On One Hand

May 30, 2007

I met someone.

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 1:18 pm

I just met someone. Rather, I took a serious look at someone I already knew. We hit it off. I had been single for exactly a year, to the day; it was the morning after my birthday that we made plans to go out. For the first time in my life, I made the first move and kissed him next to the pool table at the bar. He didn’t say anything; he just looked at me and smiled for a long time.

Now I’m in that fuzzy honeymoon period between conception and definition; not quite a “boyfriend,” but I can’t beleive it has only been eight days since we met. We can’t beleive it. We are, in the words of a common friend, “an item,” which means something people will talk about. This is the true indication of a relationship. I can sense the news now spreading through the town like ripples.

We are cute together. We were dancing with each other at a bar last night and an attractive, well-dressed 30-something guy bought us both drinks. I think he was trying to impress the girl he was with, but my boy thinks he was hitting on us; yes, on both of us. It was an alluring event for us, but we are too new to entertain those kinds of ideas. This whole situation is a first for me.

When the days pass, they feel like hours, and when I look back at them they feel like months. When I look at him I think I must have known him all my life. I’m working on the little notes I will hide in his bedroom over the weeks to come. We both say we’re surprised that this has happened, but someday we will look back at this and muse over how natural it actually was, that it couldn’t have been any other way.


May 22, 2007

Protected: Roommates

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May 18, 2007

Protected: Its my Birth Week!

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May 16, 2007

Protected: Anger Management

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May 13, 2007

Weekend Update

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 12:49 am

I know these I-ate-rice-today entries are lame but I need to do it just this once to explain where things are going.

School’s out! At least for a while; I’m going right back in a few weeks. I’ll probably be writing for the Boulder Daily Camera (circulation 33,000) this summer, doing features. That’s my last requirement for the Journalism degree, and I’ll be able to focus on Creative Writing and Religious Studies. I’m hoping I’ll get to write a few good religion articles for the Camera. Unfortunately I don’t think I’ll be able to post the articles here a few weeks after they’re printed like I did with the Campus Press articles, but I’m not certain about that. I’ll ask.

My laptop is officially dead. Flat out dead. Weeks ago I was saying it would only come on on if I left it switched off for 24 hours or more, but now it isn’t turning on at all. I’ve been told by many people that it’s a “power system” problem, so, whatever. Dunno what to do about that except replace the system. That might take a while. In the mean time, I’ll be updating from other peoples’ computers.

Now that school’s out I’m officially able to have friends. I might also get laid once in a while. Meet someone interesting, fall in love, you know, whatever.

I don’t think I got straght A’s this semester. I got at least one A- but that’s the only grade I’ve seen so far. I’m thinking of one class in particular where I am expecting a B. But other than that, everything looks good.

I’m officially published in two places! (Not counting newspapers). Those places are Illiterate magazine and the Walkabout, a student literary journal. Not much to brag about so far, but hopefully, now that I finally know what I’m doing, the future will bring more published clips to me. I didn’t “submit” anything I got published; they were both requested by people who were on staff and thought shomething I wrote was relevant to their respective publications, so maybe if I actually advocate for myself I’ll get to publish more. Since I’m on staff for Illiterate now, my main focus there will be getting other people’s submissions rather than plugging my won. That said – please submit! Email me or go to il.lit.er.ate Magazine.com if you’re interested in publishing your work. We do fiction, nonfiction, articles, poetry, personal essays, photos, artwork, or ANYTHING you have – even music. So if even remotely creative, don’t be afraid to jump in and post your work on our webpage!

May 3, 2007

Polls twist Democratic Race

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 7:05 pm
Tags: , , ,

In nation wide hypothetical match-ups for the 2008 Presidential election, John McCain beats Hillary Clinton by a comfortable margin. Against Obama, the race is nearly tied, with Obama sometimes coming out ahead. The polls show both Hillary’s weaknesses and John McCain’s formidable popularity.

Giuliani generally beats Hillary too, and also beats Barack Obama, but by a smaller margin.

Republicans are not in love with either McCain or Giuliani, but if either man is chosen for the ’08 race, Hillary may not be the best Democrat to put forward in the general election. To do so could result in a Democratic loss in a scenario in which national and global events – including the unpopularity of George W. Bush and the perpetually exploding fireball of the Iraq war – should otherwise indicate a nearly-certain Democratic win.

McCain is thought of as a moderate, but his win would not be good for those with Democratic ideals. McCain maintains the foreign policy of the Bush administration and is more conservative than he appears to be. His image as an independent thinker, though, would make him nearly impossible to beat by front-running Democrats, putting the dems in a lose-lose situation.

If Giuliani were to win the Republican nomination, its implications for Democrats would be both positive and negative. First, Giuliani would be a tough candidate to beat on issues, since he is a moderate, and is thought of as a 9/11 hero. His Republican yet New Yorker status would appeal to independent voters and loyal Republican voters would still choose him. But since Giuliani is a social liberal, Evangelical voters might either stay home on election day or be persuadable by by the Democratic candidate. We might actually see a Democrat take over the South – especially if it’s John Edwards. But if Giuliani did win the presidency, Democrats would get Republican president they might actually agree with from time to time. The Evangelical vote may even be permanently split. Meanwhile Giulani’s rough manner and personal history would doom his presidency to unpopularity among the very conservatives and moderates who voted for him, which could lead to Democratic victories in congress and in future elections.

I’ve made a list of every hypothetical match that is likely to happen in 2008 with my own outcome predictions. My figures might favor Democrats, but the way I see it, the whole country favors Democrats right now.

My hypothetical match-ups

May 1, 2007

An Experiment

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 9:09 pm

I have about 30-50 more pages of writing to do this semester for class. The semester ends in 1 week.

Years ago I added up all the pages I had written over the course of a semester and was shocked to come up with something like 80 pages. This time I think I’ll far exceed that. That’s my hypothesis. Now lets go through this….

Here’s what I’ve written so far:

In the last two weeks:

Response to Letters from Cairo, Pauline Kaldas: 4.5 pages, 1,350 words
Essay on Holocaust Literature based on Fugitive Pieces, Anne Michaels: 5 pages, 1,500 words
Final research paper on salvation in Islam: 8 pages (including footnotes), 2,200 words (including Bibliography)
Book response to The Trouble with Islam Today, Irshad Manji: 2.5 pages, 700 words
Discussion/presentation on “People of the Book” in Islam: 6.5 pages, 1,600 words
Site Visit paper on Muslim Awareness Week event: 5 pages (including footnotes), 1,500 words (including Bibliography)
Total Academic Writing in last 2 weeks: 30.5 pages, 8,850 words

So, in the whole month of April:

All of the above, plus
Queer Theory lit theory presentation hand-out: 2 pages, 500 words
Queer Theory lit theory essay (the half I did): 1 page, 400 words
In depth analysis project for passage in King Lear: 16.5 pages, 4,500 words
Total Academic Writing in April: 50 pages, 14,250 words

This semester:

All of the above, plus
4 1-page reading response forms: 4 pages, 1,200 words
Response to A Generous Orthodoxy, Brian McLauren: 2 pages, 600 words
Response to “Good Country People,” Flannery Oconnor: 2.5 pages, 750 words
Take-home Midterm for Lit. Analysis: 7 pages, 2,000 words
Response to Gonzo Judaism, Niles Goldstein: 3 pages, 650 words
Lit. Analysis Portfolio: 11 pages, 3,500 words
Personal essay, “Asperger’s Syndrome”: 16 pages, 5,150 words
Personal essay part II, “$500:” 12 pages, 2,400 words
Total Academic Writing So Far This Semester: 107.5 pages (double spaced), 30,500 words

Of course, I wrote much more than that in other places, including in this blog. This blog alone has over 100 pages of writing since January 10. With some of that included…

Non-academic writing:

All of the above, plus:
Livejournal Entries (public): 145 pages, 32,300 words (I copy/pasted the contents of the journal, shrank the font to 12, then double-spaced it).
Other collected writing/private entries: 45 pages, 10,700 words
Total non-Academic Writing So Far This Semester: 190 pages, 43,000 words.

I’m not going to start getting into emails or handwritten stuff. Those don’t count.

297.5 pages, 73,500 words

By Comparison:

The average novel is about 500 typed pages and has about 120,000 words

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens has 103 pages, 28,578 words

The Bible (Old and New Testaments) has 774,746 words, or 2,582 pages in a Microsoft Word document.

More French Election Madness – Thomas Hollande and Royal endosements

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 2:45 pm
Tags: , ,

A Pretty Family:

We’ve talked about the attractiveness of Ségolène Royal, the Socialist party candidate in the 2007 French presidential election. She would not only be the first woman president in France, but also, at age 53, the hottest national leader in human history.

Ségolène Royal

A person we have not yet discussed is her son, 22-year-old Thomas Hollande, who is campaigning for Royal (BBC article) by running his mother’s website. Thomas is the oldest of Royal’s four children, fathered by Francois Hollande, Royal’s domestic partner, who is also a politician and ran against Royal for the Socialist Party nomination.

“Thomas Hollande Runs his Mother’s Website”
(BBC photo caption)

Thomas Hollande le 18 janvier 2007. REUTERS. (Liberation.fr photo caption)

Source: AFP/ BBC News and REUTERS/ Liberation.fr

It’s official; we have not only the sexiest woman in politics globally, but also, hands-down, the most attractive family in France.

Far be it from me to draw from stereotypes, especially when it comes to Europeans who break American gender roles, but it gives me some hope that Royal is extremely pro-gay in her politics, and her son, pictured above, is sitting surrounded by pink posters. Perhaps he could be persuaded by my in-depth (and mostly favorable) analysis of his mother to come out for some drinks next time he’s Stateside…

Royal’s Cheerleaders:

In other news, Royal is soaking up endorsements from several sectors of French society. A lobby of scientists endorsed her today, following weeks of endorsements from French intellectuals and artists in a country where, in contrast to the U.S. politics, big film actors are just as likely to veer to the Right-wing party.

According to public poling, Royal wins by small margins in all age categories from 18-49, especially in the youngest group. But France has a low birthrate and a top-heavy sage distribution, and Sarkozy is slightly ahead in the 50-64 category and far ahead in the 65+ category, giving him the lead.

Sarkozy has 91 percent of those who supported Chirac in the first round of the last Presidential election in 2002, and 80 percent of those who supported Le Pen then. Royal, on the other hand, dominates most of the leftist and third-party supporters. There is very little difference between the voting preferences of women and men, both giving slight leads to Sarkozy, but the lead is smaller among women.

Royal’s popularity is strongest in the Western side of France near Spain and Brittany, and in the lower-class suburbs of Paris. Districts in Southwestern France are traditional Socialist strongholds. Meanwhile, voters are more conservative in the Eastern districts bordering Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and the Mediterranean coast, and poll toward Sarkozy.

Royal is more of a pioneer than we think:

In America, France is reviled as a Leftist nation, home to pacifists, feminists, and Marxists; as if France’s disdainful take on American foreign policy somehow implies that all these other outward-stereotypes are true. But Royal is the first serious woman candidate in a country with a sorry history of women in politics. Few realize that France didn’t give women the right to vote until after World War II and has proportionately fewer women in Parliament than current Afghanistan. This article from the Houston Chronicle sums it up. France has not been led by a woman since Catherine de Medici, who was Regent of France from 1560 to 1563 while King Charles IX was deemed too young to rule.

French Election Heats Up

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 2:06 pm
Tags: , ,

The 2007 French presidential election is building in intensity as voters from the Left and Right rise up against Nicolas Sarkozy, the Conservative front-runner who is otherwise almost six points ahead in election forecasts.

Sarkozy has enjoyed a consistent lead in public opinion polls, most recently scoring 53 points to Socialist party opponent Segolene Royal‘s 47. Sarkozy has not dropped below 51 percent support in polls since the first round of voting on April 22 selected him to face Royal in the final contest.

But centrist Francois Bayrou – who came in third with 18.5 percent of the first-round vote and is more popular in the nation overall than Sarkozy – has appeared publicly in debates with Royal, linking the two together. Royal softened her criticism of Bayrou’s ideas and even said that she might support Bayrou for Prime Minister if she won the presidency. Earlier, Royal had mentioned supporting another popular moderate for the French PM, indicating at least a partial commitment to appeal to centrism after arriving in office. Bayrou initially declined to endorse Royal, criticizing both frontrunners, but has more recently focused his criticism on Sarkozy. This possible alliance has not influenced polls yet, but may give Royal a tiny bounce if it becomes more apparent.

Royal was behind Sarkozy by 6 points in the first vote, so would need more than two thirds of Bayrou’s supporters to win on May 6, and is currently not expected to get enough votes (polls give her 44 percent of Bayrou’s voters while Sarkozy is getting 33 percent). But with an improved alliance between the moderate Left and a Centrist, there is potential for voters to re-allign before Sunday’s election. One in 5 French voters still claims to be undecided.

Sarkozy is also facing challenges from the Right. Far-Right nationalist Jean-Marie Le Pen, who got about 11 percent of the initial vote, just called on his supporters to boycott the May 6 election, refusing to support either Sarkozy or Royal. Because Le Pen is a far-right icon, his first-round voters poll heavily toward Sarkozy, and even a partial boycott could be enough to challenge Sarkozy’s current 6-point lead.

To many French voters, Sarkozy is sort of a George W. Bush figure, being generally disliked by political adversaries and moderates but still favored over his opponent. He is openly pro-American, while opponent Segolene Royal has nuanced that she is pro-American but not pro-Bush. Mirroring the 2004 Presidential election in the United States, the French election is a referendum on the frontrunner, and “anybody but Sarkozy” voters make up a substantial portion of Royal’s camp – voters who have repeatedly compared Sarkozy to America’s dear W. Also similar to the U.S. election is Royal’s support abroad, where polls in almost every European country outside France chose her over Sarkozy for her accepting approach to outsiders. Royal also beat Sarkozy in most voting French protectorates and opinion polls around the world, except in the United States. Sarkozy’s France-first nationalism and anti-immigrant platforms have cost him support among foreigners and ethnic minorities, but French Conservatives worrying about the influx of Muslims in France are rewarding him for it.

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