Tag Archives: election

We are not as divided as our politics suggest.

I promise this won’t be a political post.

Partly because I’m exhausted from all the MSNBC coverage I watched last night.

Partly because I’m not sure I have anything to say that someone else hasn’t already said.

But the title of this post is something President Obama said in 2008, and, despite the angry, finger pointing, frustrated (on both sides) attitudes of the American people, I think, in essence, he’s right.

And so I’m moving ahead, keeping that in mind.

*****

I returned to the gym last night after almost a week off, with a new pair of sneakers (sorry old Sauconys, but you went through a triathlon. You had holes in you) and a positive outlook on exercise.

I ran exactly ten minutes before having to admit defeat.

I’m blaming it on my sneakers, which I’m still breaking in.

But the truth is, I had to downgrade to an elliptical workout.

I’m heading back to try again tonight, for fear of falling off the wagon and having to commission a tent maker to construct my wedding gown.

Please succumb to my irrational fears.

*****

KC picked out American Psycho as our book club book, and I’m about halfway through.

This book is nuts, and I feel like maybe my fellow public transit goers are judging me as I’m reading about designer labels of the 80s and savage killings.

I don’t blame them.

KC- I’m beginning to think you might be one sick puppy.

I’ll keep you guys posted.

*****

Last night, to delay the inevitable six hours I wanted to spend watching the election returns (in case you’re wondering about my serious interest in all of this, I come from a long line of politically active people. We vote. We opine. There’s a picture of me, aged about four, waving an American flag at some kind of Democratic rally. It’s in my blood), JW and I headed over to Bucktown to use up a Groupon that’s about to expire.

Dinner was excellent. We didn’t go for the half priced bottles of wine (JW seemed to think this might make me more forlorn), but if you haven’t headed over there, you should consider it.

Also, they were really nice about our Groupon, not snobby and irritated about it, which is my number one pet peeve about Groupon.

If you think it’s beneath you, don’t participate. Please don’t sneer at me.

*****

I’m off to get things done. Soup and grilled cheese with both Ws tonight, and Nikki vs. Treadmill: The Wednesday edition, to look forward to.

Have a good one, chickadees!

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What a blessed day.

“So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America’s birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:
“Let it be told to the future world … that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive… that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it].”
America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children’s children that when we were tested, we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back, nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God’s grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations. ”

-President Barack H. Obama

Obama’s Inaugural Speech

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And Tomorrow is a New Day…

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. day everyone! I’ve been oddly fascinated by the Civil Rights since I was ten years old (I was always wondering if I could pull off Rosa Parks for a Halloween costume, but could never figure out how to do it justice), and on the dawn of the new presidency, I’m feeling even more emphatic about it. I think the fact that my generation, in large part (but not all) doesn’t think about race as a good thing or a bad thing, or even a thing at all, is a testament that we’re moving in the right direction, in the direction where we DO hold hands and judge each other based on the content of our character. I think my fascination with the Civil Rights movement has been the absolute awe and respect I have for those who give up everything, their lives included, for the chance to really make life better for those of us who come next. I hope to one day feel that strongly about something so important, and to have the courage to act on it.

So that’s an important thing to remember, at least once a year.

Of course, the other big ticket item on the agenda this week is the inauguration tomorrow. My good friend B and I had a conversation about the inauguration and its seemingly giant price tag this morning. We disagreed, as we do about everything (How am I supposed to relate to a White Sox fan? You tell me.), but he did get me thinking, which he generally does. We are in financial crisis, and we are at war. Times are not golden. Perhaps it’s not the time for celebration on such a massive scale?

However, I saw a video today of the masses of people on the Mall in Washington D.C. and something clicked. This celebration is not about one man. It’s not about one victory. It’s about millions of people across this nation who, for the first time in a lot of cases, care about our government and our Constitution and our future as a country. We have remembered our humble beginnings and our great accomplishments, and we will work hard to move forward. But first, we should celebrate, we should hug and sing and cry and wave our flags and be proud that we are Americans. Proud that we are part of a historical moment that we will remember forever. Proud that for the first time in years, we as Americans are being encouraged to come together and be united in a way that we’ve been holding back on for years. We do have a lot of work ahead of us, and a lot more hardship that will rise up in our way. But we are a great nation and as one of the presenters noted today (attibuted to a president, which one I cannot place at this moment), America is known best for what it does during tough times. This is what makes us as great as we are.

Tomorrow will be a new day, and I can’t wait.

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A new day!

So I was in Grant Park on Tuesday night. Jon and I met after work, changed into jeans, ate some Chipotle, and hustled down to Hutchinson field with what felt like the entire population of the world. After meeting up with Katie and Kylah, going through a few well-managed checkpoints, and getting herded into a field full of other Obama supporters, we were set for the next seven hours. This is actually a lot less time than I anticipated, explaining to my friends that I was in this for the long haul. I would stay as long as I had to, since that seemed the least I could do.

Let me tell you what I saw. I saw over 100,000 people standing in close quarters. Black, white, Asian, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, old, young–it was a true melting pot of the American spirit. There was no pushing, no ill will–just the electricity of thousands of people who had worked so hard and hoped so long that this day would come and that they would be there to see what could be. What, we found out only hours later, would be.

CNN played on the jumbo screen, and while the results came in and the commentators spoke, the field remained nearly silent. When a projection came in and it was for Obama, we cheered. Random chants of “Yes we Can!” and “Yes we will!” broke out among the crowd. People waved giant flags, and everyone smiled cautiously at each other. After winning PA and OH, those smiles widened–although it wasn’t over yet, victory was in sight.

I will never forget the moment in which I found out Barack Obama would be our next president. Cheering broke out so loudly, but I couldn’t see the screen, so I assumed we had won a key state.  Jon lifted me in the air, and I saw the screen projecting that Barack Obama was our next president. I looked around at the people screaming, crying, and embracing, and I started to cry. I couldn’t believe that this day had finally come, that it was really happening. After eight long years of being on the side of the frustrated, disappointed American people, our day had come. We were getting another chance.

After that came John McCain’s concession speech. Much to my amazement (and my delight), the crowd was silent again. We listened to a man who had given up years of his life to the American people concede the highest office in the land, and do so with such class that again, I wanted to cry. His message was clear–we may have lost, but it doesn’t matter. It is time to unite. This was the John McCain that I had wanted to see for the year, and here he was. The crowd in Hutchinson Field clapped and cheered–they did not jeer him. As Barack has told us, there is not a blue American and a red America. There is a United States of America.

When Barack finally came out (after a rousing round of “Sweet Home Chicago” which got everyone dancing and clapping), the applause was deafening. The crying began again. Our new President explained to us that this was not the end, but the beginning. That there is a lot of work to be done. His message was clear. We have reached a new place in America, but we will have to work to keep it going, to make this country great. He holds us as accountable as much as we hold him accountable, and I’m up for the challenge. I went home that night and felt accomplished, relieved, and exhausted.

When I woke up the next morning, everything seemed a little brighter. A little more hopeful. We were looking for change, and here it comes. Here comes a new era for the greatest country in the world. God Bless America.

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A new start…

So my other blogging attempts have basically fallen on their miserably, custom-designed faces. I think that maybe I was trying too hard to focus on one thing (books) or to use it as a diary (which I already have, hidden under my bed). So this is going to be an open forum for my thoughts on urban living, eco-friendly topics, politics, running, cooking, good times, and whatever else it is that I am up to in my life. I think in a fragmented, scattered, hectic way, so I don’t know why I try and write in an organized manner 🙂

So here’s a list of things that’s on my mind lately–

1. The election next week–anyone who knows me knows that my allegiance is to one of Chicago’s favorite sons, Barack Obama. The man has a powerful way with words, and is an amazing leader, speaker, and all around man. I think that he’ll bring a lot of insight and change to our country, and if one more person says we can’t change this country, I will seriously projectile vomit on them. You really don’t think we can’t EVER change ANYTHING about this country? Then you might as well roll over and die, because really, what’s the point?

2. I have recently become obsessed with eating, shopping, and living locally. I have always liked cooking (but not baking–oh no, that is far too exact a science for someone inept at using measuring cups or remembering whether or not I have added the sugar), but this is taking it to a new level. I like the challenge of using locally grown produce to make my nightly meals (though my boyfriend Jon might get sick of winter squash as we head into the colder months), and I like the idea of eating seasonally. Because seriously, people who eat strawberries in Chicago in January have always made me a little skirmish. It’s like people who are uber tan in the winter–there’s something a little unnatural about it. Anyway, if you’re interested in all the moral, health-related, politically reasons that we should all think more about what we eat, where it comes from, and what happens to it along the way, I recommend some light reading (I warn you, I am not an expert…yet.):

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver

This one makes you feel good–it’s set up more like a journey novel, with Kingsolver at the helm. Her pledge to eat locally for a year and her adventures in doing so are informative and at times, hysterical (let me just say this: poultry sex. More fascinating than you would think). This book changed my life a little, and I liked it.

The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Michael Pollan

This one’s more like a good Italian Catholic mammina–once you understand what it’s saying, you start to feel pretty guilty. However, it has a lot more scientific information than the Kingsolver, and it reinforces a lot of the topics she touches on. I would recommend it for people who really want to learn more about why they should eat locally and seasonally. Also, there is a good section on pig hunting–intriguing, I tell you!

In Defense of Food, Michael Pollan

I liked this one too, but it was a short, easy read that basically covered things I already knew about. However, some of the interesting material in this one deals with how our body reacts to different combinations of food, and how instead of becoming food-centric, this nation has become nutrient-centric. Don’t know what the difference is? I didn’t either, until I read this book.

3. It’s fall in Chicago. While this means that my arch enemy (Winter Misery) is approaching, it also means Halloween, harvests, soup making, baked goods (created by professionals, not me), and football. I am sure that these are all things I’ll get to in the next few months.

Okay, so three isn’t that many, but it’s a start, right? Look for more from me, until then, I’m out of here.

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