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Tuesday, September 09, 2003

People Powered Howard 

What does it mean when work gets in the way of blogging? I mean, I started blogging as a way to force myself to write (even if it is just a short note about nothing in particular) and I missed yesterday and today it's the end of the day before I find a moment to breathe. Urgh.

Setting aside the horrors of the day job, we saw Howard Dean speak last night at University of Maryland in College Park. Fantastic. It was a stump speech, many parts of which I've heard on the radio or television, but in person he is so dynamic and energetic. At this stage in the campaign (and considering the event), it's not surprising that he didn't go into too many specifics, but he did make a strong pitch for traditional Democratic values -- equal opportunity, access to healthcare, fair labor standards, and responsible leadership. He also stressed his bonifides as a deficit hawk, which is rapidly becoming something only the Democrats are worried about, much to the chagrin of some long-time Republicans, I'd imagine. Plus the man is witty and totally unscripted. I guess it's easy when you're on the stump day in and day out to memorize your talking points, but he really speaks well off the cuff ... which came in handy when dealing with the small group of GOP hecklers.

Before Dean spoke, he had a few Marylanders up to speak, including a really eloquent volunteer firefighter from Smith Island and a Deaf activist. Side note: Evelin and I ended up sitting amidst a contingent of students from Gallaudet. I have a long-standing interest in ASL, but only know a few signs, and it was really fascinating to watch how the different sign interpreters (there were two on stage) signed the different speakers. I was also cool that the Deaf activist spoke in ASL and was interpreted into English for the hearing.

Also, more than 30 Maryland politicians were on hand to announce their endorsement of Dean, including Justin Ross, one the state delegates for my district. Kurt Schmoke, the former mayor of Baltimore and a classmate of Dean’s, introduced Dean.

While on the subject of politics, Baltimore is having a mayoral primary today that is odd for multiple reasons: the general election is 14 months away and 16-year-olds are being allowed to vote if they will be 18 when the general election rolls around in 2004. This race was low on my radar screen because we only get a few Baltimore television or radio stations (and the ones that come in best tend not to be very news-oriented) and I don't pick up the Sun as often as I used to. The sad thing is that only 855 16-year-olds registered to vote: If I could have voted when I was 16 ... well it wouldn't have mattered much because I would have just missed the 1984 elections, but I would have been active for the 1987 governor's race. I probably would have voted for Buddy Romer (who was still a Democrat at that point).

Moving away from politics, Evelin’s acupuncturist wants me to come in for a needling sometime next week, and Mei Xiang learned some serious martial arts during her pseudopregnancy. She and Tian are back together and, if you're lucky, you can see some great play sessions between the two of them. Tian seems to be letting Mei wail away at him more, which means she isn't looking to break away so quickly; it's a lot of fun. Sunday they were really active about 3:40 p.m. Probably the best time to look is early in the morning, say around 8:00 a.m. when they're let outside or mid to late afternoon, about an hour before they go inside (which is around 5:00 p.m.). All times change at the end of October. She kept using this really great move where she'd break away from Tian and run towards the tree she traditionally uses to escape him, but, as he drew close, she would spin and rear up so that both front paws could smack down on his head.

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