figment: Photo of me, smiling, in a sari (Default)
We're taking advantage of being in DC. We went to the free concert on the Mall yesterday - us and 400,000 other people - and it was great. I was especially excited to see Stevie Wonder live, although it was also really neat to see Pete Seeger up there. We weren't anywhere even near the stage - we didn't even make it into the secured area; we were a little east of the WWII memorial. But the crowd was still packed, shoulder-to-shoulder, and very excited to be there; we all craned our necks to see the nearest jumbo-tron, and sang along to many of the songs. The speeches were, by and large, really good - and despite the amazing star power on the stage, Obama was the one who consistently drew the biggest cheers, every time that he spoke, stood up, was mentioned, or even just had the camera focus on him. It was emotional and moving and I'm so glad I was there!

It was also cold, and we walked most of the way there and most of the way back, and were outside for several hours standing almost rigidly. So that was not so comfortable. It was like a dry run for Tuesday, though, which I anticipate will be colder, and a longer walk and longer time spent standing, but hopefully we will get there early enough to make it through the security checkpoints. I'm anxious about that. Overall though - I'm just so glad to live in DC right now!
figment: A treewoman, a dryad, her arms are branches (treewoman)
You know the analogy that's been floating around lately, analogizing Israel and Gaza to San Diego and Tiajuana? Randall Kuhn turns that analogy neatly on its head. (Even though I don't much like the Washington Times, I like this article.) And commenter collardgreens also makes some good points, IMO.
figment: Photo of me, smiling, in a sari (BirthdayHat)
When they called it, the bar we were in exploded in joy. Hoorays and yells and cheers and ringing bells.

We walked to 14th and U, where I'd heard there was going to be a street party -- some guys were going to be drumming. On the walk there, we were constantly cheering, yelling "YES WE DID!", high-fiving people, hugging random strangers. That was nothing compared to U Street, where the whole intersection and an area at least two blocks all around was filled with people cheering, dancing, drumming, chanting, hugging. This wasn't a particularly organized thing, it was just... amazing.

And then someone said, "to the White House!" and we agreed, so we walked through the pouring rain (still cheering, hugging, high-fiving, etc) to the White House, and chanted and sang and cheered some more in another massive crowd there. (And we observed the snipers on the roof.) Eventually we got worn out and headed home. Walked the whole way back, still cheering. (Total distance walked tonight, close to 6 miles.) I found a flower and later gave it to some random man at a corner: "Yes we did!" We went back through U Street: still partying, but now with the street actually closed off to traffic by police. I thanked a couple of police officers for doing that. Home.

Amazing. Amazing. I am so filled with joy and wonder and hope! And so proud of my country!

Edited to add: The Washington Post has an article on the celebrating in DC that captures it pretty well. It also has videos from the street celebrations at U Street and the White House that we went to. Worth watching.
figment: Photo of me, smiling, in a sari (vote)
I voted, of course. (I was lucky and it only took 20 minutes.) If you haven't voted, and you're a US citizen, what's stopping you? Do it now!!

Tonight, we plan to meet up with friends and watch returns roll in at one of the multitude of election night parties happening here in DC. Actually I think we're going to start at a bar that's not even on that list; I am sure that every single bar in the District will be watching election returns. Like everyone, I'm on tenterhooks - I don't know if I will be celebrating or mourning. But it sure is exciting!

We get Inauguration Day off, here at AU. I really, really, really hope that I'm celebrating and cheering at the parade.
figment: Photo of me, smiling, in a sari (vote)
I support Obama because I believe he represents me better than any other schmuck out there. I support him because I want a smart president this time, and one who can orate is an additional bonus. I support him because he has a capacity to inspire people, and that's not just important on the campaign trail. I support him because he's not saying he wants to amend the Constitution to illegalize gay marriage (among other stupid things he's not saying). He's not perfect, of course, but I think he can be a good president.

Even Colin Powell endorsed him. Even the Salt Lake Tribune endorsed him! But still I will repost this:

TOP )
figment: Photo of me, smiling, in a sari (hulkhands)
Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt recently proposed a radical federal regulation change that would allow doctors to knowingly withhold information from their patients about widely accepted medical treatment options like birth control, emergency contraception, and abortion services. Even worse, this new rule could allow individual health care providers to redefine abortion to include the most common forms of birth control -- and then refuse to provide them.

Currently the Department of Health and Human Services has an official 30-day comment period -- it ends September 25. (My understanding is that after that it becomes a rule, but I’m not sure—feel free to correct this if you find out differently when you forward to people.)

And please, please spread the word.

The following link takes you to the Planned Parenthood campaign that provides suggested text and forwards an email to the "correct" location....

http://www.ppaction.org/campaign/frcp08_adv1/wkbb63sro86xti5?source=enews_sept08_ppolft

Poll

Sep. 17th, 2008 10:47 am
figment: Photo of me, smiling, in a sari (vote)
If you haven't already, please take a moment to fill out this poll about whether you are a decided or undecided voter.

Feel free to link to the poll in your journal - let's get as wide a response as we can!

The poll is found at: http://www.livejournal.com/poll/?id=1259967
figment: Photo of me, smiling, in a sari (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] wavebreaker recently posted a link to a political quiz that lets you see how you match up with the various candidates, on the issues. I have to admit I've mostly been sticking my head in the sand for this election so far, coming up occasionally to opine about how great it'd be to have a woman president or a minority president. But I haven't really looked at where candidates stand on the issues of the election. Since this site references/cites the candidates' own websites and platforms, it's easier to sort that out now. Seems like a good place for me to start, anyway.
my results )
figment: Photo of me, smiling, in a sari (Default)
So, you all know what I did Friday night, or how it ended anyway. The bit before I drunk-posted (which I think is funny and hopefully you do too) was an excellent succession of events in Adams Morgan with [livejournal.com profile] minnehaha B. and [livejournal.com profile] azure_armand: dinner at Saki (sushi and sake), dessert at Tryst, and drinks on the roof at the Reef. All fun.
Saturday we went to the big anti-war protest on the Mall. Azure and Minnehaha B have both posted about that. I'm glad we went. I'm still not sure what effect protests have on government decisions and other actions that are taken, but it seems worth a try. And it's fun, too, or at least this was. It was a beautiful day and I was with good people.
Today we went to the UU church. It's the last Sunday before Rev. Hardies goes on sabbatical for six months. Between that, and the people in town for the protest who came to our church, it was packed. This fall they'll be splitting the church into two services, because it's often so full. The service was good, and the music was lively as always. I really like that place.
While we were there I thought a bit about tithing. I think I would like to make more of a plan for that sort of thing in the year. If I were to give 10% (and where did that come from, anyway?) to charities of different kinds over the year, that's a not-insignificant amount. I should plan it.
We had brunch with D & MC at Franklin's, and sort of explored Hyattsville. Although it's right on the DC border we'd never been there before. It's a bit undeveloped, which is unique in the DC area. I'm sure that the developers will start moving in soon, buying vacant lots and old buildings and putting in shopping centers and condos and, if we're lucky, a park or two as well. But for now I think that Franklin's was possibly the only interesting thing in the area, before you hit College Park.
It's been a supremely lazy afternoon for me. I baked some more bread and played some Diablo II and finished my second sock monster. I'll take some photos and show you another time. We watched the Simpsons and haven't done a lot, and it's felt good. We have, however, had some nice quality time together.
Over all? Definitely a good weekend. Thanks, all.

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