Saturday, January 12, 2008


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Owen's Diner


There's a little cute diner in Chapel Hill called Owen's 501 Diner. It's located on the 501 highway. We point it out to our Owen as we drive by. And, a few weeks ago we all went there for lunch. Now our Owen calls it "my diner." Every time we pass by it he says, "Mom, I want to go to my diner."

Some people think diners are greasy spoons. As America evolves into a place with a Subway franchise (28678 Restaurants In 86 Countries) in every strip mall, unique places like diners are few and far between. Give me a diner any day over the usual sprawl. To me, a diner is a welcome sight. You don't know what you miss until they're gone.

Recently, I was surprised to see the Englewood Diner in a movie scene. The diner used to be located in my neighborhood in Dorchester, Mass. When I worked at a local community newspaper, I used to sell ads to the owner of the diner. It was adorable. I used to visit it a couple times a year. The movie was featured in The Road to Perdition with Tom Hanks, Jude Law, and Paul Newman. While listening to the director's commentary, I was interested to learn that the Englewood Diner had been purchased on EBay for $20,000.

So, when I get a bit homesick, I can pop in the Perdition DVD and remember my favorite diner. It is nice to see the Englewood Diner forever captured on film, but I'd rather be able to have their home-made corn beef hash and poached eggs.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

What is a Democrat to do?

What is a liberal, white, working class female Democrat to do?

Of course, any Democrat would be better than the current occupant of the White House. I would be delighted with Obama, thrilled with Hillary, and pleased with Edwards. It's fabulous to have three terrific top candidates. But, you have to pick one. It is a hard decision. Especially for someone like me.

Obama is very smart. I admire him. I would be so proud if America elected a black man President. I do wonder if his style has enough substance. Does it?

I read his memoir of his childhood. It was very moving. He has youth on his side. He could run again in four, eight, or twelve years. How wise is he?

Hillary is amazing. She is a woman. It's high time we have a woman. That could be reason enough for me, but there is so much more. She survived the Republican scourge and humiliating scandals. Clearly she is brave, and smart. She has wisdom. She has Bill.

A first lady normally concerns herself with writing books about dogs, or wearing nice clothes. Hillary tried to fix our health care system.

Edwards is a local. We live in the same town. As Tip O'Neill said, "All politics is local." He is a self made man. He is a champion for the working class and poor. He much like Al Gore was robbed last time.

Spoilt for choice for President?

Since today is the New Hampshire Primary, I'm getting excited about the race. One of my sisters lives in New Hampshire and we frequently compare notes. She is not very politically active, but she does vote. She has been called repeatedly for weeks. She has been invited to many political events. On the other hand, I have not been contacted by anyone.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Iowa do us proud

Why the fate of this nation is to be decided upon by some, um, yahoos in cornfields is beyond me. Why does one state get to decide? It's just like hanging chads or the electoral college. Our country is diluting the power of the voters to actually decide.

And, we wonder why people don't bother to vote. I see people more interested in American Idol than the election. Maybe it's because they actually believe that their individual votes count.

Now, I do vote, and don't watch American Idol. So maybe I'm the exception?

All I'm asking is that you Iowans to do the right thing. I ask that you do us proud and remedy the sickness we've been under. And, I'll try to stop calling you yahoos.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Phone home

I'm not much of a phone person. I used to be, but it seems to have evaporated like my ability to congugate Latin verbs. It's not quite as bad as going to the dentist(a whole other aversion), but it's rare. So, if you are lucky enough to get a phone call from me, be grateful and kind. I probably had to talk myself into it and then push myself to do it. I blame e-mail and the internet, but it is really me.

It's been a very cold day with actual flurries. We were all delighted. Everyone left the office to look at the snow. It didn't stick but still snow is so rare an event that it stops the normal routine. It's now very cold (23 degrees!) and we're finally digging out our winter clothes.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year to all

First, we want to wish our friends and family a very Happy New Year. 2008 is going to be a great year. I'm sure of it.

We had quiet holidays spending time with the kids and resting. We snuck in some work too. We caught up with a stuff in the house. Since Bob is self-employed he has lots of trouble slowing down.

Bob worked too much and we squabbled about it. The kids alternated between being very demanding or becoming zombies by television. We rented DVDs and tried to fit in some time outside when it wasn't raining. We limit them to 1/2 hour or less a day with more on the weekends. It's just not feasible on a very wet long winter break.

We did more cooking and eating than usual. We made some treats and some traditions. We made Latkes to instill the tradition even though neither of my kids like them. We made cookies and brownies--big surprise--they do like them. I made a few experimental journeys in the kitchen. Thanks to Cooks Illustrated, I learned how to make French Onion Soup from scratch and Almost No-Knead Bread. The soup was amazing and I will make it again. The bread was still too much fuss for me. Since bakeries with good bread abound, it is better to leave bread to the professionals.

We caught up on some reading and crafting. The kids did some painting with watercolors and of course I knit. I'm catching up on several projects and trying to resist starting new ones. Even so, I started a simple Aran vest for Owen. I'm nearly done with the back. And, Zoe is really enjoying the Harry Potter books. She is deep into book five.

Bob & I celebrated the anniversary of our marriage in style with two kids in tow at a local fish restaurant. No, it was not romantic, but at least we were together. We will have many more with just the two of us. Our kids will have their own agendas. For now it's the awesome foursome.

Of course there were some missing things, first we missed all of you. And, we wished for snow. Even though we desperately need the rain here, we were sad that it didn't snow.