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Mpls, MN, United States

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Sunday, January 27, 2008


I'm having a terrible time with motivation recently--motivation to accomplish the things that should have high priority in my life right now, anyway, things like succeeding in my three seminars this semester, finishing up my correspondence French class, figuring out my dissertation topic, and generally taking steps toward the timely and successful completion of my degree. I'm not even doing so well at secondarily-pressing tasks like unpacking from my trip, cleaning my apartment, or sorting mail and paying bills.

Instead, I've been doing things--when I'm not just sleeping too much or staring at the walls--like reading fiction* and spending time on the Internet (researching presidential candidates, trying to figure out how soon and how cheaply I can get back to the Sunlit Lands, looking at employment opportunities overseas, reading blogs, posting to blogs, etc.). I still haven't worked out whether these latter activities are better or worse than doing "nothing." There's a sense of having accomplished something in publishing a post to my blog or in completing a book, but no amount of Internet "research" feels especially productive, and simply intensifies my sense of having passed time without accomplishing anything.

Clearly I should stop even working on this post and try to do some reading for my Wednesday seminar; after all, reading--almost anything--is infinitely easier than having to write anything (academic, anyway), and by the time in the semester at which I'm expected to do the latter, I'll be wishing for the simplicity and accomplish-ability of merely reading.

Before I do so, however, I thought I'd pass along the results of my presidential candidate research. Apparently I am a Flaming Liberal because I believe that if government is good for anything, it's for keeping its citizens healthy, educated, and at peace, and because I don't believe in killing people, whether in wars, by execution on death row, or at the hands of a crazy able to wield a gun through faulty legislation and loopholes. The only real Flaming Liberal candidate was Dennis Kucinich, whom I love (vegan pacifist!) but whom I knew, sadly, had very little chance of ever earning the nomination. Especially since his withdrawal this week, I've been thinking about who I can endorse in his place.

The first online survey I completed returned Kucinich with a score of 53, followed by Gravel in the 40s (I have to admit I hadn't heard of him), and all three Democratic front-runners tied at 28. The second, which I recommend, still had Kucinich way ahead, but revealed differences between the three top Democrats. This time, Edwards came out one point ahead of Hillary, who was two points ahead of Obama. The great thing about this particular comparison engine was being able to easily link to each of the candidate's stances on particular issues.

I feel pretty good about all three of the front-runner Democrats: it's about time we got out of Iraq, started moving toward universal health care, and fixed our educational system. I'm also pretty excited about the possibility of a president (or even VP) who's not an old white guy. So it turns out I'm not quite ready to commit here to a single candidate; those of you with stronger opinions and/or data have 10 days to convince me.

*Have you read my reviews up over at the book blog?


Curly Sue said...

I took the survey too. I think that Clinton and Obama were close seconds to Edwards.

Ern said...

Your nothing sounds an awful lot like my nothing! I spent a lot of time on CNN's politics website (they have a lot of info!) today too, trying to figure out this whole superdelagate business (among other things).

Hee, I took the same two surveys in the same order. The first one (I think we already compared notes) put Kucinich on top for me as well. The Minnesota one put John Edwards way out ahead for me. Followed by Clinton and then Obama. Which pretty much summed up what I've been thinking.

Ok, long comment. Good luck to both of our productivity this week. :)

strovska said...

i took several of those a while back and while i don't remember the exact runners-up, i do remember that kucinich and gravel were usually the top two for me. on an irrelevant note, i think kucinich and his wife are just darling.

Yes Is A World said...

Thanks for the links!

First One:

Clinton & Obama tied

Guess we're all pretty similar!

Cerise said...

Awesome--fellow Flaming Liberals!

Ern, I'll have to check out CNN; Strovska, I agree that they're adorable!; and Nic, Paul was also my only Republican in the positive numbers--Ellen said something about people trying to get him to run with Kucinich--?

I Hope So said...

ok. now i need to take those surveys. and i will. probably tomorrow night right when i get home from work so i am fresh.

don't kick yourself over your "nothing". it sounds to me like you are cooking. it might look like "nothing" is happening but it's all apart of something.

ok, i'm sure that made zero sense in writing. but it sure made sense in my head ;-)

Cerise said...

Mandy, if "cooking" is what I often refer to as "rattling," then I think it does make sense. I wish there were more cooking or rattling or whatever it is in my head, but I suppose these things can't be rushed...

Hathor said...

I got Clinton and then Gravel. The last one I took I was very strong Gravel; I had never heard of him before that, either. I really like Kucinich. I was surprised by the Clinton result on this survey. I specifically would not vote for her, based solely on the Iraq issue. Kerry is the only one who could convince me to vote for him even though he voted to allow W. to use military force. OK, I'm done.