no. the worst thing you can do for democracy is not vote.

goats

i am getting bombarded on twitter. because i was feeling the bern, i am pretty disenchanted with hillary. bernie was everything i was looking for in a candidate: open, candid, fired up and pretty consistent on the issues i care about. hillary is a little cagey, a little waffle-ish, and part of a weird, orchestrated DFL primary campaign. i would have proudly voted for bernie. now i’m weary AND wary and not sure what i should do.

i have my absentee ballot on my kitchen table, all the ovals filled in next to state campaigns’ DFL candidates, judges chosen, amendment oval decided, ready to go into the three levels of envelope security, except for that crucial top decision: vote for one presidential candidate. 

i really don’t know what i’m going to do. i know i’m not voting for trump. morally, conscientiously, and as a person who cares about the planet and other people, voting for trump is not even an option. but everyone is throwing tweets, articles, opinion pieces into my feed with the old rhetoric: “a vote for a third party candidate is a vote for trump.” 

no. 

you can argue all you want about nader in 2000, how gary johnson is incompetent, what jill stein’s views on vaccinations are, the fact that bernie’s out there stumping for hillary.

when it comes down to it, if i wanted to vote for trump, i would fill in that oval next to his name, and the idea of doing that makes me want to vomit. 

today was the final straw on twitter when i read an article named:

Dear Millennials: Voting for a third party candidate in this election is the worst thing you can do for American democracy

now i’m no millennial. i’m an optimistic, cynical, disillusioned, tail-end genXer. i have done a lot of research on law, i know the members of SCOTUS, and i feel like i know more about the political climate than your average person. and you know what’s democratically worse than voting for a third party?

being so bullied and vote-shamed that you don’t vote at all.

my vote is my vote, and i am an american who has a right to vote for whom she wants. whether that’s donald trump, hillary clinton, write-in bernie sanders, or vote for the marijuana now party, i can do that. the stranglehold the two-party system has on our country is really holding us back from some people who might actually make a difference in leading this country.

i remember the 2000 election; i was at st. ben’s, and there were arguments in classes about how if enough people voted for nader and he got 5% of the popular vote, it would open up federal funding for the green party in 2004 and give the american people a more diverse field of leaders to choose from. the argument was that it was a forward-looking vote. unfortunately, the george bush fiasco has overwhelmed that initial reasoning, and al gore’s loss was blamed on nader supporters. at the same time, nader only got 2% of the popular vote. 

i am not one of those people who stays home on major elections; i will always vote. but there are people out there who might plan on voting, then get so overwhelmed by the vitriol out there that they stay home. i know people who aren’t voting because neither of the major party presidential candidates are appealing, and therefore none of the state campaigns get a vote either.

instead of discouraging people from voting for someone or using scare tactics, we should be encouraging everyone to get out and vote for WHATEVER CANDIDATE THEY WANT. that’s what democracy is. that’s how it works. i’m sorry if you don’t like it. 

and here’s the kicker: at the end of the day, i’ll probably end up voting for hillary clinton. the idea of trump as president is scary and gets me to the “literally can’t even” white girl disgusting level. even though i’m in a relatively blue state when it comes to presidential elections, and the state would probably go blue even if i voted for someone else, i will, most likely, vote for hillary. 

but that’s my decision, and being bullied into it is not the way to get people, especially millennials who are voting for the first or second time, to take part in the democratic process. 

politiblog yeesh

i registered to vote. 

and tomorrow’s the first presidential debate. i am at two extremes on this: one the one hand, i am a little excited to see how this is going to turn out. bring out the popcorn; on the other, i am ready to facepalm my way through this whole. omg.

oh, and i’m going to vote absentee! because (hopefully) i’ll be in california at harry potter world!!!

well hello there!

there was a week wait list to get internet at our new house *eyeroll*

i feel like i’ve been away too long, but not much has happened. of course we moved, and of course i like to unpack everything all at once, so now all the boxes are unpacked. i think the only thing left to put together is the table, which might end up looking a little awkward in its space. oh well. 

BUT, here’s what’s been done so far:

  1. hardware replaced in kitchen and bathroom. i actually feel halfway decent about the cupboards now.
  2. fridge ordered and arriving on saturday!
  3. stove ordered and arriving mid october!
  4. new grill
  5. ceiling fan purchased for bedroom
  6. new toilet seat (ugh the old one was too pointy)
  7. hammock hung! (WOO!)
  8. a couple apples eaten
  9. and of course, internet finally installed

gotta install that fan and replace the hideous ceiling fan in the dining/office with something (anything) else. the trees are nice. the isolation is nice. i like it!

housebl-ugh

i’ve come to the realization that any house nate and i buy will have issues attached. (or, so far). 

when we bought our house in st. joe, it was bank owned and they required a bank quote through them before we put together a purchase agreement. (which, looking back, is that legal?) we didn’t have to go through the bank, but we did need to meet with them and go through the process again. 

when we purchased our house in st. charles, there was a government shutdown, and our rural development loan took an extra three weeks to process. thanks to this, we couldn’t technically close on the house until the government opened again, which was about two-three weeks after our original close date. thankfully, the house was contractor owned and he let us move in early (we had to be out of our apartment). 

this time, my goodness. everything is good on our end as far as our loan and ready to go. the house we’re selling though, omg. the lender didn’t send in the rural development loan until the day before scheduled closing (normally they like a couple weeks). thankfully it came back the next day, but it was selected for a random audit! then that went through about 5 hours before MY scheduled house closing up here, but the lender needed it to go through quality control first. if this were a local bank instead of a national bank, it might’ve made it. but it was a national bank and they don’t like to do things out of order.

so, now, we’re waiting on the lender of the st. charles house buyer to get the money to the title company so they can close so we can get our loan and we can close. 

hopefully this will be the last time we do this for a while, so i guess i’ll deal for now.

where did summer go?

my house in st. charles is almost empty, and on wednesday, we pack up the uhaul and head north. today, nate and i each drove up a vehicle full of stuff to drop in the storage unit. 

it’s been a long four months, and i’d like to know: where did my summer go?

it’s hard to ignore the fields of corn on my drive. when i left in may, they were barely shoots of green out of the earth. today the leaves were starting to tinge yellow, a message that harvest season will be here soon. 

the trees were just budding out in may, turning the brilliant shades of green, yellow, and light-orange that springtime trees do before heading into the dark, full green of summertime. today, they were starting to pull back from summertime green, starting to once again showing their true colors. if you’d asked me if the trees were spring of fall based on color alone, i mightn’t’ve been able to tell you. 

there is just a hint of fall in the air, though you wouldn’t know it from today’s weather. generally though, the nights are a bit cooler and the next week’s forecast looks set to be truly septemberish.

i’m sad i missed summer, in a way. but i’m looking forward to being in one place for fall, and especially a place resplendent in yellow aspen and trees reflecting off the lakes. and in my backyard πŸ˜€

yellow-aspen-trees-in-the-fall-in-the-sierra-mountains-of-california-william-stevenson

we are all jacob

for every minnesotan ages 35-40: you know.

i was 10 years old when jacob wetterling went missing in october 1989. it was unreal: a boy just one year older than me disappeared from a small town in minnesota, riding his bike back from the local video store. it could’ve been any one of my classmates. it could’ve been me. 

posters went up around the school, his smiling face greeting me every time i climbed the stairs to reading class. the news was loud and insistent with its vigilant coverage, and we saw his parents on tv. it could’ve been my parents. 

i didn’t know him. but i did know him. he could’ve been my classmate, the cute boy who every girl had a mild crush on. it wasn’t my town. but it was my town. and it would be, eventually. st. joseph is smaller than austin, and if a boy my age couldn’t bike where he wanted in st. joe, how would it be possible in austin? i shouldn’t have felt a connection. but i did. everyone did. when jacob’s hope became widespread, we all grasped it; we wanted to have that hope, to leave the porchlight on for jacob. come home, come home. 

the media died down. patty wetterling became the face for child abductions and made great strides in legislation regarding that. a bridge built in sauk rapids was named “bridge of hope.” jacob wetterling was a household name, becoming the face for abducted children everywhere.

my family moved closer to st. joe, and i eventually went to college at st. ben’s, in st. joe. i remember seeing a feature with a few of his friends from the 2000 graduating CSB|SJU class. 

in 2008, i moved to st. joe, less than a mile from the tom thumb where he was abducted. my cats went to the vet that now occupies the building. i went running in the dark evenings along a bike path, hyper aware of my surroundings, even though i knew in my head that an abductor interested in an 11-year-old boy would have no interest in a grown woman. in 2011, a farm not far from my house was investigated, turning up nothing. but it was a hit in the heart – will they find something? 

then this morning, his remains were IDed after being located via information fron an annandale man who was a person of interest and had been in custody for child pornography charges. this turns my stomach, because it’s almost guaranteed that jacob was assaulted before he was killed (that is hard to write). 

it’s hard to describe, but in my 10-year-old mindset, his kidnapping was always an innocent one. he was snatched, maybe tied up, then taken to an obscure place. what happened after that? i’d always hoped that he was alive, living his life out in a weird small town on a coast. it was always a hope that someone would take a second look at him in that small town, bring him back to his parents. 

even after knowing what i know now about abductions and how they are usually violent and disgusting, i still held onto this very unlikely scenario as what happened to him. maybe because he could’ve been me, and that’s what i’d hope my abduction would be like (if it had to happen). 

for all those minnesotans of a certain age: it’s come to a close. not the one we want, because it’s not what we would’ve wanted for ourselves, our friends, our parents. but it’s the closure we need because we want to know and we want our parents and friends to know and have closure. the lights are on, and he has come home. we are all jacob.