Friday, February 1, 2008

On politics, free geeks, and Driving Miss Dana

Well hello my little Earthlings. This week sped past without much computer time...I dunno why, but I've been very tired and have been sleeping late and napping at odd times. Then paying bills, organizing tax stuff, working out, doing yoga, reading, reading, reading. Not writing at all. I've also been glued to the TV watching political discussions, debates, analysis.

It's a point of interest, at least to me, that I pretty much ignored politics when I was younger: as a student, then as a parent of growing children living an admittedly privileged life with a well to do husband. I was not a soccer mom...I would have rejected that title.. more of a sports car driving Republican fitness freak with a nanny, platinum credit cards and a second home on an island. Later, as a forty something single woman, I spent most of my time volunteering for the arts but although somewhat more evolved I still largely ignored politics. Politics then didn't seem to have any real connection to my personal life or social life which generally revolved around fund raising benefits for the arts and cocktail parties. Maybe because I am getting older and am less financially prosperous, less self absorbed, less energetic, and yes, less busy, I am more aware aware of the world around me and how everything is so deeply interconnected. My social awareness has been raised. Maybe because I realize my time on Earth is getting shorter, I care more. Maybe it's having a grandson to leave the planet to. Or it's Danny's influence as a result of his very Democratic principles. Maybe I'm just getting smarter. I dunno.

But it is a fact that as a thinking being, I have to care what happens in Washington now. Why? Because we as a nation are at a very pivotal point in our relatively short history. America, the once land of the free, the hope of the world, America the once beautiful is in danger of becoming a failed experiment. A second rate power and maybe in the not so distant future a third world country.

Ask yourself: is your daily life better than it was between the nineteen sixties and the turn of the century? Or between the 1980s and the 21st century. I'll bet you have less disposable income, more bills, and more worry today.The amazing breakthroughs of technology post World war Two have not made our day to day life easier, only more complex and more stressful. It's harder for most of us to meet our financial obligations and save any money for emergencies and retirement. Heath care and insurance costs are beyond ridiculous and out of reach for the average American. Lobbyists, drug companies, HMOs, credit card companies, China, and Arab sheiks etc have way too much influence on those who make the decisions for the rest of us. We're fat and unhealthy thanks to the fast food phenomena. Thanks to the policies of the present administration millions of us are losing our homes. People can't get jobs. Or change jobs easily. If they do, most don't get benefits. Half of our marriages end in the divorce court. Whether we caused it or not, Global Warming is happening. The planet is in real danger. We need to stop being oil hostages to the Middle eastern nations that frankly hate us. We need to solve the immigration problem. We need to get out of the Vietnan...oops make that the Iraq... debacle. People are confused, afraid, and angry. So, how can I not care? How can you?

I'm listening to politics because I hope to make a better choice this time around than I did the last. Hoping that the candidate I pick will have the ability and desire to make things better, to get America back on track. In the belief that my voice and my vote actually might matter, I must pay attention. I hope you do too.

Enough politics. You can take a breath now. On another tack, I was privileged to meet a five time Tony award winning actress this week. Dana Ivey, who originated the role of Miss Daisy in Driving Miss Daisy, is a very charming, friendly lady with a career in theater, film, and television that spans forty years. You've seen her in The Adams Family films, in the Home Alone films, in Sleepless in Seattle and Legally Blonde II among many other films. Dana, a Rollins College alumni, is in town to appear in the stage play, The Importance of Being Ernest, opening on Friday, February 15th at Rollins. Go see Dana and the Rollins Players. You'll have fun. Oscar Wilde is one of my favorite playwriters, too. So witty and clever.
Dana Ivey, inductee in the American Theater Hall of Fame and five time Tony award winning actress.

Danny and I had a terrific dinner at a local Greek eatery, Cypriana's with my daughter, Laura on Wednesday evening. For a memorable meal at a place that isn't a chain try Cypriana's.

Yesterday, Danny and I took some computer equipment to a school for autistic children as part of his Free Geek program. The school director was pretty happy about the free computers. He was going to have to buy a lot of new equipment soon and was facing charging higher tuition to cover the purchase. Now, he won't have to. The Free Geek program is a terrific idea. The Free Geekers take in donated computers, rehab them (by CIT volunteers like Danny) and give them to people and schools who need the computers. The recycling of computers and parts keeps them out of landfills and helps the environment too.

That's all for now. Live long and prosper my little Earthlings.

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