Friday, August 29, 2008

Stunning! Clever! Disastrous....Perfect!

Such in succession was my reaction to the unexpected announcement by Sen. John McCain that his running mate is Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska.

I had pretty much reached the disastrous conclusion when McCain went on the air today during lunch, making his announcement and introduction of Gov. Palin. I was thinking, “The poor old guy. He’s going to get his ass handed to him on a Democratic platter.”

After listening to an ever-more intriguing introduction, I was more than ready to hear what that firebrand Governor from Alaska had to say. She’s in many respects a female version of John McCain – a maverick who fights big interest, political corruption and partners with leaders of all political persuasions to get things done. However, she brings to the campaign some important traits that John McCain is severely lacking: youth, fired-up enthusiasm, vigor, and most importantly, strong appeal to women voters.

I really, really like this woman. She impressed me right down to my toes, and in the first Presidential race in my voting years that I do not feel like I have to vote for the lesser of two evils, she brings a strong appeal that I find hard to resist. She is an ardent pro-family, pro-life, pro-eduction, pro-ethics woman with an impressive resume of community and political service. She's stared down the big guns of Big Oil, government corruption, a bridge to nowhere and stood up for the common working man and woman with every breath in her body. She's down to earth, plain-spoken yet has the ability to reach you right down where it really matters.

John McCain is an absolute genius for choosing this woman as his running mate.

The addition of Sarah Palin to this political race is an absolute game changer, it will completely shake up the whole arena of this already intense political battle. Oh man, this is going to be interesting!

Already the Dems are sniping about her lack of foreign diplomatic experience and her relative short history in the field of politics. First of all, John McCain has foreign diplomatic experience in spades, so forget that. Anyway, she'll catch on quick, lemme tell ya. Secondly, her accomplishments in the "relatively short" 16 years of her public service have been stellar. Here's a little snippet from her official bio:

"Since taking office, her top priorities have been resource development, education and workforce development, public health and safety, and transportation and infrastructure development.
“Under her leadership, Alaska invested $5 billion in state savings, overhauled education funding, and implemented the Senior Benefits Program that provides support for low-income older Alaskans. She created Alaska's Petroleum Systems Integrity Office to provide oversight and maintenance of oil and gas equipment, facilities and infrastructure, and the Climate Change Subcabinet to prepare a climate change strategy for Alaska.
“During her first legislative session, Governor Palin's administration passed two major pieces of legislation — an overhaul of the states ethics laws and a competitive process to construct a gas pipeline.
“Governor Palin is chair of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, a multi-state government agency that promotes the conservation and efficient recovery of domestic oil and natural gas resources while protecting health, safety and the environment. She was recently named chair of the National Governors Association (NGA) Natural Resources Committee, which is charged with pursuing legislation to ensure state needs are considered as federal policy is formulated in the areas of agriculture, energy, environmental protection and natural resource management. Prior to being named to this position, she served as co-chair of this committee."

Oh, John McCain, your choice of running mate is perfect. Absolutely perfect!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

What it is....

Catharsis: According to the American Heritage Dictionary, catharsis can mean "A release of emotional tension, as after an overwhelming experience, that restores or refreshes the spirit."

To say that I’ve been through some overwhelming emotional experiences over the last 10 years would be an understatement – not to mention the huge life changes that have occurred recently. Ironically, it is those very life changes that are my saving grace.

I’m pleased to report that after so many years of heartache and struggle, I am finally happy and healthy – both things I can attribute directly to the presence of Chris in my life. He is the one who encouraged me to seek help for my myriad of psychiatric/personality issues, and if weren’t for him forcing me to go to the ER a few months ago, I wouldn’t even be here (who knew dehydration could be so lethal!?!?) And he is the one who saw through the layers of – oh, shall we say ECCENTRICITIES – to the person who lay untapped beneath. He loved me in spite of my unloveliness and wouldn’t give up on me despite my continual complaining, fit-throwing and overriding desire to just GIVE UP.

So, it is with great relish that I say I am finally feeling better everywhere in my body from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet. My blood sugar is under control thanks to my daily workouts and now that I’ve got a proper diagnosis for the issues that have plagued me all these years (with the corresponding correct medicine), I feel like a new woman.

Of course, our amazing wedding put some giddy-up in my little red wagon (love those mixed metaphors) and helped motivate me to work as hard as I have. Having great kids who really need me to be at my best also keeps me going. But more than anything, it is knowing I get to spend the rest of my life with the man who gives every ounce of himself everyday to making us happy and safe and well provided for, encouraging us in every way, that has really changed my life. Isn’t it amazing what love can do?

And you want to know what? I actually felt like dancing today. Right in my office, right in the middle of an average day, I felt so happy….I just wanted to shake it.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Blood sugar harumphs

My blood sugar is down over a point on my A1C, which if you know what that is, you know it’s a big deal. If you don’t know what it is, prepare yourself for boredom. It’s the average blood sugar reading over 90 days. So bringing it down a whole point is great and considering I did it in 2 months, even better. My morning blood sugar is now normal (at worst it is in the target range). My before meal sugar is also either normal or in the target range. Unfortunately, in spite of exercising every day, in spite of following (pretty closely) the dietary guidelines, my post-prandial sugar is way too high, averaging in the 225-250 range.

What is so frustrating about this is that if you go online to get recipes or menus for diabetics, they are rife with exactly the kind of foods that cause a spike in my blood sugar. Even 1/3 of a cup of rice with no other carb in a protein/veggie meal will cause a raise in my blood sugar to over 200, so how am I going to eat a peanut butter banana sandwich for breakfast?

I have come to the conclusion that I am very sensitive to carbs, perhaps even more so than the average diabetic. After all, if I am taking my medicine, exercising an hour a day and eating less than 30 grams of carb in a meal, if my blood sugar spikes to over 200, obviously I have overdone it with the carbs.

The last time I saw him (back when he told me I have to exercise an hour a day – ugh), my doctor asked me how many carbs per meal I was allowed by the dietitian. This was my moment of triumph – the one where I got to tell my compassionate, sympathetic doctor how the meanie dietitian only lets me have 30 carbs for most meals and 15 for a snack! Even my dinner meal is only 45 and most adults get 45-60 for each meal! She’s a nazi, I told my doctor. “Really?” he said, “Because I actually think that sounds like an awful lot of carbs to me. I’ve got patients doing 50 per day.” Per day?!??!?

Now add to that the fact that he wants me to lower my cholesterol to below 100 and my LDLs to below 75 in the next year (because, my sweets, diabetics are at such a high risk for heart attacks and I am soooooo young). I can’t complain too much because number 1, he’s right. And number 2, I should anyway. I have a lot of decades to be a diabetic and if I’m not very proactive about reversing the negative effects of diabetes, I probably won’t live as long as my siblings – or my husband. Poor Chris! So, lowering cholesterol also means…..less bad fat, a little good fat. And watching my salt intake! Argh!!!!!

So, take away alcohol, take away sweets, take away virtually all carbs (due to my sensitivity), take away most fats and now salt. I might as well eat the plastic bag my food comes in.

And what kills me is that every diabetic anything begins with the words, “Being a diabetic doesn’t mean giving up your favorite foods, it means learning the proper portion of those foods.”

Uh, I guess that means my portion is zero.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Playing the race card is stupid, stupid, stupid!!!!

You better believe Obama was playing the race card when he said, “They’ll tell you I don’t look like other Presidents on the dollar bill.” Absolutely! He was garnering sympathy for being black, for not being white, for being different. And you know what? It played well with his supporters. Yeah, they said to one another, they may not say it, but they think it! Now, he turns it on John McCain, accusing him of playing the race card when John McCain responds to the comment. This is one man who plays it both ways.

I love to tell this story about Grace. She was about four years old and she had a baby doll named Alice. Alice was black. We were visiting a friend whose daughter was dating a black man. He was very nice, and wanted to engage Grace in conversation, so he said, “That’s a pretty baby. What is her name?” Grace looked up at him with her sweet, innocent brown eyes and said, “Chocolate.”

I about died.

The truth is, there are some things that are very obvious. Obama does look different. His hair is different, his skin is different, he has blue lips and an odd name. Why is it racist to point these things out? It’s not like we are saying he can’t be president because he looks different. If that was the case, McCain would be out too with his strange tight skin and no-lip mouth. Ew.

The problem is that as human beings, we identify with those that are like us and the first impression we have of someone is a visual one. At the parade on Saturday, I was sitting next to an oriental guy with some tattoos and hip-hop clothes. This lady walks up to him and says, “Can I give you a tract? Do you know Jesus as your personal savior?” He said, “Yes, I’ve been a Christian all my life.” She started to walk away, and I said, “Hey, can I have one?” She handed me one and walked away without so much as asking me if I was saved or not. Why was it that she made the assumption that he was a sinner, and I was saved? Because I’m like her. I’m a white woman dressed conservatively, and he looked slightly gangsta and therefore…..sinner.

So are we all guilty of playing the race card – or shall we say prejudice card – when we look at someone and it registers that they are different? Obviously not. It is not in the observing, it is in the evaluating. This is a distinction I wish media commentators would remember before inflaming a wildly reactive public on a rather touchy subject. After all, this presidential campaign is historic whether you support Obama or not. He's opening the way for African Americans to aspire to all heights, and their community at large is in great need of encouragement in this way. In all actuality, if Obama were more open about the race issue and not use it in an inflammatory way, I think it would only benefit his campaign - and the African American public. It's like when you are pointing out a fat person and you say, the one in the blue shirt. It's a white elephant, people, and we'll get nowhere pretending it doesn't exist.