Just Fucking Get It Done.

So I know I’ve been kinda quiet lately.  But this is not where I tell you ‘Oh I’ve been busy’ (I have) or ‘I just haven’t had much to say lately’ (I haven’t). 

See, everyone’s talking about this health care thing.  And me, I was all revved up here to give you my two cents about it.  Until I found out that a friend of mine, well she pretty well summed up what I wanted to say.  So, I’ll just share her words with you, my ever faithful readers.

All I will add is this:  The current system does not keep our country healthy or help us when we are sick to get better.  The current system just makes insurance companies wealthy.  So instead of regurgitating the shit that you’ve been force fed without actually using your brain, let’s work together and get this shit fixed.  Once and for fucking all.  For fuck’s sake.  This is not about political ideology.  This is about me, paying doctors, to keep me healthy and heal me when I’m sick.  Don’t distort the issue by bringing ideology into it.

Health Care Debate: Doing it Wrong

Old Model Army, or Why I’m Not Emo Anymore

I was an angry, disillusioned, totally emo chick in college. 

I’m not exactly sure how it happened. 

(Translation: it would take far longer than this blog post to explain, and I’m not sure we’re at the stage in our interwebs relationship where I open up that much.  )

Right.  So, angry.  Emo.  My writing 101 prof called me a nihilist existentialist. 

Wow.  Really?  No, really?

Well.  What sort of music does a nihilist existentialist listen to?

Why, New Model Army, of course.   My favorite album of theirs, The Ghost of Cain.

They were angry.  Oh, so very angry.  I submit the following selections from the track list as evidence: 

The Hunt – Vigilante-ism at its finest:

“No police, no summons, no courts of law | no proper procedures, no rules of war | no mitigating circumstance | no lawyer’s fees no second chance”

“We can spend our whole life waiting for some thunderbolt to come | Or we can spend our whole life waiting for some justice to be done | Unless we make our own”

Lights Go Out – The worker’s lament:

“I went to my father, said please make me king… | He said son, well you gotta do your time | I’ve done 53 years and I haven’t yet done mine | You’re just one of the millions waiting in line”

“Though we asked for the money, and money they gave | God how that made us easy to enslave | So today at the office, we picked up the check | A chain of gold, a stab in the back | The old men went home, silent and bowed | And the young men went drinking, drowning it out”

51st State – Great Britain’s anti-american anthem:

 “Yeah tip your hat to the Yankee conquerors | We’ve got no reds under the bed | We’ve guns under our pillows”

“Here in the land of opportunities, hah | Oh watch us revel in our liberty | Well you can say what you like, but it doesn’t change anything | Cause the corridors of power, they’re an ocean away”

All of This – Western foreign policy rant:

 “Frustrated and impatient and intelligent sharp and twisted like a child | Death is an aphrodisiac now | There’s fuses on the table slowly wired”

 “Soldiers out at the discoteque pick up a girl and drink to home afar | Spending money like water on the watered drinks available at the bar | The ones who never were given much never asked much of anything in recall | But there’s a black bag in the corner and it doesn’t bel0ng to anyone here at all”

“In the name of the people, all of this done | In the name of the people”

Western Dream – i.e. the american dream, uh, is a dream, but media is gonna shove it down your throat:

Gather round and listen and I’ll tell you how it’s done | How they managed to make idiots out of everyone | Take a human population with their hunger and their pain, and the weaknesses that cripple them again and again”

“All lies all lies all schemes all schemes | Every one of you is a loser in the western dream” 

Ballad – Most depressing “we fucked up the world” song EVAR, complete with sad harmonica:

“When they look back at us and they write down their history | What will they say about our generation | We’re the ones who knew everything | Still we did nothing | Harvested everything | Planted nothing”

“Floating in comfort on waves of our apathy | Quietly gnawing away at our body | Till we mortgaged the future | Buried our children”

“Well I stand on this hill | And I watch her at night | A thousand square miles and a million orange lights | Wounded and scarred she lies silent in pain | Raped and betrayed in the cold acid rain”

“Not foolish and brave, these leaders of ours | Just stupid and petty, unworthy of power | Just a little leak here, and a small error there | Another square mile, poisoned forever”

Master Race

“And the opposition, well we ain’t doing so well | Our understanding is weak here, and  knowledge is small | Though the kids scrawl frustration on a backstreet wall | Well most of them can’t even spell ‘bastard'”


 Ouch.  Ouch ouch ouch.  Sometimes, it’s hard to listen to this album. 

So where am I going with this?

I listen to this album still.  And I enjoy it, for the memories, and the emotion, but so many of these songs just don’t ring true for me anymore.  And that makes me glad…nay, grateful.  Thankful.  To be  perfectly honest, I really must give some of the credit to our newly elected president for laying much of those feelings to rest.  Not that last year I was all RAWR I HATE MY COUNTRY, but it sure was painful to watch the things that were happening.  They’re still happening, it’s true, but there’s a pervading sense of hope now. 

Thank you, my country.  I’ve always loved you.  But as Michelle Obama said, I’m once again proud to be an American.

Of politicos and prose

What a week this has been.

I mean seriously, people.  Half the country will remember where they were yesterday for the rest of their lives, for starters.  For me, this week has been…Momentous.  Thrilling.  Moving.  Confusing.  Thought provoking.  Surprising.

So how many blog posts have you seen about the Inauguration?  I know, me too.  Tons.  And I kinda didn’t want to just add to the Obama mania noise with my piddly two cents.  So this is just an amalgamation of a couple things swirling around my head, including (I mean really, come on, I have to say something, right?) my little Obama plug.  Call it another house cleaning post.


So without furthur ado…OBAMA!

That's my president.  Isn't he shiny and new?

That's my president. Isn't he shiny and new?

I recorded the exact moment in his speech where I lost it.  It was right about 10 minutes, 17 or so seconds into it:

“…to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and we are ready to lead once more. ”

…and queue tears. 


I’m resolving to get my carpentry on for Habitat for Humanity this year.  That’s what I’m doing, for starters.  What about you?

Also, check out my buddy @dieselboi’s post on OurPDX.  He was THERE. And he has PICTURES!


Et Tu, Sam?

Sam.  We're all disappointed.

Sam. We're all disappointed.

What the hell??  My twitter/FB community has been, well, a-twitter with the news of Sam Adams’ announcement, and the repurcussions.  So he slept with an 18 year old intern.  Big deal!!  (as long as he was, in fact, 18.)  He should not have lied about it.  Especially when he was asked directly.  He could have skirted the truth, but no, he flat out lied.  And asked Beau Breedlove (yeah, what a name, huh?) to lie about it as well.  Which says clearly, I’m afraid that people will use this against me because I’m gay.  So I’m gonna hide my gay (legal) indiscretions.  Sure, it may not demonstrate the best judgment in your personal life, but it’s your personal life.  Your record of service speaks for itself.  If you’re gonna be our out and proud mayor, Sam, be out and proud.  You broke no law.  But now, the city is clamoring for you to step down, because they feel betrayed.  I personally don’t think so you should step down, despite my disappointment. I think the city would be best served by you staying in office, especially now that you will do your damnedest to improve your reputation. 

Some fellow bloggers who feel the same:



Nao fala portuguese!

I’ve been reminded just how much I love Portuguese.  Such a beautiful language.  I remember the first time I heard it.  I was at a friends house, and she was playing some music.  It was in a language that at first, I thought was French.  But soon realized it couldn’t be French, since I couldn’t make out a single word.  Spanish then?  No, again, don’t recognize any words as Spanish.  Yet I felt so sure that I should be able to understand what they were saying, it sounded so…familiar.  Thus began my love of the Portuguese language.  Mostly the Brazilian flavor.  

I was also introduced to Fernando Pessoa, a Portuguese poet.  And I heard beautiful words, placed in such a way as to make my heart hum in rhythm with the sounds.  Pitter pat, pitter pat:

If I could tell the future and if I knew all secrets,
and if I had all knowledge,
and if I had enough faith to move mountains,
but if I didn’t have love,
I would be nothing.

Eu tenho saudade.

I think I need to do something with those lines.  Like, something that will go on my walls.  I know, I’ll paint them, right on my wall.  In big fancy letters.  Big swirly fancy letters, that go across my walls.  So I can be reminded every day of the essence of my heart. 

See #7 for the reason why.


Ok, so maybe working here ain’t so bad after all.

I did a really hard thing.  I told people that I had made something of a commitment to, that well, it doesn’t seem to be working out.  It was a possible break up, and I was interested in someone else.  Or at least, something else.  I had to do it several times.  No one freaked, and I didn’t get fired.  Everyone was supportive, and understanding.  It was not painless (I do develop loyalties tres quickly.  Tres.), but they were at least conversations I could walk away from with my head held high, and no hard feelings, and mutual positive spin.  And it wasn’t even really spin, really.  I learned a lot.  No really, my brain is full of stuff, and I’ll take that with me, and be better for it.  But I have to follow my passion.  And even better, I was told I *could* go back, if I wanted to.

I can be a total geek at work again.  Joy!  Yeah yeah all you open source peeps out there, it’s .NET.  Yes, there is a bajillion hoops, some of them on fire, and politics and crap.  But I understand it.  I’ve maneuvered those roads, they’re familiar, and now that time has passed, they don’t seem so bad, in exchange for being able to be a code monkey again, and get PAID for it.

I haven’t decided for sure that I’m going back yet.  But I can, if I want to, and everyone knows I’m thinking about it, and it didn’t hurt (much) to tell everyone. 

I can even – maybe – be agile again.

Remember, remember, the 4th of November

On November 4th, America decided to give one of the hardest jobs in the world to this guy.  There were parties.  And speeches.  Lots of warm fuzzies to be had. 

I partied pretty hard along with everyone.  (not as hard as I used to, or as hard as I would’ve liked to, but hey, I’m not in my 20s anymore right?)

But for me, it hit home on November 5th.

I shed quite a few tears that day.  I felt like a member of the world community again.  I felt…redeemed.  LIke the US is not doomed, and …well…like this.

I wouldn’t feel like this again

I spent a lot of time looking at those pictures four years ago.  It was the only thing that gave me hope that my country had not turned its back on people like me, with my ideals, my dreams, my beliefs. It sure felt like it at the time, though.

But now, in less than a week, all that work, all that hope, all that struggle, will culminate on January 20th, Inauguration Day.

So I thought I’d post a few of the moving things people said on November 5th that I collected.  Just so we don’t forget what it felt like. 


This is the fall of the Berlin Wall times ten.  America is rebecoming a New World.
“On this morning, we all want to be American so we can take a bite of this dream unfolding before our eyes…”

– Rama Yade, France’s black junior minister for human rights, on French radio.

And so it came to pass that on Nov. 4, 2008, shortly after 11 p.m. Eastern time, the American Civil War ended, as a black man — Barack Hussein Obama — won enough electoral votes to become president of the United States.
A civil war that, in many ways, began at Bull Run, Virginia, on July 21, 1861, ended 147 years later via a ballot box in the very same state. For nothing more symbolically illustrated the final chapter of America’s Civil War than the fact that the Commonwealth of Virginia — the state that once exalted slavery and whose secession from the Union in 1861 gave the Confederacy both strategic weight and its commanding general — voted Democratic, thus assuring that Barack Obama would become the 44th president of the United States.
…there also may have been something of a “Buffett effect” that countered the supposed “Bradley effect” — white voters telling pollsters they’d vote for Obama but then voting for the white guy. The Buffett effect was just the opposite. It was white conservatives telling the guys in the men’s grill at the country club that they were voting for John McCain, but then quietly going into the booth and voting for Obama, even though they knew it would mean higher taxes.
Why? Some did it because they sensed how inspired and hopeful their kids were about an Obama presidency, and they not only didn’t want to dash those hopes, they secretly wanted to share them. Others intuitively embraced Warren Buffett’s view that if you are rich and successful today, it is first and foremost because you were lucky enough to be born in America at this time — and never forget that.

– Thomas L. Friedman, NYTimes

We have so many hopes and wishes that he will never be able to fulfill them,”

-Susanne Grieshaber, an art adviser in Berlin who was one of 200,000 Germans to attend a speech by President-Elect Obama there in July.

President-elect Obama thanked all of us tonight — his speech was an acknowledgment that we all had hired him with the responsibility to better our world. He humbly accepted our mandate, both with a profound sense of history and a compassionate appreciation that we and he have changed the entire world for the better.
And what of the world? Tonight, it just sighed with relief – good things can happen to good people, it seems, and Americans are good people again.

-Shirin Sadeghi

In America’s journey toward a more just and truly democratic society, tonight is another milestone. And not just because the son of a Kenyan father and a mother from Kansas is now President-Elect. But also because tonight’s outcome is a declaration that we are once again a nation more driven by hope and promise than a nation driven by fear.
But these challenging times also will provide the new president with the opportunity to really transform America. As Gary Hart points out, “Great presidents do not emerge from quiet times; they arise in times of chaos and crisis.”
It’s a theme Michelle Obama touched on many times on the campaign trail. “Barack Obama will require that you work,” she said at a rally on the eve of Super Tuesday. “He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism; that you put down your divisions; that you come out of your isolation; that you move out of your comfort zones; that you push yourself to be better; and that you engage.”

-Ariana Huffington

I want Obama to win with 99 percent, like Saddam Hussein.  I swear if he doesn’t win, I’m going to take it personally.”

Hanin Abu Ayash, who works at a television station in Dubai and monitored early returns on his computer

The margin of victory was emphatic and, whatever else follows, today the world changed,” said an editorial in The Times of London, and The Guardian newspaper proclaimed: “They did it. They really did it. So often crudely caricatured by others, the American people yesterday stood in the eye of history and made an emphatic choice for change for themselves and the world.”


When he was preparing for the Democratic primary debates, Obama was recorded saying, “I don’t consider this to be a good format for me, which makes me more cautious. I often find myself trapped by the questions and thinking to myself, ‘You know, this is a stupid question, but let me … answer it.’ So when Brian Williams is asking me about what’s a personal thing that you’ve done [that’s green], and I say, you know, ‘Well, I planted a bunch of trees.’ And he says, ‘I’m talking about personal.’ What I’m thinking in my head is, ‘Well, the truth is, Brian, we can’t solve global warming because I f—ing changed light bulbs in my house. It’s because of something collective’.”

Just when I thought I couldn’t love the man more.

Comment on Huffington Post by “cantbehavingwiththis”


As we start fresh with a constitutional law professor and senator from the Land of Lincoln, the Lincoln Memorial might be getting its gleam back.
I may have to celebrate by going over there and climbing up into Abe’s lap.
It’s a $50 fine. But it’d be worth it.

Maureen Dowd

And a final thought from me:  Good luck, President Obama.  I know that’s not your title yet, but I’m just trying it on for size, you know?  Your country is 100% behind you.  Or at least I am, and pretty much everyone I know.  We’re five by five, and Ready to Go.  Let’s get back on track, shall we?

But first, time for another party!

Don’t shoot your whole wad, Barry!

Ok I know, in my last post, I was talking about how I was doing housecleaning and all, and there were a couple thoughts I had that just didn’t warrant a whole blog post.

This one, short as it is, definitely does.

So I’m reading this McClatchy Newspapers article by Steven Thomma.  It’s all about how the nation is in a big huge soul-sucking funk.  (Duh.)  Comparing Obama’s hurdles with the ones that FDR and Reagan encountered, they quote John Zogby of Zogby International on what Obama needs to do to pull the country’s pysche out of the figurative trash heap, and I quote:

“He has to manage this carefully. He has to make sure that expectations don’t rise too quickly,” pollster Zogby said. “If he shoots the whole wad at one time, and people in April or so don’t feel they’re better off, he could be in trouble.”

Whoa.  Ok.  How does shooting your wad play here?  Sex and politics.  How droll.  I nearly fell out of my chair laughing at that one.

Even I’m not so much of an idealist to not know that sex and politics have, and always will be, the best of bedfellows.  (get it?  bedfellows?  hahahaha haa   ha …ok.  nevermind.)

Maybe Obama just needs a big fat Viagra prescription.  Think Dr. Gupta will write him one?