A photo is worth a thousand words...

Dad with my new niece Riley Grace Burton.

Nov. 30, 2004

Ready, Set, Kick!

Ever since I saw my first Bruce Lee movie as a teen I've wanted to learn a martial art. At first it was for the idea that I could protect myself in any situation, but I'm also really starting to appreciate it as an art form. As of a month ago, I've been taking classes in the Korean martial art -- Tae Kwon Do. I didn't know much about it when I first started, but I figured it was a great place to start in the world of martial arts, and my worked with a ATA instructor who was willing to teach me two nights a week in the gym.

The word Tae Kwon Do itself is made up of three Chinese/Korean words: Tae, meaning to kick or jump; Kwon, meaning fist or hand; and Do, which means "the way." It can be thought of as "The Way of the Hand and Foot."

I'm learning the Songahm form, and already I'm hooked. I've already learned my first form and I've been practicing almost every night to perfect it in time so I can test. My kicks need work, but I think I can get it right as long as I'm persistent with practicing.

It's weird being interested in a real sport. Aside from saber fencing in high school, I've never been interested in playing a sport. But in fact Tae Kwon Do isn't just a sport, it's an art form...and I'm honored to be studying it.

Nov. 6, 2004

NaNoWriMo what?

So every year I sign up for NaNoWriMo and every year I get distracted and give up. What is NaNoWriMo? It stands for National Novel Writing Month. When you sign up (for free by the way) you agree that you're going to write your butt off all the month of November in order to complete a 50,000-word novel by midnight, local time, on November 30th.

I'm not kidding. I'm going to do this without fail. I'm tired of setting goals and then shrugging them off in self-doubt or worse -- laziness. So each night after work I'll be typing away late into the night on a novel. It may not be the next great American novel, but it'll be a finished novel written by me.

If you're interested in signing up, or reading more about this project, go to the official NaNoWriMo site here.

Nov. 5, 2004

From the Michael Moore mailing list...

Here's a few words straight from the Michael Moore mailing list. Granted, I don't believe everything Moore says and I don't agree with 100% of it either. And I'll be the first to admit I laughed my ass off when he was mocked in the over-the-top Team America. But some of his points make me chuckle in light of an election outcome many of us Democrats didn't expect. So take it for what you want. And if you don't like the political slant I'm taking this month in my blog, then you don't have to read it. After all, I'm pretty sure it's still a free country, right?


Dear Friends,

Ok, it sucks. Really sucks. But before you go and cash it all in, let's, in the words of Monty Python, 'always look on the bright side of life!' There IS some good news from Tuesday's election.

Here are 17 reasons not to slit your wrists:

1. It is against the law for George W. Bush to run for president again.

2. Bush's victory was the NARROWEST win for a sitting president since Woodrow Wilson in 1916.

3. The only age group in which the majority voted for Kerry was young adults (Kerry: 54%, Bush: 44%), proving once again that your parents are always wrong and you should never listen to them.

4. In spite of Bush's win, the majority of Americans still think the country is headed in the wrong direction (56%), think the war wasn't worth fighting (51%), and don't approve of the job George W. Bush is doing (52%). (Note to foreigners: Don't try to figure this one out. It's an American thing, like Pop Tarts.)

5. The Republicans will not have a filibuster-proof 60-seat majority in the Senate. If the Democrats do their job, Bush won't be able to pack the Supreme Court with right-wing ideologues. Did I say "if the Democrats do their job?" Um, maybe better to scratch this one.

6. Michigan voted for Kerry! So did the entire Northeast, the birthplace of our democracy. So did 6 of the 8 Great Lakes States. And the whole West Coast! Plus Hawaii. Ok, that's a start. We've got most of the fresh water, all of Broadway, and Mt. St. Helens. We can dehydrate them or bury them in lava. And no more show tunes!

7. Once again we are reminded that the buckeye is a nut, and not just any old nut -- a poisonous nut. A great nation was felled by a poisonous nut. May Ohio State pay dearly this Saturday when it faces Michigan.

8. 88% of Bush's support came from white voters. In 50 years, America will no longer have a white majority. Hey, 50 years isn't such a long time! If you're ten years old and reading this, your golden years will be truly golden and you will be well cared for in your old age.

9. Gays, thanks to the ballot measures passed on Tuesday, cannot get married in 11 new states. Thank God. Just think of all those wedding gifts we won't have to buy now.

10. Five more African Americans were elected as members of Congress, including the return of Cynthia McKinney of Georgia. It's always good to have more blacks in there fighting for us and doing the job our candidates can't.

11. The CEO of Coors was defeated for Senate in Colorado. Drink up!

12. Admit it: We like the Bush twins and we don't want them to go away.

13. At the state legislative level, Democrats picked up a net of at least 3 chambers in Tuesday's elections. Of the 98 partisan-controlled state legislative chambers (house/assembly and senate), Democrats went into the 2004 elections in control of 44 chambers, Republicans controlled 53 chambers, and 1 chamber was tied. After Tuesday, Democrats now control 47 chambers, Republicans control 49 chambers, 1 chamber is tied and 1 chamber (Montana House) is still undecided.

14. Bush is now a lame duck president. He will have no greater moment than the one he's having this week. It's all downhill for him from here on out -- and, more significantly, he's just not going to want to do all the hard work that will be expected of him. It'll be like everyone's last month in 12th grade -- you've already made it, so it's party time! Perhaps he'll treat the next four years like a permanent Friday, spending even more time at the ranch or in Kennebunkport. And why shouldn't he? He's already proved his point, avenged his father and kicked our ass.

15. Should Bush decide to show up to work and take this country down a very dark road, it is also just as likely that either of the following two scenarios will happen: a) Now that he doesn't ever need to pander to the Christian conservatives again to get elected, someone may whisper in his ear that he should spend these last four years building "a legacy" so that history will render a kinder verdict on him and thus he will not push for too aggressive a right-wing agenda; or b) He will become so cocky and arrogant -- and thus, reckless -- that he will commit a blunder of such major proportions that even his own party will have to remove him from office.

16. There are nearly 300 million Americans -- 200 million of them of voting age. We only lost by three and a half million! That's not a landslide -- it means we're almost there. Imagine losing by 20 million. If you had 58 yards to go before you reached the goal line and then you barreled down 55 of those yards, would you stop on the three yard line, pick up the ball and go home crying -- especially when you get to start the next down on the three yard line? Of course not! Buck up! Have hope! More sports analogies are coming!!!

17. Finally and most importantly, over 55 million Americans voted for the candidate dubbed "The #1 Liberal in the Senate." That's more than the total number of voters who voted for either Reagan, Bush I, Clinton or Gore. Again, more people voted for Kerry than Reagan. If the media are looking for a trend it should be this -- that so many Americans were, for the first time since Kennedy, willing to vote for an out-and-out liberal. The country has always been filled with evangelicals -- that is not news. What IS news is that so many people have shifted toward a Massachusetts liberal. In fact, that's BIG news. Which means, don't expect the mainstream media, the ones who brought you the Iraq War, to ever report the real truth about November 2, 2004. In fact, it's better that they don't. We'll need the element of surprise in 2008.

Feeling better? I hope so. As my friend Mort wrote me yesterday, "My Romanian grandfather used to say to me, 'Remember, Morton, this is such a wonderful country -- it doesn't even need a president!'"

But it needs us.


Michael Moore

Nov. 3, 2004

I refuse to give up

When Dubya won I'll admit I was one of the many Democrats who sorrowfully searched on Google for the Canadian immigration form. I was ready to start planning my exodus to a country where they use guns to hunt something else instead of each other. I was ready to move to another place where the leader could pronounce big words and actually know what they mean. I was ready to B-A-I-L.

But then I stopped. I'm an American. Period. And I can't just skip out when the going gets rough. I would have voted for anyone instead of Bush -- mineral or vegetable. However, the Fates had other plans for this country and it didn't involve putting someone in charge that could talk his way out of a paper bag. So we have a dumbass puppet dancing around the stage while Cheney and his string pullers run the show. Now what?

Well I for one am not gonna go for a dip in denial. I'm ready to fight for what I believe in even more than before. Bush can't control everything and everyone. As much as he'd like to fancy himself as Darth Vader, he just doesn't have the brains for it. So I'll stand my ground and be even more involved in getting behind any local politician I believe in 100%. I sure as hell won't stand for anymore Republican bullshit. They want a fight they got one.

Just because my country has turned from a regal lady to a beaten down scared girl with a nasty reputation doesn't mean I'm gonna let some asshole have his way with her. Nope, I'm gonna take my girl back with a vengance. Just watch me.


Nov. 1, 2004


If you're smart enough to be reading this blog, then I have a feeling you're smart enough to vote. So I'm not going to go on and on about how I think Bush is a freaking idiot or that I don't want this election to be rigged like the last one.

To keep you in the voting spirit, here are a few links you might find interesting. Happy voting!


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