Sunday, October 30, 2005

Day Two: welcome to the jungle

I heard it was so cold yesterday that Jon Corzine had his hands in his own pockets... amazing, eh?
But while yesterday took every chance it could to greet us with windy chills, today was gracious and kind, with warm sunshine and little to no wind to push us along; it was glorious.

I'm not a big sports fan, folks. Not to say that I dislike sports (that's really not the case at all. In fact, I really do enjoy sports quite a bit), but I just wouldn't consider myself a fan. At least, I certainly wouldn't consider myself a fan after today. I don't think I actually ever even really knew the true definition of "Sports Fan" until this morning.

Our first stop on the bus tour today was the Giants / Redskins game at Giant's stadium. We arrived somewhere around 9:30 or 10 in the morning and were greeted by thousands of already drunk fans who had been working toward the goal of complete inebriation since roughly 7:30 or 8 o'clock that morning. Doug shook one thousand and one hands in what he later admitted was a tremendous effort after the first 300 or so, suggesting that perhaps drunk hands are a little harder to shake.

The purpose of the stop was to meet and greet with thousands of potential voters, make our absurdly billboard-esque bus visible to thousands of potential voters, and to stop by a volunteer's tailgate party at 16-B.


Ladies and gentlemen, this is where the Future Meatheads of America (FMHA) meet.

This is where young, semi-attractive women adorned in gucci, chanel and prada are coupled to thick men with creative facial hair and wardrobes existing of only three colors: red, white, or blue.

This is where everyone's creativity shines brightest when trying to outdo one another in innovative ways to channel beer directly from the can to their mouths.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is where beer ads are made.

BF and I sat at the end of the theme-decorated motorhome that our hosts had parked at 16-B and watched the crowd around us.
I ate a little bit of pig.

The hugging.
The deep throated yelling.
The chants.
The dumpster diving...
Yes! There was dumpster diving! The honors were done by a man wearing a bright red wig. He did a flip right into the dumpster. Apparently this sort of occurance is a real issue at Giants Stadium.

After the dumpster dive, all the "Sports Fans" gathered in a circle around a guy wearing a Redskins jersey. I get the feeling that this was all staged and role-played, similar to professional wrestling. There was a ring leader who was yelling through a bull horn, bringing the offending opposer to his knees in the middle of the circle. The jersey was violently ripped off and immediately began a ritualistic burning. Doused in lighter fluid, the jersey melted before our very eyes as "Welcome to the Jungle" blared at deafening levels from the sound system that our host at 16-B had provided. The fans danced in a circle around the flaming adornment and chanted their devotion to the New York Giants.

BF and I were the only people not shouting, chugging, or stomping on the burning remnants of the jersey. We laughed though. We laughed in absolute utter amazement.


After the tailgate party, we escorted Doug and Andrea to an area where there was a lot of traffic going into the stadium (people traffic, not car traffic). They shook hands here and greeted game-goers for a solid hour. I was more than amused for a solid hour.

A lot of comments were overheard and most of them made my day in one way or another, but there are a few that stuck out so greatly in my mind that they ended up finding little ways to regurgitate themselves throughout the day, making me smile like mad.

"Let's go Corzine! Let's go Rebates!"
Perhaps a little weak, but funny because it's about as common a mixture as creamer in your lemon tea.

"Forrester sucks! Crack kills!"
No further delineation necessary.

"Yeah! Forrester! You have my fuckin' vote!"
I think it's great that people can mix profanity and encouragement.

and possibly my absolute favorite of the day:
"God bless you, Doug Forrester"
You really had to hear the tone of this one... you had to be there to fully understand. It was a heartbreaker for certain.

Most of the comments were encouraging though, seriously. Doug stood and answered questions, autographed sports memorabilia, smiled for photographs, and successfully clogged the stadium entrance...

The rest of the day was relatively anti-climactic in comparison. We had a press conference with NBC and CBS. I closed my finger in a door (!). Black Sheep closed his head in a door. Yes... relatively anti-climactic.

There were a few press clips that popped up from Sunday's travels.
We had Josh Margolis (of the Star Ledger) traveling on the bus with us and to the Rutgers game. The clip is so-so, but gives a little insight to traveling around with the candidate which is [usually] interesting.

Tomorrow is a light day. Maybe I'll sleep in. Or go to Curves. Or write this entry since I got too lazy to do it when I was supposed to.

Currently listening :
Appetite for Destruction
By Guns N' Roses
Release date: By 25 October, 1990

Day One: I saw a sumo wrestler

I don't watch television a whole lot. In fact, the occasion that I turn on a television is so rare that I'd say I'm more likely to be struck by lightning or to be attacked by a shark than I am to be caught watching Desperate Housewives (that analogy really isn't fair, because I mean, even if I did watch television you can be assured that I still wouldn't be caught watching Desperate Housewives).

Regardless, I was enthralled today as I was absolutely surrounded by televisions channeling into satellite stations. Fox News and the Weather channel blared around me from every angle. I wasn't sure why it was necessary to have 8 different televisions on the bus, but we did.
The campaign is taking a 10 day bus tour (starting this morning and ending at the Westin in Princeton on Election Day - November 8th) and I'm on the bus every single day managing all sorts of menial tasks such as holding purses, finding lids for styrofoam coffee cups, and purchasing any kind of confection that I can find for the candidate's 19 year-old daughter. She consumes more sugar than anyone I've ever met in my life - it's really quite impressive... I get paid for this, by the way.

We had Fox News on mute (the best way to have it) and I stared as one ridiculous advertisement after the other flashed across the screen.
Did everyone know that they've revived the "Help! I've fallen and I can't get up!" advertisements for LifeAlert?! I had no idea. Maybe they never really fell out of circulation, but I just saw it for the first time in many many years. It was silenced, but I laughed. I laughed a lot actually. I laughed at the advertisement for the gospel singer who apparently hasn't had her photograph taken since 1976. I laughed at a commercial for the no-name brand electric razor that came with a free gift (a special napkin dispenser [?], if you order now). I even laughed at Fox's mini headlines running along the bottom of the screen. When we first got on the bus in the morning, one of them read: "Iranian President makes statement: 'Israel should be wiped off map.'" Then, just four or five hours later, I saw the headline had changed to: "Iran retracts earlier statement that Israel should be wiped off map."
That was the highlight of my day I think, actually.

I ate a lot of food today.
I consumed a lot of sugar too.
I had Cracker Barrel's magnificent macaroni and cheese. bliss.

We traveled to a Rutgers football game where I saw a guy (convincingly) dressed as Napoleon Dynamite.
We visited three diners and interrupted several people's meals with greetings from Doug and Andrea.
We participated in a Halloween parade that was actually pretty damn fantastic.
I came to a crazy realization today. It was almost monumental: people really do like Doug. And for every person that likes Doug, there are three that LOVE Andrea. Her commercial (the one that I still haven't even seen but continue to tell her how great it is) is probably the best thing that ever happened to this campaign. Brava, Andrea.

I saw JM2 in Medford at the parade hurling candy at small children. I think only one of them walked away with a concussion. He said he wasn't in costume, but he was wearing an aviator jacket with the American Flag printed on it, blue sweatpants left over from 1989, and Andrew McCarthy's hair.

He continues to amaze me. He took the bar again this summer. I'm not sure if he passed it or not this time though. My guess is... well, you know.

I've discovered that this bunch is actually funny. I mean, they've cracked a few jokes here and there before, but spending all day with them today, cooped up in a bus, I found that they really are funny people. They were a lot more relaxed than I've ever seen them. Berkeley actually has a sense of humor, and apparently is a ladies' man. Rumor has it that he picked up one of the waitresses at the Cracker Barrell. I think it was a really good decision.

I got kicked out of Lowes for "soliciting". So I ripped the campaign sticker off my chest and kept on talking. The manager wasn't too happy.
"Ma'm, you cannot solicit here at the store with any political party or candidate!"
"My candidate left - he's down at BJ's... I'm just having a conversation here."
"If you're speaking on behalf of your candidate, then that still counts."
"Oh.... well, then thank goodness I'm not!"

She left me alone after that, but I thought it best that I just leave. That's when I went to go find lids for the coffee cups and to order a turkey sandwich for Andrea... I get paid for all this, by the way.

There were roughly 35,000 people at the halloween parade in Medford. All the kids were in costumes and were like little vultures over the candy being thrown their way. I've never seen anything like it. I saw a sumu wrestler, a 300 lb. man dressed as a beauty queen, and an elf riding on a snowman's shoulders (which, amazingly, was one costume). Doug was well received.

There's this red-headed guy, Pete, who works for Corzine but his sole job is to follow Doug around to every single event he attends and write down/record/videotape everything that Doug says. We joke around with him, chat with him, ask him how his day is going, sort of look out for him... there's this funny scenario though that I keep imagining in which Pete, after working at this job for several months, finally finds himself one day at an event where Doug is speaking, nodding his head in agreement: "yeah! this guy's right!" and then totally converting to the other side. It's just a funny thought.
Every once in awhile, we try to battle Pete. We'll shut the doors on him, or tell him that a certain event doesn't allow video. We do it because we can even though it doesn't really matter.
He always has the same sorts of responses to little jests that we regularly make.
"Hey Pete, why are you still recording Doug everywhere he goes? Isn't it too late for that anyway?"
His response, "It's never too late."

"Hey Pete, how's it going today? You haven't gotten beat up yet, eh?"
His response: "It's still early."

Nine more days, folks. Just nine.
I've decided, for unknown reasons, to post Doug's schedule through election day on my calendar here. I just really want to use the calendar, more than anything.

I'm bringing my iPod with me tomorrow.
And a change of clothing.

Friday, October 21, 2005

true stories

Black circles are not the problem, but instead, black rectangles as my eye (the right one) seems lately that it does not want to be bothered with contact lenses. I either put in the lens, it rips, and needs to be replaced 24 hours later or the eye decides to completely refuse it altogether and I am forced to rock the specks (which I dislike intensely).

Sunday, in an effort to save on gas, I rode to church with Cristina and rode home with Tony. Tony's car is an absolute pig hole, filled to capacity with candy wrappers, empty coke bottles and various crumpled paper products; CDs are strewn everywhere with no jewel cases in sight and air fresheners hang from every possible place to hang them from. He lit a cigarette and almost immediately dropped it in his lap causing him to nearly drive off the road. It burned a rather large hole in the seat between his legs. His lighter was shaped like a pig and had flames shooting from the snout. Peculiar.
We rode in silence most of the way until Tony reached to turn down the volume so I could hear him speak.
"You want to hear something really messed up? I was at a party last week and the guy that was having the party had a pinata... it was filled with a bunch of condoms and man thongs and stuff. Everyone was pretty wasted and when the pinata got busted open, I grabbed a few of the man thongs and was putting them on my car and stuff - they've just been laying around my room. The thing is, this morning I got up and didn't have any clean underwear, soooo..."

Tony wore a man thong.
To church.

Back in February sometime there was a rather large snow storm, the kind that forces you out of your house a full hour before you would usually leave for work so that you can dig your car out and defrost everything; the kind that keeps the plows so busy that it can take 2-3 days for them to get to my road; the kind that is followed by an ice storm leaving the 2 1/2 feet of snow in a thick, icy shell. It was that kind of snow storm.

It did take me an hour to dig my car out from under the mounds and mounds of snow. It had been two days and the plows hadn't come to visit my street yet. An ice storm had followed the snow and had left a thick layer of ice on everything, but I drove on anyway... and made it about a block before I found myself in a slide down a hill that I could do nothing about. I hit a ditch and said ditch catapulted me into the air and straight into my neighbor's mailbox.
Mailbox went everywhere. I said "oh no".

No one was home so I assembled a pile of mailbox pieces as neatly as I could at the end of the driveway and left my business card with a note on their front door. I received a call later that afternoon gushing with gratefulness at such honesty.
"Oh! But how could I have possibly left without saying anything. I felt horrible! You are, afterall, my neighbor!" (I had never even met these people).
She gushed for about five more minutes and then assured me that her husband or her would give a call back when they got things figured out.
I never heard from them again.

Five months later, a new mailbox had still not been put up. They had purchased a new box and had placed it on a stump, but there was no post or fancy reflectors. It took nearly 6 months before I finally drove by one morning and noticed the mailbox firmly planted into the ground, new numbers on its side, new reflectors warning future would-be mailbox hitters.

A week later it was knocked down again. This time by a drunk driver. I couldn't believe their misfortune and wondered if they secretly thought that I had done it a second time. I still had never met them or heard from them.

Yesterday morning I was racing back home to dig up a sandwich and a change of clothing before heading down to Princeton to clean up a crisis that the candidate's wife was suffering (someone botched up the schedule) when I saw my neighbor walking down her driveway for the mail. I thought to myself: "wow... I should really stop and introduce myself, say hello, do the neighborly thing. I still haven't even met these people and if nothing else I should at least do that!"
So, on an impulse, I pulled into the driveway. She stopped and stared, trying for the life of her to figure out who I was. I left the engine running and got out of the car to introduce myself.
"Hey there! I'm a neighbor of yours; I'm the girl who ran into your mailbox the first time."
Her face brightened up and she immediately put out her hand to meet me. She was ecstatic to see me, ecstatic that I had stopped by, still ecstatic that I had been so honest about the situation. She gushed for 5 minutes or so and I let her, smiling the entire time and thinking what a good neighbor I was.
"Hey! I just wrote you a letter the other day, actually. My husband and I were so grateful for your honesty. You know, not a lot of people would have done that..."
(awww, shucks, stop that now...)
"If you wait right here, I'd like to run in and print it up for you - is that alright?"
I assured her I would wait outside for a minute as she ran inside to get me this fantastic letter she had written me.

She folded it before she handed it to me.
"You know... if this is... too much, you can just, you know, pay us in installments or something..."
I was only mildly shocked. OK, so they're still interested (after all this time) in collecting a fee for the mailbox I busted. OK, no reward for honesty... but that's alright. I mean, it's fair. I busted their mailbox.
I told her I would drop a check in the mail as soon as I could and then parted ways. I couldn't wait to check the damage.

2 Central Avenue
Whitehouse Station, NJ 08889
October 14, 2005

Monica N. Navarro
1 Haver Place
Whitehouse Station, NJ 08889

Dear Ms. Navarro,

As I'm sure you recall, you accidentally hit our mailbox several [8!!!!!] months ago. My wife and I appreciate your honesty.

Unfortunately, the parts were not salvageable and had to be replaced. I still have the mailbox in case you wish to inspect it. Following are the costs involved in replacing and mounting the new mailbox:

"Ironside" mailbox $56.95
Cedar post and vinyl sleeve: 20.00
Vinyl post cap 4.00
Iron post anchor 19.95
Brass numbers 3.95
Reflectors 1.50
Labor [!?!?!?!] 50.00

Sub-total: $155.40
Tax: 9.33

Total: $164.73

I would greatly appreciate a check in the above amount as soon as possible [I see time is a real issue for them]. If you'd like to discuss this matter, please stop by during the weekend.


So while geography says that they're my neighbors, in my heart, as far as I'm concerned, they live in Deluth.

Monday, October 17, 2005


this is me, covering my ears, closing my eyes,
and screaming.

Currently listening :
Without Condition
By Ginny Owens
Release date: By 20 July, 1999

Friday, October 14, 2005

below fair market value

My father has several hobbies. He enjoys computers and technology, Bible study, traveling, and taking the worst possible picture using the best possible camera.

I found a collection of wedding photographs from this past weekend on our network and decided that, with a few revisions and improvements, these positively horrible pictures could be made into something worthwhile.

Click on the link under the "before" photo to see the "after" result

This photo, like many that JC takes, lacks a discernable focal point. I've gone ahead and highlighted a few possible points of interest that could have been chosen. focal points

Next, we have this lovely photo which actually isn't that bad, but could stand some minor improvements. JC & Rhiannon

This is not really good for any of the individuals involved. A picture like this requires some sort of diversion to make you forget about how bad it is. bridesmaids

Finally, this photo could be terrific after just a few minor touch-ups. Thanks to fantastic programs like Adobe Photoshop, the editing takes no time at all. Moe & Cheech

I love that my job affords me the chance to take on little projects like this.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

fun size me

The above has the capacity to be great.
Or, at the very least, a new cinematic obsession for me.

I should be resting peacefully in my (if I do say so myself) supremely comfortable bed right now, but instead I'm trapped by this computer and find myself watching movie trailer after movie trailer on QuickTime's website, as I periodically do.

I totally forgot to put on deodorant today.

Deodorant didn't really seem to matter, however, as I walked through the day in a Miles Davis daze. Everything was wet and grey, temporarily staining the front of my shirt with damp spots. I looked like I was lactating.

Rudy Giuliani visited Westfield today for a press conference with Doug. 300+ people forced their way into a room built for 100. That State House press guy was there that I always see around. I can never place his accent. In fact, it might not be an accent at all. This is the first time he's every spoken directly to me, as it was somewhat unavoidable, us smashed against one another and a wall, with no room to move except to swivel our heads from left to right.
Rudy ended his endorsement speech and gripped Dougs hand high in the air, smiling for the flashing cameras. Doug was beside himself with glee. It took 20 minutes to get them out of the building.

Later that afternoon, in a noble effort to make at least one supporter very happy, I would spend 10 minutes fishing an autographed photo from the console's crevice of Rudy's SUV. I scraped up my hand pretty badly and it left hives for awhile. I have no idea how they managed to drop the picture through such a small space.

Mayor Giuliani was taping a commercial for Doug at a law office in Westfield. I waited silently as I listened to "I was mayor of New York for eight years..." a minimum of 14 times. Andrea and I left before they finished taping.

I drove through flood waters twice to get to work this morning.
Red Bull: at lips.
Teddy Grahams: in hand.
I'm campaigning now, yeah!

I'm not complaining about my job... I just can't wait for election day to get here.

Driving home tonight, I glanced in my rearview mirror as I turned to take my third detour due to flooding. There was a single leaf stuck to my back windshield, suctioned to the glass by a million tiny droplets. Headlights shone through the glass behind me, blacking out the leaf's bright colors and turning it dark. It distracted me all the way home and I kept stealing glances every chance I could get.

Four barking dogs.
One mug of hot tea.
Bed trousers. Tiger Balm. Movie trailers. MySpace... eventually it will end for a spell, but it will end amongst down and cotton and my favorite pillow which was recently stolen and then returned.

My life's not so rough.

** This was all way better before FireFox decided to create an error that would shut down the program and erase all the wonderfully delightful things I had written... my memory usually serves me correctly, but please understand. **

** I really am listening to "one bedroom" **

Currently listening :
One Bedroom
By The Sea and Cake
Release date: By 21 January, 2003

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


identical silhouettes standing side by side, feet set at shoulder's width apart.
same jeans.
same shirts.
same blazers.
same silver band on the middle finger of the right hand.

same beer bottles held at a perfect 45 degree angle to their mouths.
same stream of confidence down each trap for the same dark, happy ride.
matching shadows stretch back from the soles of their matching boots...
stretching back to me.
The shadows meet my legs and follow them straight up to my hips, my stomach, my neck, my face, where I hold a similar beer bottle, on the very verge of reflecting that same 45 degree angle, but too distracted by this perfect sight - everything freezes just like that for 2 seconds before one of the matching silhouettes reaches with his left arm to scratch his right elbow.

The world is perfect for two seconds.

The next distraction is just around the corner. Stage lights flashing, heads nodding in flawless and not-so-flawless rhythm, smoke slithers to the ceiling and a flash of light catches his eye, reflects into his beer bottle, and twinkles back at me.

The world is perfect for three seconds.

Mama naps and the Cheech plays on as he learns that more than one monkey was caught jumping on the bed and he literally falls off and bumps his poor, blonde little head.
Lifting him two and a half feet above me, my feet supporting his mid-section, I hold his little hands and watch the patterns that his swirling hair make in the air as I bring him in for a crash landing.
He's perfecting his english these days and asks of me: "Again, Monkey!"

The world is perfect for an hour.

All sorts of things are saved for rainy days, but I've managed to keep not one of them. Water falls down in sheets from steel grey skies and drenches positively everything in sight.
Droplets creep their way down window panes, collecting smaller droplets on their journey and create a hydrating web of wonder.
Bridesmaids hug skirts around knees as they jump over small puddles, holding eight pound bouquets over their heads to protect wedding day hair from the mother nature's hydroware.
Glossy smiles stretch for miles as two candle wicks, two hands, two lives, two hearts are made one.

The world is perfect for a day.

Darkness is for sleeping... sometimes.
Scary darkness is meant to be pierced by furious light, and curious darkness is meant to be followed by surprise...
But perfect darkness is meant to be left to its perfection, highlighted only by the flickering of candlelight.

Eyes closed.
And if you're lucky: those flickers dancing poetry on the inside of your eyelids.

Bare legs resting, and lifting - the senses are tickled as sound, and sight, and touch and smell all collide... somewhere, superboy floats through your ears.
At this very moment it could be a tear, or a laugh, or a hug, or a stare...

And the world is perfect forever.

Currently listening :
Teaser & The Firecat
By Cat Stevens
Release date: By 23 May, 2000

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

risky business

I take a risk in posting this, I realize.
"Oh! But it's such a nice little poem!" you all might say.
The truth of the matter is this: I usually don't subscribe to cute little poems of encouragement. I don't subscribe to Precious Moments dolls or to Proverbs stitched onto throw pillows. I don't subscribe to note cards bearing NIV interpretations of John 3:16 or to signing letters with "God bless you"... the reason is that to me it represents a culture of people who say a lot of things and do very little. To me it represents the idea of loving Christ and others, but not actually doing it.

Regardless, I remember a dear friend at the training center giving me a copy of this poem that I have actually kept quite treasured for the past 10 years, the typing paper that bears its printing has been kept folded and creased and tucked away because it was so pertinent and important to me then.
It is has become impossible to ignore the perfect timing at which this piece of paper constantly chooses to resurface in my life. At the risk of sounding really sappy, I feel like it becomes more and more important to me each and every time.


Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried.
Quietly, patiently, lovingly God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate,
And the Master so gently said, "You must wait!"

"'Wait?', you say, wait!" my indignant reply.
"Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By FAITH I have asked, and am claiming your Word.

"My future and all to which I relate
Hangs in the balance, and you tell me to WAIT?
I'm needing a 'yes,' a go-ahead sign,
Or even a 'no' to which I can resign.

"You promised, dear Lord, that if we believe
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
And Lord, I've been asking, and this is my cry
I'm weary of asking! I need a reply!"

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate
As my Master replied once again, "You must wait."
So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut,
And grumbled to God, "So, I'm waiting. . .for what?"

He seemed then to kneel and His eyes wept with mine,
And He tenderly said, "I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead and cause mountains to run.

"I could give all you seek and pleased you would be.
You'd have what you want, but you wouldn't know ME.
You'd not know the depth of my love for each saint.
You'd not know the power that I give to the faint.

"You'd not learn to see through the clouds of despair;
You'd not learn to trust just by knowing I'm there;
You'd not know the joy of resting in me
When darkness and silence are all you can see.

"You'd never experience the fullness of love
When the peace of my Spirit descends like a dove;
You would know that I give and I save for a start,
But you'd not know the depth of the beat of my heart.

"The glow of my comfort late into the night.
The faith that I give when you walk without sight.
The depth that's beyond getting just what you ask
From an infinite God, who makes what you have LAST.

"You'd never know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that 'My grace is sufficient for thee.'
Yes, your dreams for your loved one overnight would come true,
But, oh, the loss! if you lost what I'm doing in you.

"So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see
That the greatest of gifts is to truly know Me,
And though oft may my answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still..."WAIT."