Picture this

This post originally appeared on my MySpace blog on January 21, 2009.  I can only hope we will get to feel this way again in our lifetime.

Picture this

01.20.09 I joked that I had been waiting for that day my whole adult life. It’s not too far from a joke. Phew, maybe we can stop violating the Constitution and the Geneva Convention and start being respected by the rest of the world again. I’m glad this day is finally here. I just thought it would be best to sum it with pictures.

11/4/08

This post originally appeared on my MySpace blog on, as you guessed it, November 4, 2008.

Didn’t plan to blog, but natually I have to.  It may not make a lot of sense.  Just want to capture my thoughts.  Barack Obama has been ELECTED the 44th President of the United States of America.

I woke up excited today.  Yesterday I got an e-mail from the Obama campaign (one of many) suggesting that high school students should volunteer since they were off of school.  I called my sister (a high school freshman just turned 14) and asked her if she wanted to come volunteer with me.  She did.

So I went to pick her up.  She wanted to borrow one of my Obama shirts.  I just got a new one over the weekend so I gave her my Obamanos shirt.  It got so many compliments today and of course looked great on her.

Sarah and I stopped for Starbucks (Mocha and Iced Caramel Machiatto) before heading to the west side campaign headquarters.  Yes, I took the day off and I’m so glad I did aside from the fact that I was not at work.  People from work were contacting me throughout the day about the election.

When we got to the headquarters, it was a bit chaotic like any volunteer effort.  After getting some training and picking up some gear, we were off.

I have volunteered a few times for the Campaign for Change.  It always amazes me to see the diversity of people volunteering.  It is really cool.

We were on a team.  Our captain was Iris and the 3 canvassers were me, Sue and Cathy.  Sarah and I had a total of 32 doors in Taylor Ranch.  We walked quite a bit and were able to talk to about 6 people which is pretty good on a Tuesday and better than some of my other weekend days.  It was a nice day and wonderful just to walk around with my sister and talk while working to get out the vote.

After walking around for a few hours, we picked up my little brother for lunch.  He wanted an Obama shirt so I gave him the sweat shirt I picked up today.  We had a nice lunch at Sushi King.  Again, it was nice to spend time with them, just relaxing.  They were really excited when we went through a drive through car wash after lunch.

I then went home and watched TV before my Spanish class.  My cousin Marina (a high school sophomore who also vounteered today) called to ask if I could get her an Obama shirt.  I said I would.

I was bummed to head to class on such an important evening, but I knew the news would be available when I returned.  When our teacher hadn’t arrived, I sent him a quick e-mail on my Blackberry to let him know we were headed home.

All day long I listened to Air America to keep track of what was happening and when I had access to a TV or internet I was flipping all around, but mostly CNN and MSNBC.

Allan came home and suggested we finish a bottle of wine over spaghetti leftovers.  We rarely drink at home, but tonight was a celebration.  As we ate dinner and talked about the day, the polls started closing and the results being announced.

I screamed and danced when NM was called because I felt that I had made a difference.  By walking up to total strangers houses, by encouraging my friend and family to vote (and in some cases register to vote), and by getting people to early vote.

I screamed and cried when the election was announced for Obama.  I was IM’ing with Cinnamon, having a nice converstion.  Allan and the dogs came in to celebrate.  I watched both McCain and Obama give great speeches and smiled as the text messages started to come in.

“Hi friend!  I missed talking to you today!  I just wanted to tell you that regardless of how I feel about all this, I know you are gonna have a great night and I am happy for you!  Have fun in your class and in impending victory=)”

“Like mom says ‘turn out the lights, the party’s over!’

“Yes we can!!!”

“Si se puede!!!”  I can’t believe its happening!!!”

“Dude I feel like crying Lol”

“We did it!”

“Si se pudo!  We did it”

“Are you crying?”

“Yes we did!  Yes we did!”

“O’Bamanos!!!!”

“This is so f$%*& crazy right now!  I can’t believe this $!&!”

“Thank god president obama!  Thank you everyone!”

“Congratulations, your hard work paid off.  I wish him luck and pray that he is able to make the changes he has promised.”

“Obama party number 1 – my house Friday…you down?”

“I believed!  We did it!  Thank you!”

So this great election is over and now we move on to the challenges ahead.  What an amazing time.  So glad to be part of it.

As the election nears

This post originally appeared on my MySpace blog on 10/22/2008.

As the election nears…

As the election nears…some things that have crossed my path.

1)  I was beyond pleased to see Collin Powell’s comments over the weekend regarding the campaign.  He stated that either candidate could be president, but gave specific reasons why he would be voting for Barack Obama.  The highlight for me was when he (finally someone did!) addressed the fact that while Obama is not Muslim, it would be ok if he was.  This article captured my thoughts, too bad I didn’t write it, but I highly recommend it.  And watch the video of Powell if you have about 5 minutes.  http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/guestvoices/2008/10/powell_rejects_islamophobia.html

2)  On a little lighter note…a nice story about a 106 year old woman who remembers when she couldn’t vote because of her race.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/10/20/centenarian.votes/index.html

3)  On an even lighter note…

Living in America, at the end of the millenium…and beyond

This ought to make you chuckle.  This post originally appeared on my MySpace blog on October 4, 2008.  You read that right…MySpace.  Not gonna lie, I miss that ridiculous dive into social media.

 

Haven’t blogged in a while.  Here goes…

These are some thoughts I have on my experiences in civics as an adult. It’s more for me to capture my thoughts, but perhaps it might be an interesting read or at least make you think about some of the topics.

I registered to vote shortly after turning 18. Two men were walking through my neighborhood and stopped to talk to the neighbor who lived across the street, a man named Jerry who sold burritos. I approached them figuring they were registering people to vote. One of the men was a prominent New Mexico politician, Speaker of the House I believe. The other was my 9th grade government teacher, also very active in more local politics and schools. I figured they would be as proud of me as I was of myself for taking the initiative to register to vote so early and on my own. They seemed to be more interested in their conversation with Jerry. No big deal.

While I haven’t voted in every election since 1998, I have voted in every presidential election and some other state and local elections. You might say there have only been two presidential elections since then, big deal. To me, it has been a big deal.

I was excited to vote in 2000. I was beginning my junior year of college and was beginning to become more involved and interested in student and community organizations. I voted for Al Gore. I lived at home and remember watching television while the news anchors announced Al Gore’s victory. And then staying tuned just a little longer as the story changed. In the end, Al Gore won the popular vote, but lost the electoral vote, a decision that was made by the U.S. Supreme Court following a mess of recounting Florida’s vote. We might recall the infamous hanging chads.

In 2001 I had the opportunity to do an internship in the Washington DC area. What an exciting experience that was. I can say there is an energy inside the Beltway. In July 2001 my roommates and I took a road trip to New York City. It was short and sweet, but we got in visits to some of the major tourist places like the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building. I even got some pictures of the beautiful New York skyline as it was at the time. I flew out of Reagan International Airport on August 11, 2001.

Of course one month later, the tragedy of September 11, 2001 occurred. I was back in school and car pooled with my mom. We went to my Nana’s that morning as we often did for breakfast. I laid on the couch trying to catch a few extra minutes of sleep. The news reports begin to come in on CNN about what appeared to be a small plane crashing into a building in New York. As the story developed I rolled over to pay attention. At this time, the camera was fixed on the New York skyline and I watched live as what again appeared to be a small plane crash into a building.

It was only later thinking about the perspective I had seeing how large those buildings were with my own eyes that I realized that it was neither a small plane nor a small building. I won’t go into what happened next. It was a strange day to watch anywhere you could catch the story unfolding, unreal, numb. Classes were cancelled. I could only think about the poor people directly affected by the events of that day. I went to a rally in Civic Plaza on Friday. It was hot, I hadn’t eaten and emotionally draining. I almost passed out.

Initially, we began pursuing those responsible for the horrible acts of that day. In hind sight, I can see how the culture of fear began during that time. There were sniper shootings in Maryland where I had lived just months before and there was anthrax being sent in the mail in the DC area. And so the culture of fear was used to turn our attention to Iraq.

While evidence did not exist to support the argument, we were told that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction so it was our duty to strike preemptively to ward off further attacks. I turned 23 on March 18, 2003. I remember that birthday was marked by my hoping that we did not go to war in Iraq. Did Iraq have some problems? Yes. Does every country have some problems? Yes. Did we have to go solve them? I think no. Did we play on the people’s fears and have ulterior motives? I think yes. I remember being in the minority of people who thought we shouldn’t enter Iraq. So the conflict rages on years later.

I had the opportunity to vote for president again in 2004. This time, I was more interested. I heard John Kerry speak, again in Civic Plaza. My mom and I attended a rally where President Clinton spoke and Linda Rondstadt played at the National Hispanic Cultural Center, where I’ll be celebrating my wedding next year. I still have the vest I wore that day with the Kerry Edwards sticker. I think I might have even donated a little to the campaign now that I was a working person rather than just a student. I think I even had a bumper sticker. I saw Fahrenheit 9-11.  I went to Michael Moore’s Slacker Uprising tour and helped out on election night.  Once again I was devastated watching TV late into the night waiting for places like Ohio and my home state of New Mexico to figure out who they wanted. The following day at work was dark as the reality of four more years set in.

My beliefs are liberal for the most part. I don’t believe all conservative beliefs are bad, but I disagree with them. So yes, I pay closer attention to liberal media sources and have trouble digesting Fox News, O’Reilly, Limbaugh and Hannity. I like to hear Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbermann, Michael Moore and Air America. I enjoy reading Colbert, Stewart and Franken, humorous perspectives. I read How Would A Patriot Act and learned about civil liberty violations. But in the end, for me, in this election, I was really only concerned about one thing, the so called war, or conflict rather since Congress has to declare war. Thousands of Americans have died or been injured and many, many more Iraqis have died or been injured. Reminds me of 1984, the book and the play (done by Tim Robbins). If you keep a society in a state of conflict, you will always need production to meet the demands of conflict, and production can lead to profit for some.

Last year, the presidential primary season seemed to start early. I didn’t know what candidate I wanted. Hilary Clinton was the most familiar candidate. When I learned that Barack Obama had the courage and intelligence to vote against the war in Iraq and encourage diplomacy and demand strong evidence I decided those were ideals I could respect and he would be my candidate.

People can criticize his inspirational speeches. Call me inspired. I believe there is a thoughtful person behind it. This is a step in the right direction. It is my hope that we can restore our identity in the world. So this time I am doing more. I can’t go through again and think I should have done more, even though I am thinking that now. I have canvassed, walking through neighborhoods and talking to people, at least those who are home. I’m encouraging people to vote, no matter who they are. I’m getting others to care. As I walk through neighborhoods, I realize that many people don’t care. I guess that is there right to not be passionate. To take their right to vote for granted. Different priorities. And of course, I’m putting what money I can where my mouth is. I’ve come to realize that it’s really all about getting people to exercise this right. Many people mean to, but it doesn’t happen for whatever reason. I can’t let that happen.

So what inspired this rant? I’m not usually a political blogger. I watched Slacker Uprising tonight on my computer and remember hoping so much last time around for a different outcome than the one we got. Just had to get my thoughts down.

Election Day is a month away. I hope I can look back and be proud of the effort.

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Atticus Cole is 4 years old!

The other day Allan was moving some furniture and stumbled across a piece of paper. Written on the paper was a list of names we were throwing around as possible names for our baby boy.

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Our baby boy. As I write that, I get a little sad. You see, our baby is less and less a baby, and more and more a little boy. And as the time passes, that little boy will become a young man.

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In fact, Atticus turns four on January 19th. Four!  In celebration of his birthday, here are some fun things going on in the Atticus space these days.

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It’s fairly well documented that Atticus is our challenging child. He’s also super loving. One day he kissed my hand and said, “‘Chanté.” (Enchanté) He’s interested in dinosaurs and sharks. He likes construction vehicles. And he calls them vehicles.

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Atticus is independent in that he likes to do things for himself. He often wants someone to play with him, but ends up telling stories in his own little world. He watches the news and sometimes worries about the world.

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He wants me to become a teacher so I can teach him. He then wants to go to college together and work from home together. I know one day he may not want to have anything to do with me so I relish this.

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Atticus is our night owl.  He likes to dance.  He was disappointed earlier because his toes were clean and didn’t have dirt in them for him to clean. Atticus has a brilliant mind and surprisingly sharp memory.

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He is fun, funny and frustrating. Sometimes all in the same breath. As he turns four, I can’t imagine this wild little personality being anything other than Atticus.  Happy birthday, son, we love you!