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Launch and Signing Party–Blogging Live-ish October 18, 2008

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And we’re here, at Heritage Perk…broadcasting and blogging live from the event.

Please feel free to join in and comment.

Don’t forget, one lucky person from the Web, among today’s commenters will be chosen at random will win the matching gift of a mini starter stationery wardrobe, which will be given away today at the signing. And, for those joining in from the Web, book purchases made before 11:59 p.m. Eastern time tomorrow (Sunday, October 19, 2008) will have their copies signed.

Purchase here

UPDATE: Watch us live the video soon…we’re we were experiencing technical difficulty on and off throughout trying to broadcast.  But once the video is up, you can watch and comment and still have a chance to win the bonus gift.

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DNC08-Days 2 & 3 August 28, 2008

Posted by emsgeiss in politics, Uncategorized.
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Day Two

Everyone, by now, knows that Hillary Clinton’s rallying call last night, to unite behind Obama is history, and that today the delegates will cast their official votes to select the democratic nominee for the Presidential election.

But back to last night for a bit. What viewers watching at home can’t see, is quite a spectacle. We were on the floor last night for the speeches, and after a day of other events that we needed to attend (along with the daily schelp to pick up our credentials), we arrived just in time to gain access to the floor before they realized that the were over capacity and closed the floor, regardless of credential level. (I imagine that key people, such as staff or press covering the event from the floor were still able to get in.) Being able to watch the event from the floor was exciting, but from the comfort-standpoint (and we were standing), sitting in the gallery as we were for Monday night was much better. We could see better, and, well … we were sitting. But it was still exciting to be in the “thick of it” even as we were all herded along to songs of “keep moving, folks, keep moving.”

Once the final benediction is given, and everyone leaves, the feeding frenzy starts. The staged media, with their “on location” sets have to do their post-mortem reporting. The “on the ground” media have to find delegates and members of the general public attending to interview. Camera crews film, or try to get back to their posts and catch up with their producers. And the political junkies swoop down like predators to carrion on the campaign signs that have been discarded and litter the floor and remain on the seats. They travel upstream, against the flow of traffic, nearly climbing over chairs, squatting on the floor to collect the very signs and slogans that you see being waved during the key moments when you’re watching on T.V.  Of course, many people keep the signs that they’re given, maybe grab one or two extras for the kids back home, or that loyal supporter/friend they have who couldn’t attend and said, “if you can get a Hillary-Obama-campaign-Michelle-whatever sign, bring me back one,” and then there are the crazy people — and believe me, there were lots. Being a political wife, I get the “celebrity” of politics, but I also know that these folks are just like us and put on their pants the same way. And, while I do share profound sentiments of admiration for many other professional public servants, I also try not to be that person, you know, that “fan” — the one who sees that you’re having dinner with your family, but decides that now is a perfect time to hover over you for longer than it takes to say, “hello _______” (insert title/honorific) and shake hands.

One of the amazing things are the people who are there, who just soak up being around political figures. (We actually had a tiny accident, because someone not with the people that we were traveling with learned that my husband’s a nominee and just wanted to talk and talk and talk. Which, in itself is not a problem, and my husband was being very gracious, despite the fact that we were trying to get a photo done in a space that was becoming increasingly crowded. To make a long story short, personal space was invaded, and my poor husband got knocked off of the chair that he was standing on (so taht I could get the photo), with such a commotion, that Katie Couric herself (who was behind us) turned around mid-broadcast to make sure that he was okay. (I turned all shades of red). The chatty one, bending my husband’s ear, didn’t quite realized that he’d caused the accident, and oddly enough, just watched instead of offering him a hand out from between the chairs. It was both the most personally embarrassing and comical moment of the trip. (So far anyway.)

Day Three

Yesterday was busy. We had morning and afternoon events to attend, as on the other days and made our way to the Pepsi Center around 6 p.m. after picking up our credentials. Security was tighter than the previous evenings, which we thought was because of protesters. Actually, when we were heading to our first event of the day, we had to cross a protest, where the police — fully outfitted in their swat gear — were ready for the first sign of trouble. (Not fun, having to cross that line.) Anyway, once again our credentials got us on the floor and briefly, were able to sit with the delegation, during Bill Clinton’s speech.  We watched the rest of the speeches from a different spot on the Floor. Inspiring is the best word that can be used to describe the day and evening.

DNC08 Day 1: Personal Reactions August 26, 2008

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My husband and I are in Denver at the DNC08 convention, traveling with the Michigan delgataion. This is my first Democratic Convention, and it has been simply amazing. The energy and excitement here is bubbling to say the least. With my husband, now the Democratic nominee for State Rep for our district, we are getting to spend time with memebers of the Michigan legislature who are here. The early parts of the day are filled with Michigan-related events, the convention in the evening, followed by more post-convention Michigan events. It’s very busy. And the “jump right into the pool” introduction to this level of politics is like nothing I could have ever imagined. In many ways, it’s a little surreal. I have to pause every now and then and step back to take it all in, a bit flabbergasted that we’re actually here.

Yesterday’s speeches at the convention were beyond moving, the highlights (for me anyway) hearing Jesse Jackson, Jr. speak and his eloquent reference to Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream speech” stating that he was certain that MLK was looking upon this convention and noting that it’s the first one in sight of a mountain top. Hearing and seeing Senator Kennedy (my former Senator, from when I was a Massachusetts resident)-lucid and sharp as ever, and seeing Michelle Obama deliver a very real, very human speech, not just about Barak, but about the tasks ahead of us between now and the general election and once he’s elected, the important work to be done as a nation. As a political wife and a mom, her sentiments resonated with me profoundly. Of course, I’m not alone in that … there are many of us in this position … upholding our husbands who are dedicated to public office, all the while raising and protecting our children, trying to maintain some sort of normalcy and managing our own careers outside of political life. It was indeed profound and affirming. So we’re on to day 2 now, and I can say with great confidence, that I’m looking forward to it.

Woo! It’s the AW Blog Comment Blitz June 27, 2008

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This is one of the most fun things about blogging/writing and hanging out with an awesome group of writers.

I participated last year, and it was great to find new blogs to read and comment on (even if I still only lurk now). You know how it goes…so many great blogs to read…so little time, and I hate making those “nothing comments” like “great post,” so for me commenting takes thought, time…just as it does for these folks…none of whom would ever be mistaken for being blog comment pussies. (Many thanks to Suzanne Franco for adding that term to my lexicon. LOL)

Here’s the line-up blogroll:

  1. Peregrinas
  2. http://jjcooperaus.blogspot.com/
  3. Auria Cortes
  4. Puttin’ Words on Paper
  5. Spittin’ (out words) Like a Llama
  6. http://celebritytoday.today.com
  7. http://www.alleslinks.com
  8. http://chronicpain.today.com
  9. http://lissyssuitcase.blogspot.com
  10. http://impossibleuniverse.blogspot.com
  11. http://musingsfromthemitten.com ←you are here
  12. http://plaidearthworm.blogspot.com
  13. http://thewordynerd.blogspot.com/
  14. http://www.2passthetorch.com
  15. http://carolinewilson.typepad.com

For those not familiar with the great blog comment blitz, over the next week, we’ll all be visiting each other’s blogs and commenting on any post.

It’s on, and it’s going to be wicked good fun. 😀

Copyright © 2008, Erika-Marie S. Geiss

A huge tranformation June 2, 2008

Posted by emsgeiss in Business Issues, Humor & Satire, Uncategorized, writing/editing/blogging.
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A series of unrelated events led to needing a new head shot. I needed one anyway, since the one that I was using was one of those done “on the fly” in the yard, with my husband playing the role of photographer. The giant maple tree that I sat under, while beautiful, cast way too much of a shadow on me. And several friends, who know me in real life have commented that I wasn’t smiling in my old head shot.

Then a few weeks ago, I was struck with a raging case of iritis. Iritis is an inflammation of the iris that causes extreme pain and light sensitivity. It is not fun by any stretch of the imagination. I had it once before, in the ’90s during my first semester of graduate school. Being an art historian, having a sudden and acute vision problem was alarming and scary. This time though, I knew what it was right away, but while not as scary, is still alarming, because as a writer, eyesight is pretty important. It’s all better now, but one of the side-effects, probably more from my age than from the iritis, is that I now have to wear my glasses more often. Far-sighted with an astigmatism, I formerly only needed them for reading and when my eyes got tired. Now, it’s most of the time that I need to wear them, even when my eyes aren’t tired. Why? It’s probably part occupational hazard, part the aging process, also clearly indicated by the new-found strands of silver hairs in my coif. (Somehow, they don’t show up in the photo.)

Follow that delicious development with post-partum hair loss. I knew it was bound to happen, but it’s still disarming to find clumps and clumps of hair coming off in your hands at every turn. So off it went…what was left of it anyway.

So bye-bye braids and hello sassy boy cut.

Before

After

Well, at the very least, the new head shot makes me look more like a literary professional and less like a hippie-mama, as my darling husband would quip. At least that’s what I’d like to think. And hey, I’m smiling this time.

Copyright © 2008 Erika-Marie S. Geiss

Today was what? April 28, 2008

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This morning when I checked my tweets, I learned from the wonderful Tammy Munson, that today is World Blog Commenting day. (Why can’t I find Tammy’s blog to comment there as well?)

Of course WBC would occur while I’m on a triple deadline and have two grant proposals to work on, but somehow, and with just under two hours to spare in my time zone, I managed not only to get the minimum three comments posted, I got a fourth one in too. Woo hoo! (It’s the small victories that make me giddy. You should see how I get about the large ones.)

Now, I just have to remember to add April 28th to my calendar of obscure and strange holidays not to miss like International Talk Like a Pirate Day, so that I am not caught off guard next year. (And this kind of makes up for my missed Link Love this weekend. Did I mention that triple deadline thing?)

Oh, and be sure to visit the blogs that I WBC’d for:

Mind over Mullis, Wierd It’s, One Vote Matters and Beyond Mom.

So many blogs, so little time…but next year, with adequate preparation, I can be sure to devote the day to it.

HAPPY WORLD BLOG COMMENTING DAY!

A letter to my baby brother April 8, 2008

Posted by emsgeiss in education, Uncategorized, writing/editing/blogging.
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If he’s reading this, he’s cringing at being called my baby brother. If my other siblings are reading this (Hi, Fran) they’re wondering why I haven’t written a blog post dedicated to them. Ah, sibling rivalry.

But, my youngest brother and I share a unique bond…and that bond is Commonwealth School. In the fall, he goes off to high school to learn and laugh in the same hallowed halls that I did almost 20 years ago. When I found out that he was applying to Commonwealth I was delighted. When I found out that he got in, I was beside myself, probably as excited as our parents, if not more because my bond with Commonwealth as an alumna is different than theirs with it as parents a matriculating student. When I found out that he had decided to go (it was tied for first-choice with another prep school), I nearly jumped through the phone. Mark casually announced the news to me, with the nonchalance of a Commonwealth student who knows that a decision has been made and that what has been decided is so. (more…)

A morning in Doggy Hell February 16, 2008

Posted by emsgeiss in Humor & Satire, parenting & family, Uncategorized.
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So, we’re dog sitting one of my sisters-in-law’s two Kieshounds. Which is not fun, to say the least and I am not thrilled. Don’t get me wrong, I love dogs…just not this particular pair. And, for most things, I wouldn’t hesitate to help out a family member…except in the cases where you get sucked in to the dysfunction and end up enabling the continuance of bad patterns. But I digress.

My husband and I actually had a bit of a row this morning about the dogs. They are not the best-behaved dogs, and one doesn’t obey very well. I will allow and concede that they are great with kids, but among the biggest problem is that they have a hygiene problem that my sister-in-law refuses to recognize. She prefers them to look full and fluffy instead of clipping their butt hairs so that they don’t end up with a smear of cling-ons. (more…)

Pushing Forty December 31, 2007

Posted by emsgeiss in Humor & Satire, Uncategorized, writing/editing/blogging.
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We celebrated my husband’s 38th birthday the other night. He and one of our dear friends share the same birthday, so every year, our  little group of friends always gets together for a joint birthday party of sorts.  We secured our sitter earlier in the month, and were smart enough to secure her for New Year’s Eve (tonight) as well.  He is now officially in his “late 30s,” as he likes to call it with 40, lurking just around the bend. What’s funny is that we met almost 20 years ago in college, and at a time when 40 seemed a lifetime away, when 40 wasn’t even on our minds—it seemed old; the potential onslaught of …*gasp*… 30 was near enough. Thirty came and went with little drama, and forty doesn’t seem like it will seem to bad either. (Catch me in ten months though, when I join him in the late 30s and I might have another story though, for now, I can relish in still being in my mid-thirties and stick my tongue out at my elder.) 

(more…)

On the third day of Christmas… December 27, 2007

Posted by emsgeiss in Humor & Satire, parenting & family, Uncategorized.
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…I wrote a Christmas meme. 

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Since Christmas is technically 12 days long, today being the third day of Christmas, instead of imparting three French hens to my dearly loved readers, instead I have saved my Christmas meme for today.  Boddie at Finding Boddie tagged all of us over at Absolute Write, so here I go. From what I understand the rules of the original meme includes tagging seven others, but in the spirit of sharing and giving at Christmastime, I too will leave this meme open ended. (more…)