Monday, September 29, 2008

This & That

It’s SO hard to focus. We’re trying to get ourselves up to speed on the new book—it’s simmering, and we need a rolling boil about now. But as usual, life in all it’s unpredictability, has a way of short circuiting the writing process.

Life has been quite a roller-coaster. We know—what else is new—for any of us?

There’s the personal stuff: Virginia’s mom, who right after her 85th birthday celebration had cataract surgery. Then she made a routine trip to the dentist who found a “suspicious lesion” on her tongue. The word “lesion” conjures up enough worry to feed all the fears you accumulate from gorging on episodes of ER, House, and Grey’s Anatomy. So many gruesome diseases to choose from! And even before the dentist said the next bad word, “biopsy”—you’re heading down the chute—it’s dark and scary and only bad things like cancer could possibly be at the end of that tunnel. Fortunately, in this case, that was not the case! Virginia noted on a status update several days ago, that her mom’s biopsy was negative! WooHoo! Turns out the “lesion” was the result of an ill-fitting partial dental plate which has now been corrected.

Whew.
Let’s get back to the new book.
Ooops! Not so fast.

Because just when we thought it was safe to go back in the water, Donna finds out her mom, who is still recovering from her car accident from last year, has to have---cataract surgery. And yes, it could be worse, we know that. And yes, an ophthalmologist recently said to Virginia that cataracts were a good thing—it meant the person had lived a long life and that everyone who lived long enough would get cataracts eventually. There’s nothing like the Asian perspective on aging to set you straight. Oh, and did we mention she also has to have a tooth extracted, and start the process of getting a dental implant? There’s more on the personal front, but you get the gist.

Then there’s the author stuff.

We got the news that we had received a great review in Publishers Weekly for What Doesn’t Kill You—(January ’09) Yippeeeeeeee! (We’ll post it later this week.) This of course made us very happy. Half hour later, we find out What Doesn’t Kill You will not have the cover we liked—no loved. Powers that be (too long a story for here) decided it wasn’t “quite right” and didn’t capture the spirit of the story, so it will have another cover altogether (We’ll post them both later this week too). Oh well. For those of you who ask if we get to decide our covers—this is your answer!

And there’s the election stuff.

As much as we would like not to be, we are consumed by this election. It’s ups, downs, twists and turns. Since we have been working together, there are just times when you have to stop and stare at the television, because what is happening is so extraordinary. Occasionally the situation is joyful, like watching Nelson Mandela walk out of prison after 27 years. Sometimes it’s surreal, like Clarence Thomas, Anita Hill and those pubic Coke hairs. Unfortunately, more often than not we are stopped by tragedy—watching SCUD missiles streak toward Bagdad during the first Gulf War, watching the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing, the first World Trade Center disaster, and the second. During this presidential election season, we have made our position and our candidate clear –we first stated it here a year ago. And what with the debates, the polls and the vice presidential follies there is news that invades our lives moment, by moment. We watch, read and talk. We call and email friends, family and strangers alike. We blog and repost articles. We remind EVERYONE we meet, EVERYWHERE we go to register to vote. Because it matters so very much. And because we will do whatever we can to keep “Caribou Barbie” from being one heartbeat away from the Oval Office and making America a more of a laughingstock to the world than we already are.

So, we do our best to focus, and ignore the 42 emails that come in with the latest political tidbits because we’ve got a book to write, a screenplay to review, other proposals we’re working on, movie money to raise, contracts to review. . .and did we mention the fiscal meltdown. The Dow is down 777 points today (too bad there’s no slot machine involved. Or is the stock market like one big craps table these days?) because the House rejected the economic bailout. Centuries old brokerage firms are DOA, people are losing their homes to foreclosure and what are there, like three banks left. . .

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posted by DeBerry and Grant at 6:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Friday, September 26, 2008

Recession-Depression

How To Get Through The Recession With Less Depression
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eli-davidson/how-to-get-through-the-re_b_128971.html

Recession Depression Quiz

Does your stomach churn when you read the latest news?
Did you have trouble sleeping last night?
Are you obsessively checking your news sources throughout the day?
Are you angrier or more fearful than normal?

* If your answer is yes to any of these questions, you are experiencing the emotional effects of the recession.

Many people have been laid off from their jobs, lost a substantial percentage of their assets and countless families have lost the opportunity to own homes.

Even if you're one of the lucky ones, and your home, job and bank account are intact; you may still be feeling emotional trauma, fear or anxiety. The emotional trauma and paralyzing fear we experience may leave us unable to make wise decisions, block us from seeing things clearly, or hold us back as we try to move forward.

Many people have been laid off from their jobs, lost a substantial percentage of their assets and countless families have lost the opportunity to own homes.

Even if you're one of the lucky ones, and your home, job and bank account are intact; you may still be feeling emotional trauma, fear or anxiety. The emotional trauma and paralyzing fear we experience may leave us unable to make wise decisions, block us from seeing things clearly, or hold us back as we try to move forward.

The threat of recession, and the hardships that usually accompany one, can put us in our own psychological recession, an emotional state in which we feel extremely vulnerable to economic hardship, leading to a grim view of the present, and an even more depressing view of the future. This gloomy mindset causes anxiety, depression, and a sense of being powerless. When we're anxious and depressed, our fear and despair replaces any optimism and faith that we had.

Use these tips to break out of this cycle and survive through the rough times... TO READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eli-davidson/how-to-get-through-the-re_b_128971.html

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posted by DeBerry and Grant at 10:43 AM 1 comments links to this post

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The mortgage crisis hits home-Alisa Valdes-Rodgriguez


We wanted to share repost of a blog by sister author Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez
(The Dirty Girls Social Club, Playing With Boys, Make Him Look Good, Dirty Girls on Top) It speaks to a very personal side of the current financial crisis we face.

THE MORTGAGE CRISIS HITS HOME
Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez

http://bp0.blogger.com/_QMoXJ8fOgo4/Rx9ktqzpxyI/AAAAAAAABZ8/WqFHgauPN4Q/s320/2837746_P02.jpg

(Not exactly my ex-house, but close enough.)

There are two things my father wishes I would never discuss on this blog. My love life, and my finances.

I'm cool with avoiding my love life. Not much to report there. I hope it stays that way.

But with finances, I feel obligated to speak up. But before we enter into that discussion, visit this link to understand what happened with the mortgage industry to cause the current situation.

Got that? Okay, good.

Now, my situation, and how it is impacted by all of this. A little more than a year ago, I bought a four-bedroom tract home with a pool, in a very nice subdivision in Scottsdale, Arizona, for $570,000. It was the most I'd ever paid for a house, and certainly much more than a similar house might have cost me back in Albuquerque. Still, we hoped the gifted school thing would work out, and, according to conventional wisdom at the time, felt that buying was better than renting, even if we left after a short time, because of the tax benefits of interest paid on a mortgage.

I put $120,000 cash down on the house, thinking it was safe there, and might even grow. I figured it was a good investment because that's what people like Suzie Orman used to say, until, like, last week. Arizona was said to be booming, and the mortgage, while steep, was something I could handle, thanks to my supportive and loyal readers and other assorted sources of income.

Fast-foward to this summer. The gifted school thing has not worked out. We do not like Phoenix and Scottsdale very much. We are homesick for our friends and family in New Mexico.

I am up to date on my mortgage payments, but all around us houses are going on the market at slashed prices, being abandoned, or coming up for lease. The prices begin to drop drastically, as homeowners in our area see their shady loans balloon out of reach and they lose their homes to foreclosure.

Suddenly, the house I bought for $570,000 is worth...$380,000?!?! Amazing! I know this because it is a tract division, and that is the price the same model is going for right now. And dropping with every week that passes.

What this means is that I, as a responsible homeowner, am now paying a mortgage of $450,000, on a house worth $380,000 - and the price continues to drop. By this time next year, I would not be surprised to learn this house is worth $310,000, or less. I have lost every penny I put down, and am now, astoundingly, in negative equity, which grows only more negative with every payment I make. Does this make sense to you? Not to me, either.

I never thought I would be the type to end up in foreclosure, but last month I made the decision to stop paying my mortgage. To just walk away. Not because I can't pay it, but because it is foolish to continue to do so. I am aware of the new FHA program designed to refinance homes like mine at their current value, but I don't think the dropping prices are going to bottom out for a long time. It's just not worth it, either way.

I attended a foreclosure workshop sponsored by the state of Arizona, to learn about the laws, and realized that by simply walking away from this disaster of a neighborhood, city and state, I could save myself a lot of money and heartache - at a heavy price to my FICO score.

One of every three dollars in Phoenix is tied up in the real estate development industry, which has all but ground to a screeching halt. The local economy is tanking. Things will not get better for a very long time, if they ever do.

So, couple weeks ago, I put the house up for sale, and closed my checkbook to my lender, forever. Screw 'em.

It took me a while to get over the good old puritanical guilt about that, but I'm done. I'm not feeling remorse for looking out for myself and my family. The government is bailing out the bankrupt lenders, including my own. But who is there to look out for people like me? No one. That's who. No. One.

The conservatives will try to tell you this crisis is only impacting irresponsible homeowners, who got into mortgages they could not handle. Wrong! If you own a house in any of the areas hit hardest by this thing, you are wasting money if you continue to pay for a worthless property. Many of us realize this, and we are walking away, mailing in the keys, saying "thanks but no thanks for this bridge to nowhere.

"It was not easy to come to terms with this, to realize I would never recover that money. But once I did come to terms with it, I felt free, in charge of my own destiny and wallet. I was ready to walk away from the house, to propose a deed in lieu, or to foreclose if needed.

As it stands now, I have an offer on my house of $405,000. That is $50,000 less, roughly, than I owe on the loan. This means I will have to ask my lender to give me a short sale, even though they - the lender - will still turn a significant profit on this property. Does that seem fair to you? No? Me neither. But there's not a damn thing I can do about it.

Assuming my lender accepts the short sale - and I imagine they will, given the situation, but won't know for sure until next week - I will suffer a pretty terrible blow to my credit rating. It could drop as low as the high 300s, which means I can't get any kind of loan for at least three years.

I am prepared for that. I am not happy about it. After all, the bank loaned me $450,000 - and will end up making $600,000 on the deal, from my down payment, a year-plus of on-time mortgage payments, and the home sale for $405,000. But I will still be penalized. Make sense to you? Me neither. But oh fucking well. The system is broken, and no one but Barney Frank seems to give a shit about people like me.

So, think about this. I played by the rules. The banks did not. And, here I am, not only losing a massive amount of money, but being punished on my credit report for a housing transaction that, in the end, makes money for the lender. Twice. Because the lender will not only get my money, and the new owner's money, but also a bailout from the Federal government, at taxpayer expense, because it is impossible to put an exact value on the losses, so the Fed is just guessing...at $700 BILLION.

Not fair? Damn straight it's not fair. But I am quickly learning that very little in he deregulated wild west of Milton Friedman "trickle down" economics is fair. It's nothing but gambling with rich liars, who, as we might have guessed, don't have much interest in letting any of their coins trickle anywhere. And here I was, lecturing my in-laws on their casino habits, when I did not know enough to see the fireball headed my way.

But I am ready to suffer the consequences, because I have decided that, unless I can buy a thing in cash, I am not going to buy anything anymore. For the amount I paid on this house in the past year (the $120,000 down, plus about $50,000 in mortgage payments) I could have purchased a home in cash on the West Side of Albuquerque, and never had to worry about anyone taking my home from me again.

So it is that I've decided not to wait this out (it will be years before recovery, if one comes at all), and to move all of us in with my pops, who owns his home outright, for the next three years or so. Each month I will make a check out to myself, to my savings account, in the amount I would have paid on the note for my house in Arizona.

Within a few short years, I will have enough money to get us a little house somewhere. In cash. Maybe in a country with a healthy economy. It feels good to have freedom again, even if the lender and credit agencies are stealing my money and stabbing me in the back for it. Such is the life of an escaped slave.

I suppose I am learning, at a micro level, what the banking world is learning at a marco level. Don't spend money you don't have. Live frugally and intelligently, and remember that people matter much, much more than things.

The bonus of all this, if there is a bonus, is that I have learned that stuff is just that. Stuff. Family is what matters. And I feel incredibly fortunate to have a family willing to take me in while I make this transition, and begin, once and for all, to accumulate real wealth instead of shadow money and the appearance of prosperity that have sadly become the American way.

I know it's a drastic move. But those of you who know me understand that I am all about the drastic move, when it makes sense. I am not afraid to be out of step, if it makes sense to be such. I am the woman in the Latin aerobics class at the gym last night, who insisted on doing the 8-count routine starting on the 1, even though the rhythm-deaf, unqualified instructor kept mixing up her beats and counts, starting on the 2 here, and the 5 there.

Everyone else in the class followed the instructor, because they, sheep at heart, surely thought she was right and they were wrong, even if her moves didn't match the beat and instinct told them otherwise. People are too damn polite sometimes. Sometimes, you have to be upfront and honest. You have to trust your instincts. The others in that class were too polite to be free-thinkers. Same with many of my neighbors, who will keep on paying these thieving banks money they will never get back, exorbitant rent to an undeserving landlord.

Not me. Hell no.

I will stand there and look a fool to the actual fools, doing the right thing because I have actually thought about it. I have never worried about looking smart to other people, and I'm not about to start now.

Questions?

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posted by DeBerry and Grant at 2:18 PM 0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ready, Set, Vote!

For the past 11 years, wherever we have been in front of an audience of any size during election season, we have emphasized the importance of voting--for whichever candidate is your choice. This year, more than any in the past generation, casting a ballot is crucial, so we take this opportunity to reach out with this reminder-- we CANNOT assume that everyone we know is registered or will vote in November. Time is flying. Registration deadlines are approaching.

It's easy to assume that since we are registered to vote, that our friends, neighbors, or classmates-- people we see every day, folks we have lunch with, stand next to in the alto section of the choir, gab with at the hairdresser, complain with in the supermarket, work with on committees in our sorority, discuss our child care constraints with when we're picking up our kids from pre-school--or, heaven help us, even those in whose care we put the education of our children, are REGISTERED VOTERS.

Let's break this down--women in this country did not gain the right to vote until 1920. For African Americans the right to vote was not routinely enforced until the 60's. It's not all that long ago. Many made sacrifices, including their lives, so that we could all have a say in the way we are governed.

So we ask that each of you ask the people in your life-the ones you see every day, if they're registered, and encourage them to do so, if they are not.

Please repost and send this to all your lists and ask each of them to do the same. WHOEVER YOU VOTE FOR IN NOVEMBER--WE ALL MUST VOTE. No voting means no complaining.

Here are two links about voter registration. The first lists voter registration deadlines in all 50 states (including Alaska). The second actually gives you specific, individual voter registration information... http://www.declareyourself.com/?gclid=CMqxhZvuzpUCFR8SQQodmmu6iw

http://www.voteforchange.com/index_obama.php?source=091008emailR

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posted by DeBerry and Grant at 11:21 AM 0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Roger Ebert on Sarah Palin

Roger Ebert on Sarah Palin: The American Idol candidateSeptember 10, 2008
BY ROGER EBERT Sun-Times Movie Critic

I think I might be able to explain some of Sara Palin's appeal. She's the "American Idol" candidate. Consider. What defines an "American Idol" finalist? They're good-looking, work well on television, have a sunny personality, are fierce competitors, and so talented, why, they're darned near the real thing. There's a reason "American Idol" gets such high ratings. People identify with the contestants. They think, Hey, that could be me up there on that show!

My problem is, I don't want to be up there. I don't want a vice president who is darned near good enough. I want a vice president who is better, wiser, well-traveled, has met world leaders, who three months ago had an opinion on Iraq. Someone who doesn't repeat bald-faced lies about earmarks and the Bridge to Nowhere. Someone who doesn't appoint Alaskan politicians to "study" global warming, because, hello! It has been studied. The returns are convincing enough that John McCain and Barack Obama are darned near in agreement.

I would also want someone who didn't make a teeny little sneer when referring to "people who go to the Ivy League." When I was a teen I dreamed of going to Harvard, but my dad, an electrician, told me, "Boy, we don't have the money. Thank your lucky stars you were born in Urbana and can go to the University of Illinois right here in town." So I did, very happily. Although Palin gets laughs when she mentions the "elite" Ivy League, she sure did attend the heck out of college.

Five different schools in six years. What was that about?

And how can a politician her age have never have gone to Europe? My dad had died, my mom was working as a book-keeper and I had a job at the local newspaper when, at 19, I scraped together $240 for a charter flight to Europe. I had Arthur Frommer's $5 a Day under my arm, started in London, even rented a Vespa and drove in the traffic of Rome. A few years later, I was able to send my mom, along with the $15 a Day book.

You don't need to be a pointy-headed elitist to travel abroad. You need curiosity and a hunger to see the world. What kind of a person (who has the money) arrives at the age of 44 and has only been out of the country once, on an official tour to Iraq? Sarah Palin's travel record is that of a hopeless provincial.

But some people like that. She's never traveled to Europe, Asia, Africa, South America or Down Under? That makes her like them. She didn't go to Harvard? Good for her! There's a lot of hockey moms who haven't seen London, but most of them would probably love to, if they had the dough. And they'd like their kids to win a scholarship to Harvard.

I trust the American people will see through Palin, and save the Republic in November. The most damning indictment against her is that she considered herself a good choice to be a heartbeat away. That shows bad judgment.
________________________________

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posted by DeBerry and Grant at 1:18 PM 5 comments links to this post

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Recommended Reading

Have heart, there are plenty of women who haven't drunk the Kook-aid.

http://womenagainstsarahpalin.blogspot.com/

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posted by DeBerry and Grant at 10:15 AM 0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Barack's Groove...

The Democratic and Republican conventions, poll bounces and bumps, Sarah Palin. . . Has it got ya down, Bunky? It has been such an intense few weeks along the campaign trail. How about a little release? Maybe it’s time to stand up and get your groove on—Barack’s Groove that is.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1pclGIIiys


Newark NJ rappers Tex-N-D (Zaquan Williams) and Davon Edward, known as “D” (Hey, Donna thought that was her rapper name. Guess she’ll have to go as DG) wanted to find a way to stoke the interest of their unregistered peers and decided to hit them where they dance. So get up, shake off your groove thing and all that political pressure, and check out, “Barack’s Groove.” Oh, and pass it on to any youthful, unregistered voters you know. Here is a link to voter registration deadlines in all 50 states (including Alaska).

http://www.declareyourself.com/?gclid=CMqxhZvuzpUCFR8SQQodmmu6iw

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posted by DeBerry and Grant at 10:02 AM 0 comments links to this post

Monday, September 08, 2008

Full Frontal Fall

No Virginia didn't trip again--we could have said autumn, but we kinda like alliteration.

And now in the latest entertainment news—

For those of you who were planning your autumn theater weekend, we regret to announce that the Broadway production of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/ When the Rainbow is Enuf has been postponed until spring. One of their backers fell through at the last minute, leaving them short of what they required to open. But the producers are on task, on the case, and we’ll have an update soon.

If you live in NYC and are looking for a little film entertainment, Jessica Funches, the screenwriter/director for the film of our book Far From the Tree, will screen her first feature film, Something Is Killing Tate, on Thursday and Friday at the Urbanworld Film Festival.

This is a powerful and deeply moving story so please check it out if you're around.

SOMETHING IS KILLING TATE SCREENING (NY)
Urbanworld Film Festival
Thurs, Sept 11 @ 10:00am, MCA 34th St, Theatre 9
Fri, Sept 12 @ 4:15pm, AMC 34th St, Theatre 11
AMC 34th Street Theater
312 West 34th Street, between 8th & 9th Avenues
New York City, NY

And on another entertainment—or maybe just entertaining note—it’s Fashion Week in NY for Spring 2009. The tents are up in Bryant Park, the glitterati have come to town to see what’s going to be hot when the next warm season rolls around, and we’re going to reacquaint ourselves with our past, flex our under-exercised fashion muscles and attend the Budgetfashionista.com party tonight in Chelsea. Despite our defection from the fashion world several years ago, but in keeping with our credentials as models-turned editors-turned novelists, we confess to still being at least somewhat intrigued by the tights vs hose vs bare legs debate (chose any or all), whether they’re really trying to cram plaid down our throats again (yes), and what is the new black (purple). We retired our portfolios, not our subscriptions to Vogue & Lucky or our addiction to watching Full Frontal Fashion each and every Fashion Week!!

We’ll let you how it goes tomorrow. BTW we’re wearing the old black...black.

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posted by DeBerry and Grant at 3:42 PM 0 comments links to this post

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Questions, Questions, Questions

We are so often asked--"How are the movies coming?" And while these blogs are from from Sherri and Jessica who are producing Far From the Tree, the process and progress is pretty much identical to what's going on with the production for Tryin' to Sleep in the Bed You Made. We want to keep in informed and involved--after all they're your movies and we want you to understand that all of this takes time, effort, dedication and a positive attitude! So please give them a read--and your encouragement!

Thanks,
V&D
Questions, Questions, Questions
http://blog.myspace.com/farfromthetreemovie
This week Jessica and I worked on our pitch for investors. Before we sell the movie to you – the fans of Far From the Tree – we must sell the viability of the movie to prospective investors. Tons of questions must be answered and each presentation must be specifically tailored for the person to whom we're pitching. Whatever we say in our pitch, it must all add up to us proving that Far From the Tree makes good business sense.

Some of the questions we must consider include: How much creative information should we include? How do we make the case for this film and prove that it's a worthwhile investment? Should we focus exclusively on the film's profitability? What other movies like ours have been made in the past? Where is the audience for Far From the Tree? How much money can this film generate? How do we know that the fans of Far From the Tree will show up when the film gets to the theaters?

How we present the information is as important as what we present. For example, what pieces of information will be most important to this investor? Can this person write the check or must he/she take our pitch back to the person who can write the check? How does this person process information? Are they a numbers person or are they someone whose heart and mind comprehends better through pictures? And, how many pictures should we include? Will the images we've chosen appeal to this investor? Have we said too much? Are we overloading this person with data? How much information is too much information?

As we endeavor to find an investor for this picture, we don't know the outcome of this process. Will we find the investor who will get the vision we have for this film? Will he/she be ready and willing to write the check when we're ready for him/her to write the check? How long will it take for us to find the money for this film? What hoops will we need to jump through in order to secure this investment? What if we get some of the money but not all of the money? The list of questions can go on ad infinitum. There's little glamour in this process at this point.

Truthfully, none of these questions can be answered until the movie is in the theaters. That's the real proof. Still, Jessica and I must make the case for Far From the Tree convincingly enough that an investor sees what we see – that a movie with three African American women in the lead roles will not only be a good film but it will make money, too. Every element of our presentation has been crafted to sell this point of view.

Will we be successful? Of course we will. And, you, the fans, will be the first to know. You can expect a big fat e-mail in your inbox that shouts, "WE GOT THE MONEY!!!!!" If nothing else, the satisfaction of sending out that blog keeps us going.

Over the past few weeks, your words of encouragement, your overwhelmingly positive response to this blog and your trust in our ability to give you a movie you can be proud of have given us a boost each time we hear back from you. Keep letting us know what you want to see in this film. As much as we love this book and what it says to us, it's also something we're creating in love for you, the fans of the book.

Please tell a friend about this blog. We want as many people as possible to know that this movie is being developed. And, we can only do that through the help of fans of the book like you. Encourage someone to read Far From the Tree and then subscribe to this blog. And, when our film hits the theaters in 2009 and debuts at number one, we can all feel like we've created something great. http://blog.myspace.com/farfromthetreemovie

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posted by DeBerry and Grant at 10:28 AM 1 comments links to this post

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Falling Down

From Virginia

Last week, I was in Buffalo for my mom's 85th and her cataract surgery—what a combo. All went well –we partied for four days because as my mom said “I don’t turn 85 everyday!” Then, after the festive weekend, I accompanied her for surgery on Monday, and although she said, “It feels like I have a bucket of sand in my eye,” the doctor assured us all was (and is) fine. So I headed back home on Wednesday after a full frontal family week.

The drive was uneventful—I actually enjoy “car time” because it gives my mind a chance to wander while I’m looking at lovely scenery—mostly rural farmland in PA and NY. I made excellent time, felt great and was actually planning to join friends who were going out for dinner. But then--while bringing in all the crap from the trunk of my car (which I had first unloaded to the patio ) I walked through the slider, over the threshold and FELL. Some who know me well, will say, “Uh huh--what else is new?” You see--for those of you who are unaware—I am a world-class faller—down the stairs at Penn Station, flat out on a Chicago street during BEA, over a curb on my way for a root canal—I’ll spare you the full list but, it dates back at least a couple of decades. I’m sure you get the picture. Anyway Kerplat!! There I was. I spent a full 10 minutes sprawled on the concrete patio floor while I tried to figure out (1) whether I had or I had not fractured some obscure bone and, (2) how to get my butt up.

So, while Donna was home in Brooklyn sautéing squash and listening to the DNC roll call (see blog 8/27/08) I lay there contemplating my predicament. My cell phone was in the house, the “real” phone was in the house. Might a neighbor stroll by? Fact: I live in a very quiet neighborhood without a lot of strollers-by. So I’m wondering how long it’s gonna take me to move or for help to come along. That’s when I was spurred into action by a big old black spider coming to check out what just landed in her web. YIKES!! Well, I had to get up then, because any creature that has more than four legs both creeps AND freaks me out. Donna says I have “bug-dar” because I can spot a critter 50ft away while I’m in the dark, in the middle of a conversation, watching movie, or, in this case, flat on my butt. So quick fast and in a hurry, I righted the wrought iron chair I had knocked over, put the cushions from the seat on the floor, and using the chair arms, got to my knees. And by some additional means I cannot actually recreate (unless there was another bug threat involved), somehow managed to elevate myself from the dirty, spider ridden (OK, I do get a little dramatic when spiders are involved) slab of cement and dragged me and my luggage inside.

It turns out nothing was broken, just sprained, swollen and hurting. Yep, klutz woman does it again. But heck it's been a year since I fell down the stairs at my friend’s house in Atlanta (see blog entry for 8/13/07) and 4 years since I actually needed an emergency room. And because I have so much experience with injury to my pedal extremities I am in possession of a stockpile of supplies. I keep ice packs in the freezer. My stash of Ace Bandages is more than adequate for the local touch football league. I own both crutches AND a cane. I even have an inflatable ankle air cast as well as a plastic leg cover meant to protect a real cast while showering. I also have become very adept at treatment options.

So I've spent most of the past week with my foot/ankle elevated and iced and POUTING—I find that pouting always helps! I'm OK. Actually got myself a ride (I was taking painkillers from a previous fall so driving was out) to my favorite restaurant for a Bacardi & Barack viewing party for the acceptance speech. Glad I could attend since it was an event I had suggested to the owners. I'm off heavy drugs now, relying solely on the analgesic properties of ibuprofen and trying to get back to work—we’ve got a new book to write!

DG—Fortunately, writing can be done sitting down!

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posted by DeBerry and Grant at 9:59 AM 1 comments links to this post

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Knocked Up: A Double Standard?

Knocked UP: A Double Standard?

So this Labor Day was pretty special for the Republican Vice Presidential nominee—she announced (in order to quell rumors) that she would become a grandmother—at 44 because her UNWED, TEENAGE daughter is with child. And the Neo-con, radical pro-life, evangelical right rallied to their (Sarah and Bristol) sides faster than they can say McCain. “We admire her.” “She is not perfect. Her family isn't perfect. But they are loving. And they get through it together." “How she handles her family life is not our business.” (These quotes are from various blogs about the Palin baby news.)

In an AOL online poll, 46% of responders felt that this news doesn’t change their opinion of Sarah Palin. Didn’t we all hear McCain touting what a great job she’d done with her family as one of her leading qualifications for being a heartbeat away from the Presidency? But we digress—back to the poll. 48% of the same responders said that this revelation (and that she used her influence as governor to try and get her former brother in law fired and once was a member of a group that wanted Alaska to secede from the US) indicated that McCain’s vetting of Palin was “good” to “excellent.”

Which says what? People don’t want to know what they don’t want to know? We would rather stick our fingers in our ears, close our eyes and plunge ahead led by whoever is in front of the pack? Isn’t that how we got where we are today—with the largest deficit in history? In the midst of an unwinnable war for oil we don’t have? With increasing high school drop out rates? Ranked #48 in life expectancy? The list could go on—and on... but we really want to get to our burning question:

We’re not paranoid or anything—but--- what would happen if it was Barack’s (or whoever the Democratic candidate was) 17 year old daughter who was pregnant out of wedlock.? Would the Republicans and right wing radio be on it like “white on rice” pun intended, or would they be as supportive, respectful, and understanding as they are being with Miss Palin and her family? We checked Rush Limbaugh’s site. What we found was a piece called “Sarah Palin: Babes, Guns and Jesus.” Truth is, if Chelsea Clinton turned up pregnant and unmarried, even now as an adult, Hilliary would have been royally roasted. What’s the deal?

For another interesting perspective check out Michael Moore’s (Sicko) most recent post on his website http://www.michaelmoore.com/.

We’d love to hear what you think...

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posted by DeBerry and Grant at 9:52 AM 10 comments links to this post

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