Monday, January 29, 2007
Apparently I talk about technology now...
No topic is safe....

Have you heard that the new Microsoft software includes a voice command/speech recognition feature? You wear a headset and dictate text--including punctuation. I heard the story on NPR this morning and immediately started envisioning how I could use this feature in my writing life. It went something like this....

*relaxing on the couch, holding my tea cup, wrapped in a blanket*


Obviously everything I dictate would be art. How could it not be art? I would be wrapped in a blanket. I would be drinking tea. I would let the words come forth...spewing out a stream of brilliant. There would be no keyboard clicking to distract me from my thoughts...I could even walk around and think if I needed to....I talk with enough volume for the computer. Uh huh. There would be walking. There would be conversation. It all sounded so organic. So romantic. SOFREAKINGPERFECT. Yes. I HAVE TO HAVE THIS, I thought. I need the space to walk...and sit...and dictate. I must wear this headset.
(The fact that I am willing to overlook the extreme ridiculousness that headsets represent is significant. I once dated a guy who used a headset for his cell phone. I should have seen that as a warning. But THIS headset. THIS headset is better. More worthwhile)
I will buy it. I will have many, many lovely papers.

But then....then... I remembered what kind of writer I am.

*sitting upright at a table, with many tea cups beside me, staring blankly at the screen for hours*

"SOMEWHAT SMART THINGS*sigh*NO SMART THINGS*expletive*SILENCE*head in hands, much self loathing*STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS*including ellipses and many parenthesis to really explain things in a way that may turn into something smart later*MORE STREAMING*paragraphs that take up multiple pages*"

I don't think this would translate well. How would I dictate ellipses? Would the computer type "bang, bang, bang" when I was beating my head against the wall? Would it type "siiiigh?" If it did, I would throw my computer into the street...and watch from the window until it got run over by a bus. No. Two busses. Yes, the voice command system would force me to throw my computer into the street. I'm sorry, computer.

On a very related note (involving NPR and my writing style)....I just finished reading Sarah Vowell's (contributor to This American Life) Take the Canolli. Here is the best part of the very funny book:

Phone rang. It was Dave, a writer friend. We talked for over an hour, mainly about punctuation. He has big plans for the ellipsis. He’s mad for ellipses. I tell him, yeah, I have similar affection for the parenthesis (but I always take most of my parenthesis out, so as not to call undue attention to the glaring fact that I cannot think in complete sentences, that I think only in short fragments or long, run-on thought relays that the literati call stream of consciousness but I like to think of a disdain for the finality of the period). Dave is trying to decide whether he wants there to be a space before of after the ellipsis. He’s unsure. Is the ellipsis powerful because of what is not said after the dot dot dot, or is it a cheap excuse for not being able to verbalize? Conversely, do we parentheticals want to communicate by cramming more in, thus slapping what we’re not saying in between what we are, officially saying? Or is it because we can’t decide?


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Sunday, January 28, 2007
Love it

LOVE is an album where several of the Fab Four's greatest songs were remixed, remade and adapted for a great show put on stage by Le Cirque du Soleil.

Don't let the Cirque Soleil reference deter you. This album is amazing. I know that I already posted about my top 06 music but if I could go back I would add this to the list. Unfortunately, I didn't actually purchase it until 2007. I cannot stop listening to it. Amazing.

If I may suggest...start with the Blackbird/Yesterday combo and then move to Eleanor Rigby/Julia selection. Take a nice drink of wine and sigh...happiness. So, so, so lovely.

I should note that I am not a purist. I get down with the I Am Sam soundtrack. I like the lyrics and the rhythm of the songs more than the voices singing them. So, I enjoy the songs no matter what their adaptation. BUT! my mom is a purist (in all aspects of life) and was the one that recommended the album.


Friday, January 26, 2007
Yey! The Politico has debuted! Not sure if you've all heard of this new on-line site. It is great (at least in theory--it just started yesterday)...a blend of journalim, advocacy and political strategies from both sides. I love it because it is essentially lots of political blogger types without the partisanship (even though I love me some partisanship). The writing is good and the stories are interesting! Check it out!*

Their mission:
The Politico's goals are simple. Over the past several weeks, we set out to assemble the most talented and interesting collection of journalists -- established names as well as promising young people -- that we could find. Now, we will turn these reporters loose on the subject we love: national politics.

We will focus on three arenas. The first is Congress and the constant flow of agendas, personalities and power struggles that define daily life on Capitol Hill. The second is the 2008 presidential campaign, a race already churning and one likely to shape history in ways far beyond the typical election. The third is lobbying and advocacy, a part of the capital economy undergoing rapid growth and change. It is a business alive with interesting and influential characters whose impact is dimly understood and insufficiently covered.

We won't usually be chasing the story of the day. We'll put our emphasis on the "backstories" -- those that illuminate the personalities, relationships, clashes, ideas and political strategies playing out in the shadows of official Washington.

Reading a story should be just as interesting as talking with the reporter over a sandwich or a beer. It's a curiosity of journalism that this often isn't true. The traditional newspaper story is written with austere, voice-of-God detachment. These newspaper conventions tend to muffle personality, humor, accumulated insight -- all the things readers hunger for as they try to make sense of the news and understand what politicians are really like. Whenever we can, we'll push against these limits. In the process, we'll share with readers a lot more of what we know instead of leaving it in our notebooks.
* And Politico? Call me.


Some words about other people
I'm a bit of a voyeur...only without the "derives sexual pleasure" part of the definition. I (maybe!) shouldn't use that word. (but did you know that is literally no word other than spy that describes the insistent need to observe people in a close and intimate manner? and who wants to be a spy? that's freaky.) I cannot stop watching people and inferring things about them. It is such a part of my personhood that I wouldn't be me if I wasn't a nosey lady. Yep. Wouldn't. Be. Me.

It started in college when I would eavesdrop on conversations at restaurants. Then I started forcing my friends to do it. So we would go out to eat with each other but only talk about/listen to/observe everyone else. And then we would judge them. Obviously.

Today, my need manifests itself in all sorts of good, techno, 2007, normal ways. I read people's blogs...look at their Facebook memoirs and published journals (but I don't do Myspace. Because Myspace? Myspace is where pedophiles go).

My need also manifests itself than good ways. And by less than good, I mean inappropriate. Grossly.

Example 1- Drew and I have fallen in love with this cute neighborhood in Athens that is the perfect blend of hippy and bourgeois (just like us!). We drive around and pick out houses for ourselves and our friends. We envision ourselves reading the paper on "our" porch and hiring someone to do our yard work. Its lovely. But lately I have become a tad too interested in one of the houses. It has this perfect little office with no shades on the windows. It is a beautiful robin egg blue, lined with bookshelves that are just the right amount disorganized as to suggest that the books are well-used and the owner was just a little bit too into her writing to take the time to arrange the book properly.

But what does she write in there? What are the titles of the books? I wonder if she is a professor...Is that a roll-top desk? Cute!

Luckily there is a large speed bump right in front of the house, so I have an excuse to go veeeery slowly as I pass by. And it isn't even that I want that office to be my office....I just want to know every single detail about that person's office.

Example 2- Every Wednesday I go to this coffee shop. I go because lots of people from our department hang out there and because Wednesdays are $2 latte day. $2 for any size! The crowd is awesome. Everyone is tied to the university...lots of reading...typing...the art students hang out there so there is drawing. I almost expect the revolution to start at any minute. But, um, I also go because over the past few months, I have become (borderline)obsessed with this older couple--who are so heartbreakingly beautiful that I want to sit at their table and squeeze their hands...and send them fruit baskets at Christmas. But I don't go over to their table. I watch them from my table. And I see the old man take out his knife (i know! weird!) every day...and he places it beside his tea. And recently I've noticed that he uses it to cut little pieces of cookie for himself and his wife. And he uses it carefully to cut out articles from the newspaper to pass to his wife--including the crossword puzzle which they take turns filling in. I can't listen to them; they never speak. Ever. But they know what to do. I love it. I love them. I love them so much that this Wednesday they were late. Really late. And I got all this anxiety because I thought maybe something had happened to them. But they came in and I smiled at them and returned to my work.

I guess I could say that I do these things because I am a social scientist...and I study communication. Which I do. But I study politics...not nonverbal communication or even interpersonal relationships.

I justify it by saying...I put myself out there, too. I have a blog. I have pictures on the Internet. And I really, really hope that I have the type of office that people will stare into when they drive past my house. And I really, really, really(!) hope that I am an interesting enough person that people observe me.


Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Some words about addiction
When I was 19, I got a tattoo. It was the most rebellious thing I have ever done. And even that turned out to be not so rebellious. When my mom came to pick me up for Thanksgiving break, she saw the anti-bacterial ointment, thought it was treatment for an STD, and confronted me. The tattoo seemed very inconsequential in comparison. Anyway, I digress....when I was 19, I got a tattoo and the tattoo artist (Spike!) told me that 'I would be back....' Everyone always gets a second one, he said. I didn't. I'm not so much fond of pain...or blood...tattoos result in a lot of both.

I am, however, addicted to widgets and applications for my blog. Addicted. I cannot stop embedding things into my blog. I started with a stat counter. Now I want to show you my library...and all my recent obsessions that can be found on the top bar.

Obviously, Internets, you need to know what shoes I want to buy...what books I am reading (when I'm not too busy widgeting....)...and that I covet that cute little tea print....only no one really looks at them...and that is okay...except it isn't....because I want you to really KNOW me....

Decorative self expression minus the blood and pain. Perfect!

I am not alone. The NYT talks about bloggers who bling their blog. As one warns--we can't get carried away ...“I don’t intend to be Mr. T, but I don’t want to be Audrey Hepburn, either, with just a string of pearls..."

Exactly. Only...if you've ever met know that I'm a little more Hepburn and a little less T. I hope. I have her pants...from the Gap.


I am a feminist because...
I am pro-choice and pro lots of other things as, pro-equality, pro-equal wages, pro-diversity, pro-health care...and I'm against things as well... anti-discrimination, anti-essentialist, anti-violence....

But as I read and read and read the ongoing pro/anti choice debate, I realize that there are "feminists" who are anti-choice. They claim they are "pro-mother" and "pro-family." I, too, am pro-mother and pro-family. I am, after all, pro-choice. And I support those women who choose motherhood. But can I support those women and men who are anti-choice? Which, according to my post yesterday, means anti-trust. Can you be a feminist and not trust women? Can you be a feminist and vote for people who do not trust women?

I think I'm coming down on the "hell to the no" side. But this third wave/post feminist/sex positive/post-post feminist world we live in is VERY accepting. You can be a feminist and wear high heels (which I do!). You can be a feminist and wear a Hooters shirt (which I don't). You can be a feminist and patron strip clubs (which I really don't). You can be a feminist and stay at home with your kids (which I probably won't but I can't say for sure). Soooo...can you be a feminist and anti-choice?

You tell me.

Yeah...I'm probably done ruminating about this for a while...I've been consumed by it but I need to think about other things. Like school work...


This is what anti-trust looks like
Inspired by an article my friend Nicole sent me and the wicked rhetoric on some pro-choice sites from anti-trusters, I decided to take a look at the people who say I'm not responsible enough to control my own body. They look very trustworthy.....

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Monday, January 22, 2007
Blog For Choice Today!

Blog for choice day gives us a perfect opportunity to reflect upon the status of "choice" in this country. I wish I could tell you how many young women I have heard argue that there is "no need for feminism." That "women are equal." One needs to look no further than the battle over contraception and abortion to understand that simply isn't true.

For your reading pleasure:

Our government continuously cuts Family Planning funding here and abroad--really removing any choice for women to not get pregnant

We still have to fight.

A totally lovely feminist resource....

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Blog For Choice Today!

Happy Anniversary of Roe v. Wade! In honor of the occasion I encourage everyone to blog for choice. The powers that be have asked that the posts be related to the the overall theme of "why I am pro choice."

I am pro choice because...

Sex isn't wrong. Sometimes sex should end in a pregnancy and sometimes it shouldn't. And it is not the government's job to tell the difference between the two. And I trust women to know when they should have a baby and when they shouldn't. And the bottom line is this--pro life people can exist in a pro choice world but pro choice people cannot exist in a pro life world. Pro life is anti choice. Pro life is anti trust.

I hope that lots of other people talk about how the root of abortion politics is oppression and patriarchy. That is also true. But I am pro choice because I am pro trust.

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Sunday, January 21, 2007
Jimmy Carter comes to Athens
A few months ago, we were happy houring at our favorite spot in Athens. I saw a guy who looked like Jimmy Carter and he was drinking the same beer as me. Thinking this was surely fate, I approached him and we spoke for over an hour. He wasn't Jimmy Carter but he was this guy so it all worked out. So yeah...I met Bob Ryan who looks like Jimmy Carter and drinks the same beer as me....he was in Athens covering our homecoming and wrote a lovely piece about Athens and UGA. Unfortunately, he never even mentions me and I was very sad when the article came out. I got over it. Barely.

Three months after my fateful meeting with Ryan, I actually saw Jimmy Carter. IN. PERSON. Um....ohmygod, ohmygod, ohmygod....

The University of Georgia hosted The Carter Presidency this weekend. I didn't attend the whole conference but I did wait in line for over two hours to get into the free town hall meeting.

And after many hours in line I saw JIMMY AND ROSALYNN. And it was exciting. I actually saw them walking into the conference room (from a distance) and I got so excited I started waving the back of their heads. But I couldn't help it. It was so, so, so weird to see them up close and personal. And it was even more crazy to hear them answering questions and talking openly about their thoughts and concerns about our current political landscape. The questions weren't particularly good (most people just wanted to rant about his book--I do live in a red state after all...even if it is HIS red state...) but I loved every minute of it.

Brian Williams was the moderator. He was great....he also asked the best question of the evening-- "What is one piece of history you want to impart on us that you've never shared before?" The answer was a moving story from the Camp David Accords. Moving. I'm talking tears.
The thing I loved the most was how he looked at her. They are in love. Really in love. And that is perhaps the most charming thing about them.

As you can imagine, the event drew a lot of press. Not only the local/Atlanta newspapers but C-SPAN as well. C-SPAN. Live feed the whole weekend. Well, Drew got interviewed by the paper and my sister was on C-SPAN (multiple times as my mother keeps reminding me). It is Bob Ryan all over again.....

More photos from the event at my shutterfly account.


Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Yey for choice
Blog for Choice Day - January 22, 2007

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Somewhere Freud is nodding knowingly
and the rest of us are left thinking...what the f*ck....

Would you pledge your virginity to your father?!

No?! Me neither...and my father never would have asked. We never would have attended a Purity Ball. Nope. Not us. But a growing number of young women and their fathers are.

It’s like a wedding but with a twist: Young women exchange rings, take vows and enjoy a first dance…with their dads. “Purity balls” are the next big thing in the save-it-till-marriage movement

It isn't my place to tell people how to parent their children. I'm also not against abstinence. Sure, I think it is the most ridiculous sexual education policy there is (except for maybe attaching condom instructions to the package with a staple) but I'm not against it. I am against fathers who "vow to protect their daughter's purity." Fathers should protect their daughters. Sure! So should mothers. They should protect their children from kidnappers. And uncooked chicken. And open flames. They should educate their children. Educate them about sex. Contraception. And maybe even abstinence. But they shouldn't "marry" their daughters. They really shouldn't coerce their four-year old daughter to sign a "purity pledge."

You know why? Because that's freaky. And patriarchal. And pledges are no substitute for education. And support. And a well balanced dad-daughter relationship.

Read the story. And then shudder.


Some words about escapism

I like to read...I like to drink tea...I like to lounge in bed.

The result? A completely cliché woman who walks around town on a cloudy day wishing she could be at home in bed reading. She invents time to kill so she can go to the library and find the books on her reading list. She mostly craves fluff...and she doesn't even really like fiction all that much.

But she's been obsessively reading book blogs as of late. Lots of book blogs. And when she does she is transported to a world that is not her own.

...There are empty mugs on the nightstand, tiny paper cuts on her fingers, books scattered around her and lots of time to read. And read. And read. And then record great dialogue and passages in her journal because it is 07 which means she's keeping a journal again...

But instead she is in grad school. And she reads. And reads. And reads. And she records passages in her journal. But it is not inspirational. It is work. And her fluff books surround her unopened and lonely.

But for those of you who like tea...and bed...and escaping...and maybe need some recommendations....


Sunday, January 14, 2007
Free time+marriage=cooking from scratch
Pyrohy: Ukrainian equivalent of ravioli; a dough pocket filled with potato

Drew and I both grew up eating pyrohy (only since I lived near Pittsburgh, I called them perogies). Since it is the beginning of our semester and a three day weekend, Drew and I had a little free time on our hands.* We decided to put our culinary artistry to the test and make our favorite food. We normally eat good ole Mrs. T's (in bulk) but figured we could at least attempt to make them from scratch.

I'm not really sure why...we don't make anything from scratch. Actually, we don't really make anything. Buuuuut it is 2007 and we are two crazy kids.

Step One: The dough

*skipping lots of boring steps in between*

Step Twenty: Complete Pyrohy (all stuffed and ready to be cooked)

To toot our own horn (may I do that?)....we did VERY well. Check it out!

Final Step: Sautee! Yummy!

*And by free time I mean we wanted to procrastinate.
**More pictures found at my shutterfly account on the right.

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Some words about things you don't care about
I interrupt this regularly scheduled dogmatic blogging to bring you...FLUFF!

Ok, I delusional or are these pants actually cute?

I really can't tell. They are either cute or not cute. Either sunny or blinding. Either butternut or, well, butternut.

....Butternut? Let's not mention that again....

Have I been living in the south too long? You know--the SOUTH. The place where people where lots of pink...and embroidered pants. And lots of seersucker. Looots. Try to picture me walking around in Michigan in these pants. Picture it.
Survey says?

Ugly? Cute?


Monday, January 08, 2007
Out of Touch v.2
Not to be outdone by South Dakota, Georgia anti-choicers are holding an informational meeting tomorrow to build support for a bill which bans abortion.

The bill is highly technical and clearly based on the law.* Just look....

The State of Georgia has the duty to protect all innocent life from the moment of conception until natural death. We know that life begins at conception. After three decades of legal human abortion, it is now abundantly clear that the practice has negatively impacted the people of this state in many ways, including economic, health, physical, psychological, emotional, and medical well-being. These, too, are areas of legitimate concern and duty of the state.

Um...WHAT?!?! Nearly 1/4 of all Georgia adults are illiterate. 15% of Georgia women live in poverty. 40-50,000 people experience at least one day of homelessness a year in Atlanta alone. How are they protecting innocent lives?

*I kid, I kid

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Out of Touch v.1
Since 9/11, the U.S. has devoted over 400 billion dollars to "global terror operations." We've also emited 6 billion metric tons of CO2 in the last year. Meanwhile....

Azizgul is 10 years old, from the village of Houscha in western Afghanistan. This year the wheat crop failed again following a devastating drought. Her family was hungry. So, a little before Christmas, Azizgul's mother 'sold' her to be married to a 13-year-old boy.
'I need to sell my daughters because of the drought,' said her mother Sahatgul, 30. 'We don't have enough food and the bride price will enable us to buy food. Three months ago my 15-year-old daughter married.

While the world has focused on the war against the Taliban, the suffering of the drought-stricken villagers, almost 2.5 million of them, has largely gone unnoticed. And where once droughts would afflict Afganistan once every couple of decades, this drought has come hard on the heels of the last one, from which the villagers were barely able to recover.

Full story here

But at least we're fighting the Taliban and driving our SUV's....


Friday, January 05, 2007
Words From Plath

I'm reading the Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath....I'm near the beginning of the 700 page volume so I'm getting to know 18-year-old Plath. She is so ahead of her time and insightful.

I'm pretty sure that when I was 18 I was writing BFF and 98 Rulz in yearbooks. But then again, I'm not a genius.

"then it hit me and I just blurted, 'I like people too much or not at all. I've got to go down deep to fall into people, to really know them.'"

"Yes, I was infatuated with you; I am still. No one has ever heightened such a keen capacity of physical sensation in me. I cut you out because I couldn't stand being a passing fancy. Before I give my body, I must give my thoughts, my mind, my dreams. And you weren't having any of those..."

And...hello third wave 1950...

"I have too much conscience injected in me to break customs without disastrous effects; I can only lean enviously against eh boundary and hate, hate, hate the boys who can dispel sexual hunger freely, without misgiving, and be whole, while I drag out from date to date in soggy desire, always unfulfilled. The whole thing sickens me..."

"After a while I supposed I'll get used to the idea of marriage and children. If only it doesn't swallow up my desires to express myself in a smug, sensuous haze. Sure, marriage is self expression, but if only my art, my writing, isn't just a mere sublimation of my sexual desires which will run dry once i get married. If only I can find him...the man who will be intelligent, yet physically magnetic and personable. If I can offer that combination, why shouldn't I expect it in a man?"


Thursday, January 04, 2007
Cautiously Optimistic

Dear Internets:

I am as excted as all my other lefty, feminist, fed up friends with the change today. But not only am I (by nature) a downer, I am also a realist. So I feel it is my personal responsibility to extend a warning-- we need to DO SOMETHING to change so many things in Washington. We cannot mess this up and let our country slide further and further into the pit of grossness we see all around us--and god forbid let 08 slip through our fingers.* I can already hear the campaign lines...."The democrats have had 2 years to set the national agenda...and they have failed."**

Please don't let us down Nancy/Harry, et al. I hope that you really pursue the minimum wage...and tuition loan rates...and prescription drugs...and bipartisanship. But if something should need to be tossed, please let it be the latter and not any of the former. Be respectful? Yes. Be compromising? No.

Thank you.

* Because if it is up to McCain we'll probably send 100,000 troops in 09 which by my estimation means I'll have to go to Iraq....or Canada....either option would really piss me off.
**If this soundbite gets used by anyone on the side of evil in 08, I'd like credit please.


Yes! The public is out of touch...

I'm sure you all remember the many times that President Bush declared "success" and "victory!" in Iraq. I'm pretty sure it was even Bush who swore that there was NO civil war in Iraq. Nope. Not a civil war.

THIS exchange between Tony Snow and a reporter is...well...

Q: The only question, though, to press a little bit, is the view that the President has been determined, he’s been resolved, and nobody questions that, but does he get it? I mean, is he fundamentally out of touch with what the reality is on the ground in Iraq?
MR. SNOW: No, I think what happens is, we may be out of touch with reality because we sit around and we look at fractional pictures on the screen. This is a President who gets exhaustive briefings on a daily basis about the situation. He knows more than anybody in this room about what’s going on there.


A few things....
1. Is it really a good idea to insult the American people when your approval ratings are in the 30's? Really? That's the angle you want to go...the 'we're smarter than you' angle. Seriously?!
2. As far as I can tell....Bush really DOES know more about what is going on over there. However, he ignores most of it and/or gets "briefings" from a very selective group of "experts."
3. I'm afraid that Snow overlooked a very important word in the question-- "reality." Does Bush really (REALLY?) understand reality? I'm going with NO. NONONO.

But yeah...let's send 20,000 more troops. And the reality is that hundreds of them will die a month. HUNDREDS. WILL. DIE. A. MONTH.

And speaking of out of touch....I cannot stop laughing over THIS statement regarding the most powerful woman in Washington--Pelosi.

White House spokesman Tony Fratto told reporters..."There are no questions of whether they sit and talk as equals," he added. "I think it's impressive that no one has any questions of whether they can work together regardless of gender."

That impressive. Thank goodness he can overlook her gender. Phew.


Tuesday, January 02, 2007
On the right track

So far Edwards is my favorite of the 08 prospects. I'm still holding out hope for Gore but in the meantime, I am interested in anything and everything Edwards says. He was great on George Stephanopoulos on Sunday and there are a few other things I'm liking right now.

1. He is anti-war and while he hasn't always been so firmly committed to this position, he doesn't really have a voting record for people to attack during the primary. As I have said (many times), I have no problem with people who have flip flopped on the war--mainly, I don't think people had accurate information or time to make a fully informed decision (for that I blame the Bushies--DUH). What I care about now is that (a) they know the U.S. occupation is a mistake (which Hillary just. won't. admit.) and (b) they are committed to a exit plan. That is where Edwards is right now.

2. In New Orleans he uttered this phrase which is BRILLIANT "We need to ask Americans to be willing to be patriotic about something beyond war." YES! YES WE DO! THANK YOU. I would also add that Americans need to sacrifice things that are unrelated to war. We are asked to sacrifice our men and women BUT not our SUV's. Something is eff'd up here...PATRIOTISM and SACRIFICE are buzz words that the American people respond to. Why not tap into those morals for something other than militarism?! Edwards is on the right track with this idea...

3. AND he has a lot of great ideas to get behind. He loves himself some environment and he wants to save it....oh...and there's the UNIVERSAL health care. WOOT WOOT! I've always had a soft spot for Edward's "two Americas." He takes on poverty and I truly believe that he cares about underprivileged Americans. Thank you!

4. Ok...and there is his lovely, intelligent, VERY accessible wife. I LOVE HER. LOVE! HER!

5. He uses the Internet VERY well...this will be key in 08. I have lots of ideas for him so if he would like to hire me as his blog consultant, I would be very interested. But so far, he has rocked the virtual world.

6. Ok...I am bothered by a couple things too. First, his inability to shake the ambulance chaser label. We all know that he isn't to blame for malpractice fees but that is an easy characterization for the mainstream media and the GOP to make. Could be a problem. I also used to sigh loudly about his position on gay marriage. He has waffled in the past. He still favors unions/partner benefits BUT is honest about his feelings on marriage--that he doesn't know. Sure, I'd like for him to be there with me and fully support gay marriage. BUT I like that he says he is working on it. And I like that he admits he is still figuring things out. It shows he is thoughtful and authentic. The only thing dogmatism shows is ignorance...

So yeah....I'm excited to see what he does in the next year or so. I'm also really excited that he is encouraging people to TAKE ACTION NOW. He doesn't want to wait until 08. Instead, he wants to start making a difference now. Thank GOD. Thank GOD for someone who is doing something.


Monday, January 01, 2007
Year in Review
2006 was a pretty big year. Lots of events, music, books and fashion trends I want to remember. Good thing I have a blog....

1. I became a legally obligated marital partner and consequently started putting up wreaths and actually making (like from recipes and things) food to pass at potlucks instead of just bringing the alcohol.

2. I donned many, many, many headbands. I love headbands. And skinny jeans. And tweed. I am thankful for all these things and sometimes....sometimes?....I wear them all at once. Especially now that I have a tweed headband. A! TWEED! HEADBAND! Fun!

3. Grad school cuts into my leisure reading and movie watching but I did read and see some good stuff that I will recommend because you reading this blog is pretty much a silent plea for my recommendations....The best books I read this year (and yes, I know that most of them were not actually published in 06 but I just got around to them in 06): The Corrections, Year of Magical Thinking, Reading Lolita in Tehran, The Tender Bar, In Cold Blood, American Theocracy and Female Masculinity. And while I'm sure there are movies out RIGHT now that I would put on this list, I saw no movies over break (I KNOW!) so my list is limited....Why We Fight, V for Vendetta, Little Miss Sunshine and Thank-you For Smoking.

4. Music! The best albums this year (for me...and probably for you if you would listen to them). Belle and Sebastian- The Life Pursuit, The Modern Skirts- Catalogue of Generous Men, The Dixie Chicks- Taking the Long Way, Gomez- How We Operate, Franz Ferdinand- You Could Have It So Much Better.

5. I can't wait for 007. I will finish my last semester of course work--after 7.5 years of academic classes. And I am SO. SO. SO. excited to see what happens with the 08 race. I can't wait to do some traveling this summer and enjoy more good times in Athens in the meantime.

6. Most of you know that I don't set resolutions per say...more just goals and things I want to accomplish. Drew says that is what a resolution is...but I just don't like the label "resolution." So boring...and cliché. But, alas, I do have some things that I want to do. I want to journal more. Since I was in the 2nd grade, I have kept a journal. I've really been slacking the past couple years. Basically my journaling has boiled down to blogging and my school notebook where I keep 'To Do' lists. Neither are very inspirational or therapeutic. And, if I may be honest, I like where I'm at right now and I want to keep a good record of later when 2037 Kristen is jaded, old and grumpy I can make fun of my 2007 optimistic self. I'm also going to do better about keeping in touch with friends and family. I am trying to be less of a self absorbed academic. So gone are the days when I don't return phone calls because I am "working." There is always work to do but it will still be there when I get off the phone. I need to set aside time for you lovely people. And I'm still working on the poker chip trick from last year. I may actually do it.....

Ok...and as an interesting aside....ALL THREE OF MY SCHOOLS (that I went/go to!) made it to bowl games this year. CMU and Georgia have already won....We'll be cheering for Wake tomorrow. I'm pretty sure that I'm the reason these schools have such good football teams. Yep. Me. Football extraordinaire.
HAPPY 2007 everyone!

* I'm sorry but I gave up on the pictures after #2 because I am very lazy. 2007 kristen=lazy kristen.