Sunday, November 30, 2008

Holiday Weekend Informal Haiku

Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes
missing from the fridge.
I have eaten too much.


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Times Online Poetry Contest! Vote!

My friend Susan Rich has a poem in an online Poetry Competition on the TIMES ONLINE. It's a wonderful poem called "Different Places to Pray" and I think it's the best of all the poems showcased there.

Here's the first line to peak your interest:
Everywhere, everywhere she wrote; something is falling –

Anyway, it's sort of the American Idol version for poets meaning, we do the voting. And if she wins, it's $2000 Euros! A pretty nice deal.

Susan's poem was selected from about 3000 poems.

So, if you'd like to read her poem in full and help out a fellow poetry friend, go to The TIMES ONLINE to vote. You have to register, but it only takes a few minutes and once you register just go back to the webpage and you can vote for "Different Places to Pray" (you don't have to wait for them to send you a notificiation, which is what I tried to do.)

I had not heard about this contest, but wow, those Euro countries can be very good to their poets! What a nice prize!

Oh and PS you have to vote before the 5th of December.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Winners!!

Okay, I put all your names on slips of white recycled paper and had my daughter draw 3 names for the NORTON PC TUNE-UP SERVICE.

Here's the names she drew--

Elisa G.
Eric S.
Sara T.

CONGRATS! Email me with your mailing address at kelli (at) agodon.com

and I'll mail out your gifts to you (+ a free broadside too!)

Thanks for playing!

Do you Google?

Well, if you do, you may want to consider using this as your search engine: Good Search

I just learned about this yesterday and I think it's a pretty cool idea.

You choose your charity and each time you search for something they donate to your cause.

You can also use Good Shop when you buy your Christmas Gifts this year and each of the companies you shop through (they have companies like Amazon, Apple, BestBuy, the Gap, iTunes, Target, ToysRUs, etc.) will donate a certain percent of their profit to whatever organization you choose from their list of approved organizations and there are THOUSANDS of good organizations listed from the Human Society to Habitat for Humanity, and you can search by state or name of the charity.

If we're going to spend the money anyway when we shop, we might as well make sure someone else will get something good from it and it all adds up, every little bit helps.

And I like the idea of these large corporations giving back to the community. I think it's an important thing to let corporations know with our wallets, we like the ones who share their earnings best.

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Submitting & Search Words

Submissions & Rejections--

Just received two rejections, one from the Kenyon Review & one from Smartish Pace. No other poetry news whatsoever.

Of course, I have been very bad about submitting my work this year. And I'll give you a hint about getting acceptance-- you tend to get more acceptances when you submit to more places. Imagine! This seems to be a lesson I do not learn to well because I love to write and dread submitting. Not the rejections, I don't mind those, just the act of putting poems together or printing them out and sending them away.

Just writing that makes me sound like a wimp. Really, it's not as hard as I make it seem. It's not really. Put poems in envelope, add stamp.

But for some reason when I start to submit my mind says, "Well, where are you going to submit to?"
And I think, "I'm not sure."

The my mind says, "Well, what will you submit?"
And I think, "I'm not sure."

And my mind continues and says, "You don't sound like you know what you're doing, maybe you should sit down and write a poem, that would feel better."
And I think, "Yes, perfect! That's what I'll do." And another day passes.

But submitting is part of the job. Maybe in January we could start a submitting club by email and for 2 months, we'll each submit a packet a week (or whatever our goal is) and we have to be accountable to each other weekly. I have a group I check in with but our dates can about 3 months in between and sometimes to make my goals I will submit 5 packets of poems the morning of our meeting. And while that is good, I'd rather try to be a little more consistent. Anyway, this is just me thinking out loud, maybe others would be interested in this.

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Search words--


I'm always interested in the terms people have used to find my blog. There are always a good number of searches for Apple Brown Betty and all the poor people looking for the real Book of Kells who end up here. This blog has also been found by More Pancakes Chilly (a reference to one of my favorite cartoon scenes with Chilly Willy--more pancakes, more butter...)

I'm still trying to figure out when I typed in "aquafina water harold" which I have no idea what it relates to. But I was also found with Seattle Poetry Club and the odd but intriguing phrase "I hope you too."

My favorite keyword search was when someone found my blog by googling "Oprah puppet." No one has googled that for a while, but maybe now, since it's Christmas time, we'll get some hits on that. I'll let you know.

Until then, I hope you too.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Gratitude Journal

In a week of Thanksgiving, here are a few things I am thankful for in my life and in the world--


1) Cell phones-- I have complained about them, been annoyed with drivers on them, revolted against them, rolled my eyes at loud talkers on them, but in an emergency, I praise them and the inventors of them.

2) Space Heaters

3) Brie

4) People who are trying their best

5) compassion

6) My family (though they may not be pleased that came 3 spaces after "brie"-- sorry, I'm a little hungry tonight, nothing personal).

7) Lower gas prices

8) Finding new ways to celebrate Christmas

9) electric blankets

10) my pets

11) books

12) This American Life

13) Christmas music ! (Though the fam has boycotted listening to it until after Thanksgiving).

14) The movie Elf & A Christmas Story

15) Honest and open people


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So You Like Christmas Gifts, but Your Family Has Decided to Give 3 Acts of Kindness for Christmas....

Well sign up for a literary SECRET SANTA!!

HTML GIANT has announced their

First Annual Secret Santa Gift Exchange to support independent literature.


Visit the website and send them your name & mailing address. They will set you up with another to exchange literary gifts with-- a book, a subscription to a journal, you decide... How Secret English Major Santa is that?

Again, here's the link.

I signed up, I'd like to open at least one present to open this year. ;-)

Signed,
occasional member of the Material Girl Club
who also likes to do random acts of kindness

Late Night Confession Tuesday

Dear Readers,

It's been a week since my last confession, a week and a crazy weekend I am thankful turned out the way it did. Almost Thanksgiving. Almost. There will be some gratitude journals here this week, I promise. And the drawing for that Norton PC Tuneup Service as well. I'll even throw in a broadside from the Making of Peace series I edited.

But back to confessing...let me begin.

Thank you all who dropped me notes about my the mall shooting and my daughter being at a birthday party there when it happened. I appreciated each of them very much. I confess my little blog post was a little reserved, a little reflective, but honestly, I was scared in ways I have never been scared before, as a parent, I had never seen danger close to my daughter. Never seen danger in the same room and not have been there.

Know when it was happening, I could have very easy fallen apart. But I didn't. Fall. Apart. And for me, someone who keeps anxiety near her nightstand, that was a big. I don't want you to believe I have it all together. I don't. I'm not even close to having it all together, but for that moment when I needed to, I did. I had it together enough.

I am someone who can create docu-dramas in my mind of things that never happen, things that would be horrific if they happened, that part of me that wakes me up when I'm sleeping, asks, "What have you forgotten?" But I guess, this real moment where I had to wait, where something terrible could have happened, has slapped my free-floating anxiety around. In fact, I've watched a lot of normal anxiety evaporate, all those imagined seas I swam have dried up a little, and I don't know how long this will last, if it will last, but is a reminder to me that we are all stronger than we think we are.

I'm beginning to believe the demons we can create in our minds are a thousand times scarier than real life, even in the worst of times, I think creative imaginations can be harmful when they make us live in worlds that don't exist, and we live like they exist.

So thank you for your notes. For asking, "Where you terrified?" Yes. For saying how worried you would be. For knowing how worried I was.

*
Here Let Me Show You My Hand Before I Give You My Heart--

Jeannine looked at my second manuscript and said I had ordered the poems in a sort of self-protection fashion, I thought that was probably the most insightful thing anyone has ever said about my manuscript.

And I'm going to try to reorder them and not protect myself as much.

*

Alternative to the Material Girls Club--

We're not buying Christmas gifts this year for the adults in our family, only the kids. Our gift to each other is to do 3 acts of kindness from now until Dec. 25, each act to be determined by each of us alone.

On Christmas day we will share the 3 things we did. I'm going to try to do something for a stranger, something for someone I know, and something for a group. We'll see how it all works out. We're discussing the details of this "exchange" on Thanksgiving.

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What's my blog personality? Oprah's Favorite Things Meets June Cleaver

I got this blog personality type via PoetMom via Avoiding the Muse: C. Dale Young.


Here's the personality they give my blog:


The entertaining and friendly type. They are especially attuned to pleasure and beauty and like to fill their surroundings with soft fabrics, bright colors and sweet smells. They live in the present moment and don´t like to plan ahead - they are always in risk of exhausting themselves.

The enjoy work that makes them able to help other people in a concrete and visible way. They tend to avoid conflicts and rarely initiate confrontation - qualities that can make it hard for them in management positions.

*
My blog is never planning ahead. I knew that's my Capricorn self gets annoyed with it.

If you want to see what your blog is saying about you go here: http://www.typealyzer.com/

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

On Faith

Yesterday there was a shooting at Southcenter Mall in Washington. This isn't anything new. There has been shootings at this mall before. It's nowhere near where I live, but we will sometimes drive the hour and half + to get there for birthdays because there's a Rainforest Cafe there. Anything that happens at this mall rarely has an immediate effect on my life and I can count the number of times we go there on one hand. The difference was that yesterday, my daughter was at a birthday party at this mall.


Being a parent brings out the realization that we can't be with your kids 24/7 and if we were, I'm not sure how healthy that would be for anyone. There are times when they are off without you and you have keep in faith in your pocket that they will return safely and that nothing will happen.


Yesterday watching the "breaking news" story unfold about the mall shooting and knowing my daughter was at the mall was a surreal nightmare on a day of Apple Cup football and cinnamon rolls. Not being able to get a hold of the cellphone of the mom who was with her was a snapshot of how I imagine purgatory. Strange things on the news would give me faith that everything was all right. "A teenage boy was shot in a scuffle," rearranged itself into the message, "It wasn't your daughter." "It might be gang-related" became "This was not a mass killing with a gunman randomly shooting."


When I finally got a hold of the mom, she was in the theatre's bathroom in the mall. They were safe and under lockdown at the movie. In fact, they were watching the end of the movie Bolt then would wait for police to escort them out. The girls were all fine and actually, only one girl was a little nervous about what was happening. I learned later that my daughter was just thrilled she got a buy a giant pretzel at the concession stand while they waited.


I was thankful to hear they were all okay, even more thankful to talk to my daughter via cellphone on her drive back (btw, on the phone she mentioned nothing about the shooting or being locked in the theatre and in fact went on about Pokemon figures her friend had received for her birthday and a puppy they had seen). I was truly thankful to finally pick her up at the friend's 5 hours later from when I first heard the "Breaking News" story, when I first thought, My God, please let her be safe.

As a writer, I find I can create in my mind a bazillion terrible tragedies if I let myself. While I am pretty optimistic in nature, there is another part of me that can see danger looming around any corner. As parents now, we are constantly being made aware of every danger, every scary thing that could happen to our children. We "child-proof" our homes. We cover the corners on our coffee table with soft sticky foam so they don't bump their head if the fall. But we can't keep our kids locked up from a world that scares us (as much as we may want to keep them in a plastic bubble). I have lived long enough to know there are corners throughout this world, corners we will never be able to cover so we just have to say our prayers and set them out into the world and hope they do not bump into them.


So, I know what I will be giving thanks for this Thanksgiving week, that all of our loved ones arrive safely and that while this world has its treacherous moments, when we look out windows I hope we don't see a world where tragedy happens, but a world where we can be sometimes be near danger and still be okay.


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Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Giveaway - Free Norton PC Tune-up Service for your computer


So here's what happened.

I bought my laptop about 2 years ago, but I'd noticed lately it was running slow and not very well. Youtube videos would occasional stall. The internet had become a slow walk down a long trail. We had been thinking about buying a new computer, but I just bought this 2 years ago and the idea of having to replace it so soon was well, upsetting and even worse, expensive.

My husband started looking into computer places where I could bring my computer in for a clean up, the problem with this was 1) it was pricey 2) I'd lose use of my computer for a week. In some cases they would actually send it out, which doesn't work for me as writer who needs her computer.

A couple weeks ago I received an email from MomCentral looking for people to review a new product called Norton PC Tune-up Service. I sounded exactly what my laptop needed so I contacted them to let them know my laptop had issues, big issues, and I'd be more than happy to try this out. Honestly, I really didn't know what to expect, but I have a Norton Antivirus so I trusted the company and figured I had nothing to lose.

They sent me a card with a 1-800 number on to call and someone with a zillion times more computer-smarts than me answered the phone. Basically, this gentleman accessed my computer via the internet and began to clean things up. I kid you not. It was pretty cool to watch him move from place to place on my computer fixing things to make my computer run faster. Seriously, it was as if he was inside my computer and moving around, I was the interested observer and didn't have to follow instructions except an occasional "press the continue button" when my Norton Antivirus swung into gear.
While thankfully I didn't need it, he also checked to make sure I didn't have any spyware or viruses and also told me what I could do forward to keep my computer at top speed. Also as a bonus, he allowed me to ask any questions without making me, the less tech-savvy gal, feel dumb.

The whole process was quick and painless. It took less than 30 minutes and I was left with a computer that hasn't run this well since I bought it.

Anyway, here's where you come in.

The fine people at Norton gave me THREE of these Norton PC Tune-up Services to giveaway to you to try. The service normally costs $69.95, but I will send you one of these gift cards you'll be able to clean up your computer from your home for free! All you need is a phone and internet service and they can help you out.

If you want to look at the service in detail, you can go here.

I think this is the greatest thing for writers as we can't risk sending our computers and I know many of us have slow laptops that need a fix.

So, if you're interested in trying a Free Norton PC Tune-Up Service yourself, leave your name in the Post Comments section of this post and I'll collect them for the next several days and I'll do a drawing for three of you on Wednesday the 26th after 5 p.m. PST.

You do not have to have a blog account either to be in the drawing. Just leave me your name and last name or last initial in your post (I have it set so it takes anonymous posts) and you're in the drawing. If you win, you can contact me with you mailing info afterwards and I'll send one out to you.


So, how's that for sharing a good thing. I'm thankful to Norton for allowing me to share this with you. So if you're interested, drop me a note in the comments section and cross your fingers that you win!


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Coming soon...

If you're checking back for the giveaway, I'll be posting about that this weekend. Promise.

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If you haven't heard, Mark Doty won the National Book Award. I was kind of hoping for Patricia Smith to win (author of Blood Dazzler), but Mark was a very close second. So my congratulations to them both. And to all the nominations. I love to see poets recognized for their good work.

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I just received my copy of Sojourn and I have a poem in it called "Sleeping with the Magician." Though I haven't well, slept with a magician. But a girl can dream and I guess a few of us do because Nin Andrews has a fantastic book called Sleeping with Houdini and I've read a few other female poets (Marjorie Manwaring for one) who have magician poems.

(Writing exercise: If you haven't written a poem about a magician, do so now. And extra points--if you're a man, write about a female magician and you are the male magician's assistant.)

Anyway, Sojourn is accepting poems until Dec 31 and I recommend them. It's a great looking journal (with full color art images inside) as well as fine work from other poets and writers. So give it a shot.

I'm off to pull a rabbit out of a hat.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Late Night Confession Tuesday...

Sorry to have been away, I can't really tell you what happened to the week, but it went missing and even today passed quickly. But I am here, Dear Reader, and it's been 14 days since my last confession (I opted out last week for Veteran's Day), so let's begin before Tuesday is officially tomorrow...


Confessional doors opening...


I just finished mailing out the Pushcart Prize letters to six of the contributors of Crab Creek Review. It's my favorite part of being an editor, being able to say, "Not only did we love your poem enough to publish it, but we want to give it a tiara to wear." I won't say who these poets/writers are yet, but when they wake up, they'll know.

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My emotions have been off this week, so there are two realities--my reality and the actual reality which is much better than what I'm seeing through my anxiety-filled lenses. I don't know if your emotions can color your life, but mine can take a rose-tinted day and turn it blue. Sometimes I wonder if this is just a girl-thang.

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I have something to give away in the next few days. Really, I'm not kidding. An actual item that could help you or your laptop (that's your only clue). I have three of these items. I rarely have neat things to give away on Book of Kells, so I'm going to keep the surprise going for a bit. Just check back daily because as I said, I'll be giving these away in the next few days. Maybe I'll give one more clue-- if you have a computer that is running slow, you'll want to pay extra attention.

Now to decide how to give them away!

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I like having surprises.

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I find the late night version of confession Tuesday makes me sleepy. Maybe there is where I'll say my Amen.


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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Revising...

I've been revising lately, poems, fundraising letters, my life.

I've revised my caffeine intake, but refuse to reduce my chocolate consumption. I think life needs to be enjoyable, I cannot live on sugar-free pies or organic cauliflower. I am not one who feels proud for sacrificing dessert or passing on something I want for fear my cupcake hips will be a little tight in my blue jeans tomorrow.

As for poems, I've returned way back into the files to pull out poems I started a year ago, or longer. When these poems arrive on my screen, it can be like looking at a photo of myself. Maybe I don't remember where I was when it was taken. Maybe I can't quite determine what I was trying to do. This distance helps me determine if this is a poem with possibility. Of course, all poems have possibility, but some more so than others. Some are ready to perform, while others reach for the remote and fall tiredly onto the couch.

I was surprised and not surprised to see I've been writing the same poem for much of the last two years. I am my own Li-Young Lee, writing poem over and over. In my case, while death and loss will sometimes place a part in it, there is also this underlying idea of trying to find balance, trying to find calmness in a chaotic world.

My second manuscript focuses on this idea a lot. How can we stay calm when the world is falling apart? I don't think I have the answer and perhaps, this is why I keep returning to this idea. Through my words and poems, I am searching for it.

I'm always interested in what writers are obsessed about. And many times I think people with obsessive personalities make the best writers and poets because they dig deep into ideas, subjects, stories that others just gloss over.

When I see a child who is obsessed with one toy or one subject such as dinosaurs or butterflies, I wonder if they will grow up to be an artist. Or maybe they are the next scientist in our world. I do believe scientists are poets in their own way, focusing in on the details of one thing.

I have more revising to do, in both my life and in my poems. I don't think I'll ever be done with either one and that is both haunting and comforting to me. But it's good to look at your life and determine what is working. Just as it is to dig back into old poems to see if there's something that surprises you, the "I wrote that?" moment. Sometimes the best future poems come from the poems we have forgotten, the things we let pass.


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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Confession Tuesday - Veteran's Day



I'm going to skip Confession Tuesday today in honor of Veteran's day.

My thanks to the men and women who serve this country in the military and my prayers that they can have a safe return.

Also, in memory of two veterans I loved--

Gale A. Russell, WWII Navy
and Bert Baker, POW WWII



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Monday, November 10, 2008

Crab Creek Review Reading in Seattle

We had a great reading in Seattle on October 22 for Crab Creek Review. You can view the photos from the event here.

It was an incredible night! I want to personally thank Nin Andrews, Barbara Crooker, Tom C. Hunley & Steel Toe Books (Jeannine Hall Gailey & Mary Biddinger's press!), Jenifer Lawrence, Holly Hughes, and novelist Jennie Shortridge, along with all the editors (Annette Spaulding-Convy, Lana Ayers, Jeannine Gailey,& Ronda Broatch) all who donated books to help with our raffle. People were thrilled to get their books and we enjoyed being able to showcase such incredible writers.

Just so you know, if you write fiction, we have a fiction contest open right now that doesn't hasn't received a lot of submissions. If you're interested, you can check out the guidelines here. The deadline is Nov 30, 2008.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Seattle's Poetry Scene Will Get a Bit More Bare...

If you remember, my last interesting poetry event in Seattle was the poets who yelled, "I love you" while people ran around Greenlake. Now, we need to get our best bods on for some white bikinis...in December.

If you're Seattle on the 13th...I'd love to watch this from the cheap seats--

POETRY POLAR BEAR CLUB
Noon, Saturday 13 December, Green Lake Bath House

A group of brave souls in WHITE POETRY BIKINIS will take the plunge
for poetry this December! BrrrRR, oh yes, that includes me. I'm
looking for 25 hardy individuals to join me. I'll also need a host of
happy, warm, noN-bikini VOLUNTEERS to bear witness, hand out towels
and take pictures. Are you willing to wear a white poetry bikini? I'll
also need some Polar Bear POETRY written just for the occasion-- got
something suitable? Bring your daring derriere down to the lake on 13
December. Wow, get a loaD of those PoeMs, heh!

This will be a frequent-shopper, heart-stopper, one-of-a-kind event--
right here in sunny Seattle. If you have a derriere, poem or thermos
of cocoa to contribute, contact me at: mimiallin (a) gmail.com

With love from the desk of guerilla poet & public instigator,
A. K. "Mimi" Allin

"Putting the O back in pOetry"

Putting Away the Signs

I was looking at my blog, so full of the election and now it's over. Everyone is moving on (while I'm still pinching myself to make sure it wasn't a dream). I realized I have voted in 6 presidential elections, always for a democrat, so this is only the 3rd time ever my guy has won. No to Dukakis, Gore, and Kerry. I've only won 2x with Clinton & now Obama. I feel like the girl who wants to keep reliving the final touchdown, wants to keep watching the game and reliving the victory. But I won't. I'll return to my poetry, my life without CNN or MSNBC (though I will definitely not leave Rachel Maddow, my new favorite everything).

I see the streamers coming down and the confetti being swept away. There's a lot of work to be done. There's a lot of people out there that need help and the economy is a big bowl of mess. I trust though we will all get through the hard times and I have more trust that it will eventually work itself out now that we have this new administration coming in. I also think that it comes down to little things we each can do for each other. Pay attention to the people around you, see how they are doing.

Since the holiday season is coming here are two of favorite organizations I recommend to give gifts from--

www.kiva.org
(KIVA)
***One of my absolute favorite organizations. I will again be giving gift certificates from here to family and friends. You loan people around the world money for their business (which can range from cattle to clothing sales in Mexico).

WWF (no not World Wrestling Federation) but World Wildlife Federation. This is always fun for kids too because you can "adopt" pretty much any kind of animal in the world from frogs to polar bears.

And of course, don't forget your local food banks and local organizations.

I'll now return to my poetry blogging with the occasional political announcement as opposed to politics with a little poetry. I've been sleeping well these last two nights, now it's time to warm up the Poetry Barn again and see if there is anything to say.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A New Day

This song by Curtis Mayfield has been running through my head for the last two days so I went onto YouTube to hear it and found this.




The Superman image made me smile.

*

It's been an emotional twenty-four hours for me. I had not realized how much this would affect me. Yes, I knew I'd be ridiculously happy if Obama won, but I don't think I realized until it happened how much the historical element of it would move me. Seeing Jesse Jackson crying in the crowd brought tears to my own eyes and hearing Barack Obama announced as our 44th president of the United States is something I'll never forget. And just like my father did during the first moon walk, I photographed the television (while my family laughed and cheered, I photographed the images that were coming over the screen) almost as if I needed proof, I needed to remember I saw history happen.

And this morning when I woke up and checked to the news to make sure Obama was still president and this wasn't a dream or a miscount (something my husband teased me about this all day), I completely broke down in both joy and relief and being proud that the majority of voters in this country saw what I saw in this fine candidate and moved towards it.

My husband tried to explain the significance to our daughter when she saw a woman on the television on the ground crying after Obama was announced president. I loved that my daughter didn't understand what the big deal was. I loved that she sees us, a white mother and a Filipino father and thinks this is the norm. I love that in her eyes, she has no idea that there is anything unusual about a black man being elected president, that her crazy mom and dad are making a big deal out of nothing--of course he was elected, he has the better ideas.

And I love that right now, babies are being born and in their world, this is the norm, this is a given. I hadn't really thought about it until Obama was elected. I didn't vote for Obama because of his race, I voted for him because of who he is and what he believes in. I voted for him because I wanted to live in a country where he was the leader, a smart, insightful person with a greater vision for all of us.

Whoopi Goldberg said that today was the first day she felt she could put her suitcase down and I don't think I've heard anyone say it better, she felt for the first time it was her America. And it is. It is her America, and it my daughter's America, and it an America for all of us, and I am so thankful to be able to say I was here to see it and be part of it. I didn't do much, I took the time to draw a line on my ballot and send it in, one person, one vote. But together, all of us flipping a switch or drawing a line, all of us, sixty two million small simple nods to a better world we made a difference.

I still think there is more we need to do, more people we need to accept for who they are, for all of us to be treated equally, no matter what we look like, where we live, or who we love. But this was a step forward. A big step and also a reminder that the smallest of acts can create the largest changes. Yes we can. Yes we will. Yes we did.

It's a Beautiful Day



Tuesday, November 04, 2008

My Family on Election Day 2008



I'm looking a little sleepy, but hopeful. Peace sign compliments of my daughter.

Confession Election Tuesday



I confess this election has me in knots.

I confess I cringe every time a news commentator says, "It's true Barack Obama could win the popular vote but lose the electoral vote."

I confess I woke up at 5:30 a.m. and turned on CNN and Morning Joe.

I confess I have not watched CNN for months.

I confess I have never watched Morning Joe.

I confess I am ready for a new president, but not any new president, I want Obama to win.

I confess I am hopeful.

Monday, November 03, 2008

I Voted... I hope you do too.



Vote.



If you don't vote, you can't complain.

Still Undecided? Seriously?

This article about undecided voters was on CNN today--


(CNN) -- Less than 24 hours before the presidential election, Kevin Sheen has yet to decide who will get his vote.

"I'm actually still wrestling with moral issues," says the 29-year-old registered Democrat, who voted for George W. Bush in 2004.

Sheen is one of the 5 percent of American voters who are either undecided or could change their mind before Election Day

***Okay, first, the guy should *not* be a registered democrat.

Second, and I think David Sedaris has put it best about people who are undecided in this election--

“To put them in perspective, I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat,” Sedaris writes.

“Can I interest you in the chicken?” she asks. “Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it?”

To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked.

I mean, really, what’s to be confused about?



(From Shouts & Murmurs in The New Yorker)

You can read the whole essay here.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Small Town Ghost Hunters

So for our 15 year wedding anniversary, I bought my husband and I tickets to the Port Gamble Ghost Walk. Port Gamble in an old gorgeous little town by us that has been reported to be haunted in most of the buildings. They've had the local Paranormal groups out there and in the cemetery. I think they tried to get Ghost Hunters and they've filmed a zombie movie here, which has really nothing to do with the haunted town, I just think it's interesting.

It was a night of strange occurrences. I think there were about 25 of us. Many of us brought our cameras, and thankfully we brought flashlights as all the buildings we went into were closed for the night and didn't have lights. It had poured rain 2 hours before our walk, but as our walk started the rain stopped and we had a beautiful view of the Milky Way.

Our first stop was the General Store. Our guide read us the store's history then the spooky stories of ghosts. My favorite story being when the owner and her daughter were closing up for the night and were the only ones in the store, they heard beeping like someone was using the ATM which was around the corner of the staircase. They heard it activated and printing and when they went over there there was a $20 dollar bill and a receipt that said, "Test complete." These were definitely my kind of ghosts.

What I loved about the walk is we were allowed to go places where the general public was not. In the General Room my husband found what he called a scary back area, though it's very hard to be scared when you realize your secret back area is just a bathroom.

We visited a few other places, my favorite being an old theatre atop the post office that isn't used because of fire code issues. It was beautiful in there and we went into an old film projector room that looks as if things had just been left there untouched for 50 or so years.

The one place I didn't go into was this building's basement which was an old morgue. I started to go in and within taking 2 steps into there building, I knew it was time for me to turn around and wait outside. When I mentioned this to my husband that I felt a bad energy in there, he said that he did not. I told his that of course you did not because he is a male who is only in touch with his own energy. He agreed with this.

A young teenage girl heard me talking about not going into the morgue and said in her best Whatever-Becky voice, "Uh, it's just a basement with two boilers and some beams, there's nothing to be scared about." She immediately started vomiting blood. Okay, she didn't, but in my mind she did.

The strangest thing that happened to me was in the theatre. I had taken lots of photos and felt if there was a most haunted place, this was it. As I'm in the foyer looking back at my pictures, my camera gives me an error (one I've never rec'd). Something like JPG Form is not Compatible. However, all my other photos were still on my camera, only all of the "ghost photos" I had taken that night were gone. I was so upset. I looked through all my photos, there were pictures of my shed, Halloween, etc. etc., but my Port Gamble pics were all gone and in its place just that weird error message. I was bummed. Strangely, after we went outside I tried my camera again and all the photos appeared and were fine.

I've included the first photo I took that had a mysterious orb in it. The guide had said that people have seen a man at the top of the staircase so I took a few photos of it one after the other. The first one is just the staircase, but in the one below it, you'll see one large orb in the center and a very small orb to the upper right. I zoomed in and cropped the photo below to give you a close up on the orb, or should I say orbs. It could just be dust. It could just be a weird digital glitch, but I have an evening of these kinds of photos, mostly from the theatre. And when I've looked back at the photos I've taken with my digital camera in my shed or other places, I do not see these orbs. So, it might be dust, or lighting, or it might be something else. I'm just saying. And I think on a ghost walk, it's most fun to believe it's something else.


General Store staircase


General Store staircase with orb in the center of the stairs




Zoom in of orb (and smaller orb to the upper right)

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Free Hugs



I know this has been around for awhile, but it's November, 4 days before the election and I think we could all use a hug. So, from me to you.


(Also, if you like the song, it's by the Sick Puppies.)
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