Saturday, November 7, 2009

Going to Give Myself Arthritis or Something

So my younger sister is pregnant, about 4-5 months now. When I was unemployed over the summer, my mom started sending me a bunch of yarn; all different brands, colors and types, so it was a way to keep myself busy. After my sister made the announcement, I started to crochet for the baby. And because I'm a giant arts and crafts nerd, I've been taking photos of the finished projects, just to be able to post them here. My hands are fairly sore after finishing a project now. (I crocheted a quick pair of fun baby booties for a friend of a friend just last night.)

According to the doctor she's seeing, she's not far enough long yet to get a good clear sonogram, so we don't know what the baby is just yet. So until then, I'm trying to keep everything gender-neutral for clothes. However, I know those blue/green/white variegated jacket and hat sets (with matching booties) are seeming more boyish than neutral. But I couldn't resist...that yarn was too pretty to leave sitting.

And again, because I'm a giant nerd, I decided the kid needs (maybe for Halloween next year) a yellow shirt/red overalls set like what Stewie Griffin wears on Family Guy. Yeah, I know...I watch too much TV, but my sister and her husband are "Family Guy" fans too, I think they will think it's funny. And I just finished the little blue booties earlier tonight.

I've got a few more little projects I'm hoping to get done before they arrive here in a week to visit. They're going to be taking a bag of stuff back with them, and maybe then I can get started on a project for myself.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Maine a harsh loss to gay-marriage drive

Well, so much for equal marital rights. The conservative voters of Maine made sure gay marriage wasn't going to take place there.

"The stars seemed aligned for supporters of gay marriage. They had Maine's governor, legislative leaders and major newspapers on their side, plus a huge edge in campaign funding. So losing a landmark referendum was a devastating blow, for activists in Maine and nationwide.

"In an election that had been billed for weeks as too close to call, Maine's often unpredictable voters repealed a state law Tuesday that would have allowed same-sex couples to wed. Gay marriage has now lost in all 31 states in which it has been put to a popular vote — a trend that the gay-rights movement had believed it could end in Maine."

Because God forbid we let just anyone get married these days! Seriously, another state that won't allow gay marriage? I'd like one educated, reasonable reason WHY.

Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage, a conservative group that steered substantial funds to fight gay marriage in both California and Maine, was elated by Tuesday's result, saying it shows that "that even in a New England state, if the voters have a chance to have their say, they're going to protect and defend the commonsense definition of marriage."

That's not what I meant.

I can't believe that some people are so closed minded. I guess if it's something different from their norm, it just can't be right.

Richard Socarides, who was an adviser on gay-rights issues in the Clinton administration, said the loss in Maine should prompt gay-rights leaders to reconsider their state-by-state strategy on marriage and shift instead to lobbying for changes on the federal level that expand recognition of same-sex couples." Actually, I don't agree taking it to the federal level yet. I think you need to work it from the ground up at the state levels like they have been doing. Once a majority of the states allow gay marriage, then I think the federal government will have to take a long, hard look at it.

According to Wikipedia: "New York and the District of Columbia do not grant but recognize legal out-of-state same-sex marriages. In California, same-sex marriage was legal from June to November 2008, after the California Supreme Court held the statutes limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples violated the state constitution; but the California electorate then approved a voter initiative that reinstated the ban on same-sex marriage as part of the constitution. Marriages performed during the period remain legally valid."

But this is what I find the saddest: "The movement to obtain marriages rights and benefits for same-sex couples in the United States began in the early 1970s. The issue became prominent in U.S. politics in the 1990s, with New England being the center of same-sex marriage legalization in the United States." SINCE THE 1970s, THIS FIGHT HAS BEEN GOING ON. There have been people in the United States that will never get to have a wedding and call themselves married. That's so wrong. I know that not every moment of a marriage is fabulous and like a Lifetime movie, but when it's good, it's worth it. It's just not fair.

I will always be for gay marriage. I'm no better than anyone else and I got to get married. I have a husband to call my own. Gay couples should have that as well.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Election Results Are Coming In

Well damn it all to hell, Bob McDonnell is our new governor. I kind of figured that would happen but I'm still bummed out about it.

"Robert F. "Bob" McDonnell has steamrolled R. Creigh Deeds in Tuesday’s gubernatorial election, in a race quickly called by the Associated Press just after polls closed across Virginia at 7 p.m...Democrats throughout the campaign accused McDonnell of adopting a moderate image to cloak his true beliefs.

"Exhibit A in that argument was the governor-elect’s 1989 graduate thesis advocating a conservative social agenda in government. Polls showed that message gained some traction after the thesis came to light in late August, but the momentum was short-lived. "

If Bob McDonnell tries to turn Virginia into his own personal little conservative haven, I won't be surprised. I've heard him say he no longer feels the same way that he did when he wrote that college dissertation, but a leopard can't change his spots. Maybe McDonnell doesn't feel as strongly now about abortion, equal pay for women, birth control and the like, but I believe those same opinions are still there. Only time will tell if he acts on them.

"In his paper, he advocated a conservative social agenda and took the position that women who work outside the home are harmful to society.

From the Va Pilot (just one of any various updates as the night went on): "McDonnell this year disavowed some of the thesis, and it didn't become a major issue with voters." It was actually a major issue with me, but I'm just one working female voter. What do I know?

"It is a blessing for the school to be able to show others in the community at large that the grads we are turning out are very capable, very qualified and they are well-rounded," said Bobby Maddox, an El Paso, Texas, attorney and 2001 Regent law school graduate."...Alumni said McDonnell's election also affirms Regent's goal to offer education "in pivotal professions to equip Christian leaders to change the world," as described on its Web site." All hail Jeebus, the bible-thumpers are out to change the world. So what, only professionals that are Christian leaders can change the world? Can we PLEASE leave religion out of politics for one evening?

"McDonnell and Pat Robertson, a religious broadcaster and Regent's founder, have a warm relationship. McDonnell has said Regent taught him "the real importance of being a Christian elected official... acting in a degree of civility and trying to build bridges to get things done without compromising principle." This will come up again during McDonnell's term, just you wait and see.

And damn it again...Bill Bolling has been elected Lieutenant Governor over Jody Wagner. Shoot, I can't pick them for anything, can I? (I know technically I picked the Governor's election correctly even though I voted for Deeds but I didn't want to be right about that.

Well, I did pick Ken Cuccinelli for Va Attorney General, and Matthew James for the 80th District. Even Paula Miller was re-elected to the 87th district.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Elections in Virginia, Part II

Tonight's a brief overview of the district elections for tomorrow in Hampton Roads.

For the 21st House District, I'd go with R.W. 'Bobby’ Mathieson (Democrat). I've seen Ron A. Villanueva's commercials on TV, and he's coming across poorly. He created 14,000 jobs? Wow, I'd LOVE to know where! I have the feeling that Mathieson would have some fresh outlooks on things and could bring a lot to the table. But unfortunately, Villanueva's been in the Va Beach City Council since 2002, so he's got the name recognition (as well as the backing of the Filipino community out here) that Mathieson doesn't. I think Ron's going to get this one.

For the 64th House District, I can't even call that one. There are three men up for it, and aside from what the Va Pilot has about them, I haven't heard of any of them.

Ditto on the the 82nd House District, I can't even call that one. There are three more unknown men up for that one as well..

For the the 85th House District, I haven't heard of either of the candidates. That doesn't bother me too much, considering these districts aren't mine to vote for anyway.

And ditto again for the the 100th House District, I haven't heard of either of the candidates.

For the 80th House District, I'd go with Matthew James (Democrat). He's got loads more experience than Jennifer Lee, who seems to have more work in a variety of fields, whereas James seems a little more focused.

For the 83rd House District, I wouldn't go with either Chris P. Stolle (Republican) or Joe F. Bouchard (Democrat) I don't feel like either of them have anything to offer.

For the 87th House District, I'd go with Paula Miller (Democrat). I don't know where John N. Amiral has come from for this election. He just doesn't have the experience yet.

For the 89th House District, I'd go with Anthony J. 'Trip’ Triplin (Independent). I dig the fact that Triplin is a college student at (poly-sci) at Norfolk State. He's young (24) and probably has loads of ideas, as well as the rest of his life ahead of him to work for what should become his district.

For the 90th House District, I'd go with Algie T. Howell Jr. (Democrat). It seems like Howell has been around the area for some time, as I remember seeing his signs from years past. Like Villanueva, Howell's got the local name recognition.

So get out an vote tomorrow! As long as you make informed decisions on who you want to vote for, your vote will count!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A Little Love Note to Halloween

I'd be greatly amiss if I didn't mention my love for Halloween. I decorate inside and outside for this fun holiday...the bathroom, living room, dining room and even the kitchen. I love a little gore and creepiness, and some outright fun (especially this Hoobastank cover of "Ghostbusters"). I like seeing the costumes, especially the creative homemade ones. I like making kids wonder, as they come up our sidewalk, "Ummmm, should I actually be here right now?" And I like it when they enjoy our yard. Hell, I even order Halloween-themed rubber duckies from Oriental Trading to mix in with the candy for the little kids.

But I have just one complaint to get off my chest...WHERE THE HELL WERE THE KIDS AT THIS YEAR??? Come on people... it was a beautiful Saturday night. What's happening to the kids in our neighborhood? We probably had about 15-20 kids come by, and we were giving out handfuls of candy, while sitting outside in our front yard with lights on. There was no wondering if we were really "open for business," so to speak.

My God people, work with me here...I've got plans for Halloween usually 6-8 months out. If the turnout is going to continue to be even more lame in 2010, then what am I getting so excited about? Ah, sigh...I guess this gives me time to plan for next year, and whether or not I should do my cannibal-themed dinner party.

Election Time Again

It's almost election day here in Virginia. The elections we are looking at are as follows: Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Va House for 10 different districts, Sheriff for 5 different cities, plus Va Beach Commonwealth's Attorney and the Norfolk Commissioner of Revenue. Even though I will be voting, I'll be glad when this is all done and over with for the time being

For Virginia governor, I'll be voting for Creigh Deeds (Democrat). Transportation is not such a hot button topic for me, but I do have to admit, Bob McDonnell's stance on transportation throughout the state is much more specific and concise than Deeds' platform. Deeds comes across too vague on transportation issues and projects. McDonnell is also more concise and better spoken on jobs and the economy.

As far as their stances on education go, I think both men are about equal, in my opinion. According to the Va Pilot, "He [Deeds] is not proposing any specific tax increases but said a new source of money has to be found to pay for billions of dollars in transportation projects. He wants to pass a plan in 2010. If a bipartisan road plan that includes tax, fee or toll increases is approved by the General Assembly, Deeds said, he will sign it. He wants to change the way the state budget is crafted to use zero-based budgeting. Instead of drafting the budget based on the past year's document, he wants to build it from scratch, forcing state officials to justify almost every item." I think this all sounds good and he's being up-front about taxes.

So if McDonnell is looking like the better contender (and I think he will win the election), why am I voting for Deeds? "The clamor surrounding his graduate dissertation from 1989, in which he disparaged working women, homosexuals, "fornicators" and others of whom he disapproved, has tended to obscure rather than illuminate fair questions about the sort of governor he would make." As a working woman myself, I shudder at the thought of what life in Virginia might be like if he were left to lead it. Maybe I'm a little closed minded on his thesis, but as a voter, I'm within my rights to consider every aspect of those elected officials.

For Virginia lieutenant governor, I'll be voting for Jody Wagner (Democrat). She understands the plight of the small business owner (co-owner of Jody’s, an Oceanfront popcorn and confections shop). She was the Virginia secretary of finance under Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, 2006-2008; state treasurer under Gov. Mark Warner, 2002-06; and formerly an attorney with Kaufman & Canoles in Norfolk.

If Jody Wagner's commercials are true (about Bill Bolling's attendance at meetings), then I think it's time for a change. We need someone who is actively working for our state. I'm just not sure who will win this election. I feel like it could go either way.

For Virginia attorney general, I'll be voting for Ken Cuccinelli (Republican). "As a senator, I have pushed legislation to create one strike and you’re out for violent sex offenders, crack down on drunk drivers, get tough on gangs, and cut down on burdensome regulations on businesses." Steve Shannon doesn't even mention drunk drivers in why you should vote for him. Virginia is too lax on drunk drivers, and I'm hoping that if Cuccinelli is elected, he will keep up his interest in drunk driving legislation, making it harder for Va drunk drivers to continue driving.

For Norfolk sheriff, I'll be voting for Robert J. McCabe (Democrat). What my decision boils down to is this: I just don't think Sean Jones has enough experience to be sheriff. Sure, McCabe is older than him so of course McCabe will have more experience. But Sean Jones "More than three years as sheriff’s deputy." That's just not enough experience for me to have enough confidence in him as the sheriff.

For Virginia Beach sheriff, I would choose John L. Bell Jr. (Democrat). He seems to have more experience and pertinent education over Ken Stolle. Interestingly enough, I didn't even know John Bell was running against Ken Stolle. Stolle seems to have more going on in terms of signs and ads, but Bell could be a great kept secret in this election.

For Chesapeake sheriff, I would choose John R. Newhart. He's been the Chesapeake sheriff since 1970. Obviously, he's doing something right to continue to be elected over and over again.

For Portsmouth sheriff, I would choose W.O. “Bill” Watson (Democrat). He's been the Portsmouth sheriff since 2006, and David Lee Cherry Sr. seems more like a full-time business man and part-time (axillary) officer. Portsmouth needs a full-time sheriff who will devote himself totally to the position.

For Suffolk sheriff, I would choose Raleigh H. Isaacs Sr. (Independent). He addresses right away the economy and how it could continue to impact local crime. "With the current economic situation facing our country and the potential for budget cutbacks from the State, I am afraid we will see an increase in the number of criminal offenses and civil court actions. This could dramatically impact the workload of my staff by increasing the number of persons entering the courts building, the daily inmate population and the volume of warrants served." This shows he's thinking long term.

Jay A. Clason said, "The greatest challenge for the Suffolk Sheriff’s Department is legitimacy in the eyes of the citizens. Currently, the department is viewed as a second home for retired police officers with minimal responsibilities." Ummmmm, really? I've never heard anyone say that before, so where is he getting this info? And how is the current roster of officers going to feel about him for saying that?

More to come tomorrow on the district elections we have coming up. Trying to fit them all in tonight would turn into a snooze-fest!