You better you bet

This has been an overwhelming November for me. First, I voted even though economically speaking it makes no sense. Then, I decided to buy stock to stimulate the economy. Then, I played through Weezer's My Name is Jonas on medium and only missed 4 or 5 notes in it. Then I played football-with other people. Then, today I ANSWERED A GOVERNMENTAL SURVEY!

I couldn't believe my luck when five days ago I got a notice from the census bureau saying I would be receiving a survey in a few days and I would have to fill it out and it would be not only an American thing to do, it would be against law not to. So I spent 30 minutes today while CSI: Miami was on in the background answering questions about my raceemploymentincomeinsurance, my wife's raceemploymentincomeinsurance, my brother's raceemploymentincomeinsurance, etc. And I hope they take this information and turn this world into a better place.

I did just realize, however, that I might be sending an identity theft a lot of my information, so if this is a complex scam, congratulations! Here, take my hand! Take my whole life, too! Because I can't stop falling in love with you! Hmmm. Something isn't right...


That's the way we became the Brady Bunch!

Black Friday update: One maintenance worker dead in an NY Wal*Mart after being trampled by frugal shoppers. Two people shot in a Palm Desert Toys*R*Us over a "personal dispute."

I went to Circuit City and didn't see anything there worth shooting someone over.

I went to Michael's and almost had a panic attack because I felt so out of place. I seriously debated buying a cookie tin (A COOKIE TIN) just so I could use my 50% off one item coupon.

I went to Lowe's and the garage storage unit that had been marked $50 off was already sold out. Apparently you can't go into a store at 2 pm and expect the hot deals to be lined up for you.

I was watching an auction on eBay for a "Umlocked iPhone" (sic) that was incredibly low but then the seller pulled it from the webernet so no one could bid on it. Apparently he wanted more than $11.50 for it.

I did buy a router on eBay but that was mostly so I could use my coupon.

Also, Stephen left today for the Great Northwest. I guess I'll have to get by somehow.



This one's for me/not for anyone else/I need it you see

I threw all I had, into the sea...

I voted on Tuesday, and it was a big deal for me. I hadn't voted in a few years and it was primarily from an economic standpoint: my vote doesn't count. It just doesn't. But a couple of weeks ago, I decided that if there was even a chance that Sen. Barack Obama could bring about the change he was championing, I wanted to say I had a part in it.

I went to the my polling place and got choked up as I walked to the door. I couldn't say why, really, I just felt that voting in this election went beyond civic duty, beyond being the right thing to do, and became something I was compelled to do because somewhere in this cynical mind of mine, I love this country. It was while reading Audacity of Hope that I realized that despite our nation's warts and ugly scars there is still something redeemable about this place.

And late Tuesday night, something happened that hasn't happened in years: I was proud to be an American.

Yesterday a couple of my coworkers (from Europe) said they were scared by McCain's concession speech, especially when he said that, "America is the greatest country in the world." I think they were concerned with the nationalistic tone of the statement and even, jokingly, compared him to Hitler and Mussolini. And I'm sure that blind nationalism is entirely scary to foreigners, especially those whose country was bowled over by tanks and guns and soldiers who believed their own country was the greatest in the world.

But a phrase like that is similar to saying your family is the greatest in the world. Not only is it relative (no pun), but you say it despite the members who don't talk to each other or the way they treat outsiders or their seemingly contradictory stance on gossip about other members. You say it because you need to know that something you belong to is significant. And you say it because you need convincing that you can put up with all of the silly/stupid/bad things. And you say it for you. It's not a judgment on other families; it's a statement that reconciles your sphere of influence with your insecurities.

And that's why I say this is the greatest country in the world: because when I compare America to other nations, we fall short in many ways. But when I realize that the same rich history which caused many of our problems also inherently allows us the ability to change who we are, I realize I wouldn't give that up.

I'm proud to be American. And I'm proud to have voted, not because it counted, but because I could.