Archive for October, 2008

Yes We Carve

Just saw this website where people can go to “download and share their ‘Barack O’Lantern'”. (I love a good pun so much I’d like this even if I didn’t like Obama! )

Makes me wish I had both pumpkin and artistic ability.

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Thank you, General Powell

So, I’m like, a week behind the news cycle on this, but: THANK YOU, General Powell.

I didn’t see Meet the Press when he was on it (ok, I never watch Meet the Press, so this shouldn’t be surprising), but when I finally got around to watching the replay of his interview, I found myself almost in tears, mostly specifically at this part:

“ ‘Well, you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim.’ Well, the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim. He’s a Christian. He’s always been a Christian. But the really right answer is, what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer’s no. That’s not America. Is something wrong with some 7-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president?”

Why has it taken so long for someone to say this? I’m reminded of hearing Ann Richards speak once, about how campainging in Texas, one of the tactics used against her by the Bush campaign were flyers left on voters cars, informing the voters that she employed homosexuals. And by all accounts, it was successful. People in Texas didn’t want to vote for someone who was OK with homosexuals. I’m amazed that the public as a whole isn’t enraged at being so manipulated.

What a horrible way to profit from attitudes we should be ashamed of. We all have our prejudices that influence how we see and treat the world, but I cannot believe that we as a country celebrate them and condone them — we should be working to overcome them! We should be ashamed of ourselves, that we think this is acceptable behavior, this hate mongering. That we’ve bought into the idea that these “accusations” (‘He’s Muslim!” “She knows gay people!”) would sway us as voters — and maybe it does, as evidenced by the fact that the Obama campaign removed woman in headscarves from a TV cameras line of sight lest America see him with “them”. I know deep down that we as a country are better than that, but I also know that the Obama campaign has no reason to trust that we are. Maybe it’s time that we gave him a reason to.

So, thank you, General Powell, for reminding us that we should hold ourselves to a higher standard, that our personal unease with a specific ethnicity, religion or way of life is not something that should be exploited for political gain. We deserve better from people who are asking for our vote, but more importantly we deserve better from ourselves.

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Schedule for the Day

5am: 9 mile run
9am: House closing
10-3pm: Move
3:30-6pm: Work, finish deliverable
6:30pm: Swim
8pm: Unpack

Somewhere in there, I’m pretty sure I should sleep.

Anyway, busy day! But glad to have it. The new house (condo) is AMAZING and while I’m sure in time I’ll learn why it isn’t, right now it’s a little slice of heaven.

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Does my overwhelming desire to place my friend’s child in this halloween costume make me the coolest babysitter ever, or the friend least likely to be invited back to the house?

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Tour de Awesome

Well, after last week’s bitch and moan session, I then went on to have one of my favorite days in recent memory. I headed out to Maryland’s Western Shore for a supported Century (100 miles) bike ride. This is about an hour away from DC but is basically a totally different planet — completely rural, totally beautiful. And hilly. Lord, was it hilly.

Anyway, about 8 or so DC Tri club people all converged at 8am to tackle the 100, with a few people going the 60 or 80 mile routes. Amazing to me how having company for these long rides make the hours just melt away. It was a gorgeous fall day, the scenery was beautiful, the company great. I felt in a great mood the entire day, despite the fact that it was 6 hours of relentless cycling. This ride was a huge confidence booster for the upcoming Ironman, in addition to be a really pleasant way to socialize with my friends. It was a perfect day.

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Checking In

A friend of mine mentioned to me last weekend that he thinks American women are having an identity crisis because they have so many options they have a hard time feeling fulfilled in any one choice. Now, he was saying this in regards to the “do I work or stay at home with kids” aspect, but I’m feeling it even now, in my mid 20s, kid-less and with the whole world in front of me.

I’m very close to life-collapse, and it’s solely my own doing. I thought for awhile that I needed to do a better job expending energy on only the things that matter, until I realized that there’s nothing on my list that DOESN’T matter to me. My full time job, ironman training, and social community are things that make my life mine, but they are also completely exhausting me.

Allow me to whine:

I want to be successful at my job, and am given opportunities every day to kick butt. But I also want to be successful at Ironman, and training every morning before work and evening after work leaves me fatigued and hungry AT work, making it hard to muster the energy to deliver a superior work product.

I’m moving in exactly two weeks, and haven’t even begun to pack. And I don’t know when I will, as I’ll be out of town next weekend, and training this weekend. I’ve got book club in a month, but I haven’t finished the book from LAST month, let alone found the time to order the new one; this is made even MORE pathetic when you know that my brother actually bought me an Amazon.com Prime account and it’s not like I’m paying for shipping.

I know that this is a temporary state – IM training will pass and be replaced with athletic training less strenuous, work will similarly ebb and flow, moving will be complete and life will feel settled again. But that’s not the point of the bigger problem: I can choose to IM train or not. I can choose a more challenging but more rewarding position at work, or not. I can get an MBA, or not. I can choose to spend weekends traveling to see my large and geographically diverse family, or not. I can say no to any and all of the wonderful options in front of me, but for now I seem to be choosing to …not.

But maybe, as it is with product development, you much successful in regards to what you DO choose to do as you are successful in regards to what you do NOT choose to do. Apple didn’t develop a PDA and a “pretty good” cell phone…they focused completely on the phone. Maybe it’s time to Microsoft Project my available life hours.

But no matter what I choose, I’m pretty sure the correct choice at this very moment is stop procrastinating and get back to work.

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