I did 45min on the treadmill -- 4.0mph, but at an incline of 1 rather than my usual incline of 0. I'm a really big fan of the treadmill at the moment, because it forces me to go at a constant steady pace -- as opposed to if I were just running a track where it's so easy to just stop and walk (I can change the speed, of course, but it requires more conscious effort than, say, doing so on the elliptical).
Ed Rollins (R) was on CNN AM and said that neither candidate was inspiring, which was what he thinks people want, that it was a lot of Senate floor talk. That sounded exactly accurate to me.
I avoided the liveblogs last night, but I just about hurt myself laughing reading this one [Will Wilkinson]. (I don't know what the "transvestite" line at the beginning is about, and I'm choosing to ignore it. It's a libertarian blogger, so a lot of the economic stuff &etc. may rub my liberal flisters the wrong way. It gets better as it goes along. The timestamps are Central time zone.)
8:25 - Obama: 1. Energy. I looked at gas prices here in Nashville. People other than us benefit from higher oil prices, which is outrageous. Completely retarded energy independence objectives like putting a man on the moon, which was pretty retarded when you think about it. Sure, look at our records. I want line item to eliminate spending on the two things I don't want to spend money on. McCain wants to cut taxes for business, which include evil oil companies.Daniel Drezner summed up:
8:28 - What sacrfices will you ask of Americans? McCain: Cut some programs. It might hurt. But damn it, we have to do it. Freeze spending, except defense, VA, entitlements, and buying every house in America. We aren't rifle shots. We're Americans! We'll work together to do things without prioritizing them.
8:59 - How does all the economic stress affect our ability to wage war? McCain: America is greatest force for good in history of universe forever. We shed our blood everywhere. The question of when to kill people needs to be left soldiers like me. Our wars are awesome because we're a nation of good. Obama wrong about surge. Wrong about Russia and Georgia. He doesn't know his ass from his elbow.
9:01 - Obama: I don't understand? I don't understand why we attacked Iraq. Troops are AMAZING but the stupid war is immensely expensive. You a budget hawk McCain? Really? Please.
9:03 - McCain doctrine and Obama doctrine for use of force in humanitarian situations: Obama: There might be moral issues at stake. Surely we should stop Holocaust. Rwanda. Standing idly by diminishes us. Basically, I have no principle. I leave it at the discretion of my evolved moral intuition.
9:04 - McCain: Obama got Iraq ALL WRONG. I will not LOSE, like Obama. We should do whatever we can to help whenever we can. I have no principle for intervention either. Needs a cool hand at the tiller. Needs expert judgment like mine. We're sending our kids to get killed after all! We better make it good.
9:08 - Should we respect Pakistani sovereignty? Obama: Basically, no. I will tear bin Laden's throat out with my own teeth.
9:11 - McCain: I love Teddy Ruxpin. Talk softly, walk softly, big stick. Obama is saber rattling. This guy is a TOTAL amateur desperate to look tough. Relations with Pakistan crucial, we need their support, and here's Obama acting like a crazed warmonger. I've been to Waziristan. Get folks on our side, not threaten to kill them. Need to talk softly, and then kill people if we need to.
9:13 - Obama: I don't want to invade Pakistan. If they won't draw and quarter bin Laden, I sure as hell will. With my bare freaking hands. McCain acting "somber and responsible" is a joke.
9:14 - McCain: BS! I was joking with an old vet about Iran. Like soldiers like me do. I'll git bin Laden. I'm just cagier than this bigmouth tenderfoot.
9:29 - What don't you know and how will you learn it? Obama: Michelle could give you a long list. I ask Michelle! This country gave me opportunity. Grandma scrimpin and food stamps, put me through best schools and allowed me to succeed. We gonna pass on the dream or not. I'm in my big finish wind up and am going to ignore the "zenlike" question. Fundamental change. I'm hopeful. I totally owned this debate. See you all in January.
9:31 - McCain: What I don't know is what's going to happen. Americans hurting. New and different challenges. Some Americans are idiots about geography. I know what it's like in dark times and keep hope. I know what it's like to not be able to talk. I believe in America. I believe, believe, believe. Please people, give me a chance. I EARNED it.
Don't stand in front of Brokaw's teleprompter!
Gut read. Obama owned it. This election's over unless he murders and eats the flesh of a child on live television.
In the end, both candidates put forward mainstream internationalist positions on most issues related to national security, stressing the prudent use of military force, working in concert with allies and insisting that America could still be an active force for good in the world.***
What was odd was that this hopeful vision of America's role in the world clashed badly with their rhetoric on the global economy. When talk turned to economics, the rest of the world was viewed as a scary, scary place.
The power went out shortly before noon (and stayed out for a half an hour).
Ian went and got lunch (tofu stirfry!) and was hanging out by my desk chatting while the power remained out. (It's hard to do much work here without our computers, and we FAs were still gonna wait until about 12:30 to head to lunch in order to miss the student rush.)
I forget how we got on it, but Ian said, "You're not worried about getting electronically outsourced?" I said the amount of person management I do...
Talking about how people are forever asking me where something/someone is, Ian said, "You like it. You could be all passive-aggressive [mimes turning his head down and away as if sitting at a desk avoiding someone] but instead you [demonstrates how I'll perk up and say, "How can I help you?" -- I didn't nitpick that what I actually say is, "Can I help you?"] I've seen you." I said yeah, I totally love being helpful. (I didn't mention that it connects to my being a control-freak, but that might have been implied.)
I said if someone could develop a Marauder's Map, that would be great. Ian asked, "Marauder's Map?" I said yeah, from Harry Potter -- it's a map of Hogwarts, the school, and it'll show you where anyone is on the school grounds, as a dot on the map with their name.
He said he's the only person who's never read one word of Harry Potter. I said my mom read them to my younger brother when they were first coming out in England and I was doing homework on the computer in the other room and got sucked in.
He said, "You're a geek, I know," in this tone of like, "You don't have to defend yourself, it's okay." I said I'll get militantly defensive about other stuff (I didn't specify, but of course Buffy was what immediately came to my mind), but I wasn't getting defensive, just explaining.
[Dude, you can get it as a screensaver!]
I used the phrase "marginal utility" at lunch, and MaryAlice said, "You are taking an econ class." She said she recognized the phrase, but she wouldn't have thought of it to use it.
She said something about Chinese buffet night, and I restrained myself from saying, "AT THE CHINESE BUFFET, WATER IS ON THE HOUSE." (ref. this Dinosaur Comics, and musesfool's subsequent tag)
How have I not learned to just be proactive ALWAYS when it comes to work stuff? It always works out better that way. Sigh.
I got to Rest and Bread early and walked into the church office to make myself useful. Laura Ruth introduced me to Jamie, the new church administrator (I think), and said, "Elizabeth is..." I thought, "I see you searching for a phrase appropriate for public company" -- because when she introduced me to Meck at brunch a few weeks ago, she used the phrase "church whore," among others -- and she ultimately finished her sentence to Jamie with: "resident church whore." I laughed. She continued: "She frequents all the houses of worship up and down the street." (This is an overstatement, because there are at least six distinct faith communities on College Ave. and I'm only affiliated with three of them, but I LOVE that phrasing.)
At one point while we were setting up I said to Laura Ruth, "Am I allowed to ask you how you've been, or would that be too distracting?" She said yes at the moment that would be too distracting -- but the short version is that she's doing great.
Rest and Bread ("Welcoming the Stranger")
In the Welcome, Laura Ruth said, "We know each other some," but that we don't know all parts of each other -- which in light of Sunday at CWM I read as a subtle nod to National Coming Out Day &etc., whether it was intended so or not.
She said when thinking about welcoming the stranger, we have to ask ourselves, "Who is stranger, us or them," which I thought a nice pun.
The Psalm was Psalm 120.
The Sacred Texts were from Deuteronomy ("...love the stranger") and Hebrews ("let mutual love continue ... entertained angels unawares").
Laura Ruth talked about welcoming the stranger. She talked about how encountering strangers brings newness into our lives and that can be disruptive and threatening.
She said that prayer is about curiosity, not control. (I forget exactly how that related, but I liked it.)
She talked about the "entertained angels unawares" thing and said that one way we can react when we encounter the stranger -- even when it's that crazy guy in the park yelling -- is to think, "Maybe it's Jesus" (I thought of that bit in Anne Lamott's Traveling Mercies I think it was, where talks about making a conscious effort to just when she takes the dog out for a walk to see Jesus in the face of every single person she encounters -- or maybe it's just the first person she encounters? but I think it's everyone). She said that Jesus is pure holiness, . I have issue with this because thanks to Old Testament classes and stuff, I can't help thinking of "holy" as "whole," and we are (as she said) broken. [By the time service was over, I had forgotten about probing about this -- and I couldn't stay too long anyway, as I had class -- so I'll be emailing her about this.]
(In other news, Laura Ruth made me an official, computer print out, clip-on, nametag.)
Today's mail included:
* my voter registration confirmation (though "I Vote You Vote - a project of the non-partisan American Democracy Institute" says, "Sorry. We can't confirm Elizabeth [redacted] is registered to vote in Massachusetts." -- I suspect they're just a little behind)
* a $36.75 refund check from RCN
* my American Red Cross donor card (I'm O Positive!)
Yom Kippur began at sunset tonight. If I've hurt you, or you think you've hurt me, please let me know.