Tuesday, September 30, 2003

We went to a Howard Dean house party last night to be part of Dr. Dean's Housecall. There weren't tons of people there, but this is a haven for conservative Republicans. It was okay--nothing too terribly exciting, but it was a chance to invite everyone to Meet-Up on Wednesday night. I don't know how many folks we'll have at Meet-Up, but it was worth trying to get people to come so that they don't have to drive to Iowa City.

I've pretty much decided that I can't make those Dean calls right now--and that my talents would be better used areas other than making phone calls. It's the wrong time of year for me to be doing that kind of stuff that just opens me up to feeling bad.

I'd forgotten how hard depression can tug at me this time of year. Sometimes I get really frustrated because of it. I get all indignant that I have to put forth the energy to battle it. Every single day. No exceptions. Part of the battle is embracing it as something that's a part of me, and at times, I really get mad about that. But it's like any other chronic illness--once you own it, it becomes a lot easier to deal with. For the most part, I'm feeling pretty good, but there are times where I just get frustrated (mostly at work) and want to give into it because I think a warped part of me *likes* it because it's a familiar place. Silly, and something for which I am constantly vigilant.

I was listening to the 1998 Olivia Newton-John CD Back With A Heart this morning while I got ready. Why that didn't get more airplay on country radio, I'm not sure. Actually--strike that, yeah, it didn't get radio airplay because she was a female over the age of 30. And part of the "old guard" to boot. It's actually a pretty good pop-country CD. The biggest misstep is definitely the Babyfaced "I Honestly Love You." It's superfluous and a bit on the ridiculous side (it even retains the breathy, spoken "I love you" from the original.) Plus it doesn't help that whenever I hear it, I always think of The Wedding Planner and how that song at the wedding is a curse.

Saturday, September 27, 2003

More Stevie Nicks this morning. Hard telling what's putting me in the Stevie mode. Reminds me of that Simpsons Halloween special that was a take-off on Harry Potter where Mr. Burns (as Lord Montymort) says about Lisa "That girl has more wicked witchery than Stevie Nicks!" Today it's a bunch of live mp3s that I got in the Audiogalaxy hey-days. Hey, the only other way to get those things is to buy bootlegs which doesn't do any more than good than downloading.

A perfect example of how downloading really does work to press people to buy CDs is the John Mayer CD I bought the other night. I probably would have never bought it had I not had the opportunity to just sit and listen a few of the songs at my leisure. Personally, I think that mp3s are filling the void that singles used to occupy. Record companies did everything in their power to ensure the demise of the single--which they were convinced was cannibalizing album sales. I remember buying all sorts of 45 rpm singles when I was in high school--a lot of times even when I had already bought the album. (OK, maybe that's just Madonna stuff, but y'know! It was Madonna.) It was only when singles started being priced at $7.99 that I really quit buying them--even the CD maxi singles unless they were Madonna.

We're off to a wedding this afternoon. Would rather be beaten senseless than go, but it'll be fun. We're only going for the reception.

Well, I'm gonna go take Anna to the library as I'm looking for a couple things there and I'd really like to get out. So there it is.

Friday, September 26, 2003

OK, petty gripe of the day: Palm technology. I know, I know, it's blasphemy. As a health care professional, they should be making my life easier, right? Then why is it that all they manage to do for me is make me feel guilty because I'd rather use books or Google? Mine is mostly a big pain in my butt because I don't have a Hot Sync on my desk at work so I always have to remember to use John's which I do about once a month which invariably serves the double purpose of charging my batteries. I tell ya, it was kind of a waste of money on the part of the hospital. I'm glad John likes his and all, but I just can't seem to get into them.

Mostly feeling crappy about work because all I wanna do is write or daydream or do something that will distract me from my general unhappiness there right now. I'm mostly just going through the fall thing that seems to happen to me every year, but this year's seems milder than previous years'.

I'm frustrated beyond words that I can't find a decent template for this blog. All the ones that are provided by Blogger are either too gaudy or too big or if they have the type of font and arrangement that I like, they don't have a place to put links down the side or anything like that. Plus, when I go look for blog templates on the web, they're all so damn feminine--big poofy flowers and butterflies. Hello!

It's been a weird day. Mostly just feeling lonely and thinking about friends and what not. Wishing my really close ones were geographically closer and not so far away. Talked to Jeff last night which was fun as always. He had called while we were in CR and we called him after we got back. We discussed all the usual topics and Heidi was way more interested in her e-mail than in talking I think.

Early Debate Reaction

This is one of the reasons I'm supporting Governor Dean for President. He said exactly what I've been feeling for at least the last six months in this response:
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WILLIAMS: Governor Dean, let's throw a little discretion around. How about a rebuttal? Do you believe this is a Democrat you're standing next to?

DEAN: I think that's up to the voters in the Democratic Party to determine.

I think the issues in this campaign are jobs and who can deliver them, which I have. I think the issues in the campaign are health insurance, which I have delivered. And those things are important.

But the biggest issue in this campaign is the question of patriotism and democracy. I am tired of having John Ashcroft and Dick Cheney and Jerry Falwell and Rush Limbaugh lay a claim to patriotism and lay a claim to the American flag. That flag belongs to every single one of us. And I am tired of having our democracy hijacked by the right wing of this country.

Those are incredibly important issues too, and they're going to be central to the debate in this campaign.
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Thursday, September 25, 2003

Room For Squares, Religion, and Bush Hatred

Went to Cedar Rapids tonight for Heidi's writing group thingee. Anna and I hung out at Best Buy where I must have become one of the last people on Earth to actually buy the John Mayer CD Room For Squares. I had downloaded some of it from Kazaa and I really liked what I heard. It was only 11 bucks so I figured what the heck. It's a good CD alright. He's kinda Dave Matthews-ish which doesn't really explain why I like it because I really don't like Dave Matthews all that much. But I guess it pays to not examine everything so deeply every once in a while.

I just got done reading this book called Crossing Over: One Woman's Exodus from Amish Life. It was only okay. I had high hopes for it--part of me was hoping it'd be this shocking expose on the Amish because I'm always looking for juicy stuff like that. But really, it was just about how the lady who wrote the book (or, more accurately, co-authored the book) feel in love with a non-Amish dude and had to leave to be true to herself. She wasn't the world's greatest writer, that's for certain. There were parts of it that were so treacly you about had to go check your blood sugar. Parts of it were incredibly naive and you have a hard time believing what she writes. But I suppose you have to remember the life she came from and how sheltered it was.

Speaking of religions, the Mormons stopped by today. I wasn't home, but Heidi said that she told them that she was Lutheran and was happy with her relationship with God. She also mentioned that I was good friends with a Mormon. And they asked "Oh, here in town?" to which she replied "Oh, no, in Ohio." Not sure what they made of that. *shrug*

Politically speaking, this article is a must-read for people on both sides of the fence. Whether you support Bush or not, it's an interesting read. The debate between the author and a editor at National Review that follows the article is also well worth the time and energy to read. I don't know much about which periodicals are liberal rags and which are conservative rags, but I have a hunch that New Republic is part of the liberal press. I don't know if I'd go as far as to say that I hate Bush--hate's a pretty strong word which I think should be reserved for someone who has violated either you or your family/friends personally. I don't agree with his policies and every time I see him on TV I cringe a little bit, but I don't hate the guy. I just don't want to see him re-elected, that's all.

Morning Music

I'm listening to Stevie Nicks this morning, mixed in with a little of 10,000 Maniacs Blind Man's Zoo. BMZ was definitely inferior to In My Tribe, but in retrospect it isn't as bad as I remember it being. "Eat For Two" is a pretty catchy song about teenage pregnancy--totally ruined by the way on the Unplugged CD that came out while I was in college. They slowed it way down--it was always that driving urgency that made the song cool in my eyes. The lyrics are a little bit pedestrian, but it works for the song. Never was able to get into Natalie Merchant's solo stuff with the exception of the song "Wonder" which I really like and put on a CD that I made for Anna before she was even born.

For some reason, I just had to hear the Stevie Nicks song "Blue Lamp" this morning, which is one of my all time favorite Stevie Nicks songs but I always forget about it. Kinda like how I view the band Heart--I really like them, but I always forget that I like them. Don't ask me why because I really couldn't tell you. I have no frigging idea what "Blue Lamp" is about--it's a typical Stevie Nicks song that she must have done a gram of coke before writing it or something.

And to continue on the Texas Chainsaw Massacre thread of last night, I found this cool link. Warning: gross serial killer stuff ahead.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Once Upon A Time in the Caribbean Chainsaw Massacre

Pirates of the Caribbean is playing again at the movies this weekend. The late show is going to be Once Upon A Time In Mexico. A regular Johnny Depp fest. Heidi will definitely want to go see Pirates again and she mentioned to me that she also wanted to see Once Upon A Time In Mexico. I could probably be talked into that--hell, the movie has to be really bad for me to not want to see it.

Speaking of movies, John and I watched the trailer for the remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre that's coming out in October. It looks like a horror movie done right--which is a real rarity these days. The trailer was promising because it showed you just enough to pique your interest without giving too much away. It just reminded me of the time I watched the original (including a voice-over prologue type thing featuring a then-unknown John Laroquette) and it about scared the pants off this seasoned horror film fan. It was actually a scary film. Yeah, it was gory and I could have lived without the image of the blond bimbo on the meathook but as a horror flick, it rates right up there with Night of the Living Dead as a classic.

I'm not sure what causes me to be attracted to things that are really all about negative emotions. Heidi can't stand to watch horror films at all--she doesn't even like the Jurassic Park movies and I would call those horror films only in the most general sense of the word. So consequently, I end up watching most of those movies alone, which is part of the reason I haven't been able to sit through an entire screening of The Exorcist since I bought the DVD a couple years back. I love the movie, but it scares me too much to watch by myself. I'll have to have Wendy down sometime and we'll watch it.

But as far as the remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre goes--I'm so there, even if I have to go by myself (but I bet I can talk Wendy into going.)

Is politics the world's oldest profession?

I have all these Howard Dean calls to make over the next couple of nights--trying to gauge the level of support Dean has among local Democrats. I'm alternately looking forward to doing it and dreading it. I'm looking forward to it because I'm really doing something during this campaign, rather than just bitching about how much I dislike Bush and his policies. I dread it because I just despise making phone calls. I always told Heidi I'd do anything to get Dean the nomination (and consequently elected President) but make phone calls. Yet, here I am, making phone calls to total strangers. This may be a small town, but it's not one where everyone knows everybody. People just aren't like that for some reason. Truth be told, it's just a little bit too big of a town for that. If we were half the size we are, then everyone would know everyone else's every move.

*sigh* Doing political phone calls makes me feel like a slut. Or something like that. I mean, I call these people, and admittedly, these aren't solid Dean supporters, but they are local Democrats. You'd think they'd be a little bit friendly. Some were, others didn't give me the time of day. No one was out-and-out mean, but the rejection is tough to take. I had a lady tell me that Dean was her second choice after Kucinich. I had another guy tell me he didn't think that Dean could win because he wasn't a Senator.

Virgin Post

So this is my first attempt at a blog. I've kept journals for years, but never thought I'd ever go public like this. We'll see how it goes. I know that I'm certainly not going to shell out the $50 a year for the Blogspot Pro (or Plus...I can't remember which it is) until I know I'm actually going to do this. Considering my track record with journaling lately, I'm just not interested in that kind of financial committment until I know that this is something that I'll like.

But I have faith. I think I will.