Saturday, November 8, 2008

We Are One People. We Are One Nation.

Well, it happened. I’ve been fantasizing and hoping for so long that I’d convinced myself it wouldn’t be possible. In the week leading up to election day I did my level best to stay as far away from the polls as possible—I just didn’t want to know. Steve was the brave one—he followed that coverage pretty closely and kept me informed. Tuesday was pretty much the same…I speculated about getting a bottle of champagne in case there was something to celebrate, but put it off until Barack took Ohio, and then sprinted out to the local Safeway, where amazingly enough they had a bottle of Veuve Cliquot waiting.

I got back and within a half hour or so he’d taken Virginia. VIRGINIA. Now I gotta say as someone who spent most of her childhood in that state, there was just no way I could visualize Obama taking VA. My mom spent a few hours phone banking in the last couple weeks of the campaign, but had sounded pretty resigned that VA wouldn’t go his way. I mean, it’s the seat of the friggin’ confederacy. And then Steve was saying “you’d better get the bottle out of the freezer, McCain is about to concede.”

This in itself was incredible to me. After 2 elections where I woke up the next morning without a definitive result, it was an indescribable relief to have this contest decided so quickly. (Ok, so I was lucky enough to be on the West coast—a lot earlier than all of my NYC and Chicago compadres who stayed up late to find out how it all ended) In any case I was impressed (for the moment) at how gracious parts of McCain’s speech was. It sounded like the McCain I’d wanted to respect for so long.

But what really got me was watching Obama’s victory speech. We don’t have cable, so we watched it streaming full-screen on Steve’s big monitor. The slightly pixellated image as Obama’s strong voice reached out through the speakers was so surreal and wonderful that it’s still something I am processing.

But why is this?

Why has this person reached out and touched my citizen’s heart in a way no other politician ever has?

Well, there’s a few reasons for that. I’m gonna try to be succinct about this, but bear with me.

1. One of my great political dreams has always been the mobilization of voters. I always dreamed that the huge pool of people who could vote who never did, and the other group who had never bothered to register because they thought it wouldn’t count, would get up and dare to make their voices heard—to take that risk that they would lose, because it was more important for their vote to be cast than not.

In all honesty, I’d have felt better (in a way) if GWB had won by a true mandate of the people. I’d still be heavily against him, but at least the people would have spoken. The fact that this hadn’t been the way our presidents and congress have been chosen (and still aren’t—there’s plenty of people who could vote who haven’t) has always rankled with me.

The fact that Obama’s campaign went out and consistently worked to get people to the polls inspired the heck out of me. They sent people to all parts of the cities, all areas of suburban and rural neighborhoods and made it as easy as they could for people to vote, told these people that their votes mattered.

This concept went beyond the campaign—it’s integral to Obama’s approach in his career—from his community organizing experience to the courses he taught in voting law. This focus won me over pretty quickly.

2. On top of that was the innovative approaches that Obama used to reach out to people and give them information. His expansive website that spelled out every aspect of his agenda was more thorough than his opponents (I cross-checked the issues). He was on every single social networking site before anyone else. He held town halls discussing how every department of his administration could have its own town halls and websites to reach the American public and be held accountable by them.

This kind of transparency, as well as a recognition of the reach and ability of the web to communicate immediately with citizens (and the willingness to go there, do that, and give citizens that kind of access) was such a revelation after the GWB administration’s immense secrecy that this won me over yet again.

3. The combination of items 1 and 2 backed up my immediate impressions of the speech that Obama gave in New Hampshire upon conceding the primary win to Hillary Clinton. I’d found the Will. I. Am song “Yes We Can” rather trite and propagandic, but also pretty innovative on a political level, so I looked up the original speech on YouTube and was immediately impressed. The history Obama traces in his vision of American innovation inspired the hell out of me, but what really got me was the line that makes the title of this post. I have never heard another politician be so clear about the place every American has in the foundation and function of this country. It was something I needed desperately to hear, and had no idea I needed to hear it until it was being said. I can only imagine how much more others have needed the same thing—all those people who hadn’t voted until this election—or who hadn’t done so in years. It gripped my heart and forced me to care.

So there you have it. That being said, I totally get how others look at all of this with a critical eye, both those who voted for Obama and those who voted for McCain. All the change that Obama has advocated can be tough to absorb and believe. I’ll be interested to see how that changes as the initiatives start happening. Checking out the beta site of is a good place to start. When I talked to my parents right before Obama’s speech my dad said, “the real work begins tonight.” I can’t wait.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The election's tomorrow.

The election's tomorrow! The ELECTION IS TOMORROW!!!

Fucking finally. And yet, I'm terrified...I refuse to think anything is in the bag until it's over. God, it seems almost impossible, doesn't it? This thing has been going on FOR. EVER.

Gotta say tho, I'm damn proud to have Obama as a candidate. No matter what happens tomorrow, this has been a true political watershed for this country. I just hope the momentum continues. We all need to take a week to breathe again and get some sleep. And then the real work begins. Obama's been talking a lot about new plans for governmental transparency and accountability--we'd better take full advantage of that in the years ahead, if he wins.

Oh God I hope he wins.

See you on the other side.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Long time no update...

Well. And how are you? Things have been pretty busy here, especially in the last few days. The boy has finally arrived--hooray! He got in on Sunday, we went out to his dad's on Monday in the lovely town of Port Townsend, picked up the car and came back yesterday. Then it was a mad dash to Costco, the hardware store, and various other take-care-of-business scenarios.

The weather has been absurdly pretty many of the natives have taken pains to tell me. Soon the fog and damp and interminable rain will be upon I'm trying to soak up as much sun and color as I can for the moment.

That being said, I'm enjoying some of the misty romanticism that'll probably get old once I've been here for a few months. The pix below are all from the Port Townsend excursion.

The view from my father-in-law's back porch in the morning.

A place where I had a fab seafood omlet on Tues. morning.

The view outside the restaurant. So pretty.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Nice weekend...

Went to Discovery Park yesterday for a hike--and didn't get lost on the bus! Yay! Steve had mentioned this park to me (one of many in the city) and it really is gorgeous. There's a 2.8 mile loop hike around the park that goes through forest, a little rainforesty-area, and a gorgeous meadow near the sound.

First, forest greenery:

And then the meadow:

So pretty. Couldn't get anything to take in the rainforest area (not enough light) but tons of ferns everywhere. So instead here's a little fall foliage on a clear autumn afternoon:

Today was a bit more sedate. Tried out a rather progressive church today. Won't say the name, because I really liked the sermon. Unfortunately the music made me cringe. It wasn't just praise-oriented Christian pop (not my thing at all) but it was bad praise-oriented Christian Pop. Phrases that trailed off into nothingness, warbling vocalizations, saccharine piano music over the psalm reading. Oh well. At least it got me out of the house.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Gratuitous political linkage

This is a bit long, but darn it I still like it:

Obama '08 - Vote For Hope from MC Yogi on Vimeo.

Ya know, I've been amazed by the amount of music surrounding Obama's campaign. It isn't shatteringly good, but it's been fascinating in its variety--and mostly done by people without an official affiliation to his campaign. The man most definitely has his finger on the pulse of large chunks of this country. I'm praying it'll be enough to get him into office in November.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Networking fail, but interesting atmos

So Steve pointed me to a networking op at a place called Office Nomads--an office for freelancers that rents space by the day and the month. They accommodate all kinds of freelancers--writers, urban planners, photographers, designers, programmers, etc. I meandered around, sipping a glass of wine and looking for some openings into conversation before chickening out and leaving. Lame, I know. I did find out that they have free drop ins on the first Monday of every month--so I'll go back then and give it another shot. As I was walking out and heading toward the bus one of the women who'd been there passed me and complimented my boots. Guess I should've hung around a tad more, could've sparked some chitchat with a little extra effort...oh well.

It probably didn't help that I was suffering from epic bus confusion on the way down--kept getting on busses going the wrong direction. S was on the phone, doing the web searches and helping me navigate, but when you're on the ground the the busses keep going in loops instead of heading in a specific direction it can get pretty damn confusing. Doesn't help that I'm not *used* to being disoriented in a city...and I hate getting lost. Hate it.

That being said, I got down there eventually, and had no issues getting home. I have to get the hell over myself and be more free about checking with bus drivers when I get on the bus to make sure I'm going in the right direction. All the drivers I've talked to seem more than accomodating to tell the truth.

On the bright side, I saw this on the bus going downtown:

Cute, huh? Just sittin' there on this shoulder, wiggling his nose and staring at us.

Rabbits seem to be popular pets in this city. I saw one at a farmer's market last weekend, and on the way home last night I saw another guy with a pet bunny in a cage. He ended up chatting with a fellow passenger for a good 20 minutes about how much he loves his rabbits, and how mellow they are.

Ok, nuff blogging for now, gotta get back to the cover letters. Will try to take a hike this weekend, hopefully I'll have more pix to share from that.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Top o the mornin'...

Surfacing at Starbucks...I'm gonna be spending this rainy cloudy day at home waiting for S's beer brewing stuff to show up from UPS. There's always a ton of stuff to do around the house...boxes to unpack, freelance to finish, cover letters to write. So I'll be keeping pretty busy. More of my clothes have surfaced...still looking for one bag of 'em, but they're around somewhere. Appliances that I've unpacked need to be cleaned and tested out.

Exciting stuff, huh? Such is the life of the newly-moved. Hopefully I'll have some more interesting stuff to update over the weekend.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


The movers came, brought in all the boxes. Everything seems to be here, but I won't know for sure until the last box in unpacked. They reassembled everything that'd been disassembled, and I dove into the kitchen boxes as soon as the big rig pulled away. We have a lot of glassware. Where the hell am I gonna put all of the tissue paper that this stuff was wrapped in?!

O well. I'm just glad it's all here. And that it wasn't wrapped in hands might not recover from the newsprint...hate that newsprinty feeling. Ick.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Ugh, oy, ai yi yi

The movers are coming today...pray for me! I will be SO GLAD to have a bed again. I miss the rest of my clothes!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Spooky ladies

Near Pike's Place Market:

Pikes Place Market

Made a quick stop here after a networking interview this morning. Totally touristy, and for good reason. I tried to get some pix of the great views, but the iPhone camera just wasn't cutting it, so I didn't bother. Here's just a couple of pictures:

Massively large whole salmon and rainbow trout (mmmm)

Really, really reasonable (and lovely) seasonal flowers

The Main Branch of the Seattle Public Library

It's official. I'm in love. I've been here once before, but only as a visitor, not a card-carrying member. Now that I have my very own card I can browse the halls of this noble establishment for hours, dare I say a full day, comfortable in the knowledge that I can check out anything I want.

Ok, I know I sound like a total geek. But this isn't just an architectural oddity--it's huge, its collection is equally vast, quirky, and enjoyable, and it's the most browsable library I've ever been in. Floors 6-9 have massive walkways that slowly spiral downward, so you can walk the 3 floors without effort, grazing thru the perimeter of a large chunk of their collection.

Here's one of the reading rooms. You'd think that the open space and industrial look would be kinda foreboding (or at least I would) but it's a very welcoming, quiet space.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Open message

To the person who keeps calling my cell phone looking for "Pauline" after I told you that you had the wrong number--repeatedly calling over and over is not going to make Pauline appear any faster. Stop calling me!

Homer’s Dream come true?

I haven’t tried this out yet, but I think I’ll have to. Sorry for the crap lighting on these pix--cloudy days and an iPhone camera do not a fab photo make.

VP Debate

I meant to go to one of the viewing parties for last week’s debate—in transit to the location I got an invite from my sister to hang with her family (including their adorable almost-one-year-old). Gotta say, there’s no contest when it comes to a group of strangers, Biden (who I find amusing and likeable) and Palin (who I find both annoying and scary on multiple levels) versus the latter two with my sister, her awesome hub and their cute as a button, round-all-over, funny and super-sweet little one. The debate was a lot more palatable in their presence, I gotta say. That being said, I found this double-bill amusing at Central Cinema:

On a related note, I highly recommend checking out the SNL sendup of that debate:

I’m not an SNL fan as a rule—altho the Fey portrayals of Palin have been rightly praised, usually the sketches are waaaay too long for me. But I’d be hard-pressed to find anything to cut in this one. The added benefit for me is in watching Queen Latifah as Gwen Ifill. Very funny.


It’s been an interesting few days here. It’s kinda weird to be navigating a city solo—especially when I’m used to the ease of the subway (at least easy to me). Busses have always been a bit more alien to me—I think I’ve used NYC busses on an average of 2-4 times a year, max. But so far it’s going decently. Weekend ones are slower…I need to be more on the ball when it comes to giving myself plenty of time to get from point A to point B.

But it’s been kind a cool to notice the little things. It’s been cloudy and rainy since last Thursday…but the plants are so, so green and lush. I smell flowers and eucalyptus often as I walk past particular houses. Since I don’t have internet at home I’m manning the Starbucks every morning…on the way there I see this:

Bad lighting, but hopefully you get the idea. These are from a house a block away from me…you can smell the apples as you walk by. Awesome. I hope the inhabitants are able to harvest these, seems a shame to let ‘em go to waste.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Out on the other side

After Tuesday's movement of all of my possessions onto a truck, my flight out to Seattle, and some drama with a burglar alarm that is now dead, I'm comfortably ensconced in the upper bedroom of an empty house. Starbucks 5 minutes away, 2 groceries and the bank within walking distance, I'm getting to know a relatively mellow neighborhood.

I also saw a couple of these birds bathing in our backyard teeny fountain on Weds:

Pretty, isn't it? My friend Lee in CA sez that it's a Steller's Jay, and Wikipedia apparently agrees, since that's where I got the picture.

More tales to follow, but for now I need to work on some cover letters for the long slog thru a job search.

Monday, September 29, 2008

boxes, boxes, boxes

Oy. So the packers came today and boxed up everything I hadn't boxed up already...nice guys, very efficient. Of course I was kinda basket-casey watching everything be bundled into cardboard, and was indebted to Alison, who came over to hang out, do apartment surveys with me to monitor the growth of boxed-up possessions, and keep me on an even keel. We spent a lot of time in the bedroom while one of the guys (abt age 30 at the oldest) was packing things, and he'd chime in every once in a while. It ended up coming out over time that he'd been with the first crew of soldiers to go into Iraq. Pretty amazing stuff--we kept it superficial, asking about how hot it got, and how long he was there. Apparently he'd been in Kuwait on standard tour of duty, and when he was on the plane, the whole crew was informed that instead of going home they were going to Iraq.

We talked about the debate some, about Barack (who he seemed to support) and McCain, who he'd had respect for but was disappointed by. He was quite shaken by the fact that was revealed in the debate that the US borrowed more than $300 billion from China for the war. "It doesn't make sense," he kept repeating.

Went to Grimaldi's tonite with Greg and Sophie. We stood in line and were brought in ahead of a lot of others b/c we were a party of 4 who would easily fill up a table. Had my first pizza with anchovies tonite--Y.U.M! Thanx, Soph!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Crap weather...

It's raining outside--yesterday was sticky and gross, the day before raining pretty heavily. I'm sitting here contemplating going to the liquor store to get more boxes to continue packing...but I think it doesn't open until noon. If I'm lucky the rain will stop long enough for me to cart back a largish haul. I'd consider complaining, but Diane (my ex-roomie) is moving today, and has called all hands on deck to help her out. So if anyone has a reason to complain, it's her, not me! Wishing you the best of luck today, lady Di! And to everyone helping her out.

Friday, September 26, 2008

good bye to office life...

At least for now! I've been at the same job for 6 (six!) years...3x longer than any other job I've ever had. It was pretty surreal to leave, and to say good-bye to some really awesome people. At the same time, I've been chafing under the cubicle environs, but let's admit it, I'll be pretty desperate to find something similar once we've settled in on the West Coast. We'll have to see how things go down--but in a new place I'm hoping to become hungrier, professionally. I need some new challenges. And I'm sure as hell about to get 'em. Eeep!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sunday, September 21, 2008

let's hear it for friends

Steve and I met up with a bunch o'pals at Von on Friday, and proceeded to enjoy Kurt's ability to get us free drinks all night. Had a great time, but we were paying for it yesterday. Rob called and begged off helping me pack until today due to a hangover, which I could completely relate to.

Gotta say, nothing compares to having a friend with a passion for organization...especially when dealing with a slob with me with a head full of 80 different details and difficulties with making decisions about what to keep and what to throw away. He put my possessions into some semblance of order, helped me clean up, and made it downright pleasant.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Yet another freakin' blog

So I've been thinking for ages of starting a blog. Now that I'm moving from the East Coast (where I've spent my whole life) to the West Coast, I figured this would be as good a time as any.

In addition to whining about the agida of moving, culture shock, and unpacking loads of boxes, I'll also blog about the wonders of my new city (Seattle), my obsessive crafting tendencies (knitting, quilting, jewelry making, a little sewing), my evolving political awareness (GoBama, stop voter suppression) and various Seinfeldian observances in my day to day life.

Today, I'm hangin' with some friends after work, and gearing up for a weekend of boxes and bubble wrap. Yee ha!