Thursday, December 22, 2005

‘Twas an hour before closing…

and all through the Capitol, not a creature was stirring, except me.
The Assembly had a half day today, and many of the Senate offices closed early too. The building is eerily silent and while I was walking around on my lunch break I felt like I was in a weird dream where I am transported to the center of California government only to realize that no one is charge of the state.

It was particularly startling to walk into the empty halls from my buzzing office. We’re in here busily chipping away at next year’s bill ideas until five. I am learning that our work ethic has quite a reputation around here.

I don’t mind staying a bit longer than other staffers because I’m pretty excited about the bill ideas that I’m following. I have a number of initiatives that are on the cutting edge of privacy policy. I wish I could tell you about them, but they’re classified.

O.K. nothing is really classified, but I still shouldn’t post about what I’m working on.

After hours, I’ve been busy with mundane activities that eat up a lot of time: holiday shopping, GRE test preparation, regularly visiting my doctor to deal with a serious infection that makes me really exhausted and won’t go away.

My infection has really been the defining characteristic of my life for the past few weeks. If not working, shopping, or studying, I’ve been in bed. The bacteria that makes me sick has grown resistant to a number of antibiotics. I’m trying a third antibiotic now, and I think it may be working (fingers crossed). In January, I’m getting passed from the care of my doctor to an urologist who may understand why I get sick so often. Oh, I just can’t wait to find out what kind of unsavory procedures are common for urology patients.

So, I’ve had a mundane couple of weeks. Devin and I leave tonight for San Diego and L.A. and I hope that I feel well enough when I’m down there to engage in some holiday revelry that's worth writing about.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


I pushed my GRE test date back to December 30th because I am not ready to take it this weekend. The point of moving the date was to increase the amount of time that I have to study. Will this work? Probably not with me.

Since I moved my test date, I haven't picked up my study book. This, obviously, is not good. So I'm pledging to give up a few lazy habits until I take the test or until I'm sure I can score 800 on both sections (I'm guessing the test will come first).

I am officially renouncing all of my favorite things that are not more important than the GRE (just until I take the GRE anyway):

1. Watching King of the Hill
2. Developing new plans of attack in the hopeless battle to straighten my Half-fro
3. Making lists of music that I can only afford to buy later and will never really buy (you see I have a thing with lists.)
4. Tidying up my already-clean room (Neatfreak is not a nice thing to call anyone, I prefer neatnick, thank you.)
5. Talking to my fish (who only have 3 second memories and are incapable of really appreciating my attention anyway.)
6. Spending any more time on this weird, sad list.

Just for the record, I have real interests and hobbies that are far less pathetic than the past-times listed here. These are just the weird obsessions that don't improve the quality of my life and that I'm better off ditching until I have more time to waste.
My California

I submitted my first bill to Leg. Counsel today. It isn't much worth mentioning, since the language had already been pulled together for me. Still, it's mine now. The next bill that I'm turning in will be a bigger challenge; I am responsible for preparing my own language to take to Leg. Counsel. This is exactly what I came here to learn to do, so, cool.

Monday, December 05, 2005

2 pi r...

I'm taking the GRE in 14 days. Which means I have exactly 14 days to memorize everything that I need to measure odd shapes and make pointless comparisons. The GRE quantitative section is really just a measure of how well I can eyeball a question and utilize some quickly memorized trick to find an answer so no calculators are allowed. That's fine with me, but it seems like a pretty pointless measure of who will do well in graduate school.

Pointless or not, the GRE is the measure that gets used. I hope I can pull this off.

And 2 pi r is the circumference of a circle. Don't pretend you remembered that. I refuse to believe that anyone would.

Friday, December 02, 2005


was yesterday. I'm being conscious a day late. I was disappointed to see that this very serious international health crisis didn't get much play in yesterday's news. The articles that I found focused on the growing population of Californians living with HIV/AIDS. As it turns out, much of this growth is attributable to new drugs that improve and prolong the lives of POS Californians.

That's good news for us, but the story isn't as promising for people living with HIV/AIDS in the rest of the world. This week, the Center for Health and Gender Equality (CHANGE) accused the Bush administration of actively undermining HIV prevention in Africa. The Bush Administration has already given Uganda 8 million dollars to implement the President's Emergency Plan for HIV/AIDS relief (PEPFAR), which advocates 'abstinence and faithfulness' as the ONLY methods of prevention. Condom promotion and distribution--the most effective method of fighting the spread--has dropped as desperate Ugandan health agencies have accepted PEPFAR funding.

Check out the website and the press release. I know a lot of people prefer to ignore Africa, but the Bush Administration's attitude about HIV/AIDS prevention doesn't end with AIDS and it doesn't end in Africa. This is just one more demonstration of the administration's willingness to enforce their own thoughtless agenda the cost of human life.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Soul Food

Last night I went Salsa dancing with my fellow Fellows. It was so nice to get out with everybody since I usually miss all of the fun when I'm out of town on the weekends. The dancing reminded me that I'm human because I'm such a terrible salsa dancer and yet it was still so fun.

Tonight I saw Cornell West speak at Sac State. I've always been a fan of his work, but have never had the opportunity to hear him say the words that he writes. His love was so powerful that it was almost contagious. He reminded me that I am human only through my commitment to humanity.

Last night and tonight helped me remember how great it is to make time for the things that make us feel good.