yourselves for the general election. It’s the only way you’ll be able to live with yourselves tomorrow.

Three last words: New Hampshire who?