this is how I know

that john kerry is going to win on nov. 2.

last night at the slipper club's weekly burlesque show the neil diamond impersonator segued into a vote-for-kerry pitch in the middle of a song.

he's got the neil diamond impersonator vote in hand. how can kerry lose?

still not convinced?

maybe you need to visualize winning.


send lawyers, vans and money

Early in september Bill got a letter from the Democratic National Committee written by James Carville. Bill was so impressed by it he gave it to me to read, and I was so impressed by it I got out my checkbook and sent them a check. I came across the letter on my desk a few days ago, and it's even more relevant now than it was at the beginning of September.

Dear Friend,

We either pull out all the stops over the next few weeks or we will live to regret it.

I'm not talking about a pinch of remorse or a brief moment of regret. I'm talking about four long years of kicking ourselves because we let George Bush, Dick Cheney, and the Republicans hold onto power.

Let's not go there. Let's give John Kerry, John Edwards and other Democratic candidates the unstinting support they need to pull through to victory.

Look, we've never seen anything like this. No presidential election has even remained so close for so long.

Today, both John Kerry and George Bush have enough potential support to win this election. And, I'm willing to bet the same will be true right up to Election Day.

So, this election will go to whichever side wants victory more, whichever party approaches the final weeks of this campaign with the clearer focus and the deeper sense of determination.

I am asking you to take out your checkbook, right now, and write the most generous contribution you can afford to deliver the margin of victory on November 2nd.

Writing a check is a lot to ask. But, believe me, regret will be a lot more expensive.

Just think what damage this Bush-Cheney crowd can do to our hopes and dreams if they keep their grip on power for four more years. Just imagine what they'll try to pull once they know they will never have to face the voters again.

The next page and a half of the letter reviews Bush's record...loss of jobs...ballooning breaks for the rich...pandering to drug companies...destruction of international good will...retrograde motion on civil rights...the disastrous and ill-advised war in Iraq. Carville concludes:

We've got two choices in this election --- act now or regret it later.

Remember what I told you. John Kerry and George Bush will both wake up on Election Day with enough potential support to win this election. Who will end that day in victory depends on which party does a better job getting its candidates supporters to the polls.


Four years ago, we fell short of victory by only a handful of votes. Just a few more contributions from just a few more Americans, who meant to act but never did, could have carried Florida for Al Gore and written a very different chapter in the history of our nation.

But four years ago, we did not know what we know about George Bush today. Four years ago, no one could fully understand what might be demanded of an American president and how poorly George W. Bush would measure up.

Now we know, and because we know how much is at stake, there is no excuse for failing to act.

Help John Kerry, John Edwards and other Democratic candidates pull through to victory.

James Carville

P.S. Don't wake up on November 3rd and wish you had done more. Good intentions won't put Kerry in the White House. Take out your checkbook now and help fund the voter turnout campaign on which our victory depends.

For the past couple of weeks, and from now until election day, I have been and will be working with PAC on their Leave No Voter Behind get-out-the-vote campaign. Last night I phoned into a conference call with Eli Pariser and Adam Reuben from PAC --- there are literally tens of thousands of volunteers (including me!) out canvassing voters, identifying Kerry supporters, and getting ready for the final push in the 72 hours before election day. PAC is also running a terrific TV ad by Sisters Speak Out --- check it out.

I regularly run across canvassers from America Coming Together (ACT) who are also doing a tremendous job --- they are in need of 1200 vans in Florida alone to get voters to the polls to vote early and on election day.

The Kerry-Edwards campaign can't fundraise now that it has accepted federal election funds but you can still donate to the Democratic Party and to the Kerry-Edwards 2004 General Election Legal and Accounting Compliance Fund (GELAC)which is assembling teams of lawyers in place to handle election fraud and recount issues.

The People for the American Way Election Protection Program will have thousands of trained legal volunteers out on election day ensuring that everyone eligible to vote is able to cast a ballot. Their recent report The Long Shadow of Jim Crow: Voter Intimidation and Suppression in America Today demonstrates how far we have to go.

"I downloaded the pattern off the internet,"
says well-meaning friend.

yesterday morning I got up, made myself a cup of tea, and started to sew.

this is noteworthy for two reasons: despite a longstanding passion for sewing, quilting and the affiliated but separate activity of acquiring fabric I haven't done much sewing for the last decade; and it marks the return of a working sewing machine to the desk next to the window where I spent many hours stitching after I first moved to madison in 1988.

at some point in the circuitous journey from madison to madison my old sewing machine, a sturdy singer zigzag, got swallowed up by the basement of doom. hours spent crawling over piles of junk and struggling with boxes during my last three visits to cape cod produced only a severe allergic reaction and an extremely foul mood. my mother took pity on me and took on the project of finding me a new sewing machine.

as a result, I now have two sewing machines. and my brother john just emailed me with news of another. I can hear the basement of doom laughing all the way out here in wisconsin.

I wanted a small test project that used some of the new-fangled decorative stitches on the newer of the two machines, so I decided to make a couple of bibs for bryce, who, according to mom donna, is in need of things to drool on. fortunately, there's a very nice fabric store located right next to the sewing machine repair place so I could indulge in fabric acquisition moments after I had at long last obtained a fully functioning sewing machine.

I showed rather remakable restraint, if I do say so myself, given how much awesome fabric they had for babies and kids. I only bought a couple of different flannels for bibs, plus lightweight batting for inside the bibs, oh, and some purplish cotton in case I wanted to applique something on the bibs, and a yard and a half of heat-reflective material for the table runner that I definitely plan on making for rivendell's new dining room table. babies get things dirty really quickly, so I'm sure bryce will need all 72 bibs that I bought material for.

one of the pieces of flannel I chose is covered with brightly-colored non-gender-specific splotches of color, like paint spatters or droppings from a bird of a very different color. I showed it to bill when I got back and he said "they had tons of awesome fabric for kids and you bought that?" he just doesn't get it --- it's for a bib, so the fact that it looks like a baby has already spit up on it a couple of times is a good thing.

with sewing machine and fabric in hand, all I needed was some kind of pattern. I was of course unwilling to purchase an actual pattern, which would have involved a trip to a different fabric store (not that there's anything wrong with that) and an outlay of $8-10 (there's definitely something wrong with that). so I went online. and I surfed. and I surfed. I looked at many astonishingly-ugly baby-oriented craft projects, things that would definitely be improved by having a baby spit up on them a couple of times. I finally found two straightforward bib patterns, in different sizes and cut out one of each. (probably on 24 sept.) then I put the fabric and cut out bibs in a pile next to the sewing machine.

meanwhile, I edited, copied and handed out 10 pages of chapter 7 of building the potato palace to my writing group, went to northeastern missouri with mignon to visit dancing rabbit and sandhill, found and started rehearsing a monologue for the acting class I'm taking through UW extension, went for a walk with matt and liz, shopped and baked up a storm for the rivendell open house and voted early at the city-county building. but mainly I knocked on a whole heck of a lot of doors canvassing for moveon PAC and spent a lot of time on the phone trying to convince other people they ought to be doing the same. (this is also my primary excuse for the criminal neglect of my blog.)

this frdiay and saturday I spent a weekend with my novel, because we've become estranged ever since door-knocking superceded typing as my number one priority. I finally got back to the bibs saturday night, running the new machine through its paces. the neck opening in the smaller of the two bibs looked awfully small, so I took a deeper seam allowance, then fipped it inside out.

the opening still looked small.

but so did the business end of the bib.

if I made the opening larger the bib would get even smaller.

but what use is a bib the doesn't fit around a baby's neck?

I measured the opening, 4 inches in diameter, 1/2 inch larger than indicated on the pattern.

I emailed donna in a panic --- how big is bryce's neck?

apocalyptic visions crept up on me as the clock edged past midnight.
I could see the tabloid headlines as I tossed in bed (*):

"I don't know how anyone could have thought that bib would actually fit on a baby!" astonished bystanders exclaim.

"I downloaded the pattern off the internet," says well-meaning friend.

sunday morning I got up, walked over the sewing desk, picked up the large bib and put it around my neck. it fit me comfortably. I tried the small bib. it fit around my neck snugly, with the velcro just barely closing.

I finished off the two bibs with decorative stitches in blue, pink and purple thread, likewise for the 2 matching drool-absorbent burp cloths, then packed it all up and put it in the mail.


(*) those of you who find my fears inexplicable have apparently never heard the long and tragic tale of my former pets, 4 birds, 3 gerbils and 1 rabbit. nor are you acquainted with my near-pathological fear of infants.

how dumb are they?

really dumb.

really really dumb.

I'm talking about those republicans in michigan, the ones who requested that michael moore be prosecuted in four counties for voter fraud after he offered a couple of non-voting students clean underwear and ramen noodles if they would promise to vote on nov. 2.

"get a life," the county prosecutors, 2 democrats and 2 republicans, told michigan gop officials, "we have real work to do." (I'm paraphrasing --- some of the actual remarks were a good deal less polite.)

newspapers across the country covered the incident, landing michael moore back on the homepage of googlenews for two days right after the dvd of fahrenheit 9/11 had been released.

as a result of the "controversy," I learned about moore's wildly successful slacker uprising tour --- turns out my housemate laura is on her way to milwaukee tonight to see it. when she gets back I'm going to ask her to repeat the 2004 slacker oath: "pick nose. pick butt. pick kerry." meanwhile, jason has rented fahrenheit 9/11 and vanessa has rented control room. check out more films to see before you vote.

PS: bill and I both laughed long and hard when we read this statement by michael moore a few weeks ago, back when the media were pronouncing kerry dead in the water.

more blog-O-rama
entries from 09.04