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.

Mitt Romney and the Lying Trash Man

The afscme, a service employee public union, has released some short videos featuring people who have worked in Mitt Romney’s upscale San Diego neighborhood.

Richard Hayes is a garbage man whose route includes La Jolla, the ritzy suburb where Mitt and Ann have a home. In the video clip, Mr. Hayes says that many times citizens will come out to give them hugs and Gatorade, to thank them for the job that they’re doing. He also says that he picks up 15 to 16 tons of garbage by hand.

Red light! Red light!

I live in San Diego. I haven’t seen a garbage man get out of the truck for residential trash pickup in years; possibly decades. It’s one of those things I’ve thought about that my kids might never see, like phones with cords or cassette tapes.

San Diego issues every single-family residence an approved trash receptacle. The garbage goes in, and on trash day, someone has to pull it out to the curb. The trash men cometh on your assigned day, in their air-conditioned trucks, and they stop next to the can. Then a robotic arm shoots out, grabs the thing, and dumps it into the back of the truck.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmhverQzSYw&feature=relmfu

It’s not exactly the hard physical labor it once was, and certainly nothing is done by hand.

Mr. Hayes says that when he’s 55, 60 years old, his body is going to be broken down. Broken down from what? A sore finger from pushing the button to make the robot arm pick up the trash?

Just in case you didn’t know, San Diego has some of the most insane employment and retirement benefits. You can read about them here. So this guy is going to drive around in a truck until his mid-fifties, then basically retire on a full pension complete with healthcare, and thanks to the way the system is set up, he can even double dip by getting another job with the city. After all, who retires at 55?

This guy has a cushy job, and it’s on my dime. I’m paying taxes so this guy can retire at 55 while I have to continue to work, because in the private sector, no one is offering me an insane pension that will pay out even more than I made when I was actually working.

Mr. Hayes, I’m so sorry that Mitt Romney didn’t come out to give you a hug for pushing the trash button on your truck’s instrument panel. This is what we like to call a first world problem.

Endnote: When Mitt Romney was running for governor of Massachusetts, he spent a day a week doing odd jobs that everyday Americans do, in order to gain appreciation and understanding for what various people do in their day-to-day lives. This excerpt is from his book No Apology: The Case for American Greatness:

“One day I gathered trash as a garbage collector.  I stood on that little platform at the back of the truck, holding on as the driver navigated his way through the narrow streets of Boston.  As we pulled up to traffic lights, I noticed that the shoppers and businesspeople who were standing only a few feet from me didn’t even see me.  It was as if I was invisible.  Perhaps it was because a lot of us don’t think garbage men are worthy of notice; I disagree – anyone who works that hard deserves our respect. –  I wasn’t a particularly good garbage collector: at one point, after filling the trough at the back of the truck, I pulled the wrong hydraulic lever.  Instead of pushing the load into the truck, I dumped it onto the street. Maybe the suits didn’t notice me, but the guys at the construction site sure did…”

So … I Went to Mormon Church.

There's a basketball court in there. No joke.

I figured what with a Mormon on his way to the White House and all, it might be an interesting and hopefully insightful experience to visit a worship service at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. So I did what I usually do when I have a Mormon-y question, and asked Justin to take me.

So last Sunday we set out for an LDS sacrament meeting. That’s apparently what it’s called – not worship service. No big, just vernacular so far.

Mormons are nice, y’all. I know we’re not supposed to lump groups of people together and label them, but I’ve never come across a not-nice Mormon. Like most religions, there’s a good mix of young, old, white, black (and everything in between), tall, short, fat, thin, smart and not so smart … but they’re all freaking nice.

Oh, and they have a lot of kids, too. You have heard about the five Romney boys and the 18 Romney grandkids, right? It’s a stereotype for a reason, people.

Since Mormons are so nice, I met several people before the service meeting even started. A lot of college and grad students at the Cambridge ward (I think that’s the word for congregation?) in Massachusetts.

Before I forget, I’ll add a side note: While we walking to church, we passed a Starbucks and decided we were hungry. Neither of us had coffee. Justin had apple cider or something because Mormons don’t drink coffee, and I had my usual chai tea latte – no wait – I had a skinny salted caramel mocha. Never mind. I was going to say I was well on my way to the full Mormon experience of no coffee, but no. Move along, nothing to see here …

Photographic Evidence

Back to the church part – I met lots of nice people. The sanctuary (meeting room?) had pews a lot like ours. There was a big indoor basketball court in the middle of the building. Justin told me every ward (stake? Which one is the building and which one is the congregation?) has one.

The meeting was called to order, there was a prayer, and we sang a song out of the hymnal. I was pleased to discover it was just as abysmal as some of the ones in our Psalter. Loooong and in a key no one but Justin and a couple others could hit. Dude can sing. I mouthed the words. Everyone there silently thanked me without knowing it.

Then there was communion. I had asked ahead on the procedure for that, because at my church, you have to get permission from the elders before service if you’re not a member. In the United Reformed Church, you may only take communion if you’re a member of a gospel-preaching church and under the spiritual care of church leadership. Some churches leave this up to the individual’s conscience, but our particular congregation asks you to talk to someone first.

Anyway, Justin had said it was fine, but I felt weird about it because it’s such a sacred thing at our church, so I passed. But I’ll tell you about it anyway, because if you’ve read this far, you’re probably as fascinated by the LDS church as I am and are dying to know more.

First- the kids take communion. Justin says it doesn’t mean anything until they’re eight and baptized. All Mormons get baptized at eight in the way that babies are baptized in Calvinism and Baptists when they make a profession of faith. I got to go to a Mormon baptism once when one of Thing 1’s friends invited us to attend hers, and it was super cool. Maybe I’ll tell you about it some time.

Second- they passed it around and everyone sat in their seats and partook immediately rather than waiting and doing it together as a congregation.

Third- most, if not all reformed churches I’ve been to offer grape juice as an alternative to the wine. I figured that would be the case. Nope! It was water. Jesus turned the water to wine and the Mormons turned it back again. Go figure.

After communion, there were three “talks” that definitely weren’t sermons. And two of them were given by WOMEN. Soooooo weird for me to see women up at the podium, addressing the congregation at a Sunday worship service sacrament meeting. That does not happen in the URC. Not even a little bit.

Now let’s discuss these talks, mmmkay? They were really great. Super motivational, well thought out, and I thoroughly enjoyed them. Totally not sermons. “When do you do exegesis??” I whispered to Justin.

“Exe-what-us?”

“Exegesis! When the pastor takes a section of scripture and interprets it…”

Totally forgot that Mormons don’t have pastors in the way that evangelicals think of pastors. We only stayed for the first hour, and apparently Sunday School is where scripture study comes in, so I may have to go back sometime just to see what it’s like.

The other thing about the talks: I felt kinda like I was at a motivational conference. I wanted to clap for the speakers when they were finished, and I half expected them to take a bow. Like I said, they were definitely not sermons in the sense that I think of them.

Overall, I’m glad I went. Justin likes to tease me that he’ll make a Mormon out of me yet. That’s usually right before I punch him in the neck and tell him I’d get kicked out so fast it would be the shortest-lived Mormon membership in LDS history. I don’t know if y’all know this, but I really enjoy wine. Plus that whole continuing revelation thing that I don’t believe in.

I might will never be a Mormon. But they’re not scary. They don’t worship weird things, they don’t judge others (as a group, at least … I can’t account for every individual church member), and they are welcoming and friendly. They’re family oriented, but don’t disallow divorce. They honor mothers that stay home with the kids and the ones that work outside the home with equal regard.

They’re good people, y’all.

I gotta say one more thing before I leave this subject alone for the moment: MORMONISM IS NOT A CULT. I’d encourage anyone considering not voting for Mitt Romney because of his Mormon faith to go check out an LDS service meeting.

And try not to be as ginormous a dork as me telling everyone, “This is my first time!”

Oh, and if you ever want to check out a reformed church to see what my typical Sunday morning consists of, drop me a line and I’ll find you one in your area. We serve wine for communion. Just saying.

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.

 

Top 7 for the Week of September 7, 2012

This week, Ashley and I had technical difficulties, and by that I mean that I spilled my drink all over my keyboard in the opening moments of the show. Live radio … gotta love it. Once we got everything figured out, we chatted about:

  1. The August Jobs Report (It Sucks)
  2. Democrats Say Radio Row Is Too Scary
  3. ‘Feel Good’ Sales Go Up In a Bad Economy
  4. Dirty Jobs‘ Mike Rowe Writes an Open Letter to Mitt Romney
  5. Football & Gay Marriage: Shut Up and Play, or Hollywood Does It All the Time?
  6. For Teenagers: Smoking OK, Prostitution Bad
  7. Nickelodeon’s Mega Twitter Fail & Even More Ridiculous “Apology”

Plus we have a dirty joke, a Dude of the Week, a guest rant, and no song because technology failed me today.

Happy listening!

Listen to internet radio with Top 7 on Blog Talk Radio

Short and Sweet: Obama vs. Romney on Medicare

Let’s be brief and straightforward on this, shall we? I’m getting a little bit sick of hearing the media whine about Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan wanting to rob Medicare, while praising Barack Obama for saving it even though he guts it of $716 billion.

Here’s the short of it: The Romney/Ryan plan puts citizens back in charge of their own health care, through a voucher system. The money goes from government-mandated spending on particular providers to a choice for the individual to spend that money where he or she wants.

Voucher systems work, because they put individuals back in charge of their own spending.

The Obama plan guts Medicare to pay for … wait for it … Obamacare, which is more government regulation. Because that works so well, you know. It’s not like our spending is out of control, there’s a doctor shortage, an education crisis, and of course the DMV is the epitome of efficiency.

But go ahead and keep complaining about Mitt Romney. I can’t wait to hear how Obama ends up shifting from blaming Bush to blaming Romney for his abysmal failure as a one-term president. I can hear it now … “That racist Mitt Romney stole my second term, when everything was going to be ok and everyone was going to get a puppy!”

Whatever. Go Mitt. Donate here. See you in November.

Top 7 For the Week of August 10th

This week, Ashley and I talked about:

  1. Why Chicks Shouldn’t Be NFL Officials #WarOnWomyn
  2. Gas Prices: The Story Dedicated to All the Moms at the Beach
  3. Elton John Bitch Slaps Madonna … Only Figuratively, Which Is Too Bad
  4. Romney Killed Someone’s Wife … and Probably Puppies Too
  5. Mary Gonzales: W. T. F!
  6. Smuggy Fareed Zakaria Gets Suspended for Plagiarism
  7. Wait for it….Screw Chick-fil-A, Let’s Boycott Papa John’s Next!

Plus we have a rant, a dirty joke, and a Dude of the Week. And we have a special announcement about a new project starting Monday.

Happy listening!

Listen to internet radio with Top 7 on Blog Talk Radio

Top 7 for the Week of May 11th

This week, Ashley and I talked about:

  1. And How Is Britney Spears Qualified To Be A Talent Show Judge?
  2. Time Magazine Esplodes the Mommy Blogosphere
  3. Obama’s On Again, Off Again Relationship with the Gays
  4. Super Spies and the Terrorists That Hate Them
  5. WaPo Makes Crap Up? About Mitt Romney? No way!
  6. Student Loans and the Entitlement Culture
  7. Your Tax Dollars Hard At Work…Buying Luxury Hybrids
Plus we have a rant, a dirty joke, a dude of the week, and … Justin Bieber?
Happy listening!

Listen to internet radio with Top 7 on Blog Talk Radio

Thing 1 Just Says No to Dog Meat

I was reading this article from Mark Steyn about the exploding attack tactics being used by the Obama campaign against Mitt Romney. They tried to say that women wouldn’t like Romney because his great-grandfather was a polygamist, but somehow overlooked the fact that Barak Obama’s father was a polygamist.

Side note: Why liberals are down with gay marriage but not polygamy confuses the heck out of me. Isn’t that discrimination? Shouldn’t consenting adults be allowed to marry whomever they want to?

Another hypocritical criticism of Romney came when the Obama people decided to cry foul over the fact that the Romney family apparently strapped their crated dog to the roof of the car for a road trip in 1983. Then the fabulous Jim Treacher blogged on the Daily Caller that Obama had, as a child, eaten dog meat.

Better the roof of the car, then the roof of the mouth, Jim astutely pointed out.

The “Obama eats dog” meme has exploded on the Internets, because, well, it’s just so gosh darn hilarious to make fun of it. Dog recipes, anyone? Hall & Oates lyrics changed from Maneater to Dogeater? Brilliant.

Some people (I’m look at you, Leif!) don’t think the thing is funny. There are so many other issues to talk about — this is just stupid. The above linked article from Steyn does a good job laying out exactly why we should be laughing about it: It contrasts the comic value of the situation with the ridiculous seriousness that those on the left take themselves. We laugh; they form a Dogs Against Romney PAC.

He writes:

The exploding cigars are revealing not merely of Democratic hypocrisy but of a key difference in worldview between liberals and conservatives. Jeremy Funk and Governor Schweitzer reflexively believe that their dog-eating polygamy-scion is different from the other guy’s dog-transporting polygamy-scion. This is nothing to do with young Barack being six or ten years old and meekly eating whatever was put in front of him. He was 34 years old when he wrote the passage quoted above and ten years older when he recorded the audio edition. And, as both versions make plain, he thinks it’s kinda cool, and he knows that to the average upscale white liberal it has the electric frisson of the exotic other.

Earlier in the article, Steyn had mentioned dog breeder Kate McMillan, who said the following of the criticism that you can’t blame a child for eating what’s put in front of him:

Try this experiment–sit a normal, American 6 year old down at a plate and tell him it’s dog meat. Watch what happens.

With that inspiration, I grabbed my iphone and recorded this video of my eight-year-old daughter:

After establishing the fact that the girl is a regular carnivore, I asked if she would eat dog meat. She shakes her head and I ask her why that is.

“Because I would think of eating Junie’s* friends … and plus it sounds gross.”

*Furbaby’s real name is June. I guess that cat is out of the bag.