Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Happy Thanksgiving Eve Eve. I'll be going back to Greendale (funny, I almost said "Wisconsin", until I remembered I live in Wisconsin now.) to celebrate the holiday with the family, sans my freedom-hating-latte-sipping-Canadian-brother. (That was a joke. Everyone laugh now. NOW!) It'll be nice to decompress for a few days.
Off to work. I'll be careful not to step in anything.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Scary story today out of Yahoo News. United States "elected officials" flunked a civics exam given by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, with an average score of 44%. Your average Joe Sixpack/the Plumber (ugh, give it up already, Nate) didn't do so well, either, with an average score of 49%.
The article doesn't clearly define "elected official," leading me to believe the ISI quizzed more back-woods dog catchers than they did senators or governors.
Oh, and I'm a nerd and a braggart, so I got 90.91% (or 30 of 33). You can take the quiz for yourself here
Thursday, November 20, 2008
I'm in the middle of programming my new phone, which I bought last night after my Motorola Q messed up the bedsheets on me. (What, that's the most polite way I can put it. While this might not be a family blog, I'm tryin'.) Best part was that I got it for free - of course, I had to sign up for two more years with Sprint, but, eh. Might I add to anyone reading, never, never buy a Motorola Q. It's got a good internet system, nice camera, camcorder, instant and easy Google Maps access, and much easier file attachment and viewing capabilities than I had with the Q.
Oh, I did laundry yesterday. Best change machine ever.
I also downloaded some new music yesterday. I was borrowing Catharine's car and wanted something a little more chill to listen to. All good tracks, I'm not into uploading and sharing, but maybe if you hassle Tim over at Friday Afternoon In the Universe, he'll review and post. But I'm just in the business of listing 'em:
Lupe Fiasco - Paris, Tokyo
Talib Kweli - Get By, Soon the New Day (feat. Norah Jones), Everything Man
Strange Fruit Project - Get Live (feat. Erykah Badu)
Jay-Z - Lost One
Common - I Want You, So Far to Go (feat. D'Angelo)
Guru - State of Clarity (feat. Common and Bob James)
I'd better get to work, so that's it outta me.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
You can't really blame me, it's been a busy, busy past couple of weeks. I'm still kindof winding down from this whole election thing, and doing what I can to put my life back on a semi-normal schedule. Politico and Talking Points Memo have been deleted from my Google Reader account, I haven't been nearly as avid of a fivethirtyeight reader, and CNN and MSNBC have totally gone off my radar.
But this deserves a look. As I've spent so much time railing on Republicans who follow party lines instead of what's actually going on, I feel that it's fair to share it.
Granted, the sample size is pretty ridiculously small. And I'm not sure if I agree with the premise that the cause is media bias in Obama's favor. Rather, I'd blame human tendency to naturally filter what they find (or believe they find) offensive instead of looking at all viewpoints.
I'm not saying everyone should put the same obsession I did into every election. But I don't understand how someone who's paying attention doesn't know Nancy Pelosi. So, in a roundabout way, long story short - vote for the man, not the party. Pay attention. This stuff is important. I think I can say as an Obama supporter, there's been a passionate response to his candidacy and win. But with that passion comes responsibility - to remember that our administration, Republican or Democrat, is working for us, and we're responsible for keeping them on their toes and to make sure they do what they were elected to do.
Anyways. I'm done with political stuff for now. Since I spent so much time blogging about this wedding, I suppose I should let you all know how it went.
Long story short, everything went really well. Of course, there's things that could have gone better, but Catharine and the wedding party were really thrilled with everything, so if they're happy, I'm happy. Menu:
Passed appetizers -
pear salad with champagne vinegar, blue cheese, toasted almonds
butternut squash soup with apple cider, pear, vanilla, creme fraiche
entree (choice of)
pork - roasted bone-in loin with grilled peaches, watercress, braised pork shoulder, balsamic red onions
chicken - roulade with wild rice, wild mushroom ragout, thyme
Thursday, November 6, 2008
I'm going to hang on to my Tribune, Times, and Wisconsin State Journal for now. (I also have copies of the Times from Obama's nomination, McCain's announcement of Palin, Obama's address at the DNC, and the other DNC coverage. Maybe they'll pay off my student loans someday (ha).)
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
I'm not sure I really understood what was happening at the time. Of course, I was happy, but what I really felt was shock. Yesterday, I described my mood as "optimistically nauseous." I've been following this election like crazy. I saw every poll. I was on fivethirtyeight.com at least six times a day. I can tell you, off the top of my head, how many electoral votes are allocated to each state. The past few months for me have been beyond obsessive. I'd describe them more as "psychotic." I had stress chest pains in the line for voting yesterday. I couldn't concentrate at work last night. When all the major networks had called Pennsylvania, then Ohio, then Florida for Obama, I had a hard time believing that this way, finally, things would go our way.
I finished up at work and sat in the restaurant's private dining room, waiting for Lindsey and Veronica to finish their server stuff. The west coast polls closed. Immediately, the election was called for Obama.
I think it was at that point that my brain exploded. I still wasn't sure it was really happening.
We watched McCain's concession speech. Nice and gracious. We went next door to the Old Fashioned and watched Obama's speech from the bar. At the time, I thought, "Not a bad speech."
I called Sam and she came up to meet me. We headed up State Street, and followed the noise to Bascom Hill, hundreds of people walking with us. Hit the top, charged back down the hill, to the library plaza, where people laughed, cried, and gave speeches.
I've been getting chills all day. I still can't grasp how enormous this is.
And the cynic in me comes out. I don't like to refer to it as "cynicism", I think it's more "realism." So let's figure out what this means.
Yes We Can.
Yes We Did.
Vote in an election, that is, and work incredibly hard to elect the guy we thought would take this country on a better course.
But that's not all we should be doing. Of course I'm hopeful, among many, many other things.
As President John F. Kennedy so famously said, "Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country."
Unfortunately, this era seems more focused on the former rather than the latter. It's hard to blame us when we're told it's unpatriotic, socialist even, to pay taxes. Kennedy was great because he truly understood the challenges we faced, and what we needed to do to accomplish our goals. On the other side, the only thing George W. Bush asked us to do after 9/11 was go shopping.
Whether you've supported President-elect Obama or not, we all need to work together to make this country great. We can't just hope for change. We need to act. We need to keep tabs on our elected officials. We need to volunteer. We need to fight and work to make this country better. We need to understand that we need to do more than just vote. We need to sacrifice. We need to put aside the bitterness and rancor that has divided us into two Americas, and work with those who disagree with us instead of blaming the other side as part of the problem. That's why I voted for Barack Obama. I believe he can inspire our country to do more than just sit aside and hope for change. I think he can inspire us to take action. Yes we can, yes we did, yes we will. We voted in a great candidate. Now it's time for real change.
Pictures from last night will be coming. I got a new digital camera, but the pictures are stored on the internal memory, and I have to buy a memory card to switch the pictures over to.
My night was ridiculous. I'm still in shock. Pictures and video will be posted at some point tonight or tomorrow.
I was just out running a couple errands. It's 8:30, and there's not a newspaper to be had in this town. I was able to grab a couple - the last NY Times, the last two Chicago Tribunes, the last two Wisconsin State Journals - but (if we didn't have enough proof already), it shows how many of us realize the gravity of what happened last night.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
I'm off to work. My plans are up in the air tonight depending on business. Gobama.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
I really hope I can respect John McCain when this is all over. I don't know what happened to this campaign. Presidential politics brings out the worst in people, I guess.
And finally, SNL makes fun of Keith Olbermann -
59 hours until the polls close, if you're keeping track.