Thursday, February 28, 2008


I have realized several things... I am WAY slacking on my 365 entries-- I will do some tonight to ease the guilt.

I have also been asked what "Break a leg" means in the theatre. Basically, we theatre-folk are VERY superstitious. You will find that most of us have certain rituals we MUST do before a show, certain things we WON'T do before a show, and one of the biggest 'no-nos' is to wish someone 'good luck' before a show. You can wish them a 'good show,' but NEVER good luck. If you do, it is widely believed that BAD luck will ensue. Thus, if you tell someone to 'break a leg' (something bad), something good will happen!

Hey, we're the same people who believe, 'bad tech, good open,' and 'NEVER, EVER say the name of 'The Scottish Play' inside a theatre. :)

My friend who lost her kitty recently has 'been adopted,' and we are all so happy!! A friend of hers got a kitten, but their dog didn't take too well to it, so the husband said the kitten had to go. If someone didn't take it, she would have had to take it to a shelter, and you KNOW L. wouldn't let THAT happen!! She sounds SO much cheerier and happier-- and is even talking about going to the shelter and getting A. a playmate! :) A. seems to be a bit of a lap cat, which couldn't be better for her!!!!!!

Okay, off to do some writing for the 365 project (it is MUCH harder than it appears!!!!!)

Thursday, February 21, 2008


When is February going to END? It has never been my favorite month (in fact, I'd be more than happy to just skip it!)... the only good thing about it is that it's usually short... but this year, it even has an extra day!!!!!!!!!!!!! :(

And, tonight, more February weather-- snow and then a lovely ice coating on top of it. YUCK!

Well, maybe we'll get a day off, and I'll get to sleep in tomorrow (and actually get the house in some sort of shape!).

Meanwhile, I went after work today to the local professional theatre. I'm going to be a volunteer there (you get to see the shows for free, and it sounds like a LOT of fun!)... I'm also hoping that when they have their auditions for the next season, I'll have a bit of an 'in' to get an audition.... I can only hope! At the very least, I'll have some fun! :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Anniversary

Ten years. Ten long years since the last time you said, "Be good, girls." Who could have EVER thought that saying good-bye to you that Christmas would be the last time? I have always been grateful that, as always, the last thing I said to you was "I love you."

Burying you on President's Day weekend, on Mother's birthday (and no-one else seemed to even realize, which made me even more sad). Everyone so sick with the same virus. Eleanor refused to even come, she was 'so sick.' To her OWN FATHER'S FUNERAL.

The last time all of us 'girls' were together. Guess you would have liked that.

Spending the night with Grandmother so she wouldn't be alone. She seemed so lost, crying that you weren't there. And I have to agree-- it surely didn't look like you. And while that was actually comforting for me (it brought home the reality that you weren't here anymore-- that was just a shell that you no longer needed), it was heartbreaking for her.

Linda even came. Didn't know it until afterwards when I saw the guest registry, but at least she was there to say good-bye to you. I know neither of you understood their actions, and how much they hurt you. I hope you somehow can understand how hard it was for her....

Amazing Grace, Uncle Arthur's lovely speech. They made a tape of it for Grandmother... I wonder where it is now; I'm sure she never listened to it.

You may have been gone, but your presence and your spirit hung around for a few years. That was nice-- imagining you up there with Fluffy running around (she always loved you, and you loved her, too, although you'd never admit it! Any more than you'd admit to watching 'Days,' although you always made sure to be 'wandering' through the room when Grandmother and I were watching it!).

Even sadder than this weekend was the day Grandmother died.... you came to two of us in a dream, and you said good-bye. You'd been waiting for her; I knew it. You were together again, as you were meant to be.... but it was also a final good-bye, as both of us watched you walk away arm in arm.... and felt your presence disappear as your waiting was rewarded.... now it was time to move on.

We miss you. Your 'girls' think of you often and always try to 'be good.' Hoping you would be proud of us-- the closest thing to a father any of us ever had.

We love you, Grandaddy... miss you more than words can say... and will always have the wonderful memories you left us with.


Your Favorite Granddaughter ;)

Happy Birthday, Muv!!! :)

Another year, still here. Every day is a gift.

Happy, HAPPY Birthday!!!!

Hope you enjoy your present. :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

It's OVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The writer's strike is OVER!! They're going back to work and we are likely to get a decent deal when our turn comes up. That makes me VERY happy!!!

And as a viewer, I WANT NEW SHOWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They say TV viewing is at its highest level in quite a while, but I have a hard time believing it.... there's NOTHING ON. They say some of the high-profile shows (the established ones) will be back by March, some others by April. Several of those had scripts and filming in various stages when the strike was called, so they can pick right back up. Some had NOTHING ready, so they are starting from scratch. And some shows won't be coming back, unfortunately, like Journeyman.

And casting will begin again... perhaps. It looks like another casualty of the strike may just be pilot season. The studios are beginning to wonder: 1) why they order 13 episodes at a time; 2) why they need to pay all that money for pilots to decide what they're going to order; and, 3) why they don't just do what they do with reality shows and what they do in the UK, which is to buy on spec, but buy fewer episodes.

A 'series' (season) of a show in the UK is 6 episodes. This allows a lot of actors to do film, stage and television, or several series simultaneously. Thus, they would be bringing on new series all through the year, and not just in the fall and possibly in January. Thus, no need for a 'pilot season' or 'pilots' at all.

Which could be a good thing or a bad thing. It's a great way to get seen, and it provides a lot of jobs.

AND, as a viewer, that was something that REALLY annoyed me when living in England, and even watching BBC America. A show would be on, and then suddenly, *poof* gone.. OR, you hear about a show and by the time you do, it's finished.

But, whatever happens, "who can say if it's been changed for the better, but.... it has been changed for good."

The landscape of television, I think, will never be the same.

The Potomac Primary

Well, the voting is over-- for us, anyway. Despite the very bad weather, a large number of people voted. ESPECIALLY for a primary. I did go vote, though the weather was bad. We DID get to leave school a LITTLE early, and I went to vote immediately.... and was told that I was in the wrong place. What? I've been coming here for five years! Yes, well, apparently they changed some polling places-- I guess there have been a lot of people moving into the area, so they needed a second polling place. So, off I go-- it wasn't all that far away, so that was good. The thing that bothered me when I went in to vote (aside from the fact that there are just these little stands with small sides, no real privacy at all) was that there was a sign as you go in that says, "No children under the age of 12 will be allowed into the voting booths."

WHAT? First, only children 12 and over need to understand about voting? I remember going with my mom from the time I was little; it was an adventure, and she'd let me pull the lever to cast the vote after she'd made her selections. And, second, what about parents who don't have anyone to watch their child while they vote? They don't deserve to vote? That upset me.

ANYWAY, voting went well, no major lines, actually-- despite the fact that turnout was high.

However, today people are asking why Hillary and Huckabee don't just quit. Um, excuse me? I could SORT of see it with Huckabee; after all, he is over 500 delegates behind. But, even so, he has obviously touched a nerve with the ultra-right neo-cons, and has the ability at this point to have a very important voice at the RNC, so why would he quit? Not to mention, he seems to be angling for VP, though he says he isn't.

And, as for Hillary, she and Obama are within a VERY few delegates of each other. Why would ANYONE even THINK of asking why she doesn't quit? Did people ask Obama why HE didn't quit when he was several delegates behind (but still relatively close?). No, because it wouldn't have made sense. And it doesn't make sense here, either. We still have more than 1/4 of the primaries to go, and some very large, important states still. I can't imagine why anyone who is still in it would get out now. Even Giuliani didn't quit, he just suspended his campaign.

Supposedly, it is to allow 'unification' of the parties, so they can get behind a candidate and begin to think about November and a VP candidate. In my opinion, it's still way too early to even think about those things. We are looking at a possibly brokered convention on the Democrat side, and even possibly on the Republican side, if McCain doesn't get the required number of delegates. Which IS possible, because a LOT of Republicans are refusing to vote for him.

And that could cause some MAJOR problems if he is the candidate in November. There are lots of people who are saying they will either just stay home or vote for Hillary/Barack.

It's going to be a LONG 9 months!!!!!!

Friday, February 8, 2008


I was listening to the radio on the way home from work today and again heard this claim that in presidential campaigns, the most 'likable' candidate wins. I've heard this before. I've even heard this about Hitler. How he was charming and had charisma in person. I have never seen it in any of the films I've seen of him-- in all of them, he looks to me like a madman, out of control. His eyes were some of the darkest I've ever seen, showing the deep mental illness that was there.

I wanted to ask "WHAT is your definition of likable?" since it was implied that (except for Ford/Cater, who were both likable, but Ford pardoned Nixon), the most likable candidate has always won... and that somehow, McCain is more likable than Hillary, but Barack is more likable than McCain. Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to.... so I decided to do some research into what most people consider the definition of 'likable.'

'Charisma' is one definition of likability. Part of that is 'making one feel good about him/herself when in your presence.' Or evoking sympathy or empathy. Or agreeable.

Now, all of these make sense. To me, someone who is likable is sympathetic or empathetic him/herself. I really truly believe that the eyes are the window to the soul, and to be likable to me, a person needs to have something in their eyes that tells me there's a 'there' there. That there's some depth and that there is genuine interest in and concern for others. However, by this definition, George Bush, Ronald Reagan and John McCain are NOT likable in the least.

I've even found one definition (of course, in sales) that talks about 'likability' as being chameleon-like, flexible enough to change your personality to suit the client/customer. That, to me, is the ANTITHESIS of likability. Manipulating people by pretending to be something you're not is NOT the way to my heart (although, I guess it IS the way to a lot of people's pocketbooks).

Is it someone I'd like to 'have a beer with?' Yeah, I guess. Someone I'd like to spend time with. But, I've been thinking a lot about it over the last few hours and the most important criteria for likability for me is HONESTY. I have to be able to look into your eyes and see that you mean what you say, that you are being honest, open and, actually, vulnerable.

Now, vulnerability is a kind of difficult thing. It is, in fact, the part of film acting that I have the most problem with. The reason is that I have done so much stage acting, which, of necessity, has to be bigger and broader. And, as such, is often not as honest or vulnerable. Emotions and movements, and even your speech, often have to be exaggerated to 'read.'

On the other hand, the camera is about as intimate as it gets. You can whisper and be heard, you can raise an eyebrow slightly or turn your head a fraction of an inch, and speak volumes. The camera sees EVERYTHING.... and that includes deeply into your eyes. It sees either truth or deception there. It sees your past there. It sees YOU. You are honestly not playing a character so much as YOURSELF in that situation, which is quite a bit different than onstage, often. And you have to be WILLING to not really hide behind a character, which you can do on stage. You have to be WILLING to allow people to SEE into your eyes-- to SEE into your soul in a way which is impossible on stage. To open yourself up to the ultimate intimacy and vulnerability.

THAT, to me, is and always has been, likability. It is why I like watching Julia Roberts-- she is vulnerability personified. It is why I ADORE Dame Judi and Helen Mirren... and Kate Hepburn. It is why I always, always, ALWAYS look into the eyes.

Now, by MY definition, the more likable candidate has NOT won the presidential election many times. I have NEVER understood what people mean when they keep saying that George Bush and Ronald Reagan are/were 'likable.' Ronald Reagan was a bad actor reading a script badly. I could see from the beginning that he didn't believe what he was saying.... and by the second term, I KNEW something was seriously wrong, though I didn't know what it was. I could see that he didn't even UNDERSTAND what he was saying-- and it gave me shivers when I saw two photos during his second term: one of him from just prior to his first inauguration-- vital, healthy, riding his horse, and the other a contemporary one in which he looked very ill to me. The change was SHOCKING, and not the typical aging, either. I was not surprised to hear he had Alzheimer's. The eyes told the tale-- there wasn't anything in there, especially by the second term. Before that, there was a wall. One behind which he hid himself (maybe to protect himself from people knowing what he MUST have been starting to sense? That something was wrong? I don't know). He never let us get to know the real Ronald Reagan. Only the 'character' he wanted us to see-- and he was playing a character.

As for Bush, I could feel the insincerity rolling off of him in waves the first time I heard him speak, when I didn't even know who he was. I looked into his eyes and saw-- nothing. Just hearing his voice makes me feel slimy and like I need to take a shower. I would NOT want to 'have a beer' with this man-- I'd be too worried he'd stab me in the back. I see no sincerity, no empathy at all. Looking into his eyes, I don't see that he RECOGNIZES other people outside of his close inner circle as even EXISTING... and some of his statements (like the 'reality-based' stuff and the 'decider' nonsense) only corroborate it. I don't feel that I have been given the opportunity to know the real George Bush in any way-- and it makes me wonder if he's hiding it or if it just doesn't exist. I don't see the wall as I did with Reagan... I simply see... nothing.

I guess I do have to admit that politicians are salespeople and by the 'sales' definition-- being chameleon-like and flexible to suit the personality of the client-- it may be true that both of the above men were likable. The problem with that is that the entire definition feels dishonest and just plain ICKY to me. I don't WANT to be around someone who changes who HE is to suit the people around him. I want to be with people who are willing to share and whom I can trust and feel that I know. Honesty , trust and reliability are high on my priority list.

I just read an article the other day that described the 'perfect wife.' This was supposed to be a woman who cleaned up after her children without complaining, who cooked the foods her husband likes and 'learns to like them, too.' Who 'treasures' his snoring or taking the covers off, and feels grateful to pick up his clothes. Who smiles when he works late because he's 'willing to provide for the family.' Who laughs at his jokes, even when they're not funny.

My biggest problem (aside from not raising independent, capable, ready-to-be-adult children) with this definition of the 'perfect wife' was the fact that the 'perfect wife' in this scenario was NOT being honest with herself OR with her family. And PARTICULARLY not her husband.

How can you have a relationship, ANY kind of relationship, without honesty? And that goes for my president, as well. I may not be in the same room, but when I listen and watch him/her talk to me, I want to see that it is real and honest and TRUTHFUL.

And that seems to be my problem with the definitions of 'likability' that I've found... none of them involve truth, REAL intimacy, or honesty. And by those definitions, many of the presidents we've had in the recent past were NOT likable. And those who were seem to have been the least successful.

It is, in fact, one of the definitions of a sociopath-- someone who can change to suit the circumstances, can 'blend in' and present a facade of emotions to the world, but doesn't actually feel or understand them; one who cannot empathize with other people. And THAT scares me in a leader.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Thirty years?????????????????????????

Do you remember where you were 30 years ago this January and February?

I surely do!!!

We had driven down to Florida to visit my Grandmother and Grandaddy for Christmas. We had a WONDERFUL time. I remember that Mom bought us a Rubik's Cube.... and refused to let us open it in the car because she was afraid we'd have it solved in a couple of minutes! Actually, I never DID solve it until I got a solution book, and then could only ever do it WITH the book. They say that Will Smith learned to finish it in under 2 minutes for his film "Pursuit of Happyness" (an AMAZING movie, by the way!); I was never able to do that, and came close to BREAKING it a couple of times, I was so frustrated!

But, I digress....

On our way back from Florida, the car broke down. My memory is kind of hazy at this point, but I believe it was the radiator. Anyway, they couldn't fix it for a day or so, so we spent the night in a motel, and went to see the movie "Turning Point." I believe that was the last movie we went to see as a 'family.' My mom, even then, had trouble sitting in the seats at a theatre because of her back.

So, the next day, quite a bit poorer but with wheels, we trekked on home. It was supposed to have been the first day back at school-- well, it WAS, for everyone else. We didn't get back until late that evening, so no school for us.

That night, it started snowing. And snowing. And snowing. Now, you know that this is Kentucky. In 1994, our INTERSTATES were closed for a WEEK by 17" of snow, and abandoned TRUCKS abounded. Our motto is, "God put it there, God'll take it away (when He's of a mind to)." So, no school.

Then on the 15th, we got MORE snow. And then on the 25th came the 'Blizzard of 1978." It just seemed to NEVER stop. And STILL no school.

We lived on the top of a VERY steep hill. GREAT for sledding, but impossible to get a car up or down with snow or ice. Mom, being a nurse, had to go to work, even if we didn't go to school. Being without an available car, she went out the back kitchen door, down the steps, through the yard and the field behind it, slogging through drifts up to her waist or higher, in some places. Her boots weren't that tall, so her feet must have been FROZEN and SOAKED by the time she got to the road.

Every morning. To the main road about 1/4 mile away. Which was open. To ride the bus. And back again. Every night. In the dark. Through waist-deep or higher drifts. And close to 0-degree temps. With grocery bags almost every night, because she could only carry two bags through that. For almost a month, she did this.

She? Is my hero. For many reasons, but this is a BIG one. It's the best example of, "It needed doing, so I did it."

I also remember finally going BACK to school. They extended the school day more than an hour (2? I can't remember). We were REQUIRED to bring a snack, because we didn't get lunch until 1pm. This went on for most of the school year. Which was ALSO extended quite a bit. We had a LOT to make up. TWENTY days (or maybe a bit more).... 120 hours.

I really didn't realize until I started hearing about the anniversary just how BIG this storm was, and that it affected the ENTIRE Eastern half of the country. I had no idea just how HUGE it was. I always wondered if I'd kind of 'exaggerated' it my mind the way a kid's memory sometimes does. But, nope. I also thought it was much more localized than it was. I thought it only affected our state and maybe Indiana and Ohio. But, no-- this was, and is still considered, The TRUE Storm of the Century. May we never see another like it.

We actually had quite a bit of fun, because we got to stay nice and warm and got to go outside to play when we wanted.... but, as I keep telling my kids now, snow days can be fun, but you WON'T be happy going until the end of June to make them up!!! Thank God we had power (a LOT of people didn't), and Mom was able to get groceries-- she said today that she was LUCKY there was a grocery on the corner of that major road. She had to carry them 1/4 mile, but at least she was able to GET food for us. If it hadn't been there, she would have had no way to get food without a car.

So... where were YOU when the blizzard of '78 hit?

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Tsunami Tuesday!

Well, this is it. Half of the country is voting today. I really don't understand why they don't just come together and decide on a date for a national primary. We have national general elections, don't we? Especially with the race to be the 'first,' which led to two states having at least some of their delegates taken away because only CERTAIN states are allowed to hold primaries/caucuses before Feb. 5. Which makes no sense to me. And what also makes no sense to me is why those two states thought it was SO important to hold their primaries BEFORE today that they were willing to GIVE UP those delegates. What, really, was the difference in voting two weeks ago and voting today? Really? Did their votes cont more? (No, actually LESS, unless the parties change their minds and decide to seat those delegates anyway). Would they have had LESS of a voice if they'd had their primaries today? No, not as far as I can see.

Since it looks like the Republican candidate may be pretty much decided today, I'm following the results carefully... and I am very interested to see how the delegate splits shake out for the Democrats... although that won't be known for a while, it seems. They have to do the district-by-district counts for that.

Today will definitely tell us a lot, though!

"If you live in a Super Tuesday state, come out and help choose a president!"

Monday, February 4, 2008


I don't know how many of you have followed this, but the Westboro Baptist 'Church' (and I use the term church VERY loosely), which is composed of Fred Phelps and his family, has made a habit of protesting outside of funerals. They started with 'known' homosexuals and progressed to our returning soldiers. They yell, scream obscenities, say and have placards reading such things as "Thank God for dead soldiers," etc. Can they go any lower? Well, yes, yes they can.

A family was killed over Christmas in Ohio by a drunk driver. FIVE members of the family were killed, including four children and their mother. The WBC decided, instead of maybe picketing and protesting the COURT APPEARANCE of the DRUNK DRIVER, that it would be more moral to protest and picket the funeral of those CHILDREN and their MOTHER.

If you don't know the full evil that is these people, google WBC and go to their website. I refuse to put it on my blog, but you can find it easily. Just seriously BEWARE, because you will be assaulted by evil. In fact, according to them, all lawyers are going to Hell, even though most of them ARE lawyers... ???? Yet, they are the only ones who know the truth that God HATES. And their purpose is to spread that message-- yes, God hates YOU, no matter who you are.

Anyway, FINALLY the family of a service member sued them, for defamation and libel for what they said, and for interrupting their son's funeral. And they won. $11m. HALLELUJAH! And were determined to bankrupt the church to get the money-- hopefully to shut them down and gain ownership of the property.

However, the judge today reduced the award-- cut it in HALF. $5m will NOT bankrupt these people, it won't even put a DENT in what they do. I am absolutely disgusted and appalled at this judge. I guess our only hope for justice is for other families to sue them as well, and win. Perhaps MULTIPLE judgments will do the trick.

WBC is also still appealing the verdict. I hope and pray that THAT does not get overturned. $5m is at least SOMETHING and it says to everyone (except, apparently, THEM) that they do NOT have the right to do this to other human beings.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

The Long Walk

Okay, I joined The Great Interview Experiment at I encourage everyone to go sign up, it was a lot of fun. Basically, you sign up and the person before you interviews you and you interview the person after you. The person I interviewed was Dan at

I had a wonderful time (more about that later), but I wanted to add this from his blog.....

As many of you already know, this July I will be walking the the 78 mile long Dales Way footpath. Yes, 78 miles. In six days. And what’s more it was my own idea. Many are predicting it will be the end of me.

I am doing the walk in aid of The Joseph Salmon Trust, a charity set up by our close friends Neil and Rachel in memorial of their son Joseph. In April of 2005 three year old Joseph died suddenly in his sleep. Here is Rachel talking about it in the comments section of this blog:

Hi, this is Joseph’s mummy here. First Dan, I’d like to say a big thank you for what you’re planning on doing. When Neil sent me the link yesterday I was in tears. The bit about coming home to Joseph’s toys as we left them…well, I can’t describe the pain. And it’s still with us. We miss Joseph every day. He was our first child, he was a little smasher, and he turned Neil and I into - hopefully - better people because of who he was. We will always be proud to be his parents.

In answer to your question Whit, Joseph died from streptococcal pneumonia. It’s very rare and it took him, although suddenly, very peacefully. When I went in to him in the morning it was obvious from his posture that he’d just gone into a deeper and deeper sleep and never knew anything about it. This too is what all the medical personnel associated with him told us. There are not many (if any) consolations when you lose a child, but at least he didn’t suffer. And as a parent, it’s one of the things you want most for your child isn’t it?

So Dan, and everyone who’s going to join you - good luck and thank you.
From the comments section of A Prelude to an Announcement. October 22, 2007

The Joseph Salmon Trust supports parents who have lost a child by providing financial assistance to those who need it most. This may be to help with funeral costs or to allow the self employed a break from work while they come to terms with their loss. Grieving families have enough to deal with without worries about where they will find the money to say goodbye to their child or pay the next electricity bill. Nothing we can do can make their situation better, but we can do something to stop it getting worse.

And this is where you come in. Today marks the official start of the fundraising of the walk and I’m looking for donations. Any amount, no matter how small will go towards making a big difference to somebody in the darkest hours of their torment. When you donate you will receive (if you want one) a link on the roll of honor both here and on the Dales Walk blog. You also get the right to place one of these magnificent badges (designed by the delightful Mr Oli Walker) on your website or blog. You can either right click and save the picture from here, or I can email you the html code to insert into your blog.

supporting hardworksmall danblisters
In addition, if you could find the time to write own short post about the walk, or just copy and paste this one and put it on your blog, I would be eternally grateful. The more promotion the event gets the more money we are likely to raise.

Please, please, PLEASE, if you have a moment, go to the blog and check out the work they're doing, and follow the walk, and give a few pennies if you've got them. I can't imagine the pain involved in losing a child (and I never want to have to find out), and to give them at least this small comfort seems about the only way to really ease the journey at all.

Saturday, February 2, 2008


Okay, I haven't said much about the elections, but I have been following the elections very closely.

Now, I cannot STAND George Bush. He is a lying, scheming, snakeoil salesman. Which gives me a huge problem with John McCain.... he of the "I'd be happy to have soldiers in Iraq for the next 100 years, and so would the American people." Um, not THIS American person! He talked about how we still have soldiers in Germany and Japan, and South Korea. And how this is okay. Well, IMO, it's actually NOT okay. I don't see any of the Republican candidates except Ron Paul who would NOT simply carry on the absolutely disastrous road down which Bush has taken us the last 7 years.

Which leads me to the Democratic debate last week. I have to say, I'm glad the fields on both sides have been whittled down-- it was just mindnumbing watching 9 people trying to get their comments in.

I thought the Democratic debate between Hillary and Barak was amazingly well-done. I liked the way they focused not so much on their differences with each other, but their differences with George Bush and the Republican candidates. I first saw Barak Obama when he spoke at the Democrat Convention, and I was enthralled. He was one of the most powerful speakers I had ever heard. And I think he still is.

However, vague, general, uplifting rhetoric doesn't tell me much. I have yet to hear any specifics about how he would get us to the point he keeps telling us we'll reach. I thought he had a very rough start at the debate, and was very unsure of himself... and, hey, I DEFINITELY understand how intimidating such a situation can be, especially when there are now only two-- the focus cannot be deflected. And I thought he found his footing, and became more sure of himself as the debate went on. I STILL didn't hear any specifics from him, however.

I thought Hillary was strong right out of the box. She was prepared, she detailed her past experience with clarity and thought towards the relevance of it. Much of which I had never heard about before. Unfortunately, when the word 'experience' comes up, most people tend to ask, "How does being First Lady give her experience?" I think they totally neglect her experience and success as an attorney, the fact that she is on two of the most powerful committees in the Senate, including the Armed Services Committee, the almost universal praise for her work in the Senate from colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and her other work over the last 35 years. Now, as for her time in the White House, no, she wasn't in charge, but it DID give her an opportunity to see first-hand what the job entails, how things work, what's necessary, and to develop rapport and relationships with foreign leaders. I think it has greatly informed her foreign policy, an area in which Barak seems to be lacking.

She was calm, confident, professional, and clear. She explained things about some of her votes that most people outside of Congress wouldn't likely know... and Barak continued to claim he'd been against the war from the beginning. Something which has demonstrably been proven not to be true. He focuses on the fact that she voted for the resolution, without including the fact that ALL of us, INCLUDING members of Congress, were LIED to and manipulated to GET that resolution passed. Barak's response was, "I think it's more important to be RIGHT from Day 1." Yet, he himself said that he didn't know how he would have voted. I have a problem with that.

Considering the options, I will most likely vote for whomever is the Democrat nominee; frankly, I don't know if it will happen, but I'd love to see a Clinton/Obama ticket. I would love to see him in the VP debates, and see what he can do 8 years from now, after he's really been involved. I think he could be an EXCELLENT president with a little 'seasoning,' but not right now.

And, frankly, I've had enough of people complaining that Bill would be 'involved,' and 'making phone calls.' Firstly, I don't believe that will be necessary. But if it is? Why NOT????? Anybody really think that GWB, who surrounded himself with his father's advisers (who proved failures the FIRST time around, but that's another issue) hasn't asked Daddy for help? There aren't a whole lot of people who HAVE the experience of being president, and the connections that provides-- what is wrong with using their expertise? Why is that a bad thing?

And, I"m frankly tired of her being called 'cold, heartless and ruthless' when she has done nothing that any male candidate hasn't done. Have ANY of the men been called such things? Of course not. And it happens ALL THE TIME. A man is 'ambitious' and 'aggressive.' A woman is 'cold' and 'a bitch.' And those SAME PEOPLE, when she dared to show a little emotion, suddenly called her 'weak' and 'manipulative,' and blew it WAY out of proportion. To the point that when I actually SAW the video, I wondered if I was missing something. I heard it called a 'sobfect,' a 'breakdown,' and other such ridiculous things-- she most CERTAINLY didn't have a breakdown, nor did she go on a crying jag. She didn't even actually CRY, she simply choked up and teared up a bit when talking about our country's future, which is obviously very important to her. I have to admit, I've done the same thing, on more than one occasion, thinking about what has happened to our country over the last 7 years.

Then we have 'decolletege-gate.' AGAIN, when I heard about it and then saw the video, I thought I MUST have missed something. What she was wearing was an attractive, professional suit, which didn't even really SHOW any cleavage; maybe, perhaps, the hint of it.... would any man have DAYS spent on his attire like that? With the REASON she was on the Senate floor (which was an important one), being ignored? I seriously doubt it. Does anyone even remember what she was talking about? Probably not (the cost of higher education). Does this happen to men? Of course not. Yet THIS was compared to a man coming on the floor with his FLY UNZIPPED. As if it was somehow indecent. Women wear more 'revealing' outfits in offices all over this country, and as someone else pointed out, IN CHURCH. And, up until this point, she had been criticized for her 'man suits.'

Meanwhile, with regard to Barak, I STILL hear people spreading the gossip that he was raised Muslim, that he IS Muslim, that he swore in as a Senator on the Q'uran (NONE of which is true), and that it would be an insult to our military to elect someone with the name Obama. HUH????????? And people such as that Shari person on The View (who has to be the dumbest adult woman I've ever heard of), spread this further on national television, and when called on it, simply said she had 'heard people say it.' OMG! I'm beginning to wonder if there shouldn't be a basic intelligence test in order to be able to vote! (No, not really, but sometimes I wonder if we REALLY want people who make their decisions/judgements this way deciding who our leaders are? Look what we got when we had people basing their decision on 'He MUST be perfect. He's a Christian.').

We need change-- change from the last 7 years. IMO, either of the Democrat candidates will provide that, none of the Republicans (except Ron Paul) will. My decision between the two of them has nothing to do with the 'race' card or the 'woman' card. It has to do with their records, their plans and their qualifications to be a leader.