Thursday, November 30, 2006
Santa's little helper
I only share this because (a) Drew took the time to make it and (b) it is ridiculously funny.

You should probably sit down...and not watch it at work.

You can play it twice. I don't mind.

If you want more things to keep you busy, check out Kos' analysis about 08. Someday when I'm not bogged down thinking about photos like THESE, I'm going to try and write about 08 as well. But I will say that I like his stuff about Edwards. I would love a Gore/Edwards ticket. I may drop out of school and work on that one...

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Friday, November 24, 2006
A word about change
D: I'm really starting to like this Coke Zero...
K: Really? I don't trust it.
D: I know! I used to think it was the devil's drink. ...*big drink* apparently I am morally flexible!


Thursday, November 23, 2006
Happy Thanksgiving!
Discomfort with flying and fear of failing out of graduate school grounded us in GA this holiday. And although we missed our families a great deal, we had a perfectly Drew and Kristen holiday. We decided that our first holiday as a married couple brought an opportunity to relax in our own home and invent new holiday traditions.

I welcome you to a very, merry Kristen and Drew Thanksgiving:

We have cranberries, too....with Prosecco!:

And lots of movie watching (reviews forthcoming):

And since pies are not to be trusted, Drew made CHEESECAKES! Yummy:

Happy Thanksgiving!


Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Pedagogical inspirations
I am currently reviewing a book for one of our field's journals. The book is a wonderfully written piece about rhetorical listening. I am in love with it on so many levels. One particularly insightful chapter involves listening pedagogically. The author writes that teachers should articulate their own classroom assumptions before any course begins. She argues that such reflection is particularly important when teaching highly resistance-prone topics such as race and gender. And while reflection won't necessarily help forecast the outcomes of the class, they will make you more appreciative of any gains made in a classroom designed to make students more aware of privilege and status.

Her chapter made me acutely aware of my own lack of reflection about sensitive classroom topics. I often find myself frustrated with the lack of progress in the classroom--frustrated with students who struggle to grasp complicated notions of whiteness and male privilege. It is easier to come back to my office and complain rather than relish [and reflect upon] the educational opportunities the classroom provides to me—also a student. The author wrote something that is still ringing in my ears...."These goals may not be realized within a fifteen week course. Sometimes they are realized a few years later."

More info about the book forthcoming.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006
I am writing my dissertation about the new "Islamic democracy" and how the story of democracy is told through [and on] the bodies of women. The West hungrily consumes images of Islamic women enjoying their new-found freedom and hold up the images as justification for our involvement in Middle Eastern affairs. Part of my research is to examine the flood of memoirs and fiction written by Muslim women. I just finished one said book. Reading Lolita In Tehran: A Memoir in Books is a MUST read for literature lovers and active citizens. Azar Nafisi tells an inspirational story rich with quotations about literature, writing, teaching and citizenship. I was truly moved by her words and her story.

A novel is not an allegory, I said as the period was about to come to an end. It is the sensual experience of another world. If you don’t enter that world, hold your breath with the characters and become involved in their destiny, you won’t be able to empathize, and empathy is at the heart of the novel. This is how you read a novel: you inhale the experience. So start breathing.

I have come to believe that genuine democracy cannot exist without the freedom to imagine and the right to use imaginative works without any restrictions. To have a whole life, one must have the possibility of publicly shaping and expressing private worlds, dreams, thoughts and desires, of constantly having access to a dialogue between the public and private worlds. How else do we know that we have existed, felt, desired, hated, feared?


Mr. Webb, I think I love you....

Thanks for talking about CLASS.

Have I mentioned how smitten I get by politicians?

Sunday, November 12, 2006, I don't know
Sen. Russell Feingold has decided not to run in 2008. FEINGOLD. One of the most outspoken critics of the war. He has this to say....

"I'm sure a campaign for president would have been a great adventure and helpful in advancing a progressive agenda," wrote Feingold, who is from Wisconsin, in a letter e-mailed to supporters and posted on his Senate campaign web site. "At this time, however, I believe I can best advance that progressive agenda as a senator with significant seniority in the new Senate serving on the Foreign Relations, Intelligence, Judiciary and Budget committees," the three-term senator said.

And the thing is....he's kinda right. He will have quite a bit of influence inside the beltway...and why risk a failed Presidential campaign simply to get people talking about the issues? He can actually change the issues right now. And something tells me he has his eye on that Majority leader position which would be a great way to chart the democratic agenda. But, Russ, I wanted Hillary to be the Majority leader so you or some other more leftist Democrat could run and be a nifty keen president.

I need to reflect on this a little bit more before I decide if it is good, bad or otherwise. At the very least, I am surprised. Why announce this NOW? Why not work for the next few months and then decide?

[edit] read THIS really interesting piece about will make you happy and sad. sad b/c he would make a really, really good president but happy because it almost makes it seem like he will be able to get his agenda pushed faster w/out all the 08 speculation.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Stop saying stupid things
Dear Mainstream [conservative] Media and Republican TalkingHeads:

Will you please stop saying ridiculous things like "these new Democrats are so conservative" to make yourselves feel better?


Look folks, you don't get it both don't get to claim during the RACES that these candidates are so liberal they don't represent American values and then claim in the POST election punditry that the people are really just conservatives under a different name.

May I remind you that we have an honest to god socialist in the Senate? A SOCIALIST. Self-proclaimed of course....Sure, Sure...he's technically an "independent" but he's still going to caucus with the Democrats.

I would continue but I just need to say two things (a) I'm a VERY liberal democrat and I have no fears that the senate is going to stay some sort of conservative cess pool and (b) look at this DailyKos post and see all the smart things HE has to say about it.

It's fine, party people, we can sleep well tonight.

Go Ladies!
Say hello to the first female Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi.
Hi, Nancy!

Say goodbye to South Dakota's Referendum 6- their complete ban on abortion. The measure failed by 12% points. Say goodbye to Oregon's Parental Notification--the measure lost by the same numbers.

My only disapointment (because no matter how the Senate recounts come back, the dem's have really won) is the electorate's treatment of the gay marriage iniatives. The bans passed in South Dakota, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Virginia, and Idaho. The fight continues....

Overall, a very good night. VERY GOOD. Democrats took the House with a larger majority than Republicans ever had during their 1994-2006 "revolution." We also won more Senate campaigns in a single cycle than either party has won since at least 1980 (source). And the next time any Republican says that bullsh*t about this being par for the course for a President's 6th year, just remind them about President Clinton's 1998 mid term elections where the Dem's picked UP seats despite the impeachment controversy.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Is it too soon ask Lincoln Chafee to the presidential a democrat?

Anti Bush, anti war but pro environment? Lincoln, the only thing holding you back is your party label. You claim to be an "independent voice" so use it!*

* This should not been seen as a personal endorsement, rather, some preliminary thoughts from a giddy election night observer

Tuesday November 7th

Dear Lord Jesus, I do not often speak with you and ask for things, but now, I really must insist that you help me win the election tomorrow because I deserve it and Paul Metzler doesn't, as you well know. I realize that it was your divine hand that disqualified Tammy Metzler and now I'm asking that you go that one last mile and make sure to put me in office where I belong so that I may carry out your will on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.
-- Tracy Flick, Election

The big day is HERE....and I'm too superstitious to make any real predictions. And I don't know that we really can...absentee ballots....rain in key states...and the option of recounts and run offs make it too hard to call the final count at the end of the night. But it is STILLANEXCITINGDAY ...OH WOW! The fact that democrats even have HOPE is a big deal.

I'll do my obligatory needless voting in the red state that is my home today...but I'll still feel a sense of pride as a cast my ballot. But I won't feel as cool as Drew who was the first voter in our precinct today. I'm jealous...all that quality time in the polling place!'s to a very BLUE day not meaning a very sad day.

Monday, November 06, 2006
Some words about vacationing
When I was in high school, my family went to Florida on a family trip. After we braved the Olympic traffic in Atlanta and I battled a pretty disgusting bout of food poisoning in southern Georgia, we arrived all full of optimism and adventure. My mom was heavy on the adventure.

My mom is very scared of water. Something about falling out of a boat as a young child....who knows... All I know is I've never even known my mom to take a bath in my 27 years of life. She prefers the fully upright showering approach. But for some reason on this trip, she decides she is going to snorkel. SNORKEL. In water. Something about doing things as a family while we are on a family vacation. My sister and I just played along. "sure, sure....this will be great, mom"

We get all suited up...go through the training video. Clop out to the water in our wet suits and flippers all the while my sister and I keep asking my brave [vacationing] mother if she is "all right." The breaths coming from the mask were getting shorter and more panicked and pretty soon she flopped back into the club house to recover from her anxiety attack in private. Ah yes, the look of that water sent her into her own vacationing hell.

My mother learned a very important lesson that day....we don't become different people simply because we are in a different state.


You are on a "mancation." Yes, all bets are off on mancations.

As the two wives left behind, we settled in to watch the football game with some wine and keen eyes to spot our husbands in the hyped up crowd. As the game ended in victory, we saw lots of young fans charge the field.

"do you think they would charge the field?..."

" think that's something only young people do....drew barely even yells at sporting events. he's more of a subdued fan..."

*phone rings*


ok then....

Saturday, November 04, 2006
Let's Get Ready to Rumble!! (jock jam music playing in the background)
We all know that next week is a BIG week because of election day but we can't forget it also marks one of the first abortion cases in front of the new conservative Supreme Court.

Returning to one of the nation's most divisive, emotional and politically charged issues, the high court considers the constitutionality of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act the Republican-led U.S. Congress approved and Bush signed into law in 2003.

I wait with bated breath....

Friday, November 03, 2006

Meredith: Derek had a woman in his trailer last night…and she was ugly. Very ugly. Except she was tall and beautiful.

Thursday, November 02, 2006
Four Days, People!

ELECTION DAY. [woot! woot!]

I know many of you are as anxious as I am...allow me to point you to the beauty of

Thanks to my very smart friend, Mike, for sending me the link. And as he says about it....

"Very easy-to-use and comprehensive and it does a great job of providing aggregate snapshots that help remove the real outliers (averages five most recent polls from a variety of sources). Though the guy who runs it is a Dem, it tries to be more academic than advocate. "

People, this site ROCKS. I'm obsessed with it and will be checking it frequently. I hope you will be too.

A Note About Planning Ahead
After yet another argument about how I sleep on the "good side of the bed"...

K: Whatever...I warned you from the beginning that I had to sleep on the left side.
D: Yeah, but I only said OK b/c I didn't think I had a chance
K: At what? Marrying me?
D: Yep

It's Hard Out There for A Blogger
Lefty bloggers beware....

Webb, campaigning in Richmond, said he knew nothing of the incident Tuesday in which men wearing blue [Republican Sen. George] Allen lapel stickers put University of Virginia law student W. Michael Stark in a choke hold and slammed him to the floor after an Allen rally at a Charlottesville hotel.

Of course, I'm not so sure how I feel about the declarations by bloggers on Daily Kos [Stark's home] and others that they intend to us guerilla tactics to win elections. These distractions are simple and childish. And while it calls attention to key races (and gets the media talking), I'm pretty sure the Dems can win seats next week by focusing on the issues. Why do we need to look like the crazy extremists when it is so easy to make the right look crazy...and extreme!?!

As always...Youtube has the clip