Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Upcoming dem events

After the election I had a brief respite from the daily political dramas. Now I am in event mode- so many things are happening in the next three months:

Left of Center- "How Perriello Won" at Rapture on 1/5/09 from 5:30-7:00
A Left of Center speaker panel will discuss how Virginia’s 5th District Congressman-Elect Tom Perriello pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the country, squeaking past 6-term incumbent Virgil Goode with a razor-thin margin of 700 votes. Speakers will include two reporters that covered the campaign closely—the Hook’s Lindsay Barnes, and Will Goldsmith from C-Ville Weekly; two senior campaign staff— Tom’s personal assistant Brian Bills, and Rachael Klarman, a lead organizer in Danville; Kelli Palmer, who led efforts that registered 5000 new voters in Southside; and 5th District Democratic Chairman Fred Hudson, to provide some historical perspective. The event is free and open to the public.

Fundraiser for David Toscano

Democratic Breakfast at JABA on Hillsdale from 9:30-11:00 (third Sat. of the month)
Robert Toplin, semi-retired professor of history from UNC, will speak at the January 17th Democratic breakfast. His topic will be "Dealing With Economic Crisis: The Democrats' Approach". Bob spoke over a year ago at the breakfast on radical conservatism, the subject of his most recent book and his presentation was very well received. He is a prolific writer who has published about a dozen books and a multitude of articles on American history and politics.

Inaugural Ball "We did it" Herman Key Recreation Center on 1/24/09 Tickets may be purchased here only. Multiple levels of sponsorship and involvement. Come celebrate the inauguration in style. Proceeds benefit the Road Back PAC, City & County Democratic Committees.

Grace Tinsley Scholarship Fundraiser Elks Lodge on Rt. 20 on February 7th.

Annual Democratic Party Pasta Supper Fundraiser Saturday, March 28th Charlottesville Senior Center


Am I still a blogger? And other goings on

No posts in December? I am not sure I qualify as blogger any more, so I thought I would post some inside stuff in hopes of continuing my blogger credentials.

Here is the news as I know it.
My favorite Parks and Rec. Director has accepted an offer to head a new Parks department in Arizona- that has professional baseball spring training. So jealous, I love me some baseball. Svetz is a hard act to follow. I wish the City Manager well in finding a replacement. My top pick is Brian Daly, the current Assistant Director (I am not sure why, but I dont know their titles). Brian has been Svetz's right hand man for the past three years. Brian came from FFX County where he helped modernize the parks and recreation. Svetz's political savvy is impressive, Brian has been learning from him.

The CDBG task force has been reviewing applications for the CDBG/HOME funds (federal funds). We have a lot of applications most are very worthy of funding and again we have a reduced amount of money to work with. After this round of applications, the task force will review the RFPs for the Charlottesville Housing Fund, including presentations by the applicants. The task force particularly appreciates hearing the perspectives of the applicants, usually it makes our jobs easier, not more difficult.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Year of Wellness

I am graduating from Sorenson Political Leaders Program (PLP) next week. My project this year was the PLP program (& get Obama/Perriello elected among other things).

Last year, I ran for City Council;

The year before, I started my own business;

In 2005, we moved back to Cville and bought our first house;

In 2004, I had baby #2;

In 2003, I had baby #1;

In 2002, I got married;

In 2001, I graduated from law school, studied for, passed bar, first protective order (ugh).

I am thinking 2009 I can refocus on my own wellness, since in all the hubbub since 2001 I havent had much time for that (and it shows itself in many ways).

What does wellness mean? Do I join a gym, like Waldo or Jim? Do I get a hobby like Marijean (knitting, not the pies)?

If I give myself a goal, which any good type A'er does, what should it be, besides lose weight. Something a bit more than physical wellness is on my mind. I am open to suggestions. Luckily I have a few more weeks to figure it out.

Here are some thoughts I have:
Writing- I do enjoy writing and if I write then maybe I will feel more wellness.
Church- I could do some church tours and see if going to church will bring some feeling of wellness.
Travel- ? not sure if travel brings wellness, I frequently get ill after traveling.
Hiring someone to clean my house regularly (as if, but I think it would bring some calmness to my life).
Quitting all the things that annoy me- I cant figure out if I would be more annoyed without these things or less (I know my bosses would be happier).
Eat healthier- obviously (and eating right does take some work).
Exercise- I dont think I will join a gym until I can demonstrate my own capacity to exercise without a gym..
Meditation- I like the sound of having time to meditate (I read Eat, Pray, Love so of course for a 21st century girl like myself meditation seems like a good idea)

Here is what I will NOT be doing
1. running for office- not that this is news.
2. quitting my job (as I get better at my job, I feel more wellness, and even though its challenging A LOT, this is a good thing).
3. signing up to lead crap- clearly someone else can do it, if it must be done.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Political Buzz

Jody Wagner will be in Charlottesville on Saturday to speak to at the Chville-Albemarle Democratic Breakfast. She is a candidate for Lt. Governor, her opponent in the primary is Jon Bowerbank. Light breakfast will be served, starts at 9:30, donations appreciated, its at JABA on Hillsdale Drive.

Brian Moran says he can win Virginia because a bunch of Delegates in Loudoun County endorse him. I find some flaws in his logic- first those folks better support any eventual nominee, so this isnt about winning Virginia, its about winning the nomination. And Loudoun County is not really part of the rest of Virginia anymore, it is northern Virginia, AND endorsements from Moran's colleagues in the House, while thoughtful, doesnt exactly mean an onslaught of support for Moran.

I went to a Creigh Deeds reception last night, wow it was fun. I had never been to the Second Street Gallery (this is me ducking, I know I should visit). The gallery was full of people, most of whom wore their grown up clothes. The good Senator discussed the economy, transportation and reducing our carbon footprint. Deeds wants to get Virginia moving again- especially with a vision for transportation that represents the future not the past - obviously funding and building roads, but leading the way in new modes of transportation. Deeds is straightforward, in a refreshing, non political way-- I really appreciate candidates who tell me the truth "I am not saying its going to be cheap or easy" he told the crowd. I appreciate that to move forward and protect the future for my children (and yours), sacrifices will need to be made. Donate to Deeds campaign -- its a great opportunity to keep the issues of all Virginians on the front burner.

The NEW Congressman from the 5th district showed up to the estatic and thankful group. Tom Perriello, wearing his classic campaign boots, barely made it past the front door before a line formed to speak to him. He patiently, even enthusiastically talked to everyone and seemed to be doing quite well, not as tired as last week for sure. Even I waited in line with friends to thank Tom for his hard work and awesome campaign. Tom Perriello needs some donations to cover the cost of the attorneys covering his canvasses in far away precincts. Please consider donating so that Perriello can go into his term debt-free (and fund raising for the next cycle).

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Am I in trouble?

Today I got a call from Terry McAuliffe- himself. I wasnt home, so he left a message. I have heard from potential candidates/candidates Jody Wagner, Jon Bowerbank both have tried to reach me via telephone because of my role in the City Committee. I do sense I am in trouble and the whole Clinton world may come down on me because of my post yesterday (I am kidding, I hope). Stay tuned...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Its been a week, lets talk 2009

I have my favorites all lined up for next year's statewide offices primary. I wont outline all of them for your here since well I feel bad stating a preference. Anyone who is nominated I will work for 100%. We have some excellent candidates, and I will hold my breathe and hope my colleagues admonishments that "hard fought primaries are good for the party" are true.

In the Governor's race I cant be any more obvious about my support for Creigh Deeds. The man is a good guy, hard working, bright and moderate. I appreciate that in my Governor. Brian Moran is a good candidate, bright, hard working, slightly too liberal for me (I know all of my Democratic friends are rubbing their eyes in shock), I prefer a more moderate Governor.

A third candidate is testing the waters for the Democratic nomination- former DNC chair Terry McCauliffe. This is when I get all "ANYBODY BUT TERRY" in my opposition to his candidacy. Really- who is he? MAKE IT STOP. Dont let his money influence the primary goers of Virginia.

I dont think it will, these primary goers also nominated Jim Webb- a serious moderate without a lot of money (initially). I will continue to support Creigh Deeds (GO CREIGH GO) in any way I can (dont forget to donate to Creigh- use the widget on the side of my blog) and otherwise ignore Terry's potential run (unless he does something ridiculous).

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Perriello eeks out victory in the 5th CD

Tom Perriello is now responding to "Congressman Perriello". Congratulations to him, his family, volunteers and the 5th CD. I firmly believe Tom Perriello will serve his all constituents in the 5th district in a meaningful and important way- a path not defined by party, but by hard work, research and leadership. We won, but we will continue to win by having Perriello serving us in Congress.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Major Newspaper Endorsement of Perriello

The Danville Register & Bee endorsed Perriello for Congress this morning.

This is BIG! "On Tuesday, it's time to elect a young man of integrity, energy, faith and hard work. It's time to send Tom Perriello to Congress"

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


VOTE- too late if you didnt register, but if you DID register VOTE.

Really- its important.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Trying to focus. Since I only have two posts this month, perhaps drafting a post will help. I am sick of the election, sick of the scandal, horserace etc. I am but one person, barely involved in the day to day.

Happily I am planning a party for election night. Which reminds me, I gotta find some tvs. Is it the 5th yet?

Friday, October 10, 2008


Post politics tweeted an article about the anger at a McCain/Palin rally.

Those irritable rally-goers (enlightening Rolling Stone article on McCain)helped elect Bush twice- their anger is completely misguided. The country has not gone to hell because of Nancy Pelosi (she has been the speaker for 22 months), I dont think she and Harry Reid are strong or effective leaders but they didnt get us in the really critical situation we are in now.

I am angry- angry that Bush lied to us about why we needed to go to Iraq, angry that that I got a rebate check when we needed to pay the debt down or for the wars we are involved in, angry that thousands of our troops have died and are wounded, angry that Republicans dont make Veteran's issues a priority, angry that we let a genocide happen in this decade, like we did last decade, angry that we are no longer the country to mirror, angry that freedom now means unwarranted survelliance, angry that 9/11 is so politicized, I am angry at anyone who wants to tell me what to do w/ my body, well I could go on.

As angry as I am at everything that McCain stands for including the awful way he is running the campaign (we dont call him McSame for nothin'), my side has lost a lot of elections- we will still have to call the winner, Mr. President, come January 20th. I see McCain/Palin hate speech and rally-goers anger very dangerous and indicative of how they would run their administration (the rest of us dont matter- just like GW).

Vote Obama!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Tom Perriello for Congress

I have the privilege of serving on a board w/ Neal, news director for NBC29. As much as I loathe the negative ad put out by Perriello's opponent, I recognize it is not the media's problem, it is the opponent. Dont call Neal and yell at him, feel free to watch channel 29 just remember to VOTE and remember to VOTE for Perriello on November 4th! Seriously, Neal isnt the problem, the guy who put the ad up is and if you are angry about it, VOLUNTEER/DONATE and tell your friends in Pittsylvania County (which has a huge population) to VOTE for Tom Perriello.

One thing about Tom I like- the guy is more Virginia than most people I know. I went to high school with him here in what was rural western Albemarle County (before Old Trail and Master Planning Crozet). His father is a doctor and runs a business here in Charlottesville (that employs a lot of people and cares for many of our children).

BTW- having a license to practice law that is in NY does not make one a NY lawyer, in Perriello's case it makes him a lawyer who works internationally against people who are complicit in genocide and terrorism cases. Something I think the incumbent forgot to put in his commercial (among the many other misleading statements in the commercial, the incumbent doesnt rely on truth, or even think the voters deserve it for that matter).What I despise about politics is what the current congressman does- distorts and misinforms. The incumbent does that- he appeals to the worst from people.

Perriello is different in so many ways- but an important difference is his expectation on the best in people.

From his own website: "Washington is broken because for too long, politicians in both parties have been bought and paid for by the special interests. I'm not taking a dime from lobbyists and corporate PACs so that I can fight for you in Washington. Join our people-powered movement."

Monday, September 22, 2008

And now a confession

Thanks to Lloyd at DemCentral I can admit my love of some songs sung by Toby Keith.

Toby Keith correctly points out the problem of labels- to be 100% supportive of the troops is not to support George W. Bush's policy of preemption (whatever the heck that is), we are complex, the wars are complex, here is some of what he says:

"I get roped into these political arguments, but the truth is I don't see things right or left, I see them right or wrong. If you put check boxes on the left and right for all the big issues, my list will go back and forth all the way down. But all I have to do is disagree with a hardcore, far left liberal on one thing and they just mark me down with all the boxes on the right. And it's pretty much the same thing on the other side...I didn't support the war in Iraq and still don't, but I'm sure I know more about it than he [Sean Penn] does...When he and Clooney get together and say we should go to Africa and stop the genocide, I'll be the one over there performing for the troops when it happens." (my edits, Lloyd has the full quote on DemCentral).

I do enjoy myself some Toby Keith, I admit it, I almost considered buying his most recent favorites album, but thought that I would be supporting him and he represented things that I disagreed with. Happily, I did buy some of the songs on the album (American Soldier- that is one great song "...I don't do it for money, there's still bills that I can't pay, I don't do it for the glory, I just do it anyway..") and now much to Chris' consternation I will likely download the rest of the album.

One thing I will complain about, I like the song "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue" sure it is a wee jingoistic, but I was pretty angry after 9/11 and its good to remember.

But when I was at a rodeo lately (yes, I am from Virginia and my friend Johnny is a bull rider) the song was accompanied by horrifying phone calls made by people calling 911 on 9/11/01. I find that over the top for the occasion of a rodeo, especially when the song itself is so resonating. So I know his songs are used not only to remember but to perpetuate the fear, which is not necessarily healthy, in my opinion.

For Marijean

Marijean, I have searched high and low for lard ever since I became aware of your search for the perfect pie crust. I frankly was a bit ashamed that lard is so hard to come by here in Central Virgina.

Happily, my Virginia credentials have returned because I found LARD (ok cut the snarkiness) while on vacation in this store in Burkeville, VA (cleverly the store is called Burkeville Market) the only market for 20 miles. I found lard in almost any variety. So Marijean- thank you for your wonderful posts/tweets and for all of your efforts I offer this photo of lard and the store where one can find it (road trip). :)

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One person's account: Rural Access Medical Care

My Sorenson classmate Aryana Khalid works for the Governor as a Deputy Secretary in the Health & Human Services Agency. Our class has a listserv where we randomly diss each other or have interesting policy discussions. A Newsweek article from about two months ago on health care led to a dialogue on the listserv. I asked if I could use her comment so here goes (Aryana represents herself in the following views):

"We [her husband and her] volunteered at the RAM clinic in Wise this year and I can personally tell you of the joy and tremendous sadness I felt. How wonderful to see so many people give of themselves so willingly and with so much kindness; how sad to see something that I thought would only exist in the Third World. My husband, who isn't necessarily the biggest health person (which is why I took him, I wanted him to see what healthcare is really like in the US), said to me, I can't believe this happens in the United States. I thought we were the most powerful nation in the world, but we don't even begin to take care of our citizens.

I am so very troubled as he is. Most of these people work for a living. They suffer tremendously until something like this comes along. Appalachia is one of the most depressed areas in the country. If you all have seen in the paper recently, life expectancy in this area is going in the wrong direction. Everyone keeps talking about it, but what do we actually DO.

The Governor came out, as did some staff. Dominic came out with Delegate Moran, which was a great. And Delegate Bowling came out as well. But that's it (well I should say, that is all I saw and anyone I spoke to saw), for the entire House and Senate of Virginia. I am scheming ways for how to get more State Reps to come and see this…smile.

There are 6 Mission of Mercy RAM clinics across the Commonwealth each year. Wise is the biggest. There are just so many needs. It seems that whatever side of the aisle you are one, we can all probably agree (I hope) that we shouldn't be treating our working citizenry this way. Their should be options out there. This would include Medicaid and Medicare, but also public-private options to create new and innovative types of health insurance products (like the one coming out from Riverside Hospital System Foundation in Tidewater/Northern Neck). You just cannot fathom how bad it is until you see it with your own eyes.

Finally, there were numerous stories that touched me during my weekend adventure. I will share just one. There was a women who used her brother's frequent flyer miles to fly from NY to Bristol, then hitchhiked to Wise to have what was remaining of her teeth all pulled out. She was going to hitchhike back to Bristol to catch her flight back. Her mouth filled with bloody gauze and in tremendous amounts of pain after having numerous teeth pulled. I worry for her…I hope she made it back ok. And it makes me wonder an even bigger question, how did she get in a situation where the RAM Mission of Mercy Project in Wise, VA was the only place she could get the services she needs. I wonder what that says about our society."

When I asked if I could use her comments, she replied yes and followed w/ this:

"I was OUTRAGED to see what I saw. My husband was horrified. You just don’t expect it in this country. It’s not right, no matter what side of the aisle you are on. And if you think it is right, then I just don’t have words…I just hope that those folks never experience what these people go through day in and day out. I have felt so guilty the since that weekend anytime I complain about my life. I have no idea what it’s like to have a difficult life. One day, I truly believe, things will change. We will make healthcare a priority in this country…it may not be in my lifetime…all I know is there are a lot of health advocates out there, including me, who will die trying. We should not leave people on the outskirts of society alone…we should help them."

Yard Signs

Campaigning is three things- identifying your voters, persuading your voters and getting those voters out to vote. The Obama campaign has strategically focused on increasing the number of voters identified. The voter registration aspect to his campaign has been phenomenally successful and exciting to watch.

One thing the Obama campaign does not care about is signs, bumper stickers or loot in any way. Here is a silly blog post on the Obama campaign's disdain for swag.

As some may know, I love signs, I love signs so friggin much that I have 89 in my trunk (and 99 wire thingys). Do you want a tri sign? Let me know, if you are close I may just drop it by your house. The signs have Obama, Warner and Perriello on them. I love it because I dont have to have three signs in my yard.

Still I am not having luck w/ tri-bumper sticker, my car is officially a Charlottesville car w/ the gazillion stickers. Actually I decided to take two of them off to emphasize my Obama/Perriello love. Creigh's bumper sticker can go up after November 4th and Mark Warner will go up again if for some reason he goes down in the polls.

Single Obama signs are hard to come by in the ville. The grassroots campaign office has ordered them intermittently and sold them to pay for their expenses, which many did out of pocket for months. The campaign says feel free to buy them but we are not giving them out because we are trying to buy air time, commercials and pay for the many field offices registering voters (three in our area alone). Understandable, at least I know that is their stance, but I love to win sign wars AND elections!
I appreciate this austerity.

Do signs matter?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Lets try to write

Social media is making me tired. I claim to know VERY little, yet I am on twitter, flickr, facebook, linkedin and myspace (but those last two I dont check very much). So blogging requires thought compared to all of those mediums.
But it is September and a lot is happening so there must be something to write about that will not enrage me (bailout, election, ...).

I am really enjoying my job, my favorite aspect is the research even if sometimes I procrastinate. I worked years at legal aid (not in Charlottesville) and research is not a valued tool. So my bosses are working hard to break me of the quick fix/answer born of years of legal aid work. Plus I have been pleasantly surprised by the wonderful lawyers I have encountered who have so willingly helped me. Its a remarkable community of lawyers in Charlottesville, and LARGE.

The City needs good candidates for the Citizen Advisory Panel for the Charlottesville Police Department. Being the doer that I am, I absolutely want to apply however I am managing a lot right now and the thought of starting something that is brand new is daunting. I want the CAP to be strong and valid, but also advocate for the police department to the community through outreach and other grassroots avenues. Please apply if you want to make a positive contribution to the community.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Tour organizers cool to Armstrong return

Obviously, I am giddy over Lance's return to cycling. I despise the organizers of the Tour de France, I blame them for the prevalence of doping in cycling, the organizers are the biggest hypocrites in any sport (and coming off the Beijing Olympics that is saying a lot).

The organizers are quick to point out the suspicions (none confirmed) that dogged Lance during his 7 Tour Victories. I have no idea whether he doped, I dont really care at this point. People have admitted doping in their wins at the Tour, but those people remain integral members of the Tour, while some never were punished (Riis). I am sick of the organizers ruining cycling w/ its weird brand of retribution and history of hazy enforcement. If everyone is playing by the same rules, everyone should be allowed in.

Perception v. Reality and the Media

I love The Fix, a column in the WaPo online. He is also on twitter and I loved following his Convention tweets during speeches.

The Fix's column today demonstrates what Obama/Biden are up against:
As McCain campaign manager Rick Davis said in an interview with Post editors last week: "This election is not about issues. This election is about a composite view of what people take away from these candidates."

Like Bush before him, McCain doesnt seem to care about the issues or the truth, he cares about a composite view of what people take away from these candidates. See I am actually worried about the issues confronting our country and care, diplomacy, judicial selection, bipartisanship...bridging our differences.

McCain has in the past garnered my respect for promoting issues cross party lines(even if I disagreed with him). Since the convention, McCain has lost control of his candidacy, his handlers are making the decisions, not him. This is how GW Bush let the country be run and now we have a national debt that can cripple the security our families are trying to provide for our children. Someone who can so quickly be overrun by partisanship to get elected is not an ethical candidate, not someone who can be trusted with the title of President of the United States.

What is going on with the media? Why would they let themselves be led around by the nose by the Karl Roves of the McCain campaign? The campaign is not telling the truth, this willful ignorance is what got us into the Iraq War, hasnt the media learned its lesson? Just because they say its true- doesnt mean it is true.

Finally, the Obama-Biden campaign has had nothing to do w/ Palin rumors. It's despicable how the Republican/Righty bloggers/ and some members of the media associate these rumors with the campaign- if they repeat it enough people will think it is true. The Republicans have been lying for 8 years, the McCain campaign already states this is not about issues but framing the opposing candidate in a negative way- they will stop at nothing- including intentionally misleading the media and Americans to vote for McCain. The media doesnt have to buy into the BS, just like the American people do not.
VOTE OBAMA! Together we can bring meaningful change to Washington.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


Just in time, I found my livestrong bracelet and wearing it again and viola Lance Armstrong comes back to racing- coincidence? I dont know but I am pleased as punch!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

few items

1. I appreciate whoever made sidewalks on River Road happen, thank you.
2. I do not appreciate anyone who wants to build on a steep slope on Coleman Avenue, all the steep slopes in my neighborhood that are developed have this awful erosion problem combined with cracking pavement.
3. The new Indianapolis stadium is really impressive & I love that football season is back.
4. I cant do everything and I am frustrated by that.
5. hoping to ride the bike at least three times this week, felt awful last week, hope that is over as well.
I apparently can only write in 140 spaces/bullets. Its twitter- seriously I am much more interesting on that than the blog at this point. Perhaps soon I will return to my blogging. I have so many things I want to write about-
- bipartisanship is very difficult right now
- Twin Lakes State Park- if you havent been to a state park- check it out the Parks are really nice.
local issues- none of which I can think of right now- except racial disparities in Charlottesville, seems like I will need more than a blog post on that topic.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

FV pt 2 w/ qualification

Having expounded on Palin and her choice to pursue the Vice Presidency, I do agree with the Obama campaign and those who believe private matters are private. I do wonder about Palin's judgment, and if she rightly doesnt address my concerns, then I will look at what she says/does to see whether she otherwise has poor judgment. I am not voting for McCain, I proclaim no neutrality. Instead I am just curious and trying to determine what McCain is thinking.

Family Values

Being a mom is the great joy of my life, it is one of the great challenges of my life. Growing up in a nontraditional family made me long for a traditional family, a family that would not be judged harshly. I worried about these things when I was little. I am better now, but I seem to have a traditional family. What the hell is traditional? I have no idea. I know now all that teenage self doubt was irrelevant.

Having said that, I feel pretty strongly about Sarah Palin's private choices. I remember discussing Obama's choice before he decided to run and the worry that Michelle had and the concern him and Michelle had about the children being in the spotlight. Of course the couple prayed about the decision and certainly were guided by a higher purpose.

I have not had that context w/ the Palins. I imagine there was significant prayer involved in her decision-making and that the prayer led her to take McCain's offer. So I assume she must feel strongly she is doing this for God, or a higher purpose. I am not demeaning that, it is a legitimate way to make decisions.

I really want to know though- WHY? Why is she forsaking her family for the selfish pursuit of politics?

As some know, I received a neighborly phone call while pursuing the democratic nomination to run for City Council. This person demanded I stay home with my children and not pursue local politics. I tried to tell her reasons why I was running (primarily to benefit my children and their peers) and that my husband is an engaged and active father who supports my decision. She would not hear my explanation. So I understand to a degree that many will judge, and often harshly no matter what a mother is doing or worse, NOT doing.

I want to hear, and I promise to listen and be respectful, why does she believe it is ok to leave her troubled family and campaign for Vice President, a 24 hour a day job?
During the RTD panel, a woman stated strongly that a choice to run for office inherently is not putting your family first. I disagreed, as I can be quite disagreeable, but we came to common ground- I can understand her point, and she could understand my point.

I am a mother- I understand work-life balance, I cannot understand a mother taking on such a terrific challenge when there is so much at home to be taken care of (nevermind placing the 17yo in the media spotlight). Fathers? I expect they too would recognize the need and be present and available for the children. Ultimately, parents must work together to protect and nurture their children.

I am open to constructive feedback and may change my mind if Palin and her family explain this in a non-Stepford way.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Sweet 16 party

Feelin' a bit gipped this morning after reading about this $300,000 16th birthday party in the WaPo. I am sure given the financial distress of my youth (and that is was a long time ago now), we could have cut the price to $75,000-$100,000, I wouldnt need two of the hippest rappers, or mock papparrazzi or invitations in the shape of credit cards, or well ANY OF THIS CRAP. Geez- bake a cake, make her favorite dinner and give her a carton of cigarrettes (a la Judd Nelson's character in Breakfast Club), ok maybe a gift card to her favorite restaurant.

One of the boys in the article is asked whether he knows her and he replies "eh". "Eh" is right.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Imagine the conversation:
"Good Morning Gov. Palin, nice to meet you."
"And you Senator McCain. Thank you for choosing me to be your running mate, I will work hard to get you elected."
"Thank you for agreeing to be my running mate, now tell me a little more about yourself."
I have no antipathy for the Governor or the Senator. It does however strike me odd that these two who barely know each other will be running mates. I hope its a good match for their own sanity and to keep the media from getting its claws out thereby distracting us from the important work of electing the next President.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Picnic at the Park

The Park is a wonderful place for a picnic for 200+ of your friends. The Charlottesville Democrats gathered today for its annual outreach and awards picnic. Mark Warner was the headliner, alas he did not attend as a result of a flare up of a sports injury. He had to cancel his appearance at all of the events which was at least 5 events that I knew about.

Creigh Deeds did an able job in Mark Warner's place, he noted the work that lay ahead and the importance of the work. Senator Deeds knows something about getting out the vote, so he is very keen on the registration efforts of the Obama campaign.

Delegate David Toscano and Tom Perriello spoke towards the end of the event. Tom Perriello was really inspiring- bringing about a new brand of politics to Washington, DC, this is something to be proud of, and Tom is the real deal.

Thank you to all of those who attended, I had a great time meeting all the new folks in town and catching up with those I hadnt seen in awhile. Mel's Diner did a fantastic job catering, everyone loved the food, and the sweet potato pie is ... sublime, thanks to Holly Edwards for reminding us to get dessert.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Most Influential People in the 'ville

So cVillain has been named best local blog by Cville Weekly(promotion does help- and I mean that in a good, snarky way).

They have a new post up to discuss the most influential people in Charlottesville, its a fascinating discussion. GO and make your comment NOW (or when you have a minute).

I named my two favorite LOC friends Becky Reid and Holly Hatcher- for full disclosure purposes!

Perriello Fundraiser in Bedford Wed 8/20

Jim Webb is doing his part to support Tom Perriello! Thank you to the Senator and all of those who are helping Perriello in his bid to be the Congressman from the 5th District of Virginia.

Please join Senator Jim Webb in support of Fifth District Congressional Candidate Tom Perriello Wednesday, August 20, 2008 4:30-6:30pm

The Historic Avenel House 413 Avenel Ave. Bedford, VA
Your support will bring a new culture of service and economic renewal to Southside
To attend please bring a check payable to Perriello for Congress
Supporters of Tom - $50 Friends of Tom - $100 Patrons of Tom - $250
Please RSVP to Perriello Bedford Headquarters at (540) 586-6133

Georgia Atrocity

I saw Bob Costa's interview with the President the other night during the Olympic coverage. The first time I have seen the President as likeable in quite some time- but the political topics he seemed as clueless as ever.

I am not expecting much from the Russians with respect to Georgia. Its clear Russia is following the approached espoused by many warmongers- watch what we say, not what we do.

So President Bush is hitting back with his famous "because I say it, it must be true" (but we wont do anything to actually try to make it happen) speeches.

Russia is belligerent, Georgia is our friend (or a country with a relatively democratically elected government as compared to, say, Russia). Russia has demonstrated NO interest in what the USA has to say, and why should they? But the US insists.

One thing is clear, if we insist, Russia will tell us they are doing what we ask, but that doesnt make it true.

"The United States stands with the democratically elected government of Georgia and insists that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia be respected," Bush said sternly during brief remarks in the White House Rose Garden.

I have a low threshold for President Bush, but this conflict is really important and he is the face of the US stance on the situation. I pray the worlds leaders can find collective wisdom in resolving it. The people of Georgia deserve better than to have their country torn apart by the Russians again.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Link to RTD panel I participated in

Article on First Ladies. I wasnt taken out of context, that is nice.
Not the most controversial of panels, but it is interesting to read what others think about Cindy McCain and Michelle Obama.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

RTD Experience

I participated in the Richmond Times Dispatch round-table discussion on the potential first ladies. A fellow blogger participated as well, he blogged about it, his feelings really sum up my experience as well, except vice versa. I found a few more conservatives than just him in the group, but Obama supporters were in force.

As you all may know, I am proud that both presidential candidates married such strong, smart and committed women. Thankfully I am never provocative so I am sure the transcripts/article wont quote me at all...oh wait, that is someone else. I forget to stay quiet and not talk, and then I have the problem of playing devil's advocate (I dont think Cindy McCain thinks she is better than us, only that her stern demeanor could be perceived by someone who doesnt think twice about her).

I really enjoyed meeting the Contemporary Conservative. I wish we would have an in person blogger round-up, it really helps to see people and recognize humanity, when in the blogosphere that can be lost.

So check out the transcripts and article in Sunday's Richmond Times Dispatch.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Sleep Apnea does long term harm

I never really stopped breathing in my sleep. I just had to move to finish my breath.
Symptoms include: Loud and intermittent snoring is one warning signal. The person who has sleep apnea may experience a choking sensation, early-morning headaches, or extreme daytime sleepiness as well. His bed partner or roommate might comment on his excessive body movements or his snorting or gasping for breath during sleeping. From this website.

Sleep apnea will kill you if left untreated.

Suffering from sleep apnea may do more than just spoil a good night's sleep. A new study shows that people with severe sleep apnea may be up to three times more likely to die prematurely, and that risk increases if the sleep disorder is left untreated. Sleep apnea is a common sleeping disorder that causes frequent pauses in breathing during sleep and is often accompanied by snoring. About 6% of adults in the U.S. suffer from moderate to severe forms of the condition, and 17% have less severe forms. From WebMD article.

See your doctor immediately if you suspect sleep apnea.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Maddening/Funny post from ACCT

See what unravels when someone rides her bike to WalMart and cant find a place to lock it up. Read the post here.


Now I guess I have to watch the videos, I have been trying to avoid them.
The short story- video of Virgil Goode walking in the Scottsville Parade surfaced shortly after the 4th of July. The video seemed to suggest that Virgil Goode came with the Hummer and that Goode was in favor of a do anything approach to obtaining oil for our gas guzzling vehicles. However, turns out as with most things, there is more to the story. But that would be the end of it, except for John Stewart featured some of the video on the Daily Show last night in a segment called Rapper or Republican (see above link).

My friend Chris, a Sorenson classmate, owns the Hummer in the video and is deeply offended by the inaccuracy of the video. Virgil didnt come in the Hummer, the Fluvanna Republicans came in it. I was at the parade, there is nothing remotely interesting or funny about the Hummer or Goode walking in the parade.

I know perception is reality, but in case anyone is interested in the reality here- Virgil Goode, someone I loathe to defend in any arena, simply did not bring the Hummer to the parade, nor did he ride in it, in fact he walked the entire time. The day was fun-filled, full of small town cheer and patriotism. Tom Perriello had nothing to do with the video, he is too busy running an outstanding campaign (find out more here)

If this video hadnt made it to the Daily Show I would never have mentioned it. But my friend Chris' point is that the video is "intentionally misleading their
constituents, and stating that a good man, whether you agree with his
politics or not, wants to kill people from other countries for greed.
" The video and the song that overlays are wrong.

There are MANY (Keith Ellison) real (legislative record) reasons to vote for Tom Perriello and to vote against Mr. Goode, the Hummer is not one of them.

Perriello and Goode to hold a forum

From the Daily Progress:
The candidates for Virginia's 5th congressional district will present their views and field questions at an Aug. 13 forum at the Senior Center.

U.S. Rep. Virgil H. Goode Jr., R-Rocky Mount, is facing challenger Democrat Tom Perriello of Ivy in the Nov. 4 election.

The forum, sponsored by the Senior Statesmen of Virginia and the Senior Center, will be held at 1:30 p.m. at the Senior Center, 1180 Pepsi Place.

The event is free and open to the public.

Senior Statesman puts on great events. Come out and support Tom Perriello with your insightful questions.

More China related Olympic stuff

Surprise, ok not really. China and IOC have made a deal, a deal they told no one about, in fact they expressed the opposite. Foreign journalists were to have unrestricted access to the internet while reporting on the games. Well some journalists noticed they could not access Amnesty's website after its critical report came out last week. So those pesky reporters started poking around, and now this report from Yahoo!News indicates that IOC and China made a deal to restrict some sensitive, non-Games related websites.

I would be concerned if I were headed to China for the Games. In a country where the government can do anything they want, it usually does whatever it wants.

And the IOC is shockingly corrupt if it would deal on this which was one of the few demands it had placed on China (unrestricted access to the internet).

I really hope NBC does its job reporting on everything not just the happy smiling stuff. What I appreciate about Phil and Paul's coverage of the Tour de France is they never gloss over the bad stuff.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

'splainin the army to the boys at bedtime

"What is armies?" David asks, Andrew echoes the question.
"An army is a group of..." I am interrupted in the middle of my wonderfully vague statement.
"Do armies carry guns?" Andrew asks getting to his bottom line.
"Yes" I hesitate.
"Why do you ask?" I ask frantically thinking of what to say.

The boys then explain they saw the photograph that is tied to this article. They explained it something like a man carrying a boy, wearing camaflage, the boy looked scared. We discuss armies, soldiers, the military not in much detail but explaining how grandpa, Pauline and Grandma Sherry have all served in the military.

"Why was the boy scared?" David really can see himself in that photo- he is 5 now, why would any boy need to be so scared?

I think about the story tied to the follow-up article and how scared that soldier and the boy must have been and my heart is breaking. I tell the story of a brave man carrying the boy away from harm and how soldiers protect our freedom. I explain very briefly how some want to harm us ("why?" David asks, why indeed). I talk about being peace-loving people and others arent so peaceful. And we are in Iraq to protect the peaceful people of Iraq who want freedom from the people who would scare them.

Who is this person explaining this? Karl Rove? No, it is me. Thankful the boys cant read a 1500 word article, thankful they didnt see the picture on the front page a few months ago of a person holding a wounded child, who died later and most certainly looked dead in the photo (all I can think about is the shoes the child was wearing- really cute sandals, absolutely something my children may wear). I cant find the link to the WaPo photo/article.

Andrew wants to be a soldier, David an astronaut. Those are both noble, brave professions I tell them, praying we end this war soon and somehow find a way to be a force for peace in the world.

"What is the government?" David asks, I say "time for bed".

Cheap Pasta about Town

I tried the pasta at Fabios last night, its a new addition to the menu. I was basically comparing it to Sals, Sals used to be cheap now it is not and it is not worth it ($16.95 for mediocre pesto and pasta, wth?). Fabios has some pasta on its menu. The cost was $8.95 for penne pasta with red sauce and sausage with a salad and bread. Not a bad price, certainly I can make it cheaper, but I am not cooking, as Chris notes regularly.

The sausage is the key part of the meal for me, but was nothing to write home about-neither is the sausage at Eppies (below), perhaps I have high standards for the sausage in pasta, it doesnt mean I wont eat the pasta and sausage at those places but I may try meatballs. Sausage should be flavorful and add a delicious jolt to the pasta sauce. The bread was clearly microwaved which left the bread too chewy and hard- it really looked like it could have been good though, so I was surprised it wasnt. The red sauce was good, not too tomato-ey, had a little texture to it, although it was watery, couldnt really figure out why unless it was the pasta water. The pasta was cooked perfectly. And the salad was as usual delicious although its iceberg lettuce and very little else. I love Fabios pizza, I prefer the reasonable prices of Fabios to Sals, so Fabios wins the battle between those two restaurants (not really a fair fight).

Eppies pasta comes with the most pungent garlic bread in the universe (sorry to all those who encounter me after such a meal), but no salad. If I order pasta at Eppies it is tortellini with pink sauce ($7.34) and sausage (~$2.04 more). The pasta is placed at the bottom of the bowl, with white sauce then marinara sauce on top. I love the idea of pink sauce, and one time I had the dish it turned out so terrific I had to have it again. The second time was not quite as awesome because lunch had to wait until after a meeting, so the sauces never really mixed. So sad. But it is a great meal, for a reasonable price, but without the sausage which to me isnt worth it.

I love Eppies, I love their Greek salad best, I love that they have a website and really delicious, quick food for lunch and no pizza on their menu (and the sides are delicious). I love the tortellini, but I wish they would combine the sauces for me and get a more delicious sausage, and serve pumpkin bread with everything and... obviously they are doing something right.

Virginia is the land of Presidents or VPs

I am proud Tim Kaine is being considered for Obama's Vice President. I love being a Virginian, the land of many Presidents (of course all those who know I was born in NJ and lived other places will point out I am not a Virginian, sadly they are correct, BUT MY KIDS ARE VIRGINIANS and they too will have the love and pride associated with it).

I will never forget how Tim Kaine pumped up the crowd in his introduction for Obama at the February JJ Dinner, he was amazing and Obama fed right into the introduction. They were a good team.

I trust Obama to make a good choice, all the names being bandied about are solid choices. I look forward to the excitement the VP position will add to the summer doldrums.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

WINA's decision

I listened to Charlottesville Right Now's host Coy Barefoot reaction to Savage's comments on CPN this afternoon.

I am so grateful that WINA has taken Savage off the air. I never listened to him- but I happened to watch 5 minutes of the end of the Larry King show during the TdF rest day on Monday. Glenn Beck guest-hosted and apparently Savage had come on and been completely unapologetic and downright confrontational with no supporting evidence to back up his statements. Two doctors had about 30 seconds each to dispute the apparently numerous (I didnt see Savage, based on the doctor's remarks I make the following statement) unsubstantiated and misleading remarks. The doctors were compelling and persuasive- you know since they have medical degrees.

I appreciate Coy sharing his son's autism with the WINA audience. He is one of the few people I know who has a child with an autism related disorder. Coy's experience is a window into a world we usually dont get to see or hear about, and since we know Coy (mostly from the radio), we cant ignore, make fun of or malign him or his son and no one else can either. Coy's sincerity and his experience is not something we can deny.

Thank you to all the WINA folks who emailed/called the station to get that guy off the air in our area. And thank you to Coy for sharing his experience with us, giving us a window into a world that we wouldnt necessarily know about, making it real to us and making it unacceptable for this community to continue to listen to someone who is so hateful to something so personal.

Race up L'Alpe d'Huez Stage 17

Brilliant stage yesterday in the Tour de France- the Queen of Stages indeed- three massive climbs, two dangerous descents, and 6 capable, strong, relatively equal contenders.

Carlos Sastre is not my favorite this year, but I appreciate his efforts and his team- I love Team CSC they are disciplined and have risen to the occasion. Sastre was brilliant and no one could match his efforts up L'Alpe. The mountain is historic in the Tour, fans will always remember Lance's time trial and the manic fans (one of whom always ends up showing up half clothed). Sastre's effort is made more remarkable by the following Top 10 list I found at
Sastre's time would rank in 17th in the 'official' standings. The top 10 are:

1 Marco Pantani 37'35 (1997)
2 Lance Armstrong 37'36 (2004)
3 Marco Pantani 38'00 (1994)
4 Lance Armstrong 38'01 (2001)
5 Marco Pantani 38'04 (1995)
6 Jan Ullrich 38'23 (1997)
7 Floyd Landis 38'34 (2006)
8 Andreas Klöden 38'35 (2006)
9 Jan Ullrich 38'37 (2004)
10 Richard Virenque 39'02 (1997)

Most of these people have at one point or another been accused of doping, some certainly were doping on this particular climb, is it appropriate to continue to include their times on this list? Without the dopers, Sastre's time would be a top ten climb.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

China, Roads, Pollution etc.

Did anyone watch Ted Koppel's China documentary on Discovery Channel? [birds chirping].

While at Sorenson last weekend, I decided to have an early night and ended up watching some part of it (30 minutes out of a significant 8 or so hours over multiple days).

According to the documentary, China is modeling its road system on the Eisenhower model, so the country is building massive road system- bridges, tunnels and roads go up quick and efficiently. So people in the countryside can more easily access the cities.

So here is interesting caveat to the road building. The air of the country is so polluted that dramatic measures must be put in place to have the air ready for the 8/8/08 start of the Olympics. Given the ability to be innovative, its rather unimpressive that China falls back on old, pollution driven models instead of creating a model for efficiency and minimizing air pollution.

And in the Communist Olympic spirit, China is making it increasingly difficult to get in the country and once you are in, you are subject to multiple searches, ostensibly to prevent terrorism, BUT ALSO to prevent demonstrations and any Tibetan flags from entering the country.

Having said all of that President Bush says it would be offensive to the Chinese to pull out, and based on this NYT article, we owe the Chinese because they helped bring the 1984 Olympics together. We skipped the Olympics in 1980, by 1990 USSR as we know it was gone. Does this mean we should skip China's Olympics so that the real change can happen or will the country change because we participate? I am not sure the answer, but I will err on the side of the athletes who work hard to compete and the wonderful Olympic spirit that tends to bring the world together every four years. I love the Olympics almost as much as I love the Tour, so I can not wait to cheer on my fellow Americans!

More resources:
Article on barring "threatening" entertainers.
Air pollution/time changes/humidity could hurt traveling athletes.
The algae is ok to swim in, according to Chinese authorities.
Thank goodness for lack of free speech rights in China, because if you are a sponsor you will have preference for ad space in the Country.

CvilleDems Announcements

Here are some Upcoming Charlottesville and Area Democratic Events:

1.Coordinated Campaign is canvassing and making phone calls every night. If you have time, please come and help out. 380 Rio Road East (the corner of Rio E & Hillsdale) Charlottesville, VA 22901 Main Phone Number (434) 326-1850; OFFICE Hours Monday-Thursday 9AM-10PM Saturday 10AM-6PM Sunday 12PM-10PM Volunteer Opportunities- call to schedule a time:
Phone Banking Monday-Thursday & Sunday Canvassing Monday-Thursday, Saturday & Sunday.The Chville Dems will be coordinating all of our efforts with the current campaigns, therefore we urge you to get in touch with the campaign of your choice and volunteer!

2. Obama Office Grand Opening 7-9PM 7/19 at the old A&N building on the downtown mall! We are also looking for matching donations to send Charlottesville's Delegate to Denver. Kristen Szakos was supported by the 5th District to be a representative for Barack Obama. We are proud to have one of our own attend, she is receiving private donations in order to attend, the Exec. Committee has a willingness to match $200 - help send Kristen to Denver by contributing today (contact me for additional details) and your money will be worth twice as much, because the exec committee will match up to $200. Thank you in advance!

3. Tom Perriello will be throwing a BBQ & Bluegrass Picnic at the Tri-County Riding Club in Albemarle County. Come out and listen to the Perriello Pickers All-Star Bluegrass Band!
1619 Riding Club Road Keene, just south of Cville Minimum Donation: $15/person. Children under 12 free.

4.The executive committee of the Charlottesville Democratic Party has voted to donate $250 to the African American Cultural Heritage Festival (7/26 at Washington Park).

This festival is in its 20th year and annually turns out excellent programs that delight and educate hundreds of people. The Exec Committee is committed to increasing the total amount of the donation. We currently have $475 in donations including the original $250.

5. Saturday, August 2 Westhaven Community Day
The JFK CLub will again help out at Westhaven's annual Community Day. Volunteers are needed from 11-2. Please contact Russ Linden at for more information.

6. Annual Outreach and Awards Picnic 8/16/2008 from 4-7:00, location The Park at UVA law school. We will honor the Scholarship Recipients, Drewary Brown Award Winner, Celebrate volunteers and have a grand time. Donations gratefully accepted, free food, entertainment.

7. We need some Charlottesville representatives to attend the Virginia Victory 2008 with special guests Governor Tim Kaine and Candidate for the U.S. Senate Governor Mark R. Warner Thursday, August 14, 2008 Science Museum of Virginia 2500 West Broad Street Richmond, Virginia 23220
Private Reception held in The Atrium from 5:30 pm until 6:30 pm
General Reception held in The Rotunda from 6:00 pm until 7:00 pm
Private Dinner held in RF&P Forum from 7:00 pm until 8:30 pm
Contact David Riordan at 703.636.7265 or
$5,000 Host Couple (invited to attend all Receptions and Dinner);
$2,500 Host Individual (invited to attend all Receptions and Dinner);
$1,000 Friend (invited to attend all Receptions); $100 Supporter (invited to attend General Reception).

Thursday, July 17, 2008

3rd positive test of the Tour

I just knew Ricardo Ricco was too good to be true. Sanuier Duval is too good to be true- of course they are doping. I feel as though I want to puke and cry all at the same time.

I know its my own fault. I shouldnt love something so much that hurts me so much. Please let the real race favorites remain clean...especially the Americans/Australians.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

This is the War we have to Win

9 American soldiers died in Afghanistan last week. The Coalition is abandoning the post where those men/women died. I am not concerned with strategy, I have to assume this is the right thing to do. But I am concerned about the message it sends. Are we committed to making Afghanistan part of the modern world? The answer must be yes- the Taliban harbored the terrorists, facilitated the training of people who have killed civilians all over the world and otherwise tortured its own people.

We are in a mess, two Wars- one completely unnecessary in the beginning, but obviously one we have to win now. But Afghanistan is fundamental, the War on Terrorism, is the war in Afghanistan, we must win and we must devote resources now.

Tour News/Opinion

So, the second positive test in the Tour de France war against doping, I wonder how many there will be? I am thinking three, one for each week.

The Tour has been thrilling thus far and we are only at stage 11 (which is today, no spoilers, I will be watching it this evening). I am lovin' it. I am still naive enough to believe that Cadel Evans is clean and that he has a real opportunity to win since all the cheaters are being weeded out. I like Evans, Van De Velde, Shleck, and Sastre (although in my mind Sastre has not displayed the tenacity of some other riders). Chris likes Menchov, and I must admit he has talent, not failed a blood test (yet) and got caught out last year in the Rasmussen disaster unfairly.

I cant wait till tonight.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

ttransportation/immunity busy day in capitals.

I absolutely disagree with NLS's assessment of Kaine's term as Governor. I stopped reading that blog a long time ago- hyperbole is not my cup of tea. I do think the post presents an opportunity to think about Gov. Kaine's term, but today is not that day.

Today is the day to rail on House Republicans of course. I am not saying Gov. Kaine's solution is the only and best solution, but given the alternative (nada) who can argue he wasnt doing the best he could in this environment? While I mostly have disdain for the Dillon Rule, since we in Virginia have it and apparently hold it near and dear to our heart, perhaps regional transportation authorities for a statewide issue isnt the best idea? I havent heard any good ideas, and I fear ultimately the climate is wrong for a compromise solution, but think of the glory someone could get if they actually came up with a mediated solution, anyone...anyone,

This also is an unhappy day because of the US Senate's passage of the Surveillance Telecom Immunity Bill. It propurts to tighten restrictions of surveillance, but I dont trust the unintended consequences aspect, including telecom immunity.

How are we supposed to exercise our rights when corporations so freely and routinely give up our information. We rely a lot on private corporations to be respectful of our private information, and they rely on our money to keep them in business. Its usually a good relationship, but then the government gets involved and all heck blows up. I dont mind a cap on damages, but immunity from lawsuits- its a slippery slope to prevent lawyers from protecting their clients with lawsuits, its happening more and more, and as it does so to go our rights.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Scottsville Parade thoughts

David and Andrew were in the Scottsville Parade, on STVFD newest Engine- 81. Since Chris and the boys were in the parade, KT and I hung out at the corner, watched the parade, gathered candy, took pictures and got swag. The best thing given away during the parade was a delicious freeze pop- sadly the sweet, cool treat came with an ugly pamphlet detailing how we are all going to hell. I didnt notice it until the boys and I gathered after the parade and they had them in their hands. I had to take the violent images/words away from them, I would argue this is not really a good way to endeare oneself to a parade going crowd IMO.

The Republicans were out in full-force, not the Albemarle County Republicans though, the Fluvanna Republicans, it was very curious. There were at least three floats of Republicans including Rob Bell, Chip Harding, Virgil Goode and the Flucos.

Tom Perriello was present and accounted for, I worried when I saw the young volunteers appear that Perriello wouldnt be in the parade. But when the tractor turned the corner there he was atop the hay, handing out candy, smiling and waving to everyone.

I love a parade- most politicians do. It is a great opportunity to shake hands and connect with a lot of people in a very happy setting. All the politicians of the day were on and the crowd clearly appreciated their participation.

We ran into Kristen Szakos and her mom, Obama volunteers in our area. She gave me a button and a sticker (to cover my coffee stained shirt- dont ask, I am such a clutz) and a clipboard to register voters. I didnt register anyone, didnt really even ask anyone. It is a great thing that Kristen and the Obama Volunteers are doing, and as co-Chair of the party I will support their efforts, but sometimes a girl just wants to watch a parade- especially when my family was in it.

Candy and parades are not one in the same in my mind. When I went to parades as a child, there was no candy. In Germany I remember a parade with candy during Octoberfest- I thought I had gone to Heaven. I didnt attend a candy throwing parade until several years ago, in Buchanan, VA. I am not a big advocate of the candy- its messy and the small fastidious part of me feels like I need to pick up the candy from the street. Thankfully we had a woman with a picnic cooler near us collecting candy from everyone so we didnt need a bag or bring any candy home.

I will post photos to Flickr when I have a moment.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Rescue mission

UPDATE: So US military did not rescue these hostages-oops, Columbian military folks infiltrated the group holding them captive and rescued them. Lets face it, it is great news for those hostages and their families. I will leave the original post below to remind myself to read things thoroughly. Oh and I still am proud of our troops even if they had nothing to do with this rescue.

I am so proud of our troops.
Today- hostages are rescued in Columbia.
Did you even know there were hostages in Columbia? Turns out they have been held hostage for the past 6 years.

Impressive- those men and women who leave their families, train and prepare for all sorts of danger, execute a mission as planned and return home anonymously. Amazing. Thank you.

Twitter/WF and Sonic Drive In

Because of Twitter and Jim Duncan I now follow Whole Foods tweets which led me to their blog and now I must go shopping. It is impressive how this store is using social networking to maximize their branding. I am really looking forward to earning more money so I can afford to go to WF when the store opens in the city (fingers crossed), for now I will stick with the items that are in fact cheaper at WF than at other stores (milk for one).

One of the latest things I want in Charlottesville is Sonic Drive IN. I discovered it in Waynesboro a few months ago, and found it again in Virginia Beach and Hampton. Honestly I know very little about their food, I enjoyed the breakfast sandwich I bought there in May. But in my mind, the place is all about drinks and desserts, whatever type of you can possibly think of.

Look at this fun map of where Sonic's core and developing markets are. If you are interested in a franchise check out that part of the website too. Perhaps if they were on twitter I could be the first to know when the next one is built near us.

I know - why would I want to promote drive in places when less vehicle will help our energy crisis NOW? It is a good question, but I dont want to have to drive over the mountain for my blackberry sprite fix (j/k I prefer the malteds and coffee drinks).

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

More grieving- I am at anger with the media.

"Coalition Troop Deaths in Afghanistan surpass Iraq."

Comparisons of death tolls? This is what we have come to? The article is about numbers, not people or war, just numbers.

Why am I so irritated by this?
1. Progress or lack of progress is not measured by numbers of dead.
2. Behind the numbers are PEOPLE- with families who prefer not to be regarded as a number to compare to another war.
3. I want to know WHY, ANALYZE the information, dont just be spoon fed the information and spoon feed it back. I dont go to CNN for in depth analysis, I do however expect some context to be provided. The article is all the same talking points regurgitated- including the particularly egregious "resiliant Taliban" as if we didnt know that already- it is Afghanistan- resiliant is the foundation of being Afghan(i).
4. CNN perpetuates the notion that the only thing newsworthy in these two wars we are involved in is the death of troops- I am sure the troops who are protecting each other, us and the countrymen of Iraq/Afghanistan believe newsworthy things are happening all the time. Even if blood and guts sells, wounded people be mentioned and perhaps even the heroics of those who died. Context being KEY.

I will now try to find acceptance and/or something less frustrating to blog about.

I have an idea- dont kill police officers

Don't kill cops, then the jailers will not have the opportunity to kill you. For the record, I prefer a system where the court system handles the criminals, not those who espouse vigilante justice since our system relies on innocence till proven guilty. At the same time, I do not have any sympathy for accused cop-killers who are found dead in their jail cell.

I am sorry for the accused's grieving family, clearly the person who killed the accused should be tried/convicted/punished for the crime. But seriously, this never would have happened, if that thug didnt kill a person who was doing his job to protect the community from thugs like him.

I grieve the loss of that police officer-whose partner died several years ago while on duty, who started a fund to support his deceased partner's family, whose children will never have daddy come home again, whose wife will now struggle to keep her family together without his income and meager insurance. Dont kill police officers and you probably wont end up dead in a holding cell.

Mini-lecture- it completely undermines the trust we have in the police/sheriff's department if accused people end up dead. Prince Georges county, MD will likely not recover from these murders any time soon. If you are an officer in that County, how will you ever get witnesses to cooperate with you? how will juries trust what you are saying when it could just be expedience? how can you go out and do your job when this guys' cohorts put a target on your back? Understatement- nothing good will come from this.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Twitter Mini-Posts

Here are some things I have been up to lately as dictated to Twitter, since I havent been blogging as much, I thought I would provide the twitter account of what has been on my mind. So if you missed my witty blog posts, feel free to follow me on Twitter, although I make no guarantees on my wittiness.

Some from post-Beach (reverse chronological order):
choc cake and Wiiiiii.
b/c of the line at Eppies, I looked at the menu & ordered something different-pasta with pink sauce- delicious & tons of food. Yummy/so full.
Fair warning to all I hate answering the phone- b/c usually it means 10 people call while I am already on the phone.
Harold and Kumar- the original, I love having satellite- I appreciate more b/c we only get it for 3 mo a year.
I (heart) Jake Ryan...those dimples, that hair, and the eyebrows.
husband has never seen 16 candles, I wonder how many other boys havent seen movie
onto sixteen candles, classic.
love Chandlers ice cream, but they really need a sink to wash up afterwards.
fabios is fabulous.
to the weekend- pool, picnic and fun but how is it the work to do list never gets shorter? next week discovery!!
sometimes I sound more aggressive than I mean to, I gotta watch that.
off to the country store for lunch. yummy salad
Now that I have an IPOD I think it has jumped the shark- I still love it though.
:) I haven't been drivin to work, the exercise has helped my sanity.
phew glad that is over. Now onto the significant amount of other work.
sweating after riding bike to work, but at least I didnt wear my suit on the bike. Preparing for two court things today.
rode my bike back to work, something is clicking on it. Swamped with work, that is good.
beautiful day for a ...CLE? ugh.
I think I will be done for the evening, finally. Good conversation with neighbor this evening, I love it here.
I love Flickr. It is a good way to share photos without emailing them.
having most delicious salad ever from Blue Ridge Country Store. Finally a moment
walked to work today. feeling more productive at work as a result, still need to go to grocery store- no food in house after vacay.
Mellow Mushroom at 7:45- boys finally in bed, busy week ahead.
instead of cookin dinner: clean fridge, put up ceiling fan...very hungry and sweaty now.

Beach Week (6/12-6/20) Tweets:
hanging on the deck at beach
ready for a bike ride, wish I hadn't been so sick, this is only 2nd of week
I just finished the book "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert. A good read wonder if this is a new genre of memoir?
time for another nap...second of the day
feeling slightly better, save for the sun induced itchiness.
awaiting eggs made by dboy and daddy
word girl is so much better than fox 'news'
help- Fox News is on in the room and its driving me crazy.
need more tissues...and its not from watching a sad movie
it throws me off when a client gets arrested, I know I am not meant to be a criminal defense attorney
beautiful beach day, lots of work to do
working at the beach, cant be bad right?

Fundraising deadline

Only one hour left till the end of the quarter- support your favorite candidates by going to their website and contributing today (even if it is after June 30- they will accept your money anytime).

Thank you.

Landis Guilty of Doping; Loses Title

The day Landis climbed and climbed and climbed into first place and the winner of the Tour de France in 2006 is a lie. The process has spoken, no one believes his theory of the case, in fact according to the decision of the doping court "Appelant's experts crossed the line, acting for the most part as advocates for the Appelant's cause, and not as scientists objectively assisting the Panel in the search for truth" (sic). I have to believe in the system, sure everything could be corrupt, but even my conspiracy theory brain recognizes its more likely that one person is corrupt than multiple levels of an administrative and testing process are corrupt. I will apologize personally if Landis is an innocent victim in all this. For the moment I know that the fans are the ones being victimized-

That historic day as described in Wikipedia
"On the following day's Stage 17, Landis stunned the cycling world with a 120 km solo breakaway attack that has been called "one of the most epic days of cycling ever seen".[9] The performance earned Landis comparisons to the famed rides of Eddy Merckx. At one point on the course, he was 9 minutes 4 seconds clear of Pereiro. Landis ultimately won the stage by nearly six minutes over Team CSC's Carlos Sastre and took more than seven minutes out of Pereiro's lead. At the end of the day, Landis sat in third place overall, 18 seconds behind Sastre and just 30 seconds behind the Tour leader. The next stage was a 57 km individual time trial, and Landis' strength in time trialing put him well within striking distance of regaining the tour lead. Landis finished third in the time trial of Stage 19, 89 seconds ahead of Pereiro and 3 minutes 31 seconds ahead of Sastre, to reclaim the yellow jersey with a lead of 59 seconds. Landis retained the lead through Stage 20, the procession into Paris, to win the 2006 Tour de France by 57 seconds.." As a sports fan, that day was one of the greatest in sports history- to have it all questioned a week later, I can still conjure up the heartbreak of the day the allegations of testosterone use came out. We fans lost and continue to lose when cyclists dope and sponsors let them.

The Tour starts again on Saturday. Will I allow myself to be victimized again by this event I love so much? My favorites are all gone from the Tour- Basso, Hamilton, Landis, Ulrich, Mancebo, Boonen, Vino, Contador, Levi etc. They are gone- some legitimately disgraced because of doping, others because of the knee-jerk reaction of the governing body of the Tour. Lets face it no one is innocent- even I know my hyperbole surrounding the epic day in the 2006 Tour feeds cheaters, advertisers, sponsors and the sport itself- if that drama doesnt happen- will I still watch? I will, but maybe others will not.

A whole team is out of the Tour because of last year DESPITE practically everything about the team having changed since last year. Astana has last year's winner on it- Alberto Contador- so he is unable to defend his title because members of last year's team (he wasnt on it) got caught up in a doping scandal.

There are bright spots and I hope this is a clean month for the Tour so next year we can begin to put the scandals behind and focus on the REAL drama, hard work and emotion of this incredibly demanding race.

Be the change...

I have been rained on twice in the past week- and I dont care a hoot. But other people really care- do you want an umbrella? are you sure you dont want a ride? Some folks think I have lost my mind walking in the rain, you should try it though, I find it delightful.

Given the primary experience of Hillary and the vocal cries of sexism in the heat of the campaign, I have been trying to be more cognizant of my own and other people's biases. It's depressing to pay attention. I have been more offended in the past week than I have been in quite awhile (and I work at not being offended).

I keep repeating the mantra of "be the change you want to be" to myself. I want politics to be about civil discourse recognizing reasonable people can disagree. Every time I turn around I am being tested- admittedly I want to rant and rail against people who are haters of the things I believe in. While that is the path of least resistance I recognize I have a greater obligation to civil discourse- I will work hard not to demonize those who disagree, but rather substantiate why I disagree. I may be snarky (sarcastic) at times, but I will try to be fair.

I want this presidential election to look different than previous ones. I despise Juvenile Court because of its ambush nature - I dont think presidential politics should be on who has the best oppositional research, it should be on legitimate policy differences.

John McCain and Barack Obama are extraordinary men, while I have a strong opinion about who should be President, its not because of a lapel pin, race, military service, or even their wives but on my opinion of the way the country should move forward. And it is that, an opinion, I expect some to disagree. Just do so respectfully and dont try to make me think my guy is bad, it wont work and you may have been misinformed.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Almost the end of the quarter

Fundraising kicks into high gear at the end of the quarter, and June 30th is the next deadline. Support my candidates by giving generously before the 30th of June.

I received the following statement upon contributing to Sen. Deeds campaign today, which neatly encapsulates why Creigh Deeds should be the next Governor of Virginia:

"I’ve spent my career as a listener and a consensus builder—fighting for your values and delivering results. But despite all the wonderful things happening in Virginia right now, I believe there is still important work to be done. With the right investments in our colleges and universities, we can create a research-based economy that develops new sources of alternative energy. We need to get back on the road to building a modern transportation system in Virginia that allows our state and our economy to grow. And, it is imperative that we retool our community college system so that we can train our workforce for the jobs of the 21st century. These are just some of the challenges I hope to tackle as your next Governor and I welcome your input and advice on how we can continue to make Virginia the best place to live, work and raise a family—the best place for all of us to call home." (emphasis mine).

Also, some of you may have received Tom Perriello's video today either via email or facebook (or both). I applaud Perriello's bold goals- $900,000 for this quarter? I genuinely believe he can win because he has the audacity to fight, fight, fight (that is my favorite line from an Ani DeFranco song Gravel). Its impressive to see someone follow through on their commitment to serve those who feel unrepresented here in the 5th.

Last, but not least, Obama is also seeking our support, and offering a t-shirt in return. From an email: "The financial reporting deadline for June is coming up this Monday at midnight. This will be the first test of our grassroots fundraising program since we declared our independence from the broken campaign financing system. We need to show that a campaign funded by ordinary people giving only what they can afford can go toe-to-toe with John McCain and the Republican National Committee. Make a donation of $30 or more by midnight on June 30th and receive a special edition Obama logo T-shirt:"

Cindy McCain

Newsweek's cover story on Cindy McCain is worth a read. Cindy McCain is no longer someone I can overlook as trophy or minimize. She is, in my opinion which is not worth a lot, a strong woman who has endured despite some pitfalls AND has really walked the walk with respect to service and giving back. Not that I am voting for John McCain, but it is certainly not because of his wife. Luckily for the electorate either Michelle Obama and Cindy McCain will make excellent First Ladies.

I say luckily because we are not electing First Ladies, both nominees have married extraordinary women who are committed to their children, work and service. I am proud that both nominees have not married wallflowers but real strong women.

So take a look at the article if you dont know anything about Cindy McCain. Also media dont mess with any politician's children- that is just wrong.

Depression & Hollywood

Heather Locklear has admitted herself into treatment for depression and anxiety. Normally I would have nothing to add to this. However, I was pretty horrified when the boys and I were driving to the Belmont Spray Park last night and the commentator on the radio (107.5 which I promptly changed the station) stated "oh it must be so difficult being beautiful, even at her age, working and rich..." as though those things disqualify her from depression.

Depression is an illness, it is not related to your lifestyle or all the trappings in it. With respect to Locklear- it is easy to see how depression could have been triggered- her (now ex) best friend began dating her husband as soon as HeatherL separated from Sambora.

Seeking treatment for depression is commendable, not something to be mocked. Moreover, pain is completely individual - we are in no position to judge another's mental status or just as we are unable to determine whether someone has an invisible physical illness. I prefer to support someone who is depressed, not marginalize depression for entertainment value, even if the person who is ill is rich, beautiful and otherwise fortunate (maintaining the facade can be even more troubling for those folks).

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

No recycling in rentals

Sandbridge is lovely- I love Virginia so I particularly grateful to be able to vacation in such a wonderful spot. We have been coming here for a ridiculous period of time, like 18 years or something like that.

Needless to say, much recyclable material is created while we are here. When we started coming here, Sandbridge had a place to go to recycle, so every other morning or so, someone would venture over there with our glass, aluminum etc. it was not the best task, but everything is better on vacation anyway.

They closed the place to recycle, so we didnt recycle for a few years and never really understood why they closed it.

Blue trash cans came to Sandbridge awhile back and recycling came to the curb and recycling was easy.

This year, the blue trash can is here- but the recycle trucks dont take recycling from rental homes because too many people were putting trash in the blue cans.

We are at the beach- I think of the beach as the front line on environmental issues and we cant recycle at our curb? For a long time, I thought it was a pain in the a$$ to recycle, but Chris has positively influenced me and now I can say it is obvious we should be recycling. Charlottesville's system has helped too- since we pay per trash can and recycling is free, the difference between recycling and not, is dramatic.

I am sorry but I cannot bring the recycling home- its a lot and the cars are already small and loaded.

To think in problem solving mode for one minute- the blue cans look similar to the black cans- so why not make the recycle containers different? In cville, the smaller bins are for recycling and while it may not be as easy for the operator of the trash truck, I suspect the value of recycling over the long term would be greater. I am not some great mind or anything like that, but it seems like the City of Virginia Beach or the rental companies or the solid waste disposal companies could bring recycling to vacationers, making all of us better citizens as a result.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

what I learned at Rotary

Last night's topic was somber- "The War Tapes" a documentary told from the inside out. It was shown at TED a filmmaker's honor.

Soldiers received cameras and their equipment had mounted cameras on them. I watched the trailer and the directors talk at TED. Needless to say it was very moving.

what I learned
1. itunes has the documentary for $9.95
2. positive news coverage for theses soldiers is that the soldiers helped when told not to and this is the seriously under reported story of the war. If a bombing happens outside the fence and hurt Iraqis, it is the US medics and troops responding in these crisises. they don't have to, the humanity demonstrated by these soldiers everyday far outweighs the treachery portrayed by the media.

so I will get the documentary and learn more, and find a way to make a difference. The presentation reminded me of a recurrent thought I have:

"mommy, what did you do during the war?"

Annual 5th CD Dem Dinner

I copied Gordie since he laid it out so well (thanks).
The 5th District Committee is holding their annual dinner nearby in Lynchburg. Here are the details:

here: James River Conference Center
5th and Court Streets
WHO: Tom Perriello 5th District Candidate for Congress

David Toscano
57th District Delegate (Charlottesville)

Shannon Valentine
23rd District Delegate (Lynchburg)

Brian Moran
92nd District Delegate (Hampton)
Chair, House Democratic Caucus

Ward Armstrong
10th District Delegate (Martinsville and nearby counties)
House Minority Leader

Cost: $45 per person contact Jennifer at

Transportation: If you want to save gas, Fred Hudson has rented a bus.
This is not your normal bus that you used to take to school. This is a very nice bus, well fitted out with very comfortable seats, that is really a first class way to make the trip to Lynchburg. Also, there will be wine available at not cost to the riders. And you get all of this for $20.


Some notes on the Parks and Rec Dept.
Washington Park pool is open 10-8 M-F- be there or be square.

Belmont Spray Park is up and running. Some who have attempted to use it may have been disappointed to find it closed, but since the heat wave it has been open. We look forward to seeing you there!

GreenLeaf Park has its own spray park. I can attest to the fun of it. We had Dboy's bday party there, it was awesome (but brutally hot for us adults who hung out in the shade-luckily there is plenty of that at Greenleaf).

Meade Park's pool will be demolished at the end of the season so that a new pool can be built by the beginning of next year.

Its almost July so it must be drugs

UPDATE: Boonen will not participate in the Tour this year as a result of his positive cocaine test last month. The governing body ASO states this is not a doping case- then what the heck, let the man ride.
All of the best looking, talented cyclists are out of the Tour this year, my heart is broken.

I am looking at my groups on Facebook, I am in the group called "Cycling dominates my month of July" or something like that. All this talk on the message board about Tom Boonen, who is my second favorite sprinter (Robbie McEwen is my first favorite).

Well Tom tested positive for cocaine last month prior to the start of the Tour of Belgium. Phew- dodged a bullet there. He will not be sanctioned by anyone, the Tour de Suisse may attempt to keep him out of its race, but that decision may be overturned. All of this I found out when I stopped by cycling news. Apparently reading cycling news once every two days in June is not enough. The website doesnt think anything bad will happen to Tom as a result; isnt cocaine a performance enhancing drug? Why wouldnt that be banned. I like Tom, but if he is doing cocaine, might it be possible that he is doing other drugs?

We have our tivo all ready to start the Tour de France, but for now it is mostly the boys catching up on all their favorite Noggin shows, luckily we arent home much.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Its only a speech...

But I know how important speeches are to the American people. Today Clinton will mercifully concede. CNN is reporting that her speech will be crucial to uniting the party and moving beyond the bitterness of the primary.

When Al Gore gave his concession speech in 2000 after the Supreme Court decision in Bush v. Gore, he set the tone of reconciliation that Bush propounded during his campaign (a whole book could be devoted to how he has failed in every respect).
Mr. Gore really demonstrated his leadership abilities in the moments he made that speech and he helped the country begin to heal. Obviously what we ended up with was less than satisfactory for the majority of us who voted for Gore, but the truth of the matter is- it was no longer about him, it was about moving the country forward. Today, I hope to see a generous and sincere Clinton graciously concede so that we can move forward as Democrats and a country.

Friday, June 06, 2008

VP for Obama

I am on the Webb for VP bandwagon. Obviously, Obama should choose a running mate based on who he feels comfortable, has needed experience and will serve him loyally. During the campaign, I was absolutely, 100% against Clinton being Obama's running mate. I see her a bit more softly now. Even while criticizing her, I have been hoping she would generously and humbly concede when she in fact concedes. If she admits that Obama won this primary, it will go a long way to mending my relationship with her. I know she is real concerned about our relationship - NOT.

What I am saying is if she is willing to concede she may not be the self-serving, Rovian page book borrower that I thought in the heat of the campaign. In that event, she may not try to undermine Obama at every turn as a Vice President. If I could believe that then I believe she might make an excellent VP selection (just dont tell my dad I said that- I might get kicked out of the family).

Finally, I dont think Obama should be pressured to pick anyone, so while I support Sen. Webb, I know I dont have a vote in that decision until well after it is made.