Women in Politics

This comes to you from Susan Otcenas as she muses on what her mother taught her.

When I was a child, I was raised to believe women could do and be whatever they wanted. My mom went to college and became a chemist when I was in middle school. It seemed a given that my sisters and I would go to college. And we did. We started businesses; one a restaurant, another an exercise physiology practice, and me an apparel company. Of the 4 of us, only 2 had children.

In short, it seemed to me that our generation (we are aged 44-57) could have limitless possibilities. We wouldn’t be bound by traditions and expectations about what women should be or do, or how we should present ourselves. And it seemed to me unthinkable that despite evidence to the contrary, women would be elected to the highest offices in the country, as they have been in nearly every other first world democracy. It was just a matter of time.

And yet, here we are. I’m 50 years old and a woman has held neither the presidency nor the vice presidency. Arguably the brightest, most experienced, well-spoken, best prepared and most thoughtful candidate has now been forced out of the race. And our “choice” in the next election will come down to voting for a straight white male septuagenarian (the shouting magical thinker with a weak ticker or the bumbling stumbling handsy guy with a weak mind) over the demented immoral incompetent straight white male septuagenarian currently occupying the space.

And so, at 50 years old, I’ve resigned myself to what I’ve known in my heart all along; we women have been sold a lie. And that too many of our “sisters” are complicit in perpetuating the status quo. Apparently strong, smart capable women will be allowed only so much leeway before we tear them down for being too strong, too smart, too capable. Elizabeth Warren’s story is one that every strong smart capable woman understands. How hard it is to maintain a balance and a public demeanor that doesn’t appear too “overbearing”, too “strident”, too “bossy”, while still needing to get (and getting) shit done.

I’m tired. And discouraged.

Consider this before you cast your next vote.

About Time – Copyright

It now takes 95 years for copyrights to expire. That means music from 1924 is now freed up. You can listen to and do what you want with works from then. Consider this piece, a very familiar piece.

As a treat, this version is a remixed version of the oh so familiar Rhapsody in Blue. The original version here. There are some differences to what you’ve heard. Visit the version on YouTube to read about them.

For more items released from copyright coverage, visit Open Culture. They’ve got information on other movies, novels, plays, and other creative works. Or consider Wikipedia pages for more literature, music, film and artworks published in 1924.


Out niece Lucy was visiting (between Boston and Milan, a different story) and she offered to take us out to breakfast. But where? We decided to go to Hawthorne, park, and walk until we settled upon a place. Jennifer had thought of The Hazel Room, but was open to other places. While walking along we saw and was tempted by a place. A place that was a favorite twenty years ago. A place we had not been into in more than a decade. Why not go there? Relive a bit of our old lives?

Because it’s gone downhill. Masivly so. Terribly so. Wonder how they can still stay open. Wonder how they can charge $2.75 for coffee. And we wonder how long they can stay open. We wonder if the founder is still involved with it. And if she’s ashamed of herself.

If you find youself on Hawthone Blvd in Portland, visit The Hazel Room. The place we should have gone to.

Thank God … Later

There’s a story. About a, well was it a writer? a painter? Whatever, he couldn’t work. At all, just no ideas at all. He’d sit down and … nothing. Finally after his long dry spell he had an idea. Not just any idea. It was a fantastic idea. He could see how it works out all the way. The idea was so fantastic he was overwhelmed. He sunk to his knees to thank God for the inspiration. He said his thanful paryers. He got up to got to work on the idea. And realized he’d forgotton it.

God will wait. Get your idea written down so you won’t forget. God will wait.

I’m not saying I had a fantastic idea. But I did have ideas. Hopefully I’ll have them again.

Where Did I Go?

I looked back at the day and asked, where did I go?
And I remembered, the YouTube videos when one lead to another and another and there were hours.
And I remembered. the mention of a presidential candidate from two people from very different parts of my life. And I started to really look at his policies.
There was a day, watching and reading and not taking notes but I do learn a bit. A bit.

I tend to get interested in something and stay there until I kinda sorta understand it. That’s where I went. But it’s not someplace where I go on a plan. Something grabs my attention and until that curiosity itch is scratched I’m there, looking, reading, lost in the “what about …” questions and answers.

That’s where I go.

Crickets Sleeping

I’m waiting for tonight and we’ll make a fire and sit outside enjoying the summer sounds

Me, yesterday

When do crickets go to sleep

In the nights, in August
we have the sounds of crickets
telling us the temperature they say

In the morning, while still dark it is silent
they, the crickets, have gone to sleep
I’ve tried to stay up and listen for them to sleep
going silent bit by bit

but I can’t
they are there when I sleep and gone when I awake
even early, at 3:00
when do they stop, and go to sleep

Question Your Route

Why take I5 home from Salem? Why take a freeway?

There are other great routes between Salem and Portland. This view is from a walk. We’d just used the ferry to cross the Willamette River. While waiting we watched a cement truck use the ferry for the same route. We also watched ospreys in their nest. Later we passed through hop fields, filbert tree groves, and a field of hemp, not marijuana according to the sign. This was a fine set of views.

Wheatland Ferry, Oregon