Scenes from a Grocery Store Tuesday, Apr 15 2008 

So clearly, I’m under some stress right now and I realize that I have not been dealing with it well AT ALL…insomnia, stress eating, avoidance, lots of tears.  Yesterday, I used this technique where I write down some positive steps to help me and put it somewhere that I can see it.  Here was my list:

- Cook and eat better.

- Try to exercise.

- Go to bed earlier.

- No caffeine after 5 p.m.

Good start, right?  I focused on the whole cook and eat better, and decided I wanted to get all gourmet and found a recipe for Lemon Rosemary Salmon and another for Roasted Green and White Asparagus.  After work I hit the fancy downtown grocery store near my apartment to pick up all the necessities. 

Let me interject that I love grocery stores, LOVE THEM, and I love fancy food and I love shopping for new ingredients and it sometimes amazes me how much money I can spend relative to the small amount of items I actually take home.  So let’s just say I dropped a bit of coin on fish and asparagus and two kinds of berries and whipping cream (for dessert) and random other things, including two kitchen tools I needed to assist me with this meal.  All of my stuff fit in one rather overstuffed paper bag.

Except you know what wasn’t in the bag when I got home and changed and checked my e-mail and finally got around to unpacking said bag?  THE SALMON.  There it was on my receipt, all $7.81 of it, but IT WAS STILL AT THE STORE. 

This has become, like, a constant theme in my life.  This is the second time that this particular grocery store has charged me for something that I didn’t have when I arrived at home, and I’ve dealt with the same issues with my local Target, including LESS THAN A WEEK AGO, when I had to go back to the store to recoup nearly $30 of merchandise and even after that I still didn’t realize that my mother’s birthday card was not there anyway. 

I called the fancy grocery store and they were all, “Okay, come on back.”  Well yeah, except that I was already in my comfy clothes and going back to this store involves a parking garage and an elevator and you can’t just run right back in.  And while they have a delivery service, they didn’t have a driver there but they could drop off my salmon tomorrrow. 

Do you know what was not on my little stress management list?  Avoid totally freaking out when something goes wrong.  I HAD A GODDAMN HISSY FIT ABOUT THIS STUPID SALMON.

When I did make it back to the store, two or three employees and fellow customers were all, “Oh, you left it here?”

Me: “NO, I did not leave it here, I was never GIVEN the salmon.  The salmon was never in my posession, it’s not like I abandoned it like an unwanted pet, IT WAS KIDNAPPED!  All I wanted was a nice dinner and you ruined it!”

Okay, those weren’t my exact words but that was the gist of it and yeahhhhh, I clearly overreacted about the whole situation.  In the end I got the salmon and I cooked everything and it all tasted pretty good and I felt a little better. 

But if you ever see someone in a grocery store parking lot, unpacking every single bag and comparing her items to what’s on the receipt, it’s probably me.

Ahh, College Days Friday, Apr 11 2008 

On Sunday I will be gathering all my little sorority chickadees together (I’m the advisor) for a “workshop” on “risk.”  Which basically translates as, “Please do not do all these stupid, stupid things.  Because of  liability and rules and laws and such.  And also because they are bad.”

Which makes me feel just a lil’ bit hypocritical.  Because y’all, it’s not like I’m a saint or anything.  I mean, I was a pretty good kid in high school and didn’t even have an alcoholic drink till my freshman year in college.  I’ve never smoked and I’ve never done drugs.  But I can assure you that waaay back when I was a college girl, I certainly flirted with some “risk” “management” “issues.” 

Like this particular incident my senior year.  When I was the chapter president.

We decided we wanted to have a party and get a male stripper.  No, I don’t really remember why.  We may have discussed this in a meeting.  We all pooled our money (at least it wasn’t sorority money!) and someone went out and hired a stripper and got her boyfriend to buy us lots of alcohol.  (Why?  Because not one of us was 21, ironically.)  

On the appointed night we went to her townhouse.  I think we thought the stripper was coming dressed as a cop (?) and we ordered pizza and the “Pizza Guy” showed up, who of course turned out to be the stripper.  And lo, it was totally icky and awkward.  To cope with all this weirdness, I began to drink rather a lot. 

After the stripper was finished stripping, he went upstairs with a couple girls to smoke pot.  And I was hanging out outside with some of the other girls and someone asked me to hold their lit cigarette and I took a big puff because I had never smoked before, and it was gross.  So I drank some more (not like, beer or anything, no we were hard core with our vodka and various mixers). 

Eventually we headed back to campus and there was a party in one of the halls so we decided to stop by.  We traipsed across campus with a backpack full of vodka, because that was how everyone walked around on Friday and Saturday nights, with backpacks on like they were really going to the library or something, rather than carrying around two six-packs in their L.L. Bean gear. 

So we were hanging out in this dark dorm suite with loud music and even though I went to a really small school, I’m not sure I actually knew anyone there.  Or maybe there was someone there I had a crush on?  The solution?  Drink more vodka.   Except, crisis, we didn’t have anything to mix it with.  Or chase it with. 

Then someone brilliantly suggested we chase it with WATER.  Like, I have no idea how that was supposed to help, but we thought it might.  And oh, I was so very drunk by then.  Eventually, my sorority little sister managed to convince me that we should go back to our suite and she would make me something to eat.  Something Pillsbury, I think, from one of those cans that pops open (biscuits?). 

I drunk-dailed (or actually, drunk-paged) a guy  who I had a weird “more than friends” relationship with and  may still have been on the phone with him when I decided that maybe I should go hang out on the cool tile floor of our bathroom instead. 

And that’s the night that I got sick from drinking too much for the first time ever.  A story I will certainly not be sharing with my chickadees. 

Please to Give Me Job? Thursday, Apr 10 2008 

A Drama in Many, Many More Parts Than Anyone Could Possibly Care About, Except It Clearly Should Be Recorded For Posterity

Cast of Characters:

New Job – Organization located somewhere in the vicinity of Mardi Gras land

Current Job – Belongs to the same big organization as New Job, but different geographical location

Girl – That would be me

Act I: (6-ish Weeks Ago)

New Job: We want you to take this job. Here is what we will pay you.

Girl: I will take new job.

New Job: Can you start tomorrow, seeing as how you are already here and everything?

Current Job: NO. Girl, you are out of your mind. Oh, and P.S. Your Current Boss is leaving as well. And you are ruining everything, selfish girl.

New Job: We will wait.

Act 2:

Girl: Am taking new job. Am moving! La la la…very soon! Just waiting on all that official stuff.

(Girl waits. And waits. And waits some more.)

Current Job: Here, we will be all passive-aggressive about this whole situation. Bah.

Act 3:

New Job: Tiny, tiny problem. Just need you to re-do your resume, quick-like.

(Girl complies.)

Current Job: What the frack is going on, anyway?

Girl: Just a tiny, tiny problem which I have already corrected. News will come any day now. Am moving!

Girl’s Friends and Family: What the frack is going on, anyway?

Girl: Moving! Really! Yet I cannot do anything moving-like, because it is not quite yet all official. MOVING!

(Girl runs out of work to do. Because clearly this will all be resolved any day now and then she will certainly be out the door, no?)

(Girl totally gives up on any moving-like activities, in the fear of jinxing everything.)

Act 4:

Girl: New Job, what is the hold up now?

New Job: Hold up seems to be on your end.

Current Job: We’ll get around to returning that call someday.

(Girl waits.)

(New Job waits.)

(Radio silence.)

Act 5:

Girl: HALLELUJAH! Is official “tentative job offer” e-mail. We are getting somewhere now!

(Fills out 2 quick pieces of paperwork and returns them post-haste.)

Girl: Hello? Hmm, wonder what next step is.

Friends and Family: WHAT THE FRACK IS GOING ON? Are you just joking about this whole “moving” thing?

Girl: But see, I got an e-mail. All official-like. Things are happening!

(Universe laughs and laughs.)

Act 6:

New Job: We hear there are “issues.” We understand you have to make a “decision.” Please choose us. We love you and are eagerly looking forward to working you into a pile of mush for the next 3 – 5 years.

Girl: Gah, “Issues”? I don’t know what the issues are. “Decision”? I already MADE my decision, back in Act 1. Am very, very confused. Also, frustrated.

Current Job: Oh yeah, there are some issues. We will finally decide to make you aware of them. And the issues are totally ours and not yours. Your leaving screws us over in a manner that you were not aware of. You are totally irreplaceable and work in an office full of morons.

Girl: And this is my fault how, exactly?

Current Job: New Job, you cannot have the Girl unless you come up with a new plan.

Act 7 (Present Day):

Girl: Yo, this is bullshit. Who is supposed to be watching out for ME? Who will speak up for the poor Girl?? Let me call HR.

(HR totally ignores Girl.)

New Job: We’re going to try something else.

(RADIO SILENCE from all parties involved.)

Girl: Do not mind me, co-workers, am just going to sit over here at desk until brain actually explodes.

(Co-Workers could not care less about Girl’s predicament, except that the Princess is insisting upon a farewell party and it cannot be planned it until we know when she’s actually leaving. Or IF for that matter.)

(Girl ponders future career as Starbucks Barista. Already knows the lingo!)

(Girl stress eats. COOKIES!)

(Girl wastes time writing blog entry. Because really, what else is there to do at this point??)

Girl at the Movies: Leatherheads Monday, Apr 7 2008 

George Clooney is hot.

John Krasinski is hot.

In this movie, George Clooney and John Krasinski were both hot.  They got muddy and sweaty on the football field.  They punched each other.  They exchanged snappy, witty banter with Renee Zellweger, whom I love, although I think that may be an unpopular opinion nowadays.  I’m not sure. 

Renee Zellweger wore pretty vintage clothes and kooky hats.  She was one of those little girl reporters with moxy and spunk who gets to show up her male colleagues a time or two. 

Screwball comedy abounded.  John’s sleeve caught on fire.  George fell off his motorcycle.  Renee and George dressed up like police and pretended to be suicidal to escape being caught in a speakeasy. 

It was all very light and fun and a little meandering but mostly entertaining. 

Did I mention George Clooney?  And John Krasinski?  Being all hot??  Because they were.  That right there was worth the price of admission.  If you appreciate the hotness of George or John, go see it.

If you don’t, there may be something wrong with you.

The End.

Everybody Do the Limbo Thursday, Mar 27 2008 

So yeah, contrary to popular belief, I have not fallen off the face of the earth. 

As you may recall, I left in early January to work in New Orleans for 2 months.  I had every good and pure intention of blogging there, but…I don’t know, things (work, wonky Internet connection, work, travel, work, margaritas, work, parades and, you know, more work) got in the way. 

And then I came home and kept thinking, “Wow, I really need to post something to my blog,” but I have to confess that there’s a long long list of things that I have really needed to do since I got back, and I’ve been a total slacker about basically my entire existance and am just all, “Meh, will do that tomorrow” wherein “tomorrow” really means next week, next month, when I get around to it or likely never. 

I did, as you can see, migrate my blog away from Her Hangout so I didn’t lose 9 months worth of posts.  Oh, and I made my new blog all pretty and fleur de lis-y. 

(Cut to one of those wavy TV flashback effects) 60 days in New Orleans…it was the best of times, it was the worst of times. 

 The Good?  Seeing and working with old co-workers-turned-friends, meeting new co-workers-turned-friends, overtime pay, learning lots more about this crazy organization I work for and feeling like what we were doing really mattered, lunches and dinners at awesome New Orleans restaurants, Mardi Gras (beads! alcohol!  general debauchery!  day off work!). 

The Not So Good?  Total frustration about the organization I work for, lots of self-doubt, taking the occasional ego hit, staying in a hotel for two months, not as altogether awesome as my last experience in New Orleans, the somewhat difficult woman I worked for and Mardi Gras (more beads?  more parades?  more alcohol?  Dear god, make it stop). 

In the end, my office there did exactly what they said they would do in 60 days time and offered me a permanent actual job.  And then came the angst…

I talked to every single person in my life who’s opinions matter to me.  I cried.  I changed my mind 50 bazillion times.  I wondered and worried and fretted and debated. 

I was about 75% to a decision when my boss from my office back home called.  To tell me he had accepted another job and would be leaving.  And, oh yeah, they wanted me to fill in for his position till the new person came in (but I wouldn’t be eligible for the job permanently). 

Well, damn.  The whole messy cycle started all over again and finally I took a deep breath and did what I knew in my heart was the right answer — I accepted the job.  And then the reality of it all hit me…I was going to MOVE.  More than 1,000 miles away from the place I have lived for the last 15 years, from the family I have never lived more than 45 minutes away from, from my awesome friends and their awesome kids, from my entire LIFE. 

Oh.  Holy.  Hell.  A day hasn’t gone by that I haven’t questioned, just a little bit, the wisdom of this decision, but I think it’s going to be okay.

So now what?  For the past few weeks, I’ve been making myself awfully comfortable in this little place called “Limbo Land.”  See, the job is not official yet and I officially have no freakin’ clue when it will be, and I can’t really do much of anything till it is official, lest something untoward happen and the whole job thing collapses upon itself.  People know that I’m leaving, you know, at some point in the near or not-so-near future.  I’m beginning to sort out my apartment and purge stuff that I don’t really feel the need to drag halfway across the country.  And the slacker ennui I’ve been coping with hasn’t helped me be any more efficient. 

(Plus, I’m afraid that if I do too much before the job is all official-like, it will be tempting fate and the job will fall through and I’ll be stuck here forever PLUS I’ll have to unpack 47 cardboard boxes of my belongings.)

Things are fixin’ to get real interesting up in here. 

Year in Review Monday, Dec 31 2007 

Let’s take a little look back at 2007, shall we…

January — I get a yearly bonus.  Best Friend T turns 30, kicking off the year that the all of us will turn 30.  My brothers turn 19 and 24.  I feel old.  My dad and my brother go to Seattle to see my grandfather, which will turn out to be the last such visit.  Best Friend T almost goes into early labor and we host an un-shower “Spa Day” for her. 

February — T’s son, Master J, arrives on February 2.  Lending credence to the whole “Circle of Life” theory, my grandpa dies on February 5 and I am heartbroken.  My sorority girls put together a great recruitment and we gain several new members.  My schedule is abso-freaking-lutely insane for the entire month. 

March — I start a blog.  Currently, about 5 real people and 50 billion spammers read it.  My cousin and her partner are united in a ceremony in Puerto Rico and it turns out that my mother didn’t realize said cousin was gay until the wedding invitation came. 

April — We have what may be the coldest Easter on record and celebrate my mom’s birthday.  I go to a big conference in the mountains of VA and enjoy a few days of very little work.  I apply for a new job at work.  The Virginia Tech massacre hits very very close to home.  At the end of the month, I travel to Michigan with my parents for the first of my grandfather’s two memorial services. 

May — I interview and am REJECTED for the new job at work.  I begin to explore other options.  I accompany Best Friend T and her two kids to D.C. for a weekend and learn lots of lessons about parenthood.  The Boy and I dork out at Jamestown for the 400th anniversary.  My parents’ dog Faye dies. 

June — I ponder applying for jobs in Germany.  My entire family goes to IL for the second memorial service, and thanks to the general shittiness of the airline industry, arrives more than 24 hours after we were originally scheduled to.  Friend B turns 30.  Best Friend A’s husband leaves for 3 months in Italy and we think about making plans to visit him. 

July — I actually apply for two jobs in Germany as work kicks my ass.  At the end of the month I fly to Orlando with the president of my sorority chapter to attend our nat’l convention.  We cover the whole of Disney World in 7 hours.  It is hot as hell.  My friend M’s daughter M arrives 8 weeks ahead of schedule, tiny but perfect.

August — The Divine Miss M (T’s first kid) turns 2.  The Boy and I have a big fight and that whole “thing” seems to be over.  I go to Nashville for a work conference and am subject to more flight shenanigans.  I also buy a new mattress.  Friend B tells us she’s postponing her wedding.

September — My friends and I start a weightloss challenge, which I am sure to lose.  I begn to wonder if I will be stuck at this job forever.  My migraines return with avengence.     Nothing else of note really happened this month.

October — Best Friend A’s husband returns home from Italy just in time to celebrate her 30th birthday with us.  Friend E comes to visit from Atlanta.  Friend B tells us she’s now getting married in December and we all expend a lot of energy trying to figure out a bridal shower conundrum

November — With much trepidation, I turn 30.  I also get a nice haircut.  A neurologist tries to figure out why I’m having such migraine issues.  I randomly put in my resume for a couple other jobs.  Friend B has a bridal shower and a spa day.  At the very end of the month, the possibility of returning to New Orleans (temporarily or permanently) resurfaces.  Friend Al also turns 30.  We are all now old.

December — Friend B gets married and I am the ONLY PERSON AT THE WEDDING WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO CATCH THE STUPID BOUQUET.  New Orleans becomes a reality, at least for a 60-day temporary assignment.  I get to go back for a couple days to transition with the person who currently has the job.  I buy all my Christmas presents after Dec. 20.  I will spend New Years Eve with some of my best friends, doing two of our favorite things — eating and playing games. 

Things I could/should/will blog about… Thursday, Dec 20 2007 

Soonish?

In no particular order:

  • The job I turned down today.  The one that was sort of in the boonies.  Okay, really in the boonies.  It was a promotion, but that was about all it offered.
  • The way that I’m getting a reputation as a really good cook, but it’s pretty much a sham.  Basically, I’m a really good recipe-picker and I can, you know, follow instructions and occasionally I’m willing to take a chance and put my own spin on the recipe, the first time even, just to see what will happen. 
  • The fact that it is December 20, which means, like, 4 shopping days till Christmas Eve and I?  HAVEN’T STARTED SHOPPING.  I was waiting for my paycheck, you see, and I know what I want to get everyone so that is a start, no?
  • The two hours yesterday afternoon that my heart was in my throat — it started with my new girly doctor telling me I had lumpy breasts during my annual exam and hmmm, there was one lump and she didn’t think it was anything but maybe I should get it checked out and yeah, she thought I should do it before I left town for two months “just in case,” because that’s not something you just want to wait on.  This was followed by the imaging center saying they could fit me in if I was there in half an hour and me undergoing an ultrasound while trying not to panic and I think I really only stopped WRITING MY WILL IN MY HEAD when the radiologist told me it was nothing, NOTHING to worry about at all, thank god.   And then I swore to myself that I would do the monthly checks just like I told the doctor I do, when I don’t really at all. 
  • Watching my baby brother sing “Ave Maria” last night at choir practice all by himself and I could barely look at him because it would make me cry.  Who is this kid?  Wasn’t it just, like, a year ago he was born 6 weeks early, weighing 3 lbs., 4 oz., and then he was a precocious 5 year-old who walked around on his tiptoes all the time and believed any white lie I told him??  And now he’s 19 and a sophomore in college?  Like, when did that happen? 
  • And finally, what about the fact that I volunteered to sit for Best Friend T’s kidlets tonight so she and her hubby could go shopping, despite the fact that she and the kids and the hub have all been sick with the PLAGUE for more than a week and really, her house should be under quarantine and no perfectly healthy person (like myself) should be admitted?  But yet, babysit I will and will probably willingly give them kisses and nibble on their delicious little faces and wipe noses and get myself thoroughly covered in little kid germs and end up sick as a dog just in time for the holidays and I will have no one to blame but myself.  It’s just that they’re so darn cute and I have to get my time in with them now before I go away for two months and POOF when I return, they’ll probably be 19 years old too.  And in my experience, no self-respecting 19-year-old will let you nibble their cheeks. 

Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans? Monday, Dec 17 2007 

The trip to NOLA last week went very well.  I’m excited about going back, excited about the work I’m going to be doing and the people I’ll be working with, excited about being in that amazing city again.  They really want to try and put me in this position permanently, so I’ll just have to see what happens.

But I’m struggling with it too.  Some people think it would be good for me.  Other people (namely my boss) think I would be making a big mistake.  That the job will be a dead end or that I won’t be happy.  And I have to admit that his doubts have put a few doubts in my mind too.

Which drives me crazy — there are some people that want all the advice and opinions in the world.  I am not one of those people.  I listen to the advice and the opinions but in the end, I have to find the true answer, the right answer, within myself. 

And right now my mind is clouded and filled with too many voices and I’m frantically trying to handle everything that needs to be handled in the next 3 weeks.  I don’t have the time to second-guess my decision.  I don’t have time to be worried.   The time for analysis and discussion and obsessing is over. 

 Now is the time to take a deep breath, block out everyone else and do what I think is right for ME.  Not for my family or my friends or my boss or the office or my sorority girls or anyone else.  I have to be completely, totally selfish.  And if it’s a mistake, at least it’s a mistake I made on my own terms and I have no one to blame but myself.

It was great to be back in that office.  It was great to see old friends.  It was great to have a new challenge to look forward to.  My gut and my heart are telling me that I need to take this opportunity.  I’m so excited I can hardly stand it and that may not make sense to anyone else but me. 

And I don’t care.  Because right now, I’m the only one that matters. 

Quick Update Monday, Dec 10 2007 

I’m not moving to New Orleans.  Not yet anyway.

I am flying there THIS AFTERNOON, to stay for a couple days.  And I will be returning on Jan. 2 to work there for 2 months. 

Because clearly, I have lost my mind. 

But anyway, I have to go there this week to spend a couple days with the woman who currently has the job that I’m going to take over. 

And I’m super, nauseatingly nervous.  Why?  Let me give you a lil’ list:

  • Travel arrangements — the last three airplane trips I have taken have all been screwed up all to hell.  I’ll consider it lucky if I make it to NOLA and back on the correct days.
  • I always get nervous when I’m seeing people again that I haven’t seen in a long time.  Several of my former co-workers from my last New Orleans stint are still around and even though I’m really excited to see them again, it also makes me jittery.
  • What if the woman I’m supposed to work for hates me?  Or hates my clothes (I’m always inordinantly concerned that people will judge me by appearances alone)?  What if she’s mean?  What if everyone is disappointed after my former boss there talked me up like I was the second coming? 
  • Plus, I’ll have to see my ex-boyfriend at the airport, most likely, for that is where he works.  Gah.

Oh, AND, I had a telephone interview for another completely unrelated-to-NOLA job last week and it turns out it’s down to me and one other person.  And I’m kind of sure I don’t want it at this point (main reason — it is in the boonies…aka NO STARBUCKS!) but if I do get an offer, I’m going to agonize over what the right thing to do is. 

Also, due to a crazy weekend and the last minute nature of my trip, I was up waaay too late, scrambling to pack and whatnot, and then I got up early because I couldn’t sleep (too nervous) so I’m working on about, uh, about 4 hours of sleep.  Which is clearly not enough. 

One piece of good news — I’m going CARRY ON ONLY, baby.  That is something that I have rarely ever been able to achieve.  I even feel…dare I say it…streamlined

Commitment Phobia Wednesday, Dec 5 2007 

I’m not going to talk about “skydiving” (or moving to New Orleans) because I have no clue what the eff is going on or how this whole thing is going to shake out. 

Instead I’m going to get all political and shit.  Less than a year from now we will elect a new President and I’m still not sure which candidate I’m rooting for.

I am a Democrat.  Period.  I vote Democratic, always.  I’m not going to go on at length about why I’m a Democrat or why it’s better than being a Republican.  If you’re a Republican, good for you.  The only time I have ever in my life voted for a Republican was when I voted in the Virginia Republican Primary, just so I could vote against Bush twice in one year.

So anyway, I think the Democratic race will come down to three people — Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards.  

A lot of people HATE Hillary.  I mean, really really hate her.  I have heard her described as “evil,” which is a word I generally reserve for, you know, the Sadam Hussein’s and Adolph Hitler’s of the world.  I would looove to have a woman president.  I think it’s about damn time.  And I think Hillary is as good a female candidate as anyone else.  But frankly, my fear is that if Hillary becomes the nominee, people will pour out of the woodwork to vote AGAINST her.  Just on principle.  I think she will lose and lose very, very badly. 

Barack.  Barack Obama.  That’s just a fun name to say.  I also think it’s about time to have a minority president.  Or even a serious minority candidate who’s not Jesse Jackson (don’t get me started on Jesse Jackson).  I really don’t have a firm opinion on Barack.  He seems like a nice enough guy, and smart and capable.  Solid.  Interesting.  But I don’t know, I guess I haven’t caught the Obama fever yet. 

So that brings us to the white guy — John Edwards.  First, I think John Edwards is cute.  Dreamy, even.  I greatly admire his wife.  I was backing him last time because John Kerry was not the candidate I really wanted to vote for.  Edwards seems the most charismatic of the three.  Charisma is big with me.  He doesn’t have a lot of experience, though. 

Of course, none of these folks is or has been a governor.  Being governor seems to be the best prerequisite for getting elected president (Carter, Reagan, Clinton) if you weren’t the Vice President.  There is one Democratic governor in the running (Richardson) but I honestly don’t know a lot about him. 

I guess I need to do some homework.  Our primary isn’t until after New Hampshire and Iowa and Super Tuesday and by then, I have a feeling the landscape will be a lot less crowded with candidates. 

I love election years!

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