Happy Birthday, Hillary!

I’m a couple of hours late posting this (had a date with the hubby.) Yesterday, October 26th, was Hillary Clinton’s 65th birthday.

With all of the crazy stuff that’s been going on, I thought it might be a good idea to stop and think of something happy and positive. To remind ourselves that there are still strong women’s voices in the world that are willing and able to push back against this madness. To inspire us to keep talking and contributing, even if it’s only in our own small way.

Who better to hold up as a role model than Hillary Clinton? She’s intelligent, strong, and authentic. She’s not afraid to speak truth to power, whether that be to the Chinese government in regards to women’s rights being human rights, or here at home on abortion.

Even more timely, she recently gave a speech that foreshadowed the comments of Akin and Mourdock.

Here’s a quote from that speech:

Why extremists always focus on women remains a mystery to me. But they all seem to. It doesn’t matter what country they’re in or what religion they claim. They want to control women. They want to control how we dress, they want to control how we act, they even want to control the decisions we make about our own health and bodies.

Yes, it is hard to believe but even here at home we have to stand up for women’s rights and reject efforts to marginalize any one of us because America needs to set an example for the entire world.

And, it seems clear to me that to do that, we have to live our own values, and we have to defend our own values, we need to respect each other, empower all of our citizens and find common ground.

Plus! A very warm and wonderful speech by Meryl Streep at Women of the World 2012 back in March that discusses some of Hillary’s many contributions throughout the years.

If that isn’t enough of a Hillary fix for you, here is a list of 65 reasons to love Hillary that the Huffington Post compiled.

Well, it’s late, so I’m going to keep this short and sweet. Thank you for all the wonderful comments on my previous post! I promise I’ll respond to them tomorrow. In the meantime, take heart and be happy!

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Downhill Babes Maryhill Freeride 2012

These two skaters are Anna O’Neill and Chiara Poscente and they were riding on Rayne Longboards. The video was shot by Lee Gilmar.

This is just incredible! My hands were sweaty the whole time I was watching this. I kept thinking, “One wrong move, one bad shift of weight or random rock in the road…” I can’t believe they did this without any protective gear on besides helmets!

My main question is how the heck do they stop? The video conveniently fades to black before we are shown the answer. I truly hope these two ladies didn’t get a serious case of road rash.

It looks like they’re in Maryhill, Washington, which I’ve had the pleasure of visiting. Maryhill happens to have a full-size Stonehenge replica, which is actually pretty cool. I went ahead and uploaded the few photos I took while I was there to my Flickr feed. They’re not the best pictures because they were taken from my phone, but feel free to click through if you’d like to see them!

Gloria and The Doors

The first time I heard the Doors I was eight years old and living in Mystic, Connecticut. It was 1985 and Hurricane Gloria was paying New England a visit. She was the strongest hurricane the East Coast had seen in over a decade and had already made landfall twice before galloping into Connecticut.

As the sky rapidly deepened into shadows, the air quivered with anticipation. Leaves and trees started to whip into a frenzy as we watched from our windows at the growing storm. Before it got too bad, I was allowed to stand in the yard and lift my arms up, embracing the wind.

There’s something so magnificent about experiencing the immensity of Mother Nature as you’re left exposed to the fragility and preciousness of your own life. Even as a child, the feeling was thrilling and humbling in equal measure. As the energy built up around our house, I was ushered back inside.

Suddenly, the lights went out.

That was our family’s cue to head downstairs and into the basement where there was some small measure of safety. In the darkness, with the wind howling and buffeting outside and the candle flames flickering and prancing, we huddled around a little battery powered radio for any tidbit of news.

That’s when the DJ came on the air. I still remember his voice- warm tones dipped in honey- so calm and mesmerizing, as if he was the last soul left in the world and speaking directly to us. He said, “It looks like we’re going to have to go off air and make way for Gloria, but before we go, I’m going to leave you with this final song….”

The sound of thunder and rain came from the little radio, a pale echo to the fury outside. Haunting notes of an electronic piano came floating out over the din, an emissary sent to greet the hurricane. Shadows from the candles were racing across the walls as Jim Morrison’s voice crept into the room, “Riders on the storm….Riders on the storm…”

It was dark and mysterious and slightly dangerous. A tendril of inhibition and recklessness slowly unfurled. The first glimpse that life was full of a vast unknown, sometimes ferocious and tumultuous, but also eerily beautiful. A wild horse to be ridden across grassy plains with the wind and rain chasing. I was entranced and completely enveloped by the atmosphere. Breathlessly, I turned and asked, “Who IS this, Daddy?”

He replied, “This is The Doors, honey. This is The Doors.”