Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Women in Politics

Last night as I sat half-watching Bill O'Reilly discussing Sarah Palin, my husband looked at me oddly and said, "Do you like her?"  

I was a bit taken aback.  And I really wasn't sure how to answer.  

As a woman and a Christian, I really want to be on her side.  It helped that O'Reilly really irritated me with his insinuation that women just can't handle the emotional stress of politics as well as a man.  So, for that moment I was on her side.  In the end though, as a politically nebulous independent voter, I have to admit that I sometimes find her a bit too republican for my taste.  

As I discussed the matter with my husband I realized that there's also a part of me that reacts to her much as I react to Hillary Clinton--I want to like her, I just wish she didn't sound so...strident.  Hillary gets points for being smart.  Sarah gets points for being humorous.  But in the end, they both lose with me.

The woman in me feels guilty about this.  Do I dislike them because they do what they have to do to succeed in what is not supposed to be, but obviously still is, an old boys club?  Is it because they remind me of female bosses and professors whose ardent need to prove they were better than any man was a source of constant irritation for me?  

So, I tried to soothe my guilt by pointing to a female politician for whom I have respect and admiration.  Unfortunately, I'm still searching...  I guess I may owe both women a second chance.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Jellyfish Stings Part 2: The Week After

Apparently jellyfish stings are the gift that keeps on giving.

On the Fourth of July, my husband and I were enjoying a relaxing snorkeling excursion in Cabo San Lucas.  In all fairness, we were warned about the possibility of jellyfish in the water. But, having spent a fair amount of time in the Sea of Cortez, I've experienced my fair share of stings--so I wasn't about to give up my one shore excursion due to a few sightings of the gelatinous pests. 

But these were the tiniest jellyfish I've NEVER seen.  I'm still not sure I saw them.  My husband is Mr. Paranoia about bees, wasps, sharks, poison ivy, you-name-it, and he's on the lookout for it. Of course, he saw them.  I saw what I thought were some floating kelp bits, but I was too fascinated by the gigantic salt water aquarium surrounding me to pay attention (having just spent a week in San Diego, "stuff" floating in the water didn't seem to warrant too much of my attention).  

According to Mr. Paranoia I was laying in the middle of a whole swarm of them--oblivious.  I felt a few pinpricks but nothing that I was remotely worried about.  Until I felt the one that had my face out of the water, mask off, and yelling like a crazy person.  

We swam back to the boat for a dousing of what I believe was vinegar and a further dousing of several excellent margaritas.  For entertainment I watched my arm swell up as one fellow snorkeler after another returned to the boat for vinegar.  

I've never had a jellyfish sting react the way the "big" one did.  Most of them looked like irritated little pinpricks.  And that is what I had all over both arms and legs.  Except for the one that looked more like a superficial razor slash that someone had rubbed salt into.  

The next day I suffered from what I would call a general malaise.  I chalked it up to too many margaritas and some street tacos.   Visible evidence of my close encounter disappeared (except for the big one).

Which brings us to today.  Well, to what started about 24 hours ago when I was riding in the car with my 16-year-old still-sans-license son.  My arm started itching like mad.  I figured I had found some mosquitos while walking the dog, but when I looked down I saw all these little red bumps and a huge, raised, puffy, angry-looking "razor slash".  

Believe it or not, it took me a minute to process the implication of this.

Mostly because I had never in my life heard of a jellyfish sting being resurrected, so to speak, a week later.  Within hours I also noted I was feeling ill--something similar to hayfever or a general malaise.  

I thought I was crazy.  In the middle of the night after going through every possible scenario in my head I broke down and did what I was sure would be a fruitless several hours searching the web.  I was shocked to discover the following, among many websites, showing that I am not, in fact crazy.  And that it is entirely possible that those gelatinous little pests may be with me for awhile longer. 

Long-term or delayed reactions11,12,13,14I can definitely attest to the recurrence being much worse than the initial sting.

I'm not one to worry when I step out into nature.  I'm never on the lookout for poison ivy, or rattlesnakes, or sharks.  But the next time there's a jellyfish warning, I just may heed it.  


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Walking the dog on a Sunday morning

Pastoral picture
Green alfalfa; golden tipped
Cornstalks rising sun

Road by the cornfield
Redwinged blackbirds joyful noise
A car driving by

Morning clouds sunrise
Water vapor refraction
Sky colors shimmer

Ecstasy running
Pink tongue hangs smiling sideways
Third treed cat today

Heat hangs hazily
Clinging stubbornly to earth
Sprinklers gush relief