What's the matter, that you have such a February face, so full
of frost, of storm and cloudiness?
— William Shakespeare
William! I am a happy February child, full of my birthday,
Valentine's Day and, this year, the Winter Olympics!
started celebrating by attending another Aquarian birthday party:
Brett Schetzsle, who is running for state representative in
Beverly, had an event Saturday evening. Chip and I went over for a
delicious pasta supper, cake and ice cream.
It was a
special treat for me: Brett and his wife introduced their
December-born twin daughters to their supporters. Because I was
caring for my mother in Pennsylvania when my twin grandchildren were
born in Nevada, I didn't get to see them at that early age.
Schetzsle grandparents: They're cute now, but wait until they are 8
years old and make you valentines. Aidan's was my dream card, white
lace with a pink heart, sent with a 7UP can riddled with BB gun
holes he created himself.
card was a heart face with 14 little eyes; she is an original. When
told by her dance teacher to pretend she is leaping over a pool of
sharks, she said it would be scarier to pretend it was a pool of
politicians. Where'd she get THAT?
also fun on Saturday to sit with members of the
for Fiscal Responsibility, chat for a few minutes with Rep. Brad
Hill and meet some nice people who like my column. Let me give a
shout-out to them here.
up the "shout-out" phrase from Sarah Palin, who shares my birthday
week. I am starting a Sarah Palin Club. The only requirement for
membership is to talk like her when you're around people who don't
like her. E.g., instead of, "We're going to take back this country
from the politicians who don't respect the Constitution and the
taxpayers," we say, "We're gonna take back this country from the
dang elitist folks out there who disrespect the Constitution and the
taxpayers, you betcha."
inspired this club was the silly criticism of her writing some notes
on her hand. I have given hundreds of speeches, done hundreds of
interviews. You don't write on your hand so you remember what you're
supposed to say; you do this because you want to say so much — there
are so many directions you can go, so many different ways to respond
to a question — that you want to stay focused and make your most
important points without getting off on a tangent. So you write
a.b.c. on a notecard or your hand if you don't have pockets.
not to say I'm supporting Sarah for president; I'm still with Mitt
Romney, who despite what The Boston Phoenix reports, is not blaming
mankind for climate change.
Washington, D.C., digs out from almost 3 feet of global warming,
Vancouver actually was missing natural snow for the beginning of the
Winter Olympics. But the opening ceremony was a tribute to man-made
magnificence. While the Chinese had celebrated the collective in
their 2008 opening ceremony, Canada celebrated the hardy individuals
who populate their country from the frozen tundra with its northern
lights to the very livable West Coast city that
I visited for an International Taxpayers Association meeting in
flying over the wheat fields! The skiers and snowboarders traveling
on wires up and down the virtual Rockies! My favorite singer, k.d.
lang, performing my favorite song, Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah." And
then the actual Olympic sports, which I watched all week while doing
business-required data entry on my laptop: the daredevil athletes on
the slopes, the racers, the joyous pair skaters on the ice —
especially the Chinese, individuals again as they danced.
loved the Olympics all my life, and marvel at how the human athletic
potential improves every four years. You'd think there'd be an
evolutionary plateau, where you wouldn't notice the changes in
jumping and spinning abilities, the faster running and skating
speeds, for centuries.
ability seems to remain more constant; there are great modern
writers, but they don't improve upon the favorites of my youth. This
month, I said goodbye to not only J.D. Salinger, but to his entire
Glass family — who I hadn't realized would now be senior citizens
themselves, those who survived, if Salinger had chosen to update
college coed, I related to the alienation not of Holden Caulfield
but the youngest Glass child. Franny was created, college-age, when
I was 12, in "Franny and Zooey," one of three books in the Glass
later, living in Greece, I cared for two stray cats I named Franny
and Zooey. Eventually Franny delivered Seymour, Buddy and BooBoo,
named for other Glass kids.
February, for my birthday treat, my husband drove me to the site of
the original summer Olympics in Olympia. Off-season, it was quiet
and almost sacred. No frost, storm or cloudiness, only blue Hellenic
Shakespeare, who sited "A Midsummer Night's Dream" outside Athens,
should have realized that sometimes, February is a perfect midwinter