Sunday, November 30, 2008

catching up on epcot food & wine

Back in October, we went to Orlando for our annual family outing to the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Below is an album with my favorite pictures...I'll have a longer post later about the food!

Epcot Food & Wine 2008

a woman's heart

Back in August, I started A Woman's Heart at my church. It ended about a month ago, and I had a little tear in my eye by the end. You know when something is so good, you just don't want it to end? I loved every minute of it. It went far too quickly! I strongly recommend the study to any woman, or man for that matter. I have a much deeper understanding of the Tabernacle and I am looking expectantly toward heaven - I can't wait to see what the Tabernacle could only echo down here on earth. We ended by partnering up and praying over each other, and then we said goodbye. I can't wait for January and a new study!

catching up on...manila mart

So a while ago, I let you all in on a visit to Manila Mart. Not too long after the visit, we made some of the food, which I also briefly talked about in that post. But I thought I'd share a picture of the food, just to show you how good it looked! And tasted :) Next to the rice, you can see the lumpia - pork & shrimp. Not as good as my dad's, but tasty. The big white bun is a siopao - pork bun. We steamed them and they were perfect.

Plus being around my dad this holiday weekend made me remember that I was supposed to post these a while ago. Expect many more "catching up" type posts...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

thanksgiving reflections

Happy Thanksgiving!

The half marathon was good - the last half was really hard! 4 hills :( But downhill to the finish so that was nice :) My #1 fan Ryan and a coworker from Turner came to cheer me on. Of course, I'll have more details & pictures later...some time. So behind.

But today I just wanted to reflect on all the things I am thankful. As I ran today, I kept singing  an old summer camp song in my head...

I will enter His gates with thanksgiving in my heart
I will enter His courts with praise
I will say this is the day that the Lord has made
I will rejoice for He has made me glad!

He has made me glad! He has made me glad!
I will rejoice for He has made me glad!

And of course that song brings me to Psalm 100, which I read this AM before the race. My favorite phrase is "Know that the Lord, He is God." If there is one thing I am most thankful for this year, it is the way that God has continually revealed Himself to me and helped me to know Him more deeply each day.

And I think of the things I love and write about each day, running, this country, food, my relationship with God. 

I am so thankful that I can even run - I have 2 legs that work and amazingly can run for multiple miles at a time. I've ran this past year pretty much injury free. I've had an amazing supporter in Ryan, without whom I would not be at this point. And I've had some amazing friends & family, who came to what races they could and supported me emotionally through each one. I've been able to run some pretty cool courses and met some great people. Running has stretched me mentally and challenged me physically, and it has been quite a blessing, even on the days I've dreaded it.

I am so thankful for this country. Our freedoms that I take for granted each day. I was reminded today of the sacrifices our fellow countrymen make when a group of Marines ran past me in perfect lines, singing "left right left right" and carrying the American flag, tall & proud. I think of my aunt who served so many years in the Air Force and continues to work to keep our country safe. I love these men & women, the sacrifices they have made for me. I love this country and the values that we stand for. God bless America!

I am so thankful that not a day has gone by that I didn't have food to eat! And that I've gotten to try a lot of new foods and learned how to cook (and save money). I take this for granted every day, I don't even think about how blessed I am when there are so many people around the world who are starving or lack sufficient food.

And as I said before, I am so glad that I've grown a little more this year in my relationship with God. He's really taught me daily discipline in spending time with Him. I've also learned a lot more trust in Him in the area of money and finances, especially in these uncertain times. It's been so liberating! And I've been able to get more involved with my church and grown in a Bible study there and in service opportunities in the community & world. For these things I give the most thanks, and give Him all the glory!

So happy Thanksgiving y'all! Hope you ate a lot of turkey today :)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

last race

So tomorrow I have many things to be thankful for, not the least of which is my last race this year! Yay!!! No more races until the big one in January!

I can't believe the day is here already. If you're in ATL and up for a little spectating, I should be crossing the finish line at Turner field between 9:19 and 9:39. That's my best guess.

See you there!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Next Mon: Palin in GA!

Oh my gosh! Who wants to go with me?

Just read on the Peach Pundit: Sarah Palin will be in GA stumping for Saxby. Not 1, not 2, not 3, but FOUR appearances!

8:30 am in Augusta - ahem Mom & Holly you better go!!
11:00 am in Savannah
1:30 pm in Perry
4:00 pm in north metro Atlanta - think I'm gonna try my very hardest to make it!!

When Palin first got the VP nod, I was so so so excited! As the campaign wore on, my enthusiasm dimmed a little, especially after McCain lost. But, I'm still a fan. I would LOVE to see her.

Monday, November 24, 2008

16 mile plateau & link of the day

So I have reached the 16 mile plateau! I did it yesterday, back & forth W. Paces Ferry Rd. I have to say the first 6 were a breeze (maybe the 10k is my strongest run?). When I got to 12, I was starting to feel the pain. Miles 13-15 were painful (my little toe was bleeding :(!). Mile 16 was a little easier, because I knew I was at the end! Amazing what the mental aspect can do for you. I am so happy to be at this point in my training, although I was dreading it. I mean, 16 miles is a lot! But now that's one down, 2 more 16-milers to go. Then 18, then 20. Then marathon. When I think of it that way, each milestone becomes less heavy. Pushing the limits and watching myself break's such an exciting time! It really reminds me why I decided to do this in the first place. I really wanted to challenge myself - mind, body & soul. Do something completely crazy, but still reachable. It's so rewarding to see what this goal has done for me in all aspects of my life. I have no idea how much more I will grow in the coming weeks, but I'm staying positive and excited about what these long & longer runs will bring!

I had a little incident on the way that caused me to take a little break...ask me personally if you want to know the details. It's pretty hilarious but I don't know that I should share my little escapade with the world.

And link of the day - I joined the Clif bar (even though I really don't like their products...see gel post) pace team for the Disney Marathon. Now I can run with a group and make sure I finish in under 5 hours. I thought this link was particular cool - make your own pace bracelet! So when you hear splits called out, you'll know if you're on or off your time.

Friday, November 21, 2008

women for Obama!

So I just saw this ad on TV:

Does it make anyone else laugh besides me? Martin holding a "Women for Obama" sign. That's hilarious. Also, I find his hair very funny. It's very slick.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

deployment: yay!

And the volunteer deployment has a happy ending.

Tipped off by one of my Floridian aunts...McCain beat Obama by 5% on election day in Florida. So, it looks like my 4 days of work & the countless hours put in by fellow deployees (is that a word?) made a serious impact! :) hip hip hooray!

But as we know, Obama won Florida, and he did it by outdoing McCain 11% in early & absentee voting.

Which brings me to wonder: were there any early/absentee Obama voters who wanted to change their minds on election day? Or, how many of these early/absentee voters were Acorn related? Just throwing it out there, even though it doesn't really matter at this point.

i love America

I love America. I love America for what it is, for what our founding fathers stood for, and for the freedoms I enjoy each day because of this great land and the people who have defended her.

But then I wonder how many Americans also love America when I read this article on CNN today - Obama poised to rebrand America.

Several of the "expert" quotes really saddened me:

"Americans can actually go to dinner parties and cocktail receptions around the world today and not have to apologize for the United States the way they have had to do the last several years. The election has made life a little bit easier for Americans living and traveling abroad to hold their head up high again."
John Quelch, the senior associate dean at Harvard Business School

"The arrival of Obama, as an African-American president, gives people a reason -- an excuse even -- to start loving America again."
Robin Oakley, CNN's European political editor

Who are these people who are ashamed of America? Why? We are the greatest nation on earth and I don't understand why people feel like we have to apologize to the rest of the world for this. We have the greatest freedoms, the greatest democracy. We had all this before Obama was elected. These people who are ashamed, who can only love America now that Obama has been elected...I just don't understand them. If they're so unhappy, why can't they just leave our country then? What's with the trash talk? Although I guess Obama makes everything better now that they want to stay...I understand you can be upset about Bush. There are things he've done that I've just shook my head in disappointment. But he's still my President and this is still my country, and I'm still going to hold my head high because I live in this "greatest nation on God's green earth" (to steal a line from Michael Medved, hehe). And I probably won't agree much with Obama, but I'm still going to stand behind him as my President. I refuse to talk trash about my America.

And if you think about don't see people trying to illegally get into other countries...No offense to those countries, but America must be pretty great if everyone's trying to move here and take advantage of how good we have it. And that's my rant for the day.

link of the day: black friday

In the spirit of doing my part to stimulate the economy, here is an awesome site that will help you plan your Black Friday shopping. They post Black Friday flyers as they become available, so you don't have to wait til Thanksgiving to know what's going to be on sale. You can sign up for their email list and get updates as ads come out. They also include opening times for stores and a cool personalized shopping list.

I've already got a game plan for Best Buy and I hope they get WalMart's soon!

Romney on Friday

I heard Mitt Romney on Hugh Hewitt last night - had some really great things to say. And what do you know...Gov. Romney will be here in Georgia Friday stumping for Sen. Chambliss. And he's making not one, but two! appearances. Too bad I will miss it! If you go, let me know, take some pics, etc etc.

Please Join
Senator Saxby Chambliss
Governor Mitt Romney

Atlanta Victory Rally 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
10:30 am - 11:30 am

InterContinental Hotel
Venetian Ballroom
3315 Peachtree Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30326

Savannah Victory Rally 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
2:30 pm - 3:30 pm

Charles H. Morris Center
10 East Broad Street
Savannah, GA 31401

Please RSVP to RSVP-at-saxby-dot-org or call (678)589-4888
Please arrive on time.

And! I wrote our senators and such about my feelings of opposition to the this response from Sen. Chambliss (curiously nothing from Isakson, Lewis, Saxby gets bonus points there).

Thank you for contacting me regarding a financial rescue of the automakers. It is good to hear from you.

The automobile industry has deep seated problems that cannot only be solved by more money. Instead, a restructuring of the industry is needed. I am not in favor of using taxpayer funds to bailout the industry.

If you would like to receive timely email alerts regarding the latest congressional actions and my weekly e-newsletter, please sign up via my website at: . Please let me know whenever I may be of assistance.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

just say no

Great!! article from Jonah Goldberg (love him) about saying no to Obama's experimental government. I could not agree more with his view.

Favorite parts:

"In fact, I want to be experimental too. So here's my idea: Just stop.

Stop talking about bailouts and stimuli. Stop pondering ever more drastic action. Give it a rest. Let it be.

One of the main reasons there's all of this "money on the sidelines" out there among private investors is that Wall Street doesn't know what the government will do next. Will it bail out the auto industry? The insurance companies? Which taxes will go up? How far will interest rates go down? How long will the federal government own stakes in the banks? Will more stimulus checks go out? If so, how big will the deficit get?"


"In a time of stability and growth, government can afford bold, persistent experimentation. But in a time of uncertainty, the last thing it needs is more uncertainty. Yet Obama's confident pragmatism, like FDR's, is a threat to confidence where it matters -- among consumers, credit markets and investors.

Yes, letting GM go into bankruptcy would be scary. But a GM bailout merely kicks GM's problems down the road while spreading the contagion about where Uncle Sam's big feet will land next. Besides, bankruptcy isn't the end of the world. It's the means by which bad companies restructure to fix themselves. Bailouts are the means by which governments subsidize bad companies."

7 weeks

7 weeks of training to go til the marathon. This is it! The long haul and then...being done with one of my life goals.

So there are 3 weeks of 16 mile long runs, then 2 weeks of 18 mile long runs (might make the last one a 20 instead). Then 2 weeks to taper. Then, the marathon.

I thought being off 2 wks would put me behind...but it actually put my right on schedule to peak at the right time. No more weeks off! Let's just hope I can run 16 miles this weekend. Will be a new record for me! And then keep up on schedule.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Huckabee at Fair Tax Rally on Sunday

I did not attend the McCain/Chambliss rally today...hey, I do have a day job. I did catch some of it on CNN, particularly McCain's Arizona joke, the same one he told on Jay Leno the other night (really pretty funny).

But there is another rally this weekend, and I'll probably attend. Mike Huckabee will be there along with Chambliss.

Please join Senator Saxby Chambliss and Governor Mike Huckabee for a Fair Tax event like you've never seen before!


Special Guests Include...
US Congressman John Linder and
Nationally Syndicated Radio Host Neal Boortz!

Sunday, November 16th, 2008
2:30-4:30 pm
Gwinnett Center - Grand Ballroom
6400 Sugarloaf Parkway
Duluth, GA 30097

Please RSVP to RSVP-at-Saxby-dot-org and indicate "Fair Tax Rally" or call (678)589-4888

relax then recover

So I went on vacation and relaxed for a week (if you count working on a campaign as relaxing). I had a nice 4 mile run on Bayshore Blvd. Unfortunately, it was the day after the election so I wasn't in the best of spirits. I got it done though. Then the real relaxing came...aka eating my way through Florida (Frontier Steakhouse, poolside cookout at my aunt's house, Epcot Food & Wine festival, Sweet Bay Grocery, MacDill AFB restaurant - can't remember name...).

But all good things must come to an end, and as I returned to Ga this week, with high hopes of getting back into running...bam! I got a cold. That's what happens when you go from 80 degrees and sunny to 60 degrees and drizzly. Yuck. Needless to say, it's been over 2 weeks since I last got a serious run in. This has been a recovery week.

Please pray that I get better soon and get back into running this weekend or next week! I have a half marathon in 2 wks! A marathon in less than 2 months. Freaking out!!!

And a personal note...I thought I was going to catch up on posts while I was in Fl. But, I didn't. And now I'm even farther behind. haha. So it goes! Maybe some day I will catch up on everything!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

links of the day

In response to the impending auto industry bailout, here is a great article from James Quinn, from the Wharton School. It's chock full of charts, graphs, numbers, history etc. and while I think it puts too much blame on Bush and not enough on Carter & Clinton, I particularly like his conclusion...

"My biggest concern is that our politician leaders and their cronies running our government will continue to try and reverse the normal capitalistic course of recession and expansion. Companies need to fail, housing needs to find its bottom based on supply, demand and price. Those who gambled must be allowed to lose and suffer the consequences. If the government attempts to shift the losses to those who lived lifestyles of thrift, an angry uprising will ensue. Government intervention in this natural process could lead to a decade long depression."

That's my biggest concern too. Why is it ok for me to budget, live responsibly, work hard, only to see my money go to someone else who hasn't done any of those things? How long until we say enough is enough? If we're going to bail out each industry, when am I going to get my student loan bailout? Hm?

And in honor of Veterans Day yesterday, here is a cool link to say thank you to those who are still serving our great nation. The goal is to record over 1 million unique thank yous, so that 1 message can appear online every 30 seconds for 1 year. Our servicemen & women can log on at any time from any where and see a new thank you every 30 seconds :) A really big project - I think it's awesome!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

link of the day

A great article on conservatism's current state from SC Gov. Mark Sanford.

I have to say, I really like him...maybe 2012? And I'm also a big fan of LA Gov. Bobby Jindal and FL Gov. Charlie Crist. I think the Republican road to the White House will need to go through a governor next time around...just my 2 cents though.

McCain in ATL Thurs

To help Saxby out. I really love McCain for this. Down but not out, and still fighting for what he believes in: country first.

John McCain is coming to Atlanta to help Saxby!
Republican Presidential nominee John McCain, along with Senator Johnny Isakson, Governor Sonny Perdue, Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, Secretary of State Karen Handel, Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine and many other elected officials will be in Atlanta on Thursday, November 13th for a Victory Rally to help support Saxby Chambliss in his runoff for Senate. The event will begin at 4:30PM.

The rally will be held at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center, located at 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30339. This event is free for all to attend. To RSVP, please email RSVP-at-Saxby-dot-org. For more information contact Justin Tomczak at Justin-at-Saxby-dot-org.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

to do list

so after the election, I came up with a short to do list. Of course, this is all for worst-case scenario for the next 4 years.

1. Memorize the Constitution.
Gotta know what it says before it's changed in light of a Pres who favors a (very) liberal interpretation of it.
2. Buy a gun.
Want to exercise my 2nd Amendment rights in light of a Pres who opposes them.
3. Save all the money I can.
This is hard seeing as I barely make enough money to make it every month. And the holidays are coming up...but in light of a Pres who's economics include the words "redistribution of wealth" and higher taxes if we weren't in a bad economic time, I want to make sure I have as much cash liquidity as possible. Not spending money on anything I don't need.

And as a side anyone else getting the feeling that "change" has already become irrelevant for Obama? Picking Rahm Emanuel, a product of the Chicago political machine who also worked in the Clinton administration...that's definitely looking back towards the old way of doing things. Not to mention what a partisan choice it is...oh and he was on the board of Freddie Mac. The only good thing I've heard about him is that he would take a more moderate position when it comes to the economic crisis. I've been reading other names being circulated for his cabinet, and I can't say that I'm overly thrilled.

Stay optimistic, stay optimistic.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

deployment: exit poll

So as I sit here watching the TV, seeing Obama's victory speech over and over, I think back on my time here in Florida as a volunteer for McCain. It's hard to believe the time is actually over. From the primary season all the way to today, all I'v been thinking about is election day, the candidates, the issues. And now, there's not really anything left to think about, except for how we go forward from here. From the outset, I didn't really like McCain. I voted for Mitt, and beyond Mitt, I can think of a couple other candidates I would have voted for before I would have voted for McCain. But as the stakes became higher, the difference between Republican and Democrat greater, I knew I had to support McCain no matter what. And as the months went on, I wanted to do all I could to help his campaign. With time, I really grew to respect Sen. John McCain beyond his service in the Navy as a war hero. He really is a great politician, and although we may not agree on every issue, he has done some great things for Republicans. He truly is a maverick and I do not know of anyone who loves his country more thatn John McCain.

And now America has chosen Obama. I can only hope that I can go through the same growing process that I went through to support McCain. I hope as we get to know Obama more, that I can support him and his decisions. That I can see his love for America. That I can respect him as a great politician, that really can't be denied when seeing what he's accomplished. And that although we probably won't agree on many issues, that I can still be loyal and see him and be proud of him as my President.

It is hard to move on, especially because my volunteer time has been so rewarding. I met so many cool people, had so many great conversations. The hospitality here is amazing. I got rides to events, invited to dinners & different victory parties, even got an offer to go to Busch Gardens. The other deployed volunteers were amazing as well, and it was so encouraging to know that there are so many of us like-minded who felt the call to go to the battleground states. A group of young Congress staffers from D.C., a retired Navy fighter pilot from Mississippi, a fellow GT alum, an advocate from California, a guy from Alaska. At some points, there were more of us deployed volunteers than Floridians...I remember one Floridian asking "am I the only local one here?"

We had times of excitement and success as McCain supporters were logged through our phone system. We celebrated Giuliani & McCain coming through. We exulted in the Democrats who helped us phone bank. We banded together in hard times, when one of our poll watchers got death threats and when another got chased by an Obama supporter & his dog and when we endured insults while waving signs (again, what is up with mean Democrats?!)

All in all, I am so glad I took the leap of faith and came down to do this. I guess I have a history of up & leaving to do crazy things (New York...Puerto Rico...). But when I really, truly believe in something, and I can do something about it, I do it. I have to. I feel like I've failed if I don't. I am so glad for this country. I believe in it. I am so thankful for the political freedom we have and the chance I had to really get into the process.

And in 4 years...will I do it again? I guess we'll see!

deployment day 4: rollercoaster ride

So my last day volunteering on the McCain/Palin campaign started off guessed it. Phone calls. I made phone calls all day as that was still top priority. Unfortunately I probably had the least success that day with phone calls. I did have one really good call: "are you voting for McCain?" "you betcha! (with Palin accent)" In total for 4 days, I made over 1600 calls.

Emotions were high throughout the day. Their was a frantic air in the room as we feverishly stormed through pages and pages of voter sheets. The bank was really full all day, and I was always encouraged to see new faces who stopped by to make phone calls after they voted for McCain. After phoning for 8 hours, I switched it up to sign duty. I figured the phone calls weren't going to make much of a difference with only a couple hours left at the polls. Maybe by waving signs I could get someone to vote for McCain while they drove to the polls.

Check out this cute baby holding a McCain sign with the help of the mom:

Our little island:

I made another friend and I was digging her pom pom headband:

Once the polls closed, we headed inside to make more phone calls, this time to the Florida panhandle, since their polls were still open. I got a lot more response there for McCain, which was encouraging. And then the moment we had all been waiting for..."WE'RE DONE!!!!" No more phone calls. We thought we were going to make calls out to Colorado and Nevada, but they got assigned to other HQs. So that was it. Done. Finished. Cheers all over and then the pizza & beer all around. Haha. It was a great time of celebration in the collective effort we had put forth. I certainly felt accomplished!

And then...we watched the various news outlets as they started calling states for each candidate. We also had a fair share of "insider" types who knew the real numbers and would update us before the news did. We would cheer for McCain, we would shake our heads in disappointment, we would stare at the TV in shock, we would look to each other in comfort, we would speak out in strength that there was still hope...feeling all kinds of different emotions and always hoping for the best. It was great being in the company of all my fellow volunteers and sharing election night with them. Although I do have to say that I greatly missed Ryan & Raegan and wished I could be at the big party in ATL with them. Although the room cheered for Saxby, it just wasn't the same as being back in the Peach state with my favorite Republicans.

I can't remember what time it was, but once Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Iowa went for Obama, one of the insider guys closed his laptop and said "it's over." The room quieted down and people started to leave. I figured it was time to make my exit as well. I had brought clothes for the victory party over in St. Pete...but I just had no heart to go over there.

And so that was my last day on the McCain/Palin campaign. It was a wild ride.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

election night

I'll have a more in detail post tomorrow about my last day volunteering on the McCain/Palin campaign here in Tampa & Hillsborough County. It truly was an amazing, rewarding, hard, fun, crazy, emotional time. A lot to process. I'm so thankful for the opportunity. I just don't have the heart do it right now! :(

I just wanted to do a quick post on how much my heart aches for America right now. I feel like this is not my country any more. Or it's not the country my founding fathers revolted to create. I look ahead to the next 4 years with so much fear and uncertainty. Although I almost hope that Obama does so badly that it would wake this country up and turn us back to our roots. Is that bad?

No one has called Florida yet, and I have seen Hillsborough turn red, then blue. I hope it turns back to red. I really have a good feeling that McCain can carry it. If he can at least do that, that would make my time here all the more amazing.

Monday, November 3, 2008

election day

An email from John McCain:

My Friend,

From the time I entered the Naval Academy at age seventeen I have been privileged and honored to serve my country.

Throughout my years of service, I've been faced with challenges where I could have taken the easy way out and given up. But I'm an American and I never give up. Instead, I choose to show courage and stand up and fight for the country I love. Today, I am asking you to stand with me and to fight for our country's future.

Our country faces enormous challenges and our next president must be ready to lead on day one. My lifetime of experience has prepared me to lead our great nation. I'm prepared to bring solutions to our economic challenges, bring our troops home in victory and improve our nation's healthcare system.

Time and time again, my country has saved my life and I owe her more than she has ever owed me. I have chosen to show my gratitude through a life of service to our country and tomorrow, you will have a choice before you.

I humbly ask you to make the choice that will allow me to serve my country a little while longer by casting your vote to elect me as your next President of the United States.

Finally, I ask that you never forget that much has been sacrificed to protect our right to vote. We must never forget those Americans who, with their courage, with their sacrifice, and with their lives, have protected our freedom. It is my great hope that you will exercise your right to vote as an American tomorrow.

I thank you for your kind support, your dedication to our cause, and most importantly I thank you for your vote.

With sincere appreciation,

John McCain

deployment day 3: hope on the front lines

I just wanted to share a couple stories wtih you from the phone bank tonight.

First, I got this household:

Does that name look familiar? Haha. No relation, but I thought it was a funny coincidence. When I called, the person on the line was speaking all in Spanish, so I had to get someone who could communicate with them. Boy, am I sooo glad we called them back. The family is Cuban, and they said they are all voting John McCain because they've seen what socialism looks like and what it can do to a country. The woman talked for sooo long, she was so enthusiastic about McCain. And it reminded me of a lady I saw a the rally this AM who had a shirt that said "McCubans for McCain" and when she walked in, she said "I just pray to my Lord every day that he wins!!" There is SO much enthusiasm here for McCain, across all different demographics. It's so encouraging!

Then, I got to speak to a man about his support of McCain. He said "we always vote Republican, you can look me up, I donated $1000 this year." Haha. But then what really made me happy..."we have about 100 family and friends and we are ALL voting John McCain." YAY! Sure, we get our fair share of no answers, answering machines, hang-ups, etc...but when we get calls like this, the whole dynamic of our room changes and everyone can feel the change in the air.

Ok one last phone story...I talked to one woman and asked her about an additional voter in her household. She said unfortunately that her daughter was currently voting for Obama, but that she was fighting for her to vote McCain. I wished her luck and told her I knew she could win that fight! I love encouraging people and it was great to share the struggle with her and give her a little bright moment in her day. It's not just us volunteers. Everyone is and needs to be getting out the vote for McCain. It doesn't matter where you are, if you're voting for McCain, do whatever you can to get even more votes for him. Each one counts, and we need every one we can get!

And the whole time I was at HQ, people were outside waving signs. Cars were honking all day and there was tons of cheering going on. (although there were some meanies who flipped the bird or cussed out some of our volunteers - what is up with that?! I never see Republicans treating others so badly) It's like a big party, everyone is so pumped. I'm nervous about tomorrow, but I have a lot of hope that McCain is going to take this state! :)

deployment day 3: McCain

So, this probably goes without saying, but today is the most awesome day of campaigning yet (and it's only half over even though I've been awake for 8 hours already)!! I actually got to see Senator John McCain and (hopefully) the next President of the United States. It was an exhilarating, overwhelming experience. To see him after watching on TV for so long, and seeing pictures for so actually be in the crowd and be so close, it was really cool! But don't worry, I'm not going to go all gushy like this Obama supporter and say that it was the most memorable moment of my life (it wasn't) and that I'm so glad this day has come, the govt is going to pay my mortgage and fill my gas tank (how could anyone possibly believe that?!)

Anyway, I digress!! Sorry. Everyone has been talking about that Obama supporter and just how crazy people are thinking now, they're not even looking at the issues.

I woke up at 4:30 am. Yeah, I haven't woken up that early since high school for a state literary meet. Haha. Drove on down to Raymond James Stadium. After some organizational issues & down time, finally went through the mags (where there was this really handsome Secret Service guy...), got my volunteer credential, and then did sign duty with a new volunteer friend. We had to confiscate any homemade signs, because they block the camera views of the stage when people hold them up.

Here's everyone going through the mags when the sun was starting to rise. I thought the sky looked really pretty.

After the mags, everyone was guided toward the stage area:

Check out all the remotes.

The stage starting to fill up...I was loving the huge American flag. We said the pledge of allegiance and everything :)

After doing that for about an hour, we switched to helping the caterer carry all the food in for the traveling press. And then I basically guarded the food from the local press (the traveling press pays for the food, so if it wasn't there when they arrived...they would not be happy). It was cool being in the press section for a while, not too crowded (until the traveling press arrived), and I got to watch them making their reports, taping, etc.

The main press riser:

The press area:

Once the traveling press arrived, that meant the Straight Talk Express was pulling in, and the crowd went wild!

After the bus pulled in, I made a beeline out of the press area toward the stage. I didn't want to be so far away! Call me a bad volunteer, hehe. I tried to get a good spot in the crowd. It was hard because I'm so short and am not good at pushing people around, but I tried my best! First, former Buccaneer Mike Alstott took the stage, got the crowd going:

Cindy is so beautiful! I hope I have the beauty & grace that she has when I grow up. Joe Lieberman, Lindsey Graham and FL Gov Charlie Crist also there.

Then McCain got the crowd so pumped up. And he doesn't look, sound, or act old at all! He seems so young & dynamic to me. I enjoyed hearing him speak and was encouraged by how much fight he had in him. This race is definitely not over.

Crowd cheers "Nobama! Nobama!" then "USA! USA!" Then McCain talks economy: "I'm going to make government work on a budget, just like you do."

"Obama's running for redistributionist-in-chief, I'm running for commander-in-chief ...I've been tested, I passed the test."

Closing remarks: "stand up & fight!"

Then the speech was over and McCain took on the rope line. I tried so very hard to shake his hand, but like I said, I'm not very big nor am I good at pushing.

And that was my morning. McCain's off to 6 more states today, I think. Congrats if you made it to the end of the post. I just ate some lunch, took a shower, and now I'm going to power nap before heading back to HQ for more phone calls and whatever else needs to be done!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

deployment day 2: quick laugh

I forgot I took this a quick chuckle out of it.

In case you can't really read it, it says...
You are surveying the BUSH household

Question 1:
Can John McCain and Sarah Palin count on your support this November?

deployment day 2: rudy giuliani

Today's highlight was definitely seeing Rudy Giuliani:

My aunt and cousin went along with me to the Get Out The Vote rally with Rudy Giuliani at Square One Burgers. As you can see from my video (yes, I succumbed to YouTube), Rudy had some great things to say and punctuated it with his trademark wisecracks and humor. He is really a delight to hear. I'm surprised that no network has picked him up for a type of political satire show.

We had really great seats. When we walked in, it was about half full. Aunt Debbie was resourceful and found some chairs that we strategically place behind the front & center table. It was pretty awesome! Then as we were sitting, I said "I wonder if Gov. Crist will be here..." and then lo & behold, my hunch paid off! Surprise guest Gov. Crist!

Cheering for Rudy again!

Taking a picture of Rudy meeting the press...we were on the other side of his vehicle hoping to shake his hand when he got in, but he ended up getting up on the press side :( Oh well!

And then me & Gov. Crist became best friends:

Then it was back to HQ for more phone calls:

The view out HQ front doors. Not too shabby eh? :) Right along the bay.

The phone bank room where I've been spending a looooot of time:

Then later in the afternoon, we headed to Raymond James stadium to go over logistcs for the McCain Countdown to Victory Rally tomorrow. (Gates open at 6 am, McCain will go on around 9 am, and former Bucs player Mike Alstott will also be there.) Here's a preview of what's to come tomorrow!

I couldn't believe I was seeing one of the Straight Talk Express buses right before my eyes! I tried to sneak on with a couple other volunteers...yeah we got denied.

Country first! Can't wait to see these bleachers full and McCain in front tomorrow!

If you can, tune in to any of the news networks to see our Countdown to Victory rally down here in Tampa. 9 am!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

deployment day 1: 500 phone calls

Oh. my. gosh. I am so tired. I don't know about this politics thing. I made 500 phone calls in 11 hours today! We were using registered voter lists from the registrar's office...I don't think they were very accurate. I probably got half wrong numbers/moved addresses as I did live people and correct voicemail boxes. If I were to ever hold a position of influence, I think I would trash the records and require everyone to re-register with proof of residence before each election. I mean, I called a guy who has been dead for 3 years now!! 3 years! Imagine that awkward conversation. "Hi may I speak to so and so?" "uh, that's my dad, and he's been dead for 3 years." "Oh!! I'm so sorry...I uh...uh...thanks for your time!"

I won't get into to many of the details, mostly because I'm totally wiped out right now. The basics are that I called registered voters (rep, dem, ind, everyone) and polled them on who they were supporting. If they were for McCain, I asked them to early vote and gave them more info (except when it got later in the day, then it was all get out the vote on Tues). If they were Obama, I said "thanks for your time, bye!" And if they were undecided, we had a nice little chat :)

Anyway, the long drive down last 11 hour day today. Let's just say I'm SO thankful for daylight savings! I don't know how McCain & Obama teams are doing this for so long. But everyone I met today was pretty nice, it does feel a little awkward being the random girl from Georgia (especially when I asked to turn the GA-FL game on in our phone bank room - we had a nice flatscreen tv - and then GA got their butt kicked. Embarrassing!!). But everyone is so appreciative of the work and I know I made a difference today. Plus the office we're working in is really, really nice. I'll probably take pics tomorrow. I just felt kinda weird being the new girl and taking pictures of everything on my first know?

Ok, tomorrow Rudy Giuliani will be here!

Then Monday, McCain will be here!

It will be worth it I think, just for these 2 events. Because no one ever comes through Georgia...although maybe they should now that Georgia's kind of a toss-up.'s a little spark of hope for any McCain supporters out there...everyone was talking about this at the office today. McCain now leads Obama in the latest Zogby poll - I was told that this is the same and only poll that predicted a Bush win over Kerry in 2004.