Some who are long time readers of the blog might have noticed over time that I haven’t been saying much about politics in recent days.  That’s weird, considering how much that kind of thing USED to be a part of the blog.  Part of that has been because I don’t really need the headache of deleting the comments that are just rude and pointless, and frankly I don’t really want to argue about politics in the first place, since those arguments just end up making me (and presumably the opposing party) think less about someone I might otherwise like.  There’s a lot to be lost in entering into a political discussion between friends.

…but more than that, I have been trying to avoid putting into print how disappointed I’ve been in the President I campaigned so hard for a few years ago.  I have lost a lot of my confidence in President Obama and in the Democratic Party overall.  I have said in recent days that I’m not sure it’s worth it to vote for the Democrats anymore, but I can’t vote for a Republican since I’m absolutely convinced that their party is wrong and motivated by greed and evil.  (Note: I said the PARTY, not the voters.)  At least the Democrats are just spineless cowards—which, come to think of it, probably isn’t any less evil when you get right down to it.

As it presently stands, and especially after his insulting “compromise” (which was less a compromise and more of a complete and utter surrender) regarding the national debt about a month ago, I am unsure if I will vote for Barack Obama in 2012.  I can say in advance that I will definitely not vote for whoever his opponent turns out to be, especially if they’re a Tea Party Cultist Member…but I’m not sure I want to vote for Obama, if the man he’s been in recent days is the man that he actually is.

…but I don’t want to believe that this is who he is.  I want him to be better.  I want the Obama that I referred to as “my generation’s Kennedy” before the last election.  The guy who was so inspiring that the Republican Party’s only defense was to try to paint him as a false Messiah, thinking the Dems were so stupid as to believe such ridiculous, religious scare tactics.  I want THAT guy to run again, and I want him to mean it again.  (And I think he DID believe he was going to be able to accomplish what he said he would when he was running in 2008.)  I miss that guy.

I got an e-mail from the President tonight.  A lot of us did…  It was from his campaign.  It’s one of those things he wrote and the campaign passes along with your name on top, so you can for a moment pretend that the President wrote just to you—y’know…bullshit.  One of those…and this is what he wrote.  (I don’t think you can copyright an e-mail, so hopefully I don’t get any cease-and-desist letters over posting this…)

Subject:   Frustrated
From:   “Barack Obama”
Date:   Wed, August 31, 2011 9:13 pm
To:   “Derek Brink”
Priority:   Normal

Derek —

Today I asked for a joint session of Congress where I will lay out a clear plan to get Americans back to work. Next week, I will deliver the details of the plan and call on lawmakers to pass it.

Whether they will do the job they were elected to do is ultimately up to them.

But both you and I can pressure them to do the right thing. We can send the message that the American people are playing by the rules and meeting their responsibilities — and it’s time for our leaders in Congress to meet theirs.

And we must hold them accountable if they don’t.

So I’m asking you to stand with me in calling on Congress to step up and take action on jobs:

No matter how things go in the weeks and months ahead, this will be an important challenge for our organization.

It’s been a long time since Congress was focused on what the American people need them to be focused on.

I know that you’re frustrated by that. I am, too.

That’s why I’m putting forward a set of bipartisan proposals to help grow the economy and create jobs — that means strengthening our small businesses, giving needed breaks to middle-class families, while taking responsible steps to bring down our deficit.

I’m asking lawmakers to look past short-term politics and take action on that plan. But we’ve got to do this together.

I will deliver this message to Congress next week, but I’m asking you to stand alongside me today:

More to come,


…and if he meant it, then I’m counting it as a step in the right direction.  He doesn’t have me back yet…but he does have my attention.


A little while ago, the awesome author Joe Hill wrote this great post about his journaling habit.  It inspired me.  I too more or less stockpile notebooks and love the “blank slate” that comes with each new notebook.  And I too like to write things down…but for some reason I’ve never done it with any particular structure.  My average notebook is a cluttered mess of lists, half-written and abandoned lyrics, jotted down ideas, stuff I’m supposed to remember for work…and so on…  Hill’s post provided me with some inspiration to organize my bullshit…so I went to Barnes & Noble and bought some Moleskine journals.

Much like Hill (whose post I’m assuming you’ve at least skimmed by now), I’m going to try dedicating one journal to a subject.  The ones I bought were fairly small, so if I abandon them, I won’t feel like they were wasted.  Here’s the list of stuff I’ve already started on…and credit where it’s due, I stole one or two of them right from Joe Hill.

My present journals (and what I’ve named them):

  1. The Mundane
    This is for the boring day-to-day crap.  I’ll just jot down the basic facts of the day.  Probably no more than a paragraph or two, most days.  Stuff like “Went to work.  Missed lunch again, so had a large dinner consisting of blahblahblah then band practice and watching blahblah on TV before blah…”  Not much of interest…but just a good habit and a good running log of what my life’s like.
  2. Top 5 Lists
    I make top 5 lists all the time.  They’re stupid.  Stuff like “Top 5 Dream Jobs” or “Top 5 Favorite Books by Dead Guys.”  Stuff like that…may as well put ’em all in one place.  Might be kinda fun to look back on from time to time.
  3. Best 3 Things
    This is one I stole right from Joe Hill.  I’m going to write down the best three things that happened to me each day.  This is actually the thing in Hill’s post that appealed to me most.  Lately, I’ve been recognizing that I’ve been living with a lot of negativity in my life.  I’ve been pretty pessimistic and just overall not very positive about anything.  I’m working on changing that, and a journal that ONLY chronicles the good things about each day seemed like a wonderful idea to help with that.
  4. The Music or the Misery
    Lists of what music I’ve listened to on any given day.  I’ve already been keeping a running log of “Music to Work By,” which I’ve occasionally posted on the blog.  So this seemed natural.  I’m expanding it to include what I’ve listened to in the car or recreationally too, though…and I might make a note or two about WHY I’ve chosen a particular CD or artist.  Like maybe “Best of Cyndi Lauper.  —  Bummed out.  Needed to hear “Time After Time.”  Stuff like that.  (Journal name derived from the opening scene in the movie “High Fidelity,” which raises the question, “What came first: the music or the misery?”
  5. Reading Journal
    A list of stuff I’m reading…books, comic books, magazines…whatever.  Pretty straightforward.  I’ll probably jot down a thought or two about the more interesting things.

…and I’m thinking maybe starting one for memories, one for dreams, one for stuff that’s on my mind, and maybe a prayer journal.

So I’m giving that a shot.  I’m hoping it also helps to get some of the nonsense off my mind so I have a little bit less buzzing around my head that doesn’t belong on the blog(s), so I’ll end up writing here more too.  And considering that I’ve now written for two nights in a row, who knows?  Maybe it’s working!  🙂


Current Listening:

I can’t seem to stop listening to Solomon Burke today—particularly the song “None of Us are Free.”