Holidays again

It's getting to be Holiday time again, and though this one promises to be different from any other so far (Wedding, anyone?), the same thoughts I always have have already started running through my work-weary brain. Nostalgia for holidays past with pets past running around Christmas Trees past, the residual memory of the smell of a particular dish that we'll never eat again, precisely, the wish that some family members were still with us and that some disagreements had never happened. All this is bundled together with the hope of good things to come, of new families evolving out of the old one, and with the hope that these holidays will be different, but will also be exactly the same as all the others.

These thoughts are all hitting me at a time when I actually do have a little free time on my hands and when I am beginning to feel old creative urges that I haven't indulged in at least a couple of years. It may be time to create again and to try to get myself back to a happy, productive energy that also allows me that creative outlet. I'm taking film home. I'm envisioning a collection of still lifes (lives?) taken around my house. Maybe also some scenic shots, but I want to do something a little more rigorously artistic. Whatever that means.

Writing is what I always wanted to do, but I worry about the influence of all this academia. Clearly, A.S. Byatt manages all right. I just need to find that balance (does it only come with rejecting, wholesale, the theories we're meant to internalize here?) and then find a story. And time and space in which to write.

Tomorrow it's the long trip home, flying in to Chicago with its serpentine suburban culs de sac, then proceeding South over the neatly parceled patchwork of rural Indiana. This time it will be in grey-greens, beiges, and browns, very different from the gold and green of the summer.

(written in the Barker Center; internal soundtrack: Joni Mitchell. You know the one.)


To-Do 24.11-26.11

  • Make Vet Appointment for Lucy (for Tuesday or Wednesday) Tuesday at 4
  • Look into haircut for Lucy Tuesday at 10:30
  • Call for cab on Thursday at 4 AM
  • Get together NOAs for travelling purposes
  • Buy/Mail that thing I have to mail
  • Read Appleton
  • Grade
  • Pack for home (clothes to wear, outfit for shower on Saturday, Dan's wedding clothes, Lucy things, book to read, Wedding stuff)
  • Talk to parents about wedding stuff: photography, music, embroidery stuff
  • Clean out fridge
  • A little laundry -Not going to happen.
  • Dinner with K: tonight at 6
  • Dinner with Emi: Wednesday at 4
  • CVS run: band-aids, cotton balls, lip stuff, etc.
  • Start Christmas list
  • Start Christmas shopping


Muppety goodness

If you're in a bad mood, this is the ultimate antidote.

Apple Cider Martini

Delicious - my own recipe

3 Parts Vanilla Vodka
5 Parts Apple Cider
1 Part Spiced Rum
dash cinnamon
1 tsp brown sugar

Shake with ice and serve with one maraschino cherry

When 1 Part = 1 Oz this recipe yields two generous cocktails.


The Clip Show, Part The Second

Warning: The following will only be funny to German speakers.

Imbissbudendeutsch für fortgeschrittene

Deutsch für Nazis

Die Deutsche Kochschau


The Clip Show, Part The Third

There has been a rash lately of suggestions for economical good eating. A result, obviously, of the economy going down the toilet. These struck me as good (and they're the only ones that I managed to save the links for).

This article has good tips on cooking "for one," but their tips also work for cooking "for two," if you both work and don't eat a lot of leftovers.

This is a great suggestion on how to make one chicken last three (or more) meals.

The Clip Show, Part The Fourth

This is an awesome graphic comparing the first 100 Days in Office of all the presidents since FDR. They've pulled famous quotes from inauguration speeches ("The only thing we have to fear is fear itself"; "Ask not what your country can do for you..."; "A thousand points of light"), violent moments (JFK assassination, Reagan shooting, etc.), and major policy moves (the pardon of draft dodgers, Emergency Banking Act, etc.). It's really fascinating to see where lots was happening and who didn't get jack done (Nixon and - oddly - JFK, I'm looking at you) and to imagine how the days between January 20 and April 30, 2009 will look. (Also to think about the 100 Days of Action - fun project.)


The Clip Show, Part The First

This very amusing post from Jezebel makes me think about my ideal morning routine. The difference between me and these other women is that I don't have the fantasy of massive productivity in the morning. I do, however, have the fantasy of a life in which I can sleep late, spend time with my mans in the evening and stay up reaaal late at night. So here, in Jezebel fashion, is my ideal routine.

10:00 - Roll out of bed, walk Lucy while coffee is cooking. Eat leisurely breakfast of yogurt and granola while reading the internets. At work by 12. Home from work at 6, eat delicious dinner, watch amusing TV OR go out to fabulous club or bar with fabulous friends who can also sleep late. Alternatively, resume work for a couple hours around 11 or midnight, then go to sleep.

Alarm goes off at 6:53. Snooze until about 7:15, at which point my mans and I begin the morning firedrill of fast showers, no breakfast, abbreviated dog-walk, and half-running to the bus. Somewhere between 7:55 and 8:05, get on the bus. At work by 8:45. Prepare for and teach class til 10, at which point I procrastinate until it's time for a leisurely lunch with my fabulous colleague. Then more procrastination until I go home around 5. Ready for sleeping by 6, but drag myself through dinner and doze while my mans watches TV and moans at me for sleeping.


This is really really awesome

Look at these election maps!

Strange thought

Isn't it odd to think that some places in the country are as sad and negative about the future as we are happy about it? Bizarre, but apparently 48% of us are probably a little dejected right about now.



NYTimes has an informative article about the Obama transition team. Very exciting! I would LOVE Lugar for State and think Dean could be exciting for Health/Human Services, though I'd prefer Hillary.



They called it! Woohoo!

Political Junkies: Looking forward

The next big thing is to see who Obama taps to be in his cabinet/to help out in his administration. CNN has a good list of names that have been floated as possibilities. My money is on McCain getting something and maybe Gore. I hope Clinton accepts something, though she's also good in the Senate and says she doesn't want anything else.

Key Seats to look out for:
  • Secretary of the Treasury
  • Secretary of State (obviously)
  • Secretary of Defense
  • And I'll be curious about his pick for Homeland Security, though I think that will be less relevant under Obama and our current economy than it has been in the last 8 years
Also, waiting to hear if any of the elder Supreme Court Justices step down immediately after Bush leaves - I'm looking at Stevens (he's 88). Next oldest is Ginsburg at 75, but she hasn't been there all that long. I'm interested to see if any of them were just holding on to see if the next president is relatively safe, appointment-wise.

RIP Wilson; Post-election link show

  • As I mentioned yesterday, our Pet Wild Turkey died yesterday. Today my dad is interviewed in our hometown paper.
  • Thanks WJH (in HH) for pointing the Spiegel.de headline out to me: "Die Wiederauferstehung des amerikanischen Traums" (Translated - The Resurrection of the American Dream).
  • Die Zeit is predictably less euphoric with "Obamas schweres Erbe" (Obama's difficult/heavy inheritance) and vaguely politically-incorrect with "Der weiß-schwarze Präsident" (The white-black President).
  • Die Süddeutsche weighs in with "Amerika hat sich neu erfunden" (America has reinvented itself)
  • Britain seems to be happy to be out from under the weight of Bush: "President Obama: Change has come" and "Live Blog: The start of a New Era"
  • Jezebel does a pretty great round-up of columnists' reactions.
  • Also, the NYtimes Blogs have an article about post-election depression. We're apparently all supposed to be depressed and have an excess of time on our hands now that the election is over. But REAL political junkies know that politics is never over! Why should we not be this interested and engaged all the time? I know, there's a lull now, but soon we'll be hearing about Obama's cabinet and early policy ideas. We'll start to think about how the new Congress is going to look and we'll start digesting the ballot issues that passed and didn't. There's ALWAYS something political to be a junkie about, so people worried about withdrawal should keep their pants on.
Anyway, Indiana still isn't officially called, but it looks like Obama just nosed McCain out, which is good. CA is upsetting me about Prop 8, which also isn't yet called, but doesn't look good. My heart goes out to all my Californians.

It is interesting to see that even during all the euphoria of the last twelve hours, some people are already shifting the tone to consider how exactly Obama is going to carry out his promises, fix the war, and save the flailing economy. The overwhelming sense seems to be that getting elected was the "easy part" and now he's really going to have to "work hard." I just hope he takes a week off first.


Liveblogging the returns

I'm too excited for much intelligent discussion today, but I want to chronicle some things. Here goes my first Election Day chronicle/liveblog.

Useful links: IN (cnn), FL (cnn), MO (cnn)
  • Aaand Indiana seems to be officially blue, miraculously. Even if no one's calling it, I'm AWFULLY proud of my home state.
  • 12:17 AM: Thanks from BarackObama.com. I genuinely hope and pray that all this change we've heard about really happens. Seems likely. And this Victory Speech must have been written or helped along by the West Wing dudes. Could it be more moving? And more inspiring? And more hope-provoking? I love that this man won and that we won't have to have a government powered along by fear for eight more years. I'm so tired of being told how afraid I should feel and am looking forward to someone who might tell me what I can look forward to instead. Bless him and his beautiful family and Biden and his family. And all our new Senators and Representatives. It's all very promising for our party and for our country. (I think this election has redeemed that word - not thanks to McCain, but thanks to Obama, who has made it possible for me to be optimistic again. Thank YOU Barack and Joe. Good job everyone for voting!
  • 12:14 AM: Also, Senate is at 56 for the Dems now. Yay!
  • 12:13 AM: It's also kind of cool to see Oprah acting like a normal human and basking in Obama's speech like the rest of them. I wish I were in Chicago.
  • 12:12 AM: On another topic: CA is denying both Prop 8 and Prop 4, thank goodness.
  • "For those whose support I have yet to earn: I hear your voices and I need your help."
  • "This victory alone is not the change we seek. It is only the chance to make that change."
  • AND I hate that I haven't been working for him. Must make that up somehow.
  • Also, maybe shadows of him becoming more liberal as he takes office?
  • LOVE Obama. What a good speech already. But seriously, good riddance to Palin. And yay, shout-out to Michelle! She's so classy and great. And he bought his girls a puppy!!
  • The above screengrab is VERY gratifying.
  • fivethirtyeight is predictably happy
  • Great photo of Barack on the guardian right now: http://www.guardian.co.uk/america
  • For comparison's sake: Clinton got 370 electoral votes in 1992, 379 in 1996.
  • I'd like to kindly remind you all that BUSH is finally FINALLY a lame duck! Officially! 11 weeks til the Inaguration! Also, Sarah Palin can crawl back into the hole she came out of. And her daughter has a prayer of a normal-ish life with her baby.
  • McCain concession speech? Already? Hooray! But BOOOOOOOO for stupid McCainiacs for booing Obama. So declasse.
  • CNN CALLS THE ELECTION! Time for Champers!
  • Also, human life from conception amendment failing in CO!
  • Abortion ban in SD fails! Hooray! Thanks to Blume for the update on this vote.
  • CNN calls NM for Obama which gives him 207! 63 to go! CA has 55!
  • I've just learned that my sister's posse has broken out the bubbly. We're still sitting on ours.
  • Will I Am Hologram! Keerazy! I like him.
  • Vanderburgh County is officially Democratic! Friendly territory again!
  • Al Franken is leading in early returns.
  • Also Senate standing at 54 for the Dems.
  • Correction: In IN - McCain 49.5%-Obama 49.4%. OY. 8,000 votes difference.
  • 10:22 PM: Looks like Question 2 is strong in MA. Stoners rejoice.
  • 10:22 PM: Lucy's too nervous (tired) too look.
  • 10:19 PM: IN all but tied. 13,000 votes difference. 49.7% McCain-49.2% Obama.
  • 10:03 PM: More foolhardiness?
  • 10:01 PM: Switching over to Comedy Central where Jon Stewart (!) and Stephen Colbert (!!) are doing a live (!!!) special!!!
  • 9:59 PM: Foolhardiness at this point?
  • 9:56 PM: Also RIP gay marriage in FL.
  • 9:49 PM: I'd like to interrupt out broadcast to say R.I.P. Wilson (a.k.a. Rodan). The wild turkey that lived in my parents' yard (slept on their garage roof every night) for two and a half years was hit by a car this morning. Area children are devastated and the press is covering his memorial service tomorrow morning.
  • 9:46 PM: CNN more or less just called the election without calling the election. I'm thinking about that bottle of bubbly, but not until Obama wins a couple more states. It also just dawned on me that Indiana might be taking so long reporting results because they're taking the time to count absentee votes. It's promising. Probably still won't happen, but still. I'm proud of my home state even if they don't go blue. What great strides have been made there!
  • 9:26 PM: They just called Ohio for Obama!!
  • 9:14 PM: I'm starting to feel a little more optimistic.
  • 9:06 PM: Also, it looks like a Democratic Senate Majority! Hooray!
  • 9:05 PM: It is a GOOD day to be an American. So far, anyway.
  • 9:00 PM: Even Fox News sounds Democratic tonight. Yay! Other races to be excited about: Franken in MN, Shaheen in NH, ballot measures in MA. BTW, we didn't repeal the income tax in IN.
  • 8:53 PM: They're talking on CNN about when McCain "made his last stand" and absolutely acting like Obama's going to win. Very encouraging. Here's a roundup: 538.com shows Obama looking okay in VA, but better in FL. IN still too close to call. Okay. We lost Posey County. No surprise there, but the Dems did make a strong showing there. No progress in Vanderburgh and no word yet on Warrick. Generally calling ME, NH, VT, MA, CT, RI, NJ, DE, MD, and IL for Obama for a total of 102 electoral votes. PA looking good which would give him 123. 147 to go.
  • 8:49 PM: I love that Carville is on his cell phone while he's on CNN.
  • 8:43 PM: HOOOOOOOOOOOLY CRAP Obama is leading 53-47 in Vanderburgh county! 35% reporting!
  • 8:39 PM: Perry county is official! 60-40 Obama! 100% reporting! Also, CNN is calling PA for Obama. Huzzah!
  • 8:35 PM: Okay, Posey County's not out of the woods yet, but there's only 70 votes difference right now. That's encouraging.
  • 8:29 PM: Also this, which Dan found for me. VERY encouraging.

    "Democrats are cheered by early numbers showing that Obama holds a healthy lead in Vigo County, a place that one Dem described to us as "the most reliable bellwether county in the country."

    "Vigo has only been wrong on president twice since 1892," this Dem enthuses."

  • 8:29 PM: NYTimes has a nifty county map for the whole country with results being posted all the time. It's on the front page right now, but I can't find a good link for it.
  • OH looking good.
  • Just heard on CNN - "It's a bad year to be a Republican!"
  • POSEY FREAKING COUNTY! That's Hostettler country! And it's bright, beautiful blue!! 51%-48%! HOORAY!
  • I am worried about Virginia. But Florida's looking pretty good.
  • 8:03 PM: O. also carried Spencer and Perry counties! Amazing! I don't know that we can write off Warrick and Vanderburgh just yet.
  • 8:00 PM: CNN projecting ME, CT, IL, DE, MD, DC, NJ, MA. That leaves Obama with 77 to McCain's 34. AL, FL, MS, MI, NH, and PA just closed.
  • 7:49 PM: Sad that Mitch Effing Daniels won Governor in IN again. Not surprised, though. Also, county-by-county coverage of IN here. Also, still no results from Vanderburgh county.
  • 7:44 PM: Another photo. There is something WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE. How can you call a state with 0% of precincts reporting? I understand that Vermont is safe, but SERIOUSLY.
  • 7:43 PM: I've added a warm-fuzzy photo of my (non-voter eligible) hubby and our puppy at my polling place.
  • AND VIGO COUNTY! Also known as why both of my congressional candidates lost! Also known as a Republican stronghold! Also known as a bunch of blue collar factory type worker (and farmers) terrified of losing their jobs! (538.com agrees with me that this is a good sign!)
  • ALSO Dubois County is leaning Obama! That's a deep Republican/Evangelical area!
  • Good good good. IN - 12% reporting and McCain is up. BUT Bloomington, Indianapolis, and Gary are all still MIA. THIS IS GOOD. Also, there's a strip of area along the southern border with IL that is SERIOUSLY conservative territory - but the economy, I would bet, has scared them into voting Obama. Very good sign for IN. Wonder how Terre Haute's doing?
  • The good old Courier & Press is covering Evansville's voting. Here.
  • W. T. Eff. with the silly silly "beaming in" on CNN? SO FOOLISH.
  • I am PISSED. OFF. that CNN is already making projections. Sure, VT and KY are pretty safe, but did they not learn ANYTHING from the last two elections? Especially 2000? GAH!
  • Can't believe O. is ahead in IN for the moment. Gives me hope! I do feel a LOT of guilt for not voting in IN this time... But, still there's the absentee ballot conundrum. One of my students is from IN and her ballot got lost, so I wouldn't wnat to feel disenfranchised in that way. It was nice to vote in person for once and know for certain my vote was going to count, even if MA is a foregone conclusion. Many many props to my political buddies in IN for getting out the vote for Obama!
  • More from 538. Hooray for early voting!
    31,268,357 voters have cast votes early in America, which represents 25.3% of the total of all ballots cast in 2004. Nobody doubts we are headed for an absolute record turnout in this election.
  • 31,268,357 voters have cast votes early in America, which represents 25.3% of the total of all ballots cast in 2004. Nobody doubts we are headed for an absolute record turnout in this election.
  • Pork Chops and stuffing are in the oven. Mashed potatoes waiting to be consumed. Just beginning to watch CNN... "the BEST political team" on TV. (I think Wolf Blitzer is going to give himself a stroke every time he says "BEST." He kind of spits a little.
  • 5:25 PM: And now I'm going to start our election night dinner. Unlike McCain and Palin, I like me some Pork. Chops.
  • 5:20 PM: Nate Silver's (of 538.com) hour-by-hour guide to the returns. Says Silver of my home state:
    The responsible thing to do would be for the networks to hold off until at least 7 PM to project Indiana, when polls have closed in Gary and the northwestern part of the state just across the border from Chicago—where Obama hopes to rack up huge margins among black and working-class voters. If for some reason the state is called before 7 PM for John McCain, that probably means we're in for a long night. If, on the other hand, the state is called for Obama in the first hour after the polls close, that could indicate that the force of Obama's field operation has been underestimated, and that McCain is in for a catastrophically poor evening.
  • 5:15 PM: After a little disco nap in preparation for tonight, I'm back at it. Two things from Andrew Sullivan - 1. Even the haters are sure O's going to win. 2. Obama > Kerry.

Election Day sputterings

  • 3:23 PM: 538.com is making me happy/nervous.
  • 2:52 PM: This is Ab. Surd. Joe the Plumber plungers as accessories for election day?!
  • 2:47 PM: Long live people like Jennifer Brunner.
  • 2:46 PM: This also sums up something that I'm worried about. Scary, but upbeat.
  • 2:39 PM: Well, this is sweet. Stolen from Roya's Facebook status.
  • 2:30 PM: Continuously updated - Voter suppression (and other problems) in action: NYTimes reports:
    "The Ohio Republican Party re-filed a lawsuit it previously dropped against the Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, a Democrat, claiming that she has not done enough to ensure that provisional ballots are counted properly and uniformly in all counties across the state.

    Ohio State University law professor Edward Foley, an election law specialist, said the lawsuit was a placeholder to be used by the Republicans to challenge the final results if the outcome in Ohio is close, using the Bush v. Gore decision by the Supreme Court in 2000."

  • 2:27 PM: This is really cool: the NYTimes Election wordtrain. Shows you how people are feeling.

  • 2:24 PM: More ballot problems - Soggy ballots. No problems where I voted (Watertown, MA). No electronic machines - optical scan ballots and the weather was dry and fair.
  • cnn.com: things looking grim for McCain. But who knows.
  • Here are pictures of people standing in line to vote.
  • 2:16 PM: I voted and feel good about it. There's a warm feeling of civic pride that follows finally voting in person, amidst old ladies and little kids having an election day bake sale to raise money for the fifth grade. Also, this is crazy. Tim Robbins getting arrested at his polling place? Wild.
  • 12:52 PM: This is kind of funny/scary. Hasn't happened since 1824, but what would happen if the Electoral College were tied?! Looks good for Obama.
  • 12:45 PM: I have purchased provisions for tonight and am going to vote in a few minutes. For now, though: this is amusing.
  • 10:56 AM: Andrew Sullivan is collecting good voter stories. This one and this one are particularly nice.
  • 10:44 AM: Karl Rove is calling it a landslide for Obama. (That's the first time I've ever been thankful for anything he's said.)
  • 10:33 AM: Great image from Jezebel.com See over there -->
  • 10:30 AM: A much needed admonishment about the evils of exit polls from the dudes over at fivethirtyeight.com
  • 10:28 AM: From an email from my friend the (Indiana) City Councilman:
    What a GREAT campaign...There were 45 cars at my precinct at 0600... 42 more than last Fall.
  • 10:25 AM: fivethirtyeight.com is giving McCain a whopping 1.9% chance of winning! Woo!
  • 10:19 AM: cnn.com
"Monday evening's CNN national Poll of Polls -- incorporating our new CNN survey, as well as new tracking numbers from Gallup and Hotline taken October 3-5 -- shows Obama leading McCain by 6 points -- at 49 to 43 percent.
President Bush may be part of the reason why Obama's making gains. Only 24 percent of those polled approve of Bush's job as president, an all-time low for a CNN survey.

"Bush has now tied Richard Nixon's worst rating ever, taken in a poll just before he resigned in 1974, and is only 2 points higher than the worst presidential approval rating in history, Harry Truman's 22 percent mark in February 1952," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland."

  • 10:12 AM: Great. Voting machines breaking down in VA. Maybe a delayed poll closing as a result? Also some places have switched to paper ballots - more hanging chads! Great news in a Tossup state. Oy.
  • 10:08 AM: This is kind of fun. You can make your own election map. Like an Oscar ballot. Mine came out (optimistically) with Obama at 342 electoral votes and McCain at 189.
  • 10:06 AM: A good graphic from the NYTimes: Poll closing times for Key states.10:05 AM: Awww... that's cute.
  • 6 AM: New Hampshire village Dixvile Notch (with 21 people voting) goes BLUE. CNN.com



I love this election and I hate this election. To be more accurate, I don't really HATE it... I think I'm suffering some election fatigue - not in the sense that I just want it to be over as if I were bored, but in the sense that I'm exhausted by the anxiety I'm feeling about it. Now, only 24 hours (and change) away from a result and I'm still obsessively looking at polls and reading the news and hoping for some definitive sign of who's going to win. But no. There's are positive profiles of both Obama and McCain in the NYTimes today, so no help there. fivethirtyeight.com is still showing very positive numbers for Obama, but there's the fear that too much comfort will jinx it. Both candidates are "confident" they will win, but of course that can't be. I VERY clearly know who I want to win, but there are still (24 hours out!) undecided voters in states that could swing the whole thing! And I still get all worked up thinking about the supreme court eight years ago making me (and Al and all our good Dem friends) cry about the Electoral College (is it outmoded or not?), and I completely freak out about vote flipping in electronic voting machines, but I also don't want to hear about hanging chads, either. What if I go in and the computer registers my vote the wrong way? Getting it corrected makes my personal ballot look suspicious. Luckily (or not) I'm in a state where it's unlikely to matter, but I'm sad to not be voting in my home state, which for the first time since 1964 is tilting toward the light blue. It's a very stressful time.

But, it's also a really exciting time. I always said that if Hillary got the nomination, I would quit what I was doing and work for her. That didn't happen and I was disappointed for a long time. But now, I'm wishing I had quit a couple months ago and worked for the Obama camp. It's really exciting to feel the political juices get going again and to want to be involved again (even if too little, too late). The 2004 election left me really depressed for a really long time and I even stopped reading the news until the 2008 campaigns started spooling up. But even then for a long time I was only reading out of fear - what crazy candidate will the GOP dig up? Will the Dems find someone exciting and electable? It feels like I'm thawing out after almost eight years of numb apathy and despair that things couldn't get any better.

In this election I love a lot of things. I love so much that so many people (on both sides) are engaged in the campaigns. Obama's effort to get young people involved has also been simply inspiring and I'm sincerely hoping it will result in a LOT of young people turning out to vote. In fact, I hope (and believe) voter turnout in general this year will be really high. I guess that's the good thing that has come out of the Bush administration. It became very clear in 2000 and 2004 just how much just a few votes count when the situation is right. I also think it's wonderful that people are starting to see that this decision actually does make a difference, even in their own lives. There has been a sense in the past that every candidate is just looking out for Number 1 and that they are all similar. Even I (shamefully) complained that Bush and Gore were saying the same things and running on the same platforms (save Gore's continued interest in the environment, which didn't seem as urgent then, somehow). And that continues to be a problem - in fighting for the same undecided voters, both candidates find themselves forced to tone down their positions for fear of alienating anyone on any single issue. But that's the case with a two party system, I suppose.

The other thing that I love about this election is that even some jaded politicians and reporters are getting caught up in the hope of things getting better. I think it's relatively safe to say that no matter who gets elected, things can't get much worse. I don't personally believe that McCain will dramatically change the direction our country is going in (down the toilet), but I also don't believe he's as stupid as Bush. I do believe that Obama has the desire and courage to try to stop the bad things and to start some new good things, and it looks like the Congress may be shifting in a direction that will help him (and at least forestall McCain a bit, should he get elected, God forbid). I love the enthusiasm that has come about as a result of the feeling that our country is teetering on a precipice and I sincerely hope that tomorrow doesn't crush us all again. If we have another disappointment in this election, I fear that my political engagement will sputter and die for good. Or, will at least be transplanted to another country - one where I won't be able to vote, but where I will be able to get away from this one.

But back to the positive. There is a sense that history is being made in the way that there wasn't even with Gore/Bush back in the day. Then I think we (Dems) were too cocky that that election was just a formality that had to be put up with before we could continue the happy reign of the Clinton years. In 2004, I feel like there was a general political anaesthesia in place which made voter turnout dip and which made everyone believe that Bush was inevitable. Much as I wanted to see him defeated, I didn't really believe he could be and I didn't lift a finger to stop his reelection. But this time it's different. In the media there's a lot of talk about the history books and both campaigns seem conscious of the potential historical heft of their campaigns (this is also clearly influenced by the historic nature of both campaigns) and both seem aware of the potential for changing the trajectory of the nation.

The thing I like most, though is the fact that it's possible to feel about this campaign. Politics is always emotional, but the emotions in these campaigns have seemed especially potent and palpable. Obama's passion comes across in his calm intensity and McCain's has come across (somewhat less positively) in his sarcasm and huffiness. But they both really want this. There's no apathy anywhere in this campaign, which is novel and encouraging. I really want the election to go well and for the first time in a LONG time, I feel like it just might.

If it doesn't, you might have to scrape me off the walls and ceiling. But I do have hope and believe in the potential of this country to recognize it's time for a real CHANGE.

Happy non-academe

Why don't more American fashion magazines mix it up with different fonts on their front covers?