Sunday, August 31, 2008

Identity thief

I would love to have gone to Obama's acceptance speech last Thursday at Mile High Stadium, but I was like the millions of other folks who watched it on TV at home.

So I thought it was weird when I began getting emails from people asking me how I enjoyed the experience. Then my parents were getting comments from co-workers and friends about how I attended the rally which made them really jealous. To all of this I had to respond with a "WTF?". I thought this was a practical joke like the one Erin sent me with my name as the next presidential candidate. Funny.

It wasn't until someone pointed out that my name was mentioned in a Times-Call article about the DNC events on Thursday that things started to make sense. Not only does this chick share my awesome name, she was also a band geek just like I was in high school. Too weird.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I Have a Dream

45 years ago today, MLK Jr delivered his "I have a dream" speech before the thousands of marchers on the mall in Washington D.C. It was a big deal back then, and is still a big deal today. I can't think of any other speech that has stirred my heart in the quite the way that this speech does.

Today, there is an organization called the I Have a Dream Foundation which has sites all over the states, as wells as New Zealand. I had heard about this organization a few years ago and I remember being inspired by what they do. You can read about their history on their website. I love that they take a group of third graders and promise them college money if they graduate high school. I love that they stick with these kids all the way through their first year of college and ensure that they receive the support and encouragement they might not otherwise receive. I love that there are so many success stories from this program and that some alumni come back and do some pretty terrific things.

I've been wanting to get involved with this organization any way I could, and at this point in life it comes in the form of AmeriCorps service. I'll be joining 13 other young adults in an eleven month adventure. My official role is as volunteer coordinator, which means I get to recruit and train tutors who will go into our 5 sites across Boulder County and work with the students.

When I tell people that I'm joining AmeriCorps, their first question is always "Where will you be stationed?". When I tell them Boulder County, they always look disappointed and sometimes a bit dumbfounded. Disappointed because it would be much more excited to say that I'm going to some exotic corner of our country to serve (perhaps they're confusing it with the PeaceCorps?). Dumbfounded because they don't see the need in Boulder County. Ignorance is bliss, I suppose.

My dream for this coming year is that I can be a small piece of the solution for eradicating poverty, boosting education and giving an opportunity to these Dreamers who don't enjoy the same privileges that I've had my whole life.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

That takes ovaries

The DNC is in Denver (just in case you've been living in a cave and haven't heard that it is going on). Denver has been preparing for this for months and it is really exciting to see it all play out this week. I can sense the energy and excitement from 45 miles away.

I still have goosebumps after watching Hilary Clinton's speech tonight. I have to admit that I would have loved to see her take the White House this time around, but had a feeling from the start she wouldn't win it. She was the candidate who had my interests as a priority (health care, education, etc.), not to mention the fact that she is a woman (although I would never vote for a candidate just because they are female). But my reasons for not supporting her this go around had more to do with my country's interests than my own. Sometimes you have to look beyond your own dreams and go with the path that is best for all. I seriously doubt that she would have won against McCain because so many Americans just plain hate her. I couldn't take the risk of seeing the Republicans maintain power for another four years, which is why I've been supporting Obama. I think he'll do a fine job of leading our nation and I have great hopes for our future.

A couple of random things:

Hilary wore an orange pantsuit tonight. I wonder if that color choice has anything to do with Amnesty's project with the Guantanamo cell. Maybe it was just a coincidence.

Bill Clinton seriously looked like he just smoked a Denver Doobie. He is a funny man.

Michelle Obama is one classy lady. I'm so disgusted with the way the media has painted her as an edgy bitch. She isn't some softy who has fake smile plastered all over her, which I respect. I can imagine this whole situation has been very difficult for her and I feel bad that she's had to put her career as a lawyer on hold to support her husband's campaign.

I may owe Professor Warner 5 bucks because he was right when he said there will be a black man in the White House before there will be a woman.

McCain better be shaking in his orthopedic shoes.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Here we go again

I used to be a girl with a plan. I was definitely a five-year plan person up until I went to Mississippi, and then something happened and I got off that track. Now I look ahead by a year and have hopes and dreams for where I'll be, but try not to be too disappointed if I don't end up there.

One year ago, I never would have imagined I'd be starting up another year long volunteer gig. My hope was to get a job or be back in school, certainly not living at home with the folks still. But here I am, about to begin my year with Americorps. Tonight I'm going to a bbq with a few of the other volunteers for a meet and greet before our orientation next week. I hope they're fun people. I'm trying really hard to not set up expectations before I go, but keep hoping there will be a red head from the East Coast, a skinny kid from Chicago, a quiet yet hilarious girl from Oregon, a sweet and compassionate girl from Northern Cali...and so many others. But they won't be there. I'm going to meet 10 new people who seem to share a common vision as I do for the world. I'm optimistic about the program. The organization, I Have a Dream Foundation, is amazing and the whole reason I decided to join up with this venture. I'm just nervous about doing a "program" again. So far things are good, because they already emailed us the entire calendar of what we'll be doing and where we'll be until December. Now that's a refreshing change. But if we're put in a room for an entire day to write a covenant together, I'm going to walk out and quit.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Go for the Gold!

Here is what my work life has looked like for the past two weeks:

6:30-8:45 am - go to work at the church...clean some stuff

8:45 am - rush across town to the next job

9:00-10:45 am - babysit cutest 6 month old to ever exist

10:45 am - rush back across town to next job

11:00 am - 5:00 pm work at the library...shelve some books

I've been worried that one of these days I'll get my jobs confused and do the wrong task at the wrong job. Examples of this might include answering the church phone with this greeting: "Longmont Public Library, how may I direct your call?" or by trying to change a patron's diaper at the library. So far I've kept them straight, but I still have a week to go of this madness.

In other news, I've finally discovered my gold medal winning Olympic talent: speed bleeding. I donated blood this morning for the city's blood drive and was amazed when I beat my old record of 3 minutes, 45 seconds. Today I bled a pint in an astounding 3 minutes, 10 seconds. The phlebotomists were all impressed. I think this may be the only talent I have. Now I just have to convince the IOC that it is an Olympic worthy sport.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Let's file this one under "Semi-Dumb Ideas"

My car just had her 215,000 mile birthday today. How did she celebrate? By losing a windshield wiper. Ok, she didn't really lose the windshield wiper, but it fell off (probably due to an error in my installation of the wiper) while I was driving down a pretty busy street, during a pretty heavy rainstorm today. It was a bit scary, but we hung in there for a few blocks until we could pull over and put it back on.

Here is my Semi-Dumb Idea: I've decided to drive Subie until she dies. I realize this isn't exactly smart since she could potentially give up on life while driving somewhere remote (cue the dueling banjos from Deliverance). I'm not putting anymore money into her (except for oil changes and gas). At this point, when adding up the money that I paid for the car and all of the money I've put towards maintenance, it still doesn't add up to the Blue Book value, so I don't feel like she has been a money pit. I know a lot of Subaru owners who drive theirs until 300,000 miles, but those people also have large disposable incomes to throw at their cars in order to keep them alive. I don't. I'm at a point of financial stability where I don't have any debt (except for my chunk of the national debt which is at about $31,000 per person right now), and my bank account is no longer in the triple digits. So that's exciting.

I don't have a clue how much longer she's going to last. Last week the check engine light came on, and just when I was about to call the mechanic to make an appointment, the light went off and has remained off. Maybe she was just begging for attention since I've barely driven her this summer. The clutch makes a pretty nasty squeaking noise sometimes, but other than that, she's in decent shape. I don't plan on reselling her because I seriously doubt she's worth much, especially after this happened in January:

I'll probably just donate her to a worthy cause like NPR or Big Brothers, Big Sisters. Unless it would be more of a burden than a blessing for them to receive. In that case I'll donate her to another organization such as Focus on the Family.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

People make me chuckle

I was working at the library information desk today, when a patron came up to ask about our a/v items. Here is how our conversation went:

Him: Where can I find movies and stuff?
Me: Adult videos are upstairs...
Him: You guys got porn here?
Me: Um, no.
Him: Bummer.

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Heterosexual Questionnaire

While we were in California last week, we spent a fair amount of time in West Hollywood where Ashley's uncle and his partner own a restaurant. If you've never been to that part of town, I highly recommend it. The people watching was terrific.

It was quite interesting to see the dynamics of our group play out in terms of attitudes towards homosexuality. There were those of us who were clearly accepting of it and supportive. There were others who were neutral and then there were others who clearly against it (they were obviously uncomfortable with the scene). During one conversation at the dinner table, I was reminded of a list of questions that one of my professors at UCCS always had posted on her door. I wished I'd had it handy at the time of the conversation, as it would have been useful. Here are a few questions from the list. The purpose of it is to twist around questions that heterosexuals frequently ask of homosexuals. Quite interesting.

1. What do you think caused your heterosexuality?

2. When and how did you decide you were a heterosexual?

3. Is it possible that your heterosexuality is just a phase you may grow out of?

4. Is it possible that your heterosexuality stems from a neurotic fear of others of the same sex?

5. Do your parents know you are straight? Do your friends and/or roommates know? How did they react?

6. If you have never slept with a person of the same sex, is it possible that all you need is a good Gay lover?

7. Why do you insist on flaunting your heterosexuality? Can't you just be who you are and keep it quiet?

8. Why do heterosexuals place so much emphasis on sex?

9. Why do other heterosexuals feel compelled to seduce others into their lifestyle?

10. A disproportionate majority of child molesters are heterosexual Do you consider it safe to expose children to heterosexual teachers?

11. With all the social support marriage receives, the divorce rate is spiraling. Why are there so few stable relationships among heterosexuals?

12. Statistics show that lesbians have the lowest incidence of sexually transmitted diseases. Is it really safe for a woman to maintain a heterosexual lifestyle and run the risk of disease and pregnancy?

13. How can you become a whole person if you limit yourself to compulsive, exclusive heterosexuality?

14. There seem to be very few happy heterosexuals. Techniques have been developed that might enable you to change if you really want to. Have you considered trying aversion therapy?

15. Would you want your child to be heterosexual, knowing the problems that s/he would face?

Monday, August 4, 2008

Giddy Up

The Boulder County Fair is going on this week. Wanna know how I know? Every time I travel via foot or bike, I get unwanted attention by some out-of-town hicks. I'll be riding my bike to work and get whistled at by some dudes in cowboy hats who are cruising Main St. I'll be walking my dog and guys outside the liquor store will yell "hey baby, want a drink?". What is it about the fair that makes these idiots act like, well, idiots? Is it the bull riding? The demolition derby? Or is the simple fact that guys, when together in groups of two or more, seem to be boosted by testosterone which causes them to behave so disgustingly toward anything with breasts?

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The wedding recap

I'm back and recovering from an amazing time in California for the wedding. The ceremony was incredible and we had a lot of fun. I feel like all we did for three days was eat, drink and be merry! I've posted the pictures on Facebook, so be sure to check 'em out.

Here are the top ten things I learned while on the trip:

1. If I ever get married, I'm eloping. Even small weddings are A LOT of work.

2. I'm not planning on traveling with my parents and grandpa ever again. It was a rough combination (especially the morning after the ceremony when my grandpa decided to knock on our hotel door and hang out in room at 7am, even though brunch wasn't until 10).

3. West Hollywood is one of the funnest places ever!

4. My dad evidently doesn't approve of my tattoos (as was stated during his toast to the couple, mind you he had several drinks before that speech).

5. Wedding coordinators are the bravest people on earth.

6. Fancy hairdos look amazing in the salon and then not so much once they get blown around in the wind on the beach.

7. You are not allowed to take photos of your wedding party at the Ritz unless your wedding takes place at the Ritz. They get very angry when you do this.

8. The people at the Ritz don't get mad if you call down to the desk and request scissors be brought up to your room. In fact they will deliver them within 2 minutes!

9. After all the fancy food we ate, in the end In-N-Out was my favorite meal of the trip.

10. Some women abuse the samples of Chanel No 5 on display in Macy's. This was discovered while I was having my makeup done and several women come by for a spritz or two (or twenty like one lady who hosed herself down with it).