Wednesday, January 15, 2020

A debate, a pot pie, and a monitor

Despite my active interest in the current political situation in this country, I confess I haven’t watched any of the Democratic debates until last night. Maybe it was the crowded field, but I always thought I’d wait and read the pundits’ summaries. Oh my, did I learn a lesson last night.

A good friend came in from Granbury to watch the debate. She’s such a good friend, she brought dinner from Eatzi’s—a delicious chicken pot pie, marinated tomatoes, and a thing of black olives. (Yes, she looked at me and said, “Oops, I remember. You don’t eat them, do you?”)

Mary came, Jordan was here, and the four of us had a lively happy hour but when it came time for the debate, it was just Linda and me. I realized how serious she was about this when she began to fuss about 7:45. I had the TV on Channel 5, and Linda thought the pre-debate commentary should have begun. So I flipped channels but found nothing. “Do we have the wrong night?” she asked in horror, and I assured her we didn’t. She kept telling me she watched CNN and they would have pundits on well in advance. So I finally called Jordan and asked how to find CNN—I am rather in a rut as you can tell. NBC or nothing, because I’m not a big TV watcher.

The debate had just begun when we finally found it and settled down to watch. Both being strong and convinced liberals or progressives or whatever you want to call us, we hung on every word. I, who had thought I would get bored and lost in the diatribes, was mesmerized by each of the speakers but particularly focused on Biden, Warren, and Sanders. When one of them said something we thought really important, we gave each other a thumbs up. But at the halfway point, Linda, with a long drive ahead, left. By then I was hooked, and I watched every minute.

A couple of things struck me: one was that they didn’t snipe at each other, a development that I was glad to see. Yes, there was that moment between Warren and Sanders and the underlying tension between them, but generally they were collegial. And all six emphasized that it is crucial for the United States to rebuild its alliances with foreign powers. The day of nationalism passed decades ago, and we cannot go it alone in the modern world. We need allies. Mr. trump has destroyed our alliances, alienated our allies. And, finally, especially from Sanders but from all, I heard the real and necessary concern for the environment and the climate. I can’t tell you how ballistic I go when people ignore or deny climate change.

My favorite line: When asked about facing trump in a debate, Joe Biden said, “I’ve been the object of his affection for a while now. I think I’ve taken all the hits he has.”

I thought the candidates were energized with fire last night. Shows you what a judge I am when some called the debate boring. But, yes, I came away with two favorites. No, I’m not telling who. But I am still optimistic.

Tonight, I’m home alone, just me and my Holter monitor that is checking the activity of my heart. I had always thought it was a halter monitor and had a picture in my mind of something you wore like a halter. Not so. It was invented by a biophysicist named Holter. And to my surprise today, when I was fitted with it, you need a pocket to put the monitor in. It’s attached to leads on your chest, much like when you have an electrocardiogram.

So my big panic was what can I wear that has pockets? I usually spend my days at home in a T-shirt and leggings—no pockets. Fortunately, the tunic I wore to the doctor’s office had a pocket, but I came home, rummaged around, and found the one pair of pjs I have with pockets. So by four-thirty, I was in pjs, and I intend to stay that way until I can take the thing off at three tomorrow afternoon. I declined to go to supper, with wires sticking noticeably out of my clothes, but Betty, my usual Wednesday night dinner pal, came for wine. And then I ate the rest of Linda’s  pot pie.

So don’t expect to see me out and about tomorrow. What a great way to make me put my nose to the grindstone and stick to business.

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