Saturday, November 18, 2006


Oh sweet mother of squee, I finally have a job. I start on November 27th. I'll be working at the Northwest Ohio Developmental Center, taking care of people with disabilities. I've done this sort of work before, but in Michigan, the minimum pay set for these workers is $7.65 an hour. Not exactly enough to get by on. Apparently either Ohio direct care workers have better lobbyists, or this group has more sense.

The unfortunate thing about it is that the 2 weeks worth of orientation is from 10:30 AM to 7:30 PM. And I have school on Tuesday and Thursday nights! Those are the last four class sessions! Luckily I have a very understanding professor who is willing to work things out so that I'll still get the class material and be able to take the last test in the University testing center.

Meanwhile, the other night Tirithien told me about the town of Hamilton, Ohio. Apparently in 1986, the residents decided their town name just wasn't exciting enough, so they decided to change it to Hamilton!

Italics and exclamation points would certainly make geography more exciting, wouldn't it?

Unfortunately for the residents of Hamilton!, the US Board on Geographic Names rejected the name change, and they had to go back to being Hamilton.

I bet there are still "Welcome to Hamilton!" signs up around town, though.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Yesterday my reflection frightened me.

I had set my glasses down, since I don't always use them when I'm at the computer, and wandered into the bathroom. I was in an old flannel shirt and jeans, barefoot.

My reflection looked like me at 17. The same pale, drawn face, the messy red hair, the shades of sleepless nights beneath my eyes. And my eyes shone with the same green madness and dark pain they'd had back then.

Twelve years, gone away, just for a moment.

I combed my hair. I put my glasses back on. They hide the green light of madness from others. No one looks closely behind glasses.

But it never really goes away.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Getting Political

I wish, I wish, I wish the election would be over! I already voted by absentee ballot; why do I have to keep seeing nasty ads?

And oh, are they ever nasty. Here in the borderlands, I wind up seeing and hearing ads for Ohio and Michigan. None of them are good.

Oddly, the Republican party has pulled its support of Senator Mike DeWine. DeWine's attack ads on challenger Sherrod Brown seem to consist mainly of mentions of a tax "evasion," which was ruled an oversight by the IRS and paid off several years ago. These aren't even the nastiest ads; why pull the support? Was Senator DeWine just not getting personal enough?

Republican candidate for state Attorney General Betty Montgomery attacks her opponent, Democrat Marc Dann, because he "defended alleged child molestors." Um, the guy was a freakin' defense attorney. That's what they do! Whether they want to or not, it's their job. She wants to be a judge, but doesn't understand the function of a defense attorney? Oy. In the gubernatorial race, Ken Blackwell is accusing Ted Strickland of having (horrors!) TEH GAY!

Then the mudslinging escalation. We start out with things like, "My opponent is soft on crime," and "My opponent voted against the troops." But now with just a few days before the election, we've regressed to such desperate ads as, "My opponent thinks it's appropriate to use nuc-u-lar weapons against puppies!"

And you know what? I filled out my ballot without having seen a single ad about what the candidates themselves say they would do.

I think our electoral process needs a team of ninjas to enforce fair play.

Can't you just imagine? A candidate is making some smug, smarmy, unfounded speech about how his opponent is opposed to equal rights for polar bears, when suddenly ninjas slide in on ropes and set things right!

Maybe someday I will run for state office. My only campaign promise will be, "I won't say anything negative about my opponent."

I just have to find myself an army of ninjas to defend me from the slings and arrows of my opponents first.

By the way, did you think that by voting for Republican candidates, you were supporting the troops? The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America disagree. The IAVA, which is non-partisan as far as I can tell, did a tally of which Senators and Representatives voted in favor of bills which would improve conditions for the troops. The 324 proposals included such things as veterans' benefits, healthcare, and medical research dedicated towards injured soldiers. They assigned each legislator a grade. The Democrats were FAR more likely to vote in favor of these helpful proposals.

I've prepared an analysis of their data, which you can see in Excel spreadsheet form here. The first page is a list of Representatives with their grades, parties, and states, then page two is a chart summarizing the grades in the House. Pages three and four repeat the process for the Senate.

It seems awfully dirty to send these soldiers to war and then refuse to take care of them when they get home.