California

Posted in Life on February 22nd, 2008 by Tom

Just a little update as to what’s going on in general.

My family sent me The O.C. on DVD for Valentine’s Day.
Which was way, way out of the blue, and really surprised me. Just wasn’t expecting it.

But as I re-watch it again, I can’t help myself! I love that show. It’s such an excess of hokey drama-mongering and I know that, and by all rights I shouldn’t even like it. You would be hard pressed to find something more contrived, honestly.

But it makes me laugh and smile and get all sad inside, and you can’t deny yourself something that does that for you. So few things in life really allow you to emote, and as embarrassing of an interest as this may be, I guess I’m just willing to stick it out.

So that was my silly little revelation for the week (and also the source of this weeks song; it’s stuck in my head all the time, and I want others to suffer as I have suffered).

In other news, I want to extend a HUGE congratulations to Paula! She’s the best! Out of about 600 candidates for what I’m sure was a very competitive internship, she came in second. It’s sad that she couldn’t win and get first, but I’m still super proud of Paula! [Please at least check out her video submission]

While you’re YouTubing, check out this little gem:

I really think that’s about it for right now.
Just a little of what’s going on.

It snows a few times a week here in Kirksville, and I miss the sun.
Though I have successfully conditioned myself to not need a coat, which is pretty cool.

Romeo and Juliet

Posted in Life on February 15th, 2008 by Tom

So today (two hours ago) was Valentine’s Day!

I’ve got to say that I’m still kinda sad that people keep hatin’ on the ol’ Valentine’s Day.
They’re all walking around, complaining about stupid “Singles Awareness Day”, getting their bitter on.

Even as someone who spends a whole, whole lot of time being bitter, I can’t get behind this assault on the holiday. A lot of people claim to have real reasons to hate it: they got dumped near or on Valentine’s Day, or just at all. But it’s so silly when you think about it by the numbers.

Say your had a two-year relationship:

Bad Days:
Getting Dumped (1)
Big Fights (10)
Pregnancy Scare (2)

Good Days:
First Hand-Holding (1)
First Kiss (1)
Everything Else ([365*2]-15=715)

So you’re going to get all rilled up and angry over 1.9% of your relationship? Yeeeeesh.

I’ve said it like… a thousand times: Any excuse people have to give each other confectionery food and other miscellany, and just be nice for the pure sake of being nice is OK by me, regardless of how my own personal romantic stuff is panning out.

Sorry to say it kids, but I’m going to Keep Posting This every Valentine’s Day until people stop being butts about it.
There’s plenty of things to be angered and outraged about in this world today.

Valentine’s Day is NOT one of them.

That said, I had a pretty terrible Valentine’s Day.
Between Thursday being my super-busiest day of the week, and having an absolutely KILLER test in Modern Physics to work on all damn day, and hardly seeing Lizz for more than half an hour… eh.

It just wasn’t really working.
However, today should be much better.

And really, what more can you ask for?

Rudie Can’t Fail

Posted in Politics on February 5th, 2008 by Tom

Happy Super Tuesday!

I’m so excited; today is awesome! Granted, it will be better once the polls close, but I wanted to give a brief recap of the field at the present time.

I’ll begin first where it all began, in Iowa. This year, I was actually AT Iowa caucus, which was fun. Ethan and I drove up all the way to Grinnell, IA , they day of caucus. It was a long drive, during which we got through the entirety of the Smashing Pumpkins – Greatest Hits album. And the Pumpkins wrote a LOT of music.

The actual event was pretty fun, even if I only got to observe. Ethan hung out with the Obama people for most of the night, while I got the please of hanging out with the Obama people’s children… or at least that’s who I assume they all belonged to, given that Obama had twice as many supporters as anyone else there.

Surely, you saw the returns of that night, with Obama winning, and Edwards edging Clinton out for second. The experience itself was goofy, to be honest: all those crazy people yelling at eachother about one another’s “viability” and so on, but one I will probably never witness again, so it was worth it.

Almost immediately following these results, Chris Dodd and Joe Biden dropped out of the race! I thought this was a little sudden, but they really didn’t have any traction, and I guess they didn’t want to risk having happen to them what ended up happening to Edwards. Fun Fact: The district where I was that night elected Chris Dodd’s ONLY delegate, and Ethan knew him by name! I feel as if that’s as close to fame as I will ever come.

Next up came New Hampshire. For some reason, I got REALLY into this. I forced Lizz (and her family, for a while) to watch the CNN coverage of the primary returns, which was special. Hillary Clinton won that state, edging out Obama for first, with Edwards in a distant third. The highlight: CNN displaying multiple pie charts on no fewer than FOUR Television sets simultaneously. [John Stewart later jabbed that they’d set up their election coverage headquarters in a CNN] I searched in vain for a picture of this.

Bill Richardson called it quits after this and grew and AWESOME goatee just in time to watch the Super Bowl with Bill Clinton. I approve, heartily.

Next came Michigan, won by Clinton, but largely to no fanfare or attention, because of the delegate-debacle. Nevada followed, which Clinton won decisively, finally forcing my favorite candidate, Dennis J. Kucinich, out of the race. I want to stop here for a moment, and lament the fact that Dennis was regularly excluded from debates among the top trio of Clinton/Obama/Edwards.

I’m sorry kids, but that’s just not right. He may be really extreme in his views, but that doesn’t mean it’s OK to exclude him. He was regularly shut out of debates, which is unacceptable. He was a real, honest-to-god REGISTERED candidate at the time, and he was not allowed to speak his peace like the rest of them were. Look to the republicans: in spite of all the McCain/Romney drama, and the Huckabee the spoiler (more on that later), they still have the decency to invite Ron Paul (who is an idiot, for the record) to the debates. AND THEY SHOULD!

Democracy doesn’t work unless everyone gets their fair shot, and Dennis did not get his. Tragically, now he’s catching a lot of heat back home, and his House seat is in jeopardy. Granted, it was kindof silly for him to run for two positions at once, but I still feel like he got the raw deal.

Onward now, to South Carolina! This proved to be the swan song for John Edwards, who could not pull his home state as he did in the 2004 cycle. Obama did very well, particularly among the large African American population, netting him more than half the popular vote, with Clinton scraping by with a little bit more than a quarter. Edwards was just under 18%, sadly for him. I don’t know what happened to Edwards, honestly. He didn’t do anything wrong. No scandal, no slip-ups, no nothing.

He just couldn’t catch on with people. It really underscores how crucial I think those first two contests are. Iowa sets up a front runner, and New Hampshire, priding itself on voting “smarter” than Iowa, frequently picks ‘the other guy’, as we saw this year. Time and time again, we’ve seen it pan out like this, and I feel sorry that Edwards took the brunt of it for the second time; it’s even harder now that he couldn’t carry his home state like he did in 2004. But yeah, he’s done now.

Florida came and went with little more than a remark from Democrats, who pledged not to campaign there in light of the aforementioned delegate-debacle (wherein they lost the rights to ALL their voting delegates for moving up their primary), but Clinton carried that state well with its population of older folks, as well as women. For the Republicans, it was a much bigger ordeal: John McCain won this decisive closed Republican primary, setting him up as the man to beat, with Romney playing catch-up (something him and his millions of dollars/supports seem prepared to do), and Huckabee just doing whatever the hell it is that Huckabee does.

Now were are here at today, Super Tuesday!

The first blood today was drawn by, surprisingly, Mike Huckabee! In West Virginia, the McCain camp quickly realized after the first round of caucus that they were not going to win the state outright (Romney was actually in the lead, and expected to win), and threw practically all of their support to Huckabee. You’re allowed to do that in a caucus setup, and now with 52% to Romney’s 47%, Huckabee is the victor, taking all 18 of their delegates.

Romney’s campaign issued a whiny press release, blah blah blah.

I don’t really care.

More to follow this evening!

[NOTE: Thanks to Rachel Kelm, who first turned me on to today’s song many years ago!
Also, thanks to Rudy Giuliani, for, contrary to what the song says, failing.]

8:00 PM CST

So far Hillary is holding the Quasi-Mason-Dixon line with Tennessee, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. Obama snagged his home state of Illinois, as well as the peach-state, Georgia! New York was just called for Clinton (good thing she didn’t lose it; how embarrassing!), and she’s leading just barely in Massachusetts, but that one’s too close.

Ian and I think CNN’s Super Tuesday Coverage is a sham; they count down to the poll-closing-times, and the instant they close, CNN makes a projection, with literally 0% of the vote counted. Hacks. Also, John King has way, way too much fun on the write-with-your-finger screen. It’s an entirely useless device, but he’s the only one who uses it… like he had some special training, and no one else in the studio is certified to use it or something. Or maybe they all just think it’s stupid.

Who knows.

Delaware called for Obama. Fun Fact: Ron Paul has fewer delegates than “Uncommitted” people, who don’t know what they want. Sad Panda.

8:18 PM CST

Clinton is called for New Jersey on MSNBC. That channel has Tom Brokaw, which is awesome. But CNN has this one hilarious guy who I heard say something to the extent that “Republicans need to get over the whole Ronald Regan thing. I’ve read the bible. He’s not Lazarus. He’s not coming BACK. That made me laugh, and it’s also true. (11:31 PM CST, Roland Martin is his name)

John King is still drawing all sorts of stupid circles on the touch-screen. Ian and I want him to use the different colors to make some type of illustration. I doubt he will.

8:40 PM CST

Alabama is called for Obama. Huckabee is putting up a fight, which just tickles me pink (this is, not surprisingly, his color on the big ol’ Red Map). Cooper Anderson is billed as such a pretty boy… I wouldn’t do him.

9:00 PM CST

Utah goes for Romeny. Color me unsurprised. CNN instantly calls this on the hour.
Why did they even wait?
Wolf Blitzer says in many cases they must wait for the “actual numbers,” the “real ballots.” Ian feels this is what the election is “actually” about. I have to say I agree, but I still love Wolf.

9:13 PM CST

Huckabee is droning on about something… a lot of college mascot allusions that I don’t understand. He is a populist, which upsets Laura Ingram and makes me happy. However, if he became president, his wife would not make my “Top Hottest First Ladies” list. Sorry.

[Ian and I will be posting our top five soon; get excited]

Kansas has caucused in the majority for Obama. I feel that Lawrence had a large hand in that, but it’s just a thought.

9:20 PM CST

Obama picks up Connecticut, which with Kansas makes a cool 101 delegates. Nice.

9:34 PM CST

Obama also scores in Minnesota, while Romney talks on his campaign not being as sad as it appears (though it does have a ‘saddest puppy’ look about it). My fun story about Mitt Romney?

My mom said to me: “Tom, your grandma reads all this crazy stuff that says in the end days, when the antichrist comes, he’ll come as a politician. Now, I know that’s just bull… but when I see Mitt Romney… I can’t help but think… maybe it’s him, you know? I’m not saying he is… but he’s just so… slick. You know?”

Yeah. I kinda get that feeling too. He’s creepy. Not because of the mormon thing; I could care less. Christian is Christian to me. There’s just something too… calculated about him.

9:48 PM CST

Hillary Clinton is about to speak, and Bill is there too!

She’s trying to get her people with the signs to shut up. Sign people are really loud, I’ve noticed. She keeps nodding to try and get them to quiet down, and minute she says another thing, they start yelling out again.

Blah. I want them to call Missouri, but they seem reluctant to do so, despite 2/3 of the “real vote” having been counted.

10:38 PM CST

I had to take a break to do like… work. John McCain is blabbing now. Somehow I ALWAYS catch his speech. He’s really nice in complementing his competitors, which is refreshing. It actually seems sincere too, not like someone just stuck a post-it on his speech. I like that.

OH NO! Obama started speaking before John McCain! Conflict!

I’m getting tired of this though, honestly. Ian took the political candidate quiz, which was cool. I promised not to say what he got, so I won’t, but we had fun talking about that. You know, the issues.

11:11 PM CST

Clinton picks up Arizona. Special. Missouri is insanely close. 98% of MO reporting, Obama up by a percentage point. So, so dramatic. I’m tired, in need of a shower, and still have more studying to do. FINISH UP MISSOURI SO I CAN GET ON WITH MY DAY. P.S.: I hope Huckabee pulls MO. You go dude. Just ’cause.

11:16 PM CST

MSNBC just called California for Clinton, with only 15% reporting. That’s special. They’re also saying McCain has won Missouri. They seem more wonton in in just calling stuff. I don’t know if I like that or not, but CNN has followed their lead so far, so I dunno. Maybe they’re just faster/better?

11:31 PM CST

Still waiting on Missouri’ California called for Clinton and McCain on CNN. Lots of speculation on Huckabee being a possible VP. Begala says that MA, CA, and NJ were the states to watch, and Clinton won all of them. Then Larry King interrupted everyone… to go to commercial…

11:38 PM CST

“CNN, the most trusted name in news,” was read over the graphic, by James Earl Jones. Best news station ever? Maybe…

11:44 PM CST

Obama projected to win Alaska. News bar mistakenly reports Huckabee winning Missouri. Apparently the weather is really, really terrible in Tennessee. Outside here in Kirksville we’re getting some light snow that is supposedly going to turn into 8-12 inches of snow.

CALL MISSOURI!

11:48 PM CST

MSNBC has MO called for Obama, which seems likely. Unless Clinton can find 4,000 extra votes in the remaining 1%, I think he’ll get it. They’re also ballparking the number of delegates over at MSNBC, which is cool.

12:28 AM CST

CNN called MO for Obama… while I was taking a shower. *sigh*
I’m turning my chips in this evening. It was a lot of fun; it’s got me all excited for the general election, but that’s a while from now. Obviously, since things ended up so close, we’re now looking down the road to the coming contests.

Louisiana is next, this Saturday, so keep your eyes open.
This thing is, apparently, far from over.

P.S.: Remind me to never liveblog 4 hours of anything ever again.