Home From Boston

I’ve been home two days. It’s weird and dazy and strange and hard to believe that less than two week ago, my biggest worry was trying to figure out if I could make a bicoastal commute somehow work within the confines of my family.

Mitt was headed to the White House, yo. And I was going to be part of it.

There are a million reasons I could ponder on as to why we lost. Actually, there’s only one – we didn’t get enough votes. I know! By all accounts, it doesn’t make sense.

Now I could contemplate how we could be so wrong about our numbers and voter turnout, mention Obama’s superb ground game, or wonder why my generation seems more concerned with government-sponsored birth control than borrowing from our Children’s piggy banks, but that would be boring.

Instead I’ll just cliché it up: Nice guys finish last.

I don’t feel like the end of the world is here because Obama got reelected. I just feel like it’s going to be on hold for four more years. At best.

Oh, and I got a letter in the mail saying that my doctor no longer accepts my medical insurance. And my premiums went up about 30% last year. But Big Bird and binders!

Seriously guys, how did we lose this?

Double whammy for having worked for Romney: 1) He lost, and I’m out of a job, and 2) He lost, so companies aren’t hiring because they can’t afford to pay for everyone’s birth control and sex change operations.

I wasn’t there when my kids heard about Mommy’s Governor Romney’s loss, but I’m told that they said, “We may be poorer, but at least we have Jesus and our family.”

Love those goobers.

Meanwhile, I wrote about the 5 Stages of Election Loss Grief over at The Stir. I think I’m somewhere between incredulous and annoyed at the moment.

No One Will Vote for Mitt, But He’s Going to Win Anyway.

Yes, I voted for him.

Ashley visited me in Boston last week, and even though I had to work most of the time, I had a great time with her in between the work and the sleep. On Saturday, she stopped by the office to see where we work our hineys off to elect Mitt Romney as the next president.

Because she was a guest, I had to check her in at the security desk, and while we were there we saw two older ladies waiting to get checked in to volunteer for the campaign. They were sweet, and very talkative in obvious long island accents.

We got to chatting with them, and this is what one of them had to say …

“I’ve been a registered Democrat for over 40 years. I voted for Barack Obama in 2008, and I regret it and you have my deepest apologies. I’m an independent now, and I will work as hard as I can to elect Mitt Romney.”

I’ve been hearing these kind of stories from people, and I always want to know why.

“Because he’s failed to lead. I’m paying more for gas. I’m paying more at the grocery store. People are still unemployed. This is a recovery? Ha! Some recovery.”

I mentioned that we’re optimistic for the outcome of the election.

“Oh, we’re going to win, and I’ll tell you why … the first time I said out loud that I supported Mitt Romney, I got called a racist bigot. Can you believe that? That sealed the deal for me — those people are trying to win votes by fear mongering. And I’m telling you, there are people that will not admit they are voting for Romney because they’re a afraid of being called racists. But no one knows whom you vote for in the voting booth. They’re going to vote for Romney, even if they won’t admit it to the pollsters.”

The chick has a point. And many, many thanks to her and everyone else working hard to get out the vote.

Let’s win this thing tomorrow.

A Laundry List of First World Grievances. Also Laundry.

Sometimes things don’t go your way. This is one of those times. Also no one who ever said money can’t buy happiness ever had to pay six quarters into a washing machine to make it work.

Broke as a Joke

No really. And it’s not funny. On my way home from work on Friday, I stopped at the corner store to pick up a Lean Cuisine (because glamlife to the max), and my blue card wasn’t working. Ok, how about the temporary red one? No? Yellow? Expired in September? Suuuuuck.

Meanwhile, I got a note in my mailbox that I had undeliverable mail from the bank at the post office because my name wasn’t on my mailbox. When I moved to Boston, I had to open a new account because my bank in California doesn’t exist in this state. Ok, I’d have to go get that on Saturday morning.

Friday night was spent tracking down a store that both sold wine and took checks, because I had no cards and no cash. Yes, I bought wine from a trendy boutique with a Phineas and Ferb check. What? You’ve never seen a desperate mom before?

No money — no way to get quarters for the laundry. Must waits for Saturday.

Saturday

Finally found the post office. Waited in line. Was lectured by guy at the counter to put my name on my mailbox. Was handed a thick package. Um, this doesn’t look like it contains my new bank card … more checks! Gah.

It was 12:30. The only banks open on the weekends around here close at noon on Saturdays. Until Monday morning.

And my T-pass expired.

Then I got slammed with some work stuff, which was fine because I was stuck at home with my dirty laundry anyway.

Also it was hot.

And my landlord took away my AC last week.

And I live on the 4th floor and it’s hot.

And I have no clean clothes because the laundry situation is ridiculous.

And my leg still smarts from when I freaking fell on the T a few days ago because I have the grace and poise of a baby water buffalo.

And my jeans are tight and I have zero motivation to exercise.

And carbs are so yummy.

Whine.

Groan.

Boo.

Hiss.

Pffffftttttt.

You know you’re feeling gross when you look forward to Monday. Even if just for the bank being open.

Argo and My Eclectic Friends

I have awesome friends. Regular readers will be familiar with Ashley, my partner in crime, but I am so blessed to have a plethora (how many piñatas would you say I have?) of dear friends. They come from different walks of life, but they have one thing in common — they all put up with me.

My teenage friend Madeline came to visit me in Boston this past weekend. She’s the daughter of lovely Hillary, and is a girl wonder. She’s visiting me from Dartmouth, where she’s currently studying French, humanities, and economics. I told you she was a girl wonder.

With the lovely Madeline

I’ve known Madeline since she was twelve, as my friend’s daughter and one of my kids’ favorite babysitters. I’ve loved watching her grow up, and now I consider her a friend of mine in her own right.

Meanwhile, I have this other good friend Justin. He’s a decade-plus older than me, male, and Mormon. I know, by all accounts, it doesn’t make sense, but for some reason we click as friends and work really well together as colleagues. He and I are both in Boston for Romney right now — he crunches numbers and I write about them. Basically.

I’ve talked to Madeline and Justin about each other, but they’ve never met, because why would they have? They live in different parts of the country and have nothing in common but me. Which brings us to this past weekend in Boston.

Justin and I took Madeline to dinner at The Melting Pot, because we both remember what it was like to be a poor college student and how NICE it was to be taken out for non-dorm food. She was instructed to pay it forward someday. Thankfully it was a much better experience than my 29th birthday party, and no knuckle hair was singed by the flambé.

Leif tries to steal my friends. *tries*

We also saw Argo, which I’ll talk about in a minute, but I have to comment on my sweet friends first. Justin walked us back to my apartment, because it was late and dark, and he’s a gentleman. Madeline and I said goodbye, and as soon as he was out of earshot, she said, “Oh my gosh, I LOVE Justin! I totally get it now — he’s awesome!”

Meanwhile, Justin texted me, “Oh my gosh, Madeline is amazing! So bright and beautiful and always beaming … I totally get it now!”

My response to both — “I know, right??”

I may have an eclectic mix of friends, but they make me happy, and I’m so glad when they get to mix and mingle and end up liking each other.

So now back to this movie. If you get a chance, y’all should go see Argo. It’s the story of the Iranian hostage crisis in 1979, and if you’re informed about politics in the Middle East, just put your hands over your ears and close your eyes for the first five minutes and rest assure that the narrator gives the Hollywood-ized version of events leading up to the capture of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and dozens of Americans who were held hostage for over a year.

But whatever. If we boycotted every movie that glossed over complicated political situations (especially when it might be Jimmy Carter’s fault), we’d have nothing to watch.

During the riot in which the Iranians took over the embassy, six Americans escaped and hid out with the Canadians for a while. This super smart CIA rescuer guy, Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) came up with this insane plot to rescue them and get them back to America — by pretending to be a Canadian film crew scouting locations for a new movie called Argo.

I’m sure lots of liberty was taken in the retelling, but it was a good nail-biting adventure, and the end will make you feel all gooey and sappy for America.

Oysters

Everyone knows that oysters are poison to children. The only thing that comes out of the sea that’s not poisonous to children is breaded and deep-fried and served with a healthy dose of catsup. Even then, not every kid will eat fish sticks. (mine won’t)

In case you doubt me on this, I refer you to Honest Toddler, who had this to say about how one should serve seafood:

Almond-Crusted Halibut and Green Beans
Step 1: Give the green beans to a homeless individual.
Step 2: Take the almonds off of the halibut.
Step 3: Put the halibut on a clean surface.
Step 4: Ask yourself what halibut is.
Step 5: Google “halibut” on your home computer.
Step 6: Hold back your tears when you find out.
Step 7: Gently place halibut in the outside trash next to the carrots.
Step 8: Order tacos.

Anyway, I’ve never tried oysters. Because I was a kid, then I was a vegetarian for years (I know, I can’t explain it either), and then because they freaked me out because they look like giant boogers on half shells.

Seriously. Who decided to crack open the rocky looking things and eat the slimy stuff in the middle?

Ashley loves oysters, and said I had to try them. She said something about them tasting like the sea. I love the ocean. I love salt. I love fish. Seems like a perfect fit.

Justin loves oysters too. “They’re sooooo good!”

I’m living in Boston right now, which I associate with oysters, because clam chowder, and clams and oysters are like totally the same thing because they’re bivalves.

Huh. I did learn something in high school biology.

So last night Justin convinced me to eat oysters.

They were … slimy.

And salty.

They tasted like ocean slime.

I had one and didn’t hate it. Had another and didn’t love it. Had a final one and then ordered champagne and a steak.

Next time I’m ordering shrimp cocktail.

The Shoe’s On the Other Foot

The number one question I’ve gotten from people when they hear I’ve (temporarily) moved to Boston is, “Where is your family?”

“Home in Sand Diego,” I say, and the response is almost universally, “Oh wow.”

Oh wow is right.

My main hesitation in accepting this position was missing this small chunk of my kids’ lives. Of course I’ll miss Leif, but he and I have a lifetime together, and he’s not growing and changing everyday in the same way that children do. I am missing two months of my kids’ lives that I will never get back.

It’s a heavy thing to realize, and the guilt! I couldn’t wear mascara the day I left, because it would’ve been running down my face with the tears I cried when remembering their tight little hugs and sad little faces when we said goodbye.

Sniff sniff.

I’ve been here a few days now, and have been in touch via phone and little FaceTime. The girls seem ok – happy even. As it turns out, the world keeps on spinning, even when I’m not there. They’ve gotten to and from school, friends’ houses, and spent afternoons at Gramma’s. They’ve done their homework, brushed their teeth, played with Daddy, and got tucked in every night.

They’re ok. And I’m ok, because instead of looking at this as time I’ll never get back, I want to see it as time that Leif gets to be the primary caregiver. Their relationship with him is going to grow even stronger as they depend on him in the way they normally depend on me. The bonds that form between their hearts as they figure out how to survive without Mommy will remain intact for the rest of their lives, and no one will ever be able to take away the knowledge that their daddy stepped up to the plate to take care of them.

So yeah, I miss my family like crazy. But I am so grateful for Leif to know that center-of-your-kids’-universe feeling. It’s crazy hard, for sure, and I know they’ll have their good and bad days, but they will learn to trust and love each other in ways that they never would if I were there.

Maybe I’m spinning, maybe I’m in denial, but I’m going to go ahead and call this one perspective.

Now I’m going to say a prayer that they all survive.

Eavesdropping on Jenny & Ashley September 13, 2012

Ashley and I chatted about my new job in Boston, books, football, and running.

Listen to internet radio with Top 7 on Blog Talk Radio

In Other News, I’m Moving to Boston Today

72 hours ago, I got a phone call from Romney HQ in Boston, asking me if I would please join the team on site as a copywriter. Right now, I’m sitting in the San Diego airport with a one way ticket to Massachusetts, waiting to board my flight.

So that’s what’s going on in my life.

It all started a couple of weeks ago in Tampa at the Republican National Convention. I guess you could say it started four years ago when Obama got elected, and I committed to do everything I possibly could to make him a one term president, but I’ll just recap this latest development because that’s what’s interesting at the moment.

In Tampa, I got to meet up with a lot of cool people that work on the campaign, and whom I’d been doing some volunteer Twitter messaging for. It turns out they were even cooler in person than online, which always makes me happy because doesn’t it suck when people turn out to be duds in real life? Some people just come across better over the internet, I suppose.

Anyway, I met some people in Tampa, and started thinking about what I could do to help them. Writing. I’m good at the writing thing. I may have mentioned to some people that I’d love to jump in and help out.

Last week, I got a call asking if I was serious about a job, because they needed to hire a copywriter, stat. YES!! I could work remotely from California, right? Um, no. The job was in Boston, 3,000ish miles from home. Well so much for that.

I told Leif about it that night, in a sort of off-handed, wouldn’t that have been fun kind of way, and he looked at me and asked, “Why not?”

It’s an on-site job.

So?

In Boston.

So?

That’s in Massachusetts.

I’m aware of the geography.

I’d have to move there for two months.

Do you want to do this?

Yes! I mean — it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. I’d miss you guys like crazy, and I’d worry about the girls, but when am I ever going to have another chance to help kick a Democrat incumbent out of the White House? Never, that’s when.

I think you should go for it.

*blink blink blink*

So I sent them my resume on Wednesday. Friday I heard that they were interested, and they’d be getting back to me soon. Sunday I got a call asking what I’d need financially to make it work. I gave them a number, they said yes, and hooked me up with a flight and a hotel for a few days.

Then there were 72 hours of mad phones calls and emails to family and friends, sitters and dog walkers, and short-term apartment rental agencies in Boston. There were dry-cleaning runs, tons of laundry and packing, list making and instructions for the care of the kiddos and the house. I grocery shopped, meal prepped, and cried as I hugged my mama and my local friends.

This morning I almost couldn’t let my girls go. Leif was trying to get them in the car to go school, and Thing 1 started sobbing. Thing 2 said, “Bye Mommy! Have fun at the airport! I love you!” I went inside and cried into my pillow. Thank goodness for FaceTime and Skype. And for my mom and dad, who are going to be taking care of them after school for me while Leif is at work.

And of course thank you to Leif, who is willing to let me move across the country to work on a presidential campaign. He’s kinda awesome.

Now let’s get this thing done and get Romney elected, so some of the 23 million people out of work right now can find a job too.