Tuesday, October 9, 2012

I'm here about the voting

I just got my official Sample Ballot in the mail. It made me think some things.

1. Why did nobody tell me that I can vote for ROSEANNE BARR for president!? Peace and Freedom Party, you just made my day.

2. Despite my worries about the new open primary system, my senator and representative are both in one-on-one Democrat v. Republican races. That is reassuring and also depressing.

3. Hooray, there are no judges to vote on! No hours of painful internet research!

4. BALLOT MEASURES OMG. We have eleven state measures and three county measures. I still don't understand how they label these: Propositions 30-40, A, B, and J. J is the confusing one; why not C? I haven't read through all of them in detail yet, but initial thoughts are:

30: Yes. Increased income taxes (and, sadly, some sales taxes) to fund public education? PLEASE!

31: I have no clue. It seems needlessly complicated. I'm guessing it's bad, since it includes the phrase "decreased...revenues of $200 million annually."

32: HELL FUCKING NO. This is the "unions can no longer make political contributions but everybody else can" measure. Do I even need to explain why that is a huge problem?

33: No. It reads like insurance companies saying "Let us charge you more money for your car insurance. We swear it'll be good for you."

34: YES, YES, YES. Repeal of the death penalty. I collected signatures for this one. There are so, so, so many reasons why the death penalty is morally indefensible, from racially biased sentencing to its inherent abandonment of the entire concept of rehabilitation and human improvement. I didn't support the assassination (without trial, no less) of Osama Bin Laden, and I don't support state-sanctioned assassination (with or without trial). There isn't even an actual God; there shouldn't be humans playing God in His infinite absence.

35: Yes...? Human trafficking is bad. That seems to be the point of this, but I can't quite tell what it claims to do about that fact.

36: Yes. Three strikes law applies only for serious or violent felonies. There are, again, many reasons to doubt the efficacy of the prison industry in "keeping us safe." It's all a question of who is included in, or excluded from, the word "us." I favor a more inclusive "us," and a less populated prison.

37: Yes/No? I have no idea the "specified ways" in which plant or animal genetic material needs to be changed for this law to come into effect. My friend the plant geneticist is highly skeptical of GMO labeling in general. My favorite LA restaurant is actively supporting this proposition. The use of the word "natural" in food marketing already nauseates me; restricting its use seems good, if only for my personal gastrointestinal equanimity. I need to look harder at this particular one.

38: No. This is the other version of Prop 30, but it excludes funding colleges, and doesn't specify the taxes it will use to raise the money. I am deeply suspicious.

39: Yes! Requires businesses in California to pay taxes in California! Uses that revenue for clean energy projects! Please, please yes!

40: Oh, who the fuck knows. Approve the redistricting maps of the entire state? What if I don't like the new 33rd district? Do I vote no, or do I decide that the other districts all look good and that outweighs one bad one, so I should vote yes? I will probably vote yes because I like maps, unless somebody can give me a compelling reason to vote no or abstain.

A: Should the county assessor be appointed instead of elected? I am asking honestly; I don't know what that job even does.

B: Better sexual health for porn actors? Sure! Condoms for everybody!

J: Sustain the sales tax already increased in 2008 to fund the expansion of subway and light rail? If I'm reading this right, YES PLEASE! I'm going to see my sister when she's in Pasadena next weekend solely because there is now the Gold Line that will get me home. I support the idea of turning the twenty-year project into a five-year project. That means it might be done within the next ten years!

Those are my thoughts. Please explain to me which ones need more work; most of them are only half baked right now.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


It is set. I am defending my dissertation on January 7th at 9 AM Pacific Standard Time. Now it feels real.

If you are free (and in Los Angeles) on the evening of January 7th, join me at Eleven in West Hollywood for Musical Mondays aka chapter three of my dissertation.

Eleven is the place, not the time. The time is something like 7 or 8. We can work out those details later.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Taking steps

Two big things.

1. I emailed my dissertation committee to schedule my defense. The date isn't set yet, but two of the four have already replied with their conflicts, so picking a date seems imminent. Yikes.

2. I emailed my landlady to tell her I'm moving out by December 1st. I'll still be in LA for a few days after that, visiting my dog friend Boomer and his human companions, but I have an official move out day. Yikes again.

I can see the next phase of my life looming in the distance, staring me down. I shouldn't have talked with my advisor about Westerns so much yesterday; I keep wondering who will shoot first. For now, I'm going to do what I need to do to prepare for leaving/defending, which means writing my last chapter and gradually sending things I don't need to Dad's house or to the boyfriend's apartment. And dealing with the irritation of someone hacking my debit card to buy protein supplements.

Whoever got my debit card number spent $277.55 at a nutritional supplement website. All I can think of is this. And some giant body builder in a tacky velvet jacket whispering sweet nothings to his Jay Robb brand strawberry flavored egg white protein (which is a real thing that website sells). I hope they're very happy together.