Thank G-d for that Haven, No-Where-istan

For those who don’t remember, I established the sovereign nation of No-Where-istan (;; and

This evening, it is a much needed refuge.  POB (partner of blogger), TLP (our son, the little prince) and I were playing a trivia game about ancient civilizations.  He was beating us handily.  (Tragic that I lack the factual knowledge to keep up with my 9 year-old.)  If you answer correctly the question posed, you keep the card.  The one with the most cards wins.  There is a wild card where you can take a card of a person of your choice.  TLP got the wild card twice and the first time took one from my winnings.  The second time, he also took a card from me.  I said all in good fun, “That’s not fair!!  Take it from [POB]!! Look at all the cards she has!!”  TLP responded, “I have to favor my biological mother.”

The crash you just heard is my world in pieces.  And I had to keep going with the game.  I excused myself to go to the bathroom and POB must have said something to TLP.  TLP was very sad and felt horrible.

I said, “Sweetie, I am very sad but you need to be able to be honest and open with your feelings, and you need to be open to the response as well.”

We all hugged and I whispered, “I love you more this minute than last, and I will love you more a minute from now.  Why?”

TLP responded, “because love always grows, Emom.”

“That’s right, buddy.”

It is the thing we say when I kiss him good night.  Sometimes those rituals are more soothing to the adult than the child.

He is now listening to an audiobook about Darwin and evolution and reading a book about trains (multi-tasking seems to work for him).  I am sitting in our living room, with my guts kicked out and tears streaming.  I can never be his biological mother.  But it never occurred to me that I would love him any different.

Now, as this is the second time he has said this, it occurs to me that he loves me differently, and in a lesser way.  I know he is processing our nouvelle famille nuclear and that time will tell all.  I have to give him that time.

But right now, I am grateful to live in that comical creation in my head that allows me to set the rules of love and life (and health care) along with a national flag and stamp.

And, a mythical place where loving a little boy with all my heart doesn’t break my heart.

Even More to Talk About

COB (colleague of blogger), wants to write for the Alternate View (see prior blog entries).  He thinks Blogger and SNOBFOB (my awesomely funny friend who isn’t so sure she wants to be associated with blogger on-line) should try a YouTube video first, one that is a “parody” of The View.
Here are his ideas for the guests:
  1. Someone from the “Iced” Tea Party [blogger comment:  or The Latte League, truly effete, New York liberal intellectuals]
  2. A 10 year-old who has ideas for running government more efficiently [blogger comment: or Christine O’Donnell, who has the IQ of a ten year-old and is a witch to boot]
  3. A gay/lesbian person who is against same sex marriage [blogger comment: or Mr. Michele Bachmann, who thinks he cured himself]
  4. A person who is now an actor/actress since they can’t get a different job in this economy [blogger comment: because everyone assumes actors and actresses, especially the most talented ones, are unemployed]
  5. A crazy person (COB thinks I could fill that role.) [blogger comment: I think COB could audition for this role.]
Not a bad start.

Just Give Us Something To Talk About

A friend who is slightly paranoid about being known as a friend of blogger (and ergo, SPOBFOB) and I were discussing (and, might I add, solving) the world’s ills over lunch.  It is so frustrating when two people make major breakthroughs in world peace, economic policy, and moderate reformist politics and no one will let us see the President.  We wouldn’t have made him take notes (he is the President); we know enough about protocol (we could write the book) to bring a short-form and long-form memoranda setting out the action points for achieving these huge global steps forward.

Not only did SPOBFOB and I have important problem solving breakthroughs, but we also took stock of the freak show that comprises the leaders of our nation.  Let’s face it:  Men like the game — thrust and parry, if you must — of negotiations.  Women want to get the damn thing accomplished in the least amount of time with the most impact. Sure there are women who are impossible to deal with in these situations (Michelle Bachmann, par exemple) but by and large, you don’t hear women say, “let’s say this and see what they come back with” when you know full well that “saying this” will only lead to vengeful behavior and reverse any constructive negotiations up to that point.  We rarely make grand pronouncements that make compromise impossible because our egos are in the way.  Just sayin’.

Maybe President Obama would not like to think that he is pretty much in the same camp as John Boehner and Mitch McConnell when it comes to purposeful and constructive negotiations.  Ok, so the answer is that the White House would slam the door on our advance team.

I was despondent because here we had answers and no one who would listen.  I mentioned having a cable talk show and SPOBFOB came up with the brilliant idea of naming it the “Alternate View” because we look at the world quizzically and with our heads tilted, as if we were trying to understand really edgy art.

[So, this is where I go off on one of my tangents and SPOBFOB has no responsibility for anything that follows:]

We can invite our friends and family to come on the show.  They represent a varied and seasoned cross-section of America.  Ok, the liberal, urban/suburban, well-heeled and over-educated America.  So, there would be wide national appeal.  (Ok, that would be in the sovereign nation of No-Where-istan, a state of my mind (see prior blogs).  But, I digress.)

Everything would be fair game, from:

  • did anyone really think Justin and Selena were anything but a media creation?
  • to: should you home school your children in places where the gay liberal communist agenda has not fully infiltrated main stream public school education?
  • to: should fertility treatments and surrogacy be tax deductible for same-sex couples in states where gay marriage is legal?
  • to: who is the sanest person in the Tea Party asylum? and is that like debating how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?
  • to: whether quinoa is subversive grain that could reduce America’s dependence on hamburgers?
  • to: how to keep skin from sagging without surgery?

And everything else anyone wants to cover.


Minister of Senior Activities

There is a reason why No-Where-istan is struggling.  Look at our minister of senior activities.  This is what happens when your country has NO health care for the elderly.  They sit in subway stations with a keyboard and moving dolls dressed in Santa outfits.

Dinner Chez Obama

Does one need to be a huge important nation, like India, to get a dinner at the White House?

No-Where-istan is a tiny country (still in my head) but we would like to be recognized on the international stage.  We have a national anthem, a flag, a motto and stamp.  I bet Sealandia doesn’t have those.

Here are the pluses:  

  1. We wouldn’t require any fuss about the menu.  We could bring deli food.  We’ll order lean corned beef and pastrami but NO knishes, so it will be heart-healthy (healthy-ish). 
  2. We’ll use paper plates instead of the fancy china.  Net-net, I believe that it is greener to have paper plates than have people wasting all that water hand-washing that fine china.  (Also, less germs.
  3. Also, I have a great dance shuffle on my iPod, so we don’t need the orchestra.  Still, I would like for the musicians to have paying gigs.  So, I am a little torn.
  4. We can have a cultural exchange:  We can teach the Obamas to talk with food in their mouths.  They can teach us how to eat arugula salad without spilling (we love arugula, but not as much as rugelach).
  5. We don’t have a big entourage and we can take Metro-North there and back, so we don’t need to stay in the guest bedrooms at the White House (we are a small country and we can’t afford the donations required to do that).
  6. The ministers and family and friends have no idea about protocol, so we can throw out the rule book and have some fun. 
  7. Look at the cost savings, which is important given that the nation is at its credit card limit. 

Here is the minus:

We don’t have sovereign territory outside my head so this idea will have to stay on the agenda of the Ministry of Dreams and Aspirations for a little while longer.

Taking Candy from Your Baby

So, here I am at 7:25pm on Thursday after Halloween and I am eating candy that my son gathered on his trick-or-treating extravaganza.  I am feeling guilty, but only a little.  My son is 7 years old so it isn’t exactly like taking candy from a baby (she writes defiantly).

Halloween was its usual hell-ish experience.  As I have written before, I don’t like the holiday because of, among other things, the ghoulish costumes and behaviors, and I didn’t know what to do with the carved pumpkin except put it in the refrigerator where one would normally put ripened or cut fruit.  Leave it out for the bugs and the vermin?  Now, that’s not a plan for an urban dweller who likes to keep both nature’s jungle and the urban jungle at bay.

A major issue was my son’s costume.  He did not want to dress up and wanted a general pass on the occasion (that’s my son!!).  POB (partner of blogger) had long ago convinced me that Halloween was important (as were scooters and other toys of potential death and dismemberment) because we should stress social inclusion (but not assimilation or group think).

As you can tell POB is the intellectual in the family because I am still trying to apply these principles to daily life and parenting.  Realizing that I was still struggling, she recently restated her position in words I can understand: having two moms will be tough enough when he is a teenager, do you want to add the deficit of Halloween?  Because we are two women, our son’s societal acceptance depends on celebrating Halloween.   Ok, I get that thinking. Sort of.  My straight parents were dismissive of some societal norms and my college friends thought I was a Soviet spy.  It was lovingly meant as weird and kooky, I think.

So, Halloween it is.  It took some cajoling for our son to agree to a costume: “why can’t I be ME?” he asked. As part of the inclusion model, I did not say that a transitive verb takes a subjective pronoun and the question is “why can’t I be I?” which, while non-sensical, is grammatically correct.  But I digress.

He loves the Natural History Museum which was founded by early 20th century President Teddy Roosevelt.  So, he decided that he would be Teddy Roosevelt in the age of the Rough Riders.  We got a rough rider hat, bandana, round spectacles and I taught him to say, “bully, bully!!” just like Roosevelt.  But it was a little — how shall I say — cerebral for a 7 year-old.

Mindful of inclusion model, I tried to get him to think more commercially — work with me on the inclusion part here — and I asked, wouldn’t you like to be a Power Ranger or an X-Man?  Nah, not so much.  Teddy Roosevelt it was.

My parents would have beamed with pride and joy if I wanted to dress up as Eleanor Roosevelt for Halloween.  One generation later, I am begging my son to be an X-Man.  There is a PhD thesis in here somewhere but not now.

Needless to say, in No-Where-istan, there is no Halloween.

No-Where-istan’s Gender Politics

Friends were over Saturday night and the discussion came up about the gender of No-Where-istan’s Minister of Peace, Love and Happiness.  According to more than a few, but less than a majority, of those present (lesbians between ages 45 and 58), the Minister (see prior entries) is of indeterminate gender.   (These are blackberry camera photos, so the picture resolution and, therefore any conclusion, are necessarily fuzzy.) 

I then raised the not-so-news (to us old folks) that academic circles hold forth that there are six — count them, six — genders.  None of us could think of more than 2, and we did acknowledge that a person could identify with more than one at a time but there are still only 2.  Determined not to be out of the mainstream and matters hip and trendy, some stood fast in their knowledge and ability to discern gender.  Not that it matters.  But when you gather highly educated and accomplished people together, there is bound to be strong opinions and lines drawn on your imported Persian carpet (oh, well).

So, last night, I saw the Minister holding a conference in the Times Square subway.  I tried to get close enough, but not too close as to arouse suspicion.  But, my eye sight forced me to squint and trend closer to the Minister, so much so, that in order to continue my covert investigation I had to give her a dollar and get a small red heart-shaped Ministry-gram that said “peace is in your heart”

I felt the Minister’s calloused hand.  Not dispositive.  No discernible Adam’s apple.  Still not dispositive (one can have that shaved down, I understand).  Nice muscle tone but still within range of any gender. So, not dispositive. 

After my investigation, I still have no idea (although I have a guess).  But it doesn’t really matter as long as she is my Minister of Peace, Love and Happiness and still gives out Ministry-grams.  And as long as she isn’t looking for closet space in No-Where-istan (which is still in my head and a bit full, with cobwebs and all).

No-Where-istan Swears In Minister of Peace, Love and Happiness

Here she is, the Minister of Peace, Love and Happiness, plucked from the subways of NYC and into the ministry of Peace, Love and Happiness.  She is wearing the official dress and head gear of the country in keeping with its cultural roots.  There will be traditional dancing at the inaugural balls later on in the season.  But for now, I give you, ladies and gentlemen, Her Excellency the Minister:


FOOTBALL — Orrin Hatch’s Legislative Priority

You can’t make this stuff up. 

We are fighting for economic recovery, we are fighting two wars, we are fighting multiple insurgents in the health care industry, we are trying to save the planet from our carbon emissions, we are trying to prevent nuclear proliferation and SENATOR ORRIN HATCH WANTS THE PRESIDENT TO INTERVENE ON COLLEGE FOOTBALL BOWL CHAMPIONSHIPS?

Sen. Hatch says there is some antitrust violation involved in the way the championships are decided.  Senator, there may be another antitrust violation, too.  It involves health care.  Maybe you read about it.

Orrin, Orrin, Orrin.  Do we live on the same planet?  Don’t you have pressing matters of state in the Senate that require your UNDIVIDED focus?  Are our national problems a joke to you?  If you were a senator from New York, I would start a campaign to recall you.

By the way, in No-Where-istan, we have no organized sports leagues.  Since No-Where-istan lives in my head, cleats would be painful.


 By FREDERIC J. FROMMER, Associated Press Writer Frederic J. Frommer, Associated Press Writer 1 hr 9 mins ago

WASHINGTON – Shortly after winning last year’s presidential election, Barack Obama said he was going to “to throw my weight around a little bit” to nudge college football’s Bowl Championship Series to move to a playoff system.

On Wednesday, Sen. Orrin Hatch took him up on that.

Hatch asked the president to launch a Justice Department investigation into the way the BCS — a complex system of computer rankings and polls that often draws criticism — crowns its national champion.

“Mr. President, as you have publicly stated on multiple occasions, the BCS system is in dire need of reform,” Hatch, R-Utah, wrote in a 10-page letter, obtained by The Associated Press.

Hatch, who held a hearing on the BCS in July, told Obama that a “strong case” can be made that the BCS violates antitrust laws.

[rest of article omitted]

Republic of Texas

Just today a Dallas newspaper had an article about secession.  It posited that more people outside Texas than inside would like the state to secede from the Union.

I saw my brother for lunch.  My sister-in-law suddenly got sick at the sight of me and begged off lunch.  I am trying not to connect the dots.

I sat in the bar/lounge of my hotel, waiting for my friends for dinner, and saw a sign that weapons are not allowed in the bar/lounge.  I’m from New York City, where grit and crime are part of the  urban landscape, and I have never seen such a sign.  I suddenly felt safer in NY.  At least I know that in No-Where-istan, that fabulous, mythical place, there are no weapons, concealed or otherwise.

Actually, given that my hotel was in the seamy part of Dallas (my secretary allowed “cost-cutting” to go too far), I am feeling like I am in an area of Dallas that, if this were NY, would be called Fort Apache, The Bronx.

But no gunfights so far, so I don’t really feel like I am in the Republic of Texas.  This is already a long, strange trip and Jerry Garcia had the benefit of drugs.