Archive for February, 2008

Taking One for Democracy

Monday, February 11th, 2008

“Some people have started feeling a little uncomfortable with the amount of people here so we want to let you know that you can fill out your caucus sheet and hand it in early if you’d like to go home.”

That should give you some clue as to the size of the crowd that turned out for the Portland, Maine democratic caucus yesterday. Political enthusiasm went hand in hand with claustrophobia for the nearly six-hour caucus, all while a snow storm covered the streets and all of the people lined up outside just to get in the building. For six hours! Amazing!

I’m not especially politically minded (aside from knowing right from wrong and wanting geo to get the hell out of office already) and I wasn’t even all that excited to go to this, my first ever caucus. But when we got to Portland High School (baby and all) and saw the lines of people (not annoyed people, excited, high-energy people) all lining up to do a good thing, I was all too glad I came.

Registration Lines at Portland Caucus

We got really lucky and came in the back door which allowed us to merge in near the front of the already-registered-just-need-to-get-my-form line. My apologies to all who didn’t know about that entrance and ended up waiting in extremely long lines. We totally cut in front of you.

Long Lines and man making the sign of the cross

No matter how long the wait, line confusion reigned supreme (“what if you’re already registered?” “is this the line for switching parties?”) and unfortunately the city was somewhat ill-prepared, which wasn’t surprising. We got through our line pretty quickly only to be told that we weren’t on the list (even though we’d called city hall in advance to make sure we were all set…) so we needed to wait in a second line for people-who-are-registered-but-can’t-be-found. Our records came right up on their computers which lead us to wonder why on earth the other line was clearly using old lists.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the third line which was full of people switching parties and people registering for the first time ever. Practically every face in that line was young and smiling. This was the first time that 17-year-olds who would be turning 18 by election day were allowed to register to vote in the caucus. The youthful enthusiasm was infectious! I was so proud.

Once we cleared the lines, we headed into the gym to grab seats for the speeches. Dash was already nearing naptime and not really interested in sitting down and waiting. (Kids. Go figure.) He ended up getting a lot of exercise walking all around and managed plenty of media attention as well. Photos and news footage! What a star.

Dash winds down with dad

It was at about 4pm (roughly two hours in) that they made the announcement about crowd size and allowed folks to vote and skedaddle. It was getting pretty crowded and we had friends who were waiting to get in and called us to say that the line still was wrapped around the building and down a block or two. In the snow. In the dark.

Democratic caucus crowd portland maine

Still waiting for speeches to start, met the governor of Massachusetts (made dorky joke about being underage but got in with a fake I.D. that got huge laughs. yes, that’s how i impress politicians), met lots of people as you’re wont to do with a cute young wandering baby. Ate very sticky orange and very crumbly muffin. Wished I had brought gallons of water. Was very grateful to find Granny and Nana who watched Dash for a few. Two great speeches (Gov. Patrick and Tom Allen) and two so-so speeches (rep. Meeks and Tom Ledue) and then those of us who stuck around (I’d estimate 97.9%) were sent off to separate caucus rooms to do our job.

The lines of people who still had not registered were still wrapped around the building. So proud of Portland!

We’re four hours (6pm) in and still there was more waiting. Official word was that if we wanted to stay and be counted for the delegate vote, we had to stick around until all the people got through the lines, which would probably be another hour. If Neil and I were going to leave early, we would have left already. We were in for the long haul. Really wishing the city had ordered some pizza though. mmm… hungry.

Things kind of fell apart at this stage. There were several people (in charge of our group) who kind of knew what they were supposed to do but had to keep checking with others. There was some revolt within the group that bordered on rude but did eventually lead to us voting early and getting out of there. Thank you!

Results:: 2:1 Obama and the state was his.

Time when we got in the car to go home with a baby who hadn’t slept or even eaten properly since 1pm?

Portland Maine Caucus Ends!

Time enough for take-out pizza, some tv (what was up with the dance interpretation set to beatles songs on the Grammys?), and then off to early and eagerly anticipated bed.

Birthday Scones

Friday, February 8th, 2008

We celebrated Neil’s birthday yesterday (34!) with some quality family together time (lunch, grocery shopping, reflection on birthdays past) and lots of catering to the birthday boy. There can never be enough of that on a person’s birthday, I always say. Though I did offer to do the shoveling when we woke up to a fresh blanket of snow, but he didn’t take me up on it.

(To put yourself in our snowy day, imagine our cute little pink house in a snow globe. That’s exactly what I looked like throughout the day. Big, big flakes floating through the air, covering everything in sight. Beautiful.)

About halfway through the day, the mailman came by with the usual assortment of catalogs and bills, and one special gift for the Neilster. A while back, I commissioned a portrait of Nola from an artist out in California named Rachel Rifat. I never thought I’d be the kind to buy a pet portrait, but I really liked what I saw of her work (which, by the way, is a lot more than just pet portraits).

I sent this photo out to Rachel along with some facts about Nola’s personality:

Nola in the green grass

And this is what she made:


That’s Dash dangling spaghetti down to Nola, something you can see happening in this house several times a day. Not that he only eats spaghetti. He’s happy to share anything that’s on his plate with the dog.

Neil loooved it (he probably thought he was getting a new sweater or something) and even though it wasn’t anything like what I thought it would look like, I love it more each time I look at it. I can’t decide what I love most: the color, the way she totally captured the essence of Nola even in black and white, or is it Dash’s little baby feet?

Um, yeah. It’s the baby feet.

Anyway, this family is still full from Dash’s birthday cupcakes so Neil opted for birthday scones. Lemon Blueberry scones. My own recipe. Yum! I’ll do my best to get a picture of them before the disappear for good, but no promises. They’re just that good.

And now it’s the day after his birthday and in true perfect birthday form, it’s stretching into a birthday weekend-week. A little bowling tonight (talk of which led to a hilarious joke involving neil and balls that I will never let him forget) with friends is next on the list.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Cheap Babysitter

Tuesday, February 5th, 2008

They say it takes a village to raise a child, but I ain’t got no village.  But I do have this:Babysitter basket  No seriously, he loves it when Laundry Basket comes by to watch over him.  He really does!   To Dash, when he reads this post several years from now: Dash sweetheart… I love you and I would never do anything to put you in danger (that’s why you’re in the basket!). No really, it was just for fun and we took it right off. I swear. Promise. Love you! 

Heavy Metal Flashback

Monday, February 4th, 2008

The BEST EVER adrenaline pumping, errands running theme song came on the radio as I was heading out in the car. To be listened to at top volume. I don’t care if you’re at work. You’re worth it.YouTube Preview Image 

Go Wait By Your Mailbox…

Sunday, February 3rd, 2008

Milkglass Snackset Giveaway at Happydashery

…Ismoyo! You’re the winner of the vintage milkglass plate and cup snack set giveaway from HappyDashery. Congratulations! Invite a friend over for some soup and a half a sandwich. Grilled cheese, I’m thinking. Enjoy it!

And thank you very much to all who entered the contest. I know I had fun and I decided to do it more often, so check back here again for more fun vintage goodies. I’m all about sharing the vintage love (especially on superbowl sunday when there’s not much else going on for me, though I hear others might be enjoy some kind of football contest).

Happy Sunday!