“Well, the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim, he's a Christian. He's always been a Christian. But the really right answer is, what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer's no, that's not America. Is there something wrong with some 7-year-old Muslim American kid believing that he or she could be president?” — Colin Powell



Oh damn it! I am excited about Obama becoming president. I am not impartial. I am not detached, disinterested, jaded, cynical, skeptical, disbelieving, or apathetic. I will be disappointed if Obama is not elected. And I will be disappointed if he does not live up to the promise he has shown.

In 1994, I voted in my first election, in the first free South African elections, driving down to Atlanta with my Dad. To my shame and everlasting regret, I didn't vote for the ANC, thinking in some teenage-logical way that since the result was certain, keeping things slightly more balanced was important. I voted against Nelson Mandela.

I learned that my vote may not count mathematically, tactically, or practically, but voting is not just numeric: mysteriously, you vote also with your heart. The slips of paper, the tallies, glow with something borrowed from the human spirit.


Of course, I see flaws, inconsistencies, dangers, reversals, politicking, unknowns. I don't think things are simple, and I don't pretend to understand enough to know how things like economics and foreign policy really work. I know that to some extent, all we see are polished, manufactured images. I want to avoid the mindless adulation/hate and/or hate/adulation craziness, and the endless batting back and forth of pre-rolled talking points. But I also want to avoid the cynical disengagement, the simplifying decision to assume that all candidates are equally fake.

For better or for worse, I like both candidates. I believe they are both gloriously and ingloriously human, they both care deeply, they both struggle to do right and best, they are both motivated by the fair, the noble, the admirable, as well as the other crap. Are we not all? I like McCain, and think he would make a fine president. But right now, Obama has my heart!

Weekend Camping Trip

This weekend, Bevin and I went camping at Lake Conasauga with the Rothnies and the Sims. It was beautiful: wet and misty at first (and freezing at night), and sunnier as time went on (and freezing at night). We left on Friday and returned on Sunday afternoon, taking it easy and not feeling the need to hurry. It was Spenser's first camping trip — he did great, and loved it, although he got a lot of, “You're very pretty to be out here” comments because the poodle people gave him a super-poofy hairdo.

On the way home, we ate at our favourite Mexican restaurant in Ellijay, out on the dog-friendly porch — cheap and delicious!

We'd love to go camping more often!