When The Kid is concerned that he might have nightmares, he has a method to try to prevent them. He talks and thinks about all the good dreams he could have instead, and drifts off to dreamland with happy visions in his head.
Middle Brother was telling me about his experiences working the phone bank at an Obama office near Cleveland. MB explained the general outline of the script, how you call and sort of feel people out. If a voter is undecided, then you ask them if they're considering Obama. Then you sort of ease into a discussion about what issues are important to the voter or what's holding the person back from voting for Obama.
When my mobile rang this afternoon and the display said it was an Anonymous Call, I knew it had to be my parents. They call every weekend, around the same time, and hardly anyone else comes up on my phone as Anonymous.
I have the Magic Internet Phone, which allows me to make international calls for free. Middle Brother and I talk at least every week. By some quirk of fate, his work phone number is only two digits different than the number one of my best friends had in high school. Memorising MB's work number was incredibly simple, he works regular hours, and nearly always has a few minutes to spare.
One of the most unnerving things that I've had to adjust to when driving in rural Ireland are the crazed farm dogs who apparently think it's great sport to try to herd cars. Usually, these are bored border collies and they tend to have an unsettling way of running straight at your front wheel. Every once in a while, I meet a Jack Russell terrier with delusions of grandeur, but they're the exception to the border collie rule.
My undergraduate degree was in Political Science. Looking back, it wasn't the most practical option, but it was a whole lot of fun to study. My parents took me to my first political rally before I was even born, so I suppose it should be no surprise that I grew up to be fascinated in all things political.
A few miles outside Tralee is a garden centre and nursery called Ballyseedy. I'd driven past it a few times in my travels and always had a bit of a chuckle over the name. Last weekend, I was in the area and saw that they had a sign up advertising their "Halloween Howl."
While we're on the topic of decidedly depressing thoughts, like retirement, let's talk about death. Yes, it's all fun, fun, fun here at For the Long Run.
I don't really like thinking about retirement. Back when we lived in Chicago, I participated in a focus group for the Gallup organization. (I believe they were working on behalf of a government agency.) The focus of the group was retirement planning and 401(k) participation. The twelve participants had two things in common: all of us were willing to give up two hours of our time for $125 and none of us were actively saving for retirement.
"Hey Toby, do you want to go on a holiday? Who wants to go on a holiday?"
I do not like parties. It's not that I'm a totally asocial hermit who wants to spend the rest of her life living in a cave, wearing moth-eaten sweaters and letting all personal hygiene fall by the wayside. I like having friends. I like getting together with my friends.