Friday, November 28, 2008

Epiphanic.

My youngest sister is about to go to a mall type shopping center with her friends. She is more girl than I ever was. She wears makeup, cares about her hair, and will probably end up getting married when she gets older. In other words, she will be normal.

I don't know what compelled me to ask her the following question:

"So are you and your friends going to stop into the Borders? Look at some books?"

Silence.

"I'm kidding. I know that's not the cool thing kids do. Only dipshits like your older sister did things like that as a teenager."

It's true. I never had any friends when I was her age. I had books. Books were my companions. Funny how some things don't ever seem to change.

What the hell is wrong with me? I have no business trying to tell my sister (in code no less) that I think she doesn't read enough. So what? I read plenty and look at what it's gotten me. I'm 31, alone, living with my mother due to unemployment, and replete with my loserdom.

I'm a terrible sister.

I'm going to lock myself up in the room, drink the rest of my beer, and watch some Twilight Zone episodes.

Terrible.

Consumers.

If I hear one more damn news story about freaks out in droves to shop for "deals" I'm going to pull all of my nappy hair out.

If there's one thing that being broke and unemployed has taught me it's that I really have no need for half of the things I claim to need. Of course, I am speaking with reference to my own consumerist inclinations. I like to buy shit, oh yes I do! I miss my iPod (lost it in California last month!), slobber over MacBooks (I will never have the cash for one), and have fantasies about winning the lotto and going on a book shopping spree! People have been waiting outside of stores since 10 pm Thursday night. Are you mad? Watching all of these news clips of people crowding into Wal-Marts and outlet malls like cattle is enough to make me want to lock myself into a personal commitment to slice my purchasing power in the event that I am ever fortunate enough to become gainfully employed again. It's a bit disturbing to think that the country's economic straits are so dependent upon our eagerness to shell out money for things we probably don't need. But such is the nature of the beast. We have long since succumbed to the logic that as markets shrink, industry must create the illusion of demand. The economy thrives if we buy.
I find that we U.S. citizens are such an economically perplexing bunch.

Anyway, even if I did have money (or a job) you would not find my ass out at any stores at 5 in the morning looking for a deal on the newest Butt-finger Me Elmo.

Reasons to Love Her . . .

My youngest sister turned 15 earlier this week. It killed me to not have the cash to get her something. I'm hoping I can make that up to her. Eventually.

I wrote her a small note telling her I loved her madly and hoped that she would forgive me for being such a consummate loser. Well, it wasn't really phrased so depressingly, but I did plead for understanding.

Anyway, Happy Birthday to my baby! Fifteen! Damn.

Also, this was funny:

Nancy (my baby sister): "Are you okay sister?"
Me (struggling with Aunt Flow): "Ugh. Not really. I'm having horrible cramps."
Nancy: "Ooooh, do you need some medicine?"
Me: "I already took some medicine. I think I just need to have my uterus removed."
Nancy, with puzzled expression: "If you have your uterus removed does that mean you won't be able to pee any more?"
Me, suppressing wild laughter: "No, not quite."

Ah, it's great having siblings.

Food Comas

My holiday? My mother made a shitload of good food. I ate and then I slept. I slept a lot. I am still unemployed! (Booo!) However, I have inquired into volunteer opportunities with two local museums (The Harry Ransom Humanities Center & The LBJ Presidential Library), two state representatives, and the local food bank. All of them responded that they would love to talk to me about making free use of my talents. Yes, it's not a paying gig, but I'm almost (almost!) past caring. I just need something to do. I need to feel a tiny bit useful again. Oh, I did also get a call about a job interview. But I'm very doubtful as to my chances. It's an Executive Assistant position for a local non-profit. In other words, it's the kind of job I would cut off my left titty to get. That means that more than likely it will go to someone else. *sigh* I'll probably attend the interview anyway. Again, it will be something to do.

I know this is late, but as they say, better late than never, right?

I have had a shitty time with life of late. Of late being the last three years. Even so, whether I can ever really believe it or not, I am thankful for some things. I really am. Such as? Well, I shall tell you.

In no particular order, I am thankful for:

*My beautiful, thoughtful, accepting mother.
*My beautiful, thoughtful, accepting sisters.
*My little red-headed buddy.
*My favorite California girl and ballerina.
*Electronic friendships.
*Having had a father who gave me a love for good soul music, a decent singing voice, and rhythm.
*My books.
*The Netflix watch instantly option. It's like my boyfriend or something.
*Coffee
*The Public Library
*Having lived to see the election of my country's first black president.
*Once having known (I'm not typing out their names, just their initials) SEMH, TPO, AAG, and MRT. Sometimes I miss them, whether I want to or not, I'll always care about them, but mostly I'm just thankful they are happy in their lives and selves.
*A fine IPA.
*The View from Dolores Park
*A robust California Cab
*My sexy brain. (Sometimes I'd trade it in an instant for a sexy ass or a great set of tits.)
*Stargazing
*Hugs from my mother, sisters, and the redhead.
*Kisses from the mom, sisters, and the redhead.
*Marathon viewings of The Godfather movies (With regard to my movie tastes and sports proclivities, I'm almost a dude. It's weird.)
*Cute cats.
*Cute dogs.
*Cute guys.
*Cute kids.
*And I know I already mentioned them, but they deserve to be mentioned twice . . . my Mamita y mis hermanitas. I'm nothing without my ladies.

I hope you are all having a hella bomb ass holiday!

Titties!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

"It's alright with me . . . "

This used to be one of my favorite songs when I was younger. There was something about the video that just made me want to stand up, dance, and sing. It's still one of my favorite songs to sing out loud. I don't do a bad job.

Youth was such a blissful, oblivious time. Sometimes . . . I miss being a happy person free of the pressures, expectations, and judgments.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I did leave the house . . . for a second.

Last Thursday I attended a free discussion sponsored by the Journalism school of my alma mater. Michele Norris, of NPR fame, was the sponsored guest. The subject of the talk was the election and whether or not the media "got it right." I enjoyed it very much. What I did not enjoy was the fact that during the Q & A someone decided start off the evening with a question asking for a good microphone recommendation. And from there the questions went from dumb to pointless to meandering. At one point Ms. Norris even said, "I don't think I understand your question." Yes, that's Texas for you. There's not much of an intellectual verve here.

I was a bit nervous when it was my turn to ask my question. I don't recall its exact wording, but I do remember that I was curious as to Ms. Norris's opinion as to whether or not the media has any responsibility in aiding the general population become more discriminating media consumers. In other words, what responsibility might the media take in creating more mindful consumers during an age when our range of choices has become so broad given that it seems we are less informed than ever before? I won't go into the answer I was given. The only point of this post was to mention that three people complimented my question (which was nice) and that two people (including Michele Norris) asked me if I was from Berkeley, California. They only asked because I rock my Berkeley hoodie all about town. I'm not wearing any fucking ugly ass burnt orange. Besides, Berkeley is a much better school than my alma mater. I probably should have lied and said, "Yes, I am from Berkeley." But I didn't. I merely sighed and said, "No, but I lived in the Bay Area and miss it like mad."

Anyway, Michele Norris thought I was Californian and that made my week.

Is it 2009 yet?

I'm not sure why I should care. The last three years have been the absolute worst years of my life. I can't imagine any reason for it to get better. Heartbreak, death, incarceration, and perpetual failure have been the taint of my existence. No surprise there. How many days is three years? I don't think I want to know.

I had a short stint at construction work last week. It was due to a friend's generosity. Her brother-in-law was working on rebuilding her garage and because she knows I am pathetic and in need of some kind of cash, she asked him if he had any use for me. He agreed. Mostly because he's a nice guy. I didn't really do anything remarkable. I spackled and caulked. Oh and I did a little painting with a weenie-roller. It was two days' worth of work. It was perfectly mindless but wonderfully distracting. My body has never been so sore. Standing on ladders for hours at a time, who knew it could be so damn hard? I gave the money I made to my mother. She needs it more than I do. Besides, if I had kept the money I'd probably just drink it away. Well, there's no probably to it, I know I would drink it away. It's what I do.

I ran a search through my e-mail account and learned that I have sent over 300 resumes out in the last two weeks. Resumes for any and all kinds of work. You name it, I've sent it. I have a resume for all season. And then I tweak as appropriate. I have even gone so far as to eliminate any reference to my education. I am no longer a college graduate. Not that it matters. The fact that people advertise for jobs which a rhesus monkey could perform and then go so far as to ask that the monkey-human in question have a college degree, is mind blowing. It doesn't take a person with a college education to file your fucking papers, type your memos, or use a copy machine. But then again, I've met quite a few people with college educations who lack the sense of a slug.

In the meantime I amuse myself by finding web sites similar to this. I am thinking of putting one together myself.

I actually have $20.00 that I did not give to my mother. Tomorrow morning I may walk to the store and purchase a bottle of shitty wine and tampons. Then I'll come home, ride a cotton rocket, and drink myself to sleep. (It's almost 5AM and I haven't slept all night, so I'm probably going to be hitting the sack at around 12 or 1pm.) I wish it were possible to sleep through the rest of this fucking year. Hating life is just that much more easy to do during the holidays. Fuck Thanksgiving and Fuck Xmas! That's right. Bah-motherfucking-humbug. And I won't be changing my mind any time soon.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The days are all the same . . .

The weather has been somewhat tolerable. I've enjoyed the sky. It reminds me of Oakland. Of course, this was usually after the gray morning clouds and fog cleared. I have said before that if the weather stayed like this all of the time I probably wouldn't mind living here, but that's not true. I can't stand Austin, Texas. There are no opportunities to speak of, and on top of that, I'm SICK of its supposed reputation as a musician's mecca. Yes, if you like bad alt-rock country shit that all sounds the same. It's depressing. The "musicians" of Austin have actually banded together to urge local government to put together a live music task force whose mission it is to heighten opportunities and living conditions for the city's "musicians." What the fuck? Here's the thing, if your music is worth a shit, you don't need any damn government task force to help you become a success. The wondrous thing about making music that does not suck is that it works its own kind of Field of Dreams magic . . . if you play it, they will come. But no, this town, in all of its infinite wisdom, and with a slew of misplaced priorities decides to create a commission, waste money which could potentially find its way in more useful coffers. The homeless situation here easily rivals, if not surpasses, that of San Francisco. No shit.

Since we are on the arts (sort of) I shall continue in that vein. I have an interview with a downtown theatre. They are in need of temporary evening sales associates. I was asked if I had "arts sales experience." I do not. But I can be charming. You may not believe it, but it's true. I tried to emphasize this and it snagged me a meeting. So, we shall see.

Saturday's excuse for a newspaper had a small note in the editorial page about the fact that Texas ranks 49th for arts funding. That was not the point of the mention. The point was to gloat about the fact that the state ranked 50th is California. Oh yes, Texans have a huge inferiority complex when it comes to California, myself being excepted seeing as how I've lived in California and hold it to be far superior to the flat, endless, scorching mess that is The Lone Star State. Texans fear the recent increase of California transplants. For the life of me I cannot imagine why the hell someone would leave California for this shit tank, but everybody has their story to tell. However, caveat emptor, because you get what you pay for. There is a reason it's cheaper in Texas. There are quite a few people who come here from the West, but it's usually families. Homes are expensive in California. Young, entrepreneurial types do not find their way here. Why should they? California has a larger GDP than Texas, a more diverse cultural and topographical landscape, and seven (as opposed to Texas's one) top-flight public universities. Unfortunately, both states suffer from some undetected electoral malady which permits the election of nimrods (George W. Bush) and egocentrics (Guvnor Ah-nuhld) as governor. Both states seem okay with permitting a platform to the insipid. Even so, in my opinion the Californication of Texas is a myth propagated by the bizarre, lunatic fringe which keeps this state "red." Besides, most of the "outsiders" in Austin come from Houston, Dallas, or shitty little Texas towns. The Houston and Dallas influx is because the people there find their cities unbearable (sprawling, humid cities), and the shitty little Texas town folk think of Austin as "big city" and realize it really does suck less than B.F.E., Texas. Both sets of individuals usually arrive in Austin to attend the University here. Meh. It's just easier to blame "Yankees" and "Californians." Ridiculous.

As for the arts funding, well I couldn't understand the point of gloating over this. Whooptee fucking doo! That's shitty for both states. It's not necessarily something to brag about that the two biggest states in the union are at the bottom when it comes to the cultivation of beauty, expression, and talent. It's a sad testament to the heightened anti-intellectualism of our age. But rather than recognize that, the pinheads who pass for journalists here decided to use the statistics as ember for an incendiary cultural riot. It's disgusting. Ultimately, I'm a citizen of the country as a whole. The great thing about being a U.S. citizen is that I can rant and rave about the suckworthiness of any state I live in. Isn't democracy great kids?

This blog was a rambling mess! My apologies.

My weekend was uneventful. I went to the library (which I love), and spent my weekend watching dinosaur videos with the following young man (whom I love even more than the library, so that's A LOT of love).



He's pretty good-looking, don't you think?

Ciao.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I've seen the sun rise for a whole week now . . .

Locked up in my room, suffering from insomnia, and unwilling to see any bright side, I don't sleep like any normal person. This always happens when I am unemployed. It's a curse. It's not a good thing to have too much time to think about all of the things you are not, and that's all I do.

I stayed up organizing my books. Touching them, flipping through them, and resurrecting them gives me a small measure of comfort. Though I have moved (there was Mexico, and of course, California), my books are constant companions I can't convince myself to abandon. I've disposed of belongings and lost what I believed were indispensable material products (my iPod being the most recent thing), but I must have my books. Even though I frequent the library, my personal library is the only thing I own. I hide behind my voracious reading habits. I am intelligent, but not very smart. I am intelligent, but not a success. I am intelligent, but not worth employing in even the most menial of capacities. I have sent applications for dishwashiing positions, housekeeping, and for busing tables. Austin, Texas is a joke and I am sick of pretending to laugh.

I also found seven of my old journals. Moleskins. I have lost my heart for journaling. Blogs haven't taken the place of my journals, I just realized that far too much of what I wrote in my journals was repetitive and pointless. I used to say that I wanted to leave a legacy for people to read about me after I'm gone, but I've concluded that the world has better things about which to be curious.

I'll cut this short for fear of diving into my usual negative depths. These types of things don't go away. How could they? I have to live with who I am, and that's not much.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I can't think of a clever title . . . sorry.

I am watching 60 Minutes. The host is having a conversation with the “brain trust” of President-elect Obama's presidential campaign. It's hard for me not to notice that they are all white people. Amusing considering that a few minutes before I was watching a C-Span panel of Newsweek reporters and the one African American reporter made a similar observation about the Obama campaign. Yes, I watch C-Span. It's a dirty little secret; tell no one.

I experienced a tiny second of indignation, but then realized something: Presidential politics have always been a game for white people. The players and the participants have always been white people. Why should Obama's campaign have been any different? Who better understands the machinations and nuances of presidential campaigns than those who have always been the primary players? Be that as it may, I hope that once President-elect Obama becomes President Obama he will indeed make a worthwhile effort to introduce qualified minority candidates into the upper echelon of our nation's government. I am not talking about a sprinkling of cronies throughout the Executive Branch (I think we've seen enough of that over the last eight years), but a cabinet which can continue to inspire citizens. President-elect Obama's election has elicited so many statements from African Americans interviewed, statements of hope. I recall several who have been interviewed saying things such as, “Now I can tell my son/daughter that you can be anything, including president.” It's nice to be able to say, but why should we not have a young minority child whose parents say to him or her, “You can be anything you want, including president, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Secretary of State, or UN Ambassador to whatever country is most in need of a brave advocate.” It's still so very early and the beginning of President Obama's forthcoming historic presidency is over seventy days away. I have placed the countdown in my cell phone! We shall see what happens.

Accompanying all of the news about President-elect Obama there have been numerous stories about the supposed downfall of the Republican party and what it needs to do to rejuvenate itself and regain its lost stature. It's ridiculous. Do we really need echoes of Palin 2012 to mar our nation's (the world's!) newfound sense that the once sinking ship of democracy may possibly sail again? I'm not a Republican. That goes without saying. However, that doesn't mean I wouldn't bring myself to vote for a Republican (Lincoln and TR come to mind). I'm issues-oriented. Speak to me about your stance on the concerns I feel are essential to our nation's identity and vitality. If you can speak to me from the abstract and point me to specifics and convince me that your plan will bring broad opportunities, I will listen to you. I don't care if you like donkeys or elephants or trees. To be quite frank, I'd love to see a diversification of parties in this country. I find it remarkable that a country which purports to value competition is so frightened by the prospect of political competition. A genuine, vibrant, and robust democracy is best served by a true marketplace of ideas, and ladies and germs, good ideas can come from outside of traditional parties. But most of us know that.

If Republicans are serious about remaining relevant they will indeed be required to take a long, hard look at their positions and what kind of political entity they want to be for people in the coming decades. I don't often agree with the pundits, but I must say that I find myself agreeing with their contention that on some level the election of President-elect Obama is a resounding repudiation of the divisive, below-the-belt politics which were the specialty of the Atwater-Rove-Bush conservatives. (Quick useless plug. Frontline will be airing what looks to be a fantastic episode about Lee Atwater and the world he wrought. Check it out on Tuesday! Frontline is my favorite PBS show. Any potential love interest would be required to snuggle up with wine and Frontline. Now you know one of the many reasons why I am single.) With exceptions, citizens are tired of irrelevant conversations. We want candidates who will respect our intelligence and engage us on a more sophisticated level. If the Republican party is more concerned about selecting candidates on the basis of their ability to field dress a moose and spout off a “Golly Gee” here and there, they are losing sight of what quite a few of us expect from our leaders.

When I go to the polls, I don't want to elect someone who's an Everyman/Everywoman. I want someone whose name will rightly grace my country's history books. I want someone who believed they could lead on the basis of their ideas and because their expectations for our nation were high. I want to cast my vote for someone who recognizes that the democratic experiment cannot be perfected in any lifetime, but that the experiment is an ongoing journey which will require the engagement of its citizens. And while we as citizens may disagree about our priorities, disperse into opposing camps after disagreement, and often deny our responsibilities after we agree to disagree, we are still in it together. I believe that. I do. E Pluribus Unum. Out of many, one. So, I guess unless Republicans can find a way to avoid initiating acidic discourse and recognize public service as a noble plight, they will continue to lose ground. Unless Republicans (or any public servant) can acknowledge the hypocrisy of their ways, they will not be asked to do what Bill Clinton called “the people's work.” To my way of thinking, calling for 'Limited Government' whilst doling out BILLIONS to Wall Street is in no way emblematic of limited government. Gretchen Morgenson of The New York Times put it best. We have witnessed a government eager to “socialize losses and privatize gains” and that is not in the interest of the whole. And don't get me started on the auto industry. Maybe, just maybe, if the Big Three had not been putting all of their damn money into inefficient fuel whores, they would not be facing insolvency. Gas prices may be down, but the problem of energy independence and climate change has not gone away. Any aid to the auto industry needs to come with a quid pro quo which leads to US built hybrids and a move away from SUVs. (I would like to see a diminished car culture, but I'm realistic.)

I am reacquainting myself with my inner-politico. I have always been fascinated by questions of policy and considering the tenor of our times of late, I can't really help but write about it and wonder what it will mean for us. It's either write about this or that other . . . stuff that plagues me. And I'm sure my two devoted readers don't won't to hear about me.

Friday, November 7, 2008

"Luxuriating in our Racial Deliciousness."

Cory Booker, mayor of Newark, is the originator of the phrase in my blog title. He used it on the night we elected our first black president. The CNN pundits giggled after he turned the phrase and Stephen Colbert mocked it; I reached for a pen and jotted it down. Mayor Booker used the term in response to the now very over-asked question as to whether or not the United States now lives in a "post-racial" society. If only it were that simple. I cannot begin to count the number of times I have wandered into tense territory over discussions of race. I've had such discussions with friends and strangers alike. They never seem to end well. Even so, I continue to have these discussions because I believe in the importance of intellectually and socially engaging those who may potentially benefit from exposure to a varying perspective with regard to the subject of race. I guess that sounds a bit haughty. I'll admit, I don't know very much about quite a bit. But I like to think I have the occasional useful insight to offer, and as a mixed race woman, discussions of race, equality, and access are of special importance to me. Here is what I have to say about our a "post-racial" world: It cannot exist. But I do not mean that in any negative way. Let me explain.

I would politely define racism as an ill-advised ideology rooted in illogical fear. As far as I am concerned the same could be said for homophobia. Undeniably, the election of President-elect Barack Obama signals an important shift and makes an important statement. Outside of the statements and signals made with respect to tolerance, there are the statements and signals made with respect to a nation's exasperation with the politics of fear; a politics which has sought to erode our civil liberties, make war through the manipulation of our national heartache, and recklessly belittle our stature to the rest of the world. On Tuesday, November 4, 2008 the electorate said enough is enough. Even so, this does not mean that the appropriate ascendancy of an intelligent, charismatic, and inspiring black candidate to the presidency has eliminated localized, irrational discriminatory behavior. Racism will always exist on some level. Who could ever believe otherwise? For example, here in Austin, my hometown, a member of my alma mater's football team was removed from the roster for posting a text message on his Facebook account which essentially read that it was time for "all the hunters to gather up, we have a n*gger in the white house." The football player was sure to include his love for Jesus on his now deleted Facebook page. Keep in mind that this is a young man plays on a majority African American football team. This was always something which irked me about my so-called diverse alma mater. African Americans were a rarity in our classes, but were always conveniently in surplus for our football field. Hypocrisy knows no bounds.

The opportunity for conversations surrounding issues of equality is at hand. If, as a nation, we can feel inspired to elect an unlikely candidate to our highest political office, surely we can draw from that pool of inspiration to bravely converse about the sticky points which have made this election so momentous. What sticky points? Let's talk about people of color in the context of incarceration rates, the death penalty, access to higher education, executive offices in the corporate world, or home ownership, among other things. Quite a few commentators have implied that blame for the sub-prime mortgage debacle could arguably lie at the feet of minority citizens; this is said while completely ignoring the fact that white, Ivy-league educated executives were largely responsible for the construction of the complex, deceptive financial instruments which have led to so many of our current economic problems.

My belief is that there is a continued need for diversification on many institutional levels. This persistent truth points to anything but a "post-racial" society. But we can change. I can type that and actually believe it. Tuesday night has instilled me with a bit of hope. A bit. The passing of anti-gay measures in four states (including my also-home state of California) leaves me disheartened. I read Thursday's New York Times editorial and agreed with the general argument that the most recent backward steps are a temporary barrier. Make no mistake, until gays and lesbians are given the unfettered right to marry or start families, we are denying U.S. citizens their rights under the 14th Amendment and continuing to fall short of our egalitarian ideals. Bigots can say what they want, but the time will come when true equality exists throughout this country. One day (perhaps after I am long gone), I hope the presidency will be occupied by an openly gay president. Perhaps, in its own symbolic way Tuesday's victory will get us closer to that day. I have too many beautiful gay and lesbian friends who deserve the right to commit themselves to a long-term partner and it would be an honor to have an opportunity to work on their behalf for their freedom struggle.

In closing, I am still basking in the afterglow. I have my copy of Wednesday's New York Times tacked to my wall. It reminds me that for all of my cynicism, we are indeed living in a different world. I like it very much. I had a person actually ask me, "Where were you when you found out?" And we went from there. I won't be having children (let's not go there right now), but I know that I will remember this week for the rest of my life and will be telling someone's children about the feeling of renewal and exhilaration which poured over our country. President-elect Obama is going to make mistakes (offending Nancy Reagan will be the least of his worries, and calling himself a mutt bothers me not in the least . . . I, too, am a mutt!), but I have a deeper faith in his ability to use his intellect to avoid the more damaging mistakes which could threaten to further rip apart the democratic fabric of this country I love. Yes, that's right. I really do love my country. Always have, always will, but it's just so much easier to love it now more than ever.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Obamanos.

I'm still around. Not exactly for lack of trying not to be, but we won't talk about that. Instead, let's talk about history. Yes, history.

I was in the kitchen at about 10 pm last night, around the time that Barack Obama became our nation's 44th president. I came home at 9:30. After I walked into the apartment my youngest sister, Nancy, greeted me and said, "Sister, Obama has 200 points." I didn't correct her and tell her that he didn't have points so much as votes. It didn't matter. I was impressed with her interest. I went to the kitchen to make tea when I heard my sister yell out, "Sister, Obama has 290 points now!" My response was immediate, "No way. Are you kidding me?" I put the kettle down and raced to the TV. And there it was. I sat down, covered my eyes, and began to cry. The first thing that came to my mind? I wish my father, my black father, had lived to see this.

I have been obsessively watching videos on YouTube and newspaper web sites, videos of rejoicing, hopeful, embracing crowds. I smile as I glance at the photographs of tearful celebration, these photos do something good to my heart. I need that right now. Very much. It is definitely a time for dancing in the streets. No one is expecting President-elect Barack Obama to change the world overnight. At least, I hope not. People with even a modicum of common sense can concede that the damage done by eight years of George W. Bush cannot be undone overnight. And any who would have you believe that the last eight years have done no damage, well, I can't really help those people. Perhaps they have lived on another planet since the year 2000.

As I watched President-elect Obama's rally on television, I made a mental comparison to Senator McCain's and realized that we do indeed now have a candidate whose eloquence, intelligence, and judgment can unite people from disparate and distant camps. To my mind, that's the true calling of a 21st century president. Of course, it's not the only calling. But that goes without saying. That celebrating Chicago crowd was full of Blacks, Whites, Asians, Arabs, Gays, Straights--you name it, we were all there. President-elect Obama, please do not let us down. I beg of you. Inspire us, instill hope, but be honest with us, and we will follow you. We are ready to be genuinely and honestly led. I believe that.

I sent Jenna a celebratory text which said very simply, "WE HAVE A BLACK PRESIDENT!!!" Her response? "YES WE CAN!"

I guess we can, can't we?

I don't believe in a Heaven or Hell, but if I'm wrong, Daddy, I hope you're watching.