Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The choice really is Clinton or Obama

So John Edwards dropped out. Now the white men are faced with the same choice that all the pundits say black women face: A white woman or a black man? Do they vote their gender or vote their race?

Today I did advanced voting for the primary to be held next week on Super Tuesday. Not telling who I voted for, but I want one of them to be the next president!

First Daffodils of 2008

From underneath the red maple in the front yard.

From the side yard.

I guess my garden has not been totally destroyed by the drought.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Georgia Primary, coming up!

Georgia is one of the states in the Super Tuesday presidential primary. I have the option of doing advanced voting this week. I live about a mile away from one of the advanced voting locations and really, all the signs say I should do it this week and avoid the crush next week. Not that there's much risk of a long wait, since US voting rates are pretty low and even lower in the primaries.

What the stars don't tell me, however, is who to vote for. I've wavering between Clinton and Obama.

Clinton because I think her experience in the White House does count for a lot. Being a wife myself, I certainly hear a lot from Husband about his job and have acted as a sounding board at times. Plus she campaigned with and for him, for the governorship and for the presidencey. And even without those qualifications, she is smart, capable, and I agree with a lot of her politics.

On the other hand, I like Obama because he talks about the future, about moving forward -- a mindset that I really live by. Plus he's smart, capable, and I agree with a lot of his politics.

What to do, what to do?

Friday, January 25, 2008

35th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

January 22 marked the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade which made abortion legal in the US.

As mentioned in Wikipedia: The central holding of Roe v. Wade was that abortions are permissible for any reason a woman chooses, up until the "point at which the fetus becomes ‘viable,’ that is, potentially able to live outside the mother's womb, albeit with artificial aid. Viability is usually placed at about seven months (28 weeks) but may occur earlier, even at 24 weeks." The Court also held that abortion after viability must be available when needed to protect a woman's health, which the Court defined broadly in the companion case of Doe v. Bolton.

We need to remember that, even as there are efforts in this country to ban abortion again.

In Georgia, HR 536 proposes: an amendment to the Constitution so as to provide that the paramount right to life is vested in each human being from the moment of fertilization without regard to age, race, sex, health, function, or condition of dependency (emphasis my own).

My views are more along the lines of:
Against Abortion? - Don't Have One!
Someone You Know May Need a Choice
If You Can't Trust Me With a Choice How Can You Trust Me With a Child?
And most of all:
Be a Voice For Choice - Every Child a Wanted Child

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Obama or Clinton? Who says those are the only choices?

CNN posted a story about how black women have to chose between gender and race and apparently got inundated by e-mails.

My favorite quotes are:
"Since Edwards no longer officially exists, as a white male I face the same choice - either I vote my race (Clinton) or my gender (Obama). Or I could just pick the candidate based on who I think would be best,"

"The article itself shows black women have brains and actually choose candidates based on issues and not just gender or race, but CNN doesn't seem to give them that credit."


(CNN) -- Within minutes of posting a story on CNN's homepage called "Gender or race: Black women voters face tough choices in South Carolina," readers reacted quickly and angrily.

Readers want media to focus more on the candidates and how they feel about the issues not their gender or race.

Many took umbrage at the story's suggestion that black women voters face "a unique, and most unexpected dilemma" about voting their race or their gender.

CNN received dozens of e-mails shortly after posting the story, which focuses largely on conversations about Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama that a CNN reporter observed at a hair salon in South Carolina whose customers are predominantly African-American.

The story states: "For these women, a unique, and most unexpected dilemma, presents itself: Should they vote their race, or should they vote their gender?" Read the story

An e-mailer named Tiffany responded sarcastically: "Duh, I'm a black woman and here I am at the voting booth. Duh, since I'm illiterate I'll pull down the lever for someone. Hm... Well, he black so I may vote for him... oh wait she a woman I may vote for her... What Ise gon' do? Oh lordy!"

Tiffany urged CNN to "pull this racist crap off" the Web site and to stop calling Hillary the "top female candidate." "Stop calling Barack the "Black" candidate," she wrote.

Many readers were upset that the story did not delve beyond a cursory mention of the issues.

The article stated: "While race and gender play a role, most women here say they plan to vote based on the issues. They rank health care, education and the economy in order of importance."

The salon owner, Angela Jackson, a Clinton supporter, is quoted as saying: "They don't pay my bills. And they're not attached to my belly. Nobody is attached to my belly but me. They don't feed me, clothe me. I don't care what they think. ... She's a woman, I'm a woman."

A reader named Joan e-mailed: "Really CNN, is this how you view black women[?] Are you suggesting that white women are going to have it easier [?] How about issues? Should a black woman consider the candidates position on issues, or should we just stick to race and gender. Disgusting!"

Matt e-mailed, "The article itself shows black women have brains and actually choose candidates based on issues and not just gender or race, but CNN doesn't seem to give them that credit."

Others responding to the story wrote that they want CNN and other media to focus on the substance of the candidates' accomplishments and stances on issues, rather than their appearance.

"Since Edwards no longer officially exists, as a white male I face the same choice - either I vote my race (Clinton) or my gender (Obama). Or I could just pick the candidate based on who I think would be best," wrote Michael.

Another e-mailer, D.T., who describes herself as a young, white woman, said voters should choose the candidate best qualified to lead. "I'm sure there are plenty of black women who are Republican and could care less who the Dem leader will be," she said. "Close your eyes and look at who can fulfill the best to their promises."

Monday, January 21, 2008

Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2008

Went to the march downtown Atlanta today.

I had my choice of groups to march with: The Peace and Justice Group, Save Grady Hospital, or the Stop Family Violence group. I went with the third, though I had made plans with the second, and used a sign from the first group.

Yes, it was kind of a confusing beginning. First of all, I couldn't find any of those three groups. I stood on a corner of Peachtree Street near the Peachtree Center MARTA station. There was a woman holding a "Healthcare not Warfare" sign so I asked her where the Peace and Justice group was. Yes, it was really random, but who knows? She might have actually known. But she didn't. Still, we chatted and it turned out that she and her daughter volunteer with refugees and so I gave them my business card. Clearly, I need to get out of the house more often. First at Knit Night and now at the MLK march, I got some good networking done.

Eventually they found their group (the Unitarian Universalists, I think) and I walked north up the street. I figured I might meet up with some people I actually knew, and I did. I found the Stop Family Violence group. They were standing down one of the side streets. When the march comes by, we'll step out at the end and join it. This is the group waiting across from us:

It's the young men of Project Manhood at North Clayton High School. What's not shown are the Girl Scouts behind them. At one point the girls were doing jumping jacks (or should it be jumping jills?) to stay warm. Because it was around freezing and the girls were wearing skirts

The march was supposed to start at 1pm, but of course it didn't. The speechifying by the politicos apparently ran long. It was cold (right around freezing) and eventually I couldn't feel my toes. At 2pm, the march finally came by and here are pictures of the groups that passed us before we could join.

Yes, there actually are unions in Georgia, but not many.

Oh, look: it's the Save Grady Hospital group. I went over to say hey and then went back to the Stop Family Violence group:

Basically Grady Memorial Hospital is the public hospital, serving everyone regardless of ability to pay, and the only level one trauma center in northern Georgia. When victims get airlifted to a hospital, it's Grady they're taken to, not any of the dozen or so other hospitals in the Atlanta metro area. It's in financial trouble and no agreement about what to do to save it.

This was a group of Girl Scouts. Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of the kids dressed as the cookies.

There were signs for the other candidates, but I didn't take those pictures.

Then it was our turn to join and here are the pictures I took along the way.

Here's Youth Pride, and a sign for their hotline for LGBTQ youth:

In case you can't see, the sign says "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

It was interesting to walk down Peachtree Street and Auburn Avenue, roads I normally drive down. Walking gave me time to really look at the buildings and notice the new shops and restaurants moving in. Auburn Ave used to be the center of black culture and then it went into decline. Having the interstate built right over the middle certainly didn't help.

But now it looks like it has a chance of really making a comeback, with new shops and condos. With the housing downturn, though, I don't know what will happen.

The march ended at the MLK center. And here's a little something to counteract against all the uplift and hope of the march. The placard says "Jesus Lord of All or Hell Awaits You!" Nice, eh?

The tented platform is shown below for more speechifying, placed on Auburn Avenue, right between the MLK center run by the National Parks Service and the MLK center run by the King family. The 2 MLK centers are located across the street from each other and next to the old and new Ebenezer Baptist Churches, across the street from each other. By that time, it was 3pm and I was frozen and decided to go home.

I parked at the Inman Park-Reynoldstown MARTA stop,which is the next stop over from the MLK stop. My brain must have been frozen because I thought "it's only one stop from where I'm at now, I'll just walk there." It turned out to be a mile away.

However, like the walk down Auburn, I got to really see the shops and new condos built along DeKalb Avenue, instead of driving past at 55 miles an hour.

One place was Polly on the Avenue, a pottery studio that I've driven past for over 10 years. Today, Polly came out to walk her dog as I walked past and I finally had a chance to ask about it. It's Polly's pottery studio, where she makes items for art fairs and she supplies the sugar bowls at the Flying Biscuit, a local bakery. She's having a little open house party in February and she gave me an invitation.

So all in all, it was a great day. Not quite a day off, not quite a day on, (MLK Day is a day on, to volunteer at community events to make the "beloved community" better). But a good day, any way you look at it.

Friday, January 18, 2008

First time at Knit Night

As much knitting as I do, I actually doing it alone. But last night I went to a Knit Night for the first time.

It was at Knitch, my favorite yarn shop. I went, by myself, not knowing anyone and just sat down where I found space.

It was with a group of 4 women and as others have found, conversation veered from knitting, to beauty tips, to love lives, to politics. It seemed that people were Democrats and wavering between Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama.

As one person said, if Hilary was the Democratic nominee, she'd vote for her, but Barack was more appealing. Another person said that Barack Obama made her feel least sleazy after listening to them campaigning.

Not quite a ringing endorsement, but I think that's how politics are nowadays. We're all cynical and want to be inspired and believe, but also think that politicians will say anything to get elected.

Personally, I'm leaning toward Hilary Clinton and would love a ticket of Hilary Clinton and Bill Richardson.

I took one of those online campaign matching quizzes and got matched most with Mike Gravel and least with Fred Thompson. This was the first time I heard about Gravel. He hasn't been doing so well, getting about 0% in the caucuses and primaries.

For the first time, on February 5, Georgia will be having a primary. I better do some research.

In the course of chit chatting, we talked about what we do and where we work. It turned out that onee of the women had heard about my organization. I went prepared with business cards and newsletters so I got a little networking done too.

Knit Night was fun and I'll have to do it again sometime.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Breaking news

It's snowing in Atlanta!

I signed up for e-mail alerts from the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the local newspaper. I got this:

Breaking News: Snow sightings in Peachtree City, Sharpsburg. Line of snow will move into metro Atlanta for Wednesday evening commute

Snow began falling around Peachtree City and Sharpsburg Wednesday afternoon and the National Weather Service phones began ringing with reports of the frozen stuff.

* Copyright © 2008, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Came out of the office and this is what my car looked like.

After Wisconsin, this ain't nothing. Still it was fun to drive home with big fat flakes drifting down.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Not all Progressives are progressive

This weekend was the 2008 Georgia Progressive Summit. Yes Georgia is a red state, but there are pockets of blue. There are progressives in this state and this is the third time we've come together to find a common cause to get behind and to network.

The beginning was good. One speaker came up with a flip chart with his "Dirty Dozen" of issues that need to be addressed. Examples include energy independence, military withdrawal from Iraq, tax reform, access to health care, and the prison-industrial complex. I was so with him!

Then he made a sexist joke involving prostitutes, dresses, panties, and screwing to make his point about the US tax structure exploiting workers.

I was stunned.

I told the main organizer that I thought that speaker's comments were out of line. She agreed and said that she would speak with him about it. And she asked me to speak directly with him about it, so he knew it wasn't just coming from her but it was widely regarded as inappropriate.

Ironically, the next workshop I went to was presented by that speaker and it was about coalition building! This guy was going to tell us how to build coalitions across issue areas and he makes a sexist joke that alienates half the audience?!????

I was late for it because I and another guy got a bit lost finding the room. We got there just as we're going around the tables and introducing ourselves and our cause. I mentioned that I work for women's rights and I take exception for something he said this morning.

He was a bit surprised but that he hoped that there'd be opportunity for me to discuss it in the workshop and that his shoulders are broad so he can take it.

Well, there really wasn't any opportunity to talk about it in the workshop and I was going to just talk to him privately later. But towards the end, he turned to me and said Sister ______, what was it you took exception to?

I said I didn't think it was necessary or appropriate for him to use a sexist joke about a prostitute and her dress and panties to talk about how the US tax structure exploits the people. I said, as someone who wears dresses and panties, when you said that joke I identified with the prostitute being screwed and did not appreciate it.

He apologized for having offended me, it was not his intent. He was also defensive saying it was a woman who told him that joke in the 1970s. (Dude, get with the times! Yes, you're my elder and need to be respected. And need to keep learning yourself, too.) And that feminists need to be part of the movement.

What?!???? I said WE ARE part of the movement. He was so clueless and he's supposed to be a progressive?!????

He did also say that he realized that he still had work to do regarding sexism. And then he said I guess next time he tells that joke he should make sure that there aren't any women in the room.

I said there should be no next time! I was so mad, my face was hot.

Afterwards, the other guy who was late with me, came over and said that I should have talked to him privately, otherwise he was defensive. This guy was also older, white haired. He mentioned that that's just the way their generation was raised, but that each time he's held accountable, he does remember and tries to modify his behavior in the future.

I asked this guy to talk to the presenter then. If this guy thinks I was right to call out the speaker about the sexism, then he should back me up (and be a good ally and progressive) and say that to him too. Because the speaker (older man) will respect you (another older man), instead of me (younger woman).

We still have a long way to go.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Request from Sister

Sister left me a voice message, saying that everywhere she goes, she gets compliments on the sweater I made her. Again, it's made with Manos del Uruguay in Eclipse, using CosmicPluto's Top down Raglan Cardigan pattern.

She is requesting another one, but this time in a different color, longer and with a button band instead of ties.

Well, it'll have to go to the end of the line, behind:
  • earwarmer headband for Ba
  • hat for Ma
  • scarves for employees (thankfully I only have 4, and big needles make fast work)
  • Brother-in-Law's vest
  • Top down raglan cardi for me

Also ongoing

  • Husband's afghan
  • Brother Two's Chinese Coins afghan
  • my own Hazy Corners Malabrigo afghan
  • Lotus pillow

Sister'll get her sweater for her next birthday, in September.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Madison, WI trip report -- Part Four -- Hockey

Our last night in Madison, Husband and I went to see the UW Men's hockey play. It was only the second time ever that I've been to a hockey game.

By contrast, Sister's first date with her boyfriend was to a hockey game. Her boyfriend was trying to tell her what was going on, but she snapped that she knew what was going on, after all, she plays hockey. With men probably twice her size.

Anyway, here's a picture of the Kohl center, which we had to slog through slush to get to. The sidewalks weren't cleared, despite the city or university knowing that there would be many people trying to walk from the parking ramps to the Kohl center. My patience with the snow was wearing thin.

Once inside, it was nice and toasty warm. Look, they have art by Dale Chihuly, a former UW student and world renown glass artist. Love his stuff. First time I saw his art was in Taiwan years ago. Didn't know Chihuly was a UW alum until just now when I looked up the Kohl Center. Gotta love the internet.

Brother-in-Law had mentioned that the concessions sold beer, but we didn't see it. Surprisingly, we didn't go looking too hard.

I like this picture because you see 2 very Wisconsin Zambonis:

I came prepared with knitting. It's a strip of the sashing from Brother Two's afghan. Basically 20 rows of stockingnette, 20 rows of reverse stockingnette. Practically mindless.
My favorite part was watching the UW band and the students dancing in the student section. I'm not a sports fan and so didn't realize that there were dances for specific songs, like the arms moves for "YMCA." It was fun to watch an entire seating section moving en masse. Some songs I knew, like "Tequila" "On Wisconsin" and "When You've Said Wisconsin, You've Said it All" which Budweiser stole for a jingle (replace Wisconsin with Budweiser, and you might remember this).

I also heard one I didn't know -- "If You Want to be a Badger" which Husband said he learned in elementary school. The Wisconsin mascot is the badger. It was fun to see an entire student section doing these dances in unison. Again, gotta love the internet. You can find almost anything on YouTube. These videos were not taken by me, just to be clear.

During one of the breaks in between periods, some pee wee hockey was played. So very cute. Kids falling, running into and over each other. I could tell at least one was a girl. The long hair gave it away.

Yes, there was some actual hockey being played. There was a tie, and then overtime with no scoring and then double overtime with a shoot out. Wisconsin lost in the end. It was a fun time anyway.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Madison, WI trip report -- Part Three -- Why We Go

Madison is Husband's hometown. It's also where we met, during junior year of college.

It's been 14 years since I've lived there. When I did live there, I had friends and could walk down State Street and meet people I knew on almost every block.

However, they, like I, were not Madison natives, living there just for college and then leaving afterwards. Now, when we go, I don't know anyone in Madison. Everyone we interact with are Husband's family and friends.

It's interesting to compare and contrast Husband's background with my own. His mother has lived in her neighborhood for 40 years, and lived her entire life in Wisconsin. Certainly she's traveled around the US and to Europe and Taiwan (with Husband and me, but that's another story). And so Husband and his brother have known their neighbors for 30+ years. The only people I have known that long are my own parents and siblings.

During Christmas week, for about 20 years now, Husband's family and three other neighbor families do a progressive dinner. Cocktails at one home, dinner at another home, everyone contributing. It's a lovely tradition that I really enjoy. And now there are three generations, as the kids from Husband's generation have gotten married and had kids.

Of the 4 families involved in the progressive dinner, 3 have only 2 offspring, for example, Husband and his brother, and one has 4 offspring. Of the families that have only 2 kids, in each family, one kid has moved away (Atlanta, Boulder, Chicago) and one has stayed in Madison. The family with 4 kids have only one kid at home and the rest have moved away.

I find this interesting because I grew up living a rather peripatetic life. That is, we moved around a lot. I was born in Missouri, moved to Baltimore while still an infant. Lived in Baltimore for 10 years, but in at least 2 different neighborhoods. Then moved to Houston for 5 years where I finished elementary school, went through junior high, and started high school. Then sophomore year we moved to Taiwan where I finished high school in a bilingual school. Went to college in Wisconsin, and now I live in Georgia where I've lived in at least 3 different neighborhoods.

That's six states (okay Taiwan isn't a state, but it's smaller than Massachusetts) in 37 years.
Contrast that with Husband living in 2 states in 37 years.

I like the thought of providing my future hypothetical children with that kind of stability. But I also appreciate the experience of living in different places, regions and different cultures (each region of the US definitely has it's own culture). This relative rootlessness has made me focus on the present and the future, because you can't go home again. And even if you do go back, that place isn't the same as when you left it. It's continued to change and grow without you because it's a living entity shaped by the people who are there now.

This is an issue for some of the refugees and immigrants I work with. Their image of their home country and original culture is frozen in time, at the moment of when they left. In an effort to "preserve their culture" in a new country and new culture, some immigrants become more conservative and old fashioned that they would have been in their home country.

But that country and culture continues to evolve, shaped by the people, politics, and economy that are still there. And so when the immigrants to back to visit, they are sometimes dismayed to find that their home country is different and that they themselves are viewed as old fashioned and out of step in some ways and Americanized in other ways. Because even as they try to resist changing, they have been living the in the US and have had to adapt their behaviors and thinking in response to their American home.

Complaining Employee was a great example. She used to disdain Iranian-Americans for their habits of drinking bottled water. But last time she went to visit, she found herself being cautious only had Iranian clothes from 5 years ago when she left. And her cellphone was hopelessly out of date because it didn't have this or that feature that everyone in Iran now takes for granted.

It's rather ironic that Iran, supposedly a backward and oppressive Muslim theocracy, was looking at this Americanized Iranian as being the one who was conservative in some

So the saying that you can never go home again is certainly true. And it's something everyone has to learn on their own through their own experience.

Madison is where I lived one phase of my life and my home now is Atlanta. Because this is where I live my daily life. And have my house, where I keep my yarn and pottery :).

Husband and I visit Madison. Husband and I live in Atlanta.

New Year, New Hair

No "before" picture, but it looked basically like this, but black:
Now it looks like this:
I think I lost 5 pounds just from the cut. I definitely lost 6 or 7 inches of hair.
This is not the first time that I went from long hair to short in a single cut. The first time I did it, some of the other people were a little dismayed that I was having so much cut off.
However, long hair takes work. And it hangs heavy on my neck and I always want to pull it up and off.
Last night Husband and I went to a party and I curled my hair to make it look all nice and full of body, like in the fashion and hair magazines. That took half an hour and a lot of heat and product. By the end of the night I was playing with my hair, wishing I had twisted it up and out of the way.
So today, I went in to Great Clips and said "Cut it off. Make it short in the back, slightly longer in the front, and bangs. Here's a picture." which I had cut from a hair magazine.
Now I feel so much lighter and freer.

Friday, January 4, 2008


Starting January 13, Masterpiece Theater on PBS will show all of Jane Austen's novels. They're all new movies, except for Pride and Prejudice, which is the one that made Colin Firth a heart throb.

Check it out here

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Madison, WI trip report -- Knitting Interlude

For the holidays, I got a gift certificate from Mother-in-Law for Lakeside Fibers.

The day after Xmas, MIL and Sister-in-Law (Husband's Brother's Wife) had a girls' day out, having lunch and shopping on State Street and finishing with a trip to Lakeside Fibers. Neither MIL nor SIL knit so I appreciated their patience.
I could easily spend at least an hour looking at everything, touching things. They have Manos del Uruguay in silk! I didn't know MdU came in silk. I was quite tempted by the silk, including a skein of lace weight silk in Chocolate Covered Cherry, over 1000 yards, in exactly the amount of the gift certificate.

In the end, I bought 3 skeins of Sheep Shop Yarns' Sheep Number Two (chunky weight, 90 yds) in color number EO43. On the Sheep Shop website, it looks more like color number G123. (Correction -- it's G043)

I wanted to knit it up right then and there. When I got back to Atlanta, I did play around with it last night and knitted up this little swatch on US 11 needles. Just a few rows of garter stitch in black, then 4 rows or so of stockingnette stitch of the Sheep Shop yarn, and then another few rows of garter stitch.

Here's the front. I really like the little dashes where the yarns change rows.

And here's the back: Both sides look pretty good.

Don't know what I'm going to do with it, but having swatched it, played with it, I can go back to knitting my current projects.

Giving into temptation isn't always bad!

Madison, WI trip report -- Part Two -- Why we don't live there anymore

There are many reasons we no longer live in Madison. First of all, Madison's the home of the state capitol and the flagship university, the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The town is overflowing with well-educated liberal arts majors, lawyers, and liberal social activists. It certainly doesn't need 2 more.

Secondly, it's Husband's hometown and he went to the UW for undergraduate. After 20+ years, he was ready to try living somewhere else.

But most of all, this is why we no longer live in Wisconsin:

That's Husband struggling through the snow on State Street, a pedestrian only street that links the University of Wisconsin campus to the state capitol. You'd think the city would keep it well plowed.

When we go to Madison, we stay with Husband's Mother. Her house, which she bought about 20 years ago, before Husband's accident, has steps to the front door, like most houses in this country. Therefore, to get into the house, Husband has to use this ramp in the back yard:

Notice the 6 inches of snow on the railing. Mother-in-Law (MIL) has to shovel the snow twice a day. People slipping and falling on the ice underneath the snow is pretty common. It's certainly happened to me many times.

Snow falling hard, reducing visibility. This is the approach on John Nolan Drive, about to go under the overpass connecting the Monona Terrace on the left with the rest of the city on the right. The Monona Terrace was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, Wisconsin native.

It certainly helps to have one of these snowblowers

Here's Husband getting into the car. This parking lot, near Wonders Bar, was not plowed. All the snow in the space between the handrims and the wheels soak through Husband's gloves, making his hands cold, numb, and stiff. That makes it harder for him to grip the rims, and getting through snow and slush gets progressively harder, not easier.

Also, to get the casters (the small front wheels) clear of the snow and slush, Husband has to pop a wheelie and balance on the big rear tires. As you can imagine, slipping and falling over backwards is not uncommon. Our last night there, we were walking back to the car after the hockey game and that's what happened. Husband's head knocked into my knees and I nearly went down too. Fortunately passers-by helped him back into his chair while I held it steady.

But that was the last freaking straw. We had been in Madison 5 days by then. The cold and slush and difficult going was getting on my nerves already and I was so freaking ready to go home to Atlanta where getting around doesn't require 5 layers of clothes, doesn't require half an hour of snow shoveling to get to the car and then get the car out of the snow, and doesn't leave a trail of melting dirty snow everywhere you go.

But, life in the great white North isn't all bad. You can go sledding, like these people.

Or you can go ice fishing like these people on Lake Monona. Here's a close up

And a view from the shore:

When we got back to Atlanta, it was in the 50s, a full 30 degrees warmer than what we left in Wisconsin.

And, that's why we no longer live in Madison.