Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Post Where I Make Excuses

Holy nuts! How did it happen that I haven't blogged in more than a week? Oh wait. I know:

1) As you've noticed by now, I am consumed by the election. There is nary a pinprick of space left in my head for anything else. The unprecedented levels of angst I feel prevent me from achieving restorative sleep, from expressing any emotion but worry, and from walking away from the Internet for more than an hour. Good God. I cannot wait until this is over. At the same time I wonder: what will I do when it is over? As my last hurrah, I will be getting out the vote (GOTVing!) on Sunday and Monday. What about you?!

2) I am also busy trying, once again, not to be the person who accidentally kills animals. You'd think it would be easy here on the Peninsula, but on my way home from a clay workshop (oh, don't ask) tonight, I almost hit another deer. Can I just ask: why is a deer doing crossing El Camino Real at 9:00 pm? What the HELL?

3) Workshopping has begun for my online class, and there are two or three stories up each week, plus writing exercises, and discussion. I'm a bit overwhelmed at this point and completely mystified by the two or three people in class who seem to have the entire week's work done by Wednesday. Time management has never been my gift.

4) Classroom volunteer-ism has also begun in earnest. I'm teaching Art in Action for 3 classes (this explains the clay workshop referenced above. Come on, you know you were wondering), as well as helping in Vida's writing workshop every Monday. All thoroughly enjoyable, mind you.

As per my tendency, a picture:

These two Cuban-American gents were surrounded by an angry mob after a McCain/Palin rally in Miami. The police were able to escort them to safety after a few moments, but not before they were threatened with violence by one of the crowd. I like what the guy on the right had to say afterwards:

Garcia had a message for his stocky, tweed-clad threatener. "You tell that guy he can find Tony Garcia down at the West Dade library every day from 7 to 7 helping people early vote. I'll be there from 1 to 5 on Saturday and Sunday. You tell him if he wants to kick my ass that's where he can find me. Come beat me up."

Because that's how Obama volunteers do it.

You can read the full report at FiveThirtyEight.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Post Where I Pointedly Do Not Blog About Nevada

Thanks to the extraordinary navigational and driving skills of one J.G., I am safely home from our Nevada Drive for Change. The campaign has asked us not to blog (where, I ask, is the fun in that?) about our trips until at least November 5th. I am nothing if not a good Obama foot soldier, so I will comply. Let me just say, though, that I have a humdinger for you, and it involves your Nesting Ground Mistress, a pitbull, claws, and pure terror.

Since the following picture reveals nothing of top-secret campaign brilliance, I will post it. This is me and my little cousin Lui at the end of our first day (proper shoes were key):

I also want to share this picture—via DailyKos—because it practically kills me:

And, finally, here is my Daddy-o casting his vote for Obama. He was mumbling as he filled in his choices. "I'm changing ALL these motherf***ers, you hear me?" he said. "ALL of 'em..." Goooooo Dad!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Drive For Change Snafu or There's a Pattern

My four co-horts have all been assigned to Reno, while I have been assigned to Incline. I am feeling quite sadly adrift at the moment, but I have sent an e-mail to the powers-that-be to request re-assignment. No doubt they're being inundated with hundreds of similar requests, and I will be waiting all day on proverbial pins and needles.

There's a pattern in my life.

I've mentioned elsewhere that a mountain lion is stalking our neighborhood. The situation has created a ruckus that has forced kids indoors, created alarm at school, and transformed taking out the garbage from a simple errand to a possible episode of the non-existent television show, "Man vs. Nature." I heard today that the mountain lion is apparently camped out in an empty house a few blocks away. Whenever the authorities attempt to surround and capture it, the wily animal has already disappeared, leaving pawprints behind.

Now, according to the pattern I've detected in my life, the authorities should simply follow ME around. Because before this episode reaches whatever conclusion it's going to reach, I'm pretty sure the mountain lion will single me out for "special consideration." I've read all about what I'm supposed to do when confronted by this kitty. The first rule is Don't Run:

Sure. No problem.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Basics

I've dubbed my online class "Ver's (Much Needed) Back-to-Basics Tour." In a way, it's a lot like traveling in a time machine to Kindergarten, and I mean that in the best possible sense. Because in Kindergarten you get to play and experiment and you get to screw up because isn't that the whole point? Screw up! Screw up so you can realize it's not the end of the world. Screw up so you can try better next time. Screw up so you know the difference between when you've screwed up and when you haven't.

Last week we had to pick one of Shakespeare's plays and create a new story based on its plot. For two days I resisted. I was not into it. I couldn't think of anything I wanted to do LESS. But then I woke up on the third day, and pounded out this thing having to do with the demise of a once-happy Head Door Man who finds himself in the much less exalted position of staring at a bank of security cameras all day. Based on The Tempest, of course. Was it good? Hell no! But it was sooooooo fun.

This week we have to re-write the first paragraph of our workshop story using three different points of view. Again, I resisted for the entire weekend. But I did it yesterday, and I learned all this crazy stuff about my characters. See? Going back to basics is very good and helpful.

In other Nesting Ground news, I'm gearing up for my weekend in Nevada where my cohorts and I will be—fingers crossed—closing the deal for Obama (in that state, at least). The campaign suggested we stay at Circus Circus, but there's no way your Nesting Ground Mistress was going to sleep in a $39/night room. Not even for Barack. So we've upgraded significantly, which I think will be excellent for canvassing morale and our general disposition(s).

I've just realized that I don't like posting without including a token picture or two. is a gorgeous picture of Michelle Obama giving a big hug to Barack's half-sister, Auma (via Obama Daily):

And, making a complete 180, here are our spawn just before they timidly made their way down the catwalk with the Spousal Unit at his company's holiday fashion show. For the record, I tried to get Vida to tuck her ear under that hat, but she refused. "It feels FUNNY," she said. I wanted to say, "Well it LOOKS funnier," but I didn't. Rhetorical question: does that make me a good mother or a bad mother?

There are a few more shots on my Facebook page, and if you are my Facebook Friend, you may see them. If you are not my Facebook Friend, why are you not?

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Not To Go On and On, But...

...I will.

I couldn't bring myself to actually purchase this month's issue of GQ (the cover has a Barbied-up someone licking her lips and offering up her breasts for your, I don't know, intellectual edification?), but I had no qualms about reading this article about Arnel Pineda and Journey online:

ARNEL PINEDA, who turns 41 this year, has been performing in bands since he was a teenager, and by now he has mastered virtually every kick-ass lead-singer move known to rock. He can launch his compact body off the drum riser and land without twisting an ankle. He plays excellent microphone-cord air guitar. He knows when to do the reach-out-and-touch with the fans in the front row and when to turn the microphone stand upside down and lift it above his head, as if calling down the lightning. He knows how to do these things because he is a professional lead singer and a good one, which means he is a virtuoso whose instrument is his own charisma. He is also adept at the parts of the lead-singer job that involve singing.


Speaking of people who are extraordinarily gifted at their last night's debate, did Obama not clean the windows with what's left of John McCain's integrity? Yes, he did. I'm sure this kid agrees:

Via Yes We Can (hold babies)

Monday, October 06, 2008

The Year

Complete election frenzy everywhere I look. Little signs of life for McCain/Palin are popping up in front of various houses around the neighborhood, each one eliciting a groan from my children, whom I have trained well. "Don't you mean McPain & Failing?!!" they say to the signs as we pass them in the car. They laugh like it's something they just made up, when in fact we don't know who made it up, and they've been saying it for weeks. I do my requisite scolding, complete with a line about the fact that Barack would not want them to speak disrespectfully about his opponent, etc. etc. They pretend to listen, and then they start singing along to Arnel Pineda again. They will forever remember this time in their lives as The Year Obama Became President and The Year Arnel Joined Journey and The Year Something Happened to Banks.

My friend K. just sent me this gorgeousness from yet another group of creatives for Barack:

Thursday, October 02, 2008


I was about to write that I don't know much about the labor movement, but that isn't accurate. I know a little bit about the labor movement. Camp Obama, though, was the first time I'd ever been in a union hall and witnessed firsthand the commitment, pride, and organizing prowess of union folks.

Anyways, I saw the video of this speech by Richard Trunka (of the AFL-CIO) on Andrew Sullivan's blog, and I was floored by the way it meets racism head-on and, of course, by its forceful endorsement of Barack Obama. A good way to spend nine minutes before tonight's VP debate: