September 4th, 2008

i fight fire with words

last night's RNC: negativity

Paul Begala on CNN American Morning this morning. Kiran or whomever was introducing him commented that he'd said he likes the negative, and asked him what he thought of Palin's speech. He said he likes the negative, not the sarcasm. He said you want people to like you and that sarcasm comes out of "arrogance" and "superiority."

He said he liked the stuff that sounded like it was written by her -- the self-deprecation, the pit bull line, etc. -- but that the campaign had admitted most of it was written by Pres. Bush's speechwriter and written before they even had a nominee.

I felt like the GOP speeches were all really negative. I liked Huckabee's for the most part, Romney's was okay, really didn't like Giuliani's, and wasn't a huge fan of Palin's (and I had gone into this expecting/hoping to really like/be impressed by her speech).

In thinking about last night's RNC, I keep coming back to the negativity. One can argue that the DNC's theme of hope and change and inspiration was a lot of empty rhetoric (and hey, I laughed at Palin's "studio lot" quip), but it was uplifting. The RNC speeches were so much about attacking their opponent (and yeah, it was weird to me that Palin kept saying "our opponent" rather than actually naming Obama or the Democractic Party or whatever), and even leaving aside the issue of how much of that was actually factually accurate, it just felt like too much. I'd rather vote FOR someone than AGAINST someone else.

The small business owners etc. who were on before the big names talked about why they were supporting John McCain/the Republican Party, and while I wasn't paying much attention to them at the time, looking back on the night, theirs was the portion I felt more positively toward.

I feel like I'm forever arguing the other side (whatever that might happen to be at any given moment), but even trying to see it from the perspective of the target audiences, I have difficulty getting past the incessant negativity and attacking.
professional me, self

growing up, or something

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Yesterday, Maria said, "i'm so proud of you for going to the gym so consistantly! could you do a post sometime soon on how your body's feeling now versus how it felt a year ago?"

I wish I could tell you a nice inspirational story, but honestly I feel mostly the same.  I felt fine to begin with, so this isn't a bad thing.  I know I'm doing more both in my cardio workout and in my strength training workout than I did when I first started, and psychologically I like that knowledge, but I don't notice a difference in my everyday life.


When my parents helped me move, my mom brought their health care proxy paperwork for me to sign.  Yesterday, my copies of the proxy documents and Living Wills arrived in the mail.

From her letter:
We both have Massachusetts Health Care Proxy, documents appointing each other as our health care proxy.  If we are not available to service, you two are the "alternate appointment."  You are listed as equals so whoever is available and willing can serve.  This allows you to speak for us in a medical situation -- so you can give permission for surgery, etc.

George asked, "what if we disagree?"  We also have a Living Will, which gives you some guidance and legal ground in a "pull the plug" kind of situation.  Still, there are a lot of gray areas, and I suspect the list will only grow long with time.  While I suspect you would tend to agree on treatments, George's question is certainly a good one so I thought I'd give you my non-binding thoughts.  Because of the Living Will, you will also be able to stop treatment.  Given that, and given that you have to live with your choices and with each other, I would suggest that if you find yourself in a situation where the choice is irreversible, that you choose the one that buys you time.  For example, if I needed immediate surgery or I would die, and it was a situation where you disagreed, allow the surgery.  If I continued to decline after surgery, you could make a different choice at the next point.  And if you had to choose between immediate surgery or death and you agreed that death was kinder, please know that you would have my blessing.  Such choices are often not easy ones.  There are so many situations where neither you nor the doctors are going to know how it will turn out.  Pray, seek medical opinions, and trust yourselves.
It's a bit of a weird feeling to actually see this in black-and-white with such real thought for the future.  My parents are both very healthy and come from long-lived stock, so we certainly don't anticipate having to use any of this for many years, but still.  My mom closed the letter, "Consider yourselves informed and fully launched adults," and it definitely does feel like an additional step along that (long) path of adulthood.