Yes, I’m drunk writing this. (Thank God for spell check!)
I’m in Ocean City, Maryland right now. I’ve been looking forward to this time for many many weeks. It’s wonderful.
Am I COVID positive? I don’t know. But I couldn’t tell you that before I came here either.
I’m quarantining for at least two weeks when we get back. I’m wearing a mask always (DUH!) even on the boardwalk. I’m very slow to type but I feel safe at the moment. I want to always be safe.
Being in Ocean City, it’s great but it’s also worrisome. I love hearing the ocean but I worry about COVID.
Just now. Tranquil. It’s necessary. Different change in scenery. I need this. Thank you. I’m grateful I can do this.
I’m getting a list together of all the stuff I want to do once this shit is over. I really miss the ability to just go out. I miss my friends. I miss hanging out and having a few beers. I miss driving. I actually miss my commute. This time of year I’m riding my motorcycle to and from work. I miss that. But I actually miss being in the Prius as well. Scary thing.
Anyway, here is a list of stuff I would like to do once the pandemic is over and life becomes normal again:
- Go to Medieval Times (I seriously think about this everyday)
- See Arlene in Florida with Becky
- Go with Arlene to Seattle
- Go on a cruise with my P.I.C. (Bri Bri)
- Go to the beach
- Have our yearly party
- Go glamping with Heidi
- Play real life board games with all my board game friends
- Start up our Friday traditions of going to a bar and playing board games
- Hang out with Uncle George and have a few beers
- See my family
I decided my blogs needed some love. I’m looking at this blog and Syntax Notes. I’m installing new, crisp, clean WP themes on both this blog and Syntax Notes.
We’re also getting out a bit more (a bit). Every week or every other week we seem to do something with someone. We still maintain distance with them and wear masks. It’s nice to actually go places and see people. You need that.
I can’t wait for this bullshit to be over!
We recently explored the possibility of moving to another house (long story). So, naturally, we started interviewing realtors to sell our current house. Every one of them said rip up the carpet (which is only five years old) and expose the hardwood.
I wasn’t sure what kind of impact that would have on our home as the different levels have been built up for carpet. Not to mention, the title I had put in on the side door. That would have to go.
I also wasn’t sure what kind of shape the hardwood floors were in as I hadn’t seen them before. What if they were crap and needed to be sanded? Ugh. I know what that does to a house (all the dust, disgust from cleaning and sanding hardwood from my dad’s house).
Ripping up the carpet was a non-starter with us. We dismissed it and saying we wouldn’t do it. Apparently, hardwood “shows better.”
I had hardwood when growing up and it was gross. Getting a glass of water in the middle of the night, or going to the bathroom? I’d have to wipe my feet off before I went to bed. Dust, dirt, black on my feet. It was not cool.
My husband and I are big into carpet. I love the feel and the ease of cleaning. It’s just a vacuum. With hardwood floors it’s like swiffering, vacuuming, and cleaning. It’s a pain. Not to mention the dust and hair that settles down on it and get’s blown around. Then you have these areas close to the walls where there’s hair and dust. Ugh.
So, this post was pretty pointless. Just letting people know I’m a carpet person and hardwood sucks!
WaPo had an interesting article of what the average American looks like. I fit most of their attributes.
Here’s how I compare:
The average American is a woman – Yes, I’m a woman.
The average American is white and not Hispanic – Yep. I’m Caucasian.
She’s 52 years old – Nope. I’m significantly younger than that.
She has a bachelor’s degree – Guilty. BS from Frostburg!
She works in “education and health services” – Somewhat. I work for a government contractor who does contracts with HHS.
She earns $889.62 a week – Nope. I earn a lot more than that.
She lives in a city – Yes. The suburbs.
She’s a political independent — who tends to vote Democratic – Yes. I’m a registered Independent but I tend to vote Democrat (when I like them).
She voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 – Hell no! I voted for Jill Stein.
The average American has a 26.1-minute commute – This is accurate.
She’s married and lives with her spouse – Yep.
She lives in a house that she owns or that another resident owns – Yes, I own my home.
There’s probably another person there, too – Yes. My husband and my pets.
She’s an evangelical Baptist – Nope.
She disapproves of Trump’s performance as president – True!
She believes that Trump has strengthened the economy – False!
She believes that Trump has weakened America’s standing globally – True!
She would rather see Democrats control the House than Republicans – Yeah, I guess but it’s like one inch of difference.
She probably won’t vote – Fuck no. I’ll always vote.
Wow, what a serious title.
Anyway, for the past, I don’t know, year, I’ve been thinking a lot about what the best days of my life were and how I wish I could relive them… even the boring parts.
First, though, let’s start about songs about the best days of people’s lives. Here’s a list I can think of off the top of my head:
- Bryan Adams – Summer Of 69
- Kid Rock – All Summer Long
- Van Morrison – Brown Eyed Girl
- Bob Seger – Night Moves
Not sure if all of them are about like the best times of people’s lives but they were good enough to write a song about.
Anyway, I figure the best times of my life were:
- Spring and summer of senior year of high school – I was ready to graduate high school so like everything was easy. I didn’t have to nor want to study. I crushed on a few guys from my school (some of them teachers)! School was actually fun. I was living with my mother and sister who didn’t care where I went. I didn’t have money but I had friends and time. That summer I started dating a friend of mine. I would go over his place and hang out. We would IM each other and invite ourselves over to our friend’s pool. I played a lot of neopets. I hung out with a lot of friends; go to the mall and the movies and sushi. I was always up for hanging out. I would sleep late everyday. It was a great life.
- The May after I graduated from college; spring, summer, fall – This was the time where I really had everything. I had friends, time, and money. We had finally made some friends and we were all living in the apartments in Germantown. It was an amazing time. We would hang out every night. On the weekends, we’d go out to dinner, had drinks, go rent movies, and go back home and watch them. We’d play a lot of Rockband and go over to each other’s apartments all the time. We’d do crazy stuff like light off fireworks, water gun/balloon fights, go to the pool, barbecue, etc. I had everything then… then my dad had to die and it changed everything.
I love my life now for the most part. I have everything… time, money, and friends; but it isn’t the same as those times. I wasn’t constantly hanging out with people or sleeping in late everyday. Just miss those times I guess.
Maybe I should write a song about it.
I thought I would post about one of the most hardest thing my husband and I ever had to go through: running for state delegate. Besides my dad’s house (you should all know what a nightmare that was), running for office was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.
Honestly, the first 8 months were probably the hardest… and that’s granted the campaign lasted a little over a year.
When Brian first announced to our family and friends at a party we threw, I thought the support was going to be tremendous. I had set up ActBlue beforehand and made sure it was working so people could donate ASAP. No one donated. No friends, no family, no one. It wasn’t until maybe September when we got our first donation. We had several people said they would but no one donated until then.
The first people to donate were people who’s door Brian knocked on. I remember that feeling of seeing the ActBlue notification of a gift of $25. Finally, we were relieved. I had Brian write a thank you note right away.
We didn’t raise a lot of money throughout the campaign but Brian wasn’t asking for it either. We didn’t tap any friends or family. We didn’t send out an email with the companies we worked for asking for donations. Besides Brian’s parents, we only raised a few hundred dollars total. Brian’s parents gave the most.
I had always wanted to go to a union shop but VistaPrint was cheap and they had great deals and the quality was great. We started out with business cards. Brian would door knock with them. We eventually had to bite the bullet and upgrade to something larger so we got postcards instead. We started out one-sided then opted for two sides… one being the stances, contact info, his picture, etc. The other, a personal message mentioning that he’s NOT A LAWYER.
We also purchased a few signs and posters with his logo.
I had came up with a few things for Bri. He liked the cursive font with the Maryland flag. However, everyone thought it was too hard to read. By this point my sister was bugging me about a campaign video and we needed the logo to be concrete. I just changed the font and the alpha of the flag (making sure the 4.5:1 color contrast ratio for accessibility was enforced).
We went through like three logos. Even now people still say it’s hard to read but whatever. Maybe something that lead to us losing.
The Campaign Video That Never Was
When Brian started out, my sister, Stacy, offered to help with a campaign/intro video. I wanted to film the whole thing in one weekend. I had obtained a script from a guy online. I wanted it to be funny but the guy didn’t put many jokes in it. I had already came up with some jokes so the guy included some of them but all-in-all, looking back, I was disappointed in the script.
My sister came down for the weekend and I gave her the script and she immediately started to revise and make changes. I thought it was such a waste to let it go and Brian was awful filming. He won’t act the way I wanted and I got very frustrated with everything.
This was one of the worst weekends of my life. I had to divorce myself from it. My camera was crappy, we didn’t have all the things we needed for the script… it was just bad all over.
After the weekend, my sister took the footage we had (we shot more after she was gone). She and her friend tried to edit it together but nothing really came about it.
I wanted the video to be a 1-2 minute thing that said who he was, what his platform is, what sets him apart from the rest of the crappy candidates, but it never went. I wanted it to only take about a month so we could release it end of September to share on social media. I was hoping it could be a hit on YouTube since it would be funny but we stopped.
I do thank my sister and her friend for their effort.
Our whole campaign strategy was about the doors and the events. We never through any meet-and-greets besides the one at Leisure World in September. It didn’t go well at all. Only four people showed up. It was a flop.
We got the voter data from Nation Builder and instead of paying thousands of dollars for the VAN, I decided to create my own.
It took me three days to load all the data into a MySQL database and another few days to build an app around it. It was all stored locally on my laptop at home (a laptop I especially bought for the campaign to replace my old PC).
I would create lists off of the data by choosing a street, looking it up on Google Maps, and getting the streets by it for a route. I created over 160 lists which was around 80% of the knockable district. A lot of the un-knockable district was Leisure World, apartments, or houses that were too far apart to knock.
Bri used these lists throughout the campaign. Bri’s parents would come over for the last two months of the campaign and flyer doors.
The app worked well and I would like to add upon it and have it as an alternative to the expensive VAN. However, I’m going to have to come up with a better way to load and update the data.
Like I had mentioned before, Bri never had any meet-and-greets besides the one in Leisure World. He attended a lot of group meetings though. Every group I heard about, I made sure Bri attended their meetings. I wanted Brian to be a different kind of delegate. One who doesn’t just show up during election time. I wanted him to continue to going to these groups if he had won.
He mainly just did group meetings at night and even attended meet-and-greets of other people we knew were running.
Like I said before, our whole strategy was door knocking. We also touted the fact (and hammered it) that Brian is not a lawyer. There was only two other candidates who weren’t lawyers running. Brian is also fact based. I made sure his website had links to articles that were proof of why Brian thinks that way. No other candidate does that or has that. Actual facts? What? And ideas to boot. And he backed up his ideas with facts!
We pretty much postponed our social lives until after 8PM. Bri would door knock all days
But where to start with our friends? First off, mostly all of our friends were not supportive of Brian running. They would ask how it was going but that’s about all. Only my friend from work joined us for a march (with the exception of our friend’s son). Mostly the marches were family and some of our political friends.
Let me get that straight… our friends were almost of no help but our political friends were of help. The people we met for Bernie stuff helped out a bit. Other than that, it was just us and family.
I am disappointed that our friends didn’t help us. It was something that really hurt me a lot during the campaign. I’m over it now and I’m still friends with people but it really hurt that no one would help. People barely could like Brian’s page on Facebook.
God did Facebook cause me much anxiety. When we first announced in June 2017, I thought immediately Bri would get a lot of FB likes on his page. We got like 15. And it stayed at 15-20 for MONTHS. This was the most depressing thing for me that a lot of our friends couldn’t even bother to like his page. I can’t explain how much depression I felt because of FB. I was always tempted to pay for ads for Brian so he’d get more likes but knew I would regret it (if it even panned out).
Social media is not one of my strong suits. I sucked at posting to FB and Twitter but I always felt Brian needed to do that for himself.
Twitter wasn’t so bad. Brian got quite a few followers so I wasn’t depressed about Twitter. He even had more followers than someone we knew running who had hundreds of FB likes.
But ya, FB sucked and caused me to go through a lot of depression.
It’s A Big Club
2018 was a year where a lot of progressives ran for office. We were already helping our friend out in his County Council run. We met a lot of progressives on the campaign trail and if Bri wasn’t running, I would have totally helped them out in their campaigns.
However, a lot of these progressives turned out to be very popular. Much more popular than Brian. People I hadn’t even heard of were suddenly getting all the attention from Bernie groups (i.e. Moco’s Our Revolution) and Brian wasn’t. I had been a part of those kind of groups for a long time and never saw any of these other progressives in there. However, they got all the attention and not Brian.
George Carlin famously said, “It’s a big club and you ain’t in it.” I hate to report but the way I feel about progressives is the same… it’s a big club and we ain’t in it.
We spent hours and hours filling out candidate questionnaires for endorsements. We put our time and effort into finding the right words to say, spelling, grammar, etc. In the end, most came down to money anyway.
Here’s a list of groups that I have completely lost respect for because their endorsement process is a joke. Just have the most money or be able to raise the most money and you’ll get their endorsement.
- MCEA – Ie. the Apple ballot/teachers union. My god. It didn’t matter what kind of views you had. You just needed to have the right amount of money in your bank account. Only one of the incumbents got their endorsement along with the rich guy and the union lawyer.
- Sierra Club – We were pretty green. We wanted 100% green energy, everything recyclable, etc. Didn’t matter to them. They only cared about the money in your bank account. The two incumbents and the rich guy got their endorsement.
- Progressive Maryland – We thought for sure we’d get PM but they instead endorsed the two incumbents and the union lawyer… go figure.
- Progressive Neighbors – Nope! We are not the incumbents so we didn’t get their endorsement. They also went for the rich guy as their third.
- SEIU – These people really treated Bri like crap. They scheduled a last-minute meeting and when Brian showed up, they didn’t. He tried to call them back several times (even talking to them) to reschedule but they never gave him a time. Seems they didn’t want to hear how Bri would help them with a $15 minimum wage, universal healthcare, etc.
- All unions – Bri didn’t get any union endorsements. They all wanted to see the money. Like I explained before, money wasn’t our strong suit but door knocking was.
I am deeply humbled and honored and I thank the only two groups to give Brian an endorsement:
The Montgomery County Green Democrats and Montgomery County Our Revolution
These two groups didn’t care how much money you had in your bank account. They didn’t ask for other endorsements. They were strictly issues based.
And when it comes to the issues, Brian is the candidate.
I will never have ActBlue again. Bernie used it and I had donated to Bernie that way. I even tipped them quite a few times. MISTAKE.
ActBlue charged us lots of money even though we only raised a few hundred dollars through their site. They would charge us like $5+ a month.
I will never do ActBlue again and I will NEVER tip them again. Lesson to learn: DON’T TIP ACTBLUE. They get their money through the candidate.
The Other Candidates
We thought the two incumbents would win but one of them did not. I didn’t care for the other candidates that much. The union lawyer didn’t bother me as much as the others. The only one I really liked (besides Brian) was Jade. I would vote for him if he ran again.
One of the candidates did not treat Brian well. He made peace with her but I didn’t like what she did. She did end up winning.
The rich guy really bugged me. I will not be voting for him (or any of them) in the general. He’s the “progressive” but he raised thousands upon thousands of dollars from out-of-state. Since he raised all that money, he got all the endorsements. And since he was “progressive”, all the progressive groups swooned over him. Like I said, big club.
I really do think no one has the same integrity about money in politics as I do as no one else thinks that him raising thousands of dollars from out of state (and taking PAC/union money) is an issue. The same thing to say of him taking that money is the same excuse corporate democrats (and their defenders) use. Think about that.
To sum it up, friends hurt, lack of money hurt, determination and family are what got us through. I’m glad it’s finally over. I will NEVER do that again.
When I started working my first job out of college I only accrued 10 vacation days a year. I calculated it out and that was roughly a month and a week I had to work in order to get ONE day off. I needed to have stayed with the company FIVE YEARS in order to get 15 vacation days a year. It was complete hell for my first few years. The first actual vacation I took was over two years after I started working.
My second job wasn’t much better. I started out with accruing 10 vacation days a year (same as before) but I think after three years with them I could get another week for a total (and maximum) of 15 days a year. The first two years of this job I actually got less time off than my previous job. However I decided to leave after two years and it just so happened I left when others left as well. They (and me) sighted not enough vacation as one of our reasons for leaving. After I gave my notice the company changed their policy. They now gave everyone 15 days off a year as well as two extra floating holidays (for a total of four floating holidays).
Since they changed it, it actually got me to come back. I was very happy in earning 15 days off a year.
The next job I got I had 15 days off a year as well as some government holidays off. After one year I accrued 20 days off a year. That wasn’t so bad. I actually felt like I had time.
I got another job and now I get 21 days off a year. I’m moving up!
I can’t help but feel kind of happy that me (and I’m sure many others) voiced our displeasure over vacation time and made companies change it. Talking with some people fresh on their first job out of college and them earning 15 days off a year makes me feel like I helped to accomplish something. I’m glad they’re getting more time off than what I had when I started.
I also have to note that my first and second job there came with a week sick leave. However sick leave could only be taken if you’re sick and it was not paid out when I left. I would sometimes fake being sick so I could get a mental health day. My third and now my fourth jobs do not have sick leave so I did not/do not have to do that.
It’s still NO EUROPE but it might be getting better. And minimum wage workers (and I’m sure MANY, MANY other people) do not earn vacation or sick leave. The United States has a long way to go as we are still the only first world country that doesn’t offer guaranteed paid time off.
I’ve been really, REALLY stressed out a lot lately. So stressed out to the point I’m breaking out, forgetting lots of tiny little things, messing up plans, not able to concentrate, slurring speech, messing up A LOT at work, etc. And it’s definitely because of work. I feel like I have too much on my plate right now and no down time. I just do not feel like I’m very good at doing adult things right now.
I took off last Thursday and Friday and went to Ocean City for the crusin weekend which was nice. However I don’t feel like it was adequate enough time to recharge. I still feel stressed. The last real vacation I guess was Panama a year and a half ago.
This kind of stress is something new to me though. I’m just not handling it well. I feel like my work is sub-par and I’m just not as good as I used to be. I feel like I could get fired for messing up so much.
Talking with Brian last night made me realize that it may be because I don’t get validated. When I was in college, sure I’d get stressed and mess up and stuff but I also got validated. I would get grades back that made me feel good about myself. In the real world we don’t get that. The only validation I get for the work that I do is MAYBE once a year, an annual review. Other than that, nothing. No, “doing a good job”, “wow you did that really great/fast”, whatever. Just no validation. And it’s not only this job, it’s been since I got out of college… every job I’ve never received enough validation.
I realize this validation problem in my personal life as well. Like the Young Turks did a story on social media and how it hurts our self-esteem and our self image. They covered just what others say, etc. For me it’s not like that with social media. For me it’s how many likes and comments I get.
I’ve kind of quit Facebook again (not like anyone notices) but I’ve stopped posting my pictures from Instagram. The likes I got were just not good enough. Especially when I see a lot of other friends get likes and stuff after one hour of a post… If I post something the first like will be like hours from then. Other friends post things and they get like 20+ likes all the time. My world record for a post is like 20 likes.
I feel like social media has made me less validated as a person. If I don’t get enough likes on a post or a picture, I delete it. It makes me feel inadequate if I don’t get likes or comments. No one is talking about that. I could write the exact same thing as any other friend on Facebook, they would get like 20 likes and I wouldn’t get any. Twitter is the only social media I actually like and I don’t feel the pressure to get likes or retweets or anything.
And yes, I get plenty of validation from Brian but it’s not the same as a boss or a friend just telling me I’m doing a good job or that I’m an awesome person and that I’m liked. I’m not getting what I need right now to feel better about myself and I really don’t know how to solve this issue.
Just stress like everywhere. Work and social media. I can quit Facebook but I can’t quit work.
With Hillary’s loss and win with the popular vote, there again is talk of getting rid of the electoral college. Back in 2000, Al Gore won the popular vote yet lost the presidency. Hillary won the popular vote by a large margin but lost the presidency.
Should we get rid of the electoral college? My opinion is no.
The electoral college gives candidates a reason to visit states. According to 538, there are around 12 swing states. If the US was to get rid of the electoral college, candidates would only have reason visit the most popular states; i.e. California, Texas, New York, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.
I think I remember Trump saying he would have only campaigned in like six states instead of fifteen if there was no electoral college.
I know I’m going against like all my progressive heroes on this but I believe we need to keep the electoral college so smaller states can have a voice as well. And I’m from Maryland where we never get any love from either candidate every presidential election cycle. And we perhaps would if the US got rid of the electoral college since we’re like the nineteenth most populous state.
I’m for keeping the electoral college but I think we should award electoral votes based on voter turnout. There is/was no incentive to vote. ONE PERSON could have shown up to vote in any state and all that states electoral votes would go to that person whom the ONE PERSON voted for. Presidential candidates should work for every vote and try to ensure that his/her base actually shows up to the polls.
For example, my great state, Maryland, has 10 electoral votes. Say if only 58% came out to vote and Hillary Clinton won the majority of the vote, Maryland’s electoral count should be 6 and be all awarded to Clinton. Probably rounding up the percentage of eligible voters is best. Even smaller states, like a state with 3 electoral votes, would have reason to vote so their population can hit that 66% threshold so they can be awarded their full 3 electoral votes.
But I believe there should be more incentive to go out to the polls if we did it this way. I know that people roll their eyes at this because most of my friends and peeps are informed but there are a lot of people who feel like their vote doesn’t make a difference. I think if we were to award electoral votes based on turn out, people would feel they have more of a voice. It would definitely drive democratic numbers up since the higher the turn out the more the democrats win.
Anyway, that’s my idea.
Something that I had forgotten to blog about in my lessons learned from the election 2016 was all the progressive media that I now listen to instead of the hallow,corporate-owned, corrupt, in-bed-with-wallstreet MSNBC. Here’s a list of my favorite progressive heroes and independent media I trust and that I draw strength from:
- Jimmy Dore – The one and only. I met him in Philly. Listen to his stuff religiously.
- The Humanist Report – Hosted by Mike Figueredo. Good progressive and political commentary on the latest news.
- Redacted Tonight – Hosted by the amazing Lee Camp. Every Thursday they do a live taping of Redacted Tonight in DC. Lee Camp was also in Philly along with John F. O’Donnell. He’s the only quazi-celebrity to make it to my quotes page.
- The Young Turks – Been a fan for a while now. I used to watch Cenk Uygur on MSNBC a while ago. His tone and political views got them to fire him (same fate for Ed Shultz). But I’d watch TYT for election results during the primaries since we were all on the same side (Bernie) and they give it to you straight.
- Let The Madness Begin – Two awesome dudes who do short progressive vlogs talking about the latest in politics.
- Debbie, The Sane Progressive – This woman is awesome. She rants and raves about Bernie and the progressive movement and what the democrats do, etc. I also met her in Philly and she gave me a hug.
- Secular Talk – Just started to listening to this guy, Kyle Kulinski. Very knowledgeable dude.
- Democracy Now! – I actually don’t watch Amy Goodman as much as I should. They cover the most important topics on the show and have great guests.
- Cabin Talk – Claudia Stauber, who I saw in Philly but I met her a few weeks back at the Take Back Democracy DC rally, talks the latest in Bernie, progressive politics, etc.
- Progressive News – Hosted by Tim Black. Awesome guy. I met him at the Take Back Democracy DC rally. He was also in Philly with Black Men For Bernie. I don’t watch him as much as I should.
- The Trews – Russell Brand’s youtube show. It’s pretty good. I catch it from time to time. Always complaining about republicans.
Wow, I got quite a list of progressive heroes!
I also listen to Best Of The Left podcast from time to time.
Another few dudes to add to the list are:
- Greg Palast – He does investigative journalism and documentaries especially in the areas of election fraud, where he’s an expert. I met him in Philly. He sat on one of our posters! Catch his latest documentary, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy.
- David Sirota – I follow him on twitter. He’s a REAL journalist with the IBTimes.
- Jordan Chariton – He’s with TYT Politics. I would follow him on twitter but he tweets too much! I love him anyway.
- Jeremy Scahill – I follow him on twitter. Co founder of the Intercept. I’ve been following him for years. Big into our military involvement.
- David Shuster – I’ve been following him for years as well. Tells it like it is. He was on MSNBC for a while.
- Edward Snowden – Of course!
- Julian Assange – Wikileaks. Keep fighting!
But don’t think I don’t get MSM as well. I still check Google News to get my fill of corporate owned MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, etc news. I read a lot of articles everyday.
I remember protesting in Philadelphia during the Democratic National Convention. I protested at the wall(s) they set up to keep us out. I remember yelling and screaming at the top of my lungs to Hillary delegates, “YOU JUST ELECTED TRUMP!”
I didn’t want to be right. I thought for the longest time Hillary was going to win. I’m still in disbelief.
I know most people are feeling horrible, angry, sad, terrified, etc about the United States just electing Donald Trump. I’m trying to find a silver lining.
After the primary the democrats “tried” to unite us behind Hillary Clinton. However a lot of us progressives refused to unite behind the corrupt democratic party and its chosen candidate due to all the shit they did in the primaries against Bernie Sanders. And I’ve blogged before how the DNC treated Berners at the convention and all the road blocks they threw up to choose Hillary instead of Bernie. Myself and a lot of other progressives I know could no longer stand being a democrat.
But now we have something that draws us together; stopping everything Donald Trump wants to do. Democrats can finally own up and change their positions on the failed right-wing policies the Clinton’s and their donors got them into supporting. They can now stand up against the TPP, against war, against DAPL, against deregulation, against mass surveillance etc. These are all things the democratic AND republican parties were for (hence why progressives had to fight democrats).
Now that Donald Trump is elected, the neoliberal stances that the democrats adopted can now be discarded. Democrats no longer have to support (or pretend to support) something so God awful like the TPP just because Obama was for it. Hopefully this election woke people up.
I have my allies back! We can join together to protest everything bad Trump tries to do. We can protest if he tries to get us into war. (Something told me that if Hillary wanted to start a war, not many of my liberal friends would be by my side in trying to stop it.) We will be against everything bad that Trump wants to do.
And who knows? We may even be surprised what power we can hold now we have a common enemy. Richard Nixon ended the war in Vietnam, started the EPA, introduced health care, etc… all liberal ideas.
It needed to reach a boiling point. With Trump we might have that boiling point.
But now is the time to organize and plan and protest and get involved. Now is the time to rebuild the democratic party to what it was originally for: the working class. Let’s do this!
Over the weekend we went to Rehobeth Beach with a friend who has a house there. We decided to watch the Minimalists documentary. It’s about downsizing and owning less and buying less “stuff” to simplify your life and make you happier.
We had a discussion afterward and here were my thoughts:
- The need to buy stuff I believe goes back to our caveman days when we used to hunt. We no longer hunt as a species since we go to work and come home. We no longer need to hunt or gather our food. Buying “stuff” and getting deals I think fuels that need that we still have to hunt… a need that’s built into us.
- Games like Pokemon Go may help with this need to hunt. Instead of hunting out good deals and obtaining “stuff”, we can hunt Pokemon through the game.
- Technology reduces our need for “stuff.” Look at e-readers and Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, etc. We have no need for a library full of books or a shelf full of DVDs. Our books, movies, and music are on our mobile devices and can be played anytime.
For years now I’ve felt like I have too much “stuff.” My Uncle George says the word “stuff” all the time referring to things we don’t need but we have anyway.
The documentary was good and worth a watch. However I think they missed the entire point. They identified the problem of not being happy and having “stuff” that makes you temporarily happy. Then that feeling goes away and items that used to make you happy no longer do their job.
The documentary goes through several people and their stories of how they minimized their lives by living in smaller spaces and letting go of a lot of their belongings… thus making their lives happier.
The problem with these stories is that they’ve all had a life changing event… they retired or chose to do something else. Most of these people quit their jobs, became minimalists, and wrote books about their minimalist lives. Notice anything? They quit their 40+ hour a week jobs to do something else.
They never mentioned the core issue here which is that unhappiness can come from us working way too much. They mentioned climbing the corporate ladder. When they stopped climbing and when they downsized and was able to have money to do what they really wanted to do, they were happier.
I’m pretty happy in my life but I know I could be a lot more happy if I were to quit my job or go part time. I’m looking forward to being “quazi-retired” and working part time so I’d have more time.
It’s a very well known fact that us Americans do not get enough time off. Every other industrialized country on Earth gets like 6 weeks paid vacation a year. What do they do? They go on trips. Since us Americans do not get time off, we buy stuff with our access money. Possessions to us Americans are the vacations to those in other countries.
Anyway, those are my thoughts.
Here’s some stuff I can alleviate from my life to live more simple:
- Do that 333 thing. 33 items of clothing for 3 months. Get rid of some of my hats and clothes I don’t wear.
- Get rid of the two TVs we don’t use. I have this old RCA TV from when I was a kid. It still works but I don’t use it.
- Get rid of a lot of my dad’s stuff that I kept. It just sits around. Someone else might get more use out of it than me. It doesn’t bring me joy; it’s just “stuff.”
I decided to go to Philly to protest the DNC and the horrible choice of Hillary Clinton. I’ve been putting my heart and soul into Bernie Sanders’ campaign since he announced. I donated time and money for over a year. I saw it through to the end when he conceded at the DNC in Philadelpia. I cannot possibly try to describe the once-in-a-lifetime feeling I had being there around people like me. Everyone was so awesome. Everyone talked. It’s like we were all friends. I even got to see and meet some of my progressive heroes like Lee Camp, Debbie the Sane Progressive, Greg Palast, and Jimmy Dore.
Here is the diary of what my experiences were. If you ever get a chance to be a part of something bigger than yourself, please do it and see it all the way through. I need to keep harping on these feelings since I may never feel this way again. That’s how much this experience meant to me.
Sunday, July 24, 2016
- Woke up & finished packing; texted Heidi
- Went over Heidi’s house & helped decorate her car with Bernie writing
- On the way up to Philly we saw another Bernie car decorated; we honked & waved
- We also saw Black Men For Bernie bus; they later honked at us
- Got to the hotel in New Jersey and checked in
- Went to nearest PATCO station; Heidi & Ken got the Bernie Sanders banner; I got my Jill Stein quote sign
- There were other Berners on the platform; talked to them while waiting for the train
- Some guy accidently fell; when he got up, he said, “Hillary for prison!”
- Did an interview with a news station with Heidi & Ken on the platform
- Talked with other Berners on where to go; decided to go to the Climate Rally
- Started marching with the Climate Rally that ended at Independence National Historic Park
- Chilled at Independence National Historic Park; Ken got us lunch
- Decided to go to the March For Bernie at 3; saw Josh Fox speak as we were leaving; gave the rest of our lunch to a homeless man
- Went to Philly City Hall to start the March For Bernie
- Marched to FDR Park; fire hydrants were open so we took turns going through them to cool off; march was around 4-5 miles
- Chilled at FDR Park for a few minutes
- Decided to head over to the Fire early for Lee Camp
- Walked a few blocks since traffic was blocked off to get an Uber (only Uber we took the whole time)
- Chilled at The Fire; Heidi got pizza; drank until the show
- It was really hot in the room; Lee Camp and company were late coming out
- During the show Ken made a chair joke; there were a few chairs at the front; Ken said “one less chair today” referring to DWS; I was also the only one who “wooed” for agnostics
- Left the show early since it was so hot
- Got directions from fire fighters; caught the Philly subway (SEPTA) to PATCO
- Went back to the hotel
Monday, July 25, 2016
- Got up & had breakfast; they had waffles; took picture & sent it to Bri
- Got ready & left the room
- Had a problem finding parking; parked at a Bernie campaign headquarters a few blocks away
- Met more Berners on the platform waiting for the train
- Went to Philly City Hall for the Press Conference which turned out to be a rally
- It was a huge rally; got separated from Heidi & Ken several times
- Saw Nina Turner speak
- Met up with Mel & gang
- Heidi wanted to eat so we decided to do the 3:00 march instead of the 1:00 march
- Walked across the street to a ritzy place; had a crabcake sandwich & beer; talked to two college kids who were Berners
- Jimmy Dore walked in as we were leaving!
- Said hi to Jimmy Dore and that I was a huge fan while walking out… didn’t want to bother him while he was eating
- Ken left for home
- Marched to FDR Park
- Banged on wall & protested outside the wall
- Found a spot on the lawn for the Jill Stein Power To The People Rally
- Heard others & later Jill Stein speak
- Afterward banged on fence during the rain
- Hundreds of Berners seeked shelter under an overpass walking back; some of them wanted to block up traffic; tried to stop them since it wasn’t helping anything
- Headed back to the hotel; got a shower
- Went to Wegman’s for sushi & fruit
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
- Got up & had breakfast
- Ran into Hillary supporter at breakfast; asked me where I was going today; tried to tell me Bernie will be a huge part of Hillary’s campaign & platform moving forward; doubted it heavily
- Got to the train; went to Thomas Paine Plaza for the Bernie or Bust rally
- Debbie the Sane Progressive spoke; Lee Camp spoke; YahNe Ndgo spoke
- Heidi stalked Jimmy Dore & when he was free called me over to get my picture taken with him! I told him I had a crush on him & he kissed me!!!
- Jill Stein spoke
- Got on Philly metro (SEPTA) to take it to FDR Park
- Had to exit one stop before since we weren’t allowed at the last stop (since that was for the delegates); when we got off the train people were chanting “Bernie, Bernie, Bernie”; amazing moment
- Saw the DNC put up another wall to stop us; protested at the wall; yelled to Hillary delegate that she just voted to send her children to war; cried for my cousin and my friends who are in the military
- Watched a bit of the convention in FDR Park (they had a stage & huge screens)
- More protesting at the walls
- Headed back & ran into Jill Stein walking to FDR Park; I was like two feet away from her; she spoke briefly; people swarmed around her
- Headed back to the hotel & had a shower
- Went out to dinner and ran into some Berners; had dinner with them!
Wednesday, July 27, 2016
- Got up & had breakfast
- Ran into Bernie supporters on the platform; an older guy named Dan (who looked like Robert Reich) and his trip mate, Patricia; lots of Berners did carpools and traveled together even if they didn’t know each other
- Heidi & Dan did an interview with HBO
- Black Men For Bernie Rally; a few Hillary supporters showed up; someone took one of their signs & then gave it back (hey they did it to us inside the convention); we later all hugged the Hillary supporters
- Heidi got up on stage & spoke
- Ran into Mel who got up on stage & spoke later
- Kshama Sawant spoke
- Had milkshakes at McDonald’s; spoke to a woman who didn’t know who Bernie is; spoke to a Hispanic young guy who would have been deported thanks to the crime bill but he fought it
- Listened to Jill Stein speak again :)
- They took a picture of everybody
- Headed down to FDR Park
- Heidi met LBJ’s daughter on the train
- Got stuck on the hoity toity delegate train since we couldn’t get off; had to ride it back a stop
- Banged on wall
- Listened to delegates speak at the stage
- Greg Palast spoke
- Watched Greg Palast’s new movie
- Met him & got my picture with him!
- He sat on one of our posters for a bit while we all watched his movie
- Rumor started about Bernie so they stopped the movie to address it
- Did the death of the DNC march with candles & a coffin
- A helicopter started to fly really low since hundreds of us were protesting around the wall & they got scared we were going to do something crazy
- Peace and love thing started again
- A Bernie delegate was being interviewed; told stories about how the delegates were told to remove one sign, then another, then another; if they didn’t do so they’d be kicked out; if they got up to go to the bathroom or get a snack a Hillary supporter would take their place; the whole convention was staged to make it seem like the democratic party is united when IT IS NOT
- Headed back to hotel; had debate with Hillary supporter on the way back
Thursday, July 28, 2016
- Got up & had breakfast
- Packed up & checked out of the hotel
- Headed down to Philly; no Berners on the platform since we just missed the train
- Dance party at Thomas Paine Plaza
- Saw Debbie again
- Listened to various speakers; Hillary supporters there & they spoke & BM4B debated them
- One of the BM4B guys got an email from a Hillary supporter who worked for the Pennsylvania government; read the email; horrible horrible email
- Left for home
- Stopped at Burger King along the way for food
- Ran into traffic; didn’t get home until around 7
- Sad days ahead
Pictures I’m In
Searching through the internet, pictures of the DNC and protest around it; I’ll keep track of photos I find myself in here:
I posted on Monday that I have officially changed my party affiliation to Unaffiliated (Independent). I am through with the Democratic Party.
In fact I’m pretty much through with the whole concept of political parties. Why should we label ourselves and put ourselves into boxes? We all do not think alike.
That’s why I really don’t understand the “Vote Blue No Matter Who” movement that some democrats are trying to push. If that’s the case, why should the primaries matter at all? Why vote in them if all candidates representing the Democratic party are equal?
They are NOT equal. For example, Hillary and Bernie are WAYYYYYYYY different. They both have radically different views on a lot of issues. In fact, a lot of Hillary’s views don’t align with the Democratic party at all (ex. she favors trade deals, offshore drilling, fracking, taking money from big interests, war, government surveillance, etc; all of which and more go against who Democrats are supposed to be).
The Democratic party and Debbie Wasserman-Shultz have been completely unfair to Bernie throughout this entire primary. From limiting the number of debates, lining up Super Delegates before a single vote has been cast, sharing campaign offices, joint fundraisers, etc. Hillary has been given every advantage.
I will not just fall in line and vote for Hillary. My vote needs to be earned and she’s no where close to earning mine. In fact Trump is a lot closer. And from what it sounds like, she’s not interested in mine or any other Bernie supporters’ vote. She’s busy sucking up to Bush donors. Democrats compromise everything they stand for in support of Hillary. So many good progressives in the media have lost their credibility by trying to defend her. I don’t get it.
I’m happy that I’ve chosen to leave the DNC corruption. Democrats are in bed with corporations and with friends like that, who needs Republicans? The Democratic Party no longer represents me. I haven’t changed my views. As Reagan once said, “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party. The Party left me.”
I never claimed to be a good writer but here it goes…
For the past week I have been flyering around one of the Montgomery County Maryland early voting centers. I did the one at the Silver Spring Civic Center. I was there all this week after work while early voting was happening.
The first day I did it, Monday, I met a really cool older woman who was flyering for Jamie Raskin. She was a very pro Bernie person as well. In fact, she had flyered for him earlier that day. After I was done flyering, I ran home to get my car (I had scootered to work that day). I then went to the Bernie Rockville office to pick up some swag and any materials they had since we were running low. That was a long day. I left for work around 7:30 AM and I didn’t get home until 8:30 PM.
David Throne, Jamie Raskin, Chris van Hollen always had a presence the days I was there. There was even a Trump guy on Wednesday but he didn’t stay very long and he said he was a Democrat. There was always a Hillary supporter there, too except for a few hours on Wednesday when there wasn’t.
Will Jawando’s wife was always there and she was always breaking the rules. They set up lines which us canvassers cannot cross. She was always crossing the line to talk to voters and no one called her out on it. She struck me as very disingenuous. I had met Will Jawando before at one of our MoCo for Bernie meetups. One of our members did his homework and it turned out Will Jawando is a huge Hillary supporter having even gotten money from Hillary. Our member called him out on it but he said he returned the money or some crap which turned out to be false. Anyway, the Jawando’s were bad. They were breaking the rules. His wife kept saying hi to me which was nice and she tried to sway me to vote for him but then I saw the Hillary sticker on her bag. I can’t vote in that election anyway since I’m in district 6.
Yesterday (Thursday) I tried to look up a phone number to call since a lot of the canvassers (including Jawando’s wife) was crossing the line big time but I couldn’t find a number to report it.
The worst day was Tuesday. The DNC guy that was there was very like toolish, if that makes sense. He was all calling me buddy one minute then asking me to do stuff the next minute. He was very pro Hillary. When a few supporters approached, I asked them if they needed any Bernie literature and they said they were very pro Hillary and started to yell at me their reasoning. I couldn’t rebut because the DNC guy was saying “that’s right, I agree, blah blah blah.” So I just had to walk away before I could say my rebuttle which was, “Bernie won’t sacrifice what we want and he won’t start out a compromise with a compromise like Obama does and Hillary will.” The DNC dude even made me take a picture with him, Jamie Raskin, a few other people and the Hillary supporter. Not cool. He was also there yesterday campaigning for Jamie Raskin. I tried to avoid him the best I could.
All week I ran into a good amount of Bernie supporters. I gave them buttons and bumper stickers. They loved them and I loved talking Bernie to the supporters who stopped to talk with me. There were even two people who wanted to volunteer. I gave them a flyer with volunteer information.
Probably my highlight was talking to a woman who told me to give me one good reason why she should vote for Bernie and I said, “he’s anti war, anti TPP, anti free trade, anti Keystone pipeline…” She stopped me there and said, “you had me at anti war.”
The whole week the people flyering around me were heavily Bernie supporters. It was really nice to know I was among like minded individuals.
I was quite nervous the first two days but then New York happened. I had contemplated not going anymore but I know Bernie still needs me and as long as he has a small chance, I’ll be there. On Wednesday and Thursday I got more aggressive and stepped up my game. I approached a lot more people and always smiled and always handed out Bernie info. I wish I was more like the one guy for Jamie Raskin on Tuesday. He would walk up to people, shake their hand, ask them how they were and launch into a whole speech about Jamie Raskin. He was also a Bernie supporter.
Yesterday (Thursday) I had a lot of help. There were like 5 other Bernie supporters there who were flyering with me. They even set up a table. It was very productive. There were a few at the Silver Spring metro, one on the corner, and three of us just walking around.
My favorite part of the day was swapping stories with Brian after we got home. He flyered around two early voting places this week as well.
After working all week doing my full time job and handing out flyers for 2-3 hours each day I’m exhausted. I honestly don’t know how people can have two jobs. But it’s so sad that people have to have two or three jobs just to survive. Another reason why I’m Bernie all the way.
I wanted to do a quick blog post about pizza delivery fees. As some of you know, I used to do pizza delivery for Domino’s back in college. Fun times. Lots of stories.
Anyway, pizza drivers are making less today than what I made when I did it due to delivery fees that pizza and other delivery places put onto the price of the order.
The summer I delivered pizza, it used to be $15.75 for the 555 deal from Domino’s. People would usually be nice and give the full $20 for tip; so we’d get $4.75 tip. I come into work one day, first order is a 555, go to the dude’s house and notice that it’s now $16.75… I thought he might have ordered an extra topping or something… Nope, it was the new $1 delivery fee. All of a sudden I was getting less money with the 555’s. Not only that, a lot of people stopped tipping as much since they were under the false assumption that the extra $1 went to the driver when it did not. It went to corporate profits.
The Huffington Post did a good article on it.
So just to set the record straight: a delivery fee DOES NOT go to the driver. Please tip these guys. It’s hard for them. It’s their wear and tear on their cars. They live off minimum wage and tips and whatever minuscule money they get per run (when I did it it was 85 cents a run).
I am really getting sick of people attacking Planned Parenthood. People seem to think all Planned Parenthood is out to do is destroy fetus’. They’re for family planning. They’re for helping people. Like 3% of what they do is abortions and yet that’s all they get flack for. They never get any good press. Get the facts.
If they do ANYTHING wrong, it’s like open season. They get flack from Congress, the Republicans, and basically anyone who is pro-life.
Planned Parenthood is one of the only places where women can go and get help and not be judged. (Besides by those idiot protesters who stand out front of the Planned Parenthood offices holding up stupid signs of dead babies; cause that’s effective.)
Women who are poor, women who are in college, any woman can go to Planned Parenthood and get their yearly examinations and mammograms for free; without insurance. It’s one of the only places that does this. They can even get birth control for free.
I know; I did it for years. I didn’t have health insurance for ten years of my life (through high school and college). Planned Parenthood was there for me.
I take offense to anyone who wants to smear them and tear them down. They’re doing good things. Why can’t people and the press see that? They’re helping people.
When I was in college my husband (then boyfriend) and I worked this minimum wage job up in western Maryland just so we could be together. We worked 30-40 hours a week so pretty much full time. We earned the minimum wage of $5.15 an hour.
I remember getting my paycheck and it instantly going to food and rent and that was it. I didn’t have any left over. In fact I may have owed money.
Maryland is awesome and liberal so since then the minimum wage in our state has risen to $8.00 an hour (soon to be $8.25 July 1st 2015, $8.75 July 1st 2016, $9.25 July 1st 2017, and $10.10 July 1st 2018). I wrote my congressmen a lot of letters regarding the minimum wage in our state.
Using an inflation calculator, if I were a college student working minimum wage now, I’d be earning around $7 an hour in circa 2005 dollars. That could have afforded me a lot better life. I might have actually gotten by without borrowing money that summer.
Well that’s this blog post’s story. Vote Bernie Sanders and vote for a higher minimum wage!