Your Voice

To follow-up with my previous post, I wanted to share with everyone the link to a video of the Third-Party Presidential Debate that streamed live yesterday.

Debate Coverage Here

(Note: the video is 2+ hours but the debate starts an hour into it…go ahead and fast forward to the debate, instructions in the video description).

So, I know in my previous post  I wasn’t trying to push my beliefs or be too political about it, but I feel the need to get into it a little this time. If that’s not your cup of tea, feel free to read no further, but I do really encourage you to watch the debate! You’ll find it refreshingly different from the same old song and dance we get between Obama and Romney.

Presidential Candidate Jill Stein made a point that I’d like to stress.

The biggest way people give up power is by not knowing we have it to start with.

In fact, there are 90 million voters who are not coming out to vote in this election. That’s one out of every two voters. That’s twice as many as the number that will come out for Barack Obama and twice as many as the number that will come out for Mitt Romney.

Those are voters that are saying no to politics as usual and saying no to republican and democratic parties. Imagine if we got out word to those 90 million voters that they actually have a variety of choices and voices in this election.

First off, I’ve always been appalled at the sheer number of people who do not exercise their right to vote, but that’s another issue. Come on, people, get out there and VOTE!

Second, I did a little fact-checking myself on the 90 million voters stat. Going off the 2008 presidential election, Obama got around 70 million votes and McCain got around 60 million votes [source].

Also in 2008, about 75 million citizens 18 years or older did not turn out to vote. Of that 75 million, 15 million were registered voters. If you account for the total US population of those 18 years or older, you’re up to about 95 million who didn’t vote in the last election [source]. I’d like to go with the 75 million number, since I’m not about to count potential votes from US residents ineligible to vote. If we go with that number, it is less than the 90 million Jill Stein claims will not turn out to vote and it is not quite double the numbers that Obama or McCain had…BUT it is still more votes than either of them had. 

I know there are people out there who are sick of all this election stuff. To an extent, I am too. People are tired of seeing politics appear on their Facebook news feeds, tired of turning on the news and hearing the latest about who told what lies, tired of listening to Presidential debates that cover the same topics with candidates that dance around the issues and twist facts and statistics to suit their needs.

We don’t have to settle for “politics as usual” as Jill Stein says. We all have voices, we all have a choice to make.

Gary Johnson made, I think, an important point as well:

Look we hear about wasted votes right now. Wasting your vote is voting for someone you don’t believe in. That’s wasting your vote.

If you’re tired of all the bull$%!+ that comes along with politics, the worst thing you can do is sit out of this election in defiance. You have no right to sit back on your couch and complain about the current state of affairs if you will not stand up and make your voice heard when it actually matters, at an election.

I’m speaking now to the non-voters. Maybe you’re too busy, maybe you don’t feel that you’re educated enough to cast a vote, maybe you just don’t think it’s that important, that your state is red or blue or whatever and your vote is not needed…

It is needed. You, the non-voters can make a difference, we can all make a difference. I get it, I get that you’re unsatisfied with what seem like your options, but there are other choices in this election! In our modern day driven by social media and technology no voice is too small to be heard, no idea too difficult to spread. We as voters and as citizens have the power to make change but we have to do our part:

Educate yourself. Educate those around you. You have many voices to choose from in this election, do not sit this one out because you’re tired of politics the way they are now. And most importantly:

If you are not registered to vote it’s not too late and it’s incredibly easy. There are many ways to do it online, but here’s one link to get you started: Register to VOTE!

I never ask my readers to share what they’ve read, but please, please share…tweet, update your Facebook status, pin it on Pinterest, post on Reddit…we need to do our part to make a difference in this election. It is possible!!

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Who Will You Side With?

In honor of tonight’s third and final Presidential debate, I thought I’d do a political theme post! Now, don’t go running for the hills. I’m not here to tout my beliefs try to convince you of what to think or who to vote for.

I feel that I’ve only recently jumped onto the political scene and thus I have much to learn. My boyfriend is the well-informed one and I must give credit to him for the site I’m going to share with all you lovely folks today.

Because, regardless of your political party, of your stance on social, economic, or defense issues, what is most important is that you are informed.

Far, far too many voters are uninformed about their options with the upcoming election. When I told my sister I was reading about the other presidential candidates she said, “Isn’t it just Obama and Romney now?” No, no it’s not, and sadly she’s not the only one under this impression.

No matter who you vote for, I urge you to really investigate your candidate. Educate yourself. Your vote matters.

And while we’re on the topic, I’m going to offer what seems a bit of obvious advice: vote for who you think will be the best President. Obvious, right? But recently I told someone I was thinking about voting for a third-party candidate and that person told me that another candidate “needed my vote,” that it would be a waste to vote for someone who wasn’t going to win.

You know what’s a waste? Voting for a candidate you don’t really support. That sort of mentality defeats the entire purpose of our voting system. So I say again, vote for who you think will be the best President. Don’t vote for who your parents tell you to vote for. Don’t vote for the democratic candidate because you live in a “blue” state. Don’t vote for the republican candidate because you live in a “red” state. Don’t not vote for someone out of fear of wasting your vote. 

Now that I’ve got you all fired up and ready to vote, I urge you to visit this site which lets you take a survey on a pretty broad spectrum of topics. It also gives you a broad spectrum of possible answers (beyond a simple yes or no). The results match you with a presidential candidate, and yes, third-party candidates are accounted for. It even has your candidates for senate as well.

Make a difference this election. Educate yourself on the issues, form your own opinions, figure out what you think. Then research your candidates, take that survey, share your results. Let your vote be heard.

iSideWith <–survey here

In case you’re curious I matched up 92% with Jill Stein, Green party candidate. 🙂

Posted in Nerdy Stuff, Special Events, Thoughts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

BOO! Halloween Nail Art

After a morning skype with my sister in Italy, I decided to do my nails on this super lazy Sunday! Now that Halloween is right around the corner, I thought I’d do some nail art to honor the upcoming holiday.

Tell me these nails aren’t Pinterest worthy!!

OMG excuse my cuticles…shame.

This nail art was actually pretty easy too. I did the lettering, the webs, the ghost eyes and the pumpkin face with one of those thin brushes. Just take your time and practice on a paper towel first if you need to.

And yes, that is my left hand. In case you’re wondering, I’m realized after finishing that there was NO WAY I’d be able to do all that cool stuff on the other hand. It was at this point I complained to my sister via webcam that she was not there to help me.

So, I improvised on my right hand. Not bad!


So, aside from the fact that I’m rocking two different styles on my hands, my nails are looking good! At least it’s a cohesive theme.

Now if you’ll excuse me I have to get back to my Once Upon A Time marathon…

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When Life Gives You Lemons…

I’m an optimist. I’m very good at finding the so-called silver lining in every situation and staying positive even when things look bleak.

Why? Because if I’m going to be in a situation, I like to make the best of it. If I’m going to be in a situation (especially if I’m going to be there a while), I’d much rather find all the things that are great about it than brood on the things that aren’t so great.

But.

There comes a point when the things that aren’t so great aren’t so easy to overshadow with positive thinking. There comes a point when you need to be realistic with yourself.

When life gives you lemons, don’t convince yourself that it’s chocolate cake.

The last few months of my life have been an absolute roller coaster. I’ve moved not once, but twice, started a new job, and begun to forge a life for myself in the real world. And, for the most part, things were great.

The great things were being near my friends. Being close enough to help coach my college dance team. Working in the dance world. Did I mention being near my friends? That was a big plus.

But, this weekend, after several weeks of thought, I decided it was time to make a change in my life, and found very rapidly that even if I wasn’t ready for it, change was coming anyway. Good thing I was ready!

Are there things I’ll miss about living in MA? Yes. Mostly my friends and my team. But this change is really, really, for the better. This change has allowed me to re-evaluate where I want to be and how I’m going to get there. I feel like I’m back on track, heading down a path with my goals in mind.

When life gives you lemons, and you realize it’s not chocolate cake, why would you keep the lemons? Hand back the lemons. Say, “thanks, but no thanks, life. I’ll have some chocolate cake please.” And, if you’re lucky, life will oblige. 🙂

 

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The Day Whipped Cream Almost Made Me Cry

Mondays are long days.

Not just because they’re Mondays, but because I run in the morning, work a full day at the store, then drive an hour to coach my college dance team and drive home. I pull into the driveway at midnight which is well past my old-geezer bedtime these days.

This Monday was particularly tiresome. I had to squeeze a meeting in between work and practice which robbed me of dinner time so after practice I stopped at the only place open at 11pm that was quick: Dunkin Donuts.

At the drive through window I scanned the menu.

DD Employee: Welcome to Dunkin Donuts! How can I help you?

Me: Hi, um, do you still have the Apple Orchard donut?

DD: *Super happily* Yes, we do!

Me: Oh good, I’ll take one of those. And do you have chocolate frosted with sprinkles?

(Dinner of champions, I know.)

DD: *Even more happily* Yes, we do!

Me: Great! Ok I’ll take those two, aaaand, do you have vanilla or chocolate cream donuts?

(I only asked because they were listed on the menu, I didn’t really expect them to have them.)

DD: *Sadly* No, I’m sorry we don’t.

Me: Ah well, that’s ok.

DD: Do you feel like a donut with filling? We do have a new apple-filled donuts!

Me: Oh, yes I’ve tried that one, it was good, but I think I’ll pass. I really miss the Oreo filled donuts, they were the best!

(Yes, this conversation is happening via drive through.)

DD: Would you like one of the regular ones? I can’t make a filled one, but I can make you one of the regular ones!

(Did she just offer to make me a donut? Employee of the year award)

Me: Oh, no that’s ok! Thank you though. I think I’ll just stick with those two. And can I get an Oreo Coolata?

(Again, dinner fit for a Queen right here.)

DD: Of course! Whipped Cream?

Me: Yes, please!

(duh)

DD: Ok, drive on up!

I ease on the brake and trundle up to the window, reflecting on my day that had been long and unexpectedly emotional (another story, another blog post…). I stop at the window, roll down my window, and reach for my wallet. When I turned to look up at the drive through window, I am greeted by a glorious sight.

A smiling Dunkin Donuts employee handing me my Oreo Coolata that doesn’t just have whipped cream on top of it, it has whipped cream piled through the hole on the lid, teetering skyward, topped with sprinkled Oreo crumbs.

DD: I gave you extra whipped cream since we didn’t have any filled donuts and I knew you wanted one!

I am not kidding you, I almost burst into tears.

Call it PMS, call it the result of not just a long day, but a long month, call it stress or exhaustion or whatever, but at that moment, that was just about the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me. I could think of nothing more I wanted than to lick up all that whipped cream.

I managed to control my joyful tears and thank this employee profusely for her kindness.

ME: Really, you just made my whole day, thank you so much!

Sometimes it seems like you’re carrying a really heavy pack on your shoulders. Worry, fear, stress…often times over things you can’t control or are already doing everything you can about…

Sometimes the hardest part of carrying this pack is realizing just how heavy the pack is, taking a moment to take stock of your life and what you have on your plate.

Sometimes what causes that realization is when you find yourself crying over extra whipped cream in your car at 11:30pm on a Monday night.

Thank you, Dunkin Donuts employee, for giving me exactly what I needed, not just extra whipped cream, but a little extra attention, a little extra care, and an encouraging smile when I needed it most!

Posted in Food, Nerdy Stuff, Thoughts | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

How I Know I’m Growing Up

Despite my best efforts, it seems I’ve somehow become an adult. I’m not sure when or how this change occurred but I can tell you how I know it’s happened.

1. I am able to kill spiders. At the age of twelve my mom tried to force me to vacuum up a spider that had stationed itself above the doorway to my bathroom. It was small, not bothering anyone, and far out of my reach. I refused to shower until it was removed. My mom armed me with the hose to the vacuum and a long extension. For a solid ten minutes I stood there with the hose in my hand, sobbing uncontrollably and unable to do the deed. The problem was that once the vacuum sucked up the spider, it would pass down the tube, which was in my hand, meaning my bare flesh would be centimeters from the spider. Yes, I know the vacuum was separating us, but my brain didn’t comprehend that.

My new apartment, though a serious upgrade from the last place, seems to play host to a unnervingly large number of spiders. I am proud to announce, however, that not only have I been able to vacuum up every creepy crawly that finds its way into my space, I have actually been able to use a paper towel and simply snatch spiders off the wall with my BARE HANDS.

I used to think that when my poor children called their mom to kill a spider I would simply stand there with them, not letting the spider escape my sight, until my husband came home, at which time he would be required to take care of the spider. Not anymore! Now I have confidence in my ability to dispose of any spider that dares enter my realm!

2. I’m mastering my credit card. I got a credit card senior year of college and used it once in a while just to build up some good credit. I now use my card for almost everything and promptly pay off my bill every month. 

A few weeks ago, I made a massive grocery run and really stocked up on everything. The next day I got an email from my credit card company letting me know that tomorrow they would be offering 5% cash back on groceries. Tomorrow!? Why didn’t I wait to do my big grocery run!?

Only adults get pissed about this sort of thing.

3. Grown ups use coasters and clean dishes. My school friends have all moved into their own apartments in the city now and have begun their real lives in the work world. This weekend, one of my friends had a birthday, so he and his roommate invited us all over for a potluck dinner.

So there we were, hanging out in the living room of an apartment my friends actually paid to live in, eating food we all actually cooked, putting our drinks on real coasters, watching Jeopardy. Yes, watching Jeopardy. And we were into it.

But the moment I really realized I was growing up was after dinner before dessert. I never understood when the grown ups at our family parties would all pitch in and do dishes after dinner. I was always like, “If I was at someone’s party, I’d never do all their dishes. I hate doing dishes. What weirdos.”

But there I was, at the sink, washing dishes like nobody’s business. Yes, my ulterior motive was that we needed clean plates to enjoy dessert, but still! I actually understood why grown ups all pitched in to help clean up dishes at parties.

Spider killer, finance queen, coaster user…this is adulthood at its finest.

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It Got Better!

First off, apologies for my absence from the blog-o-sphere. My life has consisted entirely of work lately as the store is busiest in September, and I just haven’t been able to find it in me to compose a thought-worthy blog post when I get home at night (read: my boyfriend got me Portal 2 and it’s consumed my evenings).

ANYWAY.

I actually have something worth sharing today!

My alma mater (alma mater, what?!) decided today, after much deliberation, to revise its non-discrimination policy to include sexual orientation.

!!!

This is fantastic news mostly because I know so many passionate people have worked so hard to see this happen. At the end of my senior year the “It Needs To Get Better” movement found renewed vigor after many years on the shelf. It started with this video. Although the video sparked the fire, faculty members expressed concern that students wouldn’t be able to sustain interest over the fast-approaching summer.

FALSE!

A core group of extremely motivated and passionate students started up a Facebook group and kept its 2,000+ members informed about their progress. They urged students, alumni, and faculty members to compose emails to board members and provided emails to do so. As the date of the Trustee’s meeting approached people started sharing their emails which inspired me to write my own.

After much anticipation, it was announced today that the board voted unanimously to include sexual orientation in its non-discrimination policy.

My four years at my college were incredibly amazing. The community there already embraced all types of people, but now the official policy reflects the sense of unity the school has.

I am so proud of my alma mater! 🙂

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