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November 5, 2008

memories of elections past

The first election I can remember is Bush I/Dukakis. It was 1988 and I was in kindergarden. You know that Scholastic Votes thing, where kids across the country vote for president? I voted for Dukakis, because somehow I knew that my dad supported him. My elementary school boyfriend Bruce Potter went for Bush, because he likes elephants better than donkeys. I wonder who Bruce is voting for these days.

I was older for Bush/Clinton. I remember "It's the economy, stupid;" I remember Clinton's brother being a druggie or something, and I remember "I didn't inhale". I also remember watching the TV on election night, because whichever network we were watching kept playing a song called "My Guy". Nothing you can do can tear me away from my guy... nothing you can do 'cause i'm stuck like glue to my guy... I'm not sure whether it was a parody or a real song that fit the event. Oh yeah, and Ross Perot was there, too.

Clinton/Dole, I remember Dole falling off a stage somewhere, talking about the Brooklyn Dodgers, and talking about himself in the third person. I also remember Tennessee Governor Lamar Alexander in the primarys - he had a flannel shirt on and looked like a real American. Don't remember much about election night at all.

Bush/Gore. I was 17 for this one. I remember my dad being a big Bradley fan in the primaries, and McCain being a really exciting guy to watch before he got smeared for that illegitimate black baby. I stayed up all night watching them call and uncall the election, and I was pretty distraught when they handed it to Bush. What might have been...

Bush/Kerry. My first presidential voting experience. I was in Iowa for the caucuses, and after seeing Kerry speak about foreign policy, I caucused for him. Sort of. There was kind of a game going on to try to weaken Howard Dean, who my dad liked, so I got shuffled in Kucinich in the end by the Kerry leader in my precinct. i remember poor Kucinich being in Ames almost every weekend, doing things like breakfast at peoples' houses. Dean had a big rally in the Memorial Union, and we had to be packed in there and wait for at least an hour for him to show. In the end it was a 20 minute stump speech, pretty boring. I think I saw Edwards too, but I can't remember. Max Weinberg playing a concert with Poison Control Center at la Boheme was another highlight, with the sets broken up by one of John Kerry's hot young nephews talking about why JK is such a great guy.

I was in Albuquerque for the convention. I heard Clinton's excellent speech on the radio in my car; Obama spoke right before him and I didn't hear it until some time later.

I remember much less from the general election - swift boats, etc. I guess Iowa went Bush. I was in the computer lab in Sweeney Hall, working on some engineering project or another. I remember following the Ohio voting, and watching it break for Bush, stick a fork in this one. Incredible scenes.

This year was so long. Bill Clinton in Davis, Teddy and I scoring front row seats and wishing he could run again. He was really positive at the time - no attacks on Obama, just a yay Democrats kind of tone. Hearing Edwin and the automation engineers babble on about Ron Paul all day from over the wall of my cube. It's been so long that I can't really believe it's all over and the good guys finally won.

obama.jpg

November 15, 2008

Dance dance revolution

I was an awkward teenager. I wish I had some pictures to post, but it's probably best that I don't. I did not know what to do with my long limbs and I was a good foot taller than all the boys at the middle school dances, with the exception of Tom Martin, god bless him, who'd been in love with me since elementary school. (Katie Pfeiffer fever hits early...)

I don't specifically remember the first middle school dance I attended, but it was some time in seventh grade. I went over to Erin Sloup's house after school, along with a few other middle school friends. I specifically remember being instructed where to put arms and feet during slow dances, and Erin showed off a move or two. All dancing was done in a circle. It pretty much stayed that way throughout my years in Seward, NE.

When I went to college, I became friends with a guy I hadn't known well in high school. I went to some concerts with him and some of his other friends. Derek valued dancing highly, at least in part due to the indie band of the day the Dismemberment Plan's admonishment of non-dancers at their shows in the song "Do the Standing Still". He was a great dancer. I generally just tried to do what he did.

Then, sometime in my third year of college, I met Mona. Please see Figure 1, below. Mona was a walking, talking dance party. Where Mona went, a dance party spontaneously broke out around here. She was no hipster; maybe she is now, I don't know, but she wasn't back then. She liked the crazy indie music, yeah, but mostly she just liked to wear crazy clothes and dance like a maniac. Shit, I wish I had a video. She's a pretty talented artist these days, too.

mona3.JPG

Anyway, if anyone sees me dance all crazy, know that this is where it came from. From Derek and Mona I learned that dancing isn't about doing it right, it's about doing it.

Bonus for the blog faithful (copyright Liz, Halloween 2008):


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