Saturday, August 30

For The Minions

Here are the BRAND NEW designs for my Cafe Press minion gear! Visit A Whole New Store and spend, minions, spend!!!



































Friday, August 29

YES WE WILL!!!

I watched the speech last night with a couple hundred others in a restaurant. It was amazing. I actually hav eno words this morning to describe the depth and beadth of my feeling and my renewed commitment. So I'll use his words...


Barack Obama: To Chairman Dean and my great friend Dick Durbin; and to all my fellow citizens of this great nation.
With profound gratitude and great humility, I accept your nomination for presidency of the United States.
Let me express my thanks to the historic slate of candidates who accompanied me on this journey, and especially the one who traveled the farthest -- a champion for working Americans and an inspiration to my daughters and yours -- Hillary Rodham Clinton. To President Bill Clinton, who made last night the case for change as only he can make it; to Ted Kennedy, who embodies the spirit of service; and to the next vice president of the United States, Joe Biden, I thank you. I am grateful to finish this journey with one of the finest statesmen of our time, a man at ease with everyone from world leaders to the conductors on the Amtrak train he still takes home every night.
To the love of my life, our next first lady, Michelle Obama, and to Malia and Sasha -- I love you so much, and I'm so proud of you.
Four years ago, I stood before you and told you my story -- of the brief union between a young man from Kenya and a young woman from Kansas who weren't well off or well-known, but shared a belief that in America, their son could achieve whatever he put his mind to.
It is that promise that has always set this country apart -- that through hard work and sacrifice, each of us can pursue our individual dreams but still come together as one American family, to ensure that the next generation can pursue their dreams as well.
That's why I stand here tonight. Because for 232 years, at each moment when that promise was in jeopardy, ordinary men and women -- students and soldiers, farmers and teachers, nurses and janitors -- found the courage to keep it alive.
We meet at one of those defining moments -- a moment when our nation is at war, our economy is in turmoil, and the American promise has been threatened once more.
Tonight, more Americans are out of work and more are working harder for less. More of you have lost your homes and even more are watching your home values plummet. More of you have cars you can't afford to drive, credit card bills you can't afford to pay, and tuition that's beyond your reach.
These challenges are not all of government's making. But the failure to respond is a direct result of a broken politics in Washington and the failed policies of George W. Bush.
America, we are better than these last eight years. We are a better country than this.
This country is more decent than one where a woman in Ohio, on the brink of retirement, finds herself one illness away from disaster after a lifetime of hard work.
We're a better country than one where a man in Indiana has to pack up the equipment he's worked on for 20 years and watch it shipped off to China, and then chokes up as he explains how he felt like a failure when he went home to tell his family the news.
We are more compassionate than a government that lets veterans sleep on our streets and families slide into poverty; that sits on its hands while a major American city drowns before our eyes.
Tonight, I say to the people of America, to Democrats and Republicans and independents across this great land -- enough! This moment -- this election -- is our chance to keep, in the 21st century, the American promise alive. Because next week, in Minnesota, the same party that brought you two terms of George Bush and Dick Cheney will ask this country for a third. And we are here because we love this country too much to let the next four years look just like the last eight. On November 4, we must stand up and say: "Eight is enough."
Now let there be no doubt. The Republican nominee, John McCain, has worn the uniform of our country with bravery and distinction, and for that we owe him our gratitude and our respect. And next week, we'll also hear about those occasions when he's broken with his party as evidence that he can deliver the change that we need.
But the record's clear: John McCain has voted with George Bush 90 percent of the time. Sen. McCain likes to talk about judgment, but really, what does it say about your judgment when you think George Bush has been right more than 90 percent of the time? I don't know about you, but I'm not ready to take a 10 percent chance on change.
The truth is, on issue after issue that would make a difference in your lives -- on health care and education and the economy -- Sen. McCain has been anything but independent. He said that our economy has made "great progress" under this president. He said that the fundamentals of the economy are strong. And when one of his chief advisers -- the man who wrote his economic plan -- was talking about the anxieties that Americans are feeling, he said that we were just suffering from a "mental recession," and that we've become, and I quote, "a nation of whiners."
A nation of whiners? Tell that to the proud autoworkers at a Michigan plant who, after they found out it was closing, kept showing up every day and working as hard as ever, because they knew there were people who counted on the brakes that they made. Tell that to the military families who shoulder their burdens silently as they watch their loved ones leave for their third or fourth or fifth tour of duty. These are not whiners. They work hard and they give back and they keep going without complaint. These are the Americans I know.
Now, I don't believe that Sen. McCain doesn't care what's going on in the lives of Americans. I just think he doesn't know. Why else would he define middle-class as someone making under $5 million a year? How else could he propose hundreds of billions in tax breaks for big corporations and oil companies but not one penny of tax relief to more than 100 million Americans? How else could he offer a health care plan that would actually tax people's benefits, or an education plan that would do nothing to help families pay for college, or a plan that would privatize Social Security and gamble your retirement?
It's not because John McCain doesn't care. It's because John McCain doesn't get it.
For over two decades, he's subscribed to that old, discredited Republican philosophy -- give more and more to those with the most and hope that prosperity trickles down to everyone else. In Washington, they call this the Ownership Society, but what it really means is that you're on your own. Out of work? Tough luck. You're on your own. No health care? The market will fix it. You're on your own. Born into poverty? Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps -- even if you don't have boots. You are on your own.
Well it's time for them to own their failure. It's time for us to change America. And that's why I'm running for president of the United States.
You see, we Democrats have a very different measure of what constitutes progress in this country.
We measure progress by how many people can find a job that pays the mortgage; whether you can put a little extra money away at the end of each month so you can someday watch your child receive her college diploma. We measure progress in the 23 million new jobs that were created when Bill Clinton was president -- when the average American family saw its income go up $7,500 instead of go down $2,000 like it has under George Bush.
We measure the strength of our economy not by the number of billionaires we have or the profits of the Fortune 500, but by whether someone with a good idea can take a risk and start a new business, or whether the waitress who lives on tips can take a day off and look after a sick kid without losing her job -- an economy that honors the dignity of work.
The fundamentals we use to measure economic strength are whether we are living up to that fundamental promise that has made this country great -- a promise that is the only reason I am standing here tonight.
Because in the faces of those young veterans who come back from Iraq and Afghanistan, I see my grandfather, who signed up after Pearl Harbor, marched in Patton's Army, and was rewarded by a grateful nation with the chance to go to college on the GI Bill.
In the face of that young student who sleeps just three hours before working the night shift, I think about my mom, who raised my sister and me on her own while she worked and earned her degree; who once turned to food stamps but was still able to send us to the best schools in the country with the help of student loans and scholarships.
When I listen to another worker tell me that his factory has shut down, I remember all those men and women on the South Side of Chicago I stood by and fought for two decades ago after the local steel plant closed.
And when I hear a woman talk about the difficulties of starting her own business or making her way in the world, I think about my grandmother, who worked her way up from the secretarial pool to middle-management, despite years of being passed over for promotions because she was a woman. She's the one who taught me about hard work. She's the one who put off buying a new car or a new dress for herself so that I could have a better life. She poured everything she had into me. And although she can no longer travel, I know that she's watching tonight, and that tonight is her night as well.
Now, I don't know what kind of lives John McCain thinks that celebrities lead, but this has been mine. These are my heroes. Theirs are the stories that shaped my life. And it is on behalf of them that I intend to win this election and keep our promise alive as president of the United States.
What is that American promise?
It's a promise that says each of us has the freedom to make of our own lives what we will, but that we also have the obligation to treat each other with dignity and respect.
It's a promise that says the market should reward drive and innovation and generate growth, but that businesses should live up to their responsibilities to create American jobs, to look out for American workers, and play by the rules of the road.
Ours is a promise that says government cannot solve all our problems, but what it should do is that which we cannot do for ourselves -- protect us from harm and provide every child a decent education; keep our water clean and our toys safe; invest in new schools and new roads and science and technology.
Our government should work for us, not against us. It should help us, not hurt us. It should ensure opportunity not just for those with the most money and influence, but for every American who's willing to work.
That's the promise of America -- the idea that we are responsible for ourselves, but that we also rise or fall as one nation; the fundamental belief that I am my brother's keeper; I am my sister's keeper.
That's the promise we need to keep. That's the change we need right now. So let me spell out exactly what that change would mean if I am president.
Change means a tax code that doesn't reward the lobbyists who wrote it, but the American workers and small businesses who deserve it.
You know, unlike John McCain, I will stop giving tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas, and I will start giving them to companies that create good jobs right here in America.
I'll eliminate capital gains taxes for the small businesses and the start-ups that will create the high-wage, high-tech jobs of tomorrow.
I will, listen now, cut taxes -- cut taxes -- for 95 percent of all working families. Because in an economy like this, the last thing we should do is raise taxes on the middle-class.
And for the sake of our economy, our security and the future of our planet, I will set a clear goal as president: In 10 years, we will finally end our dependence on oil from the Middle East. We will do this.
Washington's been talking about our oil addiction for the last 30 years, and by the way John McCain's been there for 26 of them. And in that time, he's said no to higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars, no to investments in renewable energy, no to renewable fuels. And today, we import triple the amount of oil that we had as the day that Sen. McCain took office.
Now is the time to end this addiction, and to understand that drilling is a stop-gap measure, not a long-term solution. Not even close.
As president, I will tap our natural gas reserves, invest in clean coal technology, and find ways to safely harness nuclear power. I'll help our auto companies re-tool, so that the fuel-efficient cars of the future are built right here in America. I'll make it easier for the American people to afford these new cars. And I'll invest $150 billion over the next decade in affordable, renewable sources of energy -- wind power and solar power and the next generation of biofuels; an investment that will lead to new industries and 5 million new jobs that pay well and can't be outsourced.
America, now is not the time for small plans.
Now is the time to finally meet our moral obligation to provide every child a world-class education, because it will take nothing less to compete in the global economy. You know, Michelle and I are only here tonight because we were given a chance at an education. And I will not settle for an America where some kids don't have that chance. I'll invest in early childhood education. I'll recruit an army of new teachers, and pay them higher salaries and give them more support. And in exchange, I'll ask for higher standards and more accountability. And we will keep our promise to every young American -- if you commit to serving your community or our country, we will make sure you can afford a college education.
Now is the time to finally keep the promise of affordable, accessible health care for every single American. If you have health care, my plan will lower your premiums. If you don't, you'll be able to get the same kind of coverage that members of Congress give themselves. And as someone who watched my mother argue with insurance companies while she lay in bed dying of cancer, I will make certain those companies stop discriminating against those who are sick and need care the most.
Now is the time to help families with paid sick days and better family leave, because nobody in America should have to choose between keeping their job and caring for a sick child or ailing parent.
Now is the time to change our bankruptcy laws, so that your pensions are protected ahead of CEO bonuses; and the time to protect Social Security for future generations.
And now is the time to keep the promise of equal pay for an equal day's work, because I want my daughters to have the exact same opportunities as your sons.
Now, many of these plans will cost money, which is why I've laid out how I'll pay for every dime -- by closing corporate loopholes and tax havens that don't help America grow. But I will also go through the federal budget, line by line, eliminating programs that no longer work and making the ones we do need work better and cost less -- because we cannot meet 21st century challenges with a 20th century bureaucracy.
And Democrats, we must also admit that fulfilling America's promise will require more than just money. It will require a renewed sense of responsibility from each of us to recover what John F. Kennedy called our "intellectual and moral strength." Yes, government must lead on energy independence, but each of us must do our part to make our homes and businesses more efficient. Yes, we must provide more ladders to success for young men who fall into lives of crime and despair. But we must also admit that programs alone can't replace parents; that government can't turn off the television and make a child do her homework; that fathers must take more responsibility to provide love and guidance to their children.
Individual responsibility and mutual responsibility -- that's the essence of America's promise.
And just as we keepour promise to the next generation here at home, so must we keep America's promise abroad. If John McCain wants to have a debate about who has the temperament, and judgment, to serve as the next commander in chief, that's a debate I'm ready to have.
For while Sen. McCain was turning his sights to Iraq just days after 9/11, I stood up and opposed this war, knowing that it would distract us from the real threats that we face. When John McCain said we could just "muddle through" in Afghanistan, I argued for more resources and more troops to finish the fight against the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11, and made clear that we must take out Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants if we have them in our sights. You know, John McCain likes to say that he'll follow bin Laden to the Gates of Hell -- but he won't even go to the cave where he lives.
And today, as my call for a time frame to remove our troops from Iraq has been echoed by the Iraqi government and even the Bush administration, even after we learned that Iraq has $79 billion in surplus while we are wallowing in deficits, John McCain stands alone in his stubborn refusal to end a misguided war.
That's not the judgment we need. That won't keep America safe. We need a president who can face the threats of the future, not keep grasping at the ideas of the past.
You don't defeat a terrorist network that operates in 80 countries by occupying Iraq. You don't protect Israel and deter Iran just by talking tough in Washington. You can't truly stand up for Georgia when you've strained our oldest alliances. If John McCain wants to follow George Bush with more tough talk and bad strategy, that is his choice -- but that is not the change that America needs.
We are the party of Roosevelt. We are the party of Kennedy. So don't tell me that Democrats won't defend this country. Don't tell me that Democrats won't keep us safe. The Bush-McCain foreign policy has squandered the legacy that generations of Americans -- Democrats and Republicans -- have built, and we are here to restore that legacy.
As commander in chief, I will never hesitate to defend this nation, but I will only send our troops into harm's way with a clear mission and a sacred commitment to give them the equipment they need in battle and the care and benefits they deserve when they come home.
I will end this war in Iraq responsibly, and finish the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. I will rebuild our military to meet future conflicts. But I will also renew the tough, direct diplomacy that can prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and curb Russian aggression. I will build new partnerships to defeat the threats of the 21st century: terrorism and nuclear proliferation; poverty and genocide; climate change and disease. And I will restore our moral standing, so that America is once again that last, best hope for all who are called to the cause of freedom, who long for lives of peace, and who yearn for a better future.
These are the policies I will pursue. And in the weeks ahead, I look forward to debating them with John McCain.
But what I will not do is suggest that the senator takes his positions for political purposes. Because one of the things that we have to change in our politics is the idea that people cannot disagree without challenging each other's character and each other's patriotism.
The times are too serious, the stakes are too high for this same partisan playbook. So let us agree that patriotism has no party. I love this country, and so do you, and so does John McCain. The men and women who serve in our battlefields may be Democrats and Republicans and independents, but they have fought together and bled together and some died together under the same proud flag. They have not served a Red America or a Blue America -- they have served the United States of America.
So I've got news for you, John McCain. We all put our country first.
America, our work will not be easy. The challenges we face require tough choices, and Democrats as well as Republicans will need to cast off the worn-out ideas and politics of the past. For part of what has been lost these past eight years can't just be measured by lost wages or bigger trade deficits. What has also been lost is our sense of common purpose. That's what we have to restore.
We may not agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country. The reality of gun ownership may be different for hunters in rural Ohio than they are for those plagued by gang-violence in Cleveland, but don't tell me we can't uphold the Second Amendment while keeping AK-47s out of the hands of criminals. I know there are differences on same-sex marriage, but surely we can agree that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve to visit the person they love in the hospital and to live lives free of discrimination. You know, passions may fly on immigration, but I don't know anyone who benefits when a mother is separated from her infant child or an employer undercuts American wages by hiring illegal workers. But this, too, is part of America's promise -- the promise of a democracy where we can find the strength and grace to bridge divides and unite in common effort.
I know there are those who dismiss such beliefs as happy talk. They claim that our insistence on something larger, something firmer and more honest in our public life is just a Trojan Horse for higher taxes and the abandonment of traditional values. And that's to be expected. Because if you don't have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare voters. If you don't have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from.
You make a big election about small things.
And you know what -- it's worked before. Because it feeds into the cynicism we all have about government. When Washington doesn't work, all its promises seem empty. If your hopes have been dashed again and again, then it's best to stop hoping, and settle for what you already know.
I get it. I realize that I am not the likeliest candidate for this office. I don't fit the typical pedigree, and I haven't spent my career in the halls of Washington.
But I stand before you tonight because all across America something is stirring. What the naysayers don't understand is that this election has never been about me. It's about you. It's about you.
For 18 long months, you have stood up, one by one, and said enough to the politics of the past. You understand that in this election, the greatest risk we can take is to try the same old politics with the same old players and expect a different result. You have shown what history teaches us -- that at defining moments like this one, the change we need doesn't come from Washington. Change comes to Washington. Change happens because the American people demand it -- because they rise up and insist on new ideas and new leadership, a new politics for a new time.
America, this is one of those moments.
I believe that as hard as it will be, the change we need is coming. Because I've seen it. Because I've lived it. Because I've seen it in Illinois, when we provided health care to more children and moved more families from welfare to work. I've seen it in Washington, where we worked across party lines to open up government and hold lobbyists more accountable, to give better care for our veterans and keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of terrorist.
And I've seen it in this campaign. In the young people who voted for the first time, and the young at heart, those who got involved again after a very long time. In the Republicans who never thought they'd pick up a Democratic ballot, but did. I've seen it in the workers who would rather cut their hours back a day even though they can't afford it than see their friends lose their jobs, in the soldiers who re-enlist after losing a limb, in the good neighbors who take a stranger in when a hurricane strikes and the floodwaters rise.
You know, this country of ours has more wealth than any nation, but that's not what makes us rich. We have the most powerful military on Earth, but that's not what makes us strong. Our universities and our culture are the envy of the world, but that's not what keeps the world coming to our shores.
Instead, it is that American spirit -- that American promise -- that pushes us forward even when the path is uncertain; that binds us together in spite of our differences; that makes us fix our eye not on what is seen, but what is unseen, that better place around the bend.
That promise is our greatest inheritance. It's a promise I make to my daughters when I tuck them in at night, and a promise that you make to yours -- a promise that has led immigrants to cross oceans and pioneers to travel west; a promise that led workers to picket lines, and women to reach for the ballot.
And it is that promise that 45 years ago today, brought Americans from every corner of this land to stand together on a Mall in Washington, before Lincoln's Memorial, and hear a young preacher from Georgia speak of his dream.
The men and women who gathered there could've heard many things. They could've heard words of anger and discord. They could've been told to succumb to the fear and frustration of so many dreams deferred.
But what the people heard instead -- people of every creed and color, from every walk of life -- is that in America, our destiny is inextricably linked. That together, our dreams can be one.
"We cannot walk alone," the preacher cried. "And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back."
America, we cannot turn back. Not with so much work to be done. Not with so many children to educate, and so many veterans to care for. Not with an economy to fix and cities to rebuild and farms to save. Not with so many families to protect and so many lives to mend. America, we cannot turn back. We cannot walk alone. At this moment, in this election, we must pledge once more to march into the future. Let us keep that promise -- that American promise -- and in the words of Scripture hold firmly, without wavering, to the hope that we confess.
Thank you, God Bless you, and God Bless the United States of America.



Thursday, August 28

a few of my favorite things




My office threw a party for me last night at the Mexican restaurant around the corner... Now I'm a little hungover, and crazy busy getting ready to leave them and a little weepy because they gave me a taste of my favorite things: Belvedere Vodka, Godiva Choclate, Green Bay Packers Football and Starbucks coffee (and a beer sleeve that looks like a football...because I'm classy like that). I also got TWO cards!




So now I may be going camping this weekend and THAT will be a story... hmm...










Wednesday, August 27

leetle break

So I'm training the woman who will be the new G, going DNC convention crazy, trying to clear out my office and get ready for my new J-O-B. I'm a little busy here. Don't worry, the G abides and all will be well.

I'll be back sometime next week, most likely.

In the meantime here is a cute pic of G and Part Time Blogger at the John Legend concert last week...


Thursday, August 21

and the winner is...



Some bloggers just appreciate humble, unassuming quality. Some appreciate me. Slag has taken it to the next level and created an award inspired by moi, The Karmic Justice League Award. I then created a Karmic Justini (2 parts honey vodka 1 part chai tea, garnish with cinnamon stick) but Slag isn’t a drinker so I had to drink the KJ all by my lonesome. Oh, how I suffer for my art…

While I was sipping I thought about the directive I had received on what to do with this award…there wasn’t one, I am to “do with it what you will. Pass it on or keep it all to yourself. No rules required”. Now normally this would mean I was free to hoard this goody like a Goblin hoards treasure, but a few sips later, in a more expansive mood, I decided to share.

Therefore, on the last Tuesday of each month I will award one lucky person with the Karmic Justice Award – this could be a blogger or a ‘real’ person – and at the end of a year one lucky person will be declared the Karmic Justice League Uber Minion. The KJL Uber Minion will win a bottle of vodka and any one thing they desire from the Whole New Store. See how generous I am!!!
I’ll use the same criteria Slag used in giving it to me: action oriented, meaningfully positive, engaging and motivating. (Slag really nailed me, but forgot humble, retiring and unassuming)

It just so happens that the second winner (I’m #1!!!) of the KJLA is someone who just wrote a blog post exhorting all in his flock to embrace positivity and action and to approach life with a sense of mission. He was one of if not the, very first commenter on my blog. He gave me encouragement when I needed it and fed my comment addiction. Now he’s got his own web comic and a sidekick (forgive me, Flynn) but he still caters to his flock with sermons and discussions on religion, politics, cycling, kettle bells, parakeets and dodge ball. There isn’t anything you can’t talk to him about (he’s probably just taken a class in it – so watch out) and there isn’t much he’ll judge you for (with the exceptions of hypocrisy, cruelty and willful ignorance). Now the path of positive action he has been taking in his own life and chronicling on his blogs has found full voice with his post “No Whine Zone”.

Thank you, Linus aka His Sinfulness, The Black Pope aka Pontifex Niger aka Pater Major for being there from my first toddling steps into blogging, engaging me, motivating me, taking me into the flock, name dropping me on your podcasts and dispensing Karmic Justice for all the world to see. You are the only reason I would ever visit Wyoming and a fabulous blogger. Feel free to dispense this award at your Papal liesure…

Minion Reading List:
Black Vatican Web Comic
Ministry of Linus
No Whine Zone (the winning blog post)

Happy Monday: Mirembe Kawomera



Now, as most of you know I have two great liquid loves in my life – vodka and coffee. I’m also something of a small time activist in my own way. So I’m kicking myself that it took an article in Oprah’s magazine to introduce me to Mirembe Kawomera, or Delicious Peace Coffee. HOW did I not know about this???

In case you, like me, were unaware of this amazing co-op let me share their story with you:





“Mirembe Kawomera Coffee began with one man’s dream. In 2003, JJ Keki, a Ugandan coffee farmer, walked door to door asking his Jewish, Christian, and Muslim
neighbors to put aside old differences and come together. Their community of third and fourth generation coffee farmers was struggling to make a living off the low prices offered by the local market. With the assistance of Laura Wetzler from the US-based organization Kulanu, these Jewish, Christian and Muslim farmers formed a cooperative to build lasting prosperity in their villages and to spread a message of peace throughout the world. They named their coffee Mirembe Kawomera, which means, “Delicious Peace” in the Luganda language.



Now in 2008, the Peace Kawomera Cooperative has grown to over 750 members. Thanks to their collective effort, the farmers sell directly to Thanksgiving Coffee Company, and receive prices four times higher than what they were previously paid. This has enabled farmers to send their children to school, start savings accounts, and reinvest in their farms.” – from Mirembe Kawomera.com

They’ve got light, dark and decaf coffee you can order online in whole bean, drip, french press, percolator and espresso AND it’s only 10.50 for 12 oz. OK, so that might be a little more than I’m paying for my Folgers BUT a hell of a lot less than I’m paying at Starbucks, so I’m in. (They also have gift baskets which would make great gift from a minion to a G…) I’ve also signed up for the newsletter and added the Mirembe Kawomera blog to my reading list so I’ll keep you guys caught up.



Most people look at major problems and say ‘it’s too big’ or ‘what can I do’? JJ said, ‘What do I have? I have coffee’, and set out to change his little corner of the world.


I think we should help him do it. I hope you’ll be inspired by him not only to buy, but also to ask yourself, ‘What do I have?’.

Wednesday, August 20

ain't too proud to beg



Ok minions – I am now officially swallowing my pride. Yeah – that tiny little bit that was left is gone.

Thing is that there are things I want to do: create a blog for my family and a newsletter, help out various causes with grant and proposal writing, start my own volunteer website, learn how to write code and design my own website, step this blog up writing and topic wise, and on, and on, and on.

The catch is that I don’t have a computer at home. I use the library and friends houses and sometimes work for my blogging. I love you guys and I love blogging so it’s worth it. I’m starting a new job soon, which should eventually bring in more $$$ to the House of G but for the next couple months I’ll keep my seat on the broke train.

With the new job I will not be able to blog as much (why oh why isn’t the library open later?!) and I can’t pony up the dough for a computer right now (or really until after the first of the year) so I’ve decided that if any of you guys feel like donating to The G Fund I will not try to stop you. In fact, I’ve set up a handy little Pay Pal button on my sidebar for donations.

Now if there’s someone out there with a computer they want to just mail me so that we can all be put out of our misery that would be cool too…

I’m just sayin…









Tuesday, August 19

thrusday's theme: wrong+funny=snark

Really, Some E Cards should pay me for this... oh well, bring the funny!



































arte y pico



And now for something completely different:
I actually won something – Mayren’s Love!!!

Mayren gave me this pretty, pretty award for general awesomeness. Actually what she said was a little too nice even for my massive ego to repeat. So, now I’m supposed to pass it on to my own top five. I was going to give you all a chance to bribe me with vodka, but it seemed somehow wrong…and selfish.
I’ll do it next time.

(*Disclaimer: I know for a fact that most of you will not pass these along and I have no problem with that)

I read The Black Snob every day. Most times two or three times a day because she has a habit of posting all day long, which I love. TBS is like a box of chocolates: sweet, brown and even at ats worst it’s still better than almost everything else!

Deacon Blue sometimes keeps me sane although he doesn’t know it. It’s religion with heart, and brains, and humor, and sci-fi, and – quite frankly – balls. Even when I don’t agree with him I learn from him.

Big Man likes my honesty, so I’m going to be honest and say I got a little pouty when he got an award and didn’t pass it my way. Then I had a Starbucks and got over it. Big Man has a big mind and a big heart…and sometimes a big mouth. He’s hilarious and has inspired more than one post over here. He always makes me think.

Everyone in the entire universe should be reading Some of Nothing. I’m not just saying this because Slag made my Vodka Saves graphic. I’m saying it because this is a brilliant political blog. I don’t have to scour the web for the funny and the insane or rail into the void against the idiots who make up our MSM sometimes because Slag’s got it covered – with videos, graphics AND West Wing references. In case you didn’t know – I’m a huge fan.

I don’t think I’ve missed a day of reading Kiko’s House since I found it. Even when I’m on vaca I read it on my phone (it takes fo…r…ev…er that way!). Shawn writes about everything and anything that you can think of but my favorite part are the quotes from around the blogoshpere each day – I’ve found even more great sites from his site. Thoughtful and ridiculously well written, it is a must read.

OK – so that’s it. I tried to choose people from my sidebar that I consider exemplary and that I thought some of you might not be reading yet… NoR, Susan, you don’t get to pout – you got lobsters ;)

I guess the only thing left to say is – TAG, you’re it!

secret lovers and answers



Part Time Blogger and I are going to see my secret lover in concert tonight. I can’t wait. Seriously – if I knew how to make time go faster it would be six o’clock…right…NOW!

Damn

Ok, so that try didn’t work, but it doesn’t mean I can’t keep trying.

At least until there's a restraining order...

Slag watched the Randy Pausch lecture from my post a few days ago (like a GOOD minion) and wondered if you can evolve from an Eeyore into a Tigger. Well, I think that some people are more naturally one than the other, but that all of us can make a choice.

People forget, I know I do, just how amazingly powerful each of us is. We can choose how to react to most situations, we can choose whether or not to give up, or get bitter, or be beaten down. We can choose, like the athletes I spoke of yesterday, to get up and try again – to rededicate ourselves each day to whatever our goals are. Randy once said in an interview, “Even Tigger cries”. So it’s not that we never get discouraged or have to take a moment, it’s that we decide, each day to try and find the joy. To try and have fun.

In the spirit of Slag’s question, Randy’s life and my never ending quest to be noticed by John Legend here are some of my favorite quotes – I hope they help you as they have me:

After one has discovered what he is called for, he should set out to do it
with all of the power that he has in his system.

-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

You are in charge of your own attitude – whatever others do or circumstances
you face. The only person you can control is yourself.

-Dr. Marian Wright Edleman

whatever you can do,
or dream you can,
begin it,
boldness has
genius,
power and magic in it.

-Von Goethe

Monday, August 18

rings

I didn’t really sleep this weekend.
I did – but it was at odd hours and in snatches.
Now there are things going on in my life that could leave a G sleepless…questions…hopes…fears… and no, nosy minions, I will not tell you what they are yet, but they are not the cause of my sleeplessness.

I couldn’t sleep because of Gold, Silver and Bronze. Yeah, that’s right, I like watching the Olympics. Yes, I realize that Russia and Georgia are tripping down the primrose path to WWIII, China displaced hundreds and drafted thousands of its citizens to pull off these games and the Spaniards don’t understand the meaning of the word sensitive. I get all that.
But then a young man named Lightning wins a gold medal and shatters a World Record time at a walk and with a laugh. A 38 year old woman wins a marathon in tears and for the first time America goes 1,2 in the All Arounds. Maybe I do have Phelps fever and maybe I don’t want to be cured.

I want to watch the rhythm of rowing and get teary eyed as 9 exhausted and brilliantly victorious young women sing our national anthem joyously off key. I want to be amazed as the Jamaicans sweep the women’s 100 Meter Finals - the first time any nation has ever done that. I want to watch volleyball on the beach and indoors. I want to see people, tennis balls and soccer balls fly through the air. I want to see a ripped entry and a stuck landing, a smooth dunk and an ace. This year I discovered trampoline was a part of gymnastics. For someone who is afraid of heights I look at those athletes the same way I do the high divers – with awe. And how cool is steeplechase? I could totally do that. If, you know, I had any sort of running talent or training at all.

You can say what you want about the commercialization of the games and you can say that they seem unnecessary in this age of World Cups and World Finals each year, but for the athletes and for me there is nothing more thrilling than hearing the words “Olympic Champion”.
And so I did not sleep this weekend until around three am each night, waking before 8 am to start watching again. I’ve found myself pulling for the improbable and witnessing the impossible. I have found myself inspired over and over again by people dedicated to their dreams and their teams and moved by the sight of their country’s flag flying high. How can you not love that?
So while all across the web and the world there are naysayers and cynics I prefer to focus on the 21 year old woman who fell to the ground last night with the flag of her country, Jamaica, wrapped around her and wept after becoming the World’s Fastest Woman. I prefer to focus on what Dara Torres will say to her daughter when she grows up about ‘acting your age’. I prefer to focus on Debbie Phelps giggling like a kid because she got to take a picture with Kobe Bryant and almost fainting when her son won his seventh gold by less than a fingernail. It’s been 24 years since American women have medalled in the 8-man row – but they did it this weekend and it was Gold.

There are many things wrong with the Olympics, but most of these athletes work for four years in relative obscurity for one chance at glory and immortality. And when they get that chance some of them do things that are no less than astounding. THAT is must see TV.

Friday, August 15

ch ch changes


There are some big changes coming in the World of G. Whenever there are big changes brewing and I start to get a little freaked out I talk to Randy in my head. Randy Pausch, the professor behind The Last Lecture, lost his battle with cancer this year, but that hasn’t stopped the millions of people he inspired (like me) from going forward and it hasn’t stopped me from having imaginary conversations with him in my head.
Last night when I got off of the phone with Mama G I said a prayer of thanks for the blessings in my life. Then I started freaking out a little and seeing all the things that could go wrong. Then I lectured myself on being an Eeyore.
If you haven’t seen Pausch’s last lecture there’s a link to it below. Watch it and let it give you strength. I am.

mms://wms.andrew.cmu.edu/001/pausch.wmv

Thursday, August 14

Thursday's Theme: Book Worm

I adore books. I’m addicted to them. When I moved to VA The U-haul was jammed with boxes of books. No bed, no real furniture but TONS of books. I don’t have bookshelves; I have stacks of books ringing my living room, listing like drunken sailors reporting for inspection. There isn’t a genre that I haven’t found something to love about, but I tend to get hooked more on an author than a genre. I love finding new authors at the library. I’ll check out a huge stack of their work, pour through it and then start buying it if I like it. I keep lists of the books I’m missing by certain authors. I’m a book dork.
There is no real sense of order to my taste. I can’t stand Hemingway. I love Ayn Rand. It has nothing to do with the ‘politics’ of the books, but whether or not I like the way they string words together. I have everything Robert Tanenbaum, Sam Shepherd, William Shakespeare, Zora Neale Hurston, Jodi Picoult and Nora Roberts have ever written. There are others…but they don’t fit into any category either. I’ve just started to get really into science fiction and non-fiction histories lately, but when I got this Meme it was a ghost story by Jodi Picoult that was at hand.
I Am Not Star Jones tagged me with this Reader Meme:
1. Pick up the nearest book.
2. Open to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people, and acknowledge the one who tagged you.

So, here is your excerpt from Second Glance by Jodi Picoult:
If pressed, he could recall the burning smell that was his hair; the stiffness of his limbs as the current coursed through him. He would have liked to be able to tell of crossing to the other side, of that bright white light, but if these things had happened he knew nothing of it.
The sky ripped again, a jagged tear that stayed visible for moments after the strike of lightning was gone.

Now…who to tag, who to tag…hmm…Yeah, ALL OF YOU. If you have read this far you have been tagged. I love hearing about what other people are reading, so indulge me minions (which you should be more than happy to do, as minions) and open up your bookshelves for my perusal…

Not Star is, of course, exempted since she started this whole thing, but you should all feel free to go whine about it over on her blog if you want!

Wednesday, August 13

who i am

It was walking into Auntie Patti’s house around 11 am after traveling since 4pm the day before and being hugged and then handed a baby. No fatted calf but no inquisition either; you just slip back into the family seamlessly. Here, take the baby while his mother mows the grass, go inside and say hello to your cousins.
Inside it smells like Mimi’s house. There is her red couch, the cribbage board; little pieces of your grandmother are everywhere. And in the pot on the stove is the food of your childhood. You’re exhausted and you don’t know if you want to lie down and sob because of the headache pounding behind your eyes or because the feeling of home is so overwhelming.
The air in the backyard is salty – you can’t hear the ocean, but you can smell it. Soon you’ll shower and change and head downtown with your mom for gift shop shopping, lobster rolls, fried clam strips and chowda. You aren’t walking hand in hand with your parents down those steep streets toward the picture perfect harbor. You aren’t riding on your father’s shoulders up rickety outdoor stairs to get bubblegum ice cream, but it seems that you are even as you sit with your mother discussing family politics over a dark beer and a lobster sandwich.
The day of the reunion is hectic and blurry in your mind. With a few shockingly clear moments. You’re sitting at one of the picnic tables, drinking a Cape Cod because – duh – and you look up for no reason at all as he’s walking down the hill. And you look because it can’t be – this person is a man, and your cousin J.R. is a boy – except he isn’t anymore, huh, how about that? You’re running before you know it and he catches you and lifts you and twirls you around. Do you even need to speak after that? What can you say that will match the flood of memories that come with a hard hug?
For someone who has been starved of physical affection for the past three years this time is like coming to a freshwater ocean after wandering in the desert. This family does not stop touching each other. You are told to ‘Come and meet your cousin’ so many times that it starts to become a joke. You are hugged so much you are almost full of it. Familiar faces pop up in a sea of newness, but familiar newness. There is a tone in the voice, there is the slant of the eyes, there are the skin colors – so many shades, there is so much that you fit into here. All of a sudden you are surrounded by people who look like you or your mother or your grandfather; there are pieces of you in each face, each movement. A cousin you don’t know buys you a drink at the bar, later you buy him one, and two hours later your mothers introduce you – as if it were necessary.
The littlest ones run through the sun to the bouncy castles or to tug on the shorts of the men throwing horseshoes or barbequing. The children are stunningly beautiful in the sun, brown and gold and radiant. We just don’t make ugly babies, more than one person will say that day.
You’ve stopped looking for Erica and asking about her because your mother and cousin are getting annoyed. You’re trying not to be disappointed that she won’t be there and you wonder why she seems like the missing puzzle piece to this family jigsaw. You sorely miss the sound of her father’s laughter when the men all double over at the horseshoes over something one of the children did. You can’t hear what happened – the sound of the women standing or sitting in groups or flitting among them is not the quiet sound of the South – you are no longer the loudest person in the group (you no longer even rank).
She walked in with her mother while you were doing something else and when you look up she’s talking to your Cousin who’s pointing at you and obviously telling her that you asked for her only ten million times that day and then you’re running again. And then you’re crying and you are just too happy and she’s so beautiful and all you can think is that your family is all here. Finally. And you don’t really realize how miserable everything has been until it is so starkly contrasted with this feeling. This simple happiness feels like insane joy. But you’re crying and being silly so you pull it in and you talk about things you can’t remember and the day moves along.
That night at the big dinner you look around and for the first time in a long time you are really comfortable in a crowd. Everyone knows who you are in some way, you are: Punky’s daughter, Ruthie’s grand, Patti’s niece, Marnie and Princess’ cousin – your life is reduced to your relationship to every woman in the room who is older than you. People answer to the name Godfather or Godmother, those titles are taken seriously. Your mother has both of her godparents there, a comfort since her parents have passed on. All of her godchildren are there too.
The rest of the weekend will be spent drinking and playing and cooking and laughing and arguing, sleeping on the floor and being woken up at 3:30 in the morning by the baby. How many people are in the little two bedroom house- 14, 15, does it matter? You’ll walk with your cousins down to Dunkin Donuts in the morning and you’ll watch for Cape Verde in the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics. You’ll stay up late into the night sitting in the backyard with your older cousins and talking about everything while you stare into the light of the fire you’ve each been tending for two days running now in the little chimney surrounded by chairs. The night before you leave your youngest cousin will fall asleep in your arms while the two of you are humming nonsense baby songs and dancing around the yard. When you finally get to sleep the next night, back in your bed far away from your family you will still feel the imprint of that soft warm head tucked under your chin. You will hum yourself to sleep.

Tuesday, August 12

just too cute...

These are some of the multitude of the Cousins of G, including my babies, Cash and Cohle. Mama G's in there too - along with her Godmother...
oh and I'm there too!






































miss me?

I'm baaaaaack!

I'll have ridiculously cute pictures which I will post soon: think babies, babies and more babies! Seriously though, my family is pretty freaking awesome and I'm really glad I went to the reunion.

Continental is now on the list of airlines that can bite me, but really, who cares if a three hour trip took almost 24 hours - at least I got there, right?

Anyway, listen minions, I am exhausted, and already missing my babies and I'm more than a little cranky - so the plan today is to try and reply to all of your comments and catch up on your blogs a little, but this is all you get from me. Unless you are NoR or Susan, in which case you should be looking out in the mail for lobster type things...

Wednesday, August 6

An Open Letter to 'Leaders' of my Party and my Country

August 6, 2008

To: Senator Barack Obama, Democratic Nominee for President
Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House
Senator Harry Reid, Senate Majority Leader


I write this letter to you, the leaders of my Party and leaders in my Country, supposed defenders of the Constitution of the United States of America and representatives of the People of the same. I write this letter in desperation, disgust and a soul deep anger. I write this letter begging you to look into your own hearts and to reread the founding documents of our Nation.

I write to ask you what, exactly, the current President would need to do to warrant your serious attention. I would like to know what crimes more heinous than those he has already committed would he need to carry out before you will take action. Let me state clearly right now that a speech is not action and promises are not action.

Where is the serious investigation? Where are the subpoenas? Where is the Special Prosecutor? Where are the Citations of Contempt? What, exactly are you doing?

If you believe that the best way forward for this country is to just clean up the mess and waste of Iraq and try to forget the past eight years ever happened I would like you to please resign right now. Please just leave. Our Constitution has been raped by her supposed protectors and defenders and you will not allow her to press charges, but are advising her to instead have some hushed conversations with witnesses to her violation and then retire quietly. If my metaphor seems harsh please excuse me and take it as a measure of the depth of my feelings.

Each week we hear more from journalists and authors about the lies and fraud perpetrated by this Administration on the American People. Yet it is well known that impeachment is ‘off the table’ and that no one in this Administration will ever have to pay for any crimes they may have committed against their own country in its name. How can any of you claim to support the men and women of our armed forces when you will not investigate whether or not they were sent to kill and to die fraudulently? If you will not punish those responsible why should they put their lives in your hands?

I have heard it argued that the harder the Republicans pushed at former President Bill Clinton the more popular he became. If you are more worried about how you will look to the electorate than in defending the very basis of our Nation and our freedoms from debasement then you cannot call yourselves Public Servants and you should resign from office and the campaign trail immediately. It is more than probable from what we know now that laws were broken. If you are not willing to punish the lawbreakers then you are less than worthless to us, you are complicit.

The American people need to know what actually happened these last 8 years. This country cannot move forward without as full an understanding of how we got to this point as possible. We need you to be leaders now in the true sense of the word. We need you to find the truth and to shine a light on it. We need you to be impartial and fair. We need you to be unstinting and tireless. We need you to be willing to take back the power of the Legislative branch and use it to fight for the Constitution.

This administration is a festering boil on the body politic. It must be lanced, bled and cleansed before it can heal. The job is not for the faint of heart. The job is not for a politician, but a public servant.

If you could look me in my eyes and tell me that you believe that an investigation would turn up nothing criminal at any level Special Assistant or above in this Administration – if you actually believe that, then I will leave this alone. If you can tell me that you truly believe that this Administration did not subvert the Constitution in order to prosecute a fraudulent war, did not lie to Congress, did not break any other laws, then I will drop this. If you can tell me what specific thing this President or a member of this Administration would need to do in order for you to call for a Special Prosecutor or open Impeachment Hearings I would be glad to find the information for you. If you would like to turn over any of the members of this Administration (past and present) who are wanted for war crimes in other nations so that they may hold the trial it seems you will not – I would support that wholeheartedly.

There is no political excuse to be made here – this is about morality. There is nowhere to hide from this decision; the power is in your hands. I will be writing to you each week about this miscarriage of justice until I see change come. I welcome a response and will be among your loudest supporters if you do decide to do what is right and try to find the truth for your Country and the People you claim to represent.


Most Sincerely Yours,
G
3rd Congressional District
Virginia

Cc: Congressman Robert Scott
Senator James Webb
Senator John Warner



*This letter was sent just as you see it here via email to all representatives named here. The only change is that in the 'actual' letter I signed my full name. I will be sending this letter or something similar each week. If you'd like to join me at any time the names are links to their contact sites.

d. All of the Above


It’s too big a problem. There is so much to be done that no one knows exactly what to do. Also, it’s expensive, and expensive at a time when no one really has any extra money. We’re already being squeezed so much – I don’t want to have to tighten my belt any more, I just want someone to fix it. Or not, I mean it can’t really be that big a deal, right? The Earth has been here for millions of years and she can survive…I might not if prices keep going like this. I can’t worry about the Earth right now – I’m worried about my family.

I’ve heard it all. And I can understand that it’s overwhelming, that making change is seen as expensive, unimportant or both. The thing is you’re right the Earth will survive. Whether or not people will be able to live here is another thing. How quickly the change will happen (and how much of it already has and how much of that is reversible) well, that’s a whole other question.

The thing is that I’m broke too. But I also want my little cousins and the Future Gs to be able to live in a world not consumed with war over food supplies and fossil fuels. I would like them to be able to visit Chucktown without a snorkel. I don’t want to look at my child and wonder if his or her asthma is my fault.

Now I realize that none of the solutions are perfect. I really don’t care. Instead of people fighting about whether we should be burning our garbage for fuel or composting it for fertilizer or recycling it or selling the paper waste to China to make their newspapers why can’t anyone say: d. All of the Above? We should do it all. Different things will work better in different neighborhoods and as we go along and use them more the different technologies will advance and change. We need solar, wind and geothermal, not one or the other. We need hydrogen and fuel cell and plug in vehicles because we won’t know what works best for us until we try them.

Is this only obvious to me? I hope not.



There are also tons of things that we can do as everyday individuals to change how we affect the climate and to save money at the same time:

Whenever you can, buy local produce. It will it help your local economy, it is usually fresher (better for you) and because it wasn’t trucked in across the country you have helped cut down on emissions.

Plug anything you can use a remote on in your house into a power strip. When you leave the house in the mornings and when you go to sleep at night turn off the power strip. It’s an easy habit to get into and it will save you money and electricity. Also, if the appliances aren’t plugged in there is no reason to worry about them during a storm (Mama G just had to replace both of her TV’s…she listens to me now…)

Change your oil frequently, keep your car tuned and you tires aligned and inflated properly. I mean, duh. McCain can bitch about this advice all he wants, but I, for one, am VERY happy to squeeze an extra ten gallons out of each tank!

Oh – checking your tires for proper inflation can save you between 3-5% in mpg so make sure you do it before every long trip.

Recycling is free almost everywhere. Call your local Sanitation department and find out when your recycling pick up is each week and how you need to separate your trash. Once you get into the habit it adds no extra time to your day. If you aren’t already doing this I really don’t know what to say…it’s the bare minimum, really.

Every time you are replacing anything in your house try to buy green. You may not want to shell out extra for the toilet paper or paper towels made from recycled paper, but you have to know by now that energy efficient light bulbs will pay for the cost difference in about a month. Most major appliances, windows and doors now come with some type of Energy Star certification. If the ones you have now don’t then when you replace them make sure the new ones do. You can cut your bills drastically by doing little things. It’s not so much about conserving energy…but there is no reason to WASTE it.

Last but not least: VOTE. Make your voice heard. This is important at the national level, but also at the state and local levels as well because that is where many initiatives are born.

You all know what I’m going to say now, don’t you minions? Do Something. Call your local nursery to see if they know of any composting programs in you area. Call your local head of Sanitation to see what, if anything, they’re doing to turn that garbage into energy. Make some simple changes around your house to cut your bills and your carbon footprint. Vote for candidates who embrace more than one energy alternative.

For more go to: Energy Efficiency and Renewable Resources

Or Google: "save energy and money (state name)" for more info on local rebate, tax break and energy saving programs!

Monday, August 4

down girl



I need a vacation and what I’m going to get is a family reunion…twice. On Thursday night I’ll be flying to Providence, as will Mama G, we’ll drive to Plymouth, MA, ‘America’s Hometown’ that night and we’ll spend the rest of the weekend with Mama G’s family. Hilarity, drama, linguica pizza, alcohol consumption and possibly fistfights will ensue. Oh and I’ll get to hang out with the most beautiful boys in the entire world, the progeny of Awesome G Cousin and her Hubbo Italiano. It’s the 100-year anniversary of my great grandmother arriving in America from the Cape Verde Islands and starting the US branch of the family, so we have a lot to celebrate.

Then in December I’ll be taking off to the Bahamas with the Family of G for Papa G’s 80th birthday. There will be eating, gambling, alcohol consumption, verbal fistfights, and the cutest girls in the entire world, the progeny of Dr Cousin of G and her Shorty Hubby.

Both of these trips will be fun. After them I will be closer to those family members I haven’t killed and we’ll all have great memories. These are the kinds of trips you look back on years later and really appreciate. I realize how lucky I am to have my family around me and to get this time with them.

BUT.

In order to work out these trips I’ll have no more vacation time, personal time or sick days. This wouldn’t be a problem if there were a person on this planet who needed a vacation more than I do, but there isn’t. I’ve been doing a lot of soul and mind searching and repair work these last two weeks I’ve taken away from you, my dear minions. I have a hell of a lot of work to do on my life in all areas and one of the things I’m working on is setting goals and then following them through. I cannot explain to you how many 75% finished projects I have. Anyhoo – one of my aforementioned goals is to take a vacation. An actual vacation. A do nothing but lay around on the beach and ogle attractive men and drink fruity little alcoholic nothings with umbrellas in them with nothing to think about but when to apply more sunscreen and whether I want to wind surf, refusing to read anything that does not include bodice ripping vacation. I want it. I need it. I need time off – time away. I need time devoid of family drama and filled with happy (or at least lazy). And I have to be an adult and realize that it just isn’t going to happen this year.

So fine. OK.

BUT.

It is going to happen. I cannot do all the things that I want to without taking care of myself. I know people who will roll their eyes at the thought that me taking a vacation is taking care of myself and I know Mama G could give a super fantastic lecture about how it is so much more important for me to build a nest egg. And she’s right. It’s also important for me to not go crazy nutso insane and for me to not do that I need something concrete to look forward to. I need a date. I need a plan. In a perfect world someone would be planning a great trip for me but this is not, as you may know already, a perfect world so I’ll be doing this myself.

In 2009 I’ll be turning 30. I’m not happy about it, but it’s better than the alternative. So I’ll be taking myself somewhere sunny and sandy. Somewhere all-inclusive and all pampering. If I start saving now I might not have to take out a major loan – just a minor one. But the third week in April will be a relaxing one, just for me, far, far away.
So minions, if any of you have any suggestions as to where I should go – let me know …

hope kicks fears ass


Life is hard there are many, many things that suck and I am flat broke. I have done things in my life that I will have to carry for the rest of it and scars from things others did that will never truly heal.
Facts suck sometimes.
Now here’s the thing, minions, we all have choices in this life. I actually have more choices than most. Yet I am angry. All the time, every day. I am angry and I am hurt and I am alone.
None of this stops me from having hope. Because I see how things could change. Because I need them to change. Things are fraying at the edges and starting to wear thin. Changes MUST be made. There is no waiting and seeing now. There is no maybe tomorrow now. My life seems to mirror the state of our nation lately – downtrodden and betrayed.
So – I have two choices: I could let go. I could start drinking(more), or smoking something, I could tune out and slide into oblivion or turn to suicide. I could quit.
OR
I can fight. I can fight with discipline, love and laughter. I can start to stitch my life back together. I can create my life each day with the power of my will. People say that anger is a waste of time. I disagree. I think that anger is only a waste of time if you don’t DO anything about it. I will use my anger as fuel.
There are things I want – I should have them. I will work for them. Period. No more excuses. I am so tired of excuses. I am so tired of not getting what I need, of settling for less – from myself, from my life, from everyone.
The thing is that each of us is so ridiculously powerful. We waste our energy and our talents. We waste our time and our attention. We do not fight for the things we believe in. We let our minds be glazed over by the media.
I will not stand for it any longer. I am done.
Here’s a revolutionary idea: Demand quality.
Demand quality of yourself, of your family and friends, of your community and of your government. Demand quality in the media, at the grocery store, in your child’s school. Stop bitching and start doing.
Months ago I changed the name of this blog to A Whole New G because I started on a path to create one and I invited you all along. Well she’s here now minions and she’s ready to go.
The first thing – find your joy, the second thing-fight for it. I have sometimes been called na├»ve and sometimes been praised for being so positive on other people’s blogs. I don’t understand it. I could throw up my hands and declare a problem unsolvable. I could say that things will never change and I understand why people do that – it saves them from having to DO anything. If a problem can be solved the next question to be asked is why haven’t you fixed it yet? I need more people in my life who ask that question of themselves and of others. I need to be the sort of person who attracts those people into my life. For know I will hold on to the things I know and get to work.
Joy can be fierce.
Love can do battle.
Anger is green fuel.
Hope can be sharp as a razor.
Action works.

Friday, August 1

Dear America,

I was planning on making my triumphant return on Monday morning but I’m a little too pissed off for that. Anyone not in the mood for a rant should just click somewhere else now.

"Everyone's stupid in an election year, Charlie."
"No, everyone gets treated stupid in an election year, CJ"

What hell is wrong with us? I’m not kidding with that question. Unemployment is rising, costs are rising, the death tolls on both front of the War On ‘Terror’ are rising, wages are falling, jobs are being cut or shipped overseas and banks are closing. BUT John McCain has a new add out with boobies in it so let’s all fucking focus on that. ARE YOU KIDDING ME???

Last week I was standing in Food Lion trying to trim my shopping list so that I could afford enough gas to last me to my next payday. I don’t give a flying FUCK about Paris Hilton being in McCrack’s ad. And you know what? Most of the rest of the country doesn’t either. The only reason this is a big deal is because we are all – the candidates AND the viewers, letting the media make it a big deal. They don’t want to report the complicated, hard stories and we don’t want to hear them, so they give us tripe and we suck it down like ambrosia.

So – you ask, what should Barack Obama do when they call him arrogant and presumptuous? He should stay on message. Here’s what I mean:

Reporter: Senator, Mc Crack promised that he wouldn’t ‘go negative’ in this campaign and yet that’s exactly what he seems to be doing. How do you feel about that?

Obama: I don’t think it’s as important as my plan to bring the troops home from Iraq in about 16 months and to start adding at least two brigades to the fight in Afghanistan. We have a truly international coalition there and we need to not only add more troops ourselves, but also get the nations of the world to add more troops so that we can bring the situation there under control and bring peace to that land after almost 100 years of war.

Each and every time they ask you about tripe you pivot to something that may actually have an effect on real people’s lives. Each and every time. What story does that leave them with? Obama won’t answer crap questions. Obama will only talk about the issues. Not only does it give you the automatic high road, it will also win you back some of the respect you lost on FISA. Oh and it might, just might, force the media to do their jobs and report on real stories instead of feelings.

I preach doing. You, all my minions, know that. Let me tell you that I am getting more than a little tired of the talk floating around out there. I got email after email about Toby Keith being on Stephen Colbert. People were incensed. Up in arms. And yet they didn’t even write the show an email about it. I’m sorry, but if you have the time to whine to me about it then you have the time to write or call the show about it. How does that not make sense? Because, honestly – I don’t want to hear it unless you’ve already taken some kind of action or you need my help to take action. Otherwise, tell it to someone else.

The Executive branch of our government has broken law after law after law. It has sent my friends to kill and be killed unnecessarily. It has put energy company executives in charge of our environmental policy and it has let an entire city drown. I could go on – I’m sure others could go on and on and on, but I won’t. Because as disgusted as I am with President Shrub I am even more disgusted with the Democrats in the House and Senate who will not prosecute these crimes. They don’t want to take the political risk of looking like the bad guys. I’m sorry, but FUCK THAT. These people, including the President of the United States, broke the laws of the country they serve. The violated the Constitution they are supposed to be protecting and defending. Why there are not impeachment and criminal trials going on right now is a major quandary for me. It isn’t about ideology any more – THEY BROKE THE LAW. Period. End of story. What the hell are you doing up there, Nancy Pelosi? The President doesn’t get a pass just because he wants one.

You know why they’re getting away with this, don’t you guys? They’re getting away with this because of us. We don’t want to turn and look at ourselves. We don’t want to see what we’ve let happen the last 8 years. We don’t want to know. Barack Obama was on the cover of Esquire magazine a few months ago and in the cover story the writer worried that Obama was going to skip us over everything that has happened in the past eight years without ever making us face what we had wrought. Because the truth is that we did it. The murder, the torture, the fraud, the neglect; the crumbling infrastructure and economy; the dearth of health care and the cost of everything – it is our fault. We didn’t stop it. We didn’t want to know. We watched our Constitution being slowly ripped apart and very, very few of us rose to its defense.

If we have hearings now, if we the people press charges against the leaders who have broken the people’s laws we will have to face our own complicity. But what choice do we have? If we do not turn and face this cancer and cut it out cleanly it will continue to grow. We can elect a better President, but if we don’t repair the damage done to the Constitution then what is the point?

As always, I’m calling for action. Write to your Representative or Senator. Write to Nancy Pelosi and tell her that taking impeachment off the table in the investigation is like trying to cut a tree with a spoon. Write to Barack Obama and tell him that his administration needs to make reparations to the Constitution – that this country needs that. You could even write to Colbert and tell him that having Toby Keith on his show to sing a song about how lynching was part of the good old days was an asshole move. Pick one thing, pick all of them – but get out and do something.

Oh and quit bitching about the mainstream media and turn on PBS.