Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Hallowe'en!

One of the things I have found in moving to Chicago is that out here Hallowe’en is a very big deal. In DC, very few costumes are worn out to bars or clubs during this weekend. But in Chicago, you are almost a freak if you don’t wear a costume. It’s taken very seriously out here. And heavy thought is put into this annual drag event. People just don’t throw on capes and pointy teeth and head out. Prosthetics, body paint, sometimes body modification are the norm. And its more than just a hoot to see Daphne and Velma doing shots with Uncle Fester, and Tim Curry’s Demon from “Legend” hitting on a penguin.

I initially was not going to dress up, but my boyfriend was having none of that. So he sat down and created my costume from head to toe. When he told me what he chose for me to be, I thought it would be an impossible transformation. But the costume is amazing! I wore it out Friday night as a preview for tonight and was yelled at from cars, across the street, and had my photo taken with a lot of people. I think KB has missed his calling.

I will display Hallowe’en pics this week. Until then, have a safe and fun night!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Charity, Thy Name Is Wasteful

It’s tough when you try to do the right thing and it backfires in your face. I am speaking specifically of donating money to an organization, only to get your donation back in the forms of personalized items. I don’t donate a lot of money, but I will give now and then when I can afford to do so. I think it is our obligation as citizens of the world to help out those who are less fortunate, be it directly or indirectly.

For example, last year I donated to Whitman-Walker Clinic in DC: a few bucks now and then when I had it, and a sponsorship of a friend who ran in an AIDS marathon. With each donation, I received either a notepad with my name printed on the top or a packet of personalized return address labels. One set of these labels had my name and my work address printed, since I registered to walk in the AIDS Walk with other people in my office. These labels were, of course, useless. The pads of paper were unusable as they had my complete name printed across the top taken from my check. There was also a misspelling in the name. Since I’d rather not share my entire misspelled name with the world, using this stationery served no purpose - useless again.

Now all this stuff costs money. Maybe not a lot of money, but that’s not the point. The point is I don’t want to get my donation back again. The gesture is nice, but I would much rather see my name on their website as a donor than get a pen with my name on it that no one will see. Of course I don’t donate money to impress other people, but if you want to recognize me for helping your organization, then give me the proper recognition. Let me see my name in print someplace other than on top of a pad of paper that sits in the back of my desk drawer. Add my name to a list of other donors where we can all be proud of our association, and not to a coffee mug that will just sit in the back of my kitchen cupboard.

Don’t beg me for money once a month and then buy me a gift with the money I send you. Send me a free email that says my $20, $50 or $250 donation went to paying for 25 HIV tests, or several hours of counseling for an uninsured patient, or a week of meals for a homebound AIDS patient. I will believe you – I don’t need to see it.

So to the charities to whom I donate, please don't waste my money on me. I can print my own return labels. Snapfish can personalize anything I want. I don’t need gifts with my name on them. I can recognize myself. I just wish you would recognize me too.

Friday, October 21, 2005

April Fools

After reading of Tom DeLay's arrest today, I discovered that he and I have the same birthday - April 8th. That makes me, Tom and Betty Ford.


Sigh!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

October 20th

I have been keeping a journal since 1982. It was a project started in an English class in high school and I have managed to keep it going for over 20 years now. Every so often, I will look back on a particular day, just to see what I was doing on that day, say 5, 10 even 20 years ago. And I am instantly taken back to that day recalling my thoughts, emotions, feelings and environment. I am reminded of places I have been and people I have long since forgotten. These are priceless recounts of my life that I have to thank Mrs. Kelly for beginning.

Today being October 20th, for example, I went back through the last 22 years to see where I was and what I was doing on this day many years back:


2004 – Had dinner with Ex#5 in DC then went to karaoke to watch Apple Brown Betty perform, then head out to a conference for a few days in Potomac, MD

2003 – Had dinner with Ex#4 at Buca di Beppo in DC.

2002 – Sunny, breezy Sunday in DC. Had lunch in Georgetown with my friend, Aaron, then did some shopping.

2001 – Took the Jeep to Jiffy Lube in Arlington. I had a dinner date at Pepper’s with my friend, Geoff, and then I saw my friend Aubrey perform at Colours of Fall at Nation.

2000 – My friend Colin was visiting DC from Toronto. I had a date with Bobby and spent the night at his house.

1999 – Doctor appointment with Dr. Rudski at 3:15, and dinner with Eric at Paulo’s in Georgetown.

1997 – Ex#3 and I were celebrating our third month of dating with dinner at my apartment on Capitol Hill.

1996 – My brother, Mike, and his wife Christina and their two year-old daughter Jordan (my god-daughter) visited me in DC. We went to the Zoo and I took them to dinner at the American CafĂ© at Metro Center.

1995 – I had only been in DC a month. I worked until 5:00, and then went to happy hour at JR’s with co-worker Todd.

1993 – Kathy, Jelita and I saw “Free Willy” at the $.99 theatre in Winchester, VA. And apparently I shaved off my beard.

1992 – Rented “Rosemary’s Baby” with gal pals Deidre and Colleen at Shenandoah, then had dinner at Ground Round.

1991 – Saw “The Fisher King” and drove to Skyline Drive in Front Royal, VA, with Ex#2. Then a bunch of us went to Deer Park Lodge – the only semi-close gay bar – an hour away from school.

1990 – Home on break, went to “Class Act” – a gay bar in Morgantown, WV with my best friend, Jeff W.

1989 – My mom was cleaning out some stuff and found a box of her children’s elementary school artwork. So Mom, my sister Kim and I spent the afternoon looking at everything.

1988 – Ex#1 had been working in NYC and came home to our house in Sterling, VA, after 6 weeks. I am sure sex ensued.

1983 - A truck loses its brakes and crashes into my sister and brother-in-law's apartment. No one is home at the time.

There are some years where nothing was written down. That happens sometimes now and then. I have, and still do, miss a day now and then - there are days when I just sat around in my sweats and watched a Real World Marathon or something. Admittedly, no one wants to recall days like that.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Feeling Safer?

Last year, Democratic Massachusetts Senator John Kerry was not elected president because "W" convinced the majority of the voting public that Kerry could not keep them safe.

1) 2,000 Americans have died in Iraq. So far.

2) High placed Republicans (Karol Rove and Lewis Libby) are under investigation for outing the identity of a CIA agent.

3) Gasoline is $3.00 per gallon.

4) Hurricane Katrina aftermath.

5) Federal judgeship appointments are given to White House aides who have never been judges.

6) America has staggering poverty, under-funded schools, and a global warming emergency.

7) The leaders of each house of Congress are under indictment and investigation for conspiracy and fraud respectively.

8) Halliburton just won numerous government contracts to help rebuild the Gulf Coast.

9) The federal government is all but bankrupt with a deficit in the trillions of dollars.


10) Our borders, ports and nuclear power plants are still not secure.

11) Osama Bin Laden is still at large.

So it's not even one year later. How much safer do you feel?

Saturday, October 15, 2005

A Million Possibilities

Did the black population give us science, as Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick – congresswoman in Michigan’s 13th district – stated at the “Millions More Movement” in DC today? I was watching it on C-SPAN this morning. However, I have to disagree with Ms. Kilpatrick. While there is no doubt that black scientists like George Washington Carver and Benjamin Banneker gave the world some amazing discoveries, I hardly think that either man is considered the “Father of Science”. I believe that title belongs to Galileo, an Italian.

I was living in DC in 1995 when the Million Man March was held on the Mall. So 10 years later, I thought I would catch the Millions More Movement for a while. Granted, I am a white guy and I admit to not understanding the plights and hardships of black people. There were a lot of things said during the parts that I watched that I did not understand or relate to. I admit it.

Certainly, the black population is not the only oppressed people; they are not the first and, sadly, they won’t be the last. But I can’t help but think that the leaders of this community have missed the boat in their guidance. I wish they would take a page from the books of other depressed groups on how to prosper from subjugation. And after watching the speakers for a few hours, I have created my Wish List for those who attended, watched, and believe in the Millions More Movement:

1) I wish this community would truly embrace their African heritage and not just talk the talk. I never hear of great pilgrimages to Africa. I never hear about groups of African Americans making the journey back to their homeland to learn what it is to be African. The Jewish community does this. Great groups of Jewish people make sojourns to Isreal. There are organizations like Hillel that are present on college and university campuses that organize Jewish students and send them to Isreal to learn what it is to “do Jewish.” To truly understand who you are and where you came from, you have to leave your town or city, indeed even your neighborhood.

2) I wish this community would rise above the white population and embrace how far they have come. The gay community did this. The pink triangle was a symbol of embarrassment and shame during World War II – gay Jewish men had to wear this symbol on every garment so that they could be immediately identified, ridiculed, beaten and killed. Years passed, and the gay community embraced the pink triangle to show how far they had come as a people. But more importantly, this symbol could no longer be used to oppress or embarrass them. It is now a symbol of pride. I wish the black community would do the same with the Confederate Flag. I wish they would embrace it to show how far they have come. And trust me on this – if the black community would do this, that flag would disappear from the back window of every pickup truck in Alabama. White supremacists would never again be able to use it as a negative symbol.

3) I wish this community would completely identify themselves so that they could truly be unionized. Some in the community call themselves African American, some say black, some say person of color, some even use the “N” word. One friend of mine refers to herself as an “Ebony Woman”. But its hard to know where you belong when so many of those with whom you identify refer to themselves by different classifications. A white guy is a white guy. A Native American is just that. A Latino is a Latino. Define who you are, and a lot of that comes from knowing who you are.

I guess time will tell if this Movement had a positive effect on the community, much like it took a few years to realize if The March 10 years ago had any effect. I hope it does. I hope people walk away from the Movement both effected and affected.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Thirty Nine Percent

W's approval ratings FINALLY fell below 40%. FINALLY, W' approval rating has dropped to just 39%; only 2% of African Americans approve of W's job performance - the lowest of any U.S. President in history. FINALLY the 50.73% of the “popular votes” is realizing what the 48.27% already knew: this presidency is a sham.

And I am willing to wager that when this presidency finally ends, W will be ranked as one of the “Top 5 Worst Presidents”. Why? Well let’s examine what a president is judged upon:



1. Public Persuasion
2. Moral Authority
3. Relations with Congress
4. Crisis Leadership
5. International Relations
6. Vision/Setting Agenda
7. Economic Management
8. Administrative Skills
9. Pursued Equal Justice For All
10. Performance Within Context of Times


Let’s examine:

1. Public Persuasion: With an approval rating of 39%, I doubt highly that W is persuading very many people (outside of Texas or Congress) of anything. He is currently having a very difficult time persuading the public, and even members of his own camp, about his decision of Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court, turning to a lawyer who has never been a judge to replace Sandra Day O'Connor and help reshape the nation's judiciary. However he DID manage to get re-elected, which does prove he has a line of bullshit that he can use when he needs it.

2. Moral Authority: We all know it was the evangelicals who got W re-elected. And while religion, specifically Christianity, has been the cornerstone of his term, he is really putting it out there with Miers again because he stated that she was chosen based on her religious beliefs.


3. Relations With Congress: It would not be surprising to see W distance himself from Congress very soon, given the recent scandals surrounding Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and House Majority Leader Tom DeLay
. With both houses of Congress being Republican-led and doing badly, not to mention the passing over of David Dreier for DeLay’s job just because he is gay, and with W dealing with the CIA leak scandal in his own Republican house, we might not be seeing any picnic lunches going on between Penn Ave and Capitol Hill. However he can still make them jump when he wants.

4. Crisis Leadership: New Orleans. Enough said, but “Brownie” did “good work”.


5. International Relations: W garnered the most sympathy ever for the U.S. after the World Trade Center attacks and less than a year later made the U.S. the most hated country in the world, the largest failure of diplomacy in world history. W led the entire world into a war that did not have to happen based on lies and misleadership. Every country on the globe despises America. When Hurricane Katrina hit, a friend of mine in Australia told me that the sentiment there about the U.S. was “we figured that Americans had killed so many in Irag that you all were just getting what you deserved. Basically, we all just think ‘so what?’”

However, at least the Canadians still love us as evidenced by marryanamerican.com
, a web site devoted to Canadians who are willing to marry Americans who have been disaffected by W’s re-election.

6. Vision/Setting Agenda: What exactly IS W’s agenda? Is dismantling Social Security still on the table? How about altering the Constitution to recognize only man/woman marriages? It is more frightening when we NO LONGER hear about these things because this means that decisions are being made without anyone knowing about them. Something has diverted our attention from the coverage of these topics, yet these decisions are still being made with little or no report made to the American public. So much of this presidency has been accomplished on the down-low.

7. Economic Management: The outstanding public debt as of October 14, 2005 is $7,996,098,519,225.68.
With the current US population being 297,429,596, each citizen’s share of this debt is $26,884.00 (I’ll just charge mine.) The National Debt has continued to increase $1.63 million per day since September 30, 2004.

W invaded and occupied two countries at a continuing cost of over one billion dollars per week. He spent the U.S. surplus and effectively bankrupted the U.S. Treasury. He shattered the record for the largest annual deficit in U.S. history. He set an economic record for most private bankruptcies filed in any 12-month period. He set the all-time record for most foreclosures in a 12-month period. He set the all-time record for the biggest drop in the history of the U.S. stock market. In his first year in office, over 2 million Americans lost their jobs and that trend continues every month.

8. Administrative Skills: True, W has surrounded himself with some smart people. But they are all “yes men”, lackeys and sycophants.

W began his career in the oil business in Midland, Texas, in 1975, buying an oil company, but couldn't find any oil in Texas. The company went bankrupt shortly after he sold all his stock. You could check his records on his skills, however all records of his tenure as governor of Texas are now in his father's library, sealed and unavailable for public view. Likewise, all records of SEC investigations into W’s insider trading and his bankrupt companies are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public view. Oh yeah, and all records or minutes from meetings that he or Dick Cheney attended regarding public energy policy are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public review. So good luck with that.

9. Pursued Equal Justice For All: Yes, W has certainly done this for all Americans. Unless they are gay. Or black. Or not a Christian. Or not a millionaire.

10. Performance Within Context Of Times: This is still too early to tell really. The impact of his presidency might not be felt for years to come. The jury is still out. And with luck, the jury will be only 39 % Republican. However, my bet for the ranking in the bottom 5 still stands.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

With Friends Like These ...

I am more than just a bit pissed off today. I interviewed for a job last week with a huge non-profit in Chicago. I had to go through a placement agency to get it, naturally, but this job was perfect for me – so much so that in the subject line of my emailed resume to the agency, I wrote “Look No Further”. A bold thing to do, but the job was just tailor-made for me.

I went to the agency and even they were excited about me; agreeing that I was a perfect fit. They set up the interview and called me with details the night before.

Staci (my rep at the agency) told me all the normal things about how to dress, what to say, be on time, etc. And then she said that the company wanted some writing samples as well. I have never submitted writing samples before so I wasn’t sure exactly what to take with me. I asked for guidance and Staci told me to take any press releases I may have done for my previous company (no problem) and some samples from my blog.

My blog????

I thought that was a little odd. But she knew the customer better than I, so I figured she knew what she was talking about. So I printed off some news releases and a few submissions from my blog that I hoped would be suitable.

The next day, I had my interview with the company. After 2.5 hours, I left basically knowing that I nailed the job. The interview went very well and I was polished, professional, and my usual charming self.

I got a call on Monday from Carolyn, Staci’s supervisor at the agency. She delivered the news that the company absolutely loved me and that the interview was phenomenal. However, the company had some problems with the fact that I submitted entries from my blog as writing samples. Carolyn admitted that after reading what the company had faxed her, she agreed that the submissions were unprofessional. After I told her that it was Staci who advised me to take them, she apologized and said she would accept the blame and contact the company to discuss what happened.

This morning, Carolyn calls me again and tells me that although the company really liked me, they cannot get past the blog submissions, fearing that I might actually send something unprofessional out in correspondence on behalf of the company. The decided against hiring me because of that.


If I had a picture of my head exploding, it would be pasted in this space.


At first I was stunned. I did what I was told and lost the chance at a job that I was perfect for. And truthfully, I don’t really know if Carolyn even accepted the blame or not, because I am sure she does not want to look bad in front of her client. So now I probably look totally unprofessional and ignorant. And I can’t even complain to Carolyn the way I want because I still need that agency to help me find a job. This was my one, good solid lead and now it’s down the drain. So I start all over again.

If I had hair, I would be pulling it out!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Happy Coming Out Day!

This weekend, I am thinking of crossing a few state lines to commit a crime. That is, if this is really what Jersey cops look like. Road trip anyone?

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Closing The Gap

Last night I went to Dave’s housewarming party with Kevin. Met some great people, laughed a lot, and a Monday trip to Six Flags is in the works. But I digress.

Last night, Kevin wore a black Russian Cossack hat to the party. It started off as a joke, something he discovered in the Lost & Found at BMG. The thing is he didn’t look that ridiculous in it. Which brought me to the realization that tall, lean guys can basically wear anything they want and it looks hip and acceptable. But put those same garments on someone shorter and thicker, like…. well…. ME….. and I look something short of ridiculous. On Kevin, the hat was almost charming. On me, it makes me look like Robin Williams in “Moscow on the Hudson.”

When tall, lean guys (heretofore known as THEY) jauntily throw a scarf around their necks, they fall perfectly into place. I wear a scarf and my head looks like a golf ball on a tee. THEY can wear layers of clothing for that desired, runway hipster look. I wear more than two layers and I puff out like the Michelin Man. THEY can wear colored shoes and look cute. I wear a pair of red Adidas and I look like I should lead the Ringling Brothers parade.

There is a reason beefy or thick guys mostly wear tee shirts and flannel – that’s all that will fit us. It’s why we all look like Gap ads from the 70’s. Designers and stores have not been kind to men built like me. When I try to dress hip or cool, I end up looking like Jay from Project Runway.

This is one of the reasons I have fallen under the spell of Club Monaco – one of my favorite stores. Finding this store was like discovering nirvana – a stylish oasis in a desert full of waifish clothing. After trying out Universal Gear, H&M and even Urban Outfitters (for God’s sake) and learning in those stores that a shirt marked XL will fit me like an M, I can walk into Club Monaco and, after the initial shock of actually finding my size, I can purchase just about anything in my sizes with the assurance that they will fit.

So goodbye to Gap, farewell to Target, adieu to Bert’s Farm & Tractor Supply. I am going shopping at Club Monaco to buy a stylish hat, then walk out on Michigan Avenue, spin around, and toss it in the air!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Guys DO Make Passes...

Not sure why, but men in glasses are a turn-on (it helps if the men are gay too). I like glasses the same way I prefer dark haired men over blondes, tall men over short, lean or athletic over muscled or beefy, younger over older.

Ironically, the first man I was ever intimate with, as well as date, was a muscular, blue-eyed blonde who was 7 years older and 3 inches shorter than I. It was actually Ex#2 who personified all the physical traits that I find attractive (and I haven’t strayed far from the formula since). He was “Harry Potter” before there ever was such a character. Even now when I watch the movies, I see Daniel Radcliffe and think of Ex#2. By the way, am I the only one who thinks Daniel is going to be kinda hot in a few years? (I like them younger but not THAT much younger!)

Perhaps glasses suggest weakness. So many men spend so much time to look strong and to play the part of the absolute masculine male. Specs instantly show an Achilles Heel of sorts. With one quick swipe across the face, you could render this man immobile, depending on the severity of his prescription. Without glasses, he is Samson with short hair.

Perhaps glasses suggest intelligence, and I love an intelligent person. He does not have to be all book-smarty or anything; I dig a guy who might know a little about a lot of things, even the most banal topics. I like someone who can hold a conversation, no matter what the subject.

Perhaps glasses suggest mystery. I personally think that Clark Kent is hotter than Superman because with Superman, what you see is what you get. Clark kept you guessing, thinking, wondering who he was and what his secrets are. Glasses are almost a mask without being so; something to hide behind that we can all see through.

Or perhaps I just like the fact that a person in glasses can’t see me immediately in the morning. Trust me – this is a bonus.

Whatever the reason, glasses add character and style to a person (incidentally, they aren’t even called glasses anymore, but “eye fashion”). Some people wear glasses that don’t even have a prescription in them. I find that odd, but the result is still the same – I dig it.

Personally, I wear glasses too, but I seldom wear them in public, preferring my contact lenses over my Coke bottles (I donate my old pairs to Corning to recycle into microwaveable dishes).

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Commander In Chief


I really want “Commander In Chief”, the new Geena Davis series about the first female president of the United States, to succeed. And for several reasons:

1) Up ‘til now, my favourite series was
“The West Wing”. Not sure why, but I seem to have a woody for the presidency (but not the current President!). For some reason, I had every president memorized in order when I was 10 years old - and can still recite all 43 of them (and with this admission, men across the country are deleting my number from their cell phones).

2) I love me some
Geena (and that is not slang for the party drug GHB). She is a member of MENSA, she’s 6 feet tall, and doesn’t seem to do things half-assed. She’s an actor, a producer, and a writer. I loved her in “Thelma & Louise”, “A League Of Their Own”, “The Accidental Tourist” (for which she won an Oscar), even as far back as “Tootsie”.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com


3) As for
Matt Lanter, above, who plays the president’s son, I could spread him on a cracker. I normally am attracted to cute, dorky types and not the pretty boys, but when you’re hot, you’re hot.

4) I have nothing going on Tuesday nights.

5) I think “Commander In Chief” will do for a potential woman U.S. president what
“Will & Grace” did for gays – put the idea in the mainstream and accessible to everyone. After you get used to it on television, it’s not too hard to accept it in real life.

Men, some completely unqualified, have been running the country for the past 230 years. We have been successful because as we all know, no one person does it alone. It is teams of people who make the decisions about how to govern the country, and sometimes even the president is not even included in that team.

I fully support the idea of a
woman being POTUS as long as she is qualified, intelligent and has some experience in her background (unlike certain Supreme Court nominees).

Suit To A Tee

Job hunting again for the first time in over 5 years – almost 6. Last time I interviewed for a job was December 1999. Back then (shades of my grandfather), online job hunting was not the norm. One sat through newspapers and weekly rags in order to find a job. Reliable sources were the big main papers like The “Post”, The “Tribune” or even The “Times”. Sometimes you went to a headhunter, but it was mostly all DIY.

Now it is craigslist.com, monster.com, careerbuilder.com and even idealist.org. You rarely fax or mail anything anymore, it’s all done by email. The one thing that has not changed is that most of the time you don’t know to what agency you are applying. Not sure why it has to be kept such a secret until the last minute – like some major reveal on a makeover show. But that is the drill. I sometimes think that I might be applying for the same job at the same place a multitude of times. It takes less than a minute to email a form cover letter and resume, but it’s still the principle of the thing. If I did that five times with one organization, that’s about 2.5 minutes that I could be doing something else constructive like…. um …..

To my last interview in ’99, I wore a suit. These days, I am clueless. So many offices are now business casual, classy casual, or completely casual. Wearing a suit used to be the norm. Now it’s mostly for salesmen and board rooms. Office workers are showing up in tee shirts and flip flops (okay, slight exaggeration there although an intern at my last job came to work in a Victoria's Secret camisole).

I have plenty of dressy/casual things, but I only own one suit. And its not a classic suit either, its kind of blue from Claiborne that I bought on sale in Boston about 3 years ago (see above picture). So far in my professional career I have not needed a suit. And on the rare annual occasion when I do, the one I own has worked out just fine. In my career I have always been mostly a “behind-the-scenes second banana type”. My work was judged, not my appearance. But as I age and become the Director/Manager/Administrator, I guess I am going to need to make a trip to the
Men’s Warehouse (after all, they say I will like the way I look. And they guarantee it).

Problem is, I don’t look good in a suit. Strike that. Actually I DO look good in a suit, however I look more like Security than a professional. Suits make me look more like “Guido the Bodyguard” than Vice President of Operations. I made the mistake of wearing my blue suit with a black mock turtle neck to a wedding once. I looked like a cast member of
The Sopranos. If David Chase had been at this wedding, perhaps I would have beaten James Gandolfini out for the lead (interestingly enough, someone once told me that I was a cross between Gandolfini and Vin Diesel. I don’t know about you, but that seems like a pretty wide chasm to cross!).

But I digress.

So the resumes are going out, and to with I have met with two headhunters who are just so excited by me that I am sure they have to change their panties after I leave. Time will tell how long my unemployment will last. To date, with the health issues and all, I have not worked since August 14th. But I am using my time wisely: I am healing and going to my doctor appointments, I am getting settled in my new home, I am going back to the gym, I am sending out resumes and I am cultivating
a social life in a new city.

Oh yeah, and I work on my blog from time to time.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Terror (Election) Alert

Whatever happened to the Terror Alert Code? Remember that color-coded system the Department of Defense and Homeland Security used to alert (scare) citizens to possible terrorist activity (bogus intelligence)? It was all we heard about for two years or so and then miraculously, after the November re-election of “W”, it’s no longer in the news every day – or every other day – or even once a week anymore.

I can only assume that since there has been no word about raising the “alert”, the nation is currently under code “Bert” (Yellow), our standard terror level. We seem to stay here because it conveys the necessary fright, without overdoing it. But I betcha it jumps in a second to code “Ernie” (Orange) when “W’s” approval rating or support for the Iraq war both fall below 50%.

Of course I realize that al Qaeda is still out there and certainly poses a severe threat to our nation and to Americans around the world. However, I am expecting that before the next presidential election, the old code system will rear its head once again to remind (coerce) voters who established the code in the first place.

With luck, it will never progress to code “Elmo” (Red), the highest and most dangerous code. And I doubt we will ever see code “Grover” (Blue) or code “Oscar” (Green). I think “Oscar” exists just to tease us – knowing that we can never get there because if we did, what good would this entire code system be?

After all, fear is a weapon and our government is armed and dangerous.