Total Recall

Recall elections are tomorrow. I think I'm going to be a wreck until then. And tomorrow I will be getting very, very drunk, either in jubilation or desolation.

I'm honestly a little terrified as to what will happen if we don't win. I know that if Scott Walker wins, he and his rich friends will see it as a sign that they have permission to destroy Wisconsin in any way they please. And the fucking right will welcome their overlords' plans as long as they don't raise taxes or take away their guns. I'm still ashamed of myself to think I used to consider myself a Republican. Crazy what a little education and a mass protest can do to a girl.

Trashy Trash

As part of my first book order for the library, I bought a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey. I try not to judge my patrons by what they borrow, but I am going to be inwardly side-eyeing the fuck out of anyone who borrows it.

Where are the jobs?

I was browsing the news this morning and came across this article, on whether we should further extend unemployment benefits. It really pissed me off.

Mainly, it pissed me off because apparently some economists assume that benefits keep people from making "tough choices," like relocating or accepting crappy jobs.

I was going to expand on my thoughts on this, but now that I'm typing this, I think it's too depressing, and I'm not even on unemployment. It's been 7 months since I graduated college, and I think my job prospects are even bleaker now than ever when you see things like Wisconsin's Job Losses in October were the highest in the nation, and that the state has lost jobs for 4 straight months. (Those 250,000 jobs you promised are proving hard to come by, eh, Gov Walker?)

I think the hardest part is thinking that my future aspirations/attempts to better myself are getting in my own way. One of the best interviews I had was with a local law firm. The attorney I interviewed with seemed really impressed by my background. But since I have no law experience, I was stupid and mentioned I was possibly interested in eventually going to law school (which I am). Unfortunately for me, near the end of the interview, the attorney mentioned that the person I would have been replacing had been working at the firm for over 15 years, and he expected to find someone who was willing to give that kind of commitment. While I tried to send a good follow-up letter to make it sound like I was really interested in the position (because I was), I think the fact that I want to pursue something better at some point in the future was my downfall.

I learned my lesson the hard way on that one, but now when I can't even get an interview at fucking Boston Store, it's hard to put what I've learned into practice. I really don't want to take my degree off my resume all together when I apply for crappy jobs, because all of my most recent job experience was at school, so I'd only be creating an even bigger employment gap. And knowing that there are likely to be literally hundreds of other applicants for every job I apply for leads me to believe it wouldn't much matter, anyway. But it makes it really hard to know what to do.

Why don't you get a job?

I know I don't need to tell a lot of you this, but man, job searching is depressing.

All the politicians think they're getting on the American public's good side by talking about "job creation," but I think that's a bunch of crap. For the most part, I really don't see how tax breaks are going to get companies to create jobs. I think Obama was on the right track in his jobs speech when he proposed tax credits for companies that hire long-term unemployed; actually requiring them to do that to get the tax break makes sense. But in general I can't see what the incentive is for a company to hire more workers or create new positions if they aren't forced to in order to get their tax breaks. If they've been getting by with the number of employees they have, in the spirit of capitalism it seems like it would make much more sense for them to continue with the workforce they have and pocket tax breaks as profit. Giving money to "job creators" and assuming they'll do the right thing is just way too idealistic.

I think the term "job creator" just in general makes me sad, though, because I wish it was more than it is. I wish it meant there's actually someone out there who only needs some extra money, and then he or she could look at each unemployed person's qualifications and desires and be like, "Hey, we just created the perfect job for you! Come work and be content." Obviously it's never going to work that way. But I think part of the reason it saddens me is because I'm not exactly sure what I want to do. I was foolish and majored in English because I enjoyed it and it made me a more well-rounded, thoughtful person, but it didn't mold me to a particular career like a nursing or accounting degree might. While I feel like I'm qualified for a lot of things, I must not be, because I have yet to get an interview for anything I've applied for. Of course, practically every job posting I find also wants "5+ years of experience," which I don't have, so that doesn't help. But this is not a good time to be a liberal arts major, that's for sure.


hi everybody. i m going to 2 watch shrek 3. we had a lot of wine. i want som e more. cupcake is sad. she wants my water. do you have water for cupcake? monkeys or llamas? Robby is stupid. nope. oh yeah. Cupcake is cute. Like, the cutest. Does that spell cutest? I don't know.

Aug. 15th, 2011

Passing this along for ladynorbert. Her friend recently had brain surgery and could use your help. Please spread the word, and consider donating some of your time to make a hat and/or chip in a buck or two:

It works?

Yay, I'm glad LJ is functioning again.

It's also nice to see quite a few people commenting on lj_maintenance thanking them for not giving in to the DDoS attackers. Rumor has it the reason for the DDoS attacks is because over in Russia, LJ is really big for political activists (and even their President and some senators use LJ), and the attacks are attempts to silence certain political viewpoints. So while having the site down sucks, it's refreshing to see, amongst the complaints about the downtime, some people applauding LJ for not simply removing the "offending" users from the site. LJ has had its share of problems, and it hasn't exactly been a beacon for free speech (Strikethrough of '07, anyone?), so I'm really glad they're not giving in to the attackers and simply silencing certain voices. I'll take a few frustrating days of not being able to access the site for that.

Of course, it'd be nice if they'd actually tell their English-speaking users about stuff like this next time, so we don't have to rely on crudely translated reports from Russian LJ....
I need to post this somewhere, because I am just unbelievably angry and sad right now.

I currently live in Dodge County. Sucks for me, I know. However, I was hopeful that there might be an intelligent group of Democrats around here somewhere, so I started searching the Internet for something and found a website and a Facebook page, both run by the Democratic Party of Dodge County's Treasurer. However, the Facebook page only had 19 "likes," so, with such a small number not being very promising, I left a wall post asking for clarification to make sure that was the "official" page of the group. Someone replied that it was, but then I had this exchange through private messaging on FB with the woman who happens to be the Treasurer, Dianne:

Cut for lengthCollapse )

She just now sent me another message titled "Follow Your Dreams" which simply thanked me for my feedback. I tried going back to the Page and saw that she had removed me and my query. So I emailed this exchange to all of the officers of the group and am waiting back, hoping and praying that at least one of them has some common sense, or I might have to just give up hope.

Am I WRONG here? I don't think I am, don't want to believe I am, but I need some reassurance because I am just really upset right now. I have no idea who this woman is, but she has severely pissed me off. Am I wrong to want to get more actively involved in politics? Should protesting down in Madison and posting on my personal FB profile, Twitter page, and various places on LJ be as far as I go? I'm just so frustrated right now.

UPDATE: A positive reply from the chair of the groupCollapse )


A Political Journey

I should probably get around to actually writing about some of my thoughts on the protests here in Wisconsin...and now across the country. I've been posting a ton on Twitter and Facebook (perhaps much to the chagrin of some of my friends), but there's only so much one can say in those spaces, so I'm going to flesh out my thoughts a bit here.

So, first of all, as I mentioned a few posts ago, I never considered myself a very political person, and when I did, I considered myself conservative. I was raised in a conservative Christian household, so I felt the Republicans best fit my views and didn't question that. I liked the sound of small government. I thought I agreed with the politics of the right.

In the past year or so, I've become a more informed citizen. I think my first step was listening to WPR and NPR. I had first discovered NPR when I started downloading "Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me" and "This American Life" podcasts, but then I found my local WPR station, and I was hooked. They discussed things I was interested in, like literature and the arts and even animals. But they also discussed the news in ways that were actually compelling to me. I started to realize how much better it is to be informed about what's going on in the world. And I started to question why exactly I saw politics the way I did.

Flash forward to the events of the past few weeks. I never thought I'd be one to protest. I never really saw the point in it, to be honest. But since Andy is a teacher, and not only he but our future family could be affected by Gov Walker's proposed bill, I was really on edge about what was going on in Madison. But still not enough to really do much about it. Not right away. I needed a push. And then, driving home from school last Thursday, I heard the news that our Democratic Senators had fled the state. That was the tipping point for me. I finally realized what a HUGE deal this was. I realized that I *needed* to be involved in this. When I got home, I told Andy that I wanted to go to Madison and be part of this. At first he was hesitant, as he's not really the protesting type, either. But as we listened to more of the news, and talked about it, I was able to convince him that we should really join in this fight and be there at the Capitol.

So on Friday afternoon, once Andy got home from school, we set off for Madison for our first protest ever. We were excited, but unsure of what it would be like. From the lovely folks over at madisonwi I learned there was a bus running between East Towne Mall and the Capitol, so we opted to take the bus instead of dealing with traffic downtown. And as we boarded the bus, Andy heard someone call his name - it was one of the English teachers from his school, along with her husband. Already we realized we were in good company. And once we got to the Capitol we became separated from them pretty quickly, but it didn't matter. We were part of something amazing, all of us there to show that we felt that what is going on in our state is unbelievably wrong, and we can't stand for that. I've never experienced anything like that before, and it was definitely incredible.

We spent time in the Capitol, cheering and chanting and just taking it all in, and then walked around outside and discovered Rev. Jesse Jackson was speaking and caught most of his speech. I took photos and video, and although we didn't stay too late into the night, Andy and I agreed without even questioning it that we needed to go back on Saturday. On our way out that morning, we stopped for supplies to make signs - something else I never thought I'd do - which we made right in the entry way of the Shopko in Beaver Dam - a very conservative city. (But hey, it was easier than making the signs in my car!) We took the bus again to the Capitol, and we couldn't believe the size of the crowd there. The news has been spinning it to make it sound like the crowd was a result of Tea Party counter-protesters, but other than a few very small pockets of them (including the three who confronted Andy), it was almost ALL people against Walker's bill. I've heard estimates up to 100,000. It was insane. But not in a crazy way. There have not been any riots or violence. It's been incredibly peaceful, even with those huge crowds. That's just how we roll here in Wisconsin.

The weather prevented us from going back Sunday or Monday, but since then I've already been to the Capitol once on my own, on Tuesday morning/early afternoon, as I don't have classes till 2:20 on T/TR, and we're planning on going back tomorrow evening, Friday, and Saturday at the very least. But speaking of Tuesday, that is also something I never saw myself doing - joining in a protest completely solo. But I felt compelled to be there. I needed to be there for my husband and his coworkers and everyone who will be hurt by this bill. And looking back, I'd have expected myself to be really anxious about putting myself into a situation like that, and yet it was one of the most natural things I've ever done. I was even interviewed by a news station - which I wasn't anxious about at the time, but now I'm worried I said something stupid, and I haven't been able to find it online. But Andy said a bunch of his students did, and they seemed excited about it.

I now know what it's like to actually fight for a cause. Saturday evening we went up to Green Bay, and while we were telling Andy's parents about the protests, his mom said, "You know it's not going to actually do anything, right?" I didn't confront her about it then, because she's my mother-in-law and I just wasn't in the mood for a fight right then (we were in the car on our way to go out to dinner with them), but really...How can this NOT do something? People all over the WORLD are paying attention to what's going on in our humble little state. People like me are actually getting involved in their government and making their voices heard. Legislators are taking drastic measures to fight for their citizens when the majority is trying to ignore them completely. Even if Walker manages to get his way and this bill passes, people are not going to forget this. This is not just a bunch of people blindly following some political leader. This is citizens taking it upon themselves to organize rallies and concerts and knit-ins - just all kinds of things. This has been going on for 10 days and people are still filling the Capitol - and people across the nation are joining us. As one of the chants ringing out from Madison proclaims, "This is what democracy looks like." So no one can tell me that this isn't doing something.

Writer's Block: Following the leader

Let's say you're running for president, and you win by a mudslide. What would you change about your country and why? Would you make new laws? Paint the White House blue? Tell all!

I love all the snarky answers to this commenting on the use of the word "mudslide" instead of "landslide."

Of course, now I really want a mudslide. it too early to start drinking? And too cold for ice cream drinks?


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