Sunday, August 31, 2008

Apparently Governor Palin Makes Bad Decisions

And I'm not even talking about the banana clip that she was wearing when she was announced as the VP candidate. Who would wear one of those for any reason, not to mention the most important day of her political life? Apparently it is a ploy to attract the soccer moms -- women who have not felt attractive since the 80s when banana clips were acceptable to wear to, ahem, the Sadie Hawkins Dance.

But I digress from the real reason I hesitate to applaud the Republican choice in this case. Reader, she flew while she was in labor. More specifically, she flew from Texas to Alaska, all the while leaking amniotic fluid. In fact, she did not inform the flight crew that she was far along in her pregnancy. Worse, she didn't go to the hospital right away after she landed. Instead, she drove to her home town so that the baby could be born there. How did she get into this predicament in the first place? She was at an energy conference in Texas and scheduled to give a speech. She did not want to miss giving the speech. Um, your water is breaking and you elect to give a speech rather than get your laboring self to a hospital? Um, you choose to speak in front of people while leaking amniotic fluid?

Does the fact pattern suggest that we want her a heartbeat away from the presidency?

Frankly, I am skeptical of the rumor that she wasn't even pregnant in the first place, and that the baby is really her 16 year old daughter's baby. The evidence is too circumstantial, and besides, it just seems so tabloidy. Take this skepticism as you wish. I didn't believe that there was any sort of problem in the marriage of the prince and princess of Wales until the very day that they announced their separation.

I am more appalled by the idea that she would do to her unborn child what the Republicans did to New Orleans -- postponing help and refusing to acknowledge the extremity of the situation. Reader, Governor Palin is pro-life. Here I am, pro-choice and so shocked by her behavior in the face of a high risk (she's 44 -- any pregnancy in a woman over 35 is considered high risk) delivery that I can't even pick my chin off the floor. It seems to me that her actions are saying that it is wrong to terminate a pregnancy, but it is right to endanger yourself and your unborn child by misrepresenting your condition to a flight crew of a commercial airline and not seeking medical attention immediately?

But that's not all. Even if you think it's okay that she behaved as she did in regard to herself and her unborn child, what about her responsibility to her living family? She had minor children. Shouldn't she have acted with more concern for her health at least for their sakes?

I am hoping that you see as clearly as I do the danger in having her in such a high elected office. If her poor judgment extends from matters of personal health and family welfare to matters of leadership, we are really in trouble.

She does seem to be better spoken than Dan Quayle, but it looks like the GOP is going in that direction again.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

President Clinton Put His Arm Around Me

It's true. President Clinton put his arm around me.

Several months ago Calderoj was asked by somebody who knew somebody who knew somebody if his company would do a web site for the Clinton/Gore Reunion at the DNC. He said yes, of course, and the perks turned out to be tickets, admittance to the VIP room, and a picture with Bill Clinton.

The party was at Coors Field on Wednesday night after President Clinton addressed the convention. Calderoj and I attended with his business partner and his girlfriend, the lovely KT. There were a lot of people there whom I did not recognize because of my decade-long television hiatus, but Calderoj spotted them immediately. Joe Lockhart was one of them.

Apparently the organizers were very happy with their web site, because they made sure we got right in to the VIP room. When President Clinton came in, he was like a creature from another world. The crowd parted, and his white crown of hair looked like a halo -- I am not kidding -- this was the affect.

We waited in the receiving line. I don't know why other people were there. They must also have been donors to the event. When he got to us, we were introduced as "the people who did the web site." This introduction embarrassed me slightly because, technically, I'm just the girlfriend of the guy who employs the guy who did the web site.

We shook hands with the presdient and then he said, "Well, let's take a picture." Reader, when President Clinton takes a picture with you, he puts his arm around you. So Calderoj and his partner were to the president's right, and KT and I were to his left. It was so cool. Check back on Jennikissedme in a week or so to see the picture.

After the picture we were so excited that we interfered slightly with the Secret Service. We kind of got in between them and the president for a few seconds. They were very gracious about it, though. Nobody was wrestled to the floor or anything.

Later, when the president worked the crowd at the party, it was like watching a rock star. People just crowded around him. He kept moving, of course. If he didn't he would never have gotten out of there. But as long as he was there, the crowd looked like this slow-moving hurricane, with President Clinton as the eye, and the people who ran the country in the 90s swirling around him.

Chelsea Clinton was there, too. Hillary was not; the president explained that she had found it necessary to retire for the evening. She was wearing what I think was a Phillip Lim dress with large, gold polka-dots on a blue field. She looked great.

I was wearing a blue charmeuse Narciso Rodriguez sheath, Steve Madden peep-toe booties, and carrying my Alexander Wang clutch.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Two Operas

We were in Santa Fe for a few days last month to see the opera. Specifically, we saw two operas, Benjamin Britten's Billy Budd, and a 21st century opera called Adriana Matter. They were both well-staged, sung, and acted, of course. Santa Fe doesn't do anything half way.

I liked Billy Budd, but was not wowed by it. After seeing Paul Bunyan a few years ago at Central City, I was expecting more. Paul Bunyan was brilliant -- its American themes captured so perfectly (an accountant going to Hollywood to be an accountant there? Of course!). Billy Budd, not so much. Perhaps the two Britons who created the piece -- both incredible talents -- Britten himself and E.M. Forster (imagine my surprise) -- were just not ready for an American novel yet. There was much more emphasis on duty and honor than there was on the struggle between good and evil.

Adriana Matter was a masterpiece. I had chosen it because Peter Sellars was directing, and I felt I couldn't go through life without seeing one of his productions. Beyond Mr. Sellars' excellent staging, Adriana Matter had everything you could ever want in an opera: war, rape, deceit, the possibility of patricide, atonality.

But the best part of this opera was not anything that a human could engineer. The evening was typical for Santa Fe in July -- wet and cold. For this reason I really don't like the outdoor venue in Santa Fe. Indeed, I wouldn't attend the opera there if it didn't stage really good, new, and interesting stuff. But just after we were seated for the second act, when the singers came out into a set built to indicate a war-ravaged city, the fog began to roll in over the stage. The mood it created was both dark and thrilling. I have never experienced anything like it.

To Billy Budd I wore my gray, Grecian dress by Lanvin with Steve Madden open-toed booties in neutral suede. To Adriana Matter I wore my brown Rick Owens rocker dress with Tara Subkoff suede open-toed, wedge sandals with ankle ties, and a Stella McCartney oversized sweater coat. I carried my cobalt-blue Alexander Wang clutch both nights.

Peter Sellars wore a red kimono top over black pajama pants.


So. About a year ago, Calderoj and I were driving down I-76 toward Brighton. I don't know what we were talking about, but it might have been a recent Supreme Court decision, or even it could have been me sharing about one of my greatest regrets in life (we were a new couple then) -- not having bought the Supreme Court paper dolls I saw at Waldenbooks back in 1993.* Anyway, I just remember saying, "Being a Supreme Court justice would be the best job in the world." After all, what could be better than thinking and arguing about ideas all day long and then writing about them? What could be better than having a direct affect on people by turning theory into praxis?

Calderoj said, "You like reading huge amounts of really dry, complex material?" He didn't know me then.

I responded, "I went to grad school for English because I like literary theory."

This was enough for Calderoj. "Why not go to law school, then?"

Dear Reader, it was as if the Angel Gabriel had possessed Calderoj; for Calderoj's suggestion sounded to me like a message from the Almighty. In fact, it was at that very moment that the idea of being a lawyer began to grow in me.

Indeed, why not? The LSAT? The expense? The time? My non-traditional age? My current career? All of that is bosh -- excuses not to shift into another shape -- excuses not to see another true incarnation of myself.

Dear Reader, this moment was momentous. I do not remember what I wore that day.

With Calderoj's help I did nicely on the LSAT, found the money, remembered that when Mozart was my age he was dead for two years so I'm living on borrowed time anyway, and figured out a way to teach high school and study law concurrently.

All of this means that in addition to all of the things that I already am -- teacher, doggie mommy, girlfriend, daughter, sister, friend, fashionista, aristocrat of taste, Pilates enthusiast -- I am also going to be a lawyer.

*Another of my great life regrets is not having bought Vivienne Tam's Mao skirt when it was in the Neiman Marcus catalogue back in the mid-90s. I am sure I could get these items on eBay, but then how could I savor the regret the way regret is meant to be savored?

Monday, August 4, 2008

With the Nation's Premier Style Arbiter Behind Them, How Could They Not Win?

Andre Leon Talley is a Vogue editor and stylist who makes it his mission to advise up and coming African American public figures on style. There has been speculation in the press that he is advising Michelle Obama. He is not. In fact, he gave her what, in the fashion world, is equivalent to an endorsement of her husband's candidacy. He said, "[L]et me go on record saying that I have never, ever given her any advice on what to wear. To put the record straight, I think that Michelle Obama does not need advice."

Dear Reader, the day that Andre Leon Talley says this about me is the day I go to fashionista heaven. There is just no greater compliment regarding one's sartorial choices. True, Michelle Obama was just added to the International Best Dressed List, but this list is widely known as a sort of popularity contest, as in "who looks good enough to be seen boarding your private jet." (By including Michelle Obama and not Cindy McCain, Vanity Fair itself endorsed Barack Obama). ALT's compliment is the real thing.