Category Archives: World News

Election Hangover

It’s the day after the election, and as much as I feel I should avoid the subject of politics altogether, there’s a part of me that thinks if I have a blog that strives to be even remotely “with it”, a few thoughts on the matter wouldn’t hurt. So here goes. (And if you’re expecting me to rant and rave about this and that all Donald Trump style, you’ve come to the wrong place. Perhaps check out your Facebook news feed. There’s bound to be someone willing to step up and offend you.)

As I look back on these painful months of presidential campaigning, then the flurry of excitement (mostly for this sh*t to be over) on election day, followed by a lot of nasty comments and verbal lashings on Facebook today — I’m feeling what I can only describe as a head-splitting hangover from this entire road to Decision 2012. But I have to admit that as much crap as this election has brought us, there have been a few historic firsts for me in my 10 years of being eligible to vote.

For the first time in the 10 years that I’ve known Mikey, we voted differently. I don’t think this is that big of a deal to Mikey, but it is to me. The two of us come from similar backgrounds, share the same religion, side with each other when it comes to moral issues and overall, agree on almost everything. So the fact that we chose different paths was surprising — in a good way. It made me realize that even though he and I are “one”, I am still very much my own person. And so is he. I like it that way, and I hope it never changes.

For the first time, I voted based on the candidate I hated less. Okay, “hate” is too strong of a word. But you know, exaggeration is the key to any great story. So go with it. I won’t go too deep on this one for fear of sounding like another overly outspoken schmuck, but our choice of candidates this year left much to be desired. (That’s putting it lightly.) I wish I had more confidence going to the polls yesterday. And although the act of voting felt empowering, my choice for president didn’t feel that way. Sadly, I know this feeling is bound to come up again in election years to come. I just hope that at least once in my lifetime I can side with a candidate who I honestly, fervently and wholeheartedly support — and supports me in the same way.

For the first time, I was so confused as to who to vote for that I actually consulted The Bear. This is how he responded.

Yeah Teddy, I know. That’s the look of skepticism I wear whenever a politician steps up to the podium.

For the first time, I actually felt more disappointment in the people I call friends (on Facebook) than the outcome of the election. You know that sickening feeling you have when you’re hungover? That’s what it felt like to scroll through Facebook today and see how much bashing, name-calling and pure lunacy covered every inch of my news feed. As much as we’ve all been looking forward to the end of this election season, I thought today would be the day where we could all rejoice that it’s over. At least one obstacle is behind us. If anything, today has been the ugliest. But if I have to take something good away from all the negativity I’ve perused today, it would be that everyone’s opinion — whether I agree with it or not — is a sign that people care. They invested time and thought into this whole process, and that matters. Because not everyone in this world has the freedom to care or weigh in or share their concerns. And I’m grateful that we do.

To end things on a lighter note, now that November 6th has passed, I am thrilled, overjoyed, ecstatic and utterly delighted to report that I have not received a single phone call asking me who I plan to vote for. And damn, it feels good.

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Still Remembering

There are some people that say we should all just move on from September 11th. There are some people that refuse to watch the news whenever this day comes around. They don’t want to spend their time reliving that day and agonizing over it.

It’s interesting how people deal with this day in different ways.

Last year, September 11th took place on a Sunday. I was home for most of that day, watching all the news coverage of children, 10 years older, who had lost parents at the World Trade Center and stories of firefighters who had saved lives only to lose their own when the towers came tumbling down.

I was an emotional wreck through most of it all of it. It was me unshowered in my PJ’s with a kleenex box and a bunch of sopped-up crumples of tissue surrounding me. Not my most attractive moment for sure. But that’s how I deal on September 11th. It’s a time to reflect; not forget. Because I know that no matter how crazy I am to drive myself to tears every time one of those stories comes on the air, nothing will ever be as crazy as the chaos those victims suffered or endured during those attacks. Maybe it’s my little way of feeling some teeny tiny inkling of what those people — our people — felt that day. And if anything, I think the last thing we can do is shove their memory under a rug. A little disrespectful, if you ask me.

Today is September 11, 2012. A Tuesday. So luckily for the people I work with, I showered and got dressed today. (You’re welcome.) But no matter what day it is or how many years down the road we’ll be from September 11, 2001, it will always be relevant. It will always be remembered. It will always be a living, present thing that reminds me of what we stand for and the ever-present risk of people who have, can and will threaten to take that away.

And as the clock ticks away on September 11, 2012, I hope you’re remembering too.

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St. Louis: City on Top of the World

For the past few weeks, we’ve been doing a whole lot of this:

Watching the St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers battle it out in the World Series. And I’m proud to say that the Cards came out victorious!

While those outside of the St. Louis area and Missouri may believe that baseball season is over, it’s not. The streets of the Lou today will tell you, the party isn’t over. Its been an all-day celebration, starting with a parade downtown. Now Busch Stadium is packed to the max with fans celebrating Friday night’s big win over the Texas Rangers. And outside of the stadium, people are clamoring for a glimpse of the happenings inside.

It seems to me that the city that has received all too much press about being the most dangerous city in the country, and is often criticized for lacking creativity and innovation, is a city on top of the world right now. If you thought the Lou was lackluster and uninspiring, these past few days of baseball heaven will make you eat your words.

I’m not a die-hard baseball fan. Those of you who know me know I prefer Blues hockey to baseball. (See why here.) But I am a fan of St. Louis and absolutely love to see people show their pride for it. And because of that, I admire any sports team or organization or person or thing that lifts the city up and portrays it in a positive light.

The sports teams here are a prime example. They support each other. The Blues were heavily tweeting their support for the Cards during game 6 of the World Series. And today, the Cards made a stop into the Edward Jones Dome to show their support for the Rams. And guess what… A few hours later, the Rams won their first game of the season against the New Orleans Saints.

So as St. Louis starts to sober up over the next few days (maybe weeks, depending on how down you got downtown), I hope St. Louisans remember what it is that makes this town so great. Because if you ask me, Cardinals baseball only scratches the surface.

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Remember

The solemn pride…

that must be yours…

to have laid so costly a sacrifice…

upon the altar of freedom.

Ten years after September 11, 2001…

freedom still rings.

Photos from top to bottom: 1) Punch Bowl Cemetery, Hawaii, 2007, 2) Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, 2007, 3) Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, 2010, 4) Chicago, 2010, 5) Blue Angels flying over Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, 2010

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What a difference a decade makes

I usually try to avoid all subjects involving war, religion, politics and the like. I prefer to stay on topic about things that actually make me smile — not make my blood boil. But the death of Osama bin Laden this week is a topic that just can’t be avoided. An event so significant in this day and age that if you didn’t feel anything at all, people might question your sanity. Suffice it to say, I felt a lot. But it was less of a rant or a rave. (Okay, well maybe it was a few rants and a few raves with Mikey while doing the dishes in the privacy of my own home.) But it was more of a reflection of how much has changed in the past ten years since September 11, 2001. A few examples:

I will never look at quart-size Ziploc bags again.  No longer do we buy these Ziploc bags for food storage, my friends. Their sole purpose in our household is for business travel when I have to strategically pack my 3-oz toiletry bottles into a quart-size Ziploc bag and then into an easily accessible location of my suitcase. This is not a complaint. It’s the reality of what quart-size Ziploc bags have come to represent. Ask me what the purpose of a quart-size Ziploc bag was 10 years ago, and I would’ve told you it was a mechanism for storing strawberries.

Any movie from the 1990s or earlier that features the Twin Towers becomes an instant gut-wrencher. It’s a sinking feeling to see the World Trade Center on a TV screen from back in the day. I think there are a couple episodes of Sex & the City that catch a glimpse of the towers. And a movie I watched most recently, Remember Me, took a surprising twist that ended at the site of the Twin Towers. I won’t go into detail and give the ending away, but the movie was depressing to begin with and even more depressing when coupled with scenes at the WTC. (Sorry, Twilight fans, even Robert Pattison’s hunk status couldn’t escape the melancholy vibe.)

Terrorism became real at the age of 17 and is alive and well at the age of 26.  9/11 happened when I was a senior in high school. I remember sitting in Mrs. Hoerner’s first period psychology class when the second plane crashed into the World Trade Center. At first, I didn’t understand the severity of what had happened. But as the day wore on, the news reports kept worsening. Our teachers walked away from their lesson plans, and every class felt like a counseling session. Terrorism — a word I was so vaguely familiar with, a concept I never thought would hit so close to home — was the vocabulary word of the day. It continues to be today.

Pride is bursting at the seams for my military brat status.  My dad served in the U.S. Air Force for 22 years. And that only scratches the surface of my family’s military history. Growing up, I was not a huge fan of the constant relocating from one Air Force base to another. But now, I understand that always being the new girl at school has taught me well, made me resilient and completely adaptable to any situation. In fact, I am so proud of my military bratness that I often consider putting it on my resume.

That pride for being a military brat has swelled considerably since 9/11. Seeing news reports and watching movies about lives lost in Iraq and Afghanistan triggers a different kind of sorrow when I think about what the military has done for my family. And likewise, there was a different kind of appreciation and feeling of triumph that was triggered when the most notorious face of terrorism was taken down by our military this week.

One of many photos of me and Mikey, boasting our American pride. Here we are at Punch Bowl Cemetery, during our 2007 vacation to Hawaii. A number of World War II veterans are buried here.

In closing (wow, this is probably the most formal blog post I’ve ever written), I apologize if this post was not up your alley. These are touchy subjects and a little off-topic from what I usually blog about. But like I said, it’s a newsworthy piece that’s too much of an impact to ignore. I promise more lighthearted posts are on the way.

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