Friday, February 29, 2008

Panama Beach City. We’re right along the Florida panhandle, just before spring break. In fact students begin to arrive today for spring break, Friday, just as we are leaving. High rise condominiums are sprinkled along the beach, alternating with motels, department stores with surfing gear, and restaurants of every flavor. Construction crews are busy with road repair, and we see new buildings (and boarded up buildings) everywhere.

Yesterday we walked along an almost deserted beach, and last night we ate at Dirty Dick’s Crab House, and had another round of she-crab soup, my all-time favorite, with something vaguely Italian, crab lasagna, slathered with cream sauce and marinara. As my mother would say, “Ooofta!” How did I say no to a dessert of bread pudding with brandy sauce and vanilla ice cream? I just said no. What a decadent life we are living.

But yesterday had its moments. Allen had turned the TV on very early, so I awoke to MSNBC’s morning news program chattering softly at 6:30 am. Pat Buchannan had just pulled Dr. Samuel Johnson’s quote out of the 18th Century to say something like, “You know, Hillary’s speech is rather like Dr. Johnson’s quote: ‘A woman making a speech is rather like a dog walking. You’d find it miraculous, but you’d rather they didn’t do it.’” I rose out of bed quite angry. How could the man be so sexist? According to the newspapers, we’re now in a post-racist world, but no one is talking about hidden sexism. Add this to the voodoo doll we encountered in Tallahassie. Very ugly. But without internet access, I can’t register my protest. I’m writing to MSNBC as soon as I can. Why on earth would they let Buchanan say such absurd and hateful things that perpetuate a sexist world view? Surely management has some oversight? They need consciousness-raising!!!

On the positive side, I finished the grant application. Whew! That was tough. The guidelines were very exacting about numbers of words for each question, so there I was, laptop balanced on my knees, tucked away in the Panama Beach City library with its free wireless, chopping out words right and left. More about the Resurrection Project—Furniture Bank when we’re settled in New Orleans.

Today we hit the road again for Mobile, Alabama, perhaps to view the gardens there or visit the museum, and to enjoy a leisurely drive west. We’re one hour closer now to the west, on Central time. It feels good. Make it a good day.

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