Saturday, February 09, 2008

Trying to Find Atlantis

Of all the emotions I experience while watching a shuttle launch on television these days, nostalgia is my least favorite. Having seen many up close, standing near enough to the orbiters to have examined their carbon scars, has ruined me. Some reactions will never change--the pride, the jealousy, the anxiety until the boosters drop--but until the fleet stands down I will always ache to explain the thing, every inch and every second, to a roomful of awed children and awed children-again.

meco at:

Friday, February 08, 2008

Jammin' (Albeit, Only on the One)

There is a new Site Which Is Awesome 'Acause It Hired me: Don't go there yet (psychelink!); we're still in beta. When it's live, I'll let you know that the drywall is all nailed up, at which point I hope you will come say hi and click on stuff. Both New Kids On the Block and "Lucille" are involved, you guys. You have to come. You don't even know!

JamsBio is a bloggish site which invites its users to create an autobiography through the framework of songs. It'll be open to anyone who wants to come over and play, but I'll be part of the--and this is quite possibly the most specious phrase ever associated with my writing-- "assured quality content." So some cross-linking is going to start happening up in heah, and if you don't mind the occasional Olivia Newton John dissertation, you are most welcome to take up your Champagne flute and wander from the Tasting Room to Globe Records and Tapes from time to time. Joey-Joe McIntyre is totally waiting for you, OMG.

also Danny-- why didn't anyone ever like Danny? at:

Thursday, February 07, 2008


Today, in idle conversation--we were discussing, I don't know, raisins--my husband, whom I SLEEP next to, revealed that he is, in fact, one-fourth Canadian.

Notthatthere'sanythingwrongwiththat, but isn't this something you should tell a person before you marry her? Shouldn't she be fully apprised of the fact that you may, at any given moment, bust out one quarter of an "eh?" I could have the entire marriage annulled on grounds like this.

I can't write anymore. I can't deal with this. One-fourth Canadian. You think you know a person. Better I know this now, rather than, say, if we decide to have children and the first one exits the womb with a mullet.

Lifetime movie at:

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Official Super Tuesday Analysis

My keen political science major mind will now dissect for you the precise moment when Governor Mitt Romney fell behind in his quest for the Republican nomination: It happened the second he broke out the enormous freaking foam mitts.

Anti-Mormon bigotry... abortion stance... tax policies... whatever. It was all about the mitt.

Nationally, Mitt is most famous for his work as the CEO of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, at which time he telegraphed his disastrous position concerning crowd-related insignias. For the Official Mascots of the 2002 Games are these:
Come come, now, Gov'nur!

It's a small leap from a lascivious rabbit to the least inspiring Presidential-related foam object in American history. Oh, Mitt, you just didn't focus group this one, did you?

ashes at:

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

You Stay Super, America

Okay, Super Tuesday states-- all I ask of you is to keep things interesting. I don't want to be bored next week. For in order to restore the confidence of the American public in the electoral process, the Commonwealth of Virginia has made me its newest election official.

I'll be working at the polls at the Virginia primary on February 12, because I want to plunge myself into my new state and because I wish to truly become a part of the election process and because the Election Board said that it will give me one hundred dollars.

Virginia is hosting a dual primary. This calls for a complicated precinct-based voting system which consists of a red binder and a blue binder on a folding table. I am not allowed to ask the voters which party they belong to; instead, I must say, "Which primary are you voting in?", and distribute the appropriate ballot, because then, and only then, will I know whether or not I'm supposed to hate this person.

I am forbidden, by law, to answer any questions about the candidates. This is, unfortunately, tied to the rule prohibiting me from denying anyone a ballot, which makes me very sad, because anybody who approaches the polling place and seeks voting advice from the blonde handing out the ballots has absolutely no business voting in the first place. It's to the point where I am not even permitted to distribute information about who's on which ballot; if somebody shambles up to me and yells, "I like the guy who wears shoes! Which piece of paper is he on?" I must instead direct the person study to a sample ballot in search of his candidate, and hope that he gets permanently lost on his way back to the booth.

These are all real-life, official laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia. I know, because a PowerPoint presentation told me so.

Becoming an election official was an excellent career move, for at the training session I was the square root of everybody else's age. Having just turned thirty-one, it was immensely satisfying for someone to turn to me and say, "How nice to see some young people here!" When the session opens with the staff handing out pins to people who have been working the polls longer than I've been alive, and ends with the crowd gasping in total amazement when an animated GIF of a donkey and an elephant appeared on the screen, I have no right to anxiously duck out to the ladies' room mirror in search of wrinkles.

The session instilled confidence in the Electoral Board from the start, beginning as it did with a series of hand-markered directional signs taped to a succession of garbage cans. The first turn led me to directly face the bathroom, but fortunately there was another Sharpie-created arrow affixed to the skirt of the lady sign, so I mazed my way to a mega-secret conference room which contained reams of sample ballots and, I would hope, an explanation as to why Virginia has no awesomely named state parks like Kentucky does. (This, however, is a right valiant effort.)

There was much discussion about what to do if a voter returns to us with an uncast ballot in his or her hand and requests one for the other party instead. In that case, I am to go to the Blue Or Red Binder Of Democracy, and find that person's name, and write down "VCM", which means "Voter Should Be Removed From Genetic Pool." I was warned that this would happen more than once. "You know," said the trainer confidentially, "how people are." (i.e., cosmically stupid.)

Also covered was the expectation that everyone treat disabled voters with respect, which threw a real wrench in my day, given that I was planning to meet each wheelchair with a broomstick in the spokes and a cherry "Gimps ain't allowed up in here!"

I'm expected to report for work at five o'clock in the morning, which will seriously mess with my sleep cycle, because that's normally right about when I'm going to bed. I'll keep you updated on any Sharpie-related developments.

diebold accu-vote at:

Sunday, February 03, 2008

"Take it all in, boys. Just take it all in."

As a Bengals fan, I know that a lot can happen after the 2 minute warning in a Super Bowl. So if I were Eli Manning, I would have spent the entire fourth quarter rolled in a little helmet-covered ball beneath the bench, alternating between sobbing and throwing up.

I'm sitting in my little office with my husband, watching our first Super Bowl as married people, 24 hours after a serious and protracted discussion about paper towel absorbency. We're deep in student loan debt and his developmental air traffic controller's salary doubles my freelance writer income. And we are holding each other tonight, because the red carpet crowd doesn't take much notice of us, and it's nice to know that every now and then, the underdogs get a confetti and Gatorade shower.

correcting the stadium announcer's use of passive voice at:

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