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Autumn & Deni (or anyone else with any helpful hints) [Nov. 20th, 2008|03:10 pm]
Hey guys, I have a dog training question: How do you get a dog to walk properly on a leash?

See, this dog that lives at my house (Brea, I've talked about her before) has been going on walks with us. Which is fine. Except she's a pain in the ass.

She goes absolutely schizoid crazy when we're getting ready to go - jumping up on us, biting the leash, etc. When we leave, she pulls on the leash really badly for about the first half of the walk (we usually go 2.5-3 miles, so this is A LOT of pulling), and she has started lunging at any cats or squirrels she happens to see (which is weird because she lives with three cats and is fine with them and she never chases squirrels when she's just in the yard).

We kept thinking that the more we walk her, it will get routine and these behaviors will settle down, but it's been months now of walking 4-5 times a week, and nothing. It's annoying in the extreme. I really want to be able to keep taking Brea on our walks, but I'm started to dread the nightly leash battle royale.

Have either one of you ever successfully trained a dog to use a leash properly? I want her to walk by my side and not lunge crazily at every little thing.
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Yes We Did [Nov. 5th, 2008|11:48 am]
Yes We Can became Yes We Did.

In the summer of 2004, after watching a relatively unknown senator from Illinois give a speech at the Democratic National Convention, I knew I was looking at the man who would become president. He was new, he was untested, but I knew it had to be him. We didn't have ten or twelve years to wait around for him to gain experience, either. We needed him now.

I wasn't the only one who thought this.

Since that time, I have been volunteering and donating to Barack Obama's campaign. I remember the early days when we were a long shot and we knew it. For four years I have been told the following things over and over again: It will never happen; He might get elected but the Republicans will steal the election; A Black man will never be president of this country; etc etc.

We proved them wrong.

Thank you to everyone who voted, especially those in the swing states. Thank you.

I can't believe this day has come. I am pround to be an American again.
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Wow [Apr. 18th, 2008|10:12 am]
Woah, Annette, that quiz is scarily accurate!

My Personality
Openness to Experience
You do not feel nervous in social situations, and have a good impression of what others think of you, however you feel strong cravings and urges that you have difficulty resisting. You tend to prefer short-term pleasures and rewards over long-term consequences. You have a generally cheerful disposition. Generally you are not considered to be an emotional person, however you are aware of and in touch with your emotions. You see no need for pretense or manipulation when dealing with others and are therefore candid, frank and sincere. People find it relatively easy to relate to you, however you feel superior to those around you and sometimes tend to be seen as arrogant by other people. You have a reasonable amount of will-power and are able to follow through on tasks that you feel you need to complete. You can be distracted however and have been known to procrastinate.

Take a Personality Test now or view the full Personality Report.

The best Buying Pet Gifts.

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Happy VD [Feb. 14th, 2008|05:43 pm]
I wanted to get you a bunny for Valentine's Day.
That's cute, right?
A little bunny, all hopping around and being cute?
And I remember you saying you always wanted one when you were little,
but your mom wouldn't let you.
But apparently other people had the same idea, because the pet store was all out.
I drove around Los Angeles until I found a place that sold live rabbits.
It was in Chinatown.
I can't stop crying.

Taken from here.
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Want another four years of the same old shit? Then vote for Hillary! [Feb. 8th, 2008|05:06 pm]
Love Republican economics? Vote for Hillary. No, seriously. Not only was Hillary Clinton on the board of directors of Wal-Mart during its hardest union-fighting days, I don't think it's a coincidence that Wal-Mart didn't even consider granting health care benefits, not at any price, not even the least benefits, to anybody but management until after she was on the board. Speaking of which, if you love Republican economics, you're going to love Hillary Clinton's health care plan. It is the Republican plan. No, really, it is specifically the exact same plan that Mitt Romney signed into law in Massachusetts, the exact same plan that both he and Huckabee are running on: no cost controls for insurance companies, no cost controls or even negotiations with the prescription industry, no accountability or oversight for either industry, but make buying insurance at whatever cost the insurance companies want to charge mandatory for all Americans. If they don't, then take at least a thousand dollars a year away from every American family that can't afford insurance, at gunpoint, and give that money to the insurance industry. That's HillaryCare II, and if you like it, you may be a monster. At the very least, if you think you might like it, you should have a good look at how it's working in Massachusetts, which is to say, abominably.

Want to give the Republicans tons of extra mud to sling? Vote for Hillary. On the list of proofs that there is no god that can be counted on to punish liars is that Hillary Clinton can say she's running for office on her 35 years of experience, in all safety, while standing under a clear blue sky. People, in all her years since she graduated from college, Hillary Clinton has never earned a single honest dollar in her entire life. Every single job she has ever held, all of which paid her huge money for little or no work, and every "advance payment" she was ever handed in exchange for books on which she did little or no work, and every "amazingly lucky investment" she has ever made all of which made huge money, was given to her for one and only one reason: to curry favor with her husband. Her law firm clients were all companies that did business with the state of Arkansas while her husband was the governor; why do you think she's treated her billing records from those years as such a deep dark secret? That book advance came from a company that wanted favors from the FCC. Her commodity trades are an even more egregious example. People, please, the Chicago Board of Trade isn't an honest trading floor, and hasn't been since the 80s at the very least. It's a casino. The only people making actual money there are the brokers. They've been telling the joke for almost as long as even I've been alive that the only way to make a small fortune in commodities is to start with a large fortune. When Hillary Clinton, while her husband was running for re-election for governor, walked into the Chicago Board of Trade and won a series of consecutive wagers, totaling to huge money, you should treat it as if someone sitting at a roulette wheel in a casino, with the casino owner standing behind their chair, bet everything on 22, three times in a row, and all three times 22 came up on the wheel. You don't have to know how the wheel was rigged to know that the wheel was rigged. You don't have to know what the casino manager's motives were to know who decided she was going to win.

What, you've never heard any of this? Then you're young. But don't worry: if we nominate Hillary Clinton, you will hear about it, all right. Six times an hour, every waking hour of the day, from the convention to the election. And her answers, even if they are truthful (not that they could be), are going to go over as well as John Kerry's answers did when he got "Swift Boated". No, really, do not pick a candidate who is going to have to spend the entire campaign on the defensive over ethics scandals.

Want to protect John McCain from serious criticism? Vote for Hillary. Speaking of nakedly transparent attempts to bribe her and/or her husband, I was just reminded that none of the newest generation of voters are old enough to remember the Keating 5 scandal. Charles Keating was an anti-porn crusader, a successful Republican fund-raiser, and, it turned out, the owner of an almost entirely fraudulent savings and loan. Five Republican politicians were caught accepting huge amounts of money from Charles Keating, all at about the same time, all while he was trying to buy protection for his right to literally cheat elderly people out of their retirement savings. None of them actually went to jail, although the careers of four of them were instantly over when Keating was convicted, because it was trivially easy to show that they did do him huge favors after receiving huge checks; the only element of the crime of bribery that couldn't be proven was an explicit quid pro quo, but nobody had any doubts. The one who got away scot free was ... John McCain. McCain escaped on two grounds. First of all, as someone who'd spent decades campaigning against bribery of Congressmen (the issue for which pro-business Republicans claim he's "not really a Republican," since the Republican Party is enthusiastically in favor of corporations bribing the government), nobody was willing to believe it of John McCain. Secondly, they combed over his record, and couldn't find any evidence that he ever actually did anything for Keating ... yet.

It's a pretty flimsy defense. I'd love to watch McCain squirm over it for months. But if you nominate Hillary Clinton, he'll get away with it, because with her as our candidate, we can't attack that "I didn't know it was supposed to be a bribe" defense. That's her defense, for her entire pre-Senate career, too.

Want to see at least three more years of the war in Iraq? Vote for Hillary. Hillary Clinton's whole defense on her vote to authorize the Iraq War is, "I didn't know George Bush was an idiot." If that's true, then she is far too dumb to be President, because the rest of us knew that years ago. Don't believe her. Hillary Clinton spoke fervently and frequently about the need to invade Iraq and impose democracy, and you should not even vaguely be surprised by this. This is the same woman who persuaded her husband to nominate Madeleine Albright for U.S. Secretary of State, where she dragged us into so many brushfire wars that Colin Powell quit his job as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in disgust over just how little American troops' lives were worth to her. Hillary Clinton is from the wing of the party that likes going to war, for the same reason Bush likes it: expansion of presidential authority.

You think you've heard her promise to end the Iraq War? Listen more carefully to what she's actually saying. She says she'd start bringing troops home within 60 days. That's not much of a promise; some troops come home every week. She does not say she won't send more troops in to replace them, or even more troops than that to expand the war. Why won't she say that? Notice that she also says she wants to end the war as soon as it can be done "prudently." People, don't fall for that. It means the exact same thing that Richard Nixon meant back in 1968 when he promised us "peace with honor" in Vietnam. It means she intends to end the war by winning it. Like Nixon, she thinks that she's such a smart person and such a tough person that she can win it quickly and painlessly. Don't let her try. She'll do the same thing Nixon did, pour in tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands more troops, while financing it by deficit spending, while expanding government spending. The last time we let someone promise us "peace with honor" it not only made our eventual loss in that war much, much worse, but it also wrecked our own country's economy so badly that it took us at least a decade and a half to dig our way back out of that mess.

So knowing that the one thing that the entire Republican Party agrees upon, the only thing the entire Republican Party still agrees upon, is their violent hatred for the Clinton name ever since Clinton's humiliation of Ronald Reagan's anointed heir in 1992? And knowing that, you want to make sure that they all turn out to vote this November? Vote for Hillary Clinton.
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Questions for the Clintons [Jan. 22nd, 2008|11:22 am]
If Hillary's experience is so great then why are all the records from her time as first lady sealed in the Clinton library?

Why won't Bill release them? (He has sent a letter asking that they not be released)

Why won't Hillary make him?

What are they hiding?

Why can't they be a little transparent?

Do we really want our leaders hiding their records from the public?


Barack Obama will change this. He will be transparent. The American people will finally be involved with the way America runs again.

The Clinton Years:
1993 - Hillary's Failed Healthcare
1993 - Travelgate
1999 - Pardongate
2000 - Hillary's Hotel for Campaign Bucks
Lets have the records!!!
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ACL, various life events [Sep. 17th, 2007|05:46 pm]
I know I haven't posted here in ages. I really need to work on that. I was looking at my journal archive and I used to post a lot! And a lot each time! I had forgotten.

Austin City Limits Festival was this past weekend, and it was phenomenal as always. On Friday I had to work, so I couldn't get there until after 5, but I still got to see Spoon and Bjork. Bjork was amazing. Really. If you have never seen her in concert and get a chance, go. It was one of the best shows I have seen in a long, long time, and in my opinion the best of the festival.

Saturday was Sara Hickman (forgettable folk singer), Zap Mama, Damien Rice, and Arcade Fire. I also saw a little unknown band in a small tent that will certainly not be an unknown band for long. Of those, the best were Zap Mama and Arcade Fire. The hype around Arcade Fire is true. They really ARE the best alternative band since Flaming Lips. Zap Mama was a hot little band, half the members from Argentinia, half from France. Totally hot, totally sexy, really, really funky jazzy cool music. All their songs are about sex. Which was amusing. Saturday was also Stephen Marley, who I watched about half of. I kind of think the Marley family is milking their father's fame for all it's worth, but whatever. Regae can be fun.

Sunday was a great day. I saw Robert Earl Keen first, then a band called DeVotchKa. I had never heard of them, but will definitely be buying their music. They are sort of a cross between Eastern European stuff, rock, and folk. Really recommend them. They have a violinist that is just totally bad ass. Then I sat and suffered through Lucinda Williams, whom I loathe, but watched for the sake of my friends. Really, that woman is just so annoying I don't even know what to say. Then, was Regina Spektor who was just unreal. She's a lot like Tori Amos if Tori were a bit more playful and funny. Great show, and she was so cute when she looked out into the audience and realized how many people were watching her. She just looked really shocked and giggled and then, I swear to God, said hi to her mom. Super cute girl, and amazing musician. After Regina, I tried to watch Wilco, but was so far back I couldn't hear. The biggest disappointment of the festival. I will see them again soon.

Then, we saw Bob Dylan. Who, as my friend Jeff put it, is like listening to someone's crazy old grandpa they let out of the home. Just bad. But still, it was Bob Dylan, so we stayed through to the end. We also decided that he could be a great Simpsons character, or a Muppet. Either one.

That was the festival. Ya'll, it was so hot. I don't think I've ever sweated that much in my entire life. I am SO TIRED. I am going to wash clothes and go to bed insanely early tonight. It was worth it, though. I love ACL fest. Three days of music, and hanging out with friends, and parties, and dancing. I wish my life were like that every weekend. heh.
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Rain and Harry Potter [Jul. 20th, 2007|01:39 pm]
My god. This rain is ridiculous. I have never, ever, in all my days seen a summer as cool and rainy as this one. It's bizarre. Not that I'm complaining about the cool temperatures, but this much rain is just weird in July. It's kind of getting to me.

Tonight Harry Potter is released, as I am sure you all know. I am as excited as a school girl on crack. However, if you don't want the book spoiled for you, DO NOT READ THE REVIEWS. I repeat, do not read any reviews, especially on New York Times or Salon if you know what is good for you. Luckily, I've been able to avoid them, but some people I know haven't been so lucky. WHY are they posting reviews with spoilers?! Why why why??
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Amazing [Jul. 10th, 2007|05:21 pm]
When I had just about lost all hope in anything, and was ready to throw in the towel on this whole stupid mess and just, I don't know drop out or something, a person does an act of kindness that simply stuns me.

I am amazed and humbled. Yes, God, I get it. Ok.
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Happy 4th Everybody! [Jul. 4th, 2007|11:02 pm]
Happy 4th of July to all my fellow Americans out there! Hope you had a good day.

My aunt and I had a little barbeque and get together at her house today. It was fun, and good to see some people I hadn't seen in a while.

In other news, my sister and her boyfriend moved to Austin and it just so happens that their apartment is right down the street from mine! Yay! I'm so happy that she is finally going to be living in close proximity to me again. I have really missed getting to see her regularly.

Also, I decided over the weekend to get a second job so that I can start saving more money. I want a new computer and I want to take a trip to Amsterdam and Paris. I feel like smoking legal hash and looking at art for a couple of weeks. Wish me luck. I feel like this is a reasonable goal to work toward.

And finally, I had a REALLY bizarre dream last night. You'll never believe it. I dreamed that Barack Obama and I were making out and talking about how to hide our relationship from the paparazzi. o_0 I think I've been dwelling too much on politics and spending too much time on gossip blogs. Both of those things seem to have merged into an unholy union in my subconscience.
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