Sunday, November 23, 2008

I Lost

I made it so far, but alas I have failed.

Damn you NaBloPoMo!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I Will Survive

Tonight I plan to watch Survivor and I am very excited about it.

That is all.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Anxiety Really Wastes My Flavor

I am an anxious person. This is not news to those who know me, but it has gotten really annoying lately and I'd like it to just go away, thank you very much.

So I'm sitting in the law library, attempting to put together some semblance of an understanding of what might be on the family law exam. I have mediation team tonight at 8pm (WAYYYYYYYY past my bedtime, p.s.) so GF and I talked this morning and decided that she'd call me after work to decide if she would come get me before my team meeting or if I'd just stay here and study.

GF usually gets off work at around 5 or so, and calls pretty quickly after that. I don't know where my head was at (actually I do, it was halfway between marital status and facebook status) but I forgot that my phone was off and lost track of time, thus missing GF's 5 phone calls. When I finally got around to calling her back, she was already home, and our chance at grabbing a drink before class or just talking or whatever was completely lost.

Even as I write this, I realize that it's not really that big of a deal. I mean, I live with said GF and I'll get to hang out with her in like 4 hours. That, however, has not stopped me from obsessing over the incident and feeling overwhelmingly bad for missing her calls. Ridiculous? Yes. Inescapable? It sure seems that way.

Now, before you all comment with tips about meds I should be taking, let me cut you off. I KNOW. Those types of remedies are helpful in making sure that I'm not full out, batshit crazy, but they do not solve the day to day annoyances of situational anxiety. I'm not really looking for remedies here so much as I just needed to write it down to realize that it's no biggie and I can go back to studying.

So, you know, thanks for that.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ellen's Wedding is Still News to Me

Okay, I know it's been a while since Ellen got married, but I haven't really had a chance to talk about the amazing singer that she had come perform, or what a grand romantic gesture it was. I am quite interested in grand romantic gestures, so obviously when combines with pretty lesbians and glorious music, it's got me.

Okay, first, you must watch this:

Yeah, I know. If you didn't cry just now, you have no soul.

Also, though, I just want to point out the singer in the background. He's Joshua Radin, and he just fucking rules. Best part, though, is that he's Portia's favorite and Ellen brought him as a surprise. Yeah, how's that for grand gesture! I tried to find the video of him actually playing at the wedding, but didn't see it anywhere (although I know it exists because I've seen it before).

Good times.

Monday, November 17, 2008

I Need to be a Clean Person

I've been trying really hard to keep my apartment clean these days. I am not a necessarily a neat person, but I really want to be, so GF and I decided that we should just do it as opposed to always complaining that our house is messy. So while watching the most adorable niece ever today, I did some of our laundry and planned a delicious dinner of meat loaf, squash and fresh green beans to have tonight. I figure it will be pretty awesome, if only for the fact that it has little to compare itself to.

I don't know why keeping my house neat is so difficult for me, considering my level of neuroses about other things. It's like, when it comes to the way I organize school stuff or outline or whatever, it has to be just so but when it comes to my apartment, it's totally fine to just have laundry all over the floor. Like I said, it's something that I'm changing because I'm annoying myself.

Law school finals studying is starting for real now, which is one-half awesome, one-half panic inducing. Whatever, though, I know I just have to get it done. Plus, then I will be halfway done with my J.D., which is sort of totally awesome.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Yeah, Sundays either.

This weekend blogging is too hard for me, and I feel like I'm cheating because these aren't really blogs so much as placeholders so I don't get kicked out of NaBloPoMo.

Finals season has begun, so I'm going to have even less time than usual to blog. I'll try, dammit.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I'm no good on Saturdays

Ug. For some reason I can't bring myself to blog on Saturdays. It's not that I'm busy so much as I always forget.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Debate Judging on a Friday Night

So I'm judging debate this weekend with my sister, which is actually way more fun than it sounds because it involves mostly listening to hilarious ninth graders go back and forth about environmental policy and playing with Kiernan, my adorable and hilarious niece. It went kind of late last night, and I was crabby, but really I don't mind being here, especially considering I get paid for it.

In other news, there's only about three weeks until finals and that means I better start getting on the ball if I think I'm going to have any semblance of success this time around. I'm so ready to be done with school that it clouds my judgment into being lazy and playing nintendo too much, but I'm confident I'll figure it out.

Okay, yeah, this one has to be short because it's too late.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Could the neighbors downstairs please shut up?

So I live in an apartment building with 5 other units in it. Until recently, we have had lovely neighbors who are considerate of the community. We would open doors for each other, occasionally take out each other's trash if we encountered it waiting in the hall, and just generally treat each other with respect. However, one of our best neighbors recently moved out, and we got new people in the apartment directly below me.

It has been more than a week now, and they have been pretty much yelling non-stop since they moved in. Maybe not yelling as much as just talking super loud ALL THE TIME and never going to sleep until at least midnight. Now, I know that I have a loud voice and I know that not everyone should have to conform their schedule to my grandma-esque 10 o'clock bedtime. However, this has gotten out of effing control. It's like, these kids NEVER SLEEP! They're constantly slamming doors and coming inside and outside and propping the door open. Not to mention the overwhelming smell that comes out of their apartment. Again, I'm not one to judge anyone else's behavior, but OH MY GOD it's like Cheech and Chong moved in downstairs. It's madness.

I've already called the building manager once, but they're still totally intolerable. GF and I talk every night about how we should just hook up our ovaries and go downstairs and ask them nicely to shut the fuck up, but for some reason we can never bring ourselves to actually go. I mean, actual confrontation and resolution of the problem? Too much!

What should I do? I mean, I can't just let this annoyingness continue for however long we continue to live at the apartment. I know I should just go down there and talk to them, but isn't there any other way?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Law school isn't good for blogging

I totally almost forgot to post today. That would have really pissed me off, considering I've made it this far with NaBloPoMo. Ug, blogging everyday is WAYYYYYYY harder than it seems.

Also harder than it seems? Law school. First semester of my second year has been going well, but I came to the realization today that I better get my ass in gear if I think that I'm going to be successful. I like the classes that are graded pass/fail way more than I like any of my other classes, so that provides little incentive to, you know, study for classes that I'm just not that into. I mean, Wills and Trusts is actually pretty interesting, but compared to the orders I get to write for the Judge? Just can't compete.

So yeah, hopefully I can finish this month long blogathon, but I didn't really realize that it would be running right into good old law school studying. Barf.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Keith Olbermann Says Just What I've Been Waiting to Hear

A lot of people that I really like to read have written about this already today, but it's poignant enough that I'm gonna write too. I've put links to other people's thoughts on the subject at the end of this so you can check them out, too.

When I was a kid, I used to watch Sportscenter on ESPN religiously. As soon as I got a TV in my room, and even before that, I watched Keith Olbermann and Dan Patrick recap the days athletic happenings every single night, mostly because these guys were hilarious and they made sports about so much more than box scores.

Eventually, Olbermann left ESPN to get a "real" news job, and I have watched his show on MSNBC sporadically for years, mostly because he's an unapologetic ultra-liberal badass and while sometimes he says stuff I don't agree with, you can always tell that he genuinely believes in what he's saying.

So, when all the blogs this morning started popping up with "Can you believe what Keith Olbermann said last night?!" I knew that it was going to be good. However, I had no idea it would be this powerful, this right on. I beg you to watch the whole thing, as it is exactly what the gay rights movement has been trying to figure out how to say for years.

Allies always ask me how they can be more involved, how they can make this issue one that they have ownership of. Well, Mr. Olbermann has just explained why it matters to everyone, and that every person is important in the campaign to increase understanding and acceptance.

Here are some other people's thoughts:

Information Access Avenger
Bitch, Ph.D.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Well if Melissa Etheridge Isn't Paying Taxes, Does that Mean None of Us Have To?

Election week provides far more blog-fodder than regular old Mondays, and I'm having trouble thinking of good things to write about. Actually, I don't have trouble thinking of ideas, I have trouble remembering ideas. I used to carry around a little composition book that I would write all sorts of things in. Perhaps I'll have to bring back that practice.

In other news, Melissa Etheridge has decided to stop paying her taxes until she's allowed to get married in California. I appreciate her tenacity, really I do, but is that really the best way to solve things? Not to mention, at the risk of getting all lawyer-y on you, it's not a legally supportable action, so really all that would happen is she'd end up in court for tax evasion, wasting even more tax payer money for a lawsuit that she knew full well wouldn't enact the ends she was looking for.

I realize that taxes are like our favorite thing as citizens of the United States to complain about, but I, for one, am happy to pay my taxes as long as I trust the person who's writing the checks. And, because that person has switched to someone who is presumably at least equally interested in social programs as he is with the wars we've created, I feel pretty good about the 15% tax that I will pay this year. I'll feel even better about the 35% I will pay if and when I start making $357,700 a year. I don't mean this to sound all liberally and holier-than-thou (although I'm aware of my propensity to come across that way), I just believe that sometimes people do have enough money and while the conservatives can scream from the rooftops about how this "redistribution" is code for socialism, I don't really care because it's gotta be better than what we've got now.

I'm a strong believer in the progressive tax system because I believe that the people at the top have a moral and legal responsibility to look after and provide for the people at the bottom. It has worked historically, and although there have obviously been major problems with some social services, the general idea that FDR set forth in his New Deals is one that continues to thrive, regardless of what the right tries to tell you.

While they'll try to tell you that welfare just allows for lazy people to milk the system (or they just come right out and say what they mean, like this asswipe) the reality is that the vast majority of the people on welfare are just normal citizens who are down on their luck and need temporary support to get back on their feet. Does that mean that nobody is out to fuck over the welfare system? Of course not, but there's criminals in every system, and the obsession with demonizing anyone who asks for help has gotten wildly out of control.

They'll try to tell you that national healthcare is a bad thing because it takes the power away from individuals. However, Obama's healthcare plan doesn't change anything for those who are happy with their healthcare, it just provides it affordably for those who can't access it now. It's this twisting of information that's got everything all fucked up, and I'm excited for the opportunity for someone to finally set the country straight.

I realize that Melissa Etheridge probably didn't mean that she didn't care about poor people or children or anyone else who receives governmental funding (like, you know, EVERYONE) but not paying your taxes is not the way to fix things. Paying your taxes, funding your government so that it can function the way it's supposed to, is what will really help to change things.

I agree that things need to change, I'm just certain that there's a better way to do it.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sundays are for playing video games

This weekend posting is the hardest to get used to so far. I guess you can tell my level of productivity by the amount of times that I looked at my computer, which was a big ZERO. Good thing I've got the Blackberry, I guess.

I downloaded Mario 3 and Tetris to my Wii, so I don't know how successful this coming week is going to be in terms of anything productive. Mario 3 is by far the best of all the Marios, so you understand my difficulty.

This coming week should be much more optimistic compared to last week's pessi-fest. Law school is heating up, too, so it should be an exercise in time management and focus, two things I'm not very good at.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Too exhausted for blogging today. Perhaps tomorrow will bring another flash of brilliance.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Ralph Nader Sucks Too Much to Handle

Okay, I've been trying to keep to one large issue per day, but this is too ridiculous and overwhelmingly offensive to save until tomorrow.

As if I needed more of a reason to hate Ralph Nader. His altruistic facade that hides his egomaniacal self-importance has made me want to barf since he duped people into believing him in 2000. This just puts the proverbial nail in the coffin.

Feministe has posted about this Presidential "Hopeful" and all around Selfish Bastard releasing a statement, and then appearing on Fox News, in which he calls President-Obama an Uncle Tom.

Perhaps there was an important point he was trying to make somewhere in his racist bullshit, but it was completely lost in the midst of him trying to reason away his grotesque behavior. Plus, dude, when Fox News is calling you out for being racist, you've got some major problems. I'd like to join Feministe in joining in a resounding FUCK YOU NADER.

This Just In! Obama has Erased Racism in the United States?

I've been having a hard time figuring out how to approach the race issue with this whole election. However, this dumbfuck has created a glorious segue to the way that feel about things:

“You know, if you were a slave in the old South, what did you get as a slave? You got free room and board, you got free money, and you got rewarded for having children because that was just, you know, tomorrow’s slave. … Can I ask a question? How’s that different from welfare? You get a free house, you get free food, and you get rewarded for having children. Oh, wait a minute, hold on a second. There is a difference: The slave had to work for it.” - Jim Quinn [hereinafter, Douchebag], on radio program The War Room with Quinn & Rose

Okay, let's break this down. First, Douchebag says that slaves should have been grateful for their station in life because, dammit, they got to eat and not live outdoors. Plus, they got to have children! Who whines about that?!

Next, Douchebag says that welfare is the same as slavery. That may or may not be a tenable argument, although I'm certain that Douchebag and I have very different reasons why. However, he goes on to reasons that it might actually be different because slaves had to work for their (non-existent) living.

Now, let's not get into the racial breakdown of who receives welfare because that missed the point completely. The point that has been clearly demonstrated through this Douchebag's ability to say such things and keep his job is that merely electing a Black [1] president does not magically fix race relations in this country.

I've been watching the 24-hour news cycle all week long, and while there are glowing aberrations (Oh how badly I want to be Rachel Maddow's friend...),the majority of what I've been hearing from white pundits is how great it is that we can finally move on from those pesky race problems and finally get to the business of fixing Uh-mer-i-cuh. But don't worry, you radical socialist liberals, they've always got the token Black person to throw in the "Um, guys? Maybe it's not the best thing to say we've moved past race in this country..." so that the whiteys can rebut with their "But we elected a Black dude!"

Let's get one thing clear: my views about racism fall to the very left of the political spectrum. I believe that racism is an institutionalized problem that affects every aspect of life in the United States. I believe in reparations, I believe in affirmative action, and I believe in funding social welfare programming which works towards understanding and inclusion of these issues. So, when I say that the whole idea that racism is "over" because we finally elected a Black president is offensive, it should come as no surprise.

Maybe the theory of color blind racism hasn't quite reached the mainstream. But, the idea that the ability of one person to "pull himself up by his bootstraps" means that every other member of the Black community should be able to as well only perpetuates the idea that all people in that community are the same. I keep hearing that "now Black students have a role model," and I don't want to negate the overwhelming importance of that fact. However, it does not mean that all the limitations placed on racial minorities have magically disappeared in a cloud of Obama greatness.

I'm excited that the issues of race have been brought more squarely to the front of politics in the United States because it's been a long time coming. However, we cannot use this as an excuse to declare victory on the race war and move along to other issues. Racism is still an issue in the United States, and will continue to be until we acknowledge their existence and begin to genuinely work towards its eradication. The possibilities have been greatly expanded, and for that I am truly enthusiastic, but please stop minimizing the issue by declaring that it can be completely remedied by one president's election.

[1]: I use the term "Black" to reference the color of President-Elect Obama's skin while not making a statement about his nationality or race. My use of the term "Black" is not meant to offend, but merely reference color of President-Elect Obama's skin as it is reflected in the current culture of the United States. Maybe we can get to the offensive nature of conservative "is he or isn't he" conversations another time...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Obama and Ellen's Rescue Plan

Two things to think about that have made today a little bit better than yesterday.


Obama's mention of gay people in his acceptance speech is the one of the only times (certainly the only instance I've seen) where a major party candidate mentioned us in a major speech. His inclusion of our community opens the dialogue for things like Proposition 8 to never happen again, and allow me to work towards moving on from the hurt of its passing to a place where I can work for change.

If Obama has taught us anything, it is that normal people really can make a difference, and his election has reminded me that these anti-gay measures are not the same as those in 2004 because at that time, there was no prospect for a fundamental shift in political ideals. Now, regardless of how much change we're able to actually pass, I can rest assured that my president respects my humanity and believes in my contribution to society.

Caveat: I realize that Obama doesn't support marriage equality at an optimal level. However, as we've seen, chances are good that if he would have come out as pro-marriage, he would have had a harder time getting elected. I'm all for political pragmatism, and I think Obama has earned the benefit of the doubt.

Second reason today is better than yesterday:

Ellen understands my hurt, and agrees with my resolve. I say that as if I asked her while talking on the phone this morning (oh my god, how awesome would that be?!) but really I just read her statement:

"Watching the returns on election night was an amazing experience. Barack Obama is our new president. Change is here. I, like millions of Americans, felt like we had taken a giant step towards equality. We were watching history.

This morning, when it was clear that Proposition 8 had passed in California, I can’t explain the feeling I had. I was saddened beyond belief. Here we just had a giant step towards equality and then on the very next day, we took a giant step away.

I believe one day a 'ban on gay marriage' will sound totally ridiculous. In the meantime, I will continue to speak out for equality for all of us."

Okay, so I know that I love her at a level that is unnatural, but for some reason everything sounds a bit more hopeful when Ellen says it. I'm ready to work for the things that I want to see, and I'm excited at how many people sent supportive words yesterday to remind me of what's at stake.

Tomorrow, we talk about something light, like puppies or peacock babies. Even I can't stay downtrodden for this long.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

An Open Letter to the Anti-Gay Majority

Dear Anti-Gay Legislation Supporter,

I am a lesbian. I am a citizen of the United States. Yesterday, you chose to pass 4 measures which severely limit the rights of me and my friends based solely on the people we love. In California, Florida, and Arizona, you passed propositions which make marriage unavailable to gay and lesbian citizens. In Arkansas, you passed a measure which would make me and my partner of 4 years adopting children in need of a home illegal. While it may be easy for you to vote for such things, I think it is important for you to understand just what effect your vote has.

The discrimination in my life began early, and continues each day. From the time when I was told to go to the boys bathroom as an 8 year old, to the time when I was 23 and was refused service for looking too masculine in South Dakota, to my constant wondering now about how much to disclose about my personal life in job interviews, I am tired of living in a world where it is perfectly acceptable to treat people as second class citizens.

Today, I have had to take numerous breaks to the bathroom in order to cry privately before returning to study. I have had to come to grips with the fact that a democracy in which I believe so strongly chose to legislate hate. You may think that your actions have little effect on actual people, but there are millions of people just like me for whom your decisions matter greatly. While you may not realize it, we are your neighbors, your teachers, your government officials, your friends, and your family. You think you don't know us, but people like me reside everywhere and I will no longer allow myself to live in a world where such overt hatred is allowed to prosper.

Perhaps most disheartening, anti-gay legislation supporter, is who you are. In California, nearly a quarter of you are women. Another quarter of you have at least a bachelor's degree. Of the African-Americans polled, seventy percent of you voted for discrimination. Nearly thirty percent of you identify as a democrat or independent. You had the chance to help eradicate hate in your state, yet you chose to support a measure which only solidified discrimination.

So, anti-gay legislation supporter, you can go fuck yourself. While I am overwhelmingly sad over the decision you've made, I will no longer allow you to disguise discrimination as sound public policy. Change is seeping from everything I see in this post-Bush society, and today is the day that your backwards and offensive views are no longer allowed to prosper.

I encourage and welcome the support of others in this enormous task, even those who previously voted for such measures. Hate should not be a legislated value, and I look forward to fighting against that notion until everyone in the United States is truly equal.



Ain't No Party Like an Obama Party

Fucking Awesome

More on the best day ever in a while.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Today is the best day in a long time


I wish I had more time and sobriety to explain how I'm feeling right now but suffice it to at that this is one if the most exciting and important events that I've witnessed in my life.

I believe in democracy and I believe in Barack Obama. Thank goodness that they came together today.

More on this historic event tomorro.

Monday, November 3, 2008

A Girl's Guide to Voting (As Long as that Girl is Me)

Since it's the day before the election, I've decided to compile a handy voter guide for people who a) live in Precinct 13, Ward 3 and/or b) people who have the exact same political views as I do. I realize how helpful this will be for all, so I'd like to graciously thank you in advance. ;)

I looked up my sample ballot at the Star Tribune, which has an awesome site telling you where your polling place is and everyone who's on the ballot. Just make sure you don't put the name of your street in the "House #" box because it took me three attempts to figure that out.

Anyways, I thought I'd go through each contested race and explain why I'm voting for who I'm voting for, half for your benefit, half so I can decide exactly why I'm going the way I am. I'll start with the bottom of the ballot and make you wait until the end for the biggies. Otherwise, how do I keep your interest piqued?

Soil and Water Supervisor, Seat 3

Do people really know about these candidates? It's kind of surprising that there are three challengers to the incumbent for this seat, considering I don't really know what this person does (I mean, they supervise soil and water, I get it). However, when you go to that Strib site, you can click on all the candidates to get a little bio, which rules. In doing so, I realized that the incumbent, although a woman, is not who I will be voting for. Anyone who lists "fiscal conservativism" as their most important issue is going to have a hard time getting my vote. So instead, I'm voting for Mara Magnuson Humphrey. She's endorsed by the DFL, plus her most important issue is the protection of natural resources, so she's the one for me.

Soil and Water Supervisor, Seat 2

Again, who gets to be soil and water supervisor isn't exactly my most important issue this campaign, but I believe in the system so I believe that these seats are important to making sure Ramsey County (and thus, Minnesota) maintains the right view on natural resources. This race was a bit harder to choose on its face, as there are no women running, but I'm voting for David Bogue. He has a degree in Environmental studies, and he lists some great issues (including decreasing runoff of surface contaminants and improving groundwater) as important. Plus, the other guy with a profile, Nick Quade, was a state delegate for Ron Paul, which is an automatic disqualification for all votes cast by me.

2nd District Court, Seat 21

This race is a really difficult choice for me because both candidates are great. It's between Gail Chang Bohr and Howard Orenstein, and I'm voting for Gail Chang Bohr. If I'm being honest, her gender is probably what pushed me over the edge, but I don't usually like to use that as a sole determining factor. She is the Executive Director of Children's Law Center of Minnesota, and used to be a social worker, so in my house that's a enough to get my vote. However, Orenstein got pretty much all the DFL bigwig endorsements, which is also a good thing in my book, so read their profiles and decide for yourself what's most important.

Minnesota House, District 64B

This is an easy one, as I've met both candidates. I'm voting for Rep. Michael Paymar because he's genuinely cares about Minnesota and the district, and has proven that fact by his years of service in the Minnesota House. Plus, Emory Dively was really rude to me personally during my days at St. Kate's. I realize that my district is distinctly democratic, so the candidate knows they have little chance of winning, but he treated me as though my (and a group of other college students I was with) vote didn't matter to him, and that was a major turnoff. Rep. Paymar is a nice guy with great experience and a genuine interest in the lives of his constituents and I'm excited to get to vote for him.

United States House of Representatives, District 4

The choices get easier and easier for me as we move up the ballot, but this one is kind of ridiculously easy. There are some decisions that Rep. Betty McCollum makes that I don't agree with (for example, her stance on music/video game censorship really bugs me), but in the end I am a die-hard Betty! advocate. I'm voting for Rep. Betty McCollum because she has proven through action that she cares about all members of the community, not merely those in the DFL. Really, though, I'm voting for Betty because she's a Katie (read: she went to the College of St. Catherine) and has lived the lifethat I am striving to create for myself. She came back to St. Kate's a number of times while I was the Senate President there, and the way she talks to students makes her both a fantastic advocate for the area and just an all around great person. Plus, who's even heard of this Matthews guy?

Constitutional Amendment: Increase state sales tax by 0.375% to pay for environmental and cultural programs

This has been by far the most difficult decision for me this election season. We talked about this amendment extensively in my caucus during primary season, and my team decided that it was not a good idea. Still, i've decided that I'm voting YES because although I don't necessarily agree with the manner in which the money is being obtained, I believe strongly in the programs and services that it's going to.

My main concern is that sales tax, by definition, is recessive, which means that people with less money end up paying more of their income. In one informational pamphlet I read, it was estimated that the increase would cost Minnesota families about $1 a week, which doesn't seem like much, but when you only get $200 a month in food stamps and WIC benefits, each dollar is extremely important. Sales taxes are not the right way of getting money to pay for things, and a constitutional amendment is a particularly extreme way to go about raising funds. HOWEVER, after learning that the money will be spent specifically on programs that assist the low-income community in accessing the arts and environmental resources, I changed my No vote to Yes. I would love to hear more reasons for or against this amendment, because this is really the only issue in which my mind is not completely made up.

MN Appeals Court Judge, Seat 16

Here, I'm voting for Hon. Terri J. Stoneburner because she's the incumbent, she's been a judge for 18 years, and her opponent has given no legitimate reason to vote against her. Plus, as I said, I'm always going to err on the side of the woman, so without a reason to vote for the other guy, Hon. Stoneburner wins it for me.

MN Supreme Court Associate Justice, Seat 4

Both candidates here seem as though they would be good for the Court, but I'm voting for Hon. Lorie Skjerven Gildea . My sister got to hear her speak, and said she had some really great things to say. Plus, retired MN Chief Justice Kathleen Blatz endorsed her, and I respect Hon. Blatz immensely, so Gildea it is.

MN Supreme Court Associate Justice, Seat 3

Here seems like as good a place as any to voice my disdain for the voting for judges system we have in the great state of Minnesota. In this race, I'm voting for Hon. Paul H. Anderson because I've met him and he's really nice, plus his voting record is one of a fair and impartial guy who cares deeply for justice. But, it totally bugs me that he has to run in the first place, as he's been on the Court since 1994. He's a competent, impartial judge who deserves to keep his seat. Plus he went to Macalester, so my family would hate me if I voted against him.

United States Senate

This race is perhaps the most important one that Minnesotans have to vote for. Forgive me for my bluntness, but Norm Coleman is a total tool and the thought of him continuing as the Senior Senator from Minnesota makes me want to barf. Although it took me a second to get as excited about Al Franken as I am now, I caucused for him in the primaries and have heard him speak three times now. I'm voting for Al Franken because he's passionate about grassroots change in a way that I haven't seen since Sen. Paul Wellstone. He excites the people into believing in the political process, and anyone that knows me knows that I'm passionate about such things too. If you want to hear just how excited I am about Al, you can go on over to MPR and give it a listen. However, if I can convince you Minnesotans of one thing throughout this entire diatribe, let it be that Al Franken is exactly what this state needs.

United States President

It wont come as much of a surprise after this here rant that I'm voting for Sen. Barack Obama in tomorrow's presidential election. Besides the fact that I pretty much hate every single policy stance that Sen. John McCain holds, his entire demeanor throughout this election process only cemented my disdain for him as a candidate. There has been much talk about things not related to policy (his refusal to combat the racist comments coming from his supporters, his support for fabricated tales of terrorism in the Obama campaign, his inability to say S's correctly, his neck skin...) however I am much more interested in the actual reasons that Obama is better for the United States than McCain.

A short rundown:
- He's better on economic policy (unless you're a facist free-market libertarian, in which case you better be voting for Bob Barr because McCain ain't so free market either)
- He's WAYYYYYYYYY better on women's issues. If you want a more in depth analysis of that, go here
- He's better on foreign policy, and chose a running mate that can at least decipher who is and is not the President of France
- He cares about health care and the ability of low income people to access it
- He doesn't hate gay people
- He's a dreamboat.

Okay, this has got to be the longest post I've ever written, but it's doubtful that I have ever been as excited to vote as I am for tomorrow's big day. Even if you disagree with every single thing I've written, PLEASEPLEASEPLEASE go vote because otherwise all those fucking political ads were for naught and that seems like a big waste. There are a lot of candidates that I care about that I won't get to vote for (the joy that will ensue if Elwin Tinklenber wins the 6th District is unreal) so make sure to do your own research at the Strib website above.

I'm such a political science nerd that I doubt I'll sleep at all tonight.

P.S. - I have never had as much trouble posting a blog as I did today, so if you've read parts of this throughout the day, I appreciate your tenacity in accessing the whole thing. Happy voting!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Ben Harper Softens the Blow of Law School Papers (but they still sure blow)

The Get Out the Vote concert with Tenacious D, Ben Harper, and the Beastie Boys did not disappoint. We arrived about 3 songs into the D, which was disappointing, but I caught "Fuck Her Gently" so all was right with the world. Bharps played a lot of new stuff that I enjoyed, but I doubt a novice listener would really dig the foray into the deeper tracks of his yet-unreleased album.

However, The Beastie Boys were fucking ridiculous. I hadn't ever seen them before, which is somewhat surprising considering the volume of shows I attended in high school, but I guess when you just go see the same three bands over and over again, you're gonna miss something. Still, it was well worth the wait because I can't imagine them being any better than they were last night.

One of the best parts was how awesome they still look:

I'm Buddy Rich When I Fly Off The Handle

MCA was my favorite because he's totally rocking the salt and pepper 44 year old dude hair. They all sound exactly like they did on Paul's Boutique and the venue didn't suck at all so I could totally see even though we had like the last seats in the place.

I had to write a paper for international law today, which didn't actually suck as much as I thought it would. I picked a sort of interesting topic about an international treaty about women's rights, so you know that was exciting in a land where feminism doesn't exactly come up very often. Good times.

Okay, I'm gonna go watch The Wire now. Kari and I have started watching it and I don't think we'll be able to stop until the whole series is finished. That's quite a lot of drug dealer and cop lingo to pick up between now and the end.

Since voting is only 2 days away, I'll probably write something about the election tomorrow. It's my last chance to convince that random guy in his basement scanning through weird blogs, you know?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Get Out the Vote = Best Concert of the Year

I don't really have time to write a legitimate blog today, but I don't want to be disqualified on my very first day of NaBloPoMo
so here's a short little note for good measure.

I'm going to perhaps the most exciting concert of the season tonight. The lineup includes Beastie Boys, Tenacious D and, most importantly, Ben Harper in a Get Out the Vote party. It promises to be as awesome as possible, and I will certainly update tomorrow with good times and perhaps some pictures stolen from Wanda's iPhone. Hopefully there wont be too many frat boys at the concert to interrupt my beer drinking and general rabble-rousing, but that remains to be seen.

Okay, yeah. Have a super great Saturday!