Tag Archives: President

chilling right out.


It is so cold out there.

On days like yesterday, I wonder, really wonder, how it is that I have lived in three states and each of them has been colder than the last.

Why do I do things like that?

All suggestions are welcome.


Also yesterday: a beautiful Inauguration, complete with James Taylor doing this:

We can fight all we want about politics, but man, that song makes me tear up a little bit.

I’m welcoming the next four years with open arms chickens, because really, what’s the alternative?


Monday was also, aside from being freezing and Presidential, Martin Luther King Jr. day.

Dr. King has so much good stuff in his wheelhouse that it’s hard to know where to begin, but this one, tweeted by my always-favorite Cory Booker, stuck to me a little bit more than the rest.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

I am pretty much the first to sheepishly raise my hand when it comes to getting angry too fast instead of thinking through my response, of trying to think of ways to even the score instead of setting it straight, and of honestly, just sometimes being too lazy to work it out instead of steeping in negativity.

All things I’m working on, by the way.

Cold, dreary days in January are a good time to remember someone who managed to always keep it positive, even in the face of inequality.


Speaking of dreary, here’s something good to end this one with: at this time next week, sunset will be after 5pm.

Progress, chicks. We’re making it every day.




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signed, sealed, delivered, I’m yours.

Last night was a long night chickens.

And I will shamefully admit to you that I am just listening to President Obama’s acceptance speech right now, because despite the fact that my parents were at McCormick Place with the President, I fell asleep on the couch ten minutes before he made an appearance, exhausted by a long campaign season and possibly too many  vodkas-on-the-rocks.

It was a stressful evening, for those first couple of hours.

I was glad we knew fairly early on that Mr. Obama won the re-election, because it meant my heart palpitations could stop while I paid attention to some of the other great things that were happening.

Like Elizabeth Warren winning in Massachusetts.

And Tammy Baldwin winning in Wisconsin.

And Claire McCaskill in Missouri (although honestly, how could we have thought the “legitimate rape” guy was gonna win?).

The Senate as of January will have more women senators than it ever has in history.

That’s a big deal, chickadees.

For me last night, this win was just about as important as my President having four more years stretched in front of him.

Congratulations, Mr. President. I’m so proud of you, and I cannot wait to see what strides we make in the next four years as a country.



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we have been told we cannot do this.

Hey chickens, sorry I’m a little late this morning.

I took an early run to calm my nerves and center my energy, and then I headed to my polling place.


The line was a little long, but people were friendly, the volunteers were great, and exercising my right to vote is hands down one of the most important things I ever do.

So I’m hoping you’re exercising yours today, chickadees.

It’s more important than ever. As I reflect on my vote today, I’ve been thinking about a couple of things:

In just four short years since the last election, I’ve turned into a person who has a pre-existing condition (aside from being a woman). I’m 28-years old, I didn’t do something dangerous or get hooked on drugs or get into a catastrophic accident.

My cells just started fighting themselves one random day.

I’m a runner. I’m a healthy eater. I’m a young person. I’m a good person.

I’m not a pre-existing condition, and if something happens to my job, how in God’s good name do you think it makes sense that I don’t deserve health insurance?

That’s not entitlement, that’s a human right.


I have an awesome, beautiful, baby cousin named Anthony.

Anthony has Autism.

He also has a great smile.

And brown hair.

And a sweet Halloween costume.

He’s no pre-existing condition, chickadees.

He’s a delight, actually.


As a 28-year old and not a 24-year old, I have some different perspective this time around than I did in 2008. In 2008, I wanted to vote for a President who believed in equal rights because I wanted to make sure my women, minority, and gay friends were all treated with the same respect as a white man.

And I still think that.

But one day, (God willing), I’m going to have a daughter. Or a son. And I hope that if that daughter or son happens to be born gay, I can look them in the eye and tell them they can marry the person they love one day, because honestly, my friends, can you imagine how tragic it is to not be able to say that to your child?


After last week’s terrible storm- how can you not believe in climate change?

Worse, chickens, how can you vote for someone who doesn’t either?


As a woman, I  think I deserve to be the paid as a man doing the same job. End. Period. Stop.


I’ll be watching the polls all day today, chickadees, because too many people who I love count on our President being re-elected, myself included. Thanks for sticking with me during the past few months, and I look forward to chatting tomorrow.


Filed under Chicago, Politics, Reflections

heading into the home stretch.

Listen, chickens.

I was going to write about my delightful 5k with my buddies yesterday.

I’ll at least pause to show you how happy we were to be running at 7:30 in the morning on a Sunday.


But, my dear chickadees, it’s the first Monday of November, so you know what’s on my mind.

Tomorrow’s Election Day.

And so my nervous energy is sort of taking over any other activities I had planned.

My opinions are strong, and I know that.

I’ve never been sorry about it.

You can say that President Obama hasn’t fulfilled all his promises, that America’s not back on her feet four years later, and you can cast your vote based on some kind of not-quite-detailed plan to cut the deficit for white, rich American men and hope it trickles down to the rest of us.

Or you can vote for a man who believes that all Americans deserve equal rights, whether they be rich, poor, white, African-American, gay or straight.

To be honest with you, when I peel back all the layers of this election, I’m voting on the platform of human rights.

And I’m not apologizing to anyone for it.

I’m not going to whisper because I might offend someone.

This is America, chickens, and the best part about our great country is that in the name of freedom, we’re allowed to express whatever opinion we’ve got.

I saw this through a Facebook post a few weeks ago, and I think it sums up how I’ve been feeling lately.

“I wish my moderate Republican friends would simply be honest. They all say they’re voting for Romney because of his economic policies (tenuous and ill-formed as they are), and that they disagree with him on gay rights. Fine. Then look me in the eye, speak with a level clear voice, and say, ‘My taxes and take-home pay mean more than your fundamental civil rights, the sanctity of your marriage, your right to visit an ailing spouse in the hospital, your dignity as a citizen of this country, your healthcare, your right to inherit, the mental welfare and emotional well-being of your youth, and your very personhood.’ It’s like voting for George Wallace during the Civil Rights movements, and apologizing for his racism. You’re still complicit. You’re still perpetuating anti-gay legislation and cultural homophobia. You don’t get to walk away clean, because you say you “disagree” with your candidate on these issues.”

-Max von Essen
Am I oversimplifying it? Maybe, chicks. But I can’t stress how important it is to think about your neighbor this Election Day. To think about how you’d feel if it was your rights that weren’t equal to someone else’s, just because of your gender, or the color of your skin, or your sexual orientation. My suspicion is that you’d be outraged. I would be.
I am.
I know I’m not changing votes at this stage in the game- but I think it’s important to have the conversation.
At least we live in a country where that’s something we’re allowed, chicks.
Enjoy the sunshine if you’ve got it.


Filed under Chicago, Politics, Reflections

reading up and bearing down.

Morning, chicks!

And Happy Bears Day!

Or whatever team it is you cheer for.

Last night we went out, sans costumes, to celebrate Ky’s birthday.

It was serious fun.


Our plan was to feed the jukebox all our money and listen to our playlist for as long as we liked.

Except that some country music-loving patrons managed to step ahead of us and commandeer most of our awesome choices.

Luckily, Nicky Minaj still managed to make an appearance.

Otherwise, what kind of birthday party would it have been, really?


Up this morning: a pledge to take.it.easy for awhile, pulled pork bbq & fried chicken (in honor of the Bears’ opponent, the Carolina Panthers), and reading newspaper endorsements of President Obama.

Here’s the one that’s obviously closest to my heart (and my apartment, too), but I did enjoy The New York Times’ article just as well. My baby sister’s city also likes Obama for President.

And of course, an endorsement from my home state always makes me proud.

Listen, the election’s almost here, and I need sensible words from major newspapers to make me feel better about people who think that that pregnancy resulting from rape is a gift from God and also insist on making life miserable for new parents, just because they happen to be gay.

Hang with me chickadees, the end is in sight.

Until then, I have some more reading to do.





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bear down and chin up.

Ok, chickadees, we’ve hit the start of another week, and I will admit, I am in a very upbeat mood for a Monday morning.

This could be because I started the day with a run through the sun-is-not-quite-up neighborhood.

Somehow dodging garbage trucks and hitting the pavement really does it for me.

I won’t try to explain myself.

I’m a city girl- what can I say?

However, just because I prefer sidewalks and public transportation does not mean I can’t appreciate the beauty of this time of the year on the outside.

And thus, I present you with my hipster-y-est pictures from the weekend past.


It was, as you can see, another lovely weekend in the Second City, which included hay stacks, long walks, bike rides, cooking, and all my pals.

Up tonight to round things out: the last presidential debate, which I’ll be watching late this night/early this morning, because although my love of politics and sports is neck-and-neck, it seems more prudent to take in the Bears game live.

Also, I’ve been promised chili, cornbread, and good company.

Mr. President, I promise all my cheers to win the game include you right in there.


Enjoy this one, chickens. I know I will.



Filed under Chicago, I love sports, Politics, Running, Things that are delicious

The government is us; we are the government, you and I.

Last night, it was so warm that I went for a pre-debate, head-clearing run in shorts and a t-shirt.

October- where’d you go?

Not that I’m complaining.

When I got home, I cozied up on the couch with a drink, my iPad, my phone, and debate coverage on television.

I like to have access to all corners of the internet when I’m watching political events.

Post his mid-term, this is how JW found me:


I’m dedicated to the cause, chickadees.

And I’ll be climbing on my soapbox again for a moment, so please, avert your eyes if it bothers you.

I hope you’ll stay with me, though.

I think that last night put into place a lot of the out of touch ideas that Mitt Romney actually thinks are going to work. Among the ones that disturbed me most are the following:

  • Helping the women of America means relaying a story of a time someone brought him “binders of women” as job candidates and ensuring employers provide flexibility to women so we can get home and make dinner for our families. Do I think families need flexibility at work? Yes. But guess what, that includes men. On the flip side, not all of us women have families to go home and cook for- what’s your plan for us? Helping the women of America means enforcing anti-discrimination laws and ensuring that I make the same amount as a man doing the same work. On the binder comment, I have no words. I was offended.
  • No amnesty for any illegal immigrants, and the option to self-deport. This just isn’t going to work. And quite frankly, when someone describes a group of people as “illegals” instead of “illegal immigrants” it irritates me. When you take away the noun, you’re taking away the fact that these folks are people. We’re a nation of immigrants (and honestly, not all legally). Let’s start remembering that.
  • Cutting taxes for the middle class by eliminating the tax on capital gains and dividends? Most middle class people I know (myself included) don’t have capital gains and dividends taxes to worry about- we’re middle class, Mitt. Post recession, a lot of us don’t even have a savings account.
  • I personally loved the question about AK-47s. And I’m not gonna lie- I think it’s straight up ridiculous that a population of America thinks it’s okay to own combat weapons like this. That aside, Mitt Romney turned this into a treatise on why America needs heterosexual, married, two-parent households raising children. It’s 2012, and even if your life happens to be this way, it’s certainly not the only path to success in raising well-adjusted, contributing members of society. Let’s remember that Barack Obama was raised by a single mom, and he seems to be doing just fine. 

Obviously, I lean in a certain direction. And that’s okay- in America, we all have the opportunity to hold and voice our own opinions, thank God. I’ve never been an undecided voter, and if you ask me why, this is what I’d say.

Even if (and this is 100% hypothetical, since I don’t think it to be true in the slightest), the Republican party had the magic formula to end unemployment, I couldn’t vote for them. Republican lawmakers have a record of enforcing racist edicts (you look like you might be an illegal immigrant, show me your papers), of wanting control over my body (goodbye Planned Parenthood. Goodbye, legal abortion. Goodbye, access to affordable mammograms and yearly checkups), and of stripping rights from my gay friends (this is absolutely a civil rights issue, in my mind).

Chickens, I can’t wrap my head around voting for someone who takes anyone’s rights to be expendable.

And that, I think, is why I can’t look away until I know how this thing is going to land. Call me a bleeding heart, call me overly sensitive, call me anything you want- just pay attention during this election cycle.

I’m stepping down for now- only a few more weeks to go chicks- hopefully you can stand me by then.


Filed under Chicago, Politics, Reflections, Running, This makes me crazy, Weather

like the last breath left of the air i need.

Check it out, chickens.

We made it safely past Monday.

And there’s always progress in that.

Also, it’s this beautiful time of the year.

Last night, I watched the Broncos come back to beat the Chargers in what was one of the more exciting games I’ve seen this season.

JW came home after a night of studying, watched me cheer loudly a few times, and said “Are you cheering for the Broncos? Or maybe against the Chargers?”

He’s generally amused by my random, game-long-only allegiances.

I explained to him that generally, the Chargers bore me, and I sort of like the idea of Peyton Manning making a comeback, and thus, I was cheering for the losing team.

Which turned out to be the winning team, in the end.

My love for football knows no bounds, chickadees.


Today is supposed to be unseasonably warm, which means I might take my run to the streets (if it doesn’t take 37 hours to get home- what’s with that, Chicago transit? I’ve never been so sick of waiting for three trains to pass only to stand embarrassingly close to someone on the fourth.) as I move into my third week of training with my dad.

And then, it’s debate 2.0 watching time.

There’s nothing I like more than a sanctioned, moderated argument.

I’ll say no more.

For now.

Catch you chickens on the other side.


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caucuses and two for the books.

So I made it one day of getting up early before I decided I’d rather stay under my covers.

Which means I’m gonna have to brave the crowded gym tonight.

Pray for me. And pray that I don’t have to resort to the recumbent bike, which is my worst workout nightmare.

No, I’m really not sure why.

In any case, I made it through the first day of work without losing my cool, and it’s already Wednesday.

Two positives, I would say.

Other things I’m focused on for the week include the Iowa caucus (yes, I know, we don’t all like politics, but I’m a sucker for political races and anything that inflates my blood pressure) and a couple of library books dedicated to my favorite subject, history.

Up right now is 1776, which I actually can’t believe I haven’t read before. I’m settling in with the Continental Army for a long, New England winter, and I’m anxious to see how it all turns out.

I think I might know it turns out.

But I’d like to know how it all went down.

Post my American Revolution dabbling, I’ve got Grant on my shelf, and it’s about a million pages long and also intimidating me from my living room.

He’s fairly intimidating, you know? Also, he’s known for having one of the most corrupt administrations in our nation’s history, so you know that means I need to know all about it.

Who doesn’t love a 19th century scandal?

And with that, chickens, I’m off to get to this next day of the new year. Have a lovely morning!


Filed under Good Reads, Reflections

Tonight we give thanks

Whoa, friends, what a news night Sunday turned into.

In case you haven’t heard.

While I heard Brian Williams say that it is unnatural to feel good because of the death of someone (even if they’re pretty much the worst), and I am with him, because really, it is unnatural to feel that way, there’s no use in pretending like this isn’t an event which makes us all feel better.

Better that our troops have gotten the biggest win they can get.

Better that families from 9/11 can feel like no, we did not forget you, and yes, we got the bad guy.

Better that when you turned on the news last night, no one was talking about whose birth certificate said what, or who was a fraud, but instead, just a bunch of American flags waved in the wind and people were content to be, at the root of it, American.

Without connotation, without splitting it any further into which party or which sector or which level of education or which race thought what about who.

And that felt pretty good.

Now, I am not so naive as to think that this will last very long, because another thing that makes us all Americans is our ability to have a difference of opinion on pretty much everything, even when it feels petty or exhausting.

But, if you think about it, that’s at the root of why we’ve been fighting this guy and his network of terror all along.

“The cause of securing our country is not complete. But tonight, we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to. That is the story of our history, whether it’s the pursuit of prosperity for our people, or the struggle for equality for all our citizens; our commitment to stand up for our values abroad, and our sacrifices to make the world a safer place.

Let us remember that we can do these things not just because of wealth or power, but because of who we are: one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
-President Obama 

Now chickadees, that’s a good note to start the week off on, don’t you think?

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