Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Democratic Iowa Caucus – Ageism and Representative?

I’ve never been to a caucus, have you? Don’t know what a caucus really is? Don’t feel bad; I don’t really know either (since I’ve never experienced one), but here’s some info:

The process sounds interesting to me, but also slanted towards senior community members (i.e. ageism). What I mean is: if I were a younger voter (which I think I probably still am—as well as one of those bleeping Gen Xers who always disappoint at the polls [1]), would I have the skills necessary to persuade others to support my candidate? Or how about just deflecting hit-jobs and mud-slinging? We all know how dirty politics is and, if you don’t know: Democrats tend to eat their own [2].

Trying to put myself into the position of a caucusgoer, I can just imagine that the 40-60 bunch (the average caucusgoer in Iowa is 53 [3]) would be much more effective delegates for their candidate with trying to persuade the undecided or those whose candidates aren’t viable (which will be the case for Biden, Dodd, Gavel, and probably Kucinich).

Not only are they (or, at least, should be) more savvy, but they have the experience of politics-past—they lived it as adults, which is powerful ammunition with which to be both offensive and defensive for one’s candidate.

Sure, some younger delegates might be very well-read and prepared (perhaps they’ve been members of a debate-team), but the average 20-something enthusiastic delegate probably doesn’t have the chops to debate Mr. Wilson…even though Mr. Wilson may be jaded and fearful/obstinate to change, which I think any reasonable person agrees is needed for the country. Don't you?

The debate is at the center of the caucus. It’s not a “go cast your ballot”—it’s a “go campaign for your candidate” sort of thingy [4].

From what I hear (back in 2004 the night of the Iowa caucus on the DFA blog), this was one of the downfalls to Howard Dean’s campaign in Iowa (pre-scream [5] and is always a downfall to Dennis “My Wife Elizabeth is a Goddess” Kucinich--yowza!): he lacked sufficient supporters with experience, who were unable to convince 60 year old undecided Ms. Mabel to stand with them instead of Mr. Wilson, who stood by Mr. Establishment John Kerry. Howard Dean is risky and the older people get the less risks they take. Truth!

Tangent: That’s not a very nice description of the Senator from Massachusetts. Truthfully, I like a lot of what John Kerry says (and I appreciate his verbosity—especially written) and I certainly admire, appreciate and respect his service to the country, but he did not and still does not have much charisma. For better or for worse, charisma and charm are necessary qualities in today’s over-hyped MEdia age.

Point of Post: How representative are caucuses? I think pretty darn representative, truthfully. There’s always bias (like when an Iowan runs), but a lot of youth vote like their parents (especially with their second choice--I know I did!)…and seniors vote the experience of establishment when they’re not sure. And with this excellent round of Democratic candidates this year, it’s easy to be undecided. My answer is this blogger's opinion, of course.

Question: Would you want a zealous co-ed or Mr. Wilson as your caucus delegate if you were running for POTUS…or as W says: the “Commander guy”? [6]

I’m undecided because today’s youth vote is different than yesterday’s thanks to things like blogs.


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Where Do I Begin? (Again)

Basically, I don’t. I have no words to describe what has happened to me since my last post; other than to say there is light breaking through the clouds.

Still, some people come to this blog even though there’s been nothing for a way long fucking time. I’ve been hesitant to start writing because of who might be reading. But fuck it and fuck you! And if you think I might be talking about you, unless you live in Illinois, I probably am…so do me a favor and fuck off. I mean it.

*takes a breath and releases it*

Okay…sorry for the excessive swearing, but sometimes it’s necessary.

So, the last year and a half has been difficult, to say the very least. I’d rather not dwell. Moving onward and upward. Sorry. I know some of you are curious, but I don’t feel like sharing my trauma, heartbreak, and ensuing depression. Suffice it to say: it was bad. ‘Nuff said.

What to talk about then? Let’s talk politics for a while…more to come.

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Thursday, June 22, 2006

Sunflower – An Unexpected Frost: A Poem

Sunflower – An Unexpected Frost

I see you there in glory, shining bright,
Following the sun and its path of light.
Standing above all others in the field,
You’ve grown tall to conquer, yet you do not yield.

The little birds take great delight
In playing ‘round you, from day to night.
With your petals of yellow and leaves of green
How very surely you are always seen.

But there is more to you than first sight,
More than bounty and grandeur to delight.
Every beautiful aspect that appears,
Gives me hope that we’ll, once again, be near.

Until then, I sit in Unknowing’s woe
As the ground is steadily covered in snow
No more petals of yellow and leaves of green
No warmth to cradle; no blooms we’ll see.

What, flowery friend, has caused this unexpected frost?
-- For the very light of my day and all hope seems lost
Come back to me sun; come back to me please!
Am I not your friend; must I beg on my knees?

Why, Ms. Winter, would you do this to me?

-- Trace Cook, 2006
(Based on “Poem to a Sunflower” by Katherine R. Lane, 1995)

Friday, June 16, 2006


I don't think there's one subject more interesting to me than ancient Rome. There are some that are near to or just as interesting, but nothing really surpasses the Great Roman Empire to me. It's really a shame that I haven't travelled there yet, but perhaps it's for the best since if I went now (well, if I could go now), I'm not sure I would want to come back.

I'm still slowly working on Part IV of my Sci-Fi/Fantasy book, The Given: Reunion. I've made some headway lately, and I've done so by focusing on my Italian-Romanian psychologist, Cecelia Barladeanu, who I have a major crush on. (Yes, I get crushes on my characters sometimes--that's what makes me a fiction writer).

Anyway, this lady was born and raised in Rome. She is uber-smart, speakes several languages, and is a secular Roman Catholic of growing devoutness (this is set in the future), so I'm having a good time learning all sorts of new things from a greater knowledge of the Italian language to the Bible's Old Testament. Just this week I learned exactly why Adelaide was called the Holy Roman Empress (because she was the first to really try to introduce Christain values into the empire)...and that David is derived from the Hebrew word pronouced daw-veed, which means beloved...which, was such a wicked awesome discovery for me because it suits the needs of my story perfectly. Gosh, I love how that happens!

My characters are extremely important to me, especially their names and especially their first name; I work for days on their backstory and piecing together their lives. I don't think of them as real people, per se, but more like ghosts who have a story to tell through me. The desire to discover these characters is so strong that, sometimes, it feels as though it's not so much a desire, but a divine command from some unseen force that controls me. Am I just a passionate writer or a pious puppet? Unknown, but the answer doesn't really matter to me because, either way, it brings joy and purpose to my life.

In the case of Barladeanu, I started with an idea of brilliant and independent European female, who was beautiful without really having to try, and knew it, but didn't flaunt it or use it to her advantage in her professional life; her personal life was different story and she wasn't the type to be a wall-flower.

I never write "weak" women because I hate reading them, but I needed a female who was a bit more physically delicate and traditionally womanly, since we can't all be ass-kickers. I wanted her to have a hidden talent, so after some googling I came upon this couple who had named their baby daughter Cecelia, after the patron saint of music. My ghost tapped me on the shoulder, and I knew that I had it; and thus Dr. Barladeanu became Cecelia--and even Cecí to friends.

Once I had her first name everything started to fall into place; before I knew it she was a fully developed and rather compelling character--really fasinating to me, hence my crush. (Yes, I know--I made her, I write can she be fascinating? My answer: she just is...perhaps I'm a naraccist with split personalities, but that's just how I feel and I don't give a damn how odd it sounds.)

Anyway, the reason why I' m writing about this is that after a whole week of working on her section's POV, after a cigarette at work yesterday, I had a total and complete epiphany! I realized I was doing it all wrong, and that I should start from where I planned to finish. That helps me show you who a character is rather than tell you. Sometimes that means I have to throw out 50 pages of material (like I did yesterday), but it's never a waste because even though you, the reader, don't know what I wrote, I know it and am thus more comfortable with the character.

It's a strange process sometimes, but it's enjoyable and I no longer get frustrated with tossing out such large amounts of material because the crucial aspects always get worked in somewhere. It makes for a faster moving story and I like fast moving stories, especially toward the end--no one wants to pause for character development in Part IV of a four part book. Every scene must move the story along, and that's one of the few rules I stick ardently to--otherwise it's just fluff or the writer entertaining herself, which I have been known to do from time to time.

Besides, when I'm a famous author living in Chicago, I can always publish an unabridged version. ;)

¿Dónde está mi muchacha bonita? Translation: Call me back, please. I miss you more than Bill Clinton.

By Emily Sailers (Indigo Girls)

There's a letter on the desktop that i dug out of a drawer the last truce we ever came to from our adolescent war and i start to feel a fever from the warm air through the screen you come regular like seasons shadowing my dreams and the mississippi's mighty but it starts in Minnesota at a place where you could walk across with five steps down and i guess that's how you started like a pinprick to my heart but at this point you rush right through me and i start to drown and there's not enough room in this world for my pain signals cross and love gets lost and time passed makes it plain of all my demon spirits i need you the most i'm in love with your ghost i'm in love with your ghost dark and dangerous like a secret that gets whispered in a hush (don't tell a soul) when i wake the things i dreamt about you last night make me blush (don't tell a soul) when you kiss me like a lover then you sting me like a viper i go follow to the river play your memory like the piper and i feel it like a sickness how this love is killing me but i'd walk into the fingers of your fire willingly and dance the edge of sanity i've never been this close in love with your ghost ooooh: unknowing captor you'll never know how much you pierce my spirit but i can't touch you can you hear it a cry to be free or i'm forever under lock and key as you pass through me now i see your face before me i would launch a thousand ships to bring your heart back to my island as the sand beneath me slips as i burn up in your presence and i know now how it feels to be weakened like Achilles with you always at my heels and my bitter pill to swallow is the silence that i keep that poisons me i can't swim free the river is too deep though i'm baptized by your touch i am no worse at most in love with your ghost

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Janet Sullins – Gershwin’s “Summertime”

I work with a lovely lady named Janet Sullins. Though I don’t know her well, I do know that she’s a telecom expert and about the most cheerful gal I’ve ever met. Seriously, I feel like Scrooge around her these days, but I really have come to appreciate her smile because it’s so dependable.

She’s also an incredible violinist with a laudable résumé looking for gigs in Michigan (UP’ers, you too, eh?). She didn’t ask me to do this—I’m just doing it for her because I think she deserves recognition, and as thanks for her ever-kindness. Thanks, Jan!

And don’t just take my word on it, friends: I’m a music-lover, but certainly not an expert—I can’t even spell Tchaikovsky without looking it up. So, do yourself a favor and judge for yourselves by listening to this rendition of Gershwin’s “Summertime” from the folk-opera Porgy and Bess, which will soon be available on her solo album, Janet Sullins – Only A Mother.

I picked Gershwin because he’s my favorite American composer (aside from Cole Porter, but they’re in different classes to me), but her album is a delightful mix of folk, what I would consider inspirational, and classical, including a Vivaldi concerto. Don’t ask me which one, though—hey, you’re lucky I know what a concerto is, let alone whose it is. ;) But, seriously, I'm not sure which one or in which key it's played in, and she's not around right now to ask, so I'll have to leave it at that.

Click HERE to the listen to the M4A (2.6 MB) of “Summertime”, but be reminded that this is copyrighted material and all rights are reserved. Enjoy it, but don’t exploit it!

Or, if you can’t play a MPEG-4 file, you can click HERE to listen to lesser quality 60 second WAV (1.1 MB).

You can also learn more by visiting her website:

Ciao, tesorinas!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Political Tirade – Long Way to Happy

I rented a car and visited my best friend, Lisa, this weekend. It was a nice time, and felt good to get out of town. So much has happened in my life in such a short time span that, sometimes, I don’t realize how overwhelmed I feel until I step out of my daily environment.

The latest saga—some of which I haven’t blogged about, hence my recent silence—is work-related. In a nutshell, we had a rather large layoff last week. No, I didn’t lose my job, but some people I’ve known for a long time did, including my work-partner. So, now, it’s just me—I’m it for IT Training, and that’s pretty incredible to me.

Many other factors in my life are bringing me, presently, to what, today, feels like my lowest point in nearly 3 years. On the surface I am managing, but there’s just a lot of “hurry up and wait” because most of the depressing bullet-points are completely out of my control. All I can do is to take care of myself, which I am managing to do with modest success, but before, just a month ago, when I felt like I was finally shifting out of first gear, and into second, now I’m just idling in neutral…And it doesn’t matter how much I rev my engines. I might be behind the wheel, but others are under the hood.

So, what the fuck am I saying anyway? Don’t you just love my car-analogies? I know you do!

Lisa asked me when I was going to start updating my blog again because she missed my political tirades, as few and far between as they were. So, here you go, sweetheart—this one has been brewing for some time:

As an extremely modest word-sleuth, I hate the word “gay” in reference to homosexuality, but I nevertheless use it. Personally, I like the less politically correct “queer” and “dyke”—they resonate with me for some lone-wolf reason that I may never understand no matter how many Cadillacs I buy for my therapist. In all truth, I wish there was no distinction beyond the scientific, but we as a race of people have a long way to go before we see ourselves as merely humans—and, yes, we’re all guilty.

That being said, I will now say this: I AM GAY!

I am gay. I am queer. I am lesbian. I’m a dyke. I am a homo, a faggot, a lesbo, a carpet-muncher, but not a fudge-packer or a cock-sucker—just call me butch, and we’ll understand each other just fine, my friend. Clear now? Good, carry on…

Being mildly depressed as I am, I can’t tell you how uplifting it is to hear everyone from the President of the United States to my co-workers chime in on the same-sex marriage “issue” every day for the last bloody week. (Oh, I so love when someone calls it an "issue"—here, let me introduce you to my 2 x 4, esé.)


I’ve stayed remarkably silent about the whole thing, for several reasons, one of them being out of a respect for a closeted friend; the other is that I worry that if I let myself get angry, I’m going to get angry about everything afflicting me, make rash decisions, and generally tell everyone kicking me while I’m down to suck shit out of my ass with a straw and choke. And don’t expect me to call 911, because they don’t give a shit about me: I’m just the crazy dyke in the purple house with a rap sheet.

But, I’m tired of remaining silent, because it’s not doing me any good—I still don’t have anything to look forward to, or even any fucking email. 12 days and counting, chica...

This post isn’t about same-sex marriage; so sorry. It’s about me, and I am not here for your entertainment; I am not an experiment; I’m not here to be a token friend so you feel progressive or flattered by my compliments; and I’m not a political tactic.

The only difference between you and me, my friend, is that I can make a woman climax with just a kiss and a persistent thigh, my dick is always hard, and I can tell if she’s faking. Oh, yea, and I’m a carpet-munching, spiky-haired dyke with a breaking heart and a soft white underbelly called you.

You really wanna know what the fuck an orgasm is all about? Call me--I just had a manicure.

Long Way to Happy
by P!nk

One night to you
Lasted six weeks for me
Just a bitter little pill now
Just to try to go to sleep
No more waking up to innocence
Say hello to hesitance
To everyone I meet
Thanks to you years ago
I guess I'll never know
What love means to me but oh
I'll keep on rolling down this road
But I've got a bad, bad feeling

It's gonna take a long time to love
It's gonna take a lot to hold on
It's gonna be a long way to happy, yeah
Left in the pieces that you broke me into
Torn apart but now I've got to
Keep on rolling like a stone
Cause it's gonna be a long long way to happy

Left my childhood behind
In a roll away bed
Everything was so damn simple
Now I'm losing my head
Trying to cover up the damage
And pad out all the bruises
Do you know I had it
So it didn't hurt to lose it
Didn't hurt to lose it
No but oh
I'll keep on rolling down this road
But I've got a bad, bad feeling

It's gonna take a long time to love
It's gonna take a lot to hold on
It's gonna be a long way to happy, yeah
Left in the pieces that you broke me into
Torn apart but now I've got to
Keep on rolling like a stone
Cause it's gonna be a long long way

Now I'm numb as hell and I can't feel a thing
But don't worry about regret or guilt cause I never knew your name
I just want to thank you
Thank you
From the bottem of my heart
For all the sleepless nights
And for tearing me apart yeah yeah

It's gonna take a long time to love
It's gonna take a lot to hold on
It's gonna be a long way to happy, yeah
Left in the pieces that you broke me into
Torn apart but now I've got to
Keep on rolling like a stone
Cause it's gonna be a long long way

It's gonna take a long time to love
It's gonna take a lot to hold on
It's gonna be a long, long, long, long way to happy, yeah
Left in the pieces that you broke me into
Torn apart but now I've got to
Keep on rolling like a stone
Cause it's gonna be a long long way to happy

Monday, May 22, 2006

TV Tuner

I’ve been pretty busy dealing with life and I haven’t much felt like writing. But today I came home to a nice surprise: my USB TV Tuner arrived in the mail.

So, after coming home to my newly cleaned and decorated apartment (it looks really nice—I’ll take some pictures), I was able to set up my computer to be my second TV in about 5 minutes. It was really that easy.

Now, I’ve had dinner, cleaned up my dishes, and as I’m writing this I’m listening/watching Game 7 of the Spurs and Mavericks series. This is really cool! And since I’ve got a DVD burner in my office computer, I can even set this software to record a show that I want to watch or just keep for prosperity.

The only question left is what in the world am I going to do with all my VHS tapes? I no longer have a VCR since my old TV/VCR combo died…and I have really no interest in buying one. Ebay, I suppose…but does anyone even want VHS tapes anymore?

On another note, there was one thing that happened today to remind me that there is still some sort of curse stalking me: my cat, once again, puked on my fucking bed! My nice clean bed spread has cat puke on it again, and this time I fear that it is stained because she puked up Meow Mix, which always stains the carpet no matter how much I scrub. *sigh*

I’ll keep working on it, but Jesus H. Christ, Violet, gimme a fuckin’ break and puke on the damn brown carpet!!!! Or the whole big floor of tile in the kitchen…but no, she wants to puke on the nice clean pretty light purple bedspread, which is the only one that I have now.

I don’t know what her deal is with my bed all of the sudden, but it’s starting to tick me off.

Oh well, but hey, I’ve got TV in my office! And that’s nice because I like to keep it on even if I’m not watching it because it keeps me company, and I’m still trying to get used to living alone.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Spirit Room

My apartment is totally trashed after the Great American Lesbian Boot-out. Ugh. But, the good news is that I somehow found the strength this weekend to clean up my spare room. And when I say clean, I mean clean it ‘til it’s brand-spank-me-mama-new. (I’ll post some pictures later).

So, now there is a lot of room to move around. Pictures are up on the walls, everything is squared-away (the Navy would be so proud), and there isn’t one piece of trash anywhere to be seen. You should have seen this place before I got to it—totally and utterly ridiculous.

It’s also the only room with a TV, and it is tiny, so today I purchased a cheap TV tuner from my computer in the office. I’ve got a beautiful 19” LCD monitor in there with a digital connection, as well as a DVD burner. So, now I can work on my computer and watch TV, and even use my PlayStation if I feel like it. Now, I just need to invest in a comfy office chair one of these days. I’ll keep my eyes open for deals, but it’s not a priority—the cushy pillow I’m using to pad my bum is working…for now.

Anyway, so now I’ve got my spare room back, and I spent all evening in it yesterday. I’ve decided to call it the Spirit Room in honor of the Michelle Branch album that I just re-purchased (it was stolen several years ago from my ugly truck). Just as the album is a somewhat eclectic mix of rock and pop, with lots of groovy dubs and riffs courtesy Mr. John Shanks (Melissa Etheridge’s long-time producer), my room is eclectically decorated with youthful and fun-loving theme—from the boogie board, the wetsuit, the fishing net, beach ball, and electric guitar mounted on the wall you can see the things I hold up as bright from my California past…which oftentimes feels like a completely different lifetime; thus, The Spirit Room.

And just as I am glad to have my whole apartment back (despite its current state), I’m also glad to have this album back in my collection. Something about Michelle Branch’s music makes me feel young and carefree, just as my extra room does…and that’s exactly what I need right now.

Drop in the Ocean
By Michelle Branch

Love took me by the hand
Love took me by surprise
Love led me to you
And love opened up my eyes

And I was drifting away like a drop in the ocean
And now I realize that nothing has been as beautiful
As when I saw heaven's skies

In your eyes
In your eyes

And every time I drift away
I lose myself in you
And now I see I can be me
In everything I do

'Cause I was feeling as small as a drop in the ocean
And now I realize that nothing has been as beautiful
As when I saw heaven's skies

In your eyes
In your eyes

Love took me by the hand
Love took me by surprise
And I was drifting away like a drop in the ocean
And now I've realized that nothing has been as beautiful
As when I saw heaven's skies

In your eyes
In your eyes