Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Sometimes one's culture is captured in a tiny anecdote that kind of makes you proud. Apparently the Space Station launched some spiders for science experiments. There were news reports of a missing spider, but not to worry:

"We're not missing a spider," space station flight director Holly Ridings assured reporters Monday, adding that — since it's NASA — there is a backup spider with his own designated area. "The way it was explained to me, he came out of his bedroom and may be into the living room of the house."

A backup spider. In his living room! That essentializes for me the improbable mix of mind boggling planning with childish delight that is American science.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

proved wrong

Thank goodness.

In 2004 I saw Obama at the Democratic Convention and was very impressed. I said peevishly to my husband, "He should have changed his name so he could have a run at President."

Like millions, including some high profile pols like the Clintons, I greatly underestimated Obama. Not only did Obama prevail, he did it on his terms, with authenticity, civility, grace, and calm.

Here are a few reflections on the election that captured its essence for me:

Peggy Noonan observed that in defeating Clinton, Obama "brought down a political machine without raising his voice."

Obama took a page from Howard Dean and cranked up his technology machine right away. John Dickerson in Slate wrote, "Obama inspired a host of new voters and young voters, who helped make him the first post-baby boomer president. They all call him Barack, and he responded by texting them on victory night: "All of this happened because of you. Thanks, Barack."

Barack, I love it.

Even my original home state of Ohio went for Obama. Thanks again Dean for the 50 state strategy! Here's one of my favorite images from the campaign.

(If you have not seen Midwestern barns, they are really big, and it must have taken a lot of work to paint the image.)

Monday, November 03, 2008

socialism is alive and well in the USA

I recently made a reservation at a hotel in San Diego to attend a conference. $179 a night. Not cheap.

I needed one more night. I called central reservations. They got me mixed up with another Bonnie and said the rate was $84. I said, "That must be another hotel." They said, no, same hotel. Then the clerk realized she had confused me with the other guest and said that wedding parties get a special rate.

OK, I can see a little bit of a discount for a group. But I am paying more than double what the wedding party is paying. How is that fair? And those reveling guests will probably make my business-oriented stay less enjoyable.

I don't know who's getting married, but I hope they appreciate my financial contribution to the nuptials :P