tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (fantastic!)
I've felt joy bubbling up within me all day.  I walk around with a goofy smile on my face, spontaneously breaking into song at times.  I am just so proud of American voters for making choices that were so much better than I feared they'd choose:

-Barack Obama gets a second term. I watched his victory speech last night, and it honestly moved me to happy tears. Obviously giving a good speech is easier than accomplishing real things.  Still, I am cautiously hopeful that with more experience under his belt and no need to worry about his reelection, maybe in his second term Obama can be more of the president I want to see.  He mentioned climate change in the speech, which is a big deal after he pretty much ignored the issue of our catastrophically warming planet during the campaign.

-Marriage equality passed popular votes in Maryland, Maine, and Washington, while Minnesota voted against putting discrimination in their constitution.  I believe that the tide has turned towards justice on this issue, and I hope to see many similar decisions in the years to come. 

-The Republicans who were prominent dickheads about rape, including Akin and Mourdock, lost.  Looks like women's bodies shut that whole thing down.

-There will now be record numbers of women in Congress, including an all-female delegation from New Hampshire, and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, the first openly gay senator.

-Prop 30 passed in California, leading to temporary tax increases with the money going to stop brutal cuts to education funding.  This is great news for kids, students at public colleges/universities, and also my job security.  California voters have been really reluctant to vote to tax themselves in recent decades, so I'm really pleased that people looked at the big picture rather than just their pocketbooks here.  Also, California voted to ease up our super-harsh three strikes law a little bit.  Sadly the ballot proposal to abolish the death penalty in CA failed, but that was a long shot. 

-Democrats retained control of the Senate, though unfortunately without the supermajority that is needed to break filibusters. 

-Recreational marijuana legalized in Washington state and Colorado.  While I am personally not keen on marijuana, keeping it illegal does FAR more harm than good.  The drug policy in the US is badly broken, and this is a step towards common sense. We shall see whether this actually results in much practical change, because it is still illegal in federal law. 

-My excellent congresswoman, Lois Capps, defeated her Republican challenger in a close race.

It's important to keep things in perspective.  The Republicans still hold the House of Representatives in firm control, so the Democrats still have limited ability to get anything done.  This election was not exactly a sweeping nationwide progressive mandate in all things; many of the races Democrats won were victories of moderate Dems over ultraconservative Republicans.  Still, this is a time to celebrate the triumph of diversity, compassion, data, and good sense over fear mongering, greed, and fundamentalism.
tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (high five or die 10)

HUZZAH!!!!! (celebratory gifs under the fold) )

So relieved.  Thank you America.

Also, Todd Akin loses to Claire McCaskill.  As a friend wrote on Facebook, looks like women's bodies had ways of shuting that whole thing now.  The Senate in general looks likely to remain Democratic, which is AWESOME.
tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (change is good)
Photo via Shakesville:

I love Obama's bemused expression. 

If you actually want context for that delightfully odd photo, this is apparently Obama meeting Irish pop duo Jedward, who are identical twins and Eurovision contestants.  Apparently whenever Obama goes to Europe, really amusing photos happen.

While I'm posting wonderful things from the internet, this vid of Doctors One through Ten to the Muppets' "Movin' Right Along" is utterly delightful.

tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (change is good)
I don't know what the folks at Huffington Post are on, but I suggest that they keep at it.  They posted an article on which US politicians ought to be cast as the Doctor.  If you're not going WTF?, you're not paying attention.  The article is moderately amusing for their explanations of why certain politicians are like the Doctor, though mostly I can't possibly conceive of these people in the role (even aside from the fact that they are American politicians).  Hillary Clinton might have regenerated her public persona, but, meaning no disrespect, none of those personas have been very Doctor-ish. 

However, the article did propose one Doctor and companion pairing that won the Internet forever:

Doctor:  Barack Obama
Companion:  Lady Gaga

WORLDS OF YES!  I WOULD PAY IN CASH AND POSSIBLY BODY PARTS TO SEE THIS.  Obama has Nine's ears, Ten's geekiness, and the general Doctorish commitment to hope and idealism with a steely underlayer.  A depressingly large number of Americans are already convinced that he wasn't born in the US anyway...why not Gallifrey? 

The true genius of this, though, is the companion casting.  Obama!Doctor's intellectual calm with side of dorkiness would be well (and hilariously) balanced out by Lady Gaga's total out-there in your face personality.  Anybody who goes out on stage wearing those insane heels she sometimes sports is brave enough to be a companion (though let's hope she takes it down to only two- or three-inch heels when she has to run).  If they wanted to have a companion who wasn't from 21st century earth, viewers could easily believe that she's from the future and/or alien.  (Heck, I like the idea of Michelle Obama as the relatable human companion and Lady Gaga as a second, alien companion, or possibly a personification of the TARDIS or something.)   Cosplayers would be overjoyed at her distinctive outfits.  Every episode could have a musical number. 

Heck, even without Barack Obama, I would be endlessly amused to have Lady Gaga on Doctor Who.  Kylie Minogue was a singer who appeared as a co-star, so there's precedent.  Amy Pond is already pioneering the territory of how to be a companion without trousers.  Lady Gaga could take over the Daleks so instead of shouting "Exterminate!  Exterminate!" they shouted "Puh-puh-puh-poker face!  Puh-puh poker face!"  Who's with me?
tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (the sound of torchwood)
Things that were awesome about today:

1.  Mini singalong in the Goodwill store! I was looking at trousers (no success) when "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You" came on the store radio.  At the part where it bursts out loudly "I! Love!  You!  BA-ABY!/ And if it's quite alright.." I realized that not only was I accidentally humming under my breath but two other people, apparently not in the same party, started singing along.  If a few more people had joined in I'm convinced that backup dancers would have spontaneously appeared.  It happens in movies ALL THE TIME.  

2.  I saw the movie Whip It and had a ton of fun! You could describe it as a coming of age, teen girl rebellion movie crossed with a sports flick, which sounds like a recipe for badness but turned out to be awesome.   That's the sort of thing that capable screenwriters and actors can do.  Plus, the sport in question was roller derby, which is delightfully bizarre.  Ellen Page (from Juno) played the lead with pizazz and heart, and the rest of the cast was excellent as well.  It was funny, full of action-packed contact skating, and a bit moving.  The plot was somewhat predictable, but the dialog and characters were fresh enough that I didn't much care.  It's a film about discovering your passion, families both natural and chosen, and growing up alternative in a small town.  (Bonus: this showing was a sneak preview, so they had local roller derby women skating around outside the theater trying to interest passers-by. Fun!)

3.  This photo of the Spanish Prime Minister's family posing with the Obamas is great.
Apparently Spanish law allows the Prime Minister to prevent the press from publishing photos of his teenage daughters, so nobody had seen them.  The US state department didn't get the memo or something, released the photos (oops!), and revealed the big secret: the daughters are kinda goth. 

I like this photo for several reasons:
a.  Barack and Michelle seem to think this is great.  Admittedly they must have practice smiling in weird situations, but I think Barack is probably thinking that teenage goths make a nice change from the power-hungry old men in suits that he has to spend much of his time with.

b.  The Zapatero parents are accepting enough of their daughters' phase (or lifestyle...who knows at this age) that they have not strongarmed them into wearing something more conventional.  Admittedly we don't know whether they tried.  I imagine there were intense negotiations before the photo session.  "Honey, if I let you wear the Doc Martens will you change into a simple dress with no latex or fishnets?"  "Mooooom!  *sigh*  Fine.  But I'm not taking off the black nail polish!"

c.  The girls appear to be in a dilemma about how happy they can look without losing Goth cred.  On the one hand, Goths don't smile, and they are having to pose with their totally embarrassing parents.  On the other hand, they are getting to meet with Barack Obama, who even a teenaged Spanish First Goth has to admit is kinda cool. They have settled on uncertain half-smiles.  The huge slumps indicate their disapproval for Obama's message of hope.

d.  The fact that the girls have such lousy posture indicates that they are not trained in media appearances, which is somewhat refreshing.

e.  Other people's awkwardness is hilarious!
I do feel sorry for the girls, given that there will undoubtedly be a lot of commentary that is not so nice.  At least it will provide fodder for some properly angsty teenage poetry. 

tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (obama '08)
I can't remember being this moved by anything having to do with the government since I was a small child. Even watching by myself on TV at home, the inauguration was powerful. Times are dark indeed, but the hope I feel is real and justified

Happy New President Day, y'all! We now have a president who understands nuance and ambiguity. We have a president who exhibits empathy and responsibility. We have a president who can give a damn good speech. We have a black president with a multiracial and international family. We have a president who is not George W. Bush.

*dance of joy*

While I'm dancing for joy, let me give an enormous thank you to the mysterious person who nominated "Path of Needles" for the CoT awards! My day was already good, but finding that notification in my inbox kicked the level of happiness up another few notches. Any more happy things and there could be spontaneous bursting into song around here. :D

I now bring you some further reassurance about the world from pundit kitchen:

Obama Pictures and McCain Pictures
see Sarah Palin pictures
tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (change is good)
I gave blood today. I'd been meaning to anyway, and then I saw blood drives listed on the Obama website as one of the activities for the MLK Jr. Day of Service, I decided to go for it. If Barack Obama wants a pint of my blood, he's welcome to it. Let's just get ourselves out of Iraq and avoid any more wars that will spill a lot more than a pint of blood, OK? I tried the donation option where they hook you up to a fancy apheresis machine and take some extra plasma in addition to the red blood cells. It took a bit longer, but there was still only one needle stick and they had nifty screens that let you surf the internet or watch TV. My local blood donation center has the best snack options of any place I've donated blood (although it can't match the coolness of the time I donated at Dragoncon's blood drive next to a girl dressed as Galadriel). Really, it's a remarkably simple way to save a life.

San Luis Obispo had a big contra event this weekend. Once again, I failed to register in time to do the whole weekend, but I volunteered to help with snack setup earlier tonight in exchange for dancing on Friday night. The band, the Groovemongers, was wonderful. An expensive dancing weekend attracts a more advanced crowd than the usual monthly dances, so the quality of the dancing was just superb.

With capable partners and enough time spent doing each dance to really master it, you reach the point where the steps come as naturally as breathing. The music carries you away, and you are part of it through the stomp of your feet on the balances and the movement of your body. The connection between you and the other dancers becomes more than joined hands and caught eyes. You are all cells in the same organism, stars in the same sky. You spin on the giddy edge of disorientation, but there are always hands there to catch you, and you will catch them in turn. When it works, when you're not confused by some strange sequence or accidentally colliding with someone in the crowded hall, it is truly an awesome feeling.

I also went hiking on Saturday. I saw two snakes (garter?), a yellow-rumped warbler, and some lovely sea cliffs. There were lots of people out on the trail, but not so many that I felt crowded.

To all those people around the country who are somewhat short of a normal and/or sane temperature, you can find your missing degrees Fahrenheit (or Celsius or Kelvin) here in central California. We appear to have a giant warmth magnet that is giving us unseasonably warm temperatures while everyone else freezes. Sorry, rest of the nation. If it makes you feel better, we really need to have more rain and less sunshine. Not that I'm complaining, mind you. It's nice.

OBAMA'S INAUGURATION IS TOMORROW! I'm happy that I'll have time to watch it on TV before I need to be at work.  (Meanwhile, for those wishing to indulge in a bit of schadenfreude, Dick Cheney pulled a muscle in his back while moving. I would have told this administration not to let the door hit them on their way out, but apparently it is a bit late.) 

This regime change is so exciting. However, if Obama uses his inaugural address to say that American is sick and needs a Doctor, I'm heading for the hills.
tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (obama '08)

I am jubilant right now!  I am so thrilled that my country made this choice.  Filling in the bubble for Obama in the voting booth was such a wonderful feeling, even though my state's presidential result was never in doubt.  This is the president we need.  His acceptance speech was marvelous.  It brought tears to my eyes. 

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the CA ballot measures, but it's not looking good for gay marriage.  :(  I just don't get it, people.  Love is love.  Why discriminate against some of it?

But Obama will be president!  I'm so pleased that it's a broad victory and not just Kerry's states plus Ohio or Florida.  A real, unifying mandate will do Obama and this country a world of good.
tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (obama '08)
I spent nearly two hours today calling voters in New Mexico on behalf of Obama. Hey, there are more ways to save the world than big yellow trucks.

On a completely unrelated note, National Geographic recently published some cave photos that blew my mind.  I had no idea crystals that big existed in reality.  It looks like an alien planet the Doctor might take a companion to, or possibly the caves of Helm's Deep that impressed Gimli so much.
tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (fantastic!)
I needed to share This Modern World, one of my favorite political comics, this week.  Doctor Who fandom is taking over the world!  (The politics contained here are leftie, so be aware.)


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