Saturday, November 08, 2008


See, there's this photo contest group over at Facebook, and this week's theme is circles. So I whipped out my camera in the middle of the lingerie department at Mervyn's and took this shot. It's amazing how you can take pictures just about anywhere and no one will protest.

These are possibly the softest most cushy pajamas in the history of civilization. But they are also probably a little too warm for the likes of me. Flannel's about as heavy as I'm able to sleep in.

Sadly, all the Mervyn's stores are shutting down. This department store probably falls between Sears and Penney's, quality wise. A good place to buy trendy stuff and basic jeans.

This economic crisis thing is getting scary.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Random Cuteness

And now, we return to our regularly scheduled programming.

This was posted on the telephone pole next to where I park my car at work. It's a nice welcome back!

I Voted

And it seems to have made a difference!

I had a fever of 102 on election night, but I stayed up to watch the win announced, and McCain's concession speech, and the president elect's first speech as such, and the amazingly beautiful sight of the Obama family taking the world stage.

I'd expected to be elated. I hadn't expected to be quite so moved. Tears rolled down my cheeks through it all.

And they continue to come as I read about an impact I didn't even realize I could hope for: a renewed sense of positive proud national unity--one that we have probably never shared in the scope and depth that we have in the past few days.

And, too, a degree of redemption in the eyes of the world that I am so moved by and grateful for. As much as I have never been a knee-jerk nationalist--I think I'm a realist/optimist/some-time cynic--I really do want the U.S. to earn the respect of our fellows on this planet. I want us to be the sibling you can count on.

This morning I had the longest conversation ever with Carlos from the coffee house downstairs from my office that I've had in the past 10 years of saying hello nearly every day. He noticed that I've been out most of the week. He's going on vacation tomorrow, to see his son in El Salvador. Maybe it's just a coincidence, but maybe he believes my friendliness a little more today than he did last week.

Here are some other stories that have touched me recently. I know that this euphoria will fade like the Christmas season always does, but I hope we have more and more reasons to celebrate our enviable diversity in this country.

Los Angelista's blog is worth reading all the time, but be sure not to miss her November 5th entry, "Hugging Random Strangers."

"Suddenly, it may be cool to be an American again" , William J. Kole's update from Vienna is good news.

And methinks Jon Stewart doth protest too much. Witness his show opener for November 5th: Happy New York.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Thank You, USA!

[Image from]

Thanks for choosing hope and possibility.

Thanks for seeing clearly and doing the right thing.

Thanks for coming out in record numbers, and giving Barack Obama a true mandate for change.

Thanks for having faith in our ability to unify and make things happen.

Thanks especially to Indiana for going BLUE for the first time in my memory. (Thanks to my niece, Megan, for helping make that happen!!)

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Baracking the Vote

Today I went down to Obama/Biden Headquarters in Van Nuys and volunteered for a couple of hours. I've made some calls from home, but I wanted to help do data entry at the HQ. As it turned out, I became part of the phone bank, but that's okay.

This year is the first time I've volunteered on a political campaign, and I wish I'd started earlier. I made a couple of dozen phone calls a few weeks ago, got sick, and didn't start up again until yesterday.

Going to the HQ was really worth it. It was amazing to see a couple of hundred people sitting on chairs, on the floor, on window sills inside and outside, all making calls on their own cell phones. I was in a room with three other people, two of whom didn't have cell phones and didn't have any work to do, but were nice. The other woman was an incredible caller. It was fun to hear her talk to one woman in Indiana who really wanted to converse.

I left a lot of messages, racked up some wrong numbers, talked to a few undecideds and a couple of McCain supporters. I thanked them for participating in the process.

Most of the people I actually spoke with are planning to vote for Obama.

My favorite call was a guy in Ohio. The purpose of the calling today was to make sure voters know where their polling places are, and let them know if they aren't aware. Offer rides if they need them. And find out if they're planning to vote for Obama or McCain.

My guy said, "I want Bush to stay in office."

"Oh! Then.... I guess you'll be voting for McCain?"

"No, no. I'm just pulling your leg!" he laughed.

"Ha, well, you had me there for a minute!"

"Don't worry, baby. We're gonna make it happen. It's gonna be all right."

"We just don't want people to think it's in the bag."

"Don't you worry, baby. It's going to happen. You have a good night."

All in all, it was a really good experience.

And if I hadn't driven down to the valley, I would have missed the amazing colors on the drive home.

Trust me, this is way easier than dialing your cell phone.