Inferior Imitator

ep·i·gone n. A second-rate imitator or follower, especially of an artist or a philosopher.

Friday, October 29, 2004

The library was doing early voting, so I just went and did it. I find it funny that a Republican didn't even bother to run for the State House seat in my district (Johnson county is very Democratic). I ended up not voting for Sherriff - between the racist or the thief, I couldn't bring myself to vote for either. But my ballot is all sealed up in its cozy little envelope, waiting for Tuesday. Yay!

Carve A Pumpkin!

Thursday, October 28, 2004

I bought the living room set last night. It was just too good of a deal to pass up. Since it looks horrible with the color of my carpet, I have a very strong urge to rip up the carpet. I may be doing that this weekend. If anyone is interested in destruction and would like to help me, let me know. I also need to find a new home for my couch. I want to give it to someone who will love it as much as I do.

Free to good home:
One red and gold velvet
70's style couch.
Taking interviews now.

I also got some mixed news last night. Mom had a blood test yesterday, and her white cell count has doubled in the past couple of months. If the acceleration continues, they will start talking about a bone marrow transplant. Transplants have cured CLL in the past, which I didn't know. So they'd be going straight for a cure rather than just treatment to hold it off, since she's so young. I can't decide whether to hope that she doesn't have to go through that or hope for a cure. I suppose that's the point where I put it into God's hands and trust that He will do the best for her.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

I've been thinking about politics too much lately. I had a dream last night that I had dinner with President Bush at the Amanas, and I was mad at him because he wasn't courting my vote or listening to what I had to say. [eyebrow]

I've been devouring the Philadelphia Inquirer's 21 Reasons to Elect Kerry series, including rebuttals from Bush supporters. (Free registration may be required.) So far, it's been interesting reading. The editorial board is picking twenty-one issues, and detailing the differences in the candidates' stances (through editorials). I appreciate being able to see these viewpoints in one place, kind of like the debates, only visual, which is better for me as a visual learner.

Monday, October 25, 2004

My Endorsement for President

One week before the election, I have made my decision, which is two-fold. First the easy part:

I am voting against George W. Bush. I appreciate that he stands strong for what he believes in, and I think that is what we needed after 9/11. However, he screwed it up. He failed to capitalize on the world sympathy generated by the WTC attacks. His strategy of pre-emptive strikes might have been embraced if he had stuck to Al Qaeda instead of a dictator with whom we've had past 'grievances'. I don't like the way the reason for invading Iraq has evolved from 'weapons of mass destruction' to 'freeing the Iraqi people', like that was the goal all along. And I'm not convinced the Iraqis are better off then they were before. In some ways they are better off, but in others, they are worse off. I'm not sure Iraqis are ready for democracy, and I think forcing it on them violates the principle of the sovereignty of individual countries. I just can't see the different factions of people who live in the area of land called Iraq coalescing into the kind of country that can maintain a democracy.

As for the harder decision, I am voting for John Kerry. He has gotten the reputation for being long-winded and 'flip-flopping' but the nuts and bolts of the things he has said that have earned him these reputations tell me that he considers all sides of an issue before he makes a decision and will think about new information and consider if his previous decision was wrong. Shouldn't Bush have considered, in light of the discovery of no weapons of mass destruction, that he might admit that invading Iraq probably shouldn't have been that high on the priority list, instead of making up a new excuse?

There are other issues that went into my decision, but that is the most important one. Other benefits of voting for John Kerry, in my opinion, are a balanced Supreme Court, decreased limitations on medical research, and rights of women. I decided to vote for Kerry instead of Badnarik because I think Kerry thinks like I do, namely the way he 'qualifies' his answers, showing that he has considered the other sides and rejected them and why. The other reason is that I checked out election prediction on the Iowa Electronics Market results page. I think voting for John Kerry will best reflect my opinion and my hopes for the results of this election.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

It's over. Imagine a big pouty lip on my face. My wonderful, wonderful vacation is over and I have to go back to work tomorrow. Not everything I wanted to do got done, but I was lazy as all get out, so no regrets. I have a list of things I still want to do, but I have a list, so of the good. I went home, saw the parents, and picked up some things. I got the carpet cleaner, because my carpet is Gross. Capital 'G' Gross. I'm going to have to make a new rule about not eating in the living room. But before I clean the carpet, I want to move the computer into the spare bedroom, but before I do that I need to buy a desk and a wireless card. I also have aspirations of rearranging the living room, but that means moving the cable wire and doing a little hocus pocus in the basement. That I'm not looking forward to tackling.

I also picked up a bunch of stuff for my Halloween costume. I am jumping on the flashback to the 80's bandwagon and going as a Ghostbuster. Mom and I braved the attic of the shed and searched through many Tupperware tubs to find my brother's authentic Ghostbusters merchandise, which he so graciously agreed to lend me. I have a proton pack, and a PKE reader, a trap, and the ecto goggles. I also borrowed a set of coveralls. I just need to make an armband and a nametag, and I'll be set. Which Ghostbuster should I be?

Another product of my week off and cleaning and organizing is the realization I need some grown-up stuff. It would be much easier if I could just get married and have showers, but alas, another single-discrimination issue and I have to buy it all for myself. Shucks. Pier 1 is having their Friends and Family sale this week, and Tacia gave us her discount, so I got myself started. I bought some curtain rods for my bedroom, and an awesome rug for the bathroom. The color is absolutely *perfect*. I am also considering this living room set. I think it would look great with my new rug. My only concern is if the couch would be long enough for my tastes. I like a long couch to stretch out on. Well, not my only concern. I've still got remodeling debt and windows to save for. What's the Powerball jackpot up to?

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

How in the world does a house get so filthy? I admit, I don't clean every week, but sheesh. I can't imagine how hard it would be to clean up after a bunch of other people if it's this hard to clean up after myself. I've been spring cleaning during my vacation, or fall cleaning, as the case may be. I'm tackling one room a day for five days. I did the kitchen on Monday and today was the bathroom, and I'm hoping those two are the most difficult rooms. In addition to the regular cleaning, I'm doing the things that don't get done, like wiping down cupboards and walls, and the tasks that have needed to be done, but I haven't gotten around to doing, like re-caulking the bathtub. Tomorrow I hit my bedroom, which means getting out the winter clothes and packing away the summer clothes. There are some things I won't get done this week, like cleaning the carpets, because I'll have to run home and get the carpet cleaner, but for the most part, I will be living in a clean and organized house!

Friday, October 15, 2004

I'm exhausted. I've been exhausted for over a week now. Just no energy to do anything, and sleeping like crazy. I finally went to the doctor, and he said no diseases, so it's probably just a virus. This theory is supported by the fact that when I called Mom yesterday (it was her 50th birthday), she was sick as a dog. Poor Mommy. Not a fun way to spend your birthday. So instead of being horribly sick, I'm just horribly tired. Funny how differently viruses affect different people. I've been staying home from TKD to rest - no energy anyway. I feel a little out of the loop. It's almost 10:00, is it too early for a nap?

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

I wrote a letter to the editor. This is only the second time I've ever written a letter to the editor, but I was so pissed at this guy. Read his article first: Abortion on Demand. (You may have to register - it's free.) Now read my reply: Morality can't be written into law. I don't like the title. It says something different than I was trying to say. There was a reason I chose the word, "legislated". I meant we can't change people's moral fiber by making a law. Morals are either innate or taught. Laws are not lessons.

Now, in a letter to the editor, I can't go into all I want to, but here, I can. Schneider asks, "Should the federal government implicitly endorse this cold, calculated mindset?" No, it should not. But as I said, it's a complicated issue. I believe life begins at conception. I sincerely hope that I will never be in the position to have to decide whether or not to get an abortion, and if I am, I hope I would choose life. But I can't for sure say that I wouldn't. And not everyone agrees with my beliefs. When does life begin? I read a very interesting article in Discover magazine noting the high percentage of fertilized eggs that never even attach themselves to the uterine wall. Nature itself "aborts" them. The article attempted to point out the difficulties in answering that question, and why different people believe different things.

Pregancy isn't something to be entered into lightly. Birth control is important, married or not. (Abstinence-only education assumes kids - or people in third-world countries where we provide healthcare - will never need birth control information over the course of their lives. How naive is that? But that's another issue.) I find the attitude of the woman in his example callous and it saddens me that some people think that way. But I don't think we can change her attitude with a law. I think that education is better. Teach prevention and how to deal with the consequences. Abortion is not a simple fix, and that needs to be taught as well.

I believe there is a place for morals in the law, but it is so difficult to know where to draw the line. I would much prefer to err on the side of freedom than on the side of oppression.

In my ideal world, there wouldn't be a need for abortion. In my ideal world.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

I don't know about the rest of you, but I've been getting a lot of calls from George W. Bush and John Kerry lately. Mostly messages on my voice mail, but a lot of calls. The most interesting thing about these calls is that they seem to have figured out the technology to put recorded messages on answering machines.

I got a real live person last night, someone working for the Democratic Party. I had a nice little conversation with him: he asked how I was leaning (third-party) and why (I feel the federal government has too much influence on our lives). Somehow I feel this little conversation will have just as much impact as my vote, like somehow my conversation with a random volunteer will filter up to John Kerry: there's this woman in Iowa who is voting for Badnarik instead of for you because she feels there's too much government in her life. And maybe he'll think about that. Or I could be deluding myself.

At any rate, I think that voting Libertarian in such a close race in a swing state will say more than vote swapping.

Monday, October 11, 2004

'My' kids are adorable. I didn't realize how much I missed them. I went back to celebrate Mom's, Grandma's, and Jonica's birthdays yesterday, and played with Calvin. As soon as I walked in the door, I immediately heard little feet: "Come play with me!" Calvin didn't quite remember my name (it *has* been a couple months since I've seen him) but he did remember that I play with him. He's talking much clearer now, and is so growing up. We were outside playing, and he said, "Carry that." He didn't say please, so I said, "No." He looked at me with a very serious look and said, "Did you say 'no' to me? I'm going to spank you." Can you tell he hears that often? Hee!

And Malea is just the cutest little angel ever. She's got the biggest grin, and she uses it often. She's just so good-natured. She loves to eat. Calvin, who doesn't like to eat, left a lot of food on his plate and ran to do something else. Little Malea just climbed right up and started eating leftovers. And she would grin! Later I watched her draw pictures with markers. She would carefully pick her colors, draw lines or dots and look up for approval. I would grin, and she would laugh and smile like she had accomplished something great.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

I'm already sore. Last night was like an old-school Friday workout, which are held on Mondays now, but yesterday was Wednesday. Usually we work on technique on Wednesdays. Not yesterday. Well, I take that back. We worked on everything yesterday. It felt like class lasted two hours: belt ceremony, technique, forms, line drills, and stations. Ugh. And cardio stuff is killing me anymore. More often than not, if we have a good cardio workout, I've got a twinge of heat exhaustion for the rest of the evening. It sucks. It was mostly the leg lift drills, I think. That Chelsea made us do a minute at a time instead of 30 seconds. Slave driver.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Yesterday, I was in Davenport for the morning, and I stopped in Wilton on my way back to have lunch with Mom and Grandma. Grandma gets funnier and funnier, I'm telling you. We ate at the Wilton Cafe, which means every five minutes, someone stops by your table to say 'hi'. One woman stopped by (I didn't know her) to greet Grandma. I am under the impression she does not live in this country anymore, and was only back for a visit. She said, "I think about you often." Grandma replied, "Well, I don't think about you nearly so much." I know she meant it as she was flattered that she was remembered, but it was all Mom and I could do not to burst out laughing.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Todd, Kristen, Chris, Beth, Nick and I spent the afternoon at Wilson's Apple Orchard. I took pictures, but when I got back to the house, they were all cleared off the camera! I must have accidentally pressed some buttons. I'm a little upset.

It was a georgeous day for it. Sunny, not too hot, not too cold. My nose hurt a little, though, because I sunburnt it yesterday at the game. First bad sunburn of the year, in October. Doh!

At Wilson's, you can walk around and eat as many apples off the trees as you can hold in your tummy. We brought cheese and crackers and wine. Kristen said, "I don't know why, but cheese is always better after you've eaten an apple." Indeed.

We rode the tractor for a bit, but when we crossed the creek (no bridge) I had an urge to jump out, take off my socks and shoes and go wading. Some things never change. Somehow, all the girls sat on the outside bench, and when the tractor cut close by a bush, we all got slapped on the ass. It probably would have been funny to see, each one of us getting a surprised look on our face, right down the line.

I bought some tart apples; I think they will make an excellent pie or two. We'll have to schedule that apple party again...

Friday, October 01, 2004

"Well you know my views on the issues, basically cuz you know my dad..."

That was me at thirteen, too. The first time I changed my stance about a major political issue was when I was a freshman in college and I had the chance to see Sister Helen Prejean speak. I had seen the movie, but that did not prepare me for the emotional wrenchings hearing about her experiences caused. And what she said made sense to me, and I realized that the death penalty was inconsistent with everything else I believed.

If that was wrong, what else had I blindly taken as truth? And how many other people were like me, taking the things I was told at face value without examining my own thoughts and reasons and the influences of the speaker? Too many, I'm afraid. I was listening to Talk of the Nation discussing the sixteen ballot initiatives in California. The question was asked (paraphrased), "How do voters become informed about all these issues." The answer? "They look to organizations that represent their issues, like the Sierra Club, and see what they recommend."

This does make sense. But how do you know what these organization's ulterior motives are? That's why so many people trust Jon Stewart. You know what his motives are. Listen to his interview on Fresh Aire. It contains a clip of his interview with a party head and he was asking some pretty tough questions, questions you don't hear news anchors ask. The debates illustrate this - there is no real discussion on the issues anymore. You have people on each side repeating the same things over and over again. They somehow hope to convince people to vote for them by repetition.

I guess I'm not sure how people are supposed to filter through all the talking points and ulterior motives and power grabs to find the truth. How do we become informed voters if politicians talk down to us?