C'est un blague.

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  • Thursday, November 30, 2006

    In case you were wondering whether I dropped off of the face of the earth...

    Nope, still here.

    But right now I'm in Hawai`i.

    I know, poooooooooooooooooooooooor me. I'm here to make a presentation for the board meeting/luncheon event for a non-profit. That's Friday and Saturday. The rest of the time is mine to enjoy.

    In the sun.

    In a skirt, short sleeves and sandals.

    Tough work if you can get it, eh?

    Pooooooooooooooooooor me.

    Sunday, November 26, 2006

    The kids' college tuition must be due

    Because that's the only possible reason I can think of why Sylvester Stallone would make another Rocky movie.

    I'm jest sayin'...

    Saturday, November 25, 2006

    Go Rutgers?

    Two more games in the season and a 9-1 record. This week is Syracuse (4-7), and next week is West Virginia (9-1). I don't expect the Scarlet Knights to top the Mountaineers, but, to quote a fellow alum of Rutgers, "If we don't beat Syracuse, I think I will puke. . ."


    Friday, November 24, 2006

    Our little hot water bottle

    I have a snoring Gidget squished up next to me, between me and the back cushions on the sofa, with her leg flopped over my stomach.

    She is pretty frickin' darned cute.

    And she sleeps a whole lot. Which she's doing right now... as well as snoring and twitching like mad. Must be quite a dream!

    But the longer we have her, the more we realize how lucky we are. She has never peed or pooped inside, despite being left alone as long as 12 hours on occasion. She only chews her Kong (a toy) or her bully stick, never shoes or furniture. She rarely barks and when she does, it's for good reason (like a stranger entering the house without being let in). She's incredibly affectionate but not in the "like lick your face" kinda way, which I don't like; she's a snuggler. And best of all, she lets us sleep in on the weekends! She usually gets a pre-work walk around 6:00 am, but on the weekends, she always lets us sleep in until we're ready to get up -- as late as 10:00 (4 hours past her regular time).

    Yes, we're very lucky.

    We took her to meet my mom and brother yesterday, to get her used to riding in the car as well as to see how she'd do in a new environment and introduce her to the family. Plus, I'll admit that I was hoping they'd like her enough to be willing to take care of her when we're outta town.

    It was fun to watch her check out the new digs. She had to visit every room to sniff around and make sure things were up to snuff. She was never nervous or anxious, just curious. And she settled in pretty quickly, snuggling herself up to my brother on the couch and claiming his stomach as her pillow.

    And it was particularly interesting to watch how she behaved around strangers. She was fine with my mom and bro, probably because we introduced her to them. But when my mother's boarder (that is, the woman who rents out a space in my mother's house) came home, the Gidge was not happy. She heard her come in the front door (which was not visible from where we were), and Gidget started barking. Not much, but a few times. Then she went looking for the person that she had smelled and heard but not seen. She went upstairs to find the person and downstairs and in the other rooms and was very concerned and anxious because she knew someone was there but couldn't find that person. And she wouldn't settle down.

    So when the woman came in again, we took Gidget down to introduce her. And once Gidget sniffed her (with me there to reassure her), she was fine. She didn't bark at her again and visibly settled.

    Interesting that Gidget got so territorial and protective at my mom's house, a place she had never visited before. I guess our little girl defines home as where "her people" are.

    We're so lucky to have adopted such a sweet girl.

    Now if only she didn't smell poochy! But maybe that's part of her charm? Or not. Either way, she's family.

    I'm still stuffed from Thanksgiving

    Portion control, smortion control. It's no wonder I had a dream last night that I was pregnant. Big, ol' bloated belly here!

    So today, after I get off my lazy ass, we're gonna do some shopping. Not at a mall, but rather on the Mall. We're going to hit the museum stores at the Smithsonian. If you've never been, each museum has its own gift shop, and they have some way cool stuff. There's also an online version, but it doesn't sell freeze-dried ice cream which is one of those things that kids adore -- myself included when I was younger -- but adults think is absolutely disgusting (myself included now).

    But hey, we're shopping for outta town nieces and nephews, so it's our duty to gross out the parents, right?

    Hey Macophiles!

    It's now officially the Christmas shopping season. "Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines!"

    And I need some help... While I have a blackbelt in shopping, others (my folks mainly) always ask for a wish list. Being the consummate consumer, I do keep one on Amazon, but it's time to update it.

    So here's my question for any readers who are members of the cult of Mac... can you give me a recommendation for a graphics software package? It doesn't have to be anything fancy. Basically, I want to use it for photographs. I have any old version of Photoshop which works just fine (and is the level of bells and whistles that I need), but I wondered if there are any good photoshop-like programs out there that work particularly well with a Mac -- and which may allow me to expand my graphics capabilities a bit?

    Thanks for your help!

    Wednesday, November 22, 2006

    Whole Foods is my chef in the kitchen

    Yup, that's right. My entire Thanksgiving meal is being brought to me by the chefs in the back kitchen at Whole Foods. Turkey, green beans, stuffed squash, spinach, sweet potato pie, pecan pie... all portion-controlled because we didn't buy much (except for the pies -- heh, heh, heh... yum!).

    And don't worry; I wouldn't have it any other way. In fact, I declined two parental invitations (they're divorced) because I prefer the peace and serenity of SM and Gidget's company. I'll drop in on the parents later, after the main meal is done.

    I hope everyone has an enjoyable Thanksgiving!


    Monday, November 20, 2006

    I'm a First Amendment groupie

    So natch, I was a sucker to download this from iTunes.

    I missed it -- heck I hadn't even heard of it -- when it aired in May but think that it was $4 well-spent for three episodes (of which I've only watched two).

    I heart iTunes.

    Don't wanna jinx myself

    So no details right now, but I do need all the positive vibes that everyone can spare for the next week or so.

    I'll fill you in about this call for good fantastic ju-ju as soon as I can...

    Sunday, November 19, 2006

    I had every confidence

    that they would and they did... Rutgers blew it by losing to Cincinnati in a manner just as spectacular as the Scarlet Knights' season has been thus far.

    It was painful, painful to watch, and I switched off the game by half-time. When I checked the score later, the news was even worse.

    So much for the top ten rating. Losing to a 5-5 team will drop them probably a good 10 places in the standings.


    Saturday, November 18, 2006

    Since I'm not using mine...

    ... perhaps I should explore this as a potential source of income and means of staying involved in the Asian Pacific American community...?

    But since I'm half-Asian, it seems that my eggs wouldn't be as valuable (genetically adulterated that they are).

    Hmmm, that's gotta be the first time that the white folks in the neighborhood ended up bringing down the property values.

    Friday, November 17, 2006

    Interviewing this week

    Had one interview yesterday and one more on Monday -- both are for federal lawyer jobs, so I'm excited (because we all know how long it takes to get a federal job).

    The interview yesterday was tough, TOUGH. Two pages of very specific questions lobbed at me by three attorneys in the office. We're talking "name the legislation" specific questions. Eeeks. I think I handled all of the questions well enough, but these three didn't give a thing away. Talk about stone faces! I got nothing. It's pretty hard to plow ahead confidently when you have no clue how you're doing.

    But there was some head nodding and lots of notes being taken. And twice I got comments along the lines of "you argued that well" or "good answer".

    Still, who knows? But I WANT this job. I hope I conveyed that in a professionally enthusiastic manner rather than one which screams "kissing your ass".

    Second interviews will be scheduled for early December. Fingers crossed!

    Wednesday, November 15, 2006

    What do you say when...

    What do you say when you get a call with the news that someone you know -- not a close friend but someone you like a great deal -- has been hit by a car..? And it's not good. And the hospital is just waiting for the family to arrive so they can say good-bye because there hasn't been any brain activity in 24 hours...?

    What do you say when you hear that news?

    This young man -- in his 20s -- had enough personality to fill a room. And even more potential. I worked with him for a little while and then had a few interactions over the past six years -- always with a friendly greeting when I did see him. Everyone knew he was a great guy. And so full of life, truly. And I did know him well enough to say that he was doing and would have continued to do really great things.

    Damn, it's so sad. Damn.

    Tuesday, November 14, 2006


    On my way to tutoring this evening, I noticed that the streets of DC had been decorated with snowflake lights (you know lights in the shape of snowflakes hung from the street lamp posts?). It was very pretty.

    But the thing is, I was outside in the evening and it was warm enough that I didn't need a jacket.

    Snowflakes? No jacket? Weird.

    Election correction

    Rudy Giuliani has filed the papers to form an exploratory committee, which allows him to raise money to travel the country and explore the possibility of running for president. It's the first step on a White House run.

    What would John McCain say?

    Interesting, eh? Instead of right wing conservatives dominating the field (like ousted Senators Allen and Santorum), we have none so far but one and maybe two moderate republicans.

    I guess that's the election correction. Like when the stock market or housing market gets over-inflated and falsely valued resulting in a deflation or a crash with the inevitable adjustment, so too did the Republicans get bloated with their own false sense of value and then experienced a similar deflation = election correction.

    My mother's voice in my head

    So, A went home yesterday. We had a great visit. But the fun started even before she arrived! And good times just kept on rolling...

    When I was cleaning in anticipation of her arrival (because she's incredibly neat, and I'm not), I found the iPod which I thought had been stolen out of my car. Needless to say, I was thrilled because I had been missing it and lamenting my stupidity at losing it. I found it in a purse I last used 8 months ago on a trip and had just put away when I got home, not to be used again. D'oh. I had looked high and low for the iPod and was completely baffled, annoyed and bummed that I couldn't find that sucker -- so much so that I concluded that I must have lost it or had it stolen on my trip. So when I found it, I was relieved and excited -- and then I heard my mother's voice in my head, her often-repeated refrain from my childhood: "See what you find when you clean?!" I had to chuckle because, of course, she was right.

    Ahhh well... I guess we can never escape the homilies of our childhood. They'll haunt us forever.

    Anyway, about A's visit... On Saturday, she and I walked, browsed and shopped in Old Town, ate in a Public House and went on a "Ghosts and Graveyards" tour. Lots of walking, but the weather couldn't have been better. Also, the sales were pretty aweseome! It was a great day.

    Sunday, the weather was miserable. Cold, cold rain and wind that chills ya' to the bone. Brrr. A good day to sleep in and then go to a museum, which we did, the National Museum of the American Indian. I had been meaning to go there for years, since it opened but never managed to make it. The exhibits were well done and very accessible for kids, incorporating lots of great technology. But I have to say that one of hte highlights of the museum is the cafeteria where they serve native american cuisine. You can choose from the Plains Indians or the Pacific Northwest or several others. Not cheap but very good. A went for two kinds of vegetable salads. I went for the fry bread. With honey. And cinnamon. A heart attack in the making, but it was worth it.

    I dropped A off at the airport on Monday around noon so she could make her cross-continental trip home. One cool thing I noticed when I picked her up, National now has a cell phone waiting area where you can wait in your car (free) until your arriving party calls you to pick him/her up at the arrival door, curbside.


    Monday, November 13, 2006

    We're #6! Or is it #7... or 8?

    Depends on who you ask, but the various college football rankings have Rutgers as either #6, 7 or 8. Um, that would be nationally ranked in the top 10.


    ESPN has Rutgers going to either the Gator Bowl or the Brut Sun Bowl (those are both a big deal, right?), and CBS Sportsline has Rutgers at the Sugar Bowl (holy shit -- even I know that's a big deal). Last but not least, Sports Illustrated has Rutgers at the Rose Bowl -- oh my!

    This is the first time in a long time that the RU football team has gone anywhere but the toilet bowl. (Admittedly, I don't pay that much attention... but there was never any reason to before!)

    Hot damn! Go Rutgers!

    ME! ME! meme

    Snagged from Betty Joan, it's all about me!

    "What Have I Done?" (Mine are in bold.)

    01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
    02. Swam with wild dolphins
    03. Climbed a mountain
    04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
    05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
    06. Held a tarantula
    07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
    08. Said “I love you” and meant it
    09. Hugged a tree
    10. Bungee jumped
    11. Visited Paris
    12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
    13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
    14. Seen the Northern Lights
    15. Gone to a huge sports game (and survived the crush afterwards)
    16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
    17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
    18. Touched an iceberg
    19. Slept under the stars
    20. Changed a baby’s diaper
    21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
    22. Watched a meteor shower
    23. Gotten drunk on champagne
    24. Given more than you can afford to charity
    25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
    26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
    27. Had a food fight
    28. Bet on a winning horse
    29. Asked out a stranger
    30. Had a snowball fight
    31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
    32. Held a lamb
    33. Seen a total eclipse
    34. Ridden a roller coaster
    35. Hit a home run
    36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
    37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
    38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
    39. Had two hard drives for your computer
    40. Visited all 50 states
    41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
    42. Had amazing friends
    43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
    44. Watched wild whales
    45. Stolen a sign
    46. Backpacked in Europe
    47. Taken a road-trip
    48. Gone rock climbing
    49. Midnight walk on the beach
    50. Gone sky diving
    51. Visited Ireland
    52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
    53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
    54. Visited Japan
    55. Milked a cow
    56. Alphabetized your CDs
    57. Pretended to be a superhero
    58. Sung karaoke
    59. Lounged around in bed all day
    60. Played touch football
    61. Gone scuba diving
    62. Kissed in the rain
    63. Played in the mud
    64. Played in the rain
    65. Gone to a drive-in theater
    66. Visited the Great Wall of China
    67. Started a business
    68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
    69. Toured ancient sites
    70. Taken a martial arts class
    71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
    72. Gotten married
    73. Been in a movie
    74. Crashed a party
    75. Gotten divorced
    76. Gone without food for 5 days
    77. Made cookies from scratch
    78. Won first prize in a costume contest
    79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
    80. Gotten a tattoo
    81. Rafted the Snake River
    82. Been on television news programs as an “expert”
    83. Got flowers for no reason
    84. Performed on stage
    85. Been to Las Vegas
    86. Recorded music
    87. Eaten shark
    88. Kissed on the first date
    89. Gone to Thailand
    90. Bought a house
    91. Been in a combat zone
    92. Buried one/both of your parents
    93. Been on a cruise ship
    94. Spoken more than one language fluently
    95. Performed in Rocky Horror
    96. Raised children
    97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
    99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
    100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
    101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
    102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
    103. Had plastic surgery
    104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
    105. Wrote articles for a large publication
    106. Lost over 100 pounds
    107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
    108. Piloted an airplane
    109. Touched a stingray
    110. Broken someone’s heart
    111. Helped an animal give birth
    112. Won money on a T.V. game show
    113. Broken a bone
    114. Gone on an African photo safari
    115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
    116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
    117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
    118. Ridden a horse
    119. Had major surgery
    120. Had a snake as a pet
    121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
    122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
    123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
    124. Visited all 7 continents
    125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
    126. Eaten kangaroo meat
    127. Eaten sushi
    128. Had your picture in the newspaper
    129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
    130. Gone back to school
    131. Parasailed
    132. Touched a cockroach
    133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
    134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey
    135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read
    136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
    137. Skipped all your school reunions
    138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
    139. Been elected to public office
    140. Written your own computer language
    141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
    142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
    143. Built your own PC from parts
    144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
    145. Had a booth at a street fair
    146. Dyed your hair
    147. Been a DJ
    148. Shaved your head
    149. Caused a car accident
    150. Saved someone’s life

    Hmmm, looks like I've got a few more adventures to pursue!

    Updated with italics for the "wanna-dos".

    Saturday, November 11, 2006

    Happy Veteran's Day

    I may not have any faith in the politicians running the show or agree with the decisions about how, where and why our military is deployed, but I do believe in the dedication and courage of the men and women who have served/are serving our country. Personally, that list includes my father, uncles, a cousin, my brother (who was actually deployed to Kuwait last year) as well as friends.

    So, Happy Veteran's Day to all. And many thanks to our nation's veterans/active military -- and their families -- for their service. I admire your selflessness, courage and commitment.

    Beautiful, beautiful weekend!

    Wow is this weather gorgeous or what? Sunny and warm with a breeze -- not exactly feeling like November, but then again, there are many reasons why it hasn't felt like November recently...

    So, my friend A is in town (the one I visited in Chile last year, even though she's Canadian and lives in Vancouver). Just for the weekend, but fortunately, we'll have some great weather to do some walking around. She's already done most of the DC-touristy stuff (when she visits a city, she launches an all-out frontal attack; she sees absolutely everything and the most brilliant strategist general has got nuthin' in this girl). We're thinking about walking around Old Town Alexandria, doing some shopping and maybe taking a Ghosts and Graveyards walking tour. And of course, gabbing our faces off! Gonna be fun.

    In other news, today is Gidget's first obedience training class. SM is taking her. I've very excited that we're all going to get some tools to keep this wiggling, waggling, hairy ball of energy more controlled (I'm talking about Gidget, not SM). She's amazing with people of all sizes, shapes and colors (even very small children) but notsomuch with other dogs. And considering that there are about 4 or 5 dogs living on every floor of this building... well, it's not very neighborly of her.

    What would Mr. Rogers say?

    Thursday, November 09, 2006

    Tonight, the RED team won...!

    Yup, I'm cheering for the RED team! I'm cheering for the R team!!!

    Okay, so it's Rutgers... but they just defeated Louisville and is now the only undefeated team in the Big East.

    Holy shit.


    Seals the deal

    George Allen just conceded defeat in the Virginia race for Senate.

    We all know that I don't particularly like the man or his politics, but he just went up slightly in my estimation -- and not because he lost, but rather in how he handled the loss. This commment, in particular, got my attention:
    "I do not wish to cause more litigation that would not alter the results," Allen said, adding that he saw "no good purpose being served by continuously and needlessly expending money and causing any more personal animosity."
    You just gotta respect that.

    Kicking the macaca out

    Wow, the wire services and news outlets are calling the VA Senate seat for Webb.

    While I'm thrilled that Allen is out -- and even more excited that the Senate is 49+2 for the Dems -- it's kinda shocking to see how quickly Senator Macaca spiraled out of control and killed his own political career. Webb didn't stand a chance at the beginning of the year, and he wouldn't have won if Allen hadn't repeatedly stepped in his own shit (what Allen could call "ma caca"). Truly, has there ever been a shoe-in who stepped in it more?

    It's almost as amazing (but not quite) as the longevity of career that our own bad penny Marion Barry.

    So, I guess that George Allen's political implosion is a lesson for the arrogant. Pride goeth before the fall and all that?

    And as a complete aside, I heard some punditry today about the potential future poltical career options for ousted MD Gov. Ehrlich and his former Lt. Gov. Michael Steele who lost his bid for the Senate. The talking head was discussing their potential next moves, observing that they are both pretty young and might be able to run again and that Steele might try for a lower state-wide office to get back on his feet, either comptroller or attorney general.

    First, I think Ehrlich is done because his eyes were on the prize of the White House. He was clearly setting himself up for that run, and well, I think his losing his re-election bid douses that fire.

    Second, I don't think Steele has the drive to run for another office where he can't enjoy someone else's coattails. He hasn't achieved his own success in any aspect of his career, and I don't see him running in a situation where he didn't start out with an advantage. As for his running for another state-wide office... well, one of the criticisms leveled at his campaign this time is that no one knew a thing about what he stood for; all of his ads were personality-driven. Also, he can't run for attorney general because one of the criteria for that office is having practiced law in MD for 10 years (just ask Tom Perez) -- Steele never even passed the Maryland bar.

    Wednesday, November 08, 2006

    The Grinch

    I've often thought that Donald Rumsfeld

    looks like

    Skeletor -- or perhaps

    the Grinch.

    Well, apparently the Republicans think so as well. In fact, Rumsfeld is now the Grinch who stole Christmas (and gave Christmas to the Dems).

    So Rummy is out, stepping down as another casualty of the midterm elections.

    Na, na, na, na... na, na, na, na... hey, hey... Good-bye!

    (P.S. Thanks to Dave! for the heads-up!)

    It may be November, but there's spring in my step

    And most of my friends' too. I don't think I need to say why. Things are gonna change around this town because there's a great deal of "trickle down" from the elections -- many jobs will be shifting around (cross your fingers that one shifts in my direction) and so will real estate. Hopefully some of the ugliness will go away too, but I'm not counting on it.

    The final counts on both sides aren't in yet, but the trends are fantabulous. Dems now hold the majority of the governorships (first time in a decade). Wo-hoo! Another woman in the Senate (McCaskill in MO). Double wo-hoo! But I'm still holding my breath on the VA Senate race. Talk about a nail-biter! And, Montana is too close to call. Please, please, please -- no replay of the crap we saw in Florida... let's have some dignity here folks. But I admit to being cheerful at saying "Buh-bye" to Santorum and his presidential aspirations (talk about ugliness!).

    Whether or not the Senate goes Dem, I really hope that the Dems learned from the arrogance of the Republicans back post-1994... which means, that yes, folks wanted and voted for a change but don't jam the extreme stuff down anyone's throat. The Republicans got giddy with power, thought they had a mandate and drove the country towards the hard right after they won Congress -- and that was a mistake. President Clinton used his opposition position to show the country just exactly the shenanigans they were trying to get away with. So, while I agree with most liberal positions, I hope the Dems don't try to impost an uber-liberal agenda. It won't work.

    First of all, too many of the Dems that won are moderates, could even wear a Republican team shirt and be credible. They won't support an extreme policy agenda, and if they did, they wouldn't survive the next elections.

    Second, W. still has the advantage of a bully pulpit and the veto power. He can easily demonize an uber-liberal agenda (heck, he already does that) and play the "I told you so" game ("See what you get for voting for the Demo[n]crats? I told you not to vote for them!"). But he can't do that with a more moderate one. He can try, but it will be much harder. And I think Nancy Pelosi is smart enough to play that game and probably best him, as well.

    Third, we don't have a prayer for a scintilla of progress if the House doesn't start off with baby steps. Like raising the minimum wage. And stem cell research (even if W. will veto it again). So, the Dems need to get to work, not play political games. And that means moderation. Progressive but not extreme.

    I'm particularly happy that we won't be seeing bullshit like a federal marriage amendment getting a vote (even if that horrible woman Musgrave was re-elected) or court-stripping legislation. And let's have some accountability in government. Now the House will no longer be W.'s lapdog, and the country will learn the truth behind some of these ethical scandals.

    And Nancy Pelosi as the first female Speaker of the House -- that's #3 in line for the presidency -- how freakin' cool is that?

    But best of all, those ubitquitous and annoying political ads are GONE for another two years. Yay! No more messing around with my TV-watching...

    Tuesday, November 07, 2006

    I wanna know

    How can all of these news analyses and websites call races where only 1% of the votes are in? Even more perplexing, how are they calling races for the guy who is trailing in the vote count?

    What do they know that we don't?

    Poll hopping

    So while nothing out of the ordinary really happened while we were at the polls this morning, we did get a few drive-by visits. A few candidates stopped by -- as well they should -- and we had some press (see my earlier post about Gidget, the photo-op). The biggest "name", the best-known figure to show up in our neck of the woods was Cindy Sheehan, spreading her message -- to bring our troops home from Iraq, to minimize the human cost of this war, and to prevent other families from experiencing the pain she is feeling as the result of her son's death -- as well as that of Gold Star Families for Peace, Code Pink, Voters for Peace and others.

    It was a very small press conference, and I just stood and listened. There were cheers, a few questions and some press, including an international camera crew (the accent sounded French). It was almost like a candidate's stump speech -- short, punchy, to the point, followed by some glad-handing and then outta there to the next venue. I asked one of the organizers why she was in our sleepy little corner of the world, but then I remembered... this town is a no-nuke zone, allows non-citizens to vote in municipal elections and has more members of the green party on the voting rolls than republicans. Oh yeah. That's why.

    Made for an interesting morning.

    And BTW, Gidget was completely pooped from her morning as a celebrity pooch. She pretty much fell asleep the second I brought her back and has been snoozing ever since. Ahhh, I wish!

    Partisan pooch

    Didja' vote?

    Anyway, this morning Gidget and I went out to the local polling place to keep SM company. He's a democratic precinct chair, and he's going to be there all day -- and I mean ALL day (about 12 hours).

    We saw lots of interesting stuff, but fortunately none of it (so far) involved voter fraud or bullying by any particular party.

    And Gidget was very, very popular. Because she's a sweet dog, very cute and well behaved around people (although not other dogs). And even though she was clearly partisan (with stickers for Cardin, O'Malley and other local dem races), she had bi-partisan support. Everyone loved her. She even had her picture taken by a reporter from the local paper as well as USA Today. So she may be almost famous!
    (For those of you not from the DC-metro area, the republican candidate for Senate, Michael Steele, launched his campaign with an ad saying that he loves puppies... so we wanted to show that Cardin had puppy supporters.)

    Monday, November 06, 2006

    Midterm elections!

    I don't know about you, but I learned the preamble to the Constitution, not in law school, but because of Schoolhouse Rock!

    Who needs school when you've got Saturday morning cartoons to get edumacated about conjunctions and how a bill becomes a law and interjections! and how everyone needs some elbow room...

    So of course I was amused by this spoof, which, as clever as it is, it's still not as good as the original creations.

    Vote tomorrow! (especially you Ambib!)

    Sports for nerds

    Making political predictions, watching the races and seeing how your team does!

    Mine for tomorrow: split Senate 50-50, and the House will go to the Dems, 232-203 (ironically, the current split in reverse).

    Sunday, November 05, 2006

    Cookie blogging

    Okay, I know you're sick of reading my posts today. I've definitely been blabbling (= blogging + babbling) all day/evening. In an effort to stay the boredom of earlier today (actually, I was procrastinating doing some cleaning), I made cookies.

    This is the second time I've made these cookies, and they were just as easy and just as good this time around so I feel confident in this recommendation. I first made them for my book club where they got rave reviews*.

    So here is one of the easiest cookie recipes ever.

    Vanilla Butter Cookies
    1 c. butter
    1 c. sugar
    1 tsp. vanilla extract (I used the real, organic stuff -- and it really makes a difference in the taste)
    2 c. all-purpose flour, sifted
    dash salt
    1 tsp. baking powder
    blanched almond halves

    Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy (note: handmixing is fine). Sift together flour, salt and baking powder. Add dry ingredients into butter mixture gradually and stir until well-blended.

    Shape the dough into small balls and place on ungreased cookie sheets. Press an almond half into the top of each ball and bake at 300 degrees (preheated oven) for 20-22 minutes or until just lightly browned. Makes 4-5 dozen cookies.

    Note: I halved this recipe, and it works out very well.

    *I was busy the day of the book club and thought I'd just go out and buy some cookies or other yummies to bring for dessert. But then I realized that it would take a chunk of time to drive to the store and come back (and I didn't know of any stores on the way to the club venue), so I figured that it would be faster if I could just find an uber-easy recipe and make them at home while I did other stuff. (I'm a multitasking kinda gal!) That is, if I could find a recipe with very limited ingredients and simple instructions...

    Which I did. And they came out very well.

    Also, for book club, we're reading Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides for December (originally it was going to be for November, but we kept pushing it back). I'm about 1/3 into it, so and I really like the author's writing style. And so far, the story is quite compelling.

    Gidget is a Red Sox fan

    I have to break it to her gently that baseball season is over. And the BoSox didn't do so fantastically. No play-offs this year. Oh well. I guess it's a good thing that she also likes the Patriots. They're leading their division, after all.

    (And if you look at her right ear, you can see how she earned the nickname "Evander".)

    2006 Pol Pool

    These are the six contestants treading water in the 2006 Pol Pool... I usually do a midterm madness election pool where the buy-in is a buck, but this year, folks were spread out all over the country so winner doesn't get the ginormous windfall of a coupla' bucks but instead bragging rights.

    The call for punditry was made on Wednesday, October 25th and entries were compiled and submitted by October 29th -- a week and a half out from the elections and before some of the more recent polling returns were made public. I think most of us would now probably pick Webb for VA Senate and Corker for TN, but we did this before the momentum shifted.

    So we'll see. And without further ado... here's how we're calling it!

    And Scooter -- what happened to ya'?
    District Katy Candace John Heather Tom ME!
    AZ Kyl Kyl Kyl Kyl Kyl Kyl
    CO-04 Paccione Paccione Paccione Musgrave Paccione Musgrave
    CT-02 Courtney Courtney Courtney Courtney Courtney Courtney
    CT-04 Shays Farrell Farrell Farrell Farrell Farrell
    CT-05 Johnson Murphy Johnson Johnson Johnson Johnson
    FL-13 Buchanan Jennings Jennings Buchanan Buchanan Jennings
    FL-22 Shaw Shaw Shaw Shaw Klein Shaw
    GA-12 Barrow Barrow Barrow Barrow Barrow Barrow
    IL-06 Duckworth Duckworth Roskam Duckworth Duckworth Duckworth
    IN-02 Chocola Chocola Donnelly Chocola Donnelly Donnelly
    IN-09 Hill Sodrel Hill Sodrel Hill Hill
    MD Cardin Cardin Cardin Cardin Cardin Cardin
    MD gov. O’Malley O’Malley O’Malley Ehrlich O’Malley O’Malley
    MO McCaskill McCaskill McCaskill McCaskill McCaskill McCaskill
    NC-11 Shuler Taylor Shuler Taylor Shuler Shuler
    NJ Menendez Menendez Menendez Menendez Menendez Menendez
    NH-02 Bass Bass Hodes Hodes Hodes Hodes
    NY-26 Davis Davis Reynolds Davis Reynolds Davis
    NY-29 Kuhl Kuhl Massa Kuhl Kuhl Massa
    OH Brown Brown Brown Brown Brown Brown
    OH-02 Wuslin Wuslin Wuslin Schmidt Wuslin Wuslin
    OH-15 Pryce Kilroy Kilroy Pryce Kilroy Kilroy
    PA-07 Sestak Sestak Sestak Weldon Sestak Sestak
    PA-08 Murphy Murphy Fitzpatrick Murphy Murphy Fitzpatrick
    PA-10 Sherwood Carney Carney Sherwood Carney Carney
    RI Whitehouse Chafee Whitehouse Whitehouse Whitehouse Whitehouse
    TN Ford Ford Corker Ford Ford Ford
    TX-17 Edwards Edwards Edwards Edwards Edwards Edwards
    WA-08 Reichert Burner Reichert Burner Burner Reichert
    VA Webb Allen Allen Allen Allen Allen
    Tie-breaker: final number of Rs-Ds in the House? 212R-223D (no response) 208R-227D (no response) 205R-230D 215R-220D

    Googling for a clue

    I'm an HTML neophyte. Meaning, I don't know squat about how to format my blog -- but I bet you already guessed that, eh?

    I want to put up a text chart. You know, rows and columns -- like a spreadsheet? But I have no idea how to do it, so I'm googling for a clue. This blog was helpful. So was this site.

    Anyone else know where I can find an easy (and free!) tutorial on HTML coding for creating tables, etc.?


    Lawyer schmoyer

    So on Tuesday, I'm going with SM (stands for "sweet man" not "sad0mas0chistic" or anything else, you pervs) to help out at the polls. He's a precinct chair for the democratic party, and I'm unemployed. Works out great.

    Plus, I live in DC so my vote counts. for. nothing. Truly nothing. Eleanor Holmes Norton doesn't get a vote on floor of the House, only a committee vote. Hopefully, a shift in power will also result in a shift in the rules back to allowing EHN and all the other "delegates" (from places like DC, Guam, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa -- ya' know, where we "quasi-Americans" live) a vote on amendments to legislation ("committee of the whole House"). Unless something else were to change, that's all they'd get -- committee votes but not on final passage. Considering my taxes are among the highest in the nation, can I tell you how much that SUCKS!?! The republicans restricted the delegates' votes to votes in committee vote because of the five delegates, four are democrats (Puerto Rico being the "one of those things not like the other"... but I bet you're not surprised, eh?). I am still not represented fully in the House and not at all in the Senate but a shift because to a democratic majority is a step towards democracy (a representative democracy where folks like me actually have representation). Not there yet. Probably won't ever get there, either.

    But I digress... shocking!

    My point was that I'll be at the polls in MD for much of Tuesday (I'll vote in the evening in DC). SM welcomes my company because after the morning rush, the middle of the day is pretty deadly dull. Also, he says if the republican precinct chair gets uppity at him, he's going to pull out the attorney card and let the other guy know that he brought a lawyer with him to the polling place.

    Who? Me?

    Oh yeah, I almost forgot. I had better practice my snooty, over-educated smirk.

    As heard on the pundit shows this morning:

    "It's not an election this Tuesday; it's an intervention... telling the President to come get a grip and come down to reality."

    That amused me.

    It amused me even more that a Republican made that observation.

    Friday, November 03, 2006

    Good luck folks!

    Today around 5:00 pm the MD bar results will be released and posted online.

    Good luck everyone! Got my fingers crossed for ya'!

    (And if you want to avoid the potentially embarrassing question, you can check here to find out whether or not a friend passed the MD bar.)

    Wednesday, November 01, 2006

    Mean girls

    Trauma this morning with the Gidget... on her morning walk, she encountered another pooch, a girl, and they got rough. I wasn't there but apparently, they were checking each other out, sniffing and whatnot when the other pooch growled and bit poor Gidget.

    The two were separated, and it turns out that Gidget got a gash in her ear. A small chunk bitten off (not much more than piece of skin). It was bleeding fairly profusely, so when she came home, SM (my boyfriend) was very upset. Gidget wasn't, but he was.

    We cleaned out her ear and even managed to get a bandaid to stick on the wound. It seems to have stopped bleeding, and I don't think that Gidget even feels it much. She's probably more bothered by the bandaid!

    So now we're calling her "Evander".

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