It’s at this point in the day — Kate off to school, me still unshowered — that I pause to recheck the calendar and figure out everything I have to do in the next eight hours or so. Today the answer is: Oy. A lot. As much as I’d like to stay here on the couch, chin in hand, looking pensively at the fall color outside the window, alas I cannot. So I’m giving myself until the end of my current cup of coffee to get something up, and that’ll just have to do, my little cupcakes.
It isn’t helping that the sky is darkening by noticeable degrees as I write. The streetlights just came on, which means a downpour is moments away. I hope the adult supervisors released Kate from her morning safety-patrol station early; I’d hate for her to walk the remaining two blocks in wet shoes. (Yes, my daughter is in the safety patrol. She sought out the sign-up sheet on her own. I’m thinking it may portend a career in law enforcement, in which case I plan to be one of those old ladies who smokes pot on the sun porch of the nursing home, “for my glaucoma,” just to drive her insane.)
The rain is the result of winter approaching. Tomorrow it’ll be 20 degrees colder and by Friday, when the American League playoffs come to town, the forecasters say we may see a few snow flurries. I wonder if that’ll take the starch out of the A’s, who are probably unused to snow flurries on a baseball field. We shall see. I maintain no opinion on the outcome of the series, other than a generic, “Go, us.” It’s fun to be in a baseball town at playoff time, though; everyone’s in caps with the Olde English D and there’s a certain merriment in the air. If you’re fortunate enough to live in a Sunbelt state or somewhere that property values are rising, well, you live in a different place. It’s glum here in the Mitten, where the economic gloom and doom is nearly apocalyptic. A house down the street with the same square footage as ours just sold for $60K less than we paid not even two years ago. Families are swallowing hard and making tough decisions: Ride it out or cut and run? Fall is always a little melancholy, but this is something new.
So I guess I’m saying we could use a World Series run right about now, if not for distraction than just because it’s nice to get a little good news in the morning paper.
The WashPost has a story on the Ohio governor’s race, where, surprise surprise, “the culture wars are being eclipsed as a voting issue by economic worries.” Well, it’s about goddamn time. The Republic nominee, Kenneth Blackwell, is running in part on the usual mixed grill of “values voter” issues — abortion and, especially, keepin’ fags from marryin’ up. Buckeye voters are saying that stuff doesn’t matter, not this year, and it gives me hope for the future of not only my native state, but all the rest except possibly Florida and Texas, which are lost causes anyway. I’m neither the first nor the last to point out that these are ultimately the most cynical of issues, a Red Scare for the new millennium. We have bigger fish to fry. Or, put another way, when families are wondering if they even can even afford fish to fry, all the rest is just static.
My friend Jennifer Brunner is running for Blackwell’s old seat, Ohio Secretary of State, the one he disgraced with the 2004 Ohio election debacle. Here’s hoping it’s a landslide.
Coffee’s gone. The shower awaits, and the day’s sprint.