Author: LindaLee

Midday Matinee – Robin Hood in Reverse

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break. Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men were famous for robbing from the rich and giving to the poor. Almost everyone knows this story and has seen a movie or TV show about Robin Hood. I have been playing with the idea that the current crop of Republicans are really Robin Hood in Reverse: stealing from the poor to give to the rich. So far I have tested this as a sticky message at bridge groups, the recycling center and the local diner. I have gotten responses ranging from affirmative nods to chuckles to puzzlement. It is a fun conversation with Fred, even if it doesn’t immediately sink in. The reddest of Freds goes “What do you mean?” I then follow up with the idea of giving tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans while laying off teachers and police is really just Robin Hood in Reverse. I can mention how the Governor of Wisconsin created a budget “crisis” by giving tax breaks to the wealthy and corporations and then asked for back-breaking concessions from public servants – Robin Hood in Reverse. I can point out that the tax breaks that President Bush gave to the wealthiest did NOT create any jobs. I can throw in the income gap...

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Midday Matinee – Moved to tears

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break. I am not a big crier. I did cry over sappy commercials when I was pregnant. I remember being especially moved by the Inglenook Wine commercials of graduations and weddings (late 70s). Other than the state of hormones that accompanied pregnancy, I’m not much subject to being overcome by tears. I am much more of a fix it person than a sob over it person. For some reason this video of protesters in Wisconsin and the bagpipers from the fire department  moved me. Otteray Scribe’s description of his 6-year-old daughter wanting to play the bagpipes because “because when I hear the pipes it makes my heart beat” moved me. Well, it had a cumulative effect. I was moved beyond tears to a state that might best be described as sobbing. I am pondering this with a box of tissues as I write. I am also listening to bagpipe music on my iPod. I am embracing this sobbing state of being. One of my sons just called with a Minnesota snow update and picked up on my emotions. “Are you crying?” he asked. “Are you okay?” As I started to try and explain, he interrupted me with advice I had once given to him. “Mom, take a deep breath and blow...

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Midday Matinee – Recycling Purists

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break. I am the caretaker for my 92 year old aunt who has been recycling in the country style for years and years. She is what marketing people would call an early adopter. In her garage are bins for cardboard, residential paper, newspaper, cans, glass and plastic. She has a system, which she adopted years ago. Recycling is taken into town where places for each are clearly labeled. This takes two trips into town to accomplish. Woe to me should I, who now take it all into town, deviate. She accuses me of not listening to her. She pokes her head out of the garage door to check on me. The problem arises when I am at the recycling center and am advised by other recycling purists that I am not following “the system.” Some are polite and helpful and some are the drill sergeants of recycling. FYI, I was a city recycler where it all went into one bin, was picked up on garbage day and presumably sorted somewhere. This business of properly sorting stuff is driving me nuts! I am having trouble serving two masters. I have tried to tell me aunt that the system at the recycling center has changed and that I am trying to comply...

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Midday Matinee – “It’s all in my head”

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break. “It’s all in my head, Nana,” said my granddaughter. This wasn’t an abstract psychological statement. It was her discovering how to float on her back. Monday night I watched her in the pool with her Dad and then at her swimming lesson. This was the first time this fearless little girl learned that she could float on her back. She was proud but not cocky about this at all. At her age 4½, she assumes that she will learn something new every day. Her analysis of floating was that if she tried to look at her feet she would not float but if she looked at the ceiling she would float. Therefore she concluded, it was all in her head. A month ago she didn’t even want to put her face in the water. She now moves through the water successfully if not beautifully. I swam competitively, taught swimming, and was a lifeguard during college. I taught my Dad to swim when he was 50 at the college pool. He was terrified of the water and unbelievably proud of learning to swim. He had conquered a life long fear. We lived on a lake when my kids were growing up. I doubt that they even remember not knowing how to...

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Midday Matinee – A Good Guide

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break. My recent dog sledding trip was masterfully orchestrated by our guide, Doug. So many things went well because of him that it got me to thinking about the true value of having a competent and caring guide. We began with a “sled talk” that gave us basic safety information and a short course on driving the sled. Since both my sister and I are skiers the leaning to turn was already second nature. The dogs follow three basic directional commands the acronym for which is H.O.G. Haw is left, On bye is straight ahead and Gee is right. The political parallels are too funny. Maybe we need to teach the country to Haw because “Gee” or GOP hasn’t done much for the average American. The sled has two brakes, one the driver can stand on to slow the sled down – think of hurtling downhill at an uncomfortably fast speed – and another that digs two spikes into the snow and is accompanied by “Whoa” meaning stopping now as in right now. Initially both of us had problems tailgating Doug. Good things tickets weren’t issued because my sister only weighs 100 pounds and her standing with both feet on the moving brake didn’t slow us down enough. Doug gave...

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