Project Wonderful

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Advocate from Where You Stand- Meatless Mondays

So, I'm trying out this new thing called moderation.

I've been thinking about doing a month as a vegan for a while in order to do my part for global sustainability. But after spending a week in the hospital and learning that my iron was 1/3 that of a healthy woman my age, I've been eating for nutrition before anything else. Enter Meatless Mondays, a global movement to stop eating meat on Mondays. (I'm taking it to the next level by going vegan.)

I like this movement because it's easy for anyone to adopt and even fun to experiment with new recipes, but it can have a huge impact. Approximately 1.3 billion people could be fed each year from the grain and soybeans that go to livestock in the US alone. If everyone went meatless once a week, we could reduce that impact by 1/7. (My possibly biased source of statistics here.)

If you want to join me, feel free to come over for dinner and sign the pledge here.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do...

Press Play.
This won't work now the way it once did, cause I want to decide between survival and bliss.Now I know who I'm not,I don't I still don't know who I am, but I know I won't keep on playing the victim.These precious illusions in my head did not let me down when I was defenseless and parting with them is like parting with invisible best friends.

Not counting the Edwards campaign, I've had my heart broken three times and been broken up with twice. The first time, I decided to join the CIA. I fell in love with campaigning during my security clearance and never looked back. The second time, I went on another campaign. The third time, I decided it was time to apply to grad school and a year and a half later, here I am.

Within two weeks, I will sign a lease in New York City. In a month, I will have started school. I will cook for myself. I will sleep regular hours. When I do date it will be with more intention than I have been lately. I feel like I'm signing a contract to become an adult.

I feel like I'm breaking up with campaigns. Intellectually I've known it was over for months. That's why I started this blog. In practice I haven't worked on a race since November and that was only for a few weeks. But the option was still there. I could have picked up and driven to Wisconsin on a moment's notice. And now, not.

More than anyone I've ever dated, campaigns have been the love of my life. They were there for me when boys weren't. They were there for me when I was sick. They challenged me, they helped me find a sense of purpose. They have become a huge part of how I define myself. They've been my crutch and my security blanket. As Alanis would say, parting with them is like parting with invisible best friends.

Still, for all the things I'm losing, I might as well resign myself to try and make a change. What alcohol is to Homer Simpson, campaigns have been to Nancy Leeds: the cause and the solution of all life's problems. I've met the plurality of people I've dated while working on campaigns. Campaigns have given me solace after a break up, but they've also made it impossible for me to have a viable long-term relationship. They've been both a way to take my mind off sickness and the source of my least healthy habits. They've provided an endless source of excitement and a gaping lack of stability.

I once heard a This American Life in which Starlee Kine asks her ex-boyfriend why she's always the one being broken up with and he replies "because you never leave first." This isn't the first unhealthy relationship I've been in, but since campaigns can't leave me, it's the first one in which I've had to do the breaking. When you're really in love, I think it's a bigger burden to be the breaker than the breakee. You'll never quite know what could have been and if you wind up regretting it you only have yourself to blame. In a way it's almost brave. You're giving up something you know can be good for the promise of something better.

I looked around, thought about what I want in my life and realized that,for me, the campaign lifestyle wasn't sustainable. I'm proud that I had the courage and the wisdom to make that decision but that doesn't mean there's nothing to mourn.

I could say maybe in a couple years, who knows what will happen, but I don't want to lead myself on. In three years we both will have changed so much we'll barely recognize each other. When I do become involved again, it will be in a totally different capacity. I'm hoping we'll still be friends, but that's gonna be hard without falling back in. Maybe I'll find somewhere to volunteer once I've licked my wounds a little.

So yeah, I'm listening to wistful music. I'm trying out a new look (contacts). I'm surrounding myself with friends during the transition. You know, keeping busy. I may even go down to DC and recruit some of my former bro-workers to wax nostalgic with me before the big move. Typical break up stuff.

Field Organizing has been my constant companion since I graduated college. I'm sad and slightly afraid of losing my defense mechanism. I'm going to miss campaigns tremendously. I'm excited to start the next chapter in my life, but I'm going to feel this one for a long time. It's become a part of me and that's okay. That's good. That's how you know it was worth it.

Better to have loved and lost,

Monday, July 25, 2011

Most Successful Presidential Campaign from Prison

Eugene Debs 1920. (different year than the above poster.)

"There is one thing I know on the eve of this election. I shall not be disappointed. The result will be as it should be. The people will vote for what they think they want, to the extent that they think at all, and they, too, will not be disappointed...The people can have anything they want. The trouble is they do not want anything. At least they vote that way on election day."

I can't sleep and am reading about the 1920 election. I would not ever call myself a socialist, but that's a pretty baller quote.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Pawlenty steals hockey coverage?

ABC Sports may slap presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty with a cease-and-desist letter for improperly using its footage in a political advertisement.

Who the hell is working on these campaigns?!

Farmville for Campaign Nerds

Look what the facebook dragged in!

Of course I was intrigued! How can you not love a video that starts "I'm gonna show you how easy and fun it is to start and run your own Presidential campaign!" After messing around with the facebook app for a few minutes, I'm not sure I'm a fan. Here are my thoughts:

First off, why does he continuously pronounce it "vuh-tacracy" shouldn't it be "vote-ocracy"?

Moreover, they claim $99 is steal compared to what actual Presidential candidates pay, but you're still paying $99 dollars for a facebook app AND I'm pretty sure proportionate to net worth Mitt Romney would actually be making out better than me on the deal. Besides, there is nothing on the "what you get" page that I couldn't do on my own for less money if I were so inclined.

Also, users (and there are currently about 5,200 of them) seem pretty skewed one way. Consider this poll where 47% support Cut, Cap and Balance. I chose "hate it" which showed up as "ate it."

It does say "At the end of the voting process, a national, multi-media ad campaign will be created to enable Votocracy's national nominee to compete with confidence against the traditional parties." I wonder what that will look like. I'm anticipating it will either be really interesting or really inane, or potentially some weird hybrid of both.

So, thanks votocracy, but I don't need "a way to compete against [my] friends, family members, and colleagues, to see who's the best campaigner." I have that, it's called the last four years of my life.

What do you guys think? Is this awesome or lame?

Words, Words, Words

Activist and Precinct Captain to the stars, Brad Kerr, tipped me off to this article about a new study which found that asking people "Will you be a voter?" rather than "Will you vote?" made them up to fourteen percent more likely to vote!

The group polled wasn't huge, but the findings are pretty interesting (especially if you're a giant nerd like me).

Identity is a powerful thing.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Pro-Tip: End Your Emails With Rap Lyrics

Alright guys, you are really getting the gems of my professional wisdom now. Back in the day, I used to motivate myself/my organizers by including rap lyrics in the signature of my regional emails. It's not exactly the invention of google docs, but it did help get me through the day and inject some fun into my copious communications. Here are some of my favorites:

Ice Ice Baby, Vanilla Ice: "Anything less than the best is a felony."

4 Minutes, Madonna ft Justin Timberlake: "We've only got 4 minutes to save the world."

Stronger, Kanye West: "That,that,that,that don't kill me can only make me stronger."

Lose Yourself, Eminem: "You've only got one shot do not miss your chance"

In the Ayer, Florida: "Oh hot damn, this is my jam."

Can't Touch This, MC Hammer: "Either work hard or you might as well quit."

Gettin' Jiggy With It, Will Smith: "Saw Ali told him I'm the greatest."

Enjoy annoying your staff with my corniness!


What if the VOTERS chose NY's newest Congressperson?

This editorial is worth reading and not just because of the phrase "Weiner is just the tip." The Democratic machine in New York City is alive, well, and going to select our next Congressperson.

This bill, mentioned in the article, would "create open special elections, where multiple Democrats can appear on the ballot together." That plan obviously has its own flaws, but it is preferable to the current system because it allows voters a (gasp) choice in who represents them.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tea Party, Earl Grey.

Be still my nerdy, nerdy heart.