Thursday, November 20, 2008

Where has the day gone?

In September, there was no gas in Atlanta. If a station had gas, or was rumored to be getting gas, people would line up in their cars for hours. Sarah and I went out one night and sat for a few minutes in a line of cars at a nearby QT station. Luckily, we had a line of sight to the pumps, and I noticed that nobody was pumping. When Sarah got out to ask the people what was up, she was told by a guy that the station had run out of gas at six in the morning, that stations are not supposed to be out for more than 12 hours, so he had shown up at three that afternoon for a spot. It was after nine, and there was no sign of a gas truck.

When the pipelines started pumping to the southeast again, we were paying between $4-$4.25 for a gallon of regular.

I just filled up at the local Kroger for $1.68.

$3.19? Where's the day gone?

Friday, November 7, 2008

The job

So I'm in the last phase of my head cold. It's the longest phase, when you feel basically fine but a little stuffy, and go to bed every night thinking that it's bound to be cleared up by tomorrow only to wake up with a fullness in the back of your throat.

Anyway, I'm not at a hundred percent yet, but I'm in the low 90s. I've started a new job. It's at an engineering and construction company. I'm still not entirely sure what that means. Basically, the company receives all sorts of government contracts, works with all sorts of government agencies and helps them build and repair infrastructure here and abroad. My job, so far, is to print out a bunch of stuff and put it in three-ring binders.

I wonder what it's like to have a job that you don't feel any 15 year old could do.

Today was my third day. A guy who wasn't at work on my first day and came in around midday yesterday, was fired today. I never met him. Don't know his name. I think he would have been somebody to funnel work my way. I never shook his hand or introduced myself, but he sat about ten feet from me. I figured we'd meet at some point. Guess not.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Underestimating Hussein

This is from about a year ago.

As I write this, it's a little more than 48 hours after Pennsylvania was called for Obama, and he was almost certain to win the election. And he did. It's sort of amazing. Barack Hussein Obama? Did you know that was his middle name?

I remember a few years ago when I saw it printed, and I had--I'm sure--the same reaction just about everybody had: Shit, I guess that guy's not going to be the first black president, afterall. I mean, I like the way he talks and all, but there are simply some things Americans don't do, and I think voting for a guy named Barack Hussein Obama is somewhere near the top of that list.

I mean, the guy's first name rhymes with Iraq; his middle name is the same as the dude we deposed and essentially assassinated; and his last name not only rhymes with Osama, it's almost spelled Osama. And now, the guy is the president-elect of the United States of America.

I'm going to need a little more time to think about all of this. I will return to all the happenings of the week sometime in the next couple of days. In the meantime, I need to get ready to get ready for bed. I leave for work at 6 am.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

President-Elect Barack Hussein Obama

No words. They should have sent a poet. They should have sent a poet.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Please. Please. Please. Please. Please.

Um...I'm not going to be doing any real time blogging of this. Just want to say that I have a head cold, and it's not helping my vibe. I'm going to need them to call Virginia for Obama. Indiana would be nice too. I'm not greedy. I'll let McCain keep Georgia. I just need some red toss-ups called for Obama. And I need them soon.

I know that all the figures are still saying big night for Obama, but I'm beginning to feel the finality of the vote set in, and I need some good news to push me in the direction of this being a good night.

Also: Apparently my uncle Jim (my father's brother) is running for mayor of tiny Gordonsville, TN. I think there are five or six people in the race.

Anyway, the next thing I post here will come only after the results are clear.


Monday, November 3, 2008

How does this happen?

How does it happen that a white woman is born in Kansas in the 1920's, has a daughter while her husband is serving in the Second World War, eventually moves with daughter and husband to Hawaii, welcomes an African college student into her home in the early 1960's, tolerates the young man's wooing and impregnation of and eventual marriage to her teenage daughter, welcomes and helps to raise her mixed race grandson after his father abandons the family to attend school and eventually return to Kenya, later takes a more full time roll in the raising of her outwardly black grandson and mixed race granddaughter while their mother is attending school and living overseas, sends her grandson to Columbia and eventually to Harvard Law, seeing him elected to the State Senate then the US Senate, along the line watching her husband and her daughter die, and finally watching her grandson become the first African American to be nominated by a major party to the presidency of the United States only to die the day before he's likely to win the election?

How does that happen? It's not that she never knew the fruits of her labor. She most certainly did. But what kind of sick irony is it that this woman passes the day before the grand affirmation of her family's existence? That may be crass. It most certainly is not meant to sound that way.

I'm just amazed that this sort of thing happens. How many old black people are going to die tonight never knowing the outcome? How many have died this year knowing the opportunity to vote for a black man for president was finally upon them if they could only make it to November?

How does this woman die the day before her grandson is elected president?

The day after tomorrow (cont.)

They say you're either a Leonard Cohen guy or a Tom Waits guy. I used to be a Leonard Cohen guy, but I don't think I am one anymore. He's basically a lounge singer. He's a fair lyricist, but he's no Tom Waits or Dylan.

Over at the Daily Dish, Sullivan posted a performance of Democracy. Go look at it if you want. There are a couple nice lines, but I can't bring myself to embed a song in which a Canadian talks about democracy coming to the USA. I've got a little Hacksaw Jim Duggan in me, too. Sullivan is British, so he can do what he pleases.

Me, I'll take an American bar singer over a Canadian lounge act any day of the week. In that light:

Beware of Foreign Objects

Okay, quickie post. A Sarah Palin rally is on CNN. She was introducing a bunch of people behind her. At some point she asked all the veterans to raise their hands. She thanked them, and then she did the silliest thing I've ever seen: She started a USA chant from the podium!

The video is not online yet, but I went onto Youtube and found the next best thing:

The day after tomorrow.

There's going to be an Obama rally at UNC-Charlotte this evening. It's really only a three hour drive from here, so I spent an hour or two yesterday thinking about making the drive. Tomorrow is the day, and the guy will be about 24 hours from being elected president when he walks on stage tonight. No matter how you look at it, that's a pretty historic event, and a three hour drive is not reason enough not to go.

Unfortunately, I have other reasons. I've been beating back a cold for days, Nate has a cold, and Sarah is too deep into her pregnancy to try and stand in a field of tens of thousands of people or have me three hours away, so I will not be in attendance of history tonight in Charlotte. Ho-hum. Parking would have been a nightmare anyway, and I can only imagine the line has already begun to form at nine in the morning for an event that starts at 5:30.

I do have other things to do today. I have to submit to a drug test, so that I can start a new job the day after tomorrow. Today was supposed to be my first day, but they lost my application materials and HR didn't send out my employment packet until the end of last week, so instead of it being the day before the election, it will be the day after.

I actually have an interview at another place tomorrow morning. Unless I can figure out a way to be offered a job I'm not interviewing for--one with benefits--it'll be just a formality. Either way, I'm more than likely going to have my first day of work since August on November 5. I will likely be sleepy. Hopefully, I will not be depressed.

One Day More

Since I know how much you all love Les Miserables.

Let's hope it's not the blood bath the Student Revolution was.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Fucking Georgia Rednecks

So both Sarah and Nate (and to a lesser extent me) spent last night battling sore throats. Sarah woke me up at 7 this morning, and said she was going to Kroger to get some liquid Tylenol. I'm a good husband, so I went instead. When I left the house, it was still pretty dark out, but the sun was rising and there was a fair amount of light by the time I returned.

Yesterday I linked to all those images of black people standing in impossibly long lines for early voting. Those people were in Fulton, Dekalb, and Gwinnett counties where there is a large black population. When I was growing up, we lived in Gwinnett county; this was before the mid 1990s when there was a migration in which many of the black families left the city for some of the more suburban, white counties. Not to be integrated, a lot of the white families moved north to the less developed parts of Fulton, the more conservative Cobb (Newt Gingrich country), and the far less densely populated hill country of Cherokee, where I live today.

Last night, Sarah and I took Nate trick or treating through half of the neighborhood. It's an overly white neighborhood. There are a lot of McCain/Palin signs, especially near the entrance of the development. I learned last night that there is a Latino family that lives a couple of doors down from my parents. There's also an older Asian woman who was giving out candy a bit farther away, and a black family that lives a couple doors down from her.

A black family!

Anyway, the guy seems to get really in to Halloween. He had a bunch of lawn witches, a smoke machine, and he piped out spooky music to get the trick or treaters. Anyway, surprise, surprise, he seems like a perfectly nice fellow: a wonderful black ambassador to a bunch of McCain supporters who would rather live an hour out of town than to live in a neighborhood with more than one black person.

Apparently, his good nature is not good enough. As I drove home from Kroger this morning at dawn, I saw what I had not seen when I left. The dude's house had been rolled (or TP'd or toilet papered, depending on your regional dialect). Not only that, but his was the ONLY house in the entire development that had been rolled. I don't want to call anybody racist or anything, but when I got home, I saw that my parents's Obama lawn sign was also gone.