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VOTE Betty Castor for Senate

Primary Day in Florida is finally here.

Manning two precincts for Betty Castor thru-out the day from 7 to 7.

Dr. Arthur 'Art' Anderson is running for Supervisor of Elections against Madame Butterfly...aka Theresa LePore...responsible for the 2000 Presidential Election debacle. And she's up to her dirty tricks once again. Check out www.gregpalast.com

Today is an important day on so many levels.

If you live in Florida, please vote.

It really IS a matter of life and death.

Update- the polls are closed. Wound up circulating between Century Village in West Boca, Our Lady of Lourdes in West Boca, St. Andrews Retirement Community in East Boca (my former polling place) and made two stops at Sugar Sand Park to check on a new Castor volunteer. Saw lots of enthusiastic Betty fans. Also saw some of the candidates I voted for...Ken Eggleston at Century Village...Charna Lazar at Our Lady of Lourdes and Jeffrey Wagner, also at Our Lady of Lourdes.


Here I Go Again

It happens all the time. I hear a new song and become obsessed with hearing it again and again and AGAIN!

My latest audio addiction is provided by : http://snowpatrol.amrecords.com/av/av.html

First heard their song 'Run' on The Buzz (WPBZ 103.1) Friday night, had no idea who they were, so called up the station to ask 'who is singing that way cool song'.

Not only did I find out who they were, I discovered they'll be in Ft. Lauderdale this Friday night.

YES!!!

Timing is everything~



Just Checking In...

Headed out noonish to leaflet for Betty Castor at the South County Democratic Meetup Building...that's what I call it, not sure what the official name really is.

The place was packed in anticipation of Senator Joe Lieberman's arrival at 1 pm. People were being turned away, parking was a nightmare, and from what I heard, the scene inside the building was sardine-like.

This is WONDERFUL!! To have so many interested Democrats in one place is a wonderful thing, here in the muggy swampland that is Palm Beach County.

I staked out my spot right in front of the entrance and chatted with people coming and going. To all the disgruntled that were turned away, I hit them with my "this is wonderful to have so many Democrats in one area" and you could see the light go on in their head (for some of them) and they agreed that yes, it IS a good thing. But they still wished they hadn't been turned away.

Around 1:30 I decided to leave for home, knowing I'd have to go up to WPB for a later event.

Just as I started to walk away, this official looking car pulls up right in front of me and out pops a Secret Service-looking type of guy.

And then Joe Lieberman gets out and promptly gets his picture taken by a press photographer. On the other side of the car my Representative, Congressman Robert Wexler exits. And they're both standing right in front of me.

So I do what any proud Democrat would do, I walk up, smile, introduce myself and shake their hand.

Liberman is incredibly kind....really good aura about him. He looks very happy and relaxed. And Wexler, who I've never met but have heard wonderful things about, is equally kind if a bit rushed.

Wow....this is really cool.

In one week I've met Howard Dean, Janet Reno, got to see Betty Castor for the 7th or 8th time, and now Joe Lieberman and Robert Wexler. And add to the mix Mike Rios, who I voted for yesterday and met today.

Getting involved and staying involved in local, state and national politics has been one of the best, if not the BEST, choices I've made all year.

And on that note, time to head up to WPB.

Meeting Tom to do more Castor leafletting!


I Voted In Palm Beach County (FL) on Saturday...

...and they goofed it up!

Went in to request an absentee ballot.

There was a 20 minute wait in a nearby hall filled with chairs. When I got to the head of the line, I asked the Police Officer in charge of crowd control (yep, crowd control) what the crowds had been like over the past week.

Wasn't surprised to hear him say there'd been a constant line since day one.

When I entered the inner sanctum of the Elections Office, I asked for an absentee ballot.  Within 10 minutes, I received my absentee ballot envelope...missing a ballot. I guess it really WAS an absentee ballot, huh?? :-)

Can you say oops?  The Election Worker sure did!

I have never seen a staff move slower in my life.  It's not like we have an election every day, ya know. You would  think they would be prepared for a crowd, given what happened in the last election.

So I took my ballot outside to the waiting hall,  read the instructions carefully, voted, made sure all the arrows connected...(yeah...arrows this year...hanging chads last time), signed the back of my envelope, then went back in and waited in line to turn it in.

Stayed glued to the spot while my ballot was verified for a signature and time-stamped...then left hoping and praying that my vote will be counted this year.

And for the record, here's how I voted :

Betty Castor - Senate
Arthur Anderson - Supervisor of Elections
Ken Eggleston - Sheriff
Sharon Bock - County Clerk of the Court
Charna Lazar - County Commissioner Dist # 5
Jeffrey Wagner - County School Board Dist #5
Robert Arnold - Nonpartisan Circuit Judge
Mike Rios - Tax Collector
Gary Nikolitis - Property Appraiser

For the first time in my life, I am able to say not only do I know who all the candidates are, I have met all but two.

Nothing like a botched Presidential election to get ya pissed off enough to get active the next time around!


My Week...

Have never been so anxious and excited to start the week...and so thrilled to end it...at least the work-week part of it.

Monday's meeting with Howard Dean, Betty Castor and Janet Reno (and my Deaniac buddies, of course!) went very well...perfectly well, I might add.

Late Monday night spent close to 2 hours writing the perfect blog entry...only to have it vanish just before I hit save.

Tuesday and Wednesday were spent catching up at work from being out on Monday...hellacious 48 hour mirgraine was still with me from Monday afternoon until Weds afternoon...as bad ones go, it was beyond bad.

Weds night dinner out and Clematis with Team Stork (social, not political...staffers and vols combined)...Quinn sang and bluntly told the crowd to 'get off their asses, put down their Amstel Lights, and get outside to register to vote'...Quinn so has a way with words.

Thursday worked past 8:30...got home and crashed....then found out my nephew, the love of my life, is in a downward spiral once more. That is just not good. I thought of him and prayed for him all night.

Was in a quiet mood today at work...thinking about my nephew...nice surprise on my way back from lunch...called into the Buzz and won FREE Beastie Boy tix...front row and backstage passes...NOT TOO SHABBY!! It's the little things, ya know??

Worked until 8 tonite...and now I am FREE!!!!!!!

Was THRILLED to get home....there is so much truth and honesty to the phrase 'Home Sweet Home'.

Have Monday and Tuesday as vacation days...focusing on the Betty Castor campaign for this weekend.

Am crashing...big time.

nnsd...stay safe.


Howard Dean & Betty Castor

Cross-posted on Daily Kos, sent a personal email to all my buddies and posting here...this will be an awesome event AND I get to meet Howard as well!

Howard Dean is coming to West Palm Beach,FL to support
his newest Dean Dozen Member, Betty Castor.

Please RSVP at www.bettynet.com if you can attend!

Harriet Himmel Gilman Theater @ City Place
700 South Rosemary Avenue
West Palm Beach

Monday, August 23rd
12:00 noon
Free parking in the City Place garage


Howard Dean Is Coming To Town...

AND I GET TO MEET HIM!!!!

Sorry for yelling...when Rita Castor (daughter-in-law of FL Senate hopeful Betty Castor) called to tell me that I would be included in a group of people that would get to meet with Howard privately this coming Monday I DID scream...yeah, I was at work...not the best place to scream...but how many times do you get the call saying that you'll have a private audience with Howard Dean??

Howard is coming to West Palm Beach in support of Betty Castor, one of his newest Dean Dozen...they'll also be joined by Janet Reno, another one of my political idols. Seeing as I was a proud DFA'er when it meant Dean For America (now Democracy for America) Frank and Rita Castor graciously asked us local Deaniacs to help plan the event...and also included us in the Howard 'meet and greet'.

Wound up asking for Monday off so I can enjoy the whole experience plus help the Castor Crew without having to worry about getting back to work...thank goodness Nic said she would cover for me...I owe you BIG TIME, Nic!

So yeah, I am beyond jazzed that I will have the huge honor to meet the man who is responsible for getting me involved in politics. Between now and Monday I'm going to work on the 'Thank You Howard' letter I've been meaning to write for the last 6 months...seems like now is as good as time as any.

That, and mentally prepare myself not to spaz...or cry...or faint...when I finally meet him.

I have a lot of work to do between now and Monday!


My Two Cents...

I get frequent emails from MOVEON.ORG asking me to sign and forward petitions to George W. Bush.

Today's request was about joining Senator John McCain in asking Bush to stop the negative Swiftboat Ads aimed against John Kerry.

As always, had to add my two cents...here's what I told our Commander-In-Thief :


'You lied to get into the White House...OUR White House..and your lying continues to this day.

John Kerry SERVED his country in Viet Nam, which is a hell of alot more than you did.

You disgust me.

I want you out of OUR White House and I want my country back.'

Short and to the point, dontcha think??


Home Today

Called in sick thanks to a stomach virus or food poisoning or something like that....hate feeling this way.

At least I got alot done yesterday....slept in until 11:30, visited Giblet, Jeff and their new little munchkin Jaydon...or is it Jayden??....afterwards ran errands and had dinner out, then home to do laundry, pay bills and get ready for Monday. Got the new Bill Clinton book when I was at Target and started reading it last night. Fell asleep around page 3.

Speaking of sleep, a nap sounds good right about now.


Garden State

After a hell of a long wait, finally saw Garden State.

WOW.

Yep, I'm pretty much speechless. It's now vying with Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind as my favorite movie of the year. Check out the link on my sidebar and tell me what you think.

I'm outta words to describe it right now.


Friday the 13th...

Stream of thoughts...

* 4 months from today is my birthday

* Sure is nice to get so many concerned calls when a Hurricane hits FL....you all get brownie points for your thougtfulness (Dad & Tom & Scott and those who wish to remain nameless)

* Can't wait to see GARDEN STATE tonite

* Had a great lunch with Nic at Lucille's Bad To the Bone BBQ...one of my favorite places with one of my favorite friends

* My niece Devon's kidney surgery went very well...she's home from the hospital now

* I am SO READY for this weekend to be here

OK-back to work!


Finally A Friday...

Quinn and Kevin actually came home before midnite...SHOCK! That's a rarity. I could tell they both needed a beer in the worst way, so while they drank we talked about what's up with the campaign and other topics of the day.

So now they're snoozing and I am finishing up checking hurricane updates and email.

Got a long overdue email from my nephew. Have learned that if you blog about someone, they WILL respond to you....wonderful...my plan is working. Will be out in CA next month and would love to spend one-on-one time with Patrick....he's been thru a really tough three years and even tho I've been out to CA twice in the last 3 years the time I've spent with him could be added up in minutes. Trying to plan a day trip to Catalina or a really cool nature preserve off the coast of Santa Barbara (the name escapes me right now). Let me know, Patrick! Ball's in your court for this one!

Next NOAA update on Charley is at 2 so I'll hang out until then.

GARDEN STATE opens in South Florida today. Now that my trip to help a friend move to USF is cancelled (thanks Charley) will check it out after work tonite. Am prepared to really like it...if you've seen it please don't spoil it for me, ok??

Lotsa Stork canvassing planned for Saturday. Haven't volunteered with them since 'my summer vacation' two weeks ago...there hasn't been a need. The drought is over and from here on out Stork Season should be jammin'.

Thinking positive that Hurricane Charley will be kind to all Floridians today.

I'm tired...I'm yawning....nnsd...I'm outta here.


My 7 Years in Florida

7 years ago today...at 6:12 pm...we pulled into Boca Raton, FL.

Back then I was part of a we (now it's me, myself and I) and reaching FL was at that moment in time one of the biggest goals I'd ever accomplished.

Decided I would move to Florida on October 17, 1989, the night of the Loma Prieta earthquake in Northern CA. (http://www.seismo.berkeley.edu/seismo/faq/1989_0.html). The earthquake hit at 5:04 pm San Jose time. I will remember that moment for the rest of my life. You know how they say before you die your life will flash before your eyes? Well it did. And as I crouched beneath my desk at work, watching the walls sway and the ceiling above me dip, I really thought my life was over.

By the time I got home at 10:30 that night (between the traffic and not being sure which overpasses were stable) the power was still off and my husband and dog were panicked beyond belief. My husband wasn't a native Californian and he had just been thru one previous earthquake prior to Loma Prieta. With the power out we had no idea what was going on. Our landline phones were down, neither of us had cell phones, and the continuing aftershocks were terrifying. At one point I picked up the phone and while it had a dial tone I couldn't reach any of my family in Southern CA or any of our local friends.

So I called one of my best friends in Israel just as they were waking up and asked him to turn on CNN... his wife started screaming when she saw what the earthquake had done to our area. They held the phone to the tv for about 5 minutes then the connection was broken.

But at least I had an idea of what happened. And I told my husband that I'd had enough of a lifetime of earthquakes in CA and I was outta there. Maybe not that night or that month or even that year, but my mind was made up that I'd be leaving CA with or without him.

(This is so damn ironic given that as I write this Florida is under a Hurricane Watch...remnants of Bonnie blew thru today and Charley is supposed to hit soon...go figure!)

It took awhile.

First I had to convince him...that took several years...then over a 3 year period we/I made several fact-finding trips to South Florida. And planned, plotted, imagined, hoped and dreamed.

The quote I kept repeating over and over was 'If you will it, it is not a dream'...one of my favorite quotes attributed to Theodor Herzl, founder of the state of Israel.

After awhile, the increasingly high cost of housing in the Silicon Valley area combined with the beyond bizarre traffic (it took my husband 1 hour to travel 7 miles...each way...to and from work) worked in my favor and the move went from 'thinking about it' to 'full-speed ahead'.

Since it was my dream, I gladly did all the research. Found job leads, helped with resume writing, found a realtor to buy our FL house, targeted a company I wanted to work for (told all my friends in CA I would work for this specific company and guess what? my 6 year anniversary with them is 27 Aug), found the moving company, packed the house and did whatever was needed to be done to get us out of Earthquake Land to FL.

July 28th we closed on our San Jose house at 9:30 and by 10:15 we were on the road. Gas was going for .97 cents per gallon. The average price of a 3 bed, 2 bath, mediocre average house was $505,000.

12 August we paid .92 for gas in Broward County (our realtor advised us to always get gas in Broward since it is .06 cheaper than Palm Beach). Our house...the gorgeous house of my dreams that made me think I had died and gone to heaven...our 2,000 square foot house in a guard-gated community was $152,000. YES!! Can you believe it? We couldn't! Kept expecting someone to jump out from behind the bushes and say 'Surprise...did you really think you could get a house for this amount of money'?

Well, we did get it. And for awhile I was amazed at how perfect our life had become. A lovely house in an incredibly beautiful area, 8 minutes from the ocean, absolutely breathtaking beyond belief sunrises and sunsets, exotic wildlife, greenery in the Summer (CA has 10 months of brown and 2 months-if you are lucky- of green) and he seemed to be happy with everything as well.

Eight sets of visitors in 6 months. I live for company. It was heaven. Perfection in paradise.

And after awhile, for reasons that are personal and private and in the past, the perfection ended. I left my dream house and moved to an apartment and soon after our marriage ended.

Lots of thinking 'was this why I came to FL'? We had started all over as a couple, now it was time for me to start all over again by myself.

So I did.

My first night in my apt, wrote a list of what I wanted in my next dream house. Came up with a list of 23 must haves...and luckily/happily the house I bought has 19 of my 23 must haves.

I have learned that things you think you must have aren't always needed after all. That sometimes you can be happier without than with.

If you would have told me prior to moving here that I would be living where I am, doing what I do and involved in the activities I'm involved in, I wouldn't have been surprised. Towards the end of life in CA I decided that while you can plan your life out to the nth degree, sometimes you just have to be open to going where life seems to lead you.

A whole string of events lead me to FL and my life has taken some interesting twists and turns along the way.

Even tho I do miss all the good-hair days in non-humid CA, as well as In-N-Out, Round Table Pizza and of course my friends and family (had to put that in there or else I would really hear it from my dad!!) I have become a proud Floridian. Well, maybe not a totally proud Floridian when it comes to how they screwed up the 2000 Presidential election, but for the most part this is my home and I consider myself a Floridian.

Who knows where I’ll be in the next 7 years? Could be here, maybe somewhere else. It won’t be in CA that’s for sure...have priced myself out of that housing market and there still is that matter of earthquakes. It has to be near the ocean, so that eliminates a great majority of the US. And Utah...well, I just can’t ever live there...it’s a matter of principle on that one.

What started as a whim the night of a devastating earthquake in CA has lead me to happy ever after in FL.

And on that note, time to check out the hurricane updates!


As Days Go...

...not a bad day at all.

Had my root canal and am feeling surprisingly pain free...or maybe that is because after this root canal I didn't go canvassing in 90 degree heat and matching humidity in Jupiter with Abby and Amanda like I did the last time.

Had a new A/C unit installed today...after finding out the original unit that was ordered 'didn't quite fit'...it was off 'by only a little' according to Vinnie. How much is 'just a little'? 2 inches...yeah, that's just a little.

The install took 7 hours and boy did this place heat up. It has become such instinct to turn up the air when it gets hot in the house. Of course, that instinct took 7 years to develop (7 years tomorrow, as a matter of fact) since when I lived in CA and it got hot, it was instinct to open the windows to let the cool breeze in...yeah, those days are gone!

Funny, but the house we had in San Jose had no A/C. It did have a killer cross-breeze that allowed us to keep the windows open all thruout the summer and close them in the winter...and if the house got too hot in the winter or summer, you could open the windows and let the breeze in.....ok, we've come full circle.

Killing time waiting for The Daily Show to start.

Quinn, Jacob and Kevin pulled a late one last night...Jacob worked until 2 am then Quinn and Kevin called it quits at 4...talk about dedication. No sign of them yet but it's still early.

Finished reading the Joe Trippi book "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" that Quinn lent to me. I absolutely loved it...really struck a chord with me and I'll discuss it at length in future posts.

Now that my iBook is back to normal, my iPod is dead...if it's not one thing, it's another. Had been using Quinn's E-Bay bargain speakers in the living room with my iPod...I have no stereo (sad, but true!) and had really gotten hooked on having iPod music blasting thruout the downstairs.

I leave for CA a month from today...yay...can't wait.

And last but definitely not least, for all you former Congressional campaign staffers that happen to be driving back to school this week, travel safe and watch out for hydroplaning vehicles.


Emails

I really love getting emails from friends...it has to be one of the best parts of my day.

Seems that lately my inbox is overflowing with political email. The balance is overly skewed...about 95% political and only 5% personal or blog-response related.

John Kerry is a several-times-a-week emailer...as are the folks from Move.On. Then we have MFA...always entertaining email to be sure...and Betty Castor...DFA....TrueMajority...damn, I am just SO POPULAR with all these political entities.

While it's nice to be thought of and courted for money and votes from afar...and I have given both to most...it would be a nice change to see the balance tip to getting more personal than political emails.

To that end, I sent out an email to everyone in my Hotmail address book (which I hardly ever use) and asked them to start emailing me at my yahoo account.

So here I sit, just waiting for those long, newsy missives to come rolling in.

Yep...any second now.

Any.

Second.

And to that certain nephew who promised several months ago he'd start writing emails on a regular basis....well, what are you waiting for?


Another First In A Series Of Firsts

Got a letter from Theresa LePore.

You may have heard her name mentioned during the 2000 Presidential elections in Palm Beach County,FL.

Anyway, Theresa was writing to inform me that I have been selected as a Candidate for the Palm Beach County Democratic Executive Committee. And since no one else is running in my precinct, I am it. Woohoo! (My phrase, not Theresa's)

She goes on to say that I will receive my Certificate of Election after the 2 November General Election.

I have to thank Gordon of my DFA group for bringing this to my attention. He strongly suggested we all apply. Gordon is a true Deaniac at heart and has taken Howard Dean's message to heart.

What we have done is taken the first of many steps at getting our country back.

I started by donating to Dean...my first ever political donation...then campaigning for Dean...then waving signs at visibility events for Dean...and now I'm active on the Jim Stork for Congress (D-22-FL) as well as the Betty Castor for Senate (D-FL) campaigns.

It all starts with you...you have the power to accomplish great things, both as individuals as well as in a group.

So do something...register someone to vote...donate...volunteer for a candidate...apply to become a precinct captain.

We DO have the power.

I WANT MY COUNTRY BACK!


False Alarm

Took my ailing iBook to see Ron at the Apple Store on my lunch break.

Ron remembered me as a blogger on a political campaign...wtg, Ron...or did he REALLY just remember me as the nutso chick who couldn't be parted from her iBook when the Logic Board freaked?

In any event, he got it up and running...his diagnosis was #1 faulty power adapter - or- #2 power surge.

Hmmm...for the entire time I've lived here (So FL) with my iBook have never had a power surge...not to suggest it couldn't happen, but it just didn't seem right.

A faulty power adapter, on the other hand, sounds plausible, since mine has been getting hotter than ever within minutes of using it whereas in the past it usually would take awhile to heat up.

So I dropped $83 for a new power adapter and just sorta hung out in the Apple Store for the rest of my lunch hour while my iBook charged. The Airport came in handy since I got to read my email, check out my blog, send a personal im to my work im...yeah, all sorts of fun while killing time on my lunch hour....plus the Apple Stores always have the coolest background music.

And now I'm paying for the extended lunch hour by working late...it's only fair.

Since some small remote part of me is afraid my adapter WON'T work once I get it home, figured I would get my blogging fix in now just to be on the safe side. And if I am pleasantly surprised and it DOES work...well, then I'm one happy camper...or happy blogger...your pick.

Ok...back to the phones!


Had A Great Weekend, But...

Had a really great weekend...

Out to dinner with Amanda Friday night @ Cheesecake Factory on Las Olas for a belated birthday dinner....chopped 4 inches off my hair Saturday afternoon just for the heck of it....Quinn and Nami created a wonderful dinner Saturday night....Jacob and Courtney joined us as well...lots of fun, food, drink and GI Joe's...slept in Sunday...Nami and Quinn fixed breakfast before Nami left for the airport (she MUST come back and visit soon)...vegged for the rest of the day and later Sunday night Jacob moved in.

So far, so good.

Then after a quick run to Steak and Shake at 11 (since I had lost track of time and forgot about dinner while reading the Joe Trippi book) I came back to fire up the iBook for last minute blogging.

But wait. Nothing. NO!!!!!!

The dreaded black screen again.

CRAP!

This is not good. Tried to stay calm but I could feel my stomach churning. Not another whole week of no iBook. Not again.

Tried starting it 8 more times....no luck. Gave up and went to bed.

Was up at 6 am today, my iBook the first thing on my mind.

Met my new roomie Kevin as I was going downstairs for breakfast....and all I could talk about while eating my Cheerios was my sick computer....pathetic, huh??

All I can think about now is taking an early lunch and hitting the Apple Store as soon as they open. It's still under warranty from the last Logic Board fix...less than 6 weeks ago.

So it's time to go thru iBook withdrawal...again.

Wish me luck!