Thursday, June 21, 2007

To All the Umbrellas in My Life

I rarely write about music, although music plays a big part in my life (as I'm sure it does in most people's lives, except my darling husband, whose brain can't really process rhythmic things, but that's for another post). In any case, I've become sort of entranced by Rihanna's hit song "Umbrella," and not only because I saw her last year at Mix-Fest and the poor thing had a terrible cold or flu but performed gamely anyway.

People (as in music critics) are calling this the "song of the summer," but what's really interesting about it is that, unlike most "summer songs," it's not upbeat, really, though it's hopeful:
Now that it's raining more than ever
Know that we still have each other
You can stand under my umbrella
You can stand under my umbrella
When she says "it's raining more than ever" she's not talking about the good days, she's talking about helping her loved one through the rough times.

I like to think that's what a good relationship, marriage--heck, even parenting--is about. Being the umbrella. I've got your back, babe. The ones I've seen go wrong (marriages, friendships)--you could see it coming. One person didn't have the other's back. No one was willing to be the umbrella. It's a two-way street, but not always at the same time--you have to take turns holding back the rain.

I think this song has been on my mind because of a few things: I just celebrated my 23rd anniversary to the man who's always been my umbrella. My brother has moved back home to Virginia to help out our mom, who's had some health problems lately (and, I'll add, my mom has been the umbrella to many, many people in this life). I just got back in touch with an old friend, which reminds me yet again that we need friends as well as family to shelter us.

And now that I've written this, maybe I can get the song out of my head for a while. But I kind of doubt it.

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Friday, June 15, 2007

When Will the Nuttiness End?

First, it was crazed chihuahuas in Florida--now, fearsome squirrels in Berlin. Fortunately, the rampage ended when plucky retiree Guenther Mittelbaum put a stop to it with his crutch.

This brings back painful (yet hysterically funny) memories for my family: My husband was brutally stalked last year on the Boston Common by a pack of squirrels determined to get his Au Bon Pain cinnamon roll. One even jumped on his shoulder in an effort to nab some carby goodness. Can't a person snack safely anymore? And where was the old guy with the crutch when we needed him?

(And check out this bit of weirdness from the UK's most wonderful website, Metro--don't miss the gun-wielding rodent at the bottom of the page.)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Doing the (Civil) Right(s) Thing in Massachusetts

I am truly proud to be a citizen of this great commonwealth today. Thanks to the legislators who agreed with so many of us that civil rights are for everyone, and thanks to all of my fellow Bay Staters who voted those legislators into office. Note, too, that this was based on a true vote, not on any special delaying tactics--this was the real deal.

Aside from the wonderful facts of the matter, this is a relief in another way: People can get back to living their lives without the specter of a year or more worth of out-of-state hate-mongering, trying to sway our good-hearted people. (And I do believe most of our citizens are good-hearted.) I've heard the hate at the State House (mostly from classic "outside agitators") and the thought of being subjected to that until the election was unbearable.

So--thanks. From my heart.

(A quick shout-out to everyone at MassEquality and my honey, The BSG, AKA Big Straight Guy, who worked so hard for this. Way to go!)

Photo courtesy of

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

For Lexingtonians, VOTE TODAY!!!

Today is the big one--will we maintain our great schools and have decent facilities for our town employees or will we choke?

Let me make a suggestion--don't choke. Vote YES today! Polls are open now. Go--vote YES.