succumbing to peer pressure

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Carrie has a new blog and it's brilliant! What are you still doing here? Go! Read and be enlightened!

Another good Dad story, this one from Ahalya:

My father told me this evening he'd been calling undecided voters in Ohio. I think the amazing thing about that is it came up accidentally in conversation. He didn't feel the need to brag about it, not even to his own daughter. It was something he did quietly and b/c he believed in it. He said he didn't act pushy, he just asked people what their opinion was and why and if they had questions about platforms, and he asked that they vote, even if they were pro-Bush. I know I'm biased, but I think I have one classy dad.

Also, am working on coming to terms with the current state of my country, but just to put it out there, this is why it hurts so much (from Atrios):

First, as Eric Alterman puts it, there are more of "them" than "us" right now. The people who voted George Bush and the Republicans into office this year didn't do so because they were conned by a right wing asshole posing as a compassionate centrist. They did so precisely because he is a right wing asshole. Yes, the modern Republican party consists of nasty bigots and liars and the media rarely bothers to point out just how nasty they are (all the talking heads talking about the role of "moral values" in the election know that what that really means is "fag hating," but they won't say it). But, don't be fooled - people know what they voted for.

Plenty of uplifting things have happened over the past several months, not the least of which was democracy in action on Tuesday with some of the highest voter turnout in ages and people actually caring and getting involved. But the hardest thing for me, more than the fear of what another fours years may mean (the mind reels) is the hard reality that America has spoken, and this is what America wants. And this version of America is so far from the ideals that mean the most to me, it's hard to see my place in it. I'm so tired of pushing against this wall, and it's like Wednesday morning it became so clear that the majority of Americans are perfectly happy with the placement of that wall. So maybe I should stop pushing...for a while. I mean, isn't the definition of insanity repeating the same act over and over again without a change in the results? But then as the day went on I remembered that there are plenty of people out there who desperately need that wall to move, and who don't have the same capability to push against it that I do. So I guess my place is still here...It reminds me (surprise surprise) of a West Wing quote, from the episode where a father is telling Tobey about visiting colleges with his daughter. And he says he likes that it's hard, putting his children through school. Things that are important and worth doing should be hard. But if they could just be the tiniest bit easier... That's how I feel now - it should be hard to make the world a better place. Doing the right thing shouldn't always be the easy thing. But I'm so tired. I was looking forward to having some time and money to spare now that the election is over. But given that this administration (and, it seems, the majority of American society) don't care much about the things I care about, I guess there's no reprieve from making sure the UNFPA can continue to prevent poor women from dying during labor. And funding AIDS research that goes beyond abstinence. And ensuring that a woman's medical decisions are between her and her doctor. And pushing our representatives to do something about the millions of people who's whole idea of healthcare is the occasional trip to the emergency room when something really awful happens. Mr. President, you've said over and over again that your job is hard. Well, guess what? So is mine. And I was really hoping that maybe you would take up some of the slack.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

As usual, I'm really grateful for my parents. It helps to know I have a sympathetic ear:

I know it's depressing; I don't have any wise words to make it all better.
Culture-wars are never fun. I remember the shock of realizing that I couldn't graduate from college if I had > 3" hair. (Because of Army kickbacks to the University, 2-years of ROTC was mandatory. ROTC had to be passed to graduate. ROTC couldn't be passed with 3" hair.). Seeing the final shooting scene in Easy Rider, and hearing a fair number in the crowd cheer that "the hippie" was dead left a mark that's still there. The darkest days ahead will be for those who "need stuff", or can't at least understand what's going on - stuck with being reactive means constant buffeting. Better to study/understand and anticipate and be active (but nothing nutzo).
You are fortunate enough to be educated, mobile, "job-worthy", and not in need of much from "Big Government". At least we are in a position to be able to wait for the inevitable slow swing back toward the center. It's a good time to stay focused on local politics (shorter time-constant).

I'm still too shell-shocked to have any coherent thoughts of my own.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Bah. Just caught some local news person claiming that the horrible proposed GA constitutional amendment to strip any hope of civil rights from same sex couples is going to pass with ease. Can't find this reported anywhere else, so perhaps it was just wishful thinking on the part of some bigoted reporter. But from what I've heard, it's expected to pass. Bah.

That aside, today has felt really good. Spent part of this morning reading people's stories about voting at Everyone is so excited about the simple act of voting. Everyday people know their voting rights. Every evening news tidbit I've seen for weeks has included information about provisional ballots and numbers to call if you need help voting. I guess it's sad that we're so worried something bad may happen, but I just can't help but feel uplifted and inspired by how involved everyone seems to be. Yay for democracy!

More goodness

Justin and I were supposed to get together tonight to watch the daily show and poll returns and whatnot. Unfortunately, he had car problems this morning and had to get a ride into work with a friend, and he works kind of far away, and they're just going to stay out there tonight, so we don't get to hang out. That part kind of sucks. But the nice thing is he just called to tell me that and make plans for later in the week. None of this is a particularly big deal, but Sanna and I are always talking about how we like boys who are "on top of things," i.e. who call when they say they will, remember when we make plans, and give us a heads up when plans change. So, you know, just giving him points for calling and being bummed about not being able to hang out tonight.
/does happy dance, because, hey, maybe boy actually likes me.
/goes back to pretending to do homework and trying not to freak out about the future of the country.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Way to go medical research community! So far, the experimental vaccine for cervical cancer appears to be extremely effective. Four years after receiving it, zero women have developed cancer. This is significantly lower than the prevalence in the general population. (disclaimer - I just caught this on the evening news, haven't checked out the study myself yet, so it's entirely possible that it's a poorly designed study and therefore the results are potentially useless. but, barring that, this is exciting news!)

Being a girl

I need to indulge in some girly babbling, else I'm bound to annoy all my friends. So if you hate that sort of thing, or it freaks you out coming from me, this is the entry to skip.

So I'm trying really hard to stay level-headed and not get too excited, but I really like this guy. Yes, I've known him for less than 48 hours. But I've spent a good eight or more of those hours just talking to him, and so far, I like what I know. Over coffee last night we talked about books and movies and family and schrodinger's cat and quantum physics and the human genome project and whether science is running out of solvable problems and changing the world. While he was telling a story about camping on sand dunes in Utah I said, Oh! Desert Solitaire! And he said, yes! Edward Abbey! Turns out we both desperately wanted to be park rangers after reading that book. We were just complete nerds last night, in this really satisfying, comfortable way. And on Saturday night when he proclaimed that he would like to call me sometime because I seem so cool (something I realized on Sunday he would have been far, far too shy to say without the help of alcohol) the reasons he listed included things like my knowledge of The Family Guy, my major in Statistics, and the fact that I read McSweeney's. How could I not be incredibly turned on by that? Oh, and did I mention that he teaches first grade?

Sunday, October 31, 2004

I feel like the Boston Red Sox!

A boy asked for my number last night. A nice, attractive, smart boy. Even better, he called this afternoon.