Monday, January 28, 2008

February 5th comes so quickly!

I catch up on my presidential candidates on an individual basis. I come up with an opinion on each without comparison to the others, and then later I compare the ones I can still stand.

I'd written off Edwards as soon as I heard about that enormously expensive haircut. Or no, it was when he was the first person to be openly badmouthing his opponents in his ads. No wait, it was when the fact that he was southern didn't win us a democratic president in 2004. I don't like him. He rubs me the wrong way. And for someone whose most admirable political plan is to end poverty in 30 years, he sure spends an awful lot of money on things that don't matter too much.

Hillary - I like Hillary. She's a politician, yes, and she seems to calculate her every political move with no apology or regard for those affected. But! That's almost what I like about her, that tenacity. I think politicians give up their integrity the minute they enter the big game - in particular, I think progressive candidates give up their integrity when they raise and spend so much money for the purpose of getting a job when such huge amounts could put a serious dent in any of our causes that are lacking in funds. So I'll say it: I respect her, and as she was the second-to-last candidate I reviewed for myself, I was totally in her corner, near ready to vote.

I knew that Obama could end up being my decision for next Tuesday. I knew because all of my friends have already supported Obama on their Facebook profiles, because he's a moving speaker, and because he's against the war in Iraq. But all this time I have been wary. I've been burned before - by Howard Dean, by Felix Arroyo, and by Deval Patrick. By the time I decide to jump on the bandwagon that every other liberal in my generation has jumped on, they go crazy, they get lazy, or they have a new commuter rail line as their crowning achievement in their first year in office. And frankly, I have had it!

That isn't Barack Obama's fault. But that is why I saved him for last. I still haven't read "The Audacity of Hope", but I plan to before I vote. I was actually going to start tomorrow, and then I heard on NPR/read in the Globe/saw on CNN and the BBC that Ted Kennedy is officially endorsing Barack Obama.

Ted Kennedy is who I want for president. Obviously this cannot be. And obviously Kennedy's endorsement does not make Obama Kennedy. But my bandwagon skepticism has waned considerably thanks to this new development, mostly because Ted Kennedy hasn't made an enormous rash decision since 1969.

I hate that I'm so easily swayed by that, but I am. Anyway, on to Obama's "Hope".

Sunday, January 27, 2008

At least I meet somebody's requirements...

I'm on a job application kick like you wouldn't believe, and as I have had, on average, one interview per 50 jobs I've applied for (really!), I'm just going to keep applying willy-nilly until somebody offers me a job.

That said, I made the first step in applying for a flight attendant position with Delta. My favorite question was:

Are you willing to serve peanuts?


Sunday, January 13, 2008

Me che naav Jess!

Yesterday I started my TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certification course. I can speak a bit of a few languages, but not enough to teach English in a language that isn't English, so the idea behind this style of language instruction is to use the communicative method, speaking nothing but the language being taught.

The day started with a lesson taught in Kashmiri. Just to show what it's like to be on the other side of the classroom. I knew it was going to be difficult, but WOW. On the other hand, the style has got to be very effective, because in 35 minutes I learned a lot!

My name is Jess. Me che naav Jess.
What is your name? Tze kati che naav?

Also the numbers 1-16 (there were 16 of us in the class - my favorite number was 8, pronounced ΓΌ-uht), talking about where we live, what we do, etc.

So cool! But it confirms my suspicion that I am mostly incapable of learning a language in a totally different alphabet.

Shukriya. (Thank you.)

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


I'm calling in an order to a publishing company in Virginia, and the hold music is "Dueling Banjos".

I'm worried that this might set the tone of the day.

I'm also worried that they don't realize how funny that is.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Monday, January 07, 2008

Sunday, January 06, 2008

In light of Iowa.

I don't know who I intend to vote for. I loathe Mitt Romney to such an extent that on my birthday last year, my dad blacked out his name in the newspaper so that I wouldn't see it first thing and be pissed off all day.

Those who are also undecided should check this out. While I'm pretty sure you can't take it as gospel, and of course there are plenty of candidates who have dropped out since the quiz was made, it's at least a starting point. All the ad campaigns and caucuses can be pretty overwhelming.

Here are my results:
Score Candidate
Unknowns, Other

67 Kucinich
Disagreements: (0)
Unknowns/Other: (0)

55 Gravel
Disagreements: (0)
Unknowns/Other: (5)
ANWR Drilling, Assault Weapons Ban, Guns - Background Checks, Wiretapping, Minimum Wage Increase
45 Obama
Disagreements: (3)
Patriot Act, Border Fence, Same-Sex Marriage
Unknowns/Other: (2) Torture, Iran - Military Action
32 Edwards
Disagreements: (4)
Death Penalty, Patriot Act, Iran - Military Action, Same-Sex Marriage
Unknowns/Other: (1) Border Fence
31 Clinton
Disagreements: (5)
Death Penalty, Patriot Act, Border Fence, Iran - Military Action, Same-Sex Marriage
Unknowns/Other: (0)
26 Biden
Disagreements: (4)
Death Penalty, Patriot Act, Border Fence, Same-Sex Marriage
Unknowns/Other: (3) Iran - Military Action, Same-Sex Civil Union, Universal Healthcare
26 Dodd
Disagreements: (4) Death Penalty, Patriot Act, Border Fence, Iran - Military Action
Unknowns/Other: (3) Same-Sex Marriage, Same-Sex Civil Union, Universal Healthcare
24 Richardson
Disagreements: (5) Death Penalty, Assault Weapons Ban, Patriot Act, Iran - Military Action, Same-Sex Marriage
Unknowns/Other: (2) ANWR Drilling, Iraq War
8 Paul
Disagreements: (10)
Abortion Rights, Embryonic Stem Cells, ANWR Drilling, Assault Weapons Ban, Guns - Background Checks, Citizenship Path for Illegals, Border Fence, Minimum Wage Increase, Same-Sex Marriage, Universal Healthcare
Unknowns/Other: (1) Same-Sex Civil Union
-20 T. Thompson 7/12
-21 Giuliani 12/1
-23 Brownback 13/2
-24 McCain 12/1
-35 Cox 11/6
-48 Huckabee 15/3
-58 Tancredo 18/1
-60 Hunter 18/2
-61 Romney 17/2

So thanks, Matt Waterman, for giving me a starting point. Now I don't need to read every candidate's well-timed autobiography before November.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Accomplishments of the year to date.

1. Almost spelled accomplishments "accomplischments". Still not sure why.
2. Won terrific Dexter boots on eBay.
3. Got ready to go out in less than 20 minutes.
4. Went to a show with no guarantee that I would know anybody there.
5. Finished "The Amber Spyglass", and therefore the "His Dark Materials" trilogy - for the first time!

I know there are other things that are personally list-worthy. Not that any blogrollers might be into.

Stuck in my head for a week: "Little Dawn" by Ted Leo and the Pharmacists. Not complaining.