The Time is Now

Eight years ago, things were very different for me and my family, as I imagine they were different for you and yours.  We were living in an apartment complex over in the northwest part of town (a part of town I often wish we still lived in, though not in the apartment, thankyouverymuch).  We had actually moved to our third and final apartment in that complex just days before (in fact, if I recall correctly, we hadn’t finished the moving process entirely just yet), and it was a lot larger and nicer than our previous apartment.  Harry’s first birthday was rapidly approaching and we were planning a big bash with lots of out-of-town family to take place that weekend at the clubhouse.  I was working at the apartment complex, actually, leasing out apartments.

I didn’t work on Tuesdays since they and Mondays were “weekends” for me.  So I had Harry at home with me when I went to vote at a nearby elementary school.  I remember him in his stroller as I pushed him over to the booth, my sample ballot in hand.  It was a rainy, grey day and I didn’t doubt for an instant that Al Gore would be our next president.  I was probably (probably?) a little naive.  There wasn’t anything to it.  No way would people want BUSH to be president.  Pfft.  Yeah.  I was DEFINITELY naive.

I grew up in California, after all.  My blood just defaults to Democrat.  And while not everyone I knew growing up were Democrats, liberalism was just a way of life in California.  Particularly social liberalism.  So I was surrounded by this way of viewing the world from a very young age and as I’ve grown up, I’ve often been surprised that not everyone thinks this way.  Remember what I said about naive?

Waking up on the day after election day in 2004 was a harsh reminder.  I couldn’t believe that the election was still so close.  Still, I expected Gore would triumph in the end.  When he didn’t… well… I had a hard time understanding how that was even possible.  But, Bush was our president and he probably couldn’t screw up the country THAT bad, right?

SNORT.

We all know the rest of that story, don’t we?  With our economic system in shambles, our troops mired in a war that we shouldn’t have had to fight in the first place and the disease of fear running rampant like it never has before, I think it’s safe to say that Bush did in fact screw up our country.

Let’s not make that same mistake again, okay America?  Please?

I know the lines may be long today, and there might be some last minute tactics to stall, influence or just flat our steal your vote, but you have to VOTE.  Get out there and do it for your country.  Because I still have faith in our country to heal itself.  After all, isn’t it when we’re down that we show the depths of our strength?

I don’t know if I can stand the waiting today.  Tonight, Kile and I plan to put away our laptops and cell phones and turn on a mindless movie of some sort.  Anything to keep us distracted.  Then, about midnight, we’ll dare to turn on the news.  And see if we have a leader.  And hopefully, it’ll be the guy we voted for.  We have plenty of alcohol, either way.  We’ll either be celebrating or mourning.  But there WILL be booze.

Now that’s looking on the bright side!

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Yes We Can

I’m writing some of this at 9:25pm, Pacific Time, on the 4th.  I’m sporting a fine champagne buzz and a feeling of disorientation.  Is this a movie?  Is this real?  It’s real.  I just watched The Speech.  It was marvelous.  It was stirring.  I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve teared up tonight.  It started when, at 8pm, when I was nursing Evie to sleep and Kile and I broke our “no news” rule for the night to turn on MSNBC and see some returns.  We gaped at the TV as some returns came in and theories were made about the remaining states.  Really?  Could it happen?  And then, at 8pm, it came.  The west coast projections were in.  Obama was our President-Elect.  And without even a warming, the tears flowed down my cheeks.  I stroked my baby girl’s back and murmured in her ear.  At last.

We went downstairs shortly thereafter, our laptops and phones back in hand (they were locked up in the guest bedroom), to tell Harry the good news.  We let him stay up to watch Obama speak at Grant Park.  This is history, after all.  He needs to be able to tell his children someday that he remembers the night Barack Obama became our president.

Even McCain’s speech was good.  The best speech I’ve heard him make so far this year, in fact.  Because FINALLY, I was hearing the John McCain that I used to admire.  He was gracious and dignified and commanding and GOOD.  It can’t have been an easy speech to make.  And Sarah Palin definitely looked verklempt.  But he owned it.  And he made it good.   Good on him.

I’m so proud of our country.  For eight LONG years, I felt weighted down.  I didn’t want to have “nostalgic” pride for my country, I wanted to be proud of my country in the present.  And I don’t want to make it sound like I haven’t been proud of my country at all the entire 8 years.  But there has been this weight on my shoulders.  It’s been on a lot of people’s shoulders.  And now?  Now, I feel like we can FINALLY move forward as a nation.  We can indeed come together after this election, and heal ourselves.

And that’s a lot of it.  This election is finally OVER.  No more speculation.   No more politics.  We can all go back to being friends, right?  We can all come together and unite again, right?

Right now, I’m just humbled and awed and excited and happy and tired and incredulous.

Wow.  Just… WOW.

Oh Nevada, how I love thee

I can hardly claim to be a huge fan of the State of Nevada.   I don’t even really think of it as “my” state.  Then again, I don’t really consider California “my” state either, even through I grew up and spent 18 years of my life there.  And it’s like, six miles from my house.  Does this mean I have no home?  Hmm.  At any rate, I’m not particularly “married” to Nevada.  It’s just where I happen to live.  And a lot of the time, it gets on my nerves.  BUT, today I need to share what I love about this fair state I live in.

  • Four distinct seasons.  Sure, two of those seasons last about a week (Fall and Spring), but they’re all gorgeous in their own way.  All that said, I’m so happy to live somewhere where it snows.  I LOVE SNOW.  There, I said it.
  • We’re a short drive away from some of the most beautiful spots in the country.  Lake Tahoe, anyone?  I could be up at the lake within the hour if I wanted to be.  I love the mountains too.  It’s just beautiful up there.
  • Right now (and today is the last day of it, if I’m remembering right), I could go to the grocery store and pick up some milk and eggs and cast a vote for the leader of the free world.  Early voting is a SNAP here.  Not only can you vote at some grocery stores, but libraries and other places as well.  In 2004, I met Kile for lunch at the university and we voted there.  I love how easy it is.
  • We can also buy booze at our grocery stores, which I’m told isn’t the case in some states.  Why, just last night we bought some champagne and the fixin’s for appletinis.
  • If you are the sort that likes to play the slots, you can play those in a grocery store too.  I’m just not that sort of person.  Still, the option is there.  Options are good!
  • You can go 70mph on Interstate 80.  Of course, we generally have it a little closer to 80 because there is NOTHING OUT THERE, but lets hear it for being able to book across the state at high speeds!
  • Nevada Day.  GOD BLESS NEVADA DAY.  When I first came up here to go to school, I couldn’t believe that Halloween was a state holiday.  How handy was that??  They’ve since changed it a bit so that the “observed” holiday is on the last Friday of the month but this year it’s luckyk enough to actually fall on the actual Nevada Day (in other words: Halloween).  I used to love to tell my friends that we got Halloween off.  So while the rest of the country is working today like it’s any other Friday, Kile and I are sitting around in our jammies, sipping our tea and coffee and playing on our laptops.  Woo hoo!  Three day weekend!

Plus, you know, this gives us extra time to do some much needed grocery shopping and carve pumpkins and whatnot.  I’ll have to post either later today or tomorrow with pictures of the kids going trick or treating.  So tell me this: What are all your kids dressed up as this year?  Any cool costumes?

What I'm doing to distract myself from the fact that the election is in one week

I surely can’t be the only one who is just about DYING for this election to be over.  One way or the other.  I’ve made a habit of watching Keith Olberman and then Rachel Maddow when I’m nursing Evie to bed at night.  And while, being MSNBC, they aren’t really telling me anything that I don’t want to hear, it’s not exactly distracting me from the election.  And I find myself examining electoral maps and the latest polls and pretty much wanting to drop kick all campaign strategists, regardless of party affiliation.  And now that I’ve voted, I have even less patience for it all.  LET’S JUST GET IT OVER WITH!

But, alas, it’s a whole ‘nother week away.  And since it doesn’t appear that either campaign is willing to take a break, I need to find ways to distract myself.  Here is what I’ve come up with so far:

  • I’m watching Evie do this thing with her nose where she closes her mouth (almost making “duck lips” if you will) and snorts in and out of her nose in a rapid fashion.  The end result is almost too cute to bear and if she does it again, I’m going to go beyond distracted and just eat her.
  • I’m also stalking goodmama prints.  If you’re unfamiliar with cloth diapering and the community surrounding it, this probably sounds very strange.  Suffice it to say, they’re releasing some great prints this week and I’m hoping to be able to snag one.  Fingers are crossed (and websites are refreshed)!
  • I’m still researching cameras.  Hmm.   Kile’s wondering if he can find someone local who has a camera that is looking to upgrade their professional rig and is interested in selling at a reasonable price.  I’m not going to hold my breath, but I am going to hope that there’s a new camera in my future!
  • It’s now less than a month until the “Twilight” movie comes out!  Am still planning to go see it by myself.  Because I’m a major loser.
  • I’m trying to catch up on my blog reading.  This is a never-ending project, it seems.  I am NEVER caught up.  I think I cleared the reader ONCE in the last two months.  GAH.
  • (OMG, Evie just did her nose thing again.  Save me from myself.)
  • We’re watching DVR’d episodes of “Blue’s Clues” and “Jack’s Big Music Show”.  Good thing I have them DVR’d, because our On Demand STILL doesn’t work with the new box we got.  SIGH.  But I think I’ve now officially seen every “Blue’s Clues” and “Jack’s Big Music Show” episode in existence.  Hey, did you know Joe’s real name is Dominick (cuz I’m a dumbass) err Donovan?  WTF?
  • I’m contemplating ditching out on Trick or Treating altogether in favor of a Harvest Festival or something of the like.  Just cannot get excited either about handing out candy or dragging the kids around the neighborhood this year.  I may change my mind yet again.
  • We’re planning a trip down to Elko for the second weekend in November.  Harry’s birthday is that weekend and there’s a craft day at my in-law’s church that I used to go several years ago.  It was always a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to going again.  This will probably be the only time we go back there during the “holiday season” so why not make it awesome?  Not looking forward to the price of filling up the van’s gas tank, but thank goodness gas prices are down!
  • Naturally, we’re not answering our phone so we don’t have to listen to robo calls or anything.  Not like it would matter because we’ve already voted!

That should be enough to keep my mind on other things, don’t you think?  So what are you doing to distract yourself?  (I heartily endorse not answering the phone, by the way.)

Weekend Follow Up

First off, I feel I should clarify yesterday evening’s post about undecided voters.  Loralee and several other wonderful commenters hit the nail on the head when they explained why they were undecided.  She explained that she holds both conservative and liberal views and doesn’t know which views to give the most weight to.  On top of that, she genuinely doesn’t care for either candidate.  I can respect that sort of undecided voter (even if I don’t agree, since I obviously think Obama would make a fabulous leader) because at least they are informed.  I suppose the bulk of my “rant” was directed at the uninformed undecided voter.  The people who haven’t taken the time to educate themselves on the issues.  That… I simply don’t get.  Of course, to some people their education comes from cable news or the email forward they got from their crazy Aunt Regina or whatever and that’s hardly better.

But just to make things clear, I do respect the people (and friends as everyone who commented on that post is someone I consider a friend) who are undecided for genuine reasons.  Unforunately, I think those sorts of people are few and far between.

And, before I move on for good, I want to say that I still love and respect my Republican (and Independant and, yes, undecided) friends and family.   This election is but a snapshot, a moment in time.  Yes, it’s an IMPORTANT time, but here in a couple weeks, it’ll be behind us, one way or another.  And I harbor no ill will to anyone.  I may have unfollowed a few people on Twitter, but that’s mostly for my own sanity and I will most likely follow them again after the election is done and over.  I imagine that several (or maybe more than several) people have unfollowed me in the past weeks as well.   It’s par for the course.  I have no hard feelings.  Time will tell if other people do or not.

***

We had a date night last night!  Nothing too fancy because we had neither time beforehand nor did we want to spend any money.  I made sure I got a shower during the day and I put on nice jeans and a nice top, did my make up and made sure my hair wasn’t too much of a rat’s nest (quite the feat these days).  I did forget to put on earrings, but… oh well.

We got the kids fed and put the little ones to bed.  Harry got sent to the loft with popcorn and instructions to watch TV up there and not venture downstairs.  We had a nice dinner that Kile made with various ingredients available in our kitchen.  It was darned yummy too.  We ate it in the living room, in candlelight, with some light classical music playing from one of the cable music channels.  We talked and talked about many subjects and after we finished we just sat on the couch together and talked some more.  It was very nice.

We finished off the night with a bowl of popcorn and “Pride and Prejudice” on DVD.  It meant we were up quite late, past midnight, but I’m glad we did it.  I think our first official “date night” was a success.  I don’t think it’s something we can do every night, but certainly at least once a month.  It truly felt like a date, which I guess is what the point is, right?

***

I still don’t have my thyroid meds.  When I refilled my refill-less prescription two days ago, they said it would take at least 48 hours to contact the doctor and get the refill taken care of.  Or something.  So hopefully today?  Maybe?  I don’t know.  Kile isn’t very responsive to my suggestions of leaving the house so far.

“Go to Obama rally?”

“…”

“There’s a Halloween thing at the mall that Liam would get a kick out of.”

“…”

“Early voting?”

“…”

“Pick up my prescription?”

“…”

Soooo… fingers are crossed.  I’ll keep ya posted.

Undecided My Butt

Like many of the pundits on the cable news networks, I too find myself more and more disbeliving of so-called “undecided” voters at this late stage in the game.  In fact, I dare say that they don’t really EXIST except to people who ask them who they’re voting for.  Nope, instead, I think these people know exactly who they’re voting for and for whatever reason are reluctant to “share with the class”.  Could be they are going to vote for Obama but are surrounded by a conservative bias and don’t want to have to answer to their buddies for why they’re “jumping ship”.  Or, they’re going to vote for McCain and are afraid of looking like they’re prejudiced if they admit it.  Could be that they dont’ want to be talked out of their decision.  Could be that they know their reasons for wanting to vote for whichever candidate are flimsy and they don’t want someone to find out.  Could be that they like the drama and attention they recieve as an “undecided” voter.

Who knows why the crazy do what they do?

I’ve heard it said that these people have had more than enough time to research the candidates for themselves and make an informed decision.  I would have to agree.  This has, in essence, been going on for a good year.  If you don’t want to vote for Obama, you should have the cohones to just come out and say so.  If you don’t want to vote for McCain, the same thing goes.  If you don’t want to share who you are voting for, simply say “I don’t want to share that with anyone right now.”  SIMPLE AS THAT.

I have a similar issue with complaining about the candidates.  Everyone complains about politicians.  I’ve heard more than one person call out this behavior as being “fashionable” and I think I have to agree.  If you don’t like one candidate or another and are hesitant to pick a side (see my above rant on undecided voters), it’s so much more stylish to simply say “They all suck!  I don’t want to vote for either!”  Fine.  Then don’t!  You can mark “none of the above”, can’t you?  Instead cast your ballot for the local races that you feel will greater impact you (and they will).  I could maybe buy the “They all suck” song and dance back in 2004 because it was more voting AGAINST someone than it was voting FOR someone.  But this time, it’s different.

I truly and honestly believe that Obama is the answer to our country’s problems.  I think he offers the change we so desperately need.  I don’t believe that he’s “just like any other politician” as I’ve heard some people say.   I think people only say that because they don’t want to vote for him.  It’s fine if you don’t want to vote for him, but to call him “just another politician” is just downright untrue.  For one thing, his campaign has been so vastly different than the presidential campaigns we’ve seen in recent years.  I’ve been truly impressed with how he has done things.  The issues have truly been what is important and the American people have been delighted to see it.

I do think a lot of “undecided” voters don’t want to vote for Obama for one reason or another, but aren’t thrilled with McCain either.  It brings me to mind of John Kerry in 2004.  I sure as HECK wasn’t going to vote for Bush but I wasn’t really excited about Kerry either.  But I voted for him.  And I suspect that a lot of people who tell you that they don’t really like either candidate will actually vote for McCain.

I just wish they would come out and say so already.  Own up to your choices!  Embrace your inner self!  Be free!  (Oh, and don’t forget to vote on November 4!)

Breaking the Political Silence

I had this big post planned, where I would touch on a variety of political topics including some thoughts on independent voters, how I feel about our economic downturn, how Obama’s tax plan is incorrectly viewed by most conservatives and how Sarah Palin has just gotten worse since I first heard about her.  And I also wanted to talk about how all the relentless politicking has just worn me down to a cynical nub.  Again.

But.

Then the whole race issue started rearing it’s ugly head in the last week.  I’ve long been concerned about this becoming a major part of the race.  It could be one of the reasons I initially supported Hillary Clinton, because I was afraid of racial backlash.  I wish I could believe that some of my fellow Americans are beyond the backward thinking our country experienced as recently as the 1960’s.  But, apparently, we’re not.

We’ve all seen the soundbites on television where supporters at McCain rallys have shouted out racial slurs and disturbing calls to violence.  That’s frightening enough.  Because, as we all know, it only takes ONE person to pick up a gun.  It only takes one person to set the world on it’s ear.  And, whether you support him or not, you have to admit that if anything were to happen to Obama at this stage in the game it would be catastophic for this nation.  People. Would. Flip. OUT.  I don’t want that for my country.  I want to see us start to heal our wounds and move forward with a plan for the future.  But I am starting to wonder if that will even be possible.  Because the hate that some people hold in their hearts frightens me.

Take Gayle Quinnell, the McCain supporter who at a recent rally in Minnesota told McCain that she was afraid of Obama because he was an “Arab”.  To McCain’s credit, he quickly and simply told her that she was wrong and that Obama was a decent family man, etc and so forth.  But is it too little, too late?  Because Ms. Quinnell proved to us in an interview after the rally that she still believes Obama is dangerous simply because his father was a Muslim.  Even when the interviewers tried to correct her, to tell her that Obama was indeed a Christian and was never a Muslim, she responded, “Yeah, but he’s still got Muslim in him. So that’s still part of him.”

This makes my heart hurt, people.  It’s “the sins of the father” all over again.  And this is even assuming that simply being a Muslim is a crime (which is definitely is not).  It’s “in him”??  Hiding latent underneath the layers, only to rear it’s ugly head once he steps foot in the Oval Office, causing him to rain destruction and mayhem on our fair country?  DOES SHE REALLY BELIEVE THIS?  And if she believes it, how many others do as well?  I’m afraid to ask.

The thing is, I’m sure you could sit down with someone like Gayle Quinnell and explain to her the facts about Obama and it won’t make one bit of different.  Because calling him an “Arab” is an excuse.  For whatever reason, she doesn’t want to come right out and say that she is afraid of him and won’t support him because he’s black.  So she clings to this other excuse, flimsy as it is.  And there are SO MANY other people who are doing the exact same thing.

In Gayle’s case, she’s 75 years old and it was just how she was raised.  My mother is nearly the same age and grew up in a similar part of the country.  Though she is voting for Obama in this election, she understands why so many of her generation cannot get past the color of his skin.  They were raised to view African Americans as wholly different from themselves.  And not different in a good way.  At “best”, they see them as mentally insufficient.  At worst, they see them as dangerous.

It makes my heart sick to think of it.  It causes me pain to realize that we still have such blind bigotry alive and well in our country.  I guess it doesn’t surprise me much, seeing all the things that have happened in the last eight years, but it does disappoint me.

You know, vote for McCain because you agree with his policies and his ideals.  Don’t vote for him because you have ignorant, racist assumptions about people.  I can respect someone voting for McCain because of his stance on the issues.  I cannot respect someone who comes up with some bullshit notion about Obama being an “Arab” or trying to link him to terrorists simply because they cannot stomach him being a black man.

These next few weeks are going to be brutal.  And I can only hope that once November 4th rolls around, that we use our heads in the voting booths across the country and make a choice that ISN’T based on hate.

You Need to Read – September 28

Better a day late than a dollar short, right? (Though, come to think of it, I’m a dollar short too.  Damnit.)  I had to post this week’s list because there really were some good posts on it and I felt guilty for not giving them their due.  And I know I shouldn’t feel guilty anyhow and that’s what I was trying to avoid by taking the break and all, but… what can ya do?  I’m going to try to tackle this list a little differently than I normally would too.  So bear with me.  And thanks for your patience too.  You guys are faboo.

First off, I have Let Flickr Take You On A Picnik! from Blissfully Domestic by Kayla Meow.  Have you heard about Picnik yet?  I played with it a little this weekend and I think it’s love.  Best of all?  Most of it’s features are FREE, you just need to sign up.  This picture below is a good testament of what can be done with Picnik:

Eyelashes
BEFORE and AFTER

Convinced yet?  Go read that post if you aren’t and you will be!

Also on this week’s list is Trauma from loraleeslooneytunes.com by Loralee.  This isn’t an easy post to read.  Chances are, you’re going to need a box of tissues to get through it.  I know I did.  Her pain is so palpable in this post that you want desperately to be able to reach through the computer screen and hug her, bake her a lasagna, SOMETHING.  I know enough of her pain to know how soul-shattering it is, but in the end, I have no idea the trauma she has experienced.  She’s in my heart.

Next is an issue that is near and dear to my heart. Boys Will Be Boys? from Dutch Blitz by Angella.  I take (and always have taken) large exception to the notion that all boys are rough, wild and obnoxious.  If anything, I think what makes boys that way is their parents expecting that’s how they’ll be.  And I hate it when people excuse rude/poor behavior by saying “boys will be boys”.  That’s no reason not to have manners.  Whether you’re a boy or a girl, you should be able to say you’re sorry.

This next post is just as awesome and is about a very important issue. Guest Poster: Bugfrog from Greeblemonkey by Aimee’s husband Bryan.  He talks about how and why some people say they don’t or won’t vote and how exactly that line of thinking is flawed.  We should ALL vote if we even remotely care about this country.  Republican or Democrat.  We need to make our voices heard.

I always love to see a new post from Y up.  File this one under “afraid to hit publish.” from Joy Unexpected by Yvonne was yet another post from here where she lays it on the line.  And this time, she lays it on the line about her thyroid, her weight and how it’s affecting her.  And she basically says she refuses to let it affect her any longer.  She wants to get healthy, darnit, and I want to get healthy right along with her.  I just love her honesty.  I wish we could all be as honest in our writing.

This next post is actually something I’m worried about.  In the Voting Booth, No One Knows You’re a Dog from MOMocrats by Cynematic discusses the possibility of people getting to the voting booth and, though intending to vote for Obama, will not be able to for one reason or another.  Mostly?   Because he’s black.  I am scared to death of this happening, people.  That we would turn away from the best hope our country has right now simply because of the color of his skin.  Prove me wrong, people!

And while I’m feeling all aggravated, here’s something that’s been making my brain bleed: High Fructose Corn Syrup Is Your Friend! from MamaPop. Have you seen these ads?  They drive me CRAZY.  I’m sorry, Corn Refiners of America (or whoever you are), but your campaign is stupid, insulting and DANGEROUS.  I guess that’s my way of saying that I’m not convinced and I will still be looking for ways to cut HFCS from our diet.  Because, seriously, I don’t need this stuff in EVERYTHING I eat.  Do you?

And that, my friends, is the list.  If you’ve seen my previous post today, we’ve had some strange happenings here at Casa de Porter.  This morning, we heard a loud BANG followed by the sound of ice crackling in a glass of water.  And lo and behold, our sliding glass door in the kitchen SHATTERED.  Just like that.  Why?  Your guess is as good as mine.  Some of the glass has already started falling out of it and I’m at a loss as to what to do.  FIGURES.  Sometimes, I really, really  hate this house.

Has it been done to death?

So I have a very important question for you, The Internets.  See, I have this… book that I wrote back in the Dark Ages (otherwise known as high school).  And I was thinking of, you know, posting it on here.  Mostly for fun because I haven’t even glanced at it in at least ten years and I’m fairly certain the quality is nothing short of ATROCIOUS.  It would be not unlike Frema’s fabeled “Tragic Love Friday” (which actually DIDN’T suck, but whatever).

So what do you think?  Should I do it?  Would anyone (anyone??) be interested?  Cuz I’m thinking we could all have a good laugh at my expense with this one.  To give you a taste: it features both a frosty figure skater and a cruise to Hawaii and a Nissan 300ZX.  OH MY.

http://wp.vizu.com/vizu_poll.swf

(If you’re reading this from a reader and can’t see the poll, please click through and vote. If you don’t it’ll hurt my feelings.)