Tuesday, September 30, 2008

And The Winner is Debra and ME!

I wrote each name down on tiny pieces of paper, shook them up, and Scott made the blind selection. Debra of From Skilled Hands fame and Little Blue Santa renown, please email your mailing address to lisa dot eudaemonia at gmail dot com and I will have your copy of Orange Mint and Honey to you pronto! I know you're going to love this book.

I apologize to all for the delay in announcing the winner. Nobody wants to hear my whining, but I was sick and miserable all weekend. I should be reading, writing, visiting and spouting political nonsense again in short order. Thank you for your patience.

What goes around apparently does come around because I was the lucky winner of a copy of Matrimony, by Joshua Henkin last week and my book arrived yesterday from the author himself with a charming, personalized inscription.

This book and I were meant to find each other. Months ago, when the book was first published in hardcover, I read the reviews and I was tempted to buy it, but I resisted. Maybe it was the towering TBR stack and maybe it was my resistance to reading a novel written by an academic. The more I read about Matrimony and about Joshua Henkin, the more I wanted to read the book. Then, Joshua Henkin guest blogged at The Elegant Variation this summer. Not only did he guest blog -- he super-blogged. This series of 24 guest blog posts at TEV concludes here, but scroll backwards and read them all. What a great series of posts for writers.

I am sure I'll have much more to say about Matrimony when I post about books I've read in October. Like The Story of Edgar Sawtelle (which I read and LOVED in September), Matrimony was a book the author took many years to complete. I suspect I'll find the same qualities of fine prose in Matrimony that I did in Sawtelle. I won my copy of the book at Work-in-Progress, a blog in which author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary. Lots of great things here and now I'm of course anxious to read some of Leslie Pietrzyk's work.

Lots of water, hot herbal tea, cough syrup and tissues have been consumed in our germy house these last days and alas, the glorious rewriting I envisioned for myself over the weekend did not take place. Oy. What are you going to do?

Like millions of others, Scott and I have been focused on the election and on the economy. We thought the debate was pretty exciting and although we thought it felt like somewhat of a draw at the end, apparently America's undecideds were more decidedly pro-Obama by the end.

The $700B economic bill is giving me chilling deja vu about the decision to invade Iraq back in 2003. Totally different issues, but I feel a familiar tendency to frighten the American public into supporting something we don't quite understand and that I doubt Congress really understands either. Me personally? I hate the idea of pouring $700B our taxpayer money into private industry and I really don't understand how it all trickles down to hurt "Main Street" in the end. I'll keep my eyes and ears open and hope the politicians can help us to all understand.

Everybody have the calendars cleared for the Vice Presidential debate on Thursday? I sure do! The selections of Joe Biden and Sarah Palin speak volumes about Barack Obama and John McCain. Now let's see how these two do when speaking for themselves and their running mates.

Here's a little sanity check for Eudaemonia readers. Have you decided who you'll vote for yet? Has any event made you change your mind or confirmed your decision since the conventions and if so, what what it? Maybe because of my background in the military, foreign policy is always my biggest focus. That's because I believe that how we implement and fund foreign policy efforts directly drives how we tend to domestic programs. After the debate, I felt like I was watching an old world/Cold War view of the world pitted against a 21st century globalized view of the world and that you can't separate what happens to health care from when or if we leave Iraq. How about you? How much does foreign relations affect your view of the candidates?

DISCLAIMER: I think I'm still a little feverish, so if absolutely nothing I've said in this post makes any sense at all, then mea culpa.


debra said...

Thanks, Lisa. What a wonderful surprise.
more later...

Carleen Brice said...

Thanks Lisa and Debra! Hope you feel better!!

Yes, I'm so excited (& nervous) about Thursday's debate.

Lana Gramlich said...

Congratulations to your contest winner.
I certainly don't have my calendar cleared for any debates, actually. I'd rather enjoy my life than watch people lying at each other.
As for my vote, I won't be wasting my time. As previously mentioned, neither of these candidates go far enough for me. Vive la revolucion!

Larramie said...

On Thursday night, we shall see... In the meantime, though, why doesn't anyone ask where that unfathomable amount of money went?!

Lana Gramlich said...

George Carlin sums it all up pretty well for me. Among many other good examples, here's just one; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0u6lCBnRoHQ

Lisa said...

Debra, According to Amazon, you will have a copy of Orange Mint and Honey on Friday. This is the book that not only I loved, but Scott (who is famous around this house for not getting past the first few pages of most -- although not all -- fiction not written by Dean Koontz) read, loved and he won't admit it, but I am pretty sure he got a little misty once or twice while reading it. Shhh.

Larramie, Denver has areas hit hard by the sub prime loan debacle. That money is long gone. You know those people who are "mortgage brokers", usually unaffiliated with any regular lender? Lots of high interest mortgages were given to unqualified (often unemployed) borrowers and as we all know, mortgages are very often resold. Then they are bundled up with all kinds of other investments and sold to big investment bankers. The real estate agents were paid their commissions and so were the originating mortgage brokers and then -- people defaulted on the loans. It's all gone. As I understand it, the trickle down to main street will occur when other forms of credit, like student loans, credit cards, mortgages, small business loans, etc. are tightened up so that people who can't operate without borrowed capital are stuck. I tend to be socially liberal and fiscally conservative and I hate the idea of infusing tax dollars into private industry. If we were going to nationalize or socialize something, I'd have been in favor of an enterprise that would have given something back, like health care or education or hmm social security. I think it will be interesting to see how long it takes for Congress to agree on a bailout package, what it will be and in the meantime, what the concrete impact to the economy will really be. The headlines and the government spokes people seem to want to scare the crap out of us and force a quick decision. I don't trust it. It reminds me a little too much of how quickly Congress was forced to approve the attack of Iraq without having all the facts.

Lana, You certainly have the right not to participate in the democratic process, although I'm curious about your comment that you'd rather enjoy your life than watch "people lying at each other". Are you just assuming all the candidates are lying or do you really believe they are lying, and if so, what do you think they are lying about?

Charles Gramlich said...

Congrats to the winners.

Denis said...

I was watching the BBC a few days ago and heard a POV that the Congress should authorize the court system to adjust loans/mortgages and use a set-aside amount for that. In this way, people keep their homes and yet the whole mortgage isn't gone.I think the big 'fear' relates to credit freezing up altogether. I say, let's see.

Shauna Roberts said...

Dave and I are looking forward to the debate Thursday night. It should be interesting.

If you're still feeling lucky, I'm having another book give-away at my blog this week.

Peter said...

I'm really enjoying your site, Lisa.

I'm glad I'm not the only one feeling similarities between the selling of this bailout and the selling of the Iraq invasion. Here's a letter I sent my Congressmen last week:

"President Bush's call for a bailout plan smells like his lead-up to the Iraq War: vague aims, very little evidence that the proposed solution would work, no thought-through end game, few details (his initial bailout plan was less than three pages long), lots of executive power grab, almost no international allies (the Washington Post reported this morning that no other country is going this route), little concern for the Constitution, huge price tag, little advocacy from the president himself (he was almost invisible until last night), and, above all, lots of urgency. We even have a prestigious cabinet member doing all the heavy lifting again for the president.

"Please reconsider your support for this plan."

(Now that the plan went down, I've gotten cold feet, and I'm supporting it. But it still feels Iraqy.)

Lisa said...

Charles, You're always a winner when a book comes your way, I say :)

Denis, I'm already (Wednesday) hearing about credit tightening. A coworker who lives in Hanover, NH says his brother-in-law works for a small company that depends on credit for production and they are already having trouble which means they'll have to lay people off if something doesn't open up. I'm with you on the priority being that these mortgages should be salvaged and people should have the chance to keep their homes. Looks like things are quickly moving toward the "save".

Shauna, I can't WAIT for tomorrow night. I'm looking forward to it even more than I did to the first season finale of "Lost" ;)

Oooh, and I'm on my way over to your place now!

Peter, I am so glad you came by and I'm glad Steve sent me your way. It looks like maybe we are going to learn something from the Iraq debacle, and yes -- I think the similarities are almost spooky. I love your letter. I'm sort of getting cold feet about my opposition too, but I think it's understandable that we shouldn't blindly support something, given our history. I read a great article this morning (only great because it confirms what you've said about other nations) in the biggest German paper. When the German banks went to their government for help, citing the US bailout of AIG, the Germans told them to pound sand. It's too bad this disaster has led to an even lower global opinion of the US -- if that was possible.

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Literary Quote

It is worth mentioning, for future reference, that the creative power which bubbles so pleasantly in beginning a new book quiets down after a time, and one goes on more steadily. Doubts creep in. Then one becomes resigned. Determination not to give in, and the sense of an impending shape keep one at it more than anything.

Virginia Woolf