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Both Sides of the Fence

A Tosa resident since 1991, Christine walks the dog, cooks but avoids housework, writes and reads, and enjoys the company of friends and strangers. Her job takes her around the state, learning about people's health. A Quaker (no, they don't wear blue hats or sell oatmeal or motor oil), she has been known to stand on both sides of the political and philosophic fence at the same time, which is very uncomfortable when you think about it. She writes about pretty much whatever stops in to visit her busy mind at the moment. One reader described her as "incredibly opinionated but not judgmental." That sounds like a good thing to strive for!

Wauwatosa's Cool Pool

Hoyt Park Pool, Wauwatosa

No, this isn't about Wauwatosa's real Cool Pool at Hoyt Park, whose friends invite everyone to a Valentine's celebration and fundraiser on February 9.

(Though if you go there, you'll get to hear West and East high school students sing and watch Roosevelt's fifth graders tap and fox trot their Mad Hot Ballroom hearts out. And what could be cooler than that?)

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Indoctrinate your children well?

Party training, Politics

As my son considers going to school at Loyola in Chicago, we’ve developed a routine. I pretend to be horrified and say “Promise me you won’t come home Catholic and Republican,” and Geo replies “I promise I won’t become Catholic.”

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Valentine's or Single Awareness Day?

Valentine's Day

In Wauwatosa, 40% of men and 50% of women over 15 are single. Which means that a lot of people are not particularly looking forward to February 14.

I'm a big fan of romance. It reminds you that you are very much alive and desired by someone whose desire you return.  That's the best case, anyway.

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Another kind of love story

Aging, Mom

"So how'd it go," I asked Mom.

"It was wonderful. We had so much in common! We just talked and talked and talked. I think we closed the place down."

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Sometimes, Bush is right: Medicare reform

Medicare, Politics

Not all the way, maybe. But partly.

On February 15, the Bush administration proposed changes to Medicare that have made almost everyone unhappy. Like most legislation, it’s a mixed bag. But two ideas in the plan, already pronounced “dead on arrival,” are no-brainer necessities.

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Who NOT to vote for tomorrow

Politics

With the presidential primary just a day away, I'm still vacillating. Apparently, I'm in good company. Wisconsin, a swing state, likes to keep 'em guessing.

As CNN political analyst Bill Schneider said in the 2004 primary, "They like underdogs and outsiders in Wisconsin. that's why (Howard) Dean put his bets on Wisconsin. . .And just to show in another wildcard, this is an open primary. Anyone can vote. Independents and Republicans can vote. So, they could really stir things up, up there."

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The financial institutions formerly known as "Wauwatosa"

Wauwatosa

The name "Wauwatosa" is disappearing from local institutions. Wauwatosa Credit Union is now Focus. Meanwhile, Wauwatosa Savings Bank announced that it's changing its name "because of recent growth and expansions," though it hasn't decided to what.

Growth and expansions?  From the Small Business Times: "Wauwatosa Holdings Inc., the parent company of Wauwatosa Savings Bank, reported this week that its net income declined substantially in the fourth quarter and for the full year of 2007. The company's fourth-quarter net income shrunk to $307,000, or 1 cent per share, from $2.3 million, or 7 cents per share, in the same period a year ago, as the company incurred an eight-fold increase in its provisions to cover bad loans, according to a filing with the the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission. For the full year, the company's net income plummeted to $1.6 million from $8.1 million in 2006.

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Tender mercies

Children

Last night, son Geo and I went to see Juno, a wonderful movie about a pregnant girl who gives her baby up for adoption. But it's really about the quirky and un-movie-blockbuster-like love people have for each other.

As I went just a hair above the speed limit down Bluemound to get there on time, Geo said gently, "Mom, do you want me to drive?"

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Information, dogma, and the mayoral forum

Mayoral Campaign, Politics

 "Philosopher Robert Anton Wilson defined information as data and ideas that are new to you. If it's something you already know, then it's propaganda or dogma, not information. Philospher Terence McKenna had a similar view. He used the terms 'information' and 'novelty' interchangeably. If you're not surprised, he said, if your curiosity isn't piqued then the messages streaming your way don't qualify as information."

That bit of sage-ery comes from my Free Will Astrology horoscope, not some scholarly text. But it's an intriguing way of looking at the onslaught of facts, contentions, and wishes that come from the mouths of every political candidate. So I'm taking astrologer Rob Brezsney's advice and making that my gold standard in the coming weeks.

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Sick of being sick

It's not easy, Kids

I think that last Tuesday was the only day in the past week that we've been free of a close encounter of the medical kind.

Chances are, you know where I'm coming from: from the urgent care center to the clinic waiting room to the radiology suite, every place we've gone has been crowded with people coughing and looking miserable.

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