29 February 2008

diary of a mad campaigner (part 4 in a series)

i am 930 miles en route to galveston, texas, from los angeles, california, for team obama. it’s my first ever campaign adventure and it is already one for the books.

okay, so i’m not sure exactly where i am. i know i’m somewhere in texas and i know i was in el paso 130 miles ago (eating at cracker barrel – yum!). my 70-year-old cohort and i have traveled 930 miles in the past 32 hours. check that.

today, we stopped for lunch at some roadside truck stop, in new mexico, with a subway restaurant (does that count as a restaurant?). my cohort and i are incessantly campaigning. her car is covered in obama signs and we are dressed in the uniform of dedicated crusaders. we get a lot of questions, a lot of high-fives, and a whole lot of second glances. anyway, we ordered our subs today from someone who asked what we were doing in his neck of the woods.

my cohort said, “we’re on our way to galveston, texas, on a political campaign.”

subway guy says, “oh yeah, what kind of campaign?”

i said, “barack obama for president.”

he said, “who?”

i said, “barack obama. he’s a senator from illinois who is running for president.”

with nary a spark of recognition and a teensy bit of embarrassment, subway guy shrugged and my chin fell to the floor (i mean, really, someone in america hasn't ever heard of barack obama?). my cohort said, “you’ve never heard of barack obama? don’t you watch the news?”

subway guy replied, “i only watch sports.”

my cohort told him he should get involved and at least vote because without his voice, he’s allowing terrible things to happen. i piped in with my favorite dubya diss, “yeah and you let douchebags like george w. bush become president.” (it's almost a shame how truly underused the word douchebag is used to describe our current president).

he laughed (cuz, yeah, the word douchebag is funny) and said, “i hate george bush.”

my cohort pressed subway guy why he hated george bush and a terrible tale tumbled from his lips. apparently, subway guy enlisted in the army and was sent off to fight the war in iraq, where he discharged 1200 rounds each day into enemy lines. he had a mental breakdown, was brought back the u.s. for treatment, and went a.w.o.l. from the treatment center. he eventually turned himself in and was "bad conduct discharged" from the army, thereby forfeiting all of his benefits. now he works at a subway somewhere in the middle of bum-fucked new mexico, where he undoubtedly fights off the tremors of post-traumatic stress disorder on a daily basis.

my cohort gave subway guy an obama t-shirt and asked him to maybe check out the news tonight. i don’t know if he did, don’t know if he will, but i have a sneaking suspicion we made a bit of an impact this afternoon on subway guy.

subway guy certainly made an impact on me. in a sick, sick way, subway guy stands as the quintessential american war veteran. you know, the one our government sends off to fight the imperialistic war(s) it initiates out of greed, bases on lies, and continues in perpetuity regardless of the catastrophe it is, and then drops back into society without any empathy or clemency. subway guy was a hero who volunteered to fight for his country, got wounded (mental wounds can be just as severe, if not more severe than the physical ones) and instead of a purple heart, he got a swift kick in the ass. i haven't stopped thinking about his sad saga all day... subway guy left a lasting impression with me. subway guy is my hero. i can only hope we made some kind of impact on him too.

i can and do also hope that maybe my cohort and i are helping obama make lots of impact in our cross-country campaign adventure. it’s why i embarked upon this adventure in the first place and why i enthusiastically march onward. 670 more miles to go…

i’ll check in tomorrow with more tales from the trail… oh, and if you’ve never been, phoenix is real pretty.

this entry is cross posted at daily kos.

27 February 2008

diary of a mad campaigner (part 3 in a series)

as promised, i'm keeping y'all up to speed on my first ever campaign adventure. today i leave for galveston, texas, by car, with a 70-year old obama supporter who has always wanted to see the country by car. and she's bringing a tent so we can camp...

so i get that you don't know me, but i'm kind of a girly girl. i like to be pretty (even when i'm in my weekend uniform: ucla t-shirt, jeans, and sneakers). the concept of camping is one i almost can't get my arms around. BUT - if my 70-year-old cohort wants to camp in the deserts of america's southwest, i'll be right there with her. i mean, i did quit my job with no real prospects in sight. i'm doing a whole lot of new right now. why not add camping to the mix? i might even like it. gasp.

i realize that most of the california for obama team will be flying in to texas, but i wanted to drive. i've got plenty of time (unemployed), have never been to the alamo, and thought now's a great time for a nice, long road trip. i'm glad i'm not alone in having such thoughts and i'm really looking forward to meeting my fellow campaigner in a few hours. i figure that we'll either be bff's or kill each other by the end of our journey.

i will keep y'all posted as things progress. and seriously, i have absolutely no idea what to expect from any of this...

(this blog is cross posted at daily kos)

26 February 2008

uh-oh, big law kinda blew me away

so, to throw an even bigger wrench into the plans i can't seem to make for myself, big law impressed me today. i did my homework, re-read the job description a few times, read articles about the firm (they've got great press), saw its accolades for being a great place to work, and found myself really interested in seriously exploring the opportunity. now that i've felt the vibe, met a few people, and bumped into a former colleague i've always greatly admired (who now works where i'm interviewing), i'm even more interested...

it sounds almost too good to be true. i'd have my own window office in both the downtown and santa monica offices, would be responsible for a lot of really great programs, and be involved at a much higher level than i've been. the benefits package is outstanding. and the truth is, i truly enjoy what i do in corporate america. i've always considered it, deep down, as my "day job", but maybe i'm meant to write as a hobby and work for a living. maybe i've had it wrong all this time...

i do love to write, but i don't know how successful i can be without someone giving me deadlines and forcing me to commit to 8-9 hours every monday through friday. and maybe i can be successful at both by prioritizing my time and committing to schedules for both. and really, i think i'm a good writer. but i know i'm good at what i do in the day job.

fortunately, i don't have to decide anything today. and who knows, perhaps big law wasn't as impressed with me as i am with them. maybe they won't call me in for another round and maybe there won't be anything to decide. except, of course, what i'm going to pack for the campaign trail. i'm leaving for texas tomorrow afternoon for team obama. yay! adventure time!

25 February 2008

i took your advice. apartment is on craigslist. now packing for texas!

so… i posted a daily kos diary (my first) yesterday because i just left my job, and am deciding whether to stay in my field, help out/volunteer a lot for obama and other progressive groups, or take a chance and hit the road to volunteer on the campaign for the last couple of primaries.

as it turns out, i’m leaving for galveston, texas, at the end of the week. looks like training begins at noon on saturday, the work will continue through the primary/caucus, and i have no idea what to expect…

i met with the guy at team obama venice beach (they were advertising for an office manager position) and he, perhaps inadvertently, convinced me to follow my heart and all of your kind words of encouragement, and go for broke. he even made it super easy because that office is coordinating a trip to texas. so now i’m packing my car and hitting the campaign trail. yay!

i’m going to be staying with local obama supporters, along with my fellow texas-bound californians. i don’t know anyone, don’t even know the person i’m planning to road trip with. don’t know where or with whom i’m staying, don’t know exactly what i’m doing. i’m just going with eyes wide and my personal commitment to put all of my energy, excitement, inspiration, and dedication into the first week i spend campaigning for obama.

i have no real idea what to expect so if any of y’all have ever done this before and have any words of wisdom or advice for the novice, i’m all ears.

oh and for those of you who voted that i should go back to big law, i’ve got an interview tomorrow morning and another biggie is calling to schedule something post-campaign-adventure. see, i’m not crazy. i’m just not your typical risk-averse lawyer…

and just because big law wants a piece of me does not mean i’ll return for more of the same. who knows what will happen after this leg of my adventure. i may never leave public service…

this blog cross-posted at daily kos

nader crowned king of douchebags

jesus christ, this guy just doesn't give up. and while i understand what he's doing (it's a good idea - fundamentally - to have a multi-party system), i cannot support the damage he causes by forcing his agenda at times too critical for the risk. i know he talked down the theory that the 2000 gore loss was his loss, but he's fooling himself. well he's certainly not fooling me and i think he's a fucking douchebag for running for president in this upcoming election (when there has never been a more critical election).

in 2000, gore lost florida (and subsequently the whole election because of florida) by 537 votes. nader took 97,488 votes in florida. it IS nader's fault that bush won in 2000. i don't care what nader says, i don't care what bush says, i don't care what gore says, nader cost the democrats that election and cost america its pride, glory, and success, by allowing the bushies to take the reigns and destroy everything that made america great. fucker!

and to be so blind to his part in the quagmire just pisses me off even more. nader sucks and i hereby take george w. bush's crown of shit to place it atop the head of our new king of douchebags - hail ralph nader.