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So, I know I’m way behind on posting things about my cross-country trip. I promise more stories are coming, but this one is more timely… So we’ll start here.

“Democrats want to fall in love; Republicans fall in line.” The first time I ever heard that, I probably laughed. When I heard some blowhard pundit say that on CNN during the Iowa Caucuses, I definitely laughed. And now I find myself doing the same thing.

Ok, so I definitely supported John Edwards in the last election and early on in this election because he’s HOTT. I mean, have you seen that Newsweek cover*?? Holy crap. Pure hotness. But I also consider myself a populist, so I could pass off my choice as an academic one. But now I’ve found myself falling head over heels with Hillary, and even more shockingly, it has nothing to do with Bill.

As previously chronicled, I have been obsessed with Bill Clinton for many years. At least since high school. I love him. So when my friend and I were passing through Little Rock on our cross-country trip, I demanded that we make a stop at the Clinton Library. We got there a little late, and only got to spend an hour inside, but that was probably as much as I could take. We were barely into the exhibit areas before I started bawling like a baby.

The first thing that set me off was a big exhibit about the first election in ’92. Of course, no one expected the governor of Arkansas to be a contender. Most people don’t even know where Arkansas is. But Bill had a special something (the same special something that gets him in trouble, I think) that made people believe in him, want to elect him, and love him. There were lots of old pictures from his first time on the campaign trail—pictures of a very young George Stephenopolis celebrating Clinton’s performance in a debate, of Bill wiping barbeque off Al Gore’s chin while they ate lunch on the bus, and of Bill and Hillary taking a moment to relax between stops on the bus. Looking at those pictures, I started to sob. My traveling partner looked at me like I had three heads. “Look at them!” I exclaimed. “They look so young. They look like REAL PEOPLE.”

And it was true. Hillary had frizzy hair, big shoulder pads, dark eyebrows. She was a political neophyte. She was a far cry from the poised, posh, and polished (read: calculated) image of her we now have.

Next, we moved on to the year-by-year and “themed” areas. By “themed” I mean they were little cubbies dealing with different aspects of his presidency, like the economy, foreign policy, youth outreach and volunteerism (specifically the AmeriCorps program), diversity, and of course, the Monica/Whitewater stuff. The very first cubbie had a comparison list of different statistics, with a figure from his first day in office and his last. They were things like the unemployment rate, homelessness, people on welfare, and the national debt. It was a really amazing thing to see how the economy and the quality of life for the middle class rose so drastically during his eight years as the president. Thinking of the disaster that all of these statistics have become recently, I started crying again. This time, I looked over at my traveling partner, and she seemed to understand.

A few cubbies later, we got to the one on foreign policy. There, they displayed a letter that a little Kenyan boy (who was living in the UK) wrote to Clinton about his trip to Africa. I never realized this, but Clinton was the first US President to visit Africa. The little boy wrote about how he felt proud to be an African because Bill Clinton had visited the continent. He also said that Bill and Hillary looked good in the Kente cloth (I have no doubt that’s true for Bill) and that he would feel like the luckiest boy on earth if he got a response to his letter. Of course, they also had a copy of the letter that had been sent to the little boy. And also of course, I started bawling again.

I continued to tear up as I went through the rest of the exhibit (we didn’t get to go upstairs to see the personal things, like Hillary’s gown from the second inaugural ball), but those are the things that most affected me. But as I said, my falling for Hillary has nothing to do with Bill. But it has everything to do with the things I saw about Hillary in that museum.

Like when Hillary went to Africa to speak about women’s rights and demanding that they be considered human rights. And that picture of her, in a relaxed moment, looking so real. And then there was New Hampshire. I know much has been said about Hillary’s “crying” moment. Which I think is ridiculous because she didn’t cry. But man, did she look human. I felt my heart go out to her, and worried about what the Republicans would say. I could just imagine her being picked apart for being an “emotional woman.” Hell, John Edwards has already commented on her fashion sense and Barack Obama unleashed that probably-harsher-than-he-intended line about how she’s “likeable enough.”

But in the lead-up to the New Hampshire primary, I finally got what I needed from Hillary—the old Hillary, the human Hillary. And I’ll admit, I am really happy that she won New Hampshire. Now, I’m not saying I’m about to go volunteer for her campaign, or donate, or even vote for her. But I’m definitely starting to fall in love with Hillary.

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* I wanted to link it here, but I can’t. However, if you go to the newsweek site, click on the Magazine Tab, and then “Browse recent issues”–go to the December 24th issue. Wow.

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Last updated 6/18/08. 

So, here it is… The LIST!

STATUS
completed
in progress
not started

HEALTH
1. Lower cholesterol to a normal level.
2. Go on Weight Watchers and stick with it for at least 12 weeks.
3. Get an eye exam.
4. Go to the dentist.
5. Go to the dermatologist.
6. Go one month without eating fast food.
7. Go to a sportsmed doc and figure out whether I can run again.
8. Run a 5k if possible; if not, walk it.
9. [Join a gym.]  I have a good workout room at my apartment complex, so this would be a waste of money.  Instead, I’ll take dance lessons.  I’ll go at least 1x per week for 6 weeks.

CREATIVITY
10. Finish the first draft of my first novel.
11. Finish artwork for behind sofa.
12. [Shoot 1 roll of black and white film per quarter.]  I haven’t been able to find reasonable, rentable blackroom space, so this is kind of pointless.  Instead, I will write every day, for 30 minutes a day, for 30 days in a row.
13. [Hand develop and print several shots from each above roll.]  Because I’m not doing #12, I can’t do this one.  Instead, I will create a fun collage for each member of my work team.
14. Participate in Project 365+1 on Flickr.
15. Take a self-portrait of myself every day in 2009.
16. Submit a postcard to http://postsecret.blogspot.com/.
17. Submit a short story to a competition at least 5 times.
18. Organize all of my clipped recipes into a cookbook/journal with a cool cover.
19. Create a cool cover for my “Dream Home” journal.
20. Take a graphic design-related course.
21. Try knitting one more time.
22. Make my first ATC.
23. Participate in at least one ATC swap.
24. Set up an etsy store and begin selling art/craft work.
25. Go on a writing retreat (either self- or officially-organized).
26. Participate in a Crafty Daisies tutorial in real time and submit photos of my work.
27. Complete the Artist’s Way.

HOME
28. Get a Kitchen Aid Mixer.
29. Make at least 30 different recipes from the Martha Stewart Baking Handbook, at least 2 of which are yeast-based.
30. Develop a fabulously organized craft room/area.
31. Host a dinner party.
32. Buy myself fresh flowers at least 5 times.
33. Buy one piece of original artwork that I absolutely love.
34. Get a new DVD player.
35. [Get a new laptop.]  Since I get a laptop for work, this makes no sense right now.  Instead, I will establish a fund to be able to buy a new laptop as soon as I leave my current job.
36. Sell old TV.
37. Sell big stereo.
38. Complete a 1000+ piece jigsaw puzzle, then save and frame it.
39. Complete FlyLady’s Baby Steps.

CITIZENSHIP
40. Join a civic organization.
41. Take on a regular volunteer position.
42. Donate at least 101 items to charity (not including $$).
43. Become a better ally to the GLBT community in my city.
44. Become a diversity trainer/speaker outside my first job.

FINANCIAL
45. Pay off all credit card debt.
46. Buy a new car.
47. Develop a budget.
48. Find a financial organizing/tracking software and use it.
49. Save at least $1000 dollars.
50. Find a second job that works well with my first one!
51. Get a new first job.
52. Investigate and begin an investing program other than my work-sponsored 401k.

INTELLECTUAL
53. Read all of Shakespeare’s plays by the end of 2008.
54. Read Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human by Harold Bloom in conjunction with Shakespeare’s plays.
55. Watch all the movies I haven’t yet seen from AFI’s 100 Greatest Movies of all time (10th Anniversary Edition).
56. [Track and review all books read on Library Thing.]  I’m not enjoying using this site.  Instead, I’ll get a library card for the Atlanta Public Library system.
57. Figure out whether/for what I want to return to graduate school, and begin application process if necessary.

ENVIRONMENTAL
58. Get shower time under 5 minutes.
59. Use reusable sacks for grocery shopping.
60. Get laser hair removal (to save water/shorten showers).

HABITS TO DEVELOP
61. No more sugar sodas at home.
62. Take a daily multivitamin.
63. Blog 3x a week.
64. At work, make a to-do list at the end of each day.

RANDOM
65. Travel outside the US.
66. Climb a mountain.
67. Send a personal, hand-written note to a friend or family member each month (not including thank you notes).
68. Believe in luck–play the lottery at least once a month.
69. Go one place I’ve never been before each month.

70. Make a new friend.
71. Take a golf lesson.
72. Buy a pair of expensive jeans.
73. Write DM and MH at least 1 time during each of their deployments to the Middle East.
74. Visit the Clinton Library again.
75. Visit a psychic, palm, or tarot reader.
76. Visit DS’s grave.
77. Do something that terrifies me.
78. Keep up with the Cubs for a whole season–not just after the All-Star break.
79. Go 24 hours without even touching a computer (or using internet on my phone).
80. Think up an awesome Halloween costume and actually wear it.
81. Jump on a hotel bed and send a photo to BedJump.com.

RESERVED FOR LATER (to be added by…)
80. April 15, 2008:  Visit the Carter Center.
81. April 15, 2008:  Take a walk in Oakland Cemetery and leave a message on a golf ball for Bobby Jones.
82. April 15, 2008:  Visit the new World of Coke and especially the tasting room!
83. September 1, 2008
84. September 1, 2008
85. September 1, 2008
86. January 1, 2009
87. January 1, 2009
88. January 1, 2009
89. April 15, 2009
90. April 15, 2009
91. April 15, 2009
92. September 1, 2009
93. September 1, 2009
94. September 1, 2009
95. January 1, 2010
96. January 1, 2010
97. January 1, 2010
98. April 15, 2010
99. April 15, 2010

ABOUT THE LIST
100. Post an update about this list at least every other week.
101. Give $2 to charity for each item uncompleted.

So, after my strong(ish) performance in NaBloPoMo, I’ve been MIA for a bit… But here we are, at the new year, and I hope to be around these parts a bit more regularly…

I went on my big road trip, which was awesome–stories and pics to come. Had a great holiday with the fam, got a lot of work done, and am getting ready to do more. YAY!

Reflecting on last year’s resolutions, I didn’t do so well. I didn’t make 50 books, though I’ll finish the book journals for all the books I’ve finished in 2007 and count them up soon and report. I did ok–but not 50. I got a library card, and other than that, not so much. Sigh.

But I won’t let that get me down. I won’t give up on the endless cycle of self-improvement. In that spirit, I’m embarking on the 101 in 1001 project. I will accomplish 101 things in 1001 days, between January 1, 2008 (today) and September 28, 2010. The website for the general 101 in 1001 project is here, and there’s also an LJ community devoted to those starting today.

So, why do I think I can do this? Well, first, there’s a support group. Then, there’s a longer time period. And I’ve been very careful to do things that are only within my control. (ie, no “get a boyfriend” items on my list.) Plus, I’ve got my never-ending belief that good things happen, that the good guys win the game, that the life I imagine is always possible.

In addition, I realized that a lot of times, I make resolutions that require discipline, a removal of things I like or that make me happy. It’s time to reframe that. Kristy, one of my favorite bloggers, talked about No Joy 07 last year… And that’s the way I often thought of resolutions. So, I’m changing it to ALL JOY 08. Some of the end results are the same, but I had to think about, ultimately, what would make me happy. These 101 things will, at least momentarily.

Ok, friends, that’s it… I’ll upload the big list in a few more minutes!