Tuesday, January 16, 2007

I've moved!

Change of Blog: squeezable.blogspot.com

Sunday, November 12, 2006

As nearly anyone not living under a rock (and even some that are) should know by now, the Democrats have won back Congressional control with a sizable majority in the House, and a razor-thin-please-lieberman-don't-switch margin in the Senate. Nearly every political pundit is wondering how this elected by referendum party will lead in the two years until the ever so important 2008 presidential elections.

I'd like to throw my meager voice into the fray.

Before doing that, I'd like to qualify myself. I am a liberal, and I pass all the major litmus tests to that effect. I'm pro-choice, think that the opposition to gay marriage is betraying our foundation as a tolerant nation, and my bleeding heart is warmed by such things as raising the minimum wage, and making sure our nation's poor have their basic needs met. I'm against having my phone lines wiretapped, and fully think dunking folks of any ethnic or religious denomination in water is classified as torture. I don't think that this is surprising, given my demographic category (24, Woman, Minority, NYC-dweller), but it's rarer than ever to hear any Democratic politician openly admit to these things.

As people like Heath Schuler and Jim Webb won over their Republican constituents, one thing became clear: Democrats are running further to the right than ever before. This isn't your Clintonian center either, a good handful of them are socially conservative candidates, who are keen to out-God their "right-wing nut job" opponents to win the crucial 'independent' votes in a country where nearly every state that could, voted to ban gay marriage.

I say, good for them. Look, in our political party system of today, each side has a pretty big tent, and I hope there's room on our side for the God-Loving Progressives as much as there is for the Liberal Guilt Pelosis of the world. As social sentiments run increasingly to the right in America, who better but a conservative Christian to convince the public that discriminating based on race, religion, or sexual orientation is amoral?

So this is my plea to govern from the center, but not forget what we stand for. As Barack Obama once highlighted, even though the pundits like to divide us up into the red states and the blue states, our similarities are often much greater than our differences. I hope that these new Democrats can do what the Republicans before them promised to do but never tried, get the right things done in an ethically sound and bipartisan way.

And for God's sake, get out of Iraq.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Flying into Washington has a very different feeling from flying into New York. From the air, New York is loaded with lights, moving objects, and a dusty grimness that indicates that each square inch of the city is lived in. At Reagan National, as you come from the south, and then circle back to make a North-Westerly landing, you see the evenly spaced, base-lit, gleaming white monuments denoting that this is a city that was built around something else entirely, it's less of a living city, more of a city dedicated to memorialize those who had lived.

On the ground, the white marble shows its age. There's something about it all that just seems to be a metaphor for the raison d'etre of D.C. It's the seat of a government built on lofty ideals and an unparalleled vision of freedom. And yet, this year, in such an important election year, the American political system is, more than ever to me, betraying its cracks.

It's everywhere, the nation-building that's leading a country into civil war, the jerrymandering that leaves increasingly less political officials with a true accountability to the independent voter. It's the fact that nearly everyone that we've elected into office seems to care more about doing the party thing, instead of doing the right thing.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

It could be a year.

Seems like it should have taken longer?

Thursday, September 14, 2006

It could just pass you by

Can you believe it's September? Like, it's fall, and it's getting colder, and the traffic is building up on the Long Island Expressway.

When did it become end-of-summer? For that matter, when did it become mid-summer? The last time I checked, it was June, and I was happily anticipating three months of warm NYC weather.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

It could shake its money maker

I heart the MTV Video Music Awards. I do! Really. All the glitzy, hammy, retarded, drama-filled, ridiculousness of it.

So that's what I'm doing tonight.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

It could vote for George W. Bush

I have been living in some part of Manhattan for the last seven years. I know this, because around this time in 1999, I moved into Carman Hall, with the help of some red-shirted Columbia juniors. So it may be safe to say that it has been seven years since I've had political conversations with people who called themselves 'Republicans'.

As a disclaimer, I'm political, and I'm liberal. This shouldn't be too much of a surprise, given that I'm under 30 and living in New York City. I once talked to a girl that grew up in Manhattan who recalled her dismay in the 2000 elections: "I had no idea Republicans even existed", she had said, still confused at how Red that map looked.

It's a nice bubble to fall into. Any political disagreements here are mitigated by the fact that at the core, you and your opponent wants the same thing: gay rights, strong social programs, a woman's right to choose, and Bill Clinton back in office.

Imagine my surprise to enter a workplace outside of the dynamic, young, professional culture of Manhattan. Here they were, the Republicans. Not just the libertarian kind, but the "SendthemtoGuantanamo-IhateHillary-Anyabortioniskilling" kind. The kind that cringe whenever you mention your personal political heroes, and couldn't be further from the liberal end of the spectrum if they tried.

I'm exaggerating, of course. A north-east republican is pretty much the same as a conservative democrat in any other part of the country. Even then, it's a strange thing to actually have to defend my basic beliefs.

It has been a long time since I sat down and saw the arguments from both sides. Having a true conversation where you are forced to acknowledge that very opposing sides of an argument may both have merits can be eye-opening. It may not change opinions, but, you know, you get so used to caricature-izing the Republican party followers that when it turns out to be composed of real people, who seem to be intelligent with fairly well-thought-through arguments, it gives you reason to pause. All of a sudden, you can't dismiss overwhelmingly-red heartland America with "they don't know any better." All of sudden, you have to address the fact that even smart, fairly un-selfish people may actually be on the other side.

I may not agree with them, but I've remembered how to respect them, again.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

It may fall asleep before 10pm

It's the mornings that kill me.

I, admittedly, have never been a morning person. In college, I famously scheduled my classes to start after 11am. And I would say that a third of the time, I'd miss the 11am ones anyway. Left to my own devices, I'd stay in my double sided pillow topped queen bed all morning. It's a gift, really.

So, when I accepted a job that, unlike every other job that a sane Manhattanite takes, means taking the not-so-scenic, and very traffic-heavy car ride out to Long Island every morning, I should have realized it would have conflicted with my precious morning lounge time.

Getting up at 6 am means I go to bed at 10, being completely non-functional (Or as He would put it, Very Cranky) with less than 8 hours of sleep. Going to bed at 10 means I miss the best of TV, barely get to catch up on my reading, and feel like my evenings involve nothing but eating a hastily assembled dinner and hitting the sack, as they say.

It's a sort of meager existence during the workweek. People leave the urgency of professional consulting for the leisure of industry in search of the wonders of a work/life balance. (let's pause on the implication of that oft-used term, you can't have work AND life together, they have to be balanced against eachother) And yet, the rigidity of an 8 to 6 life, without the cushy unstaffed time, has its own drawbacks. It can be a taxing thing to 'bring it' every day, without the twin parentheses of project kickoffs and deliverables on your mental workload, and minus the promise of a couple days in between to relax that brain and surf the web.


I'd go on, but it's already past my bedtime.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Summer Pictures

Sunday, August 20, 2006

It could look at you in a baleful manner

I just bought a new computer, since the old firm took back the laptop that held my life.

It's a very strange thing to move out of the consulting world, with the always-attached-to-your-shoulder laptop, and the expectation of taking work home with you at the end of the day. In fact, it's a very new thing to be viewing the strategy of a company from a holistic perspective. Usually, as a consultant engaged on a project of a company of the Fortune 100 persuasion, I'd see a project, a division, an objective. Overall, I'm glad to be here, playing CEO. The commute is murderous, but at least I'm home for dinner, and I can drive to exotic places like Costco and IKEA.

On another note: