Tuesday, February 26, 2008

My Resolution's Journey

When I was a college sprout in Denton, Texas, the County Party there used to pass around forms that you could fill in with any resolutions that you wanted voted on at your precinct caucus during primary years. Then the ones approved at the individual precincts would be sent on to the County Convention and so on...state, national....the ones that made it all the way would become Planks in the Democratic Party Platform. Gave me the shivers.

When I moved back to Nueces County after graduate school in Austin and a primary was approaching, I asked the County Chair for a form and he said just to write it up. I did and gave it to him, but I missed the precinct convention due to the recent birth of the Lone Star Girl and never really saw how it all worked out. At subsequent primaries, I never got my act together enough to hunt down the County Chair or anything, but I did take my little resolution with me to the caucus. I noticed that the precinct packets had some resolutions in them, though - like there were some going out to all the precincts that we voted on, too - mine was always the only one we voted on besides those.

This time I decided to try to get mine in the packet.

On my way home from work this evening, I stopped at the County Democratic HQ with resolution in hand. I wasn't sure they'd be open - it was after 6pm and local Party officials are all volunteers and I didn't know if they kept any sort of regular hours. The light was on, so I went inside. A woman was sitting amongst piles and piles of stuff, talking to a man, and I realized that they must be in a flurry of organizing so close to Election Day - eek. She looked up at me.

"I have a resolution, "I said shyly. "I didn't know if this was the place to bring it...to get it sent out to the precincts...?"

"Yes," she said. "At the very last possible moment, too. I'll take care of it." She took my paper from me and I saw that stacked in front of her on the table were the precinct packets in manila envelopes. She half turned to the copier behind her as I thanked her and I realized...she was going to make copies of my resolution and stuff them into the envelopes...just like that. Democracy....just like that.

Here is a copy of the text of the resolution that I keep submitting, with minor tweaks, year after year:

Because we value the work of caregivers and know that the nation cannot be productive without them, and…

Because we know that for too long the productivity of our nation has rested on the backs of the unpaid caregivers, mainly women, who care for children and the aging and family members with disabilities to their own considerable expense…

And because children and other vulnerable members of our society deserve high quality care that does not compromise the security or future of their caregivers…

We hereby embrace a policy of valuing caregiving as equal to other forms of work in this nation and supporting it through the following reforms:

1. Adding unpaid household labor to the Gross Domestic Product,
2. Equalizing Social Security credits for spouses,
3. Offering work-related social insurance programs for all workers, whether they work in the workforce or as unpaid caregivers,
4. Providing child allowances for all families so that children are adequately supported
5. Providing free health coverage for all children and their primary caregivers
6. Making high-quality, government subsidized daycare, available to all families.

(Democracy...just like that.)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Do The Texas Two-Step: One More Reason To Love Obama

We are getting an average of three campaign calls daily, I would say, and my informal observation puts them at two to one in favor of the Obama campaign - way to rock it, people!

Today, I found an Obama flier in my mailbox that truly warmed my heart. It said "Do The Texas Two-Step", and went on to explain how one needs to vote (Step One) and then go to your local precinct caucus at 7pm on election night (Step Two!). It explains how a third of the delegates are chosen at the caucuses and, while it did not go on to explain how the Party Platform planks are also agreed upon there, I am still way impressed.

It has been sort of a thing for me, since I was active in the Young Democrats in my college days, that so few Americans understand the importance of participating in their local precinct caucuses and conventions. These few minutes are where the democracy happens and if you are not there, you are giving up your voice. I am so proud of my candidate for explaining this to voters!

I am a happy Obama Mama.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

I Voted!

The Lone Star Baby and I stopped at Half-Price Books today to cast my ballot early for Obama! Lone Star Pa also went to vote early today.

The Candidates Woo Us

South Texas is certainly getting more attention from the primary candidates than it usually does. Hillary Clinton came to neighboring Robstown recently. It was during the school day and my school took a bus load of students but not me, which sort of upset me except that it turned out that they weren't able to get in due to the crowds. The kids were disappointed.

Barack Obama came here to Corpus yesterday. The details of when weren't released until the last minute and I was sort of hoping most of the week that I would be allowed to take a bus load of kids, but it turned out that he was speaking at 4:30, and school ends at 4, so no go. 4:30 wasn't a time I'd be able to make without taking off work, which I certainly can't afford to do any more of after recent events, so this Obama Mama (my sister gave me this phrase) stayed home. I got to catch his speech on the news, though, and see friends in the audience, which was cool.

Lone Star Pa was taking the Lone Star Girl to the Girl Scouts' World Thinking Day event (our troop represented France) from 6pm to 8pm last night. I found out that ex-President Clinton was supposed to talk here at 9pm at Hillary's campaign HQ, and, since they are both Hillary supporters, I suggested that they go after the Girl Scout event. Lone Star Pa was excited. I would kind of have liked to go, but it seemed a little wrong when I don't plan to vote for Senator Clinton, even though I still like her and will work my ass off for her in the general election if she gets the nomination. Still. And I expected it would be too crazy to take the Lone Star Baby to anyway, so she and I had a pleasant evening at home.

Lone Star Pa and the Lone Star Girl got home right after 10pm, saying they had waited a long time, but had not been able to get in due to crowds. Lone Star Pa said that they left because it was starting to get kind of rough, with pushing and stuff. Good call. He said he saw an ambulance heading over as they drove away.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

And more

My stepdad came to spend a couple of days this week also, arriving while the Lone Star Girl and I were on the road Tuesday and leaving Thursday afternoon. He couldn't come for a weekend so we didn't get to see much of him, but it was nice to get to see him at least some and he got to spend some time with Jazz and with the Lone Star Baby, who adored him. He put a gravel and sand floor in the playhouse he built for the Lone Star Girl years back so that the mud won't be a problem for the Lone Star Baby. She is really loving it. He scrubbed junk off of my toilet and stove that I had never been able to get off, even the time my dad hired a house-cleaner for my birthday one year. And this was his vacation.

My stepdad is an impressive guy. He is the only impressive stepdad I know about, as it happens - most are not only not impressive, but are definitely shitheads. Sorry, but I've been working with kids a long time and that is just The Truth. If, God forbid, anything ever happened to Lone Star Pa, I would not marry again until the kids were grown at least - it is not a safe bet, in my book. Thank God for the exceptions and that I was lucky enough to get one. My stepdad rocks. It was great to get to see him.

The Lone Star Baby enjoyed preparing Dora valentines with M&Ms for her class. She is totally jacked up on candy. Still. The Lone Star Girl navigated her first middle school Valentine's Day with no drama - what more can we ask? I took tiny chocolate hearts to my classes and received a surprising amount of candy from my students - they act like they hate me most of the time.

Thirteen Years

Time marches on, though. Tuesday was also the 13th anniversary of our marriage. Thirteen years sound like a long time, doesn't it? It still doesn't seem possible that it has been that long, although, in many ways, Lone Star Pa has grown into a totally different man than he was...or maybe just into a man instead of the boy he still was at 26. We were probably the couple who would have been voted most likely to divorce if young adults voted on such things, both because of our stormy temperaments and because of some serious things we weathered in the first year of our marriage...but here we are. Most of our friends who met as coeds, as we did, and then married are now divorced...a sad thing for us all...but I cannot imagine life without Lone Star Pa.

Sometimes I still wonder what sort of marriage we will have when the children are grown as our marriage is definitely very centered around them...but, sadly, I think the world is changing into something that may necessitate our maintaining a strong home base for them and our grandchildren forever, if possible, so it may not be an issue. And, of course, there are some important things about our marriage that we share when the children are elsewhere...but I understand that those things can also be a bit fleeting, even if they do not seem so now...it is nice to be a woman of a certain age.

I do not pretend to know what the future will bring, but our marriage has made it soundly past the challenges I truly feared and I am content in it. I love Lone Star Pa and look forward to the next 13 years, and then the next 13, etc.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


My grandfather died early, early on February fifth, which is why I've been missing from the web, etc. I took off from work on Tuesday to be with my family, on Friday for the funeral and yesterday to drive six hours to his burial and then six back so I could get to work today. I'm tired and sad...mostly for the end of such a presence in so many lives, and how lost so many people will feel without him as an anchor. My Grandad was the patriarch of our crazy, enormous, confusing family...we Boones are brilliant and difficult and full of love and intensity...we are something. He was the embodiment of the whole idea of Boone. He had eight children (more or less), 15 or 16 or maybe 17 grandchildren, my two girls, the great-grandchildren...and about a bajillion unofficially adopted kids and grandkids. He worked as an engineer, an oilman, a real estate agent and a crab plant owner, among other things...and could do literally anything. I never knew anyone as brilliant, although a couple of my young uncles come close.

My Grandad had suffered from heart disease my whole life. He had a quadruple bypass when I was 14, which popped before he left the hospital, close to 20 angioplasties, an experimental heart procedure which helped him a lot but wasn't approved because it killed everyone else they tried it on, lung cancer, brain cancer, diabetes and a few little strokes, probably. I had come to believe that he wasn't really going to die until recently, that soon the government would figure this out and start studying us...I still don't know why they weren't studying him. All of that and he lived to be eighty.

My Grandad was the patriarch in our family...I never knew such a man as he was...so rich in experiences and relationships. He was as kind as kind could be to me and my kids, and as loving, but I was aware that he was capable of being altogether different, as well...that he was the sort who would protect his family by any means. The sort of men I have chosen to know as an adult are a safer and more predictable and gentle sort of breed...they are more my speed...but it is easy to see them as pale, pasty shells of men next to someone like my Grandad. I am lucky to have known someone so rich with life, and very lucky to have been loved by him.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Lone Star Ma Official Primary Endorsement

Lone Star Ma is endorsing, and I am voting, for Obama. I was on the fence a bit - leaning towards Edwards as I think he has the most consistent populist voting record, but also considering the less specific-about-poverty Obama, as I thought he had a better chance of becoming President. Now that Edwards has dropped out, I am voting for Obama. I would be happy enough to have Clinton as President as well, but I think she would be less likely than Obama to get crossover votes in the general election. Both candidates are strong on family issues, as was Edwards.

Have you made your choice?