Friday, October 31, 2008

The big 1-0!

Wow, Andy and I met 10 years ago today. It's pretty hard to believe it's been that long. Here's a picture of us from around that time (actually about a year after we met).

Here's a brief time line of our relationship....

October 31st, 1998: We meet at a Halloween party in the Villas, the classiest apartment complex in Bloomington. Andy's "dressed up like the Cure" which means he has painted his fingernails black. I'm not in costume...and am the DD for my group. After talking to Courtney and John (who should have won a costume contest), Andy is dragged over to meet me...we talk for a long time about music and find out we are both giant fans of Ben Folds Five and Wilco and both hate Dave Matthews.
November 1998: We go out a couple of times...then I freak communication for months.
April 1999: Realizing the school year is ending and his phone number is going to change, I call Andy. We go out a couple more times...then it's summer, and I head home to NC.
Summer 1999: We communicate via email and mix tapes.
August 1999: Back in Bloomington, we start dating for real.
August 2000: We break up...perhaps this could be described as me freaking out again.
August 2001: I move to Portland...
January 2002: 2,313 miles can't keep us apart!
August 2002: I move back across the country, and we move in together in Columbus, Indiana. At this point, we also "rescue" Sydney from my parents.
August 2003: Grad school time: we move to Seattle together.
June 2006: We get engaged and Ramona.
August 2007: After 5 years of 'living in sin', we make it legal and get married.
February 2008: We move to Indianapolis and buy a house. And here we are.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

We Vote We Count!

Andy and I voted today! We got to the satellite polling location about 15 minutes after it opened, and there were over a hundred people in line! The line moved pretty quickly, as the Marion County folks were well organized, and all in all, it took us about an hour to vote. According to this site, more than 27,000 people have voted early in person in Marion County! [also, check out NC---more than 1 million people have voted early so far!]

Filling in that circle for Obama felt really good.

Voter Fraud

There's been a lot of talk about voter fraud lately. Republicans have been attacking ACORN for its problems with voter registration. It's true that some of their workers registered fake people, but it's also true that ACORN notified elections boards of these fake registrations. Plus, it seems unlikely that Jimmy Johns is going to show up to vote in Lake County. Democrats need to be more worried about states kicking new voters off the rolls, as is chronicled in this Rolling Stone article.

I started thinking about my ability to vote because my dad sent me an email telling me that I'd been getting robocalls at their house (against Kay Hagen who's running against Elizabeth Dole). I haven't voted in North Carolina since 2001 and have voted in THREE other states since then. So, I went to the NC Elections Board website and checked....and yup, I am still registered to vote there. I checked Oregon and Washington too, and Oregon has kicked me off, but Washington hasn't (Andy's still registered there too). Perhaps these republicans that are so worried about voter fraud should put more effort into states updating their voter rolls. (and no, tempting as it is, I am not going to try to vote in three states).

In other news, the Indy Star didn't endorse either candidate in the presidential election. The editorial board was "evenly split." Lame.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Early Voting in Indiana

First of all, we went to the Obama rally at the American Legion Mall in downtown Indianapolis yesterday. It was fantastic. The IndyStar reports 35,000 people being there, and I can believe that. It was noticeably more well attended than the rally we attended at the same venue before the primary. There is an FFA convention in town this week, so it was fun to see all of the future farmers with their navy jackets declaring what state they are from. I saw two form Puerto Rico!

Included to the right is a picture from the event that Heather posted on their blog taken from here. We actually are in the picture; Elizabeth went to the trouble of circling us. She's rubbing her eye and I'm wearing shades and my white Obama hat.

After the rally I was fired up enough that I decided to go vote. Today is the first day you can vote at the satellite voting locations, so I went to the J. Everett Light Career Center.

The parking lot was packed and the line was long, stretching out the building and partway down the sidewalk. It wasn't quite as long as as some of them you see on the news, but it was encouraging none-the-less. I'd say that about 20% of the people there were African-American. The two kids in front of me were in high school, had been at the Obama rally, and were going to the Gwar show later that evening. I'm also pretty sure I saw a middle-aged lesbian couple. I feel safe in jumping to the conclusion that these were all likely Obama voters.

Now for the bad news: none of these people actually got to vote, at least not while I was there. They were having a computer problem. They were (paraphrasing here) unable to upload to downtown. Someone was coming to fix it, but it might be two hours before they were able to vote anybody. I had to pick up Paul at the airport, so I couldn't hang around that long.

But I did wait a little longer because there were three or four local politicians there greasing palms and making their pitch to voters as they waited in line (See Campo in the picture to the right). The first one I talked to was Michael W. Rodman, Democrat for Treasurer. He seemed pretty cool, goofy, just trying to seem like a nice guy while wearing an Obama button. He did not feel it neccessary to point out (as previously noted here) that he has a Graduate Degree in business vs. his opponent who has an undergrad theology degree.

Then there was Gabrielle Campo, who I didn't really want to talk to. She's the Republican that was slammed onto the ticket after Jon Elrod chickened out in his race agains Andre Carson. I will say this for Campo; she's much hotter than Sarah Palin. She also seems significantly more liberal than Palin, but not enough so that I (or the majority of the 7th district) would take her over Carson.

Finally, there was Steve Keltner. He's running for Indiana Senater. The incumbant repbulican is being challenged by a democrat who is in the hospital with a serious illness. So Keltner's pitch seemed to be, 'I'm not a Reblublican, and I'm not almost dead. Why not vote for me?' He was very personable and convincing with his pitch. The problem is that since I didn't vote, I came home and researched him a little. The "issues" section of his website seemed to not quite say anything substantial about anything I cared about. I'll have to do some more digging before I figure out if I'm going to float him my vote. He seems to be trying to obscure the fact that he's a Libertarian.

So that was my Politico Thursday...I'll have to try to vote early again sometime soon, hopefully with more success.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

When I say "Hip Hop", you say "Harry"

Time for a brief break from the election. Believe it or not, I've been thinking about blogging about this topic for some time now. It was The Soup that introduced me to Hip Hop Harry, which is like Barney except you know hip hop and apparently Australian.

Here's his water propaganda song:

I can't resist adding something a little election related...check this out.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Good News for Hoosiers Who Like Obama!

Obama's coming back to Indianapolis! I am super excited since I was out in Seattle for his last rally a couple weeks ago.

Plus, a new poll came out today showing Obama up a couple points in Indiana and up nationally. There are so many polls out---it's hard to know if this means anything, but this article on is promising.

Don't get me wrong---I am still paranoid, anxious, worried, nervous, and frustrated but also excited and hopeful.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Powell Endorses Obama!

On Meet the Press this morning, Colin Powell endorsed Obama! Here's why it's important. During the interview, he talked about how this latest economic crisis was a final test for the two candidates, and said "Obama displayed a steadiness, an intellectual curiosity, a depth of knowledge." All in all, this interview was very inspiring, and it made me very hopeful. I feel that Colin Powell got screwed over by the Bush administration (though he certainly made some mistakes and is not without blame for his role in the Iraq war).

Here's a short clip of the interview where the endorsement comes (I highly recommend you seek the whole thing out---it's worth watching in its entirety).

Also, it may be the least surprising endorsement for Obama, but The Stranger's take is amusing and worth reading anyway.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Amazing Speech

There's been a lot of talk about the impact of race in this election. My dad passed along this speech by the AFL-CIO's Richard Trumka, which I thought it was pretty amazing. He also brings up a point that's been making me crazy this election. Obama's not a Muslim---he is a Christian. But so what if he were? There is nothing wrong with being Muslin or Arab, damnit!

***I'll try to post something non-election related soon!***

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Voter's Guide

Kerns posted some great Indiana voting information yesterday. I thought I'd add to that by posting a link to the Indy Star's voter's guide. It is pretty helpful. For example, there are two candidates running for Marion Country Treasurer. One, the democrat, has an MBA from IU. The other, the republican, has a degree in theology from Faith Bible College. It seems like a treasurer should have training in a related field, no?

For you non-Hoosiers, check your local papers, or for you lucky PNW'ers, start reading those voters guides you receive in the mail.

Can a native Hoosier please tell me why coroner is an elected position? At least for Marion County, the requirements don't seem that strenuous. If I am reading this correctly, you just have to live in the county for a year, receive some training, and "speak for the dead." Both candidates for Marion County have MDs, but the democrat shares my birthday, so that seems like a good enough reason for me...again, why am I voting for coroner? We also vote for surveyor (which is more common I think)...but again, I ask why?

Also, this picture from last night's debate (which Obama won) is unrelated...but still quite amusing. And, if you didn't see it, check out Maddux's blog post from yesterday.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Quantum Leap

From The Onion...we could be in trouble...

Scott Bakula Jumps Into McCain's Body Just Before Election

October 13, 2008 | Issue 44•42

WASHINGTON—With Republican nominee John McCain continuing to flounder at the polls, the unknown force that orders the universe announced yesterday that Scott Bakula has entered the body of the struggling Arizona senator in order to "help him out of a real jam."


Bakula, who was last seen jumping from the body of a fighter pilot he helped to escape the Bermuda Triangle, will reportedly spend the next three days in the 72-year-old's body, where he will attempt to solve the financial crisis and learn to respect the opinions of young people. Bakula will then be jolted unexpectedly through time into a 1950s-era African-American man, before next landing in the body of a free-loving female Woodstock attendee who must make a very difficult decision about abortion.

Witnesses said they first detected a difference in McCain's demeanor yesterday, when he paused suddenly in the middle of a speech about Obama's tax policies, shook his head and demanded to know what year it was. Others were reportedly confused when McCain abruptly left the stage to find a mirror and softly touched his face while whispering to himself, "Oh, boy. Who am I this time?"

A number of McCain supporters have said they hope Bakula, with the assistance of a cigar-chewing holographic projection known as Al, can help the Republican's chances by gaining ground in key battleground states, making love to his wife for the first time in ages, and staying up late baking a batch of his famous blondies for everyone on the trail. Bakula said he would try to tip the campaign into victory, but his main goal was to teach McCain about what's truly important in life.

As of press time, McCain is projected to lose by more than 150 Electoral College votes.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

There's No Place Like Home?

I just spent a week in Seattle...I was lucky enough to get to go to a meeting there (which was actually pretty useful for my job, so double bonus). I, of course, took advantage of the trip and spent my free time with friends, often drinking Manny's (which was too easy given the keg-o-rator filled with it in Alma and Bob's basement!).

We've been gone now 9 months, and I am feeling at home in Indy. I like my job a fair amount now and have found lots of things to like about our new town. It's strange though because Seattle just still feels like home. We've haven't even been gone long enough to see a turnover of waitresses at Easy Street (they do have new menus though). Our old haunts still feel familiar rather than nostalgic. And visiting with friends...well, it just seems like we've waited too long to make plans rather than catching up over a visit. I am sure as time passes, and more things change (like the loss of the cafe at Capers), Seattle will feel more like 'a place we used to live' and less like home, but for now, it's just plain homey. And, I'm okay with that. It doesn't seem like a bad thing. Sure, the nachos at West 5 kick ass but so do the ones at the Broad Ripple Brew Pub (though if I had to choose, I'd go with West 5's). And, it's true that we haven't found a burger as good as a Circa burger or a Vietnamese restaurant like the Tamarind Tree, but we do have an incredible Belgian brewery that has 11 different dipping sauces for their frites. I guess Seattle is now our 'home away from home.'

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Google like it's 2001!

Want to pretend the Expos are still in Montreal? Wish we lived in a youtube- or Hannah Montana-free world? Check out google 2001!

As this posts (thanks to delayed posting), I'm on way to Seattle for a conference. I am not sure I'll have time to blog while I'm there...hopefully, Andy will get a post in before I get back (though he still hasn't set up a separate account for himself!).

Friday, October 3, 2008

Five Thirty Eight or Fight!

I'm lousy and don't blog very often anymore (funny what having a job can do to a guy!), and that's partly because of my obsession with the election. Elizabeth and I have both been working hard for Obama when we can, and I check websites (all too) frequently looking for the smallest little nugget of updated election news. I think Pollster is still my favorite of the blog-type sites, but I also spend a lot of time in the War Room on, as well as Politico. The story (or perhaps future story) that inspired me to blog is from, which I somehow was told about by three separate people over the course of about 48 last week. Anyways...the article is about how McCain's few scattered field offices all seem to be as dead as fried chicken, while Obama's offices are always bustling with action and volunteers. But what really got my eye was the last line of the story where the reporter says next they are moving on to Chicago, then to Indiana. There's a huge story unfolding in Indiana. Now that could mean just about anything, but my guess is that it's going to be a story about how a bunch of "Joe Sixpack" Hoosiers like us (Maddux, Kerns, Narwold, et al.) are getting off their asses all across the state and turning this thing blue for the first time since LBJ's '64 landslide. Or maybe it's just a story about how the Colts are 1-2 for the first time in a decade.