Presidential Candidate Quiz (or let’s vote the right way…by the ISSUES, dammit!!!)

Huh. A political post. Didn’t see that coming.

Looking for a method to vote in the upcoming elections but don’t know where you stand? Then check out this presidential candidate quiz published by the Washington Post, link forwarded to me courtesy of my sister-in-law.

You basically read the candidates answers to a long series of questions and pick the ones you most agree with. To make it even more interesting, the survey doesn’t reveal which candidate says what until you’re done. You are picking solely based on what sounds right to you.

The only thing I don’t like about it is that you are forced to go either democratic or republican, so you can’t see the answers across the board. But that can be easily remedied by opening the survey in two windows, one republican, the other democratic, and answering the same questions in both windows. I’ve tried it and I realized three things…

1) Man, these questions are incredibly long. Unless you just want to rattle through the quiz without considering heavily each answer, it will probably take an hour or so to do.
2) In a nutshell, nearly every single candidate says almost the same thing. Verbiage may vary.
3) Most of what the candidates say in the full answers made my eyes glaze over. If you don’t have the slightest idea of what they’re talking about, (and I suspect many, many people don’t) you’ll have to look up what their plans are, if they are feasible, what are the downsides, etc. etc. That will add another hour or so..
4) (Wait…there’s a four? Oh yes). If you unplugged your laptop by accident and it shuts down on you, when you go back to the quiz, you have to start the entire thing all over again…

See…this is why I hate election years. I have to start caring about issues that I don’t really think about the other three years because it has little bearing on my reality…

See…this is why I don’t like election years because I get all worked up about choosing the next president, and the pressure is high to chose a good one and frankly it’s all really futile because you read up on issues and they’re all the same and it’s not like the person you choose will get voted in anyway. Just look at the the current administration …

See…this is why I don’t do political posts.

Thanks a lot, Becca.


Shades of house-painting blues

I hate painting.

I hate the way it disrupts life. Things that are normally in the living room are scattered throughout the house. The family room is currently resting in the kitchen. The office is in the bedroom. And all the walls are painted colors that startle me whenever I come in (It’s not beige but blonde, which doesn’t really look like the real color blonde, but that’s what it said on the painter’s card)

It is interesting to see parts of my house stripped to the barest bones. To hear my voice echo due to lack of carpeting. And to find things stuck in the oddest places (just how did Daniel’s underwear get there?!). But still, I’m not a home improvement type of person. I don’t like to mess with hammers or chisels. I hate having my house in such disarray. I hate having to do things slowly to bring it back to a semblance of normality. And there are so many things to do get it back to normal, I start to despair if there will ever be such a thing as normal again.

This whole renovation process, however, does remind me a lot about the writing process.

I take a whole different attitude when I start to ‘renovate’ a story. I like to write and rewrite, taking my time, seeing what works and what doesn’t. I start off with the barest bones of a story. It’s pretty ugly, lots of shift changes and misspellings and paragraphs that tend to ramble off in different directions. But I like it. I roll up my sleeves and get to work, molding sentences back into order, yanking out words, fixing on adjectives, coloring in scenes to perfection. It takes time, but when I’m finished, I got (in my mind) a perfect piece of work.

So maybe I should see the house that way. See it as a story in process. ‘Course, this is a story that has a deadline of sorts, which means that we gotta kick it up a notch. But I just need to keep the end product in mind. When all this is done, this house will look bee-yoo-ti-ful. I just gotta keep saying that.

Of course, rewriting a story doesn’t involve getting paint on the elbows…

And just like that he was…dare I say it…potty trained?

Yesterday, I was going over Daniel’s clothes, I came across a full pack of Pull-ups. That made me glad because that meant that I didn’t have to go to the store for new ones. Then I thought, wait…when exactly did we get these? A month ago? And it’s still full?

Then I realized, except at night, Daniel doesn’t really use his pull-ups anymore. And except for the rare occasion, he doesn’t wet his bed. And a few weeks ago, he actually started going number 2 in the bathroom now. Most of that stems from the fact that he doesn’t have a nap anymore…he’s quite happy to play quietly in his room listening to his CDs now. But for several weeks now, he has actually come up to me to say, “Mommy, I gotta go poo!” And then, he goes to the bathroom and does it. No more denials. No more dancing up and down…well, actually, he does still do that. But now, he recognizes that feeling as the need to pee.

Somehow, Daniel has become…dare I say it? Potty trained.

I’m quite impressed, considering that I did nothing really to encourage him to go number 2. I figured that once he figured out the peeing part, the going poop would come about by and by. And to my utter surprise, it did. Oh, there were times when I did blow a gasket when he’d do it in his underwear during his naptime, but really, that was my fault for leaving his underwear on instead of putting on a pull-up. And now, seeing that he doesn’t do that anymore, I don’t really worry about it (much).

Hmmm…of course, in my scant experience of three years now, I don’t want to proudly crow that he’s fully potty-trained yet. After all, we’re in the midst of preparing for a move. There’s a very good chance that a relapse will occur once we move to a new place, away from familiarity. But that’s okay too. I’m not going to knock him if suddenly, he does want to use Pull-ups again for a while. With all the logistics of this move, I’m surprised that I myself haven’t reverted back to infancy.

But in the meantime, I’m going to enjoy this. I have a kid who’s out of diapers, and that’s pretty extraordinary. Now if I can get him to eat his vegetables, everything will be nice and groovy.

Another moment…specifically Monday, January 7 at 2:43pm


The snowman didn’t stand a chance.

What’s mindboggling is that when I took this picture, I had no coat on. It was that warm outside. 63 degrees, to be exact.

I’m going to miss this crazy Chicago weather.