Posts tagged ‘analyzing/thinking about stuff’

December 16, 2008

To keep my CDs or to rip them: That is the question

Although I have bought only about 5 physical CDs in the past few years, I own a few hundred CDs, cassettes, vinyl records, etc. I’m a huge music lover, of course. And I also worked at record stores for a few years – which made me ultra-aware of all the new and good music coming out, so I was tempted to buy so much stuff. I got a nice discount. And back before the economy and recording industry went majorly down, the record companies were generous with giving away free stuff, so I used to have free promo CDs coming out my ears. I have shelves, racks, towers, zipper booklet things, parts of book shelves, plastic bins, etc. full of CDs and tapes.

Although it might look cool to view all the CDs, it no longer feels cool. First of all, it takes a few minutes to find what I’m looking for (if I can find it at all and don’t just give up). It’s somewhat organized, but not totally. It used to be in order by category and alphabet, but after moving several times over the past few years, it’s just like meh. (Besides, even when it was in order, people would always take them out and not put them back in the right spot). And moving them all is a pain and takes several trips back and forth in big, heavy boxes. It seems to take too much time and effort – and space – than what it should, especially with today’s technology.

So here is the question I am debating in my head: Should I import all my CDs on a large external hard drive and get rid of the physical copies… or should I just keep on doing what I’m doing?

I know what I need to do with the cassettes. I don’t own nearly as many cassettes as CDs and I need to just go on eMusic and download the songs I liked from them and donate the tapes to Goodwill/Salvation Army.
And as far as the vinyl is concerned, I’m keeping most of them.

Now I’m considering getting rid of most of my physical copies of CDs and only keeping the CDs that are special (my super favorite ones, albums that I played on, ones that are out of print/hard to find/imports, limited edition versions, etc.) The only time I even use a CD player is on my computer. And that, of course, is capable of playing the mp3 versions.

The geeky and practical side of me says:
Do it! Buy a 1 TB external hard drive and import them all there. You can sell the CDs to a record store and whatever they won’t take, just donate to Goodwill or the library. You will save so much space. Moving will be much easier the next time around. You will be much more likely to hear all your CDs because you can play them on shuffle and go through your library. If you’re looking for a song or album, you can just type what you’re looking for. So much easier! And aside from your beautiful vinyl records, you’re pretty much over the whole "but I have to hold the CD in my hands and own a physical copy of it" mentality. You’re trying to be more efficient, organized, practical, and less of a packrat. You’re doing a good job so far compared to how you used to be. So why haven’t you done this already, dummy?!

The paranoid side of me says:
Sure, it will be a lot easier to find anything in your collection and much easier when moving time comes along, but it’s even easier for someone to just steal your life’s collection! And you can’t afford to buy two hard drives (one of them for backup) so if something happens, you’re screwed. The hard drive could just crap out for an unknown reason, it could get damaged, and again – someone could steal it! Sure, people could still steal your CDs, but at least they’d only make off with a few. That’s better than losing years of music collecting. You could buy a safe to put it in, but those things aren’t cheap. And will you really feel like putting it in the safe every night before you go to bed or every time you leave the house? And even with the safe, it could still stop working due to a technical error.

Now some of you might be thinking: "Just rip them all on a hard drive but keep the original CDs somewhere just in case". But that would really be defeating the purpose.

So what should do? I’m leaning toward the geeky/practical logic. But I’m paranoid that I’d be making the wrong decision.

November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

Happy Thanksgiving! I had a small and simple, but good meal with my mother. She’s been having some medical issues lately, so she wasn’t able to make her famous dinner. So I tried to help out as much as I could. She baked the bread and cooked the turkey, while I took care of the rest of it, like the side dishes.

Some of the things I am thankful for:

  • My Friends and Family: You know who you are. You help keep me sane. Or at least make me feel like I’m not completely crazy.
    I’m glad that I’ve gotten a chance to be on good terms with my mother and that we’ve gotten to know each other better. For years, we were on really bad terms but we’ve become much more understanding of each other compared to the past. And we get along so much better.
    And Mandi, I’m glad we were able to reconnect this past year. I know you’re moving to Vegas soon, but at least we’ve been able to bond again before you leave. I don’t know what I’m going to do when you leave, haha. But I’m happy for you.
  • My Job: I somehow ended up working for a good company. I had been a temp there for a while and in January, they hired me. I wasn’t originally meant to end up being employed there. I was just there to do some clerical work. I don’t even have a degree, which almost everyone there does (except for some of the call center employees). But my boss was open minded enough to give me a chance because I showed that I knew a lot of stuff already and was also a fast learner in the things I didn’t know yet. I get some great benefits and they treat us well for the most part. I get to work around some cool people. Most of the people I work around have this nice combination of hip but professional. And I’m lucky enough to have a boss who is very understanding about my mom’s health issues and he doesn’t give me a hard time about missing work due to helping my mom. It’s also in a cool location in Brewers Hill.
  • My education: I’ve been fortunate enough to go back to school this past year and not only have a chance at a better future once I get my degree, but I’m learning things in which I’m actually interested. I’m lucky enough to have some great teachers and to have met some interesting other students. And most of my friends, family, and co-workers are very supportive of me.
  • Music: With so much going on in my life right now, I don’t get to record or perform nearly as much as I used to in the past and definitely not as much as I wish I could. But I’m glad that there are people who haven’t forgotten about me during this time. And that I’ve still gotten some opportunities to do projects and collaborations with other great musicians.

I was planning on going to work tomorrow. It’s not required, but it would be a floating holiday so I’d be able to use that as paid time off later. But I have so much to get done, I don’t even know if I’ll go.

Some of the things I’ll be doing over the Thanksgiving weekend:

  • Finishing up lots of schoolwork. With the end of the semester approaching, there is a lot of work due. Most of what I have to complete are projects due in my C++ programming class. One of the programs due next week is a memory game. It’s similar to this: http://www.zefrank.com/memory. Sure, it’s not a very complex game, but writing the code for it is harder than some might think.
  • Attending this show on Saturday:

I hope everyone is doing well and is having a great Thanksgiving!

Love,
Teresa

August 22, 2007

An Asian-American perspective of Affirmative Action

From “Model Minority”:

Asian American status in affirmative action

Because of their high degree of success as a group, Asian Americans do not benefit from affirmative action policies the way other minority groups do. In fact, most schools routinely choose lower-scoring applicants from other racial groups, including European Americans, over Asian Americans, in an attempt to promote racial diversity and to maintain some proportion to the society’s racial demographics. [11]
A 2005 Princeton study showed Asians (not whites) bear nearly 80% of the cost of affirmative action in college admissions. Nearly four out of every five spots given to any other race in an affirmative-action regime would go to Asians in a purely merit-based system. 1


From “Affirmative Action Bake Sale”:

Asians not counted as minorities

Asians are generally not included in the minority-discount category in bake-sales because they do not benefit from affirmative action policies. For example, some schools have had restrictions on the proportion of Asian students admitted, in favor of lower scoring students of other racial groups.1 African-American Dr. Walter E. Williams, a libertarian professor of economics at George Mason University further elaborates that:

“A minority group is not (counted as) a minority if, as a group, it is successful. Asian median family income is $55,525, the highest of any racial group in America. More than 44 percent of Asians age 25 and over have bachelor’s degrees; the rate for all other Americans was 26 percent. Other indicators of group success include low crime rate and high family stability.” [1]

From “Affirmative Action in the United States”:

Libertarian view

Some free market libertarians argue that employment discrimination is only made possible by pervasive market failures. Under a regime of highly competitive labor and goods markets, companies would not be able to afford to hire on any basis other than merit. According to Libertarians, this would render affirmative action unnecessary.
Regardless of the willingness to pay and profitability for private persons or groups to discriminate, other libertarian-oriented persons further argue that affirmative action and non-discrimination policies violate individual rights of freedom of association and the enforcement of such statues violate individual freedom of speech. They argue that such central authority to dictate moral and social improvement is a power that will be fought over on all sides and ultimately cause more harm than good. For example, private female-only gyms have been forced to hire male workers, American colleges have discriminated against Asian students (on the grounds that they are “overrepresented”), and in Washington DC, individuals have been forbidden to advertise that they wish to share an apartment with another Democrat, homosexual, or with someone of similar faith. They conclude that application of affirmative action and anti-discrimination laws to the conduct or property of an individual or a private group is a threat to civil liberties.[20]

Centrist view

Certain people have a different point of view about specifically first world affirmative action which, for lack of a better word, will be referred to as “centrist” here. They claim that affirmative action makes sense, but only to the point where it helps the disadvantaged members of minorities, as opposed to the middle and upper class. They believe that affirmative action, as it is now, is not fulfilling its original purpose (to bring minorities out of poverty) as the vast majority of minorities, in the first world at least, are already middle-class. There have been cases of middle-class minorities receiving better jobs or college acceptance rates than whites of equal or lower income or social standing. According to this point of view, affirmative action should be eliminated and joined with the normal welfare system that helps both whites and blacks that are lower-class. They believe that affirmative action should only be used to bring the lower class, not a specific racial group, out of poverty. This view is particularly associated with the liberal academic and author Walter Benn Michaels. [21]


Why am I posting this? Well, with going back to school next week and hearing a discussion about affirmative action on The Ed Norris Show right now, this is a side to the debate that I do not hear people talk about!
When I first moved from Dayton, OH to Baltimore, MD in the mid-nineties, my parents had to fill out some paperwork to transfer me to the school system here. They did it all and I had nothing to do with it. I remember when they were done, they had a talk with me. They said an issue came up that hadn’t been talked about when we lived in Ohio. They didn’t know what to put down for me under the Race Category. Should they put down Asian, Caucasian, or Other? (There was no choice to put down more than one or specifically what you are if you’re multi-racial). The school counselor strongly urged them to put down Asian because this would stay on my records for years and this would supposedly help me greatly as far as getting into college. The counselor also told them to tell me I should always put down Asian on my applications to colleges in the future, so that I would have an easier time being accepted. I was slightly surprised at this because I had rarely (if ever) even heard about affirmative action until that day. I would have put down Asian regardless of all this, but now I was told this was my only choice. I just said that was fine and that was the end of it. It was done.
Fast forward a few years to my senior year of high school. I was in a class and we were having a heated debate about affirmative action. I was the first non-Caucasian person to raise my hand. When the teacher called on me to discuss this, there were these comments from classmates that went: “Of course, you like affirmative action. You benefit from it.” This was before I started talking. Then I told them something that surprised them. I said that I thought being Asian-American actually hurt my chances of getting into college more than if I were any other race. I told them the reasons I felt this way (the reasons that are stated above) and almost everyone told me I was crazy. At the time, I didn’t have the facts and figures to back up my claim. I hadn’t even heard anyone else state they thought this was true and I had certainly never read an article on this. My teacher, on the other hand, agreed with me fully! And this teacher almost never said what his opinion was on any topics. He usually stayed neutral. But he let the class know he thought I was right in this matter. He said he had known this for years. He said he knew college professors who had told him this was true. He knew Asian-American students in the past who should have been accepted to colleges but were rejected, while students of other races (including Caucasians) were accepted to those same schools and programs during the same time even though they were much less qualified.
Of course, I am not trying to re-enforce the stereotype that all Asians study hard and get good grades. Yes, I was always a good student who was on the Honor Roll/Dean’s List and took higher-level classes (Honors, Gifted/Talented, Advanced Placement, etc). But I have been told for years that for an Asian,  I’m not that studious. (Of course, that is an annoying statement). I don’t excel at math! I don’t stay at home every weekend to study – I have a social life. And this describes a lot of other Asian-Americans, not just me.
But the fact of the matter is, as a whole, we get high scores. I have heard jokes from friends that they hardly see Asians in Baltimore, but when they go into their college library, they see the most they’ve seen in their lives. (Meaning there is a much higher percentage of Asians in college than there are Asians in the general population).
I’m not saying we’re a smarter race. I’m just pointing out facts here. I think a big part of it has not only to do with the fact that standards in schools are higher in many other countries outside of North America, but also that a select population comes to this country from Asia. Think about it. It’s a lot harder for someone from Asia to move to this country than it would be for someone who lives in a neighboring country. Driving here is a lot easier and cheaper than flying here. The languages are a lot different from English than Spanish vs. English or Italian vs. English.  This makes it a lot harder to learn the language. (I know not all Asians are immigrants. There are some who have been here for years and are second, third, etc. generation. But you get my point). So you’re not going to get as many Asians coming to this country as you would of people from counties which are closer. You’re going to get those who really want to come here and work hard to do so. You’re going to be more likely to get the “top” people of their communities because they are the ones who have a strong work ethic and a drive to succeed.
Here’s my point. Asian-Americans are discriminated just as much, if not more, as other “minorities” do right now. We have been treated unfairly in this nation’s past. Sure, most public schools do not teach this. They talk about how African-Americans or Jewish people have had it hard, but they usually skip all the stuff that happened to Asians (and other groups). But just because they don’t teach it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen! If you don’t know, look it up. I’m not going to say that we had it as bad as slavery, but there were some major injustices. We were segregated. Most people I talk to aren’t even aware of the internment camps, which happened as recently as the 1940s! This wasn’t talked about in school. We celebrate Black History Month, but do any of you know when Asian Pacific American Heritage month is? Did you even know it existed at all? Because I didn’t until I was curious and looked it up on the internet about ten years ago. The ch word or the g word is spoken on television but the n word or the k word are almost always bleeped out. I could go on and on about discrimination of Asian-Americans (and I probably will in a future post), but the point is this: Affirmative Action was put into place to help “even out” the injustices of discrimination. But this hurts us and if you believe in affirmative action, I would think you would agree we have been discrimated against and therefore should benefit from this. Right? I am making sense here?
I believe if we are going to keep Affirmative Action, things need to change. Not only because of the Asian-American issues. But it seems like some of the wrong people are benefiting from affirmative action. I hear reports about how many privileged, African-American students from well-off families (who don’t  need as much assistance) will be able to use this to their advantage while poorer, under-privileged African-American students who are much more disadvantaged are turned away even though they are intelligent, hard-working, and well-achieving students. This has been said about other minority groups. So who are we really helping? We might be hurting people more than we are helping certain others.
We can have the debate whether or not affirmative action should exist at all. But that’s another discussion. If it is going to exist, it needs to adapt to the changes of society. Rules about other things change based on changes in the world and changes in time and affirmative action should also be adjusted accordingly. Just exactly how should we change things? That’s a complicated matter that doesn’t have a simple solution. All I do know for sure is that something does need to be improved.

August 20, 2007

I need to go for a walk.

I’m really glad it’s cooler outside. I need to go for a walk.
I have a lot of different emotions going on at all once right now – happy, frustrated, excited, annoyed, impatient, optimistic, hopeful, pessimistic, realistic, appreciated, and forgotten.
Hopefully, some good musical creations will come from this.

August 13, 2007

To all my left-handed friends…

I heard today is LeftHanders Day.
Hope you’re having a good day. I know the world was not designed for you. I always kind of wondered if my life would be different if I was left-handed. I bet if you’re left-handed and you’re a pianist, you’re good at the bass parts 😉

July 25, 2007

Personality Disorder Test – I’ve improved

“I remember when I lost my mind. There was something so pleasant about that phase”. – Gnarls Barkley

Disorder Rating Information
Paranoid: Moderate click for info
Schizoid: Low click for info
Schizotypal: Moderate click for info
Antisocial: Low click for info
Borderline: Low click for info
Histrionic: Low click for info
Narcissistic: Low click for info
Avoidant: Low click for info
Dependent: Low click for info
Obsessive-Compulsive: Moderate click for info
Disorder Rating
Paranoid: High
Schizoid: Low
Schizotypal: Moderate
Antisocial: Low
Borderline: Very High
Histrionic: Low
Narcissistic: Moderate
Avoidant: High
Dependent: Moderate
Obsessive-Compulsive: High

Since livejournal was down, I decided to skim through some of my old deadjournal entries from a few years ago. I decided to re-take the test and see what the current results would be. Back then, I was in denial that I had OCD (actually I didn’t really know what it was because the few things that are shown about it in the media don’t apply to me). And my depression was bad.

Neither of these are 100% accurate. But it does show that I’m doing much better as far as my mental health is concerned. I’m not perfect and I never will be in this lifetime. But at least I’m dealing with things better and improving myself.

“And when you’re out there without care, Yeah, I was out of touch. But it wasn’t because I didn’t know enough. I just knew too much. Does that make me crazy? Probably.”

February 13, 2007

Valentine’s Loser?

Original entry and comments: http://cherryteresa.greatestjournal.com/2007/02/13/

I’m not the type of person that’s like “Oh my god, I can’t live without a boyfriend”. I actually think I’m too comfortable being single sometimes and that I might not ever want to get married because I like being alone and I might be too picky. I’m not extremely picky about who I’ll date, but I am about who I’ll be in a “relationship” with.
I actually think having two separate beds and pushing them together when you want to be closer to each other is a good idea! I know it’s not for everyone, but it may be right for me.

But for some stupid reason, I let society’s dumb ideas get to me on Valentine’s Day. I don’t buy into the frenzy of how society and corporations make you think you have to get into thousands of dollars in debt around the holidays in December. I’m “above that”. So why does Valentine’s Day bother me? I don’t like being single this time of year. I don’t know what bothers me more – being single on Valentine’s Day or the fact that I let it bother me. Also, does it make me a loser that I haven’t had a boyfriend on Valentine’s Day since the 9th grade? I’ve had boyfriends since then, just not on Valentine’s Day. I even broke up with someone right before the day. It wasn’t on purpose, it just happened to be around that time.
I can’t wait until tomorrow is over.

December 7, 2006

I’m in a disco band

Original entry and comments: http://cherryteresa.greatestjournal.com/2006/12/07/

The beginning of last week, I posted a bulletin on MySpace.com that I was in a funk/disco cover band that’s seeking a female singer. I got a bunch of messages from people going “HUH?!” So let me explain the deal.
Yes, I’m in a band now. We juuuust started working on stuff and that’s why you didn’t know.
No, we’re not being sexist. The reason why we want a female singer is because our guitarist (who’s male) is also singing. But there are a lot of disco songs that were performed by females and have lyrics that refer to being feminine subjects, so that’s why. We want a singer who can really sing well and sing the high notes. Anyone who’s ever heard me sing or even talk knows that I have a deeper voice so there’s no way I could do that. So basically some songs will have male vocals, some will have female, and some will have both.

And here’s what I want to make clear:
Why am I in a cover band?! I’ll be honest, at first when I was asked, I said no. But being in a cover band is a way to make money. For those of you who don’t know, most original bands lose money. Sure you usually get paid to play gigs but that usually doesn’t even cover the amount of money you’ve paid into for studio time, practice space, gas money driving to play out of state shows, merchandise, etc. And plus a lot of gigs you may get paid little or nothing because you are getting something bigger in return – such as you might be opening up for some big national act, or the show will be aired on the radio, or the show is guaranteed to have a big audience. I certainly never played in a band before for the money which is obvious when you know that I lost more money that I’ve even earned for being a musician. I’ve always done it for the love of the music. But at this time, I’m playing music for both the love of the music and to make some money.
As I stated a few months ago, I do not have a keyboard that I can use to perform on anymore; I just have a practice keyboard. (Go down a few entries on my journal and you will see the explanation on this). One of the huge obstacles I have in ever being in a serious band again is that I need to save up hundreds of dollars to get gear again. And when you consider the tens of thousands of dollars of debt I have from being sick, that’s going to take years to happen.
I am lucky enough and our vocalist/guitarist is nice enough to have offered me to use his keyboard for this band. So problem solved on that one! I can play out using his keyboard. And hopefully I will eventually save up some money to put toward buying myself one. Before you point the finger at me and call me a sell-out, thnk about this. I am making money doing something that I love. There are many musicians who make extra money by doing illegal things such as selling drugs whether as a full-time job or on the side. Then there are those who will do things they might not like such as working long hours at a high paying job they don’t like or even stripping. (I’m not saying people shouldn’t strip. I’m just saying that there are those who hate it but stay in the business for the money). Would I be called a sell out if I were doing any of those things for money? Probably not as likely as being called a sell out for being in a cover band. Sure I am adjusting to what the bar owners want but at least I am still doing what I enjoy. (Plus I actually like disco and funk music).
I also realized that until I find a band or find people to start a band that I really get along with musically, personally, “professionally”, etc. (and I am picky), I can still be out there performing. And while yeah part of it will be unfulfilling because I won’t get to be very creative (considering none of us are writing anything), there are still a lot of great things about this band. We just started practicing a couple weeks ago, and already we are getting along well. And I’m lucky in the fact that again I am in a band where every musician is very talented. (There is no weak link or person who is just there because we needed someone who plays “fill in the blank”. Unless you count myself haha). I actually like practice, I find it very fulfilling and I think it helps keep me centered. Then there’s the fact that the places we’re more than likely going to be playing are places that have built-in audiences/regular followings. So while we’re still going to bring our friends to shows, there’s no pressure to bring a certain amount of people. There’s also no pressure of having a CD done by a period of time since we’re a cover band. There’s also a lot of pressure taken away because this is something we’re doing for the fun of it. It’s not like we’re trying to make a name for ourselves or we have to question what direction we’re headed or if the band is going somewhere.
Don’t get me wrong. I like going into the studio. I like building up a following. I like having band merch and all that other stuff. But in a way, it will nice to just concentrate on playing rather than other things such as the business aspect of the music business.

Before you go off on me about how it’s messed up or backwards that most unsigned original bands lose money while cover bands make money (if you do it the right way), realize this: I know it’s messed up! But I don’t make the rules.
Also, my opinion still stays the same about orignal bands doing covers. Original bands should only do a small amount of covers. They should be really picky about what they cover. And the cover should sound like the artist who’s covering it while still doing justice to the original version. (For example: Johnny Cash did a cover of the song “Hurt” by Nine Inch Nails. But many Cash fans had no idea it was a cover because the song sounded like a song he would have written/performed usually. But the cover did not – in my opinion – do an injustice to the original version. And many Nine Inch Nail fans give Cash the thumbs up on his version). If your covers stick out like sore thumbs, if they are songs that anyone could tell is a cover because it doesn’t sound anything like your other songs, you’re doing it the wrong way. Also, if most crowds have little interest in your originals, but get pumped up when you peform a cover, you probably need to work on your originals or perhaps play different venues.
I don’t think that original bands should throw in a ton of covers in their set. I don’t normally like some of these half original/half cover bands. Pick what you want to be! If you want to stay an original band, then be selective with your covers or just don’t do any covers at all. If you really enjoy doing the covers (and especially if the covers sound like the original and not your band), then consider just being in a cover band.
(I’m not dissing the original bands who will sometimes play two or three hour sets at clubs they don’t usually play to make some extra cash and have to throw in several covers).

Moral of this long entry is that I’m in a disco/funk cover band and that doesn’t make me a hypocrite. And whenever I get a keyboard and meet the right people in the future, I will also be in an original band at the same time. And if it wasn’t for this cover band, I might not ever even have the chance to be in an original band again or at least not anytime soon. If you have a problem with that or would like to call me a sell-out then I suggest you buy me new gear yourself or raise money to pay my medical debt. Don’t want to? Didn’t think so. So shut it!

December 1, 2004

Friend of mine dies in war

http://cherryteresa.greatestjournal.com/2004/12/01/

ANOTHER friend of mine is dead. A good friend of mine from when I was in middle school died fighting this stupid war. We used to chill like everyday at at his house back when I lived in Mt. Washington. And now he’s gone.

I miss you David Branning and I’m sorry that you had to be a part of this unnecessary war. And that you lost your LIFE doing so. We love you.

http://www.pigstye.net/iraq/article.php/20041118081029177

November 6, 2004

The end of Bi-partisanship

http://cherryteresa.greatestjournal.com/2004/11/06/

Subject: The end of Bi-partisanship
Mood : guilty
Music : The Music "Freedom Fighters"
The point of this entry isn’t telling you who you should have voted for. The point of this entry is that people should vote for who they agree with most – not who is the lesser of two evils. In this election however it was very important (in my opinion) to get Bush out period – whatever it takes. Unfortunately, the majority of Americans who voted did feel that Bush was the best candidate and now we are stuck with him for four more years. If I had voted for someone outside of the two-party system, it would not have effected Kerry’s chances of winning any more due to the electoral college system that is in place.

Also, this post isn’t necessarily to convince you of either Nader or Kerry’s views and plans. If you want to find out more, visit http://www.votenader.org and http://www.johnkerry.com. (Whether you agree with them or not, it’s good to be educated on what the different candidates stand for. A lot of people who are against Nader don’t even know what he’s about, they just don’t like that he’s not Democrat or Republican or because they blame him for Gore losing in 2000. If you agree or disagree with Nader or Kerry, that’s fine and that’s your opinion. The point is people should be educated. And that I should have voted who I felt was best.

We need to get rid of the bi-partisanship. People should vote for what candidate they believe is the right candidate. Not just the lesser of two evils. Or just because they are part of a certain party. In 2000, that is why I voted for Nader. And even know that he is not a Green but is now independent, I still believe he would make an amazing President. It’s about him and his beliefs – not political party nonsense. That whole bullshit with people saying Gore lost due to Nader is false. Gore lost because people didn’t want to vote for HIM. It’s not supposed to be the about the lesser of two evils, (Even though technically Gore did win but that’s a whole other topic).

This year I did vote for Kerry – a decision that I kept changing my mind on , even at the last second. I actually feel that Kerry is a very good candidate (much better than Gore was) but not the Best candidate. My mind kept switching between him and Nader. I was very scared at the thought of Bush winning that at the last minute I decided to vote for Kerry. I am not sure if I did the right thing. Especially since Bush won anyways. And with knowing that Maryland is a Democratic state anyways I should have realized my voting for Nader wouldn’t give Bush anymore of a chance. But I was scared at the possibility that Bush could still win Maryland. I think I should have voted Nader. Nader was the one I was for. Not who was the lesser of any evils.

There are so many reasons why getting rid of Bi-partisanship is important. The one obvious reason is that the more competition there is, the more the candidates are going to have to work harder. Another reason is because there are more than just two ways of thinking! Politics is so complex that I don’t how if you believe one thing you automatically support everything else that fits into the category of that political party. Just like with religion. Could you imagine if there were only two religions and you had to choose one? How can your beliefs fit into one of two categories? And what’s really important is that we grow and evolve. Our political party was not always Democrat/Republican. Many years ago it was the Federalists and Anti-Federalists. After that it was Federalists and Democratic-Republican Party. After that it was National Republican, Anti-Masonic Party and the Whigs. I could go on and on and on about the different parties and how they changed. It was because of the "oddball" candidates running that knew they weren’t going to win this time around… fighting and having a grass-roots campaign that things changed and eventually turned into a "major" party. If it weren’t for them, we’d still be fighting over decisions should be made by the state or the federal government. This is why it’s so important right now to vote for who you think the right candidate is regardless of political party. We must evolve.

A co-worker of mine told me she is a Republican. But she still voted for Kerry this election because she said based on his plan and his history, she felt he was the best candidate and that’s why. It didn’t matter his party. She is appalled at Bush. She did the right thing. She voted for the candidate and not the party.

People don’t realize there are the Green, Democratic Socialists of America, Libertarian, Natural Law Party, The New Party, The Communist Party, Reform, Socialist, The U.S. Taxpayers Party, and even more. It’s not just Republicans and Democrats. And of course there are the independents.

Another reason why I voted Kerry is because I felt that change should be gradual. In 2000, we had a Democrat in office. Believing that another Democrat would win anyways I felt people would eventually change and Nader in several years would have a good chance of winning or if not winning getting a lot higher up in the polls. Well right now we have Bush in office and he won. Most of America sadly supports him. Getting Nader to get up in the polls is going to take a lot more work and a lot more time. But I do believe it’s worth it and he did do the right thing by still running this year. However the reason I voted Kerry was because I felt like you can’t convince someone who’s drinking and smoking to quit both at the same time and expect it to work. You try to eventually get them to quit one first. Then they can quit the other one. I felt voting for Nader who is way on the opposite spectrum of Bush… when the majority of people are in favor of someone completely opposite of Nader would be pushing too hard and asking too much. And that Kerry was somewhere between that and that was more of a realistic goal – to get Kerry to win. (In 2000, I felt Bush and Gore were almost the same. And in some ways, so are Bush and Kerry. But that’s a whole other topic). I knew no matter what – in 2000 or this year that Nader wouldn’t win. That’s not the point. Gradual grass-roots change and voting for who you believe is the best – not the lesser of two evils.

But the bottom line is I should have voted for Nader. And I didn’t. And I SUCK.

THE END.