Monday, 29 September 2008

37 days till the election...

... not quite sure how that happened - isn't it still August?

today was good, and very productive. Woke up at about 6am and realised my good fortune of the fact that this was the start time of the Singapore GP - a foolish thought though as this, being America, is a country where they don't show coverage on standard cable! Had food and went back to bed before getting up again at about 7.30 and going for a swim.

after much coffee and general milling about in the apartment, I headed down to the IL headquarters for midday. It was lovely to see people again - Sean, Scott and Melissa are all here and I had a lovely welcome! The main work being done from the office is phonebanking to supporters in IL and trying to get them to go out to volunteer in the many swing-states next door (Iowa, Ohio, Missouri, Wisconsin and Indiana). I was working in the front desk, for Jessie and now officially hold a position as one of her minions (I'm on the rota and everything!). The front desk work is predominantly answering the phones, getting volunteers set up on the phones and generally making sure that everyone has everything they need. I also did a few bits and pieces for some of the Field Directors who are looking after those swing states, of which I think I'll be doing more (and I should be more useful tomorrow when I bring in my laptop!).

after the office closed at about 7.30, some of the staffers went out for food and a couple of drinks to a place quite near where I live and it was a lovely chilled out evening. It also helped me stay awake which was good, as I hope that tomorrow I'll be able to sleep in a bit later (jet lag - if you're listening - I'm here trying to do some good in the world so if you could try and stay out of my way so that my brain doesn't turn to jam mid-afternoon, it would be greatly appreciated).

talking of which - I think now is time for bed again - I'm less knackered, more actual zombie right now!

Sunday, 28 September 2008

view from apartment in Chicago!

I arrived (eventually - got onto plane on time, but then sat on the ground for 3 hours)!

got to apartment, checked in, went to T-mobile where I got a prepay phone (email me if you want the number), went to Whole Foods (lots of shiny), phoned the Obama office and discovered that I need to be in at midday tomorrow (how civilized), and am now back at apartment with food and TV! Will go to bed soon (as it's 8.35pm here and I've been up since the equivalent of midnight..)

night night!

Friday, 26 September 2008

packing laptop...

... will prob now not be online again until I get to the States (unless there's a delay on the flight, at which point I may have to, for the sake of my sanity!).

this time tomorrow...

... I'll be on an aeroplane heading to Chicago (or, more likely, sitting in Heathrow T3 waiting for news of when my plane will be taking off)!

I've pretty much packed now, with just a small pile of things on my suitcase still to go in. I've got to sort out my handbag and remember to pack my chargers etc. Last day at work and although I'll be finishing off a project early next week, it feels good.

tonight I'm meeting friends for drinks at Kettners (6.30 if anyone else fancies coming) before going to the cinema and should be home by about 10.30ish to finish the above!

I can't wait to be working on the campaign full-time. We had a rally yesterday where Paul Tewes (DNC GE Director) spoke and then we headed out catch those pesky Americans who have yet to request their absentee ballots. Paul's thoughts were very interesting and inspiring and I can't wait to tell people in Chicago all the work that's going on here. The canvassing was also really successful and I spoke to lots of people who didn't think that they could vote as they'd lived here so long - one even went straight to an internet cafe to go and register there and then! ( is the place to go people!)

got to go now as lots of work to do (meetings all afternoon...), but will try and keep up the blogging whilst I'm away. Will be on email at the usual address, will be taking my UK phone with me (I'll be buying a pay-as-you-go when I get out there), and will also have my work blackberry, so completely contactable!

Monday, 22 September 2008

John Stewart... thank you for the information

OMG... one further reason for Sarah Palin not to be VP - whilst she was Mayor, she supported measures to CHARGE rape victims for their rape kits...

however rubbish I'm feeling right now physically, I can't wait to be spending all the time that I have working for Obama.

full story here.

Aaron Sorkin is a wonderful writer, lest we forget...

BARACK OBAMA knocks on the front door of a 300-year-old New Hampshire farmhouse while his Secret Service detail waits in the driveway. The door opens and OBAMA is standing face to face with former President JED BARTLET.

BARTLET Senator.

OBAMA Mr. President.

BARTLET You seem startled.

OBAMA I didn’t expect you to answer the door yourself.

BARTLET I didn’t expect you to be getting beat by John McCain and a LancĂ´me rep who thinks “The Flintstones” was based on a true story, so let’s call it even.

OBAMA Yes, sir.

It gets better - read the full article here.

I sometimes forget how Sorkin is able to perfectly articulate my views in the most eloquent of ways. Think I may have to watch a bit more West Wing before I go out to the States!

Hat-tip to Adam for find it!

Sunday, 21 September 2008

how amazing does Bette Midler look..?

am watching the Sunday night show of Strictly Come Dancing (which I'm hoping that the BBC iPlayer is going to let me watch from America - otherwise I'll be coming back to it at week 8!). Bette Midler is the guest and she looks completely amazing... and I love her voice so much - she's singing My Hero, but not making saccharine like most versions of it.

had a lovely weekend looking after Ulrick and am back at the packing - I think I've managed to work out what I'm taking in my carry-on - which is good as I now have no time to do any more until Friday evening, whilst Nic and I eat take-away. As this will be my last evening in the country, I don't want to have too much to do!

anyway - the dance-off is about to begin so I shall resume my focused watching of Strictly!

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Yay for cabin baggage allowance!

am happy - I've done my preliminary packing this evening and it wasn't looking good (you have to understand this is not the first cut of clothes - I consider preliminary packing to be about the third cut, but when I first attempt to put it all into/onto the suitcase!). I'd realised that my normal carry-on was going to be too small to fit in everything so I was going to have to buy something else (in the no time that I have to go shopping).

I then checked the Virgin cabin allowance, and my MASSIVE floral bag is within the size restrictions - Woo!

this now means I'm not as stressed as I was, and will not have to compromise on shoes: my New Rock to wear to travel, knee-high boots, 2 pairs of Cons, black heels, 2 pairs of pumps and some flip-flops (no idea what the weather is going to be like - could be warm, could be cold, could be both!).

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

ugghhh... I've had an icky throat for a while now and it's been getting progressively worse with the addition of pain and a bit of a temperature. I made an appointment with the doctor for yesterday and the plan was that I was going to ask for some anti-biotics (although I probably didn't actually need them) in a hope that I could get it cleared up before I go away.

didn't quite go to plan - she took one look and said that I have some kind of nasty infection and I now have 2 types of anti-biotics, saltwater to gargle twice a day and aspirin to gargle three-times a day. I am also on strict instructions to go back to her if it hasn't cleared up before I go away.

I've also got loads of work to do before I go and am generally feeling a bit rubbish. It would be great if I could just pause life right now, have a month-long holiday somewhere warm, and then resume life as usual tomorrow - not sure how to do that though, not having a TARDIS or some-such.

oh well - to bed now, work tomorrow and Charlie should be coming over in the eve whilst I tidy, so that I can actually see her before I go. I'm also planning on doing a whole lot of nothing at the weekend (whilst dog-sitting) which should help things.

hopefully the drugs will kick in soon and I'll feel shiny again one day.

in other news - I rang Virgin Atlantic today and spoke to their legal affairs department. The travel insurance I have with them for Chicago is underwritten by AIG and I wanted to know what would happen if they went bust. A spoke to a lovely women, but she sounded a bit shell-shocked at the thought of it! The latest news from them was that they'd passed it up to their assurance department who were going to look at the contracts - I wait with none-baited breath...

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Project Tidy Flat - Day 3

well, I haven't managed to get the momentum really going today but I have done the office (or what used to be called the office but it can't really be anymore, because of this photo!). This won't look that impressive to anyone who didn't know what the room used to look like, but believe me when I say, it's a big change!

think I'm going to crash for a bit now and watch some rubbish telly. I still have all of Wednesday evening and will try and do an hour each night this week apart from that. The bedroom and spare room are far more cosmetic than major, and once I've thrown out the stuff from the hallway, that will be done as well - my God, I might actually finish!

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Project Tidy Flat - Day 2

well, TG has just left but we've had a really productive day! We started at about 9 this morning and worked pretty much straight through, with only a couple of small breaks for food etc.

the kitchen is done (even the inside of the oven and the floors and everything!), and so is the balcony and the lounge! Doesn't it look pretty?

Friday, 12 September 2008

Project Tidy Flat - Day 1

well, so far the lovely TG has arrived, we've done lots of chatting and catching up. We've had noodles and are now watching Love Actually (we'll get to the tidying soon - promise!).

also - the interweb is actually magic - I have proof: At 1.15am this morning I ordered a new laptop on Amazon (an Acer Aspire One, 8.9", it's so small and cute I've named it Willow) and it arrived at 7.30pm this evening! How is that possible? I have no idea, but I'm very happy it is! I also have a lovely slimline portable DVD drive coming from Dabs in the next couple of days!

Thursday, 11 September 2008

poetry and science - what a lovely mix!

just been pointed to Digital Cuttlefish and seen the following posted in a comment:

What is it about calendars
That sets us all to think
That our fine Earth will wash away
Like water down a sink?

It seems to me quite ludicrous
To treat as set in stone
These lines we draw in sand - a trait
To which we all are prone.

This planet's seen four million
Millennia go past.
We'd really be unlucky folks
If our one were the last!

Here's the link to the full post, and hat-tippery to wonderful Science after Sunclipse.

In other news, this weekend is Project Tidy Flat (all welcome!) and I've almost finished the packing list for Chicago (and yes, I am taking too many shoes...).

Also saw The Duchess last night, thanks to PirateGrrl's great ticketing ability. Highly recommend for the dresses alone (very, very puurrdy) and I now feel like I really should know more about the women and feel a Wikiwalk on its way.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

congratulations to PirateGrrl for completing her run today...

...and not having her original time stripped from her for supposedly illegally overtaking one of her fellow competitors.

Saturday, 6 September 2008

discomgoogleated -verb

to be confused or disconcerted with lack of ability to go online; upset; frustrate: The girl was completely discomgoogleated when her internet connection went down.

have just discovered this word and love it - thanks to EMB via Swiral for discovering it!

Friday, 5 September 2008

LHC and fantastic radio!

well, Wednesday is going to be very exciting and Radio4 is celebrating with a day of special programmes. It includes serious science, commentary, satire and even a special Torchwood afternoon play! Here is the link to the programmes.

(and I've just realised that I've inadvertently booked to work at home that day - Yay for serendipity!)

also - countdown to Chicago starts - 22 days to go!

Thursday, 4 September 2008

tv shows merging...

...just turned on to More4 to watch The Daily Show but was a bit early and so the More4 News was still on. This shouldn't have made my brain melt, apart from the fact that they had an interview with John Oliver... he was making sense and not sounding over-the-top - then I remembered that TDS hadn't started yet! M4N was interviewing him about politics in the US and TDS... AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

oh well - TDS is about to start now, so normality [eh?] is returned!

I've also gotten around to finally answering Paul B's 20-Qs-to-a-fellow-blogger - if you're interested, it's here.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

good side-tracked... honest.

I'm sure there was plenty I was going to do this evening - put washing on, tidy bedroom etc. Instead, I've stolen PirateGrrl's idea for a filing system for DVDs and also filed my tax return online!

and whilst clearing out the filing cabinet (again, not one of my scheduled tasks), I found the cable for the camera, so here it is people - I bring you the Yes We Can Opener!

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

in typical me fashion...

... I can't find the cable that connects my camera to my computer so I can't show you a picture of the best-est thing ever.

I am now the proud owner of a (wait for it) Yes We Can Opener!*

will update with photo when I've done some tidying (which may take some time!).

in other cool news, Andrew and Mary are gonna be in Chicago in October so I will get to see them which will be fab!

*I must point out that this was a personal gift from a friend who is volunteering on the campaign, not something that I bought.

Monday, 1 September 2008

today is officially part of 2007...

... it's the only logical excuse for the fact that everything has gone wrong today. Bad things happened in 2007, only good things can happen in 2008, therefore today must be a throw-back from last year...

my boss came in today and was really ill with some kind of flu-type-thingy. I am one of 3 people who spent time with her this morning and we all feel like crap... head-achey etc.

then I got a text from Virgin saying that my flight home from the States has been cancelled and they've booked me to come home the following day. I rang them and they basically said that I have to take this flight or cancel the whole thing. They wouldn't book me with anther carrier (like, for instance, BA, who have a flight on the right day). They were rude and unhelpful - couldn't tell my why it was cancelled and when I said that this wasn't good enough, I was told "this is all that we're legally obliged to do". Not good.

then I got an email from my landlord asking what had happened with the flat and I had to call him - he hadn't got the 2 voicemails I'd left him last week and the week before, so I've had to explain the whole thing, including the fact that I still have no lights in the flat, and my expectation that it will be fixed whilst I'm away. I now also need to work out where to put all my valuables whilst I'm away as there will be workmen in the flat. I was thinking of locking them in the filing cabinet, but now I'm thinking that if people are coming in and out, they could just take the whole cabinet, so I'm probably going to leave some stuff in Brum with Swirral when I go up and stay the weekend before I leave...

everyone else at work seems to be having a mare, the sun is not shining, Russian police have shot dead an anti-government webmaster, there is a hurricane about to hit New Orleans, and I want to be in bed.

oh well - I have a couple more hours of work, then PT, then Obama work, and then I can crawl into bed and pretend today didn't happen. (I'm not feeling low or anything - it would just be better if today had been slept through. By everyone.)