Tuesday, November 30, 2004

It's All About Being in the Right Place

Published November 24, 2004, in The Baytown Sun

Philip Morris USA is inundating us with more of its brilliant epiphanies.

The other day on TV, the tobacco company issued the following gem: “There is no safe cigarette.”

Thank you for enlightening us, Philip Morris! I, for some reason, had been under the impression that cigarettes were completely safe. I had been up to eight packs a day. But now that your commercial has made me a better-educated consumer, I’m quitting immediately. Thanks again for the heads up.

Here’s another bombshell, this time from the Methodist Hospital Corporation. Smoking isn’t safe — even when it’s being done at a hospital. I’m still reeling from the shock. To combat this problem, the corporation is implementing a tobacco-free policy at four of its area hospitals.

Our very own San Jacinto Methodist will become smoke-free on Jan. 31. The new policy will do away with one smoking area adjacent to the hospital cafeteria and one-employee-designated smoking area. All tobacco products will be forbidden on hospital premises.

I’ve been a patient at San Jacinto Methodist, and while being ill or giving birth can cause enough stress to drive one to take up some kind of vice, I can’t see why smoking would be one of them. Hospitals are full of wonderful drugs. With all the painkillers and tranquilizers available, I just plain didn’t need tobacco or nicotine. Why destroy your lungs when you can enjoy a nice, comfy morphine buzz?

At the same time, however, I believe the smoking ban is doing a disservice to smokers who work, visit or undergo treatment at the hospital. Think about it. If you are poisoning your body with something that increases your risk of myeloid leukemia, heart disease and emphysema, as well as cancer of the lungs, oral cavity, nasal cavities, larnyx, pharnyx, esophagus, stomach, liver, pancreas, kidney, bladder and uterine cervix, wouldn’t you want to be at a hospital?

Now these people will be forced to smoke in their own homes, and they’ll have to drive all the way to the hospital when their lungs fall out or their esophaguses (or is it esophagi?) explode.

This reminds me of the philosophy my dad had when he was teaching my brother and me to drive. He would take us to practice on the little roads in the local cemetery. That way, if anything happened, “we’d be in the right place.”

So if smokers could have their own little space at or near a hospital, and their health began to go south, they’d at least be in the right place.

On a semi-related note, the place to have a medical emergency these days — at least if you’re a rock ‘n’ roll fan — is New York City. Why? David Lee Roth, former lead singer of Van Halen, is training to become a paramedic there. Just the other day he saved the life of a heart attack victim in the Bronx using a defibrillator.

I am intrigued by the thought of coming to after a car accident or something and staring into the face of the guy who once graced a poster that my dad made me remove from my bedroom wall when I was in eighth grade.

I guess as far as my dad was concerned, there was no safe rock star.

Deana Nall’s column appears every Wednesday. Her email address is

No Woman is an Island...

...unless a storm knocks out her phone line and she can't access the Internet for a week-and-a-half. So here I am at the city library, trying to keep a studious look on my face so the kid I kicked off the computer will think I am working on something terribly important. I also have deadlines looming. This definitely has the potential to drive me to a Ritalin addiction, ala "Desperate Housewives." It's just my luck that I don't know any hyperactive kids.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Simply the Breast

I know I tend to fixate on all things breastfeeding, but I must share what happened to me today. For the first time in my entire breastfeeding career (I'm three months into Round Two), I was asked to relocate while I was feeding my child. I had started in the cafeteria at Julia's school, because Jenna woke up and had to eat right then. Then kindergarten lunch was over and the 2nd graders started filing in so I thought I should pack up and finish elsewhere. I could have gone home to do it, but I had errands to run and didn't want to go home again. So I moved to the office where I sat in a corner with the stroller right in front of me and covered up with a blanket. The principal (a woman) came out and asked me to move to her office. "It doesn't offend me, but it does offend some people," she said. "And some of the kids aren't used to it." Then she added "I was always one of the ones hiding in the bathroom so no one would get upset." Hiding? And in a bathroom?? Who wants to eat in a bathroom -- no matter how old they are?

So I complied and found myself sitting in the principal's office like I had gotten in trouble for breastfeeding. I could have caused a scene but my daughter is just in kindergarten so I will be dealing with these people for a long time. Plus they all know me as "that woman who writes for the newspaper." So when Jenna was done, I left without further incident. Although I was tempted to Xerox the part of my body in question and leave it on the principal's desk.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Bouncing Checks in Bounce fabric softener. Today I was taking laundry out of the dryer and found an entire checkbook. Not just one check folded up in someone's pocket, but the whole checkbook -- washed and dried. Chad had a good laugh. Turns out he was the one who put the load in the washer. "That's what I call laundering money," he said. It could have been worse. Have I mentioned all the ink pens we have washed and dried and all the clothes we've ruined as a result?

So I go to have lunch with Julia today and they have a tornado "drill." I put that in quotes because they were trying to make the kids think it was a drill when there was actually a tornado headed towards Baytown. Then they let the kids come back in to the cafeteria but then they had them leave again. "They're doing this a lot for just a drill, aren't they, Mom?" Julia says. I'm in a hallway with 100 kindergarteners trying to figure out if Jenna would be safer in my arms or in her carseat if the roof gets torn off of the place. Then they let us go back to the cafeteria. The danger had apparently passed. Reminded me of the time in Abilene when Julia was about a year old and I had to rush from Highland to Rainbow School in the middle of a tornado. This huge, dark green cloud was rolling across Abilene. My goal was to get Julia and get her home -- about four blocks from Rainbow School, but I didn't make it. When I got there it was already hailing and the teachers were putting the babies in playpens in an interior room. Everything turned out OK, but young mothers don't need this.

Finley Has Big Lesson to Learn

Originally printed in The Baytown Sun on Nov. 17, 2004.

I discovered something disturbing last week. Jim Finley, one of my fellow Sun columnists, is not well.

I’ll get to that in a minute. First I want to talk about the excursion Jim and I took through the hallowed halls of Travis Elementary last Tuesday.

Our mission was to talk to the fourth-grade classes, which are led by the fearless foursome of Mrs. Pohr, Mrs. Bennett, Mrs. Russell and Mrs. Abonza, about careers in writing. Our visit was the idea of fifth-grader Isaiah Hinojosa, an avid reader of The Baytown Sun. Isaiah is also a prolific (there’s your word for the week, fourth-graders!) writer, having penned stories and poems. I expect to see his name in a byline in the not-too-distant future.

Jim and I were both honored to have this opportunity. Writing has always been one of my favorite things to do and talk about — since I was younger than these fourth-graders. I told the kids, who were exceptional listeners, by the way, about the power of words. You can use words to make pictures, make people laugh, and even to make history.

“If you can write well, you can do anything well,” I said, passing on the words of one of my college professors.

Then it was Jim’s turn. He intrigued the class with stories about his lengthy newspaper career as a sportswriter, managing editor and columnist.

It was during Jim’s talk that he made the startling revelation that led me to doubt the state of his well being.

“I’m 15 columns ahead,” he told the kids.

Excuse me? As I sat with my jaw on the carpet, I thought about all the Tuesday mornings I’ve sat at my computer, bargaining with God about what I would do for him if he would just please give me a column idea. For the next day’s paper.

And the Big Guy has always come through. Just not without some stress on my part. It’s not that I tend to procrastinate. (Although anyone who knew me in college knows I have a history of that. I’ll tell you about it sometime. Maybe tomorrow.)

In fact, I have been as many as two columns ahead before, but that was the pre-childbirth Deana, also known as The Deana That Was. Ever since Aug. 26, finding more than a few seconds to park myself in front of the computer is a rare accomplishment. Babies who take seven-minute naps tend to cause a plethora (there’s another one, fourth-graders!) of unfinished projects around the house.

Now I know Jim is retired and his children have been out of diapers for quite some time. So he has more time to write. But writing 15 columns ahead just isn’t healthy. It’s a cry for help.

The solution to Jim’s problem is clear. He needs to learn how to goof off. He needs to sit on the couch and watch nothing but soaps and court shows for an entire day. He needs to spend several hours sitting in the food court at San Jacinto Mall, eating Superman ice cream from Kaleidoscoops while staring off into space. He needs to take ridiculously long naps.

If he follows my plan, I’m sure he will see the utter lunacy of having 15 unpublished columns and learn to chill out. Then he’ll be on the road to recovery.

And keep an eye out for these Travis fourth-graders. I predict they’ll have Jim and me out of a job one day.

Deana Nall’s column appears every Wednesday. Her email address is

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Eleanor Rigby

I named this post "Eleanor Rigby" because it's a bit depressing and "Eleanor Rigby" is the most depressing song I know.

I saw Tommy again this morning at the parents' breakfast at Travis. Every time I see him and the girls, it feels like my heart drops like a rock into my stomach. We had a nice conversation. When they were leaving, Tommy called out across the room to me, "Have a nice Thanksgiving!" Out of habit, I called back, "You, too!" Seemingly innocent, but what a stupid thing to say to a man and his children who are about to go through their first holidays without their wife and mother. Jennifer was one of those moms who made holidays extra special -- she thrived on that kind of thing. I can't imagine what the next couple of months will be like for them.

Ah...look at all the lonely people.

God, in your own good time, please send Tommy a wife.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Move Over, Jane Russell

So I wake up this morning feeling like a milk truck was parked on my chest and I realized Jenna had slept through the night! Granted, her night didn't start until midnight, and it was over at 6:30, but it was cause for excitement. It was also cause for engorgement city. She ate, and we both felt better.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Who Am I

A whole lot of youth ministry is fun. We get to hang out with teens, which I think are extremely insightful, interesting people. (I hate when older folks start complaining about "kids these days..." Chances are they don't know any.) But when youth ministry isn't fun, it can be gut-wrenching. "Ministry is messy," a friend told us when we were faced with a pregnant teen (one not in our youth group -- this was at camp) wanting an abortion. This was just a few weeks after my second miscarriage and very hard for me to deal with personally. Ministry isn't something you leave at the office. It's with you all the time.

But I've learned something about God here -- about the way he gets us through things. For me, God tends to comfort me through songs on the radio. They don't even have to be Christian songs. Sometimes I'l be agonizing over something and I'll turn on the radio and the song playing is exactly what I needed to hear.

I'm reminded of this because last night we saw Casting Crowns in concert. They opened up for Steven Curtis Chapman at the Toyota Center. A couple of months ago, Chad and I were finishing up lunch on a Sunday afternoon when we got a call that the long-time boyfriend (4 years) of one of our seniors had been killed in a car accident the night before. In the car on the way to her house, my head was swimming with shock. What could we possibly say to her to offer her any comfort at all? The tragedy was unthinkable -- and for a 17-year-old to have to process it?

Then "Who Am I" by Casting Crowns came on the radio. It's about how we are so insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but God takes care of us anyway because we are his children. It's easy to forget in those moments of shock and grief that he's still there, and that song is what I needed to remind me. And every time I've heard it since, I think "Rachael is going to be OK." Last night at the concert, Rachael was there and when the song started, I told her "This song makes me think of you." She said "It does me, too!" Then she took my hand and we stood there through the song -- two people who God has sustained and is sustaining through similar losses. (Rachael knows that I was devastated by the death of my own high school sweetheart years ago. )I love how God works. I'll post the lyrics to the song here. I love you, Rachael! You are such an inspiration to me.

Who Am I

Who am I, that the Lord of all the earth
Would care to know my name
Would care to feel my hurt
Who am I, that the Bright and Morning Star
Would choose to light the way
For my ever wandering heart

Not because of who I am
But because of what You've done
Not because of what I've done
But because of who You are

I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
A vapor in the wind
Still You hear me when I'm calling
Lord, You catch me when I'm falling
And You've told me who I am
I am Yours

Who am I, that the eyes that see my sin
Would look on me with love and watch me rise again
Who am I, that the voice that calmed the sea
Would call out through the rain
And calm the storm in me

Not because of who I am
But because of what You've done
Not because of what I've done
But because of who You are

I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
A vapor in the wind
Still You hear me when I'm calling
Lord, You catch me when I'm falling
And You've told me who I am
I am Yours, I am Yours

I am Yours
Whom shall I fear
Whom shall I fear
'Cause I am Yours
I am Yours

Friday, November 12, 2004

Up All Night

Just a note -- maybe you've noticed that I try to name my blog entries after songs. I'm a huge '80s music junkie, and I just wanted to point out -- since it's a rather obscure song -- that "Up All Night" was recorded by Bob Geldof and the Boomtown Rats in the very early '80s.

Having said that, I wasn't really up all night. But I just hate days like these when I go to bed feeling pretty good with a list of stuff I need to do the next day, and then I'm up half the night tending to the various needs of two kids and a cat. Now the baby is asleep again (must be NICE!) but I don't have time to sleep because I need to go to Target, Home Depot, the post office, the newspaper office, the church and I need to pack a family of four for an overnight at my parents' house in Houston. ALl before 3:15. So the obvious solution: go through the drive-thru at Starbucks for a venti ANYTHING. I'm determined to get addicted to some kind of drug before this is all over, so caffeine just might be it. Good thing I'm not Mormon. How do they do it? How do they stay awake to take care of all their kids? And how cruel is that? To tell a woman she must give birth until her uterus falls out but deny her any caffeine? I'm thinking if it was Brigham Young who had to stay home all day with his kids, that little caffeine rule just may have been amended.

No offense was intended by the preceding rant toward anyone of the Mormon persuasion.

So Chad and I are supposed to go to the Steven Curtis Chapman concert tonight, but we've realized that we would either have to leave Jenna with my parents for 5 hours or take her with us. She's not crazy about the bottle, so taking her with us seems like the thing to do, but holding her during a long concert isn't ideal, either. So I told Chad to ask someone from the youth group to use my ticket and I'll just stay at my parents' house. Happy birthday, Chad.

Another note about the lack of time with Chad -- let's just say that Jenna is determined NOT to become a middle child.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Playing the Name Game

Originally published in The Baytown Sun on November 10, 2004

Well, this presidential election was a little disappointing. I didn’t get to read about my husband in the news every day. After the 2000 election, during the highly organized attempt to figure out Florida’s electoral votes, my husband became quite famous. In every newspaper, news broadcast and late night talk show monologue, my husband was described as hanging, dimpled and even pregnant.

“Hey, better you than me,” I told him at the time.

I’m sure my mother-in-law, when naming her newborn son “Chad Alan” after a soap opera character 29 years earlier, had no idea the 2000 election would make her son’s first name a household word. Naming a child can be quite stressful because it’s something you have to get right the first time. And your child has to live with your decision long after you are dead.

I think we did OK with our oldest child’s name. Her name is Julia, which means “youthful.” I’m a firm believer in the importance of retaining one’s youth well into old age, and I hope Julia does just that. I didn’t check out the meaning of Jenna’s name until after she was born. Then I consulted my baby name book, which said the meaning of “Jenna” is “little bird.” That’s cute, I thought. Then I turned to the listing for “Carol,” which is the middle name Jenna and I share. Surprisingly enough, “Carol” means “man.”

I gasped and slammed the book shut. “Honey,” I told my husband. “I just gave birth to Little Bird Man.”

I’m sensitive to names parents give their children because my own name has given me grief over the years. It’s actually a nice name. “Deana” is derived from “Diana,” who was the Roman goddess of beauty. I think that’s great. I need all the help I can get. The problem I’ve had with my name is not its meaning, but its pronunciation. It made perfect sense to my parents to add an “a” to the boy’s name Dean” to get “Deana” — pronounced like “Deena.” But a lot of people don’t see it that way. I’ve been called Dee Anna, Dee Ann, Diane, Diana, Dana, Tina and Gina. And really, after 33 years of having to explain my name to people, it really doesn’t bother me when someone messes it up. I even let the higher-ups at The Baytown Sun call me Dee Anna for a while. I guessed they’d figure it out eventually. They did.

The one exception, however, is my obstetrician. When I first started going to him, he mispronounced my name all the time. If he had been my dentist or something, I wouldn’t have complained. But as you ladies know, your OB isn’t just a doctor. He’s someone who, over time, becomes very intimately acquainted with you — especially if you’re pregnant. Basically, when you’re paying someone to grope you, you at least want him to get your name right. “Then I wouldn’t feel so cheap and used,” I explained to him. He understood. Now he pronounces “Deana” like a champ.

My last name is trouble for an entirely different reason. And I married into it, which means I won’t be shaking it in this lifetime. My husband is a wonderful person. But put his last name with just about any first name and it sounds like a drug. It’s true. Say “Deana Nall” fast. Sounds like a sedative, doesn’t it? At least our girls can marry out of it. I’m taking it to the grave.

Other than the name thing, we’re a pretty good match. It’s not every day a dimpled piece of paper gets to marry the goddess of beauty.

Deana Nall’s column appears every Wednesday. Her email address is

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Teach the Children Well...

Today another Sun columnist and I spoke to the 4th-grade classes at Julia's school about careers in writing. It was so much fun. Some of the kids had read our stuff in the paper and were really excited to meet us. I told them what Charlie Marler told me at ACU: "If you can write well, you can do anything well." It made me think (again) how blessed I was to have professors like Doc and Merlin Mann. They were the toughest teachers in the world, but I use what I learned from them every day. Doc and Merlin, if you're reading this, I know I've said it before, but THANK YOU!!

Sunday, November 07, 2004

I Left My Uterus in San Francisco

Here's something I don't like to talk about so I'll try writing about it.

When I gave birth a couple of months ago, while I was still on the operating table right after my C-section, the doctor said he wasn't sure he'd recommend another pregnancy for me. He said my uterus was "paper thin." Good thing I didn't go for the VBAC, huh?

So now I'm thinking that since I get pregnant very easily (out of my 5 pregnancies, we were only trying for one), we should go ahead and do something permanent to keep me from getting pregnant again.

My wonderful husband has volunteered to go under the knife. Bless his heart. (Or...something.) After two C-sections, three miscarriages and an emergency D&C (which was awful, by the way), he doesn't want me having to go through any more medical trauma than I have to. So that's not the problem.

But closing the door on my having kids for good -- I don't know what to think about it. Most of us girls know from the time we're about 3 that we are going to grow up, get married and have babies. It's sort of like why we're here.

But really, I don't want another pregnancy. I don't want another C-section. I don't want to adopt. But I'm not sure I won't ever want another baby. When I think of Chad getting "altered" and eliminating the chance of us having a third baby, I can't even process it. I was thinking about it the other day and all of a sudden I couldn't even breathe, it was so... final.

I guess I don't like writing about this, either.

I Want a New Drug

On "Desperate Housewives" tonight they showed a stressed-out mom taking her son's ADHD medication so she could get everything done she needed to do. OK, I know I wrote a column last year criticizing Vivarin for targeting young mothers in their advertising. But I'm sorry, getting outside help to stay awake is tempting.

Take NOW for instance. Right now it's 12:30 a.m. My 5-year-old is sick and waking up crying every hour or so. The 2-month-old fought going to sleep and I finally had to drive her around the neighborhood for an hour. She'll be awake any minute now to eat. And my husband is worn out from the youth group retreat. He never sleeps when he goes on those things. So he's in bed -- practically in a coma. Plus the house is a mess and I'm sick of it being this way. So because of all of that, I might as well stay up for the night. It's easier for me to take care of my kids when I'm already awake than when I've been asleep. So drugs look good right now.

But then again, I'm breastfeeding. I may not care about becoming a drug addict, but I'd rather keep my social ills to myself and not pass them on to my child. So I'll just stay exhausted while trying to do everything for everyone.

And we're shocked that men age better than women?

Friday, November 05, 2004

Your Pad or Mine?

I was at the drug store yesterday getting stuff for the church first-aid kit (for the retreat I am NOT going on) when I noticed that half the maxi pads on the market now are the kind with wings. Do any women actually use those? They had to have been invented by a sadist.

And why do we just have feminine hygiene products? Why not masculine hygiene? What, they don't need it?

Women need hygiene and men need Viagra -- what a backward world we live in.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

They're Coming to Take Me Away

I am sick, just SICK over the fact that I'm not going on the youth group retreat this weekend. Chad helped me see that with Jenna having rough nights, and with me in an almost-constant funk (which I finally admitted is probably post-partum depression), that it would be a lot easier on me if I didn't go. I know he's right, and in a way I was relieved, but I hate missing out on time with the kids -- especially when several of them are dealing with some pretty big stuff right now. Plus the other adults going are several of the ones that I really like to spend time with and I hate missing out on that, too. Just being with Brenda Paulk makes me a better person, period. I know, there will be other retreats.

So instead, I'm going to my parents' house for the weekend with Julia and Jenna. My parents' house, where there is no chaos. And people get to sleep whenever they want to. Not that my parents are lazy bums. They both work full time. But at night, they get to go to bed and sleep! Whenever they want to! That's what I'm doing as soon as Jenna goes off to college. I'm going to bed.

Back to the the post-partum thing. The other night I cried because I saw Chad putting frozen waffles in the toaster. He was putting them in the toaster because the roast I had cooked wasn't cooked all the way through and he had to be somewhere and didn't have time for it to cook more. He wasn't upset about it or anything, he was just toasting some waffles so he could eat something before he left. So I'm crying in the kitchen and he's trying to comfort me, probably thinking, "What can I say to my whacked-out wife?" Then I get it under control, but then -- KA-CHUNK! The waffles pop up and that gets me going again. I just want order in my life -- any kind of order would be fine. It's a bad day when waffles get the better of you.

That's Nall, Folks!

My husband Chad started his own blog. It's at He said some nice things about me in his first post so naturally I want everyone to read it. The name of his blog was my idea. Clever, huh?

Whatever Gets You Through the Night

Jenna had her best night ever! I think it's because of the medicine she's on, but hey, whatever works. We put her down wide awake and she went to sleep on her own! And only woke up to eat once!

This just might work out after all.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Parents Worked for Halloween Candy, Too

I'll be posting my weekly columns here. Enjoy.

Originally printed in The Baytown Sun on Nov. 3, 2004

By Deana Nall

I’m a bit relieved that my kindergartener lost her two front teeth during the weeks leading up to Halloween. That’s two less teeth to rot.

Julia did pretty well this year. After she went to bed on Halloween night, my husband and I performed our parental duty by examining her candy and sampling a fair amount of it — just to make sure it’s safe. This is actually one of the coolest things about being a parent — eating your kids’ Halloween candy while they’re asleep.

Here’s a hint to remember. When “sampling” your children’s Halloween candy, make sure you only eat candy of which they have more than one. If your kids are like ours and you eat the only Snickers bar, they will notice and demand to know who was responsible.

And really, you don’t want to rob your kids too much of the joy of Halloween. It’s the only time they can walk up to a stranger’s door and threaten to do something mean to them if they don’t give up their candy. (That’s what “trick-or-treat” means, you know.)

Self-proclaimed candy fanatic Steve Almond wrote about this. Almond is the author of “Candy Freak: A Journey Through the Chocolate Underbelly of America,” a book packed full of fascinating information about the candy bar industry. Did you know, for instance, that candy bar companies pay big bucks for their products to be stocked at grocery store check-outs?

Anyway, last weekend the Houston Chronicle printed Almond’s rules of trick-or-treating, and here’s what he had to say about parents depriving kids of their Halloween candy: “... the kid in question worked for that candy. She was the one who got into the costume. She was the one who schlepped around the neighborhood. She was the one who muttered ‘trick-or-treat’ over and over.”

I can agree to a point, but parents play a crucial role in trick-or-treating. I was the one who bought the costume. I was the one who steered a stroller around the neighborhood in the dark, sidestepping eggs and kids on skateboards. I deserve chocolate, too, dang it, and if it’s in the form of my child’s Kit Kat, so be it.

Candy is a rarity in our house, which probably contributes to my testiness. We don’t keep a lot of junk food around here. We almost never have candy or soft drinks in the house unless we’re having the church youth group over.

I guess we don’t mind destroying the health of other people’s kids.

It’s not just about healthy eating. All parents know that when candy is around, their kids seem to think they are entitled to it around the clock. At my house, we have a lot of conversations like this one:

CHILD: Can I have...

ME: No.

CHILD: But just...

ME: No.

CHILD: All I...

ME: No. Stop asking.

So in a way, it’s easier not to have candy around at all. But a candy-free home containing children borders on abusive. So within reason, our child can have some now and then. As long as I can check it out for her first.

Hey, those Milk Duds looked suspicious.

Deana Nall’s column appears every Wednesday. Her e-mail address is

Witchy Woman

I found out my 5-year-old has been casting spells on kids at school. Her friend told me at lunch yesterday. She apparently tried to turn a kid into a pencil. I said, "Why don't you cast a spell on your baby sister so she'll sleep at night?" Julia said, "I'm not that good at it yet."

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Girl with Kaleidoscope Eyes

So how much sleep deprivation is OK? How long can someone get by on a few hours a night and still be OK? Is it like anorexia, where things seem OK on the surface but internally, you slowly self-destruct? Why won't this child sleep? We've even tried drugging her -- with the doctor's permission, of course. People tell me to catch up on sleep during the day, but what kind of life is that? Holding a screaming baby all night and sleeping all day. I'd rather get out and do something and be tired. Tommy told me today that "Your body is right" when I told him I was trying to learn to live without sleep. Tommy was the husband of my friend Jennifer, who died of cancer in July. How ludricrous of me to complain of sleepless nights when he's had more than his share, and for an unimaginably horrible reason. I miss Jennifer. I liked talking politics with her. We would have had a lot to talk about today. She was one of the ones who helped me to not be afraid to be a Democrat. Before she died, I thought I would be mad at God when it happened. But I wasn't. It was just sort of a sad, calm acceptance. Besides, being mad at God is the ultimate exercise in futility.

Out of the Closet

I just voted Democrat for the first time in my life.

So I guess the 2004 election marks my coming out party.

I remember what Hillary Clinton said about how she didn't leave the Republican party as much as the Republican party left her. That's how I feel. The hard part was getting over the guilt of it all. I'm half-expecting my grandfather to send down a lightning bolt some time today.

How ridiculous to be 33 years old and just now grasping the fact that a Christian can vote however he or she feels inclined without jeopardizing his or her salvation.

The newspaper I write for endorsed Kerry and there are signs all over town that say "CANCEL THE BAYTOWN SUN!" What is wrong with this country?

I took Jenna with me to the polls. When she reads in history class about that election where everyone was so mad at each other, I can say, "You were there!"