succumbing to peer pressure

Friday, January 23, 2004

Stuart Townsend + the London twins = incredibly attractive theology-major-soon-to-be-law-student named Wes who sat next to me at today's coffee break with William Schulz from Amnesty International.

(aside: speaking of Stuart Townsend, can you believe he was the original choice to play Aragorn?! I mean, I enjoy the Stuart Townsend, but what a totally different character that would have turned out to be. I'm sort of relieved he and Peter Jackson had a differing of opinion.)

Thursday, January 22, 2004

A learning experience

This quote from Andrew Sullivan (re: the SotU), "If you're a fiscal conservative or a social liberal, this was a speech that succeeded in making you take a second look at the Democrats. I sure am," meshes nicely with the post that's been humming through my brain for a couple of days. Clearly, I have an incredibly biased opinion when it comes to Bush (and most of the members of his administration). I think I've been pretty clear and honest about that. However, I also like to think that I am capable of being open-minded and listening to other opinions and being convinced by effective rhetoric. Therefore, I am asking those who consider themselves to be conservative republicans, or who at one time supported Bush, or who currently support Bush, to please explain to me why they think he's doing a good job. Or if there are any specific areas in which you believe he is improving our country. I ask this because, again, I admit a severe lack of knowledge, but my general impression of the political beliefs of republicans leads me to wonder why even his own party is supporting the president. It seems to me that even when applying a completely different set of political beliefs than the ones I personally hold, Bush is still doing a bad job, and doing bad things in general. I haven't been able to find much opposition in political thought among my group of friends here, and I know there are well-informed, thinking conservatives out there (I certainly went to school with enough of 'em) and I seriously would like to understand this point of view better. Also, I realize this is not going to happen, but in the hypothetical situation where the GOP decides they don't like Bush either, what sort of precedent is there for choosing a different candidate from within the same party when a president is running for reelection?

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Bastard. So yesterday was the magical day, the day when, if uncontested, Karen would get custody of Indigo. And what happens? Trevor, Indy's rat-bastard father, sneaks into the country and files a last minute motion. Forgive me if I sound heartless. I know, a biological father wishing to have custody of his child is often a good thing. But Trevor is worthless. A drug-runner who's only interest in Indy has been to occasionally kidnap the kid over the past 10 years. And yes, it's kidnapping when there's a restraining order out against him. Which is why he had to sneak into the country. His name is supposed to red-flag all sorts of security checkpoints. Way to go homeland security. Way to actually do your job. Hopefully, the judge will see that Trevor has been nothing but an absentee father and negative influence and rule very soon in Karen's favor. But it just means more heartache for an already very broken family. Bastard.

Haven't really sat down to research the Democratic candidates yet, but Michael Moore provides some food for thought about Clark.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Had this somewhat spontaneous flash of "adult-hood-ness" today. (hey, if the president can make up words, so can I) Was standing in the kitchen, feeding the cat, when it occurred to me - this is mine. All this stuff. Belongs only to me. Ok, so I've lived here an awfully long time, and I've been "independent" for a long time too, to be just realizing this. But it's like all the hectic-ness and stress of finding a place and buying furniture and appliances (although that was pretty fun) and registering for classes and doing the whole school thing managed to overshadow the "wow, look at me, being an adult" thing. Really an adult. I've had moments of feeling grown-up, but those mostly feel like I'm playing house or something, pretending to be an adult. Living at Belmar was like that. I mean, it was completely awesome, but it was a lot more like, wow, why is someone letting me play house with my friends? Plus, we were sharing expenses and Mom and Dad were still supporting me. Now, when I pay rent, it comes from my paycheck. When I buy groceries, I'm spending my money. Sure, lots of people do this well before they turn 23, and I'm grateful that I didn't have to do it before now. But now I'm having this moment. Like when I bought my car. It was the biggest, most expensive single item I had ever owned. Come to think of it, still is. And it was mind-blowing that this whole thing was mine. And now this apartment is mine. And this computer and desk and bed and shelves. Forgive me. I'm sure this sounds asinine and selfish and spoiled. Just needed to get it out there.

On a vaguely similarly adult-ish yet tangential topic - go here and find out about your local March Meetup. The March for Women's Lives is happening April 25 in DC and it's REALLY IMPORTANT. Not just if you're a woman or a mother or plan on someday maybe having kids. But because you, yes you, happen to be a human being existing in this world, it matters. If there doesn't happen to be a bus departing your city or you have finals the next week and can't spare the day, then empty your couch cushions and make even the tiniest of donations or go to meetings and help get the word out to people who are able to go. Or if this isn't your particular cup of activist tea, go answer a rape hotline or volunteer at a women's shelter or JUST DO SOMETHING! I realize my recent bout of activities has left me more gung-ho than usual, but I have to be honest - the current state of my country scares the hell out of me. Not just because I happen to disagree with my president or my congress or my local government or because I'm worried about women's rights or gay rights or HUMAN RIGHTS. But because I feel like there are currently more bad things happening in the world than good. Because every day I find it harder to be hopeful and optimistic and idealistic. Because we can do better than this.

Monday, January 19, 2004

Dilemma (part II)

Perhaps I should clarify my previous post a bit. When I say the group assumed that I'm gay, and I did not correct them, I don't mean that any member of the group asked point blank what my orientation is or if I'm involved with someone or anything like that. Rather, blanket statements were made about the LGBT community with an implied "that's us." It seemed inappropriate and out of place at that moment to be like, um, I'm straight. The reason I'm sort of torn about what to do is because bringing up my sexuality seems to imply that I expect them to be confused by/have a problem with a straight person being a member of a group working for LGBT rights. That was a very convoluted sentence. Read it again, hopefully it makes sense.


So I went to the OUTFront Action meeting tonight, and it was good, though a little more just-getting-started than I was hoping. (for those who have never heard of this group, like me until 2 days ago, it's sponsored by Amnesty International and specifically focuses on LGBT human rights) So anyway, it was good, but here's my dilemma - the group made the (fairly obvious and expected) assumption that I'm gay. Which is fine, except that telling them I'm straight seems like making it a big deal (which it isn't) and not correcting them seems deceptive. Suggestions on what the appropriate action might be?

Since we all know money makes the world go 'round, anyone got enough cash to take part in this State of the Union suggestion?

Woo-hoo! After years of promising my friends that I would visit them in Chicago, I'm finally, really, doing it! I just finished purchasing my tickets. So I'll be in Chicago during the second week of March (spring break for me). Hooray! Not only do I get to see Seth and Beth and Ken and Christine and Nick, but I get to visit Chicago for the FIRST TIME EVER! Yay for me!

In other news, today is a good day. Most of the time I tell people that I'm really idealistic and want to make the world a better place. But I typically mean it in this sort of, when I grow up, kind of way. Like, I'm going to school so I can enter a profession where I will make people's lives better. But, aside from the occasional angry letter to a representative, it's not very often that I actually get off my duff and do something to make the world better. So this morning I got up and participated in the Hands On Atlanta MLK Day of action. I went down to the HOA headquarters and helped make shelves for their offices. Ok, so I didn't feed the hungry or shelter the homeless. But I helped the people who help them, so that counts for something, right? Seriously though, I really like the idea of HOA and think I'm going to sign up for more stuff with them. The basic idea behind the organization is to make it easier for people to volunteer locally. So any place that needs volunteers - elementary schools, park clean-ups, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, etc. - just sends the info to HOA, which posts all the volunteer opportunities on a calendar on their website, where you can register and sign up for whatever you have the time and skills for.
Then tonight I'm going to an OUTFront meeting; a group organized by Amnesty International to work for more equitable rights for the LGBTQ population. I've been looking for a way to become more active in this area, so I hope tonight's meeting is...useful/encouraging.
And finally, tomorrow evening I'm going to the March Meetup, the monthly (soon to be bi-monthly) meeting to organize travelling to DC for the Women's March in April. Even though they're all small starts, I finally feel like I'm doing something. And it feels good.