Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Debate

Chances are, if you live in the United States, you're still talking about last night's debate between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. If you're not talking about it, you're either mute or you're not an American.
I can't even picture an American who doesn't have strong feelings about the elections in three weeks. I think the turnout is going to beat all the polls, and perhaps end some marriages.
I'm not a registered Democrat or a Republican, but I like to describe myself as a "Progressive Liberal Feminist," and, as I'm sure you can guess, I think Obama blew Mitt Romney all the way to where Felix began his jump a few days ago. Why?
It wasn't low expectations. I think we all knew he was going to come in prepared this time, and hopefully interested. He seemed bored to me (or maybe tired) last time. And it wasn't only how feisty he was, which I LOVE (you wanna run a country? You have to be combative!), it's also what he said. I seriously hope he fired whom ever advised him last time on being "Presidential" i.e. laid back, i.e."let Romney walk all over me."
I love that he brought up the 47% comment, and I love that he mentioned that he killed Bin Laden, which he did, and the fact that he equalized the pay for women very soon after in office. And that women have the right to contraceptives, and that he wants to raise taxes on rich, and that he's actually saving our money with Obamacare...(which he is. The emergency care is the most expensive one. Preventative is the cheapest.)
I agree with all of those statements, I understand what he's saying.
So, I thought, he did his job brilliantly. And, Oh, yes, defending Hillary Clinton and Susan Rice! Absolutely brilliant. ( I don't know who can even think that the President decides how much security to send to an Embassy or a consulate?! That's some security State Department's person's job, obviously to anyone who uses his/her brains.)
I'm not saying here Obama is a perfect President. He isn't. He probably could have done more. He should do more. Not only on jobs, but for example, on limiting the assault weapons.
But, please, just listen what Mitt Romney is saying. What he's saying makes no sense to me.
I was a math major in high school and I don't understand how he's going to reduce deficit unless he raises taxes. And I'm tired of his "closing the loopholes" mantra. Which loopholes? Which exact deductions? How much money are you going to save, per deduction, per loophole, exact amounts?
But the thing that really, really annoys me is his stance on abortion. I mean, please explain to me how can you be both pro-abortion and anti-abortion. If you are anti-abortion because life begins at conception, then you HAVE to be anti-abortion even if that life started with incest or rape, or even if it endangers the mother! It's life right?
What, so it's o.k. to kill a baby if it's a rapist's baby? Hypocrisy with a big H. And I just HATE hypocrisy.
I also have a problem when a man who is very religious and has five sons tells me he is against abortion. Men should never tell women what to do with their bodies. Period! If you're against abortion, you don't have one!
So, as I'm sure you can tell, I'm one of the "undecided ones." As undecided as those people in Hofstra's audience last night.

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Yes, if you didn't know November is National Novel Writing Month. I didn't know, until this year.
So, I decided, after careful consideration, (actually, my mother said: "don't go to Ukraine, it's not for you, which totally plays into my childhood fantasy that I was abducted from a castle in Western Europe), that going to Ukraine for a blind assignment (wouldn't know where or with whom) when the weather is cold, and they might not have bathrooms where I might be going (this happened to me in a village around Medvedja in Serbia in 2003, when men just shrugged and turned toward a forest), is not the greatest idea I ever had.
Plus, I already signed up for this novel challenge.
And if you have been reading me, I love challenges.
So, my friends, I'm doing it! I'm writing a 50,000 novel in one month! How? I have no idea! Not even a clue! I see on forums that people have already decided what kind of novel they will write. Me? I'm still thinking, and apparently dreaming. Yes, I dreamt last night that I was writing this novel, counting words, some people tried to derail me, women mostly, but I can't identify them now (If I could I would probably screen their calls.)
But that's all fine, right? I have another almost 20 days to think about the novel, think about the characters I want in it, then on November 1, I set them like actors on a stage, and press play. In my head.
So, I am very, very, very excited!!!
I will also update this blog all throughout the challenge. Unless I have a splitting headache from staring at the screen.
If you want to join me, (I'm suppose to be recruiting "writing buddies" since, they say, it's easier if you have someone hovering over your head the whole month, or, some people would define this simply as "being married."), please e-mail me, or sign up and "buddy" me.
Happy to be happy and miserable at the same time with another soul the whole month of November!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

To Novel, or To Ukraine?

I was asked if I wanted to observe elections in Ukraine. Late October-November. I have to give an answer today.
Why am I thinking about it?
Well, I am a trained election observer and I have done it before, but in Serbia. I'm safe in Serbia. Plus I went with people I knew, and I knew where I was going.
The Ukraine trip? I have never been to Ukraine. I don't know where I would be going, with whom or where I would be staying. I won't know any of those things before I commit. Plus, it's considered to be a "volunteer" work, so the expenses are paid but it's not a job. I don't get a salary.
And I have to make the decision today. Right after I made another decision yesterday. To begin writing a novel.
So, my novel writing, I decided yesterday, after talking to a colleague, a novelist, from one of my writing classes, will begin by me entering the "one- month- novel- writing- competition" that starts on November 1. And ends on November 30. 50,000 words in one months. I love it! It sounds challenging and exciting and that's why I love it!
But now if I take the Ukraine assignment I couldn't do it. I would go to Serbia after Ukraine and be back here in mid-November.
It's one of those lose-lose situations in my opinion. The Ukraine trip could be very rewarding, or it could be difficult and scary. I don't know. Never been.
On the other hand, I look Slavic. (I am Slavic) but my Russian is very, very, very rusty.
I'm sure they're not thrilled by Americans there. But I don't know how I would get by without speaking English to the colleagues I would go with. And I sincerely doubt they speak foreign languages.
So, I'm trying to talk to as many people possible today, get as much info as I can, so I can make a decision by tonight that will not leave me miserable.
If that's at all possible.
So, if you, reading this, have a thought, please share it with me.Or don't. It's up to you. I'll make a decision either way. Just hope it's not one I regret. Again.