February 27, 2008

my cousins, jake and cale, are huge nerds. but i love em anyway. how can you not love farmboys in fur hats?



brotha man

February 21, 2008


HAPPY BIRTHDAY LITTLE BROTHER!! I am so glad we don’t dress alike anymore, but you gotta give Grandma credit: we were pretty fly in 1982. 


like a baby

February 20, 2008

i slipped over xmas and injured the hell of my left foot, and it has been buggin ever since. i went to the doctor three weeks ago with what is apparently something old ladies get called a “plantar fascitis”. dr. phyllis she prescribed the following:

1) wear crocs (the ugliest shoes ever) around the house for 3 weeks
2) take ibuprofen after breakfast and dinner everyday for 3 weeks to lessen the inflammation
3) wear my new balance sneaks, and only my new balance sneaks, with precription insoles for 3 weeks

went back today, still in pain, and was given a cortisone shot in my foot. the warning, “this will stick, and then sting” does not do it justice. first it’s the stick of the needle–not so bad. but then, the cortisone starts to fill up your ouchy spot, be it foot, elbow, what have you, and i squealed. like a baby. this is a version of our conversation:

dr.: this will stick and then sting, so go to your happy place, go to the beach
me: yeah, i’ll be in florida this summer
dr: where are you going?
me: i’ll be in ft. lauderdale–oh—ouch—oh oh oh oh–oh my—ohhhhhhhhh-owwwwww
dr: there you go, all done. we only have shoe horns here, not lollipops, but you were very brave.

i shit you not. she said that. and she was right. i was. it hurt like hell, but now i feel like i could run a marathon, except, of course, i am nowhere near healthy enough to do that, but i FEEL like i could, you know?


February 19, 2008

i had a student tell me today about a friend of hers who has hpv, and how 2 guys are going to fight over which one gave it to her. WHAT? in what world is it ok to have this conversation with a teacher? keep that shiz on the D L, sister. please.

3 Rings: The NCLB Poem

February 13, 2008

i had to sit through a bullshit meeting today while some of my kids read a this months poetry reading. i hated not being there to support them, and this is what came of my righteous inignation.

3 Rings: The NCLB Poem

six short years til the deadline
before we hit ground zero
the tightrope Walker
has plantars warts
and the net was never properly installed

they say not to leave you behind
that we all must cross the street in unison
holding each others sweaty, unwashed hands
looking both ways a half dozen times–
despite our blindness and a lack of traffic–

before stepping up to the first ring
where all is performance based and perfect melodies
here we are sold the idea and the ideal
with sugary drinks and wide eyes
–the better to see you with–

we skip, hop, jump in time to the center
the ring of the lions, the tigers, the bears
each with teeth like rusty nails in splintered oak
assessing the situation with ice pick stares
to the beat of an ADD drummer

all together now to the three-tiered third ring
where the bloated middle track is splitting the circles seams
and the high track dancers pirouette in the hazy light of privilege
as the lower track two dozen or so sweep
and pick glitter from their eyes

the big tent fades and closes as we scurry back under the boards
survival becoming paramount after the lights come down
it is slow and steady, this march towards progress
and with each passing year we do not strive for excellence
or inspiration, because adequate is all we need

i just can’t help it

February 12, 2008

i am moved.  i am touched.  i am inspired.  and it is the belief in myself, and in my country, and the ability of both to change, that has brought me here.  i tell my students how lucky we are to be born in the US, how particularly fortunate it is for the the women of this country. 

i have always believed in the ability of a few to make changes for many, and now, with the campaign of one man, it seems the nation is starting to believe it, too.  i look to the potomac primaries today and pray that they see the world as i do–ready for change, desperate for hope, passionately seeking a better and different way. 

 i believe that yes, we can. 

The following article by Kate Michelman, Former President of NARAL Pro-Choice America, originally appeared on

Feb. 8, 2008 | As the red light atop the camera went dark on Monday night, there was still much more I wanted to say to Chris Matthews, much more that I needed to say.

So for the moment, my time on “Hardball” continues here.

Knowing that I had just announced my support for Barack Obama for president after having earlier supported my old friend John Edwards, Matthews had me on his show Monday. His first Hardball to me was one of his typical zingers: “Kate Michelman, how does it feel to have abandoned the cause of your life?”

The simple answer, Chris, is that I haven’t — in fact, my endorsement of Barack, just like my earlier embrace of John Edwards, is all about exalting the causes of my life. Not about repudiating them.

I haven’t abandoned my commitment to the women’s movement — and anyone who knows me understands I never will. My endorsement of Barack Obama is actually a celebration of that commitment, and an honest reflection of what I have been fighting for for over 40 years.

The women’s movement is about free choice, self-determination and challenging a status quo that fails a lot of Americans, not just women. And it is not about going along. It’s about transcending, about having the freedom to follow one’s heart, about creating and pursuing new opportunities, and about the American dream being for all Americans.

Chris’ gotcha-type question to me and the semi-criticism implicit in it — that as a woman I have some biological obligation to unreservedly support whatever woman is running — are exactly the sentiments I faced when I first started working for a woman’s right to choose. If women who vote for men are traitors, then are men who vote for women also traitors? What about African-Americans who vote for whites? Or whites who vote for African-Americans?

Laying this guilt trip, this hypocrisy, on women — saying that those women who don’t vote for other women are turncoats — is tantamount to saying that women who exercise independent thought haven’t the right to do that either. Could there be a more anti-feminist contention?

When a presidential candidate’s core values are unity, equality, opportunity and creating an atmosphere of respect and harmony, both nationally and internationally, then that candidate’s vision aligns with the best hopes and dreams of the women’s movement. And that is precisely Barack Obama’s vision.

For me, the choice between supporting Barack or Hillary was the choice between supporting someone who I know would be very good, Hillary Clinton, or supporting someone who I know could be truly great. And right now, on those causes that define me and millions of other women, we shouldn’t settle — and I won’t settle — for anything less than “great.”

My cause has been to create a society in which women are not judged on the basis of gender or subjected to sexist attitudes or expectations. My cause has been to ensure that every woman, and not any government, has the sole right to make the decision about when and under what circumstances it’s best to become a mother. And as a woman who was once a single mother of three little girls and who was forced onto welfare and lived without healthcare and childcare, my cause has been the economic security and dignity of all women and their families.

Matthews’ other Hardball, which also deserved more time than the red light gave me, was: “How can you pass, Kate, on the opportunity to support a woman for president when this may be the last chance for that to happen in your lifetime?”

Nothing in life is guaranteed, but I sure do plan on being around a while longer. And just how long does Matthews believe it will be before another supremely qualified woman who currently sits in Congress or occupies a governor’s mansion throws her hat into the presidential ring?

In his mind, aren’t Gov. Kathleen Sebelius and Gov. Janet Napolitano already at least as qualified as, say, Gov. Mike Huckabee?

It may be news to Chris Matthews, but great women have already arrived on the national stage — and they are here to stay. They are running state governments, big cities and major corporations. And every day in the armed forces they are defending our families and our country.

Hardballs are just part of the game — and I am happy to stand in the batter’s box and take any of them on. But spitballs aren’t part of the game.