Wednesday, October 29, 2008

star struck

ps i forgot to mention that john sayles was here canvassing last weekend

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

snow day!!

the hazleton schools are canceled but the obama office is open for business. one of the high school interns, megan, just called saying that she would be early since school is closed. after shoveling the sidewalk, jeremy took off for a retirement home with some incorrectly filled out absentee ballots. nor rain, nor sleet, nor snow, nor hail i just hope that the weather isn't like this on election day!!

sorry i haven't posted in awhile. things are getting nuts!! thank god mara decided to come early and help us out. she was indispensable. especially because heather got sick with some kind of stomach virus. i didn't even know she wasn't feeling well while she was at the office, but apparently she was going to the bathroom every half an hour to puke. and then when we finally made her go home, she made the google maps for the walk packets in between pukes. this is before we made her go home:

i want to give a shout out to mark, dylan, mara, andrew, rebecca, and diana for coming to hazleton this past weekend to help out. i can't believe i didn't take a picture! the went canvassing in mountain top and all the staff people and regular volunteers that i talked to that were at the mountain top location said that they were all amazing! they canvassed in the pouring rain without complaint and then they headed back to the office to make phone calls for a couple of hours after that. i am truly blessed! they then forced me to leave the office to have dinner with them even though i totally shouldn't have. we ate at this restaurant named martin's that frank and helen love. frank wanted to call them ahead of time to make a reservation for us and make sure that they could make something vegetarian. he couldn't get through because the power outage that was caused by the rain storm disabled the restaurant land line (the power was out in the office about an hour and a half saturday afternoon). so he drove down there to give them he head's up. when i walked in i recognize our water server, giselle, and the hostess, ellen. they both frequent the office. dinner was delicious. unfortunately i had to get it in a to go box so i could rush back to the office but we got dessert on the house!

the past couple of nights, i've been able to leave the office around 10:30, but the previous three nights we were leaving between 1:00 and 2:30. i was so tired. everyone kept asking me what was wrong with me, if i was getting sick, and that i looked terrible. i couldn't even open my eyes all the way. luckily some rejuvenating saunas, and nights of 6-7 hours of sleep have helped. but this lifestyle is not sustainable.

frank carved a pumpkin.

i can't believe halloween is this friday. i'd like to be a person who get 9 hours of sleep.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

i couldn't agree more

I am in Luzerne County.
"How do you flip 140,000 votes? You start by cutting in places like Lackawanna and Luzerne counties," said the McCain campaign source, referring to Scranton and Wilkes-Barre, the traditionally conservative Democratic population hubs of northeastern Pennsylvania.

ps mara arrived yesterday!!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

acorn and anti-abortion

jeremy and i went canvassing on monday. we split up and i went ahead of him on w diamond ave to use our time most efficiently. i was crossing the street, this guy yells at me from his car window as he's stopped at the light this is our exchange. "hey, it's too late to register to vote."
"i know" (the deadline to register and vote in this november's election has passed, true, even though technically it's never too late to register.)
"unless of course you work for acorn. do you work for acorn?"
"no, i do not."
"well, you look like you could work for acorn."
and he drove off.
what is that even supposed to mean??
this is what i looked like:

so yesterday this ad appeared in the local paper:

as you can see there was an anti-abortion rally outside our office at 3:45 pm. as today's newspaper article reported: "inside the obama headquarters, campaign workers went about their business, paying little attention to the rally outside." what the paper didn't say was that we BROKE OUR DAILY PHONE CALL RECORD! additionally, the paper said that a few motorists called out objections to the rally signs with one man shouting, "eff the babies". i think our country should really pride itself on such robust and thoughtful discourse.

ps did you guys see the maccain rally in new hampshire today? when talking about somebody in congress, he actually said, "you ol' skinflint!" what? who is he appealing to? i want to make a button that says "skinflints for obama".

Monday, October 20, 2008


wow. it's so hard to keep up these days! let me just say that i've canvassed twice more since my last posting.
once here:

as you can see there were deer and homemade obama signs in this weird planned, gated community we went to. it was really scenic walking around but kind of creepy from a planner's perspective. i can't really turn the planner off, you know.

yesterday, jeremy and i went canvassing. he forgot to bring his jacket and it got really cold. luckily, anne marie had brought by extra things for canvassers to wear it case they were ill-prepared for the cold. even though the sweater, jacket and vest were a little small given jeremy's height, i thought he looked marvelous:

and then the most exciting thing of all. lerato walked in to our office. she lives in jersey and came in with the group of new yorkers who canvassed with us yesterday. now, i knew that lerato was a south african name and it turns out she is from south africa. we talked about cape town and sun city and decided that we were going to be bff's. she was supposed to go to harrisburg and help them until thursday, but i totally poached her and now she is staying with jeremy and me at franck and helen's place. we opened the office this morning and i put on a little mandoza to start the morning off right:


additionally, lerato means love. it also happens to be the name of a song by boom shaka that i was my total jam when i was in botswana. i'll play it for you sometime. this whole experience has been totally spooky if you ask me.

Friday, October 17, 2008

well, they don't want to vote for a colored guy

so wednesday heather and i went canvassing in nanticoke, (i think that's how you spell it) about an hour outside of hazleton proper. i felt like i was trekking out to an aldea to visit the with the campesinos. unpaved roads, strange address designations, and a LOT of chuchos. anyway, we got a lot of registered democrats who said that if they voted at all it would probably be for obama. i'll tell you about the two of the most remarkable interactions. the first was a hrc guy (this is hillary country out here) who was like (and i'm paraphrasing here) "well i'm not prejudiced or anything, but you know he's black and he's got the muslim thing . . .)" honestly, even though i've talked to quite a few of these ignoramus, it's still dumbfounding when it happens. another house that we stopped at had an obama yard sign out front. we were telling the owner that he needs to get his neighbors out and voting since so many of the registered democrats we visited said they weren't voting or were hesitant about voting for obama. paraphrase: "well, they won't say it but they don't want to vote for a colored guy." remember this is a supporter who put a yard sign in his lawn. what do you do?

the trees are so pretty right now!

to watch snl's take on the bradley effect go to minute 17 of the weekend update last nite.

i know everyone is talking about the bradley effect, but i think in this part of the country there will a reverse bradley effect. for example, when heather went canvassing in shickshiny the other day, an old man came to the door that she knocked. she asked him, as we ask everyone, if he would be supporting obama in the election. he looked around, leaned in close and said "you're the first person i've told this to, but yes, i'm voting for him." he went on to say that she'd interrupted his dinner but he was happy about it because he got to tell her that he was voting for obama. and apparently, when dave and heather tried to offer people obama paraphernalia so they could demonstrate their support, no one wanted to put up signs or anything. i'm just sayin'.

a couple days ago we did "visibility" on a street corner near the office.

it was pretty fun. we got a lot of positive honks and negative thumbs down
the high school girls had fun too

also, bart made this rad led pin.

and jeremy put this broccoli bouquet in a vase. (and that's jeanie, a super vol. she decorated the office halloweenie. i'll take a picture of that soon.)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

kids for obama

one of my favorite times of the day is in the morning when a group of kids around five years old walk past the office in a line (presumably on their way to school or preschool) and they say in unison in a sing-songy way "oh-bah-muh, oh-bah-muh". it's the cutest thing and it makes my day start off on the right foot.

this little girl is the daughter of one of our volunteers. her dad makes calls for us while she's at dance class. most all of the other girls in her dance class wear mccain stickers, but she is a big obama supporter. she made this button with a bunny on it that says "hop for obama." i want her to make me one.

and this little boy is totally ON THE BUS! like any good democrat he is all about public transportation. he rides the bus and has all the bus schedules memorized. and this neat bus lunch pail. maybe he'll grow up to be a transportation planner . . .

Sunday, October 12, 2008

i think that everyone who's running is a bunch of retards

that's my favorite phone banking quote of the day. so far.

also srta. america ferrera se cancelo on us and didn't come. es tipico.

ps hill and bill and joe should be taking the stage any moment now in scranton; too bad i couldn't be there. i'm too busy winning the election for barack.

Friday, October 10, 2008

i'd rather be nuked than be broke

today, after the stock market plummeted s'more, when discussing the lesser of two evils between nuclear holocaust and financial ruin, the consensus by our office volunteers was: nuclear holocaust.

luckily i am thrifty. i bought this great skirt suit that i'd been eying at the salvation army across the street on wednesday. and guess what. it was half off!! $1.50 for this beautiful two-piece. I can't wait to wear it out. or during an important presentation.

last nite we were at the office until about 2:30 am i think although i don't even remember now. heather and dave ordered a meat salad to sustain themselves:

it looked like a pretty good salad except for all of the meat.

bruce sustained me.

this shirt was from the rally/concert last weekend in philly. a couple of our superstar vols got to get the vip up close tickets. they said it was awesome. someone brought dave back this t-shirt. it's my inspiration every time i go in his office.

we were at the office so late last nite because we were cutting turf for the canvassers this weekend.

amy, one of the amazing staffers who floats around, was totally mvp when she fixed our printer and helped organize the walk packets into the wee hours.

we have a lot of great events coming up this weekend. hill and bill and joe biden are having a rally in scranton this sunday, oct 12 a the riverfront sports complex located at 5 west olive plaza. doors are at 1:15 and the event is free and open to the public. no tickets are required. i know all of this because i repeated it on the telephone dozens of times will calling obama/biden supporters today and yesterday. the other HUGE even is that america ferrera, aka ugly betty, is coming to our office on sunday to show her support for the obama/biden ticket!!

we just found out today, so we printed a bunch of fliers and dave, heather, jeremy, and i headed out to "da club" to pass them out tonite when we left the office around midnite. i was SO EMBARRASSED to be wearing carharts and a pearl button down to this place but asi es. so we ordered some yuenglings and started inviting people to the event. then then jeremy and i got up and danced some bachata. we must have been in a sight: me in my carharts, and him in his salvation army knit sweater (he didn't want to take it off because he thought the tie-dyed shirt underneath would have been a move in the wrong direction) and both of us with our obama/biden buttons on. what is going on? regardless, it was the most fun i've had since i got here and i think jeremy and i will go back (properly attired, claro.)

oh, i forgot to introduce you to the rats, riso and carmela:

i fed them treats the other day.

and here's my room:

as you can see, i don't have much time to keep it tidy.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

the battle of the signs

so when we got to the office this morning, this was going on.

the audacity.

monday was the last day for voter registration in pennsylvania and it was NUTS. i don't want to show our hand by mentioning specific numbers, but we met our goal for the new latino registration and had lots of new registrations in general. (wal-mart was especially fruitful.) the gop isn't going to know what hit them on november 4th!!

so i'm in charge of out of state volunteer housing now. i've been tapped to do it.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

cold pizza - a local specialty

so apparently hazleton is also famous for "cold pizza". it's room temperature pizza. it's always served room temp. and you can only buy it from certain places. i tried some today. it tastes just like it looks: like day-old, room temp little cesars, i.e. delurcious! read more:

so today was a REALLY BUSY DAY! we had 25 out-of-towners. all from new york. one group came from clinton, ny; they left at 6:00 am to make the four hour drive. another group of fourteen got organized through the website. (go there and DRIVE FOR CHANGE from your state!!!) we knocked on hundreds of doors today. and i think the official count was 75 new voter registrations, and i think about 30 of those were latinos. just today!! tomorrow is the voter reg deadline in penn so we are trying to have a last big push. of course, those registrations come at a cost. one of our high school interns had to endure an indecent proposal of having sex with some guy's virginal friend for money. she laughed in his face and walked away. ah, don't you just love people?

my favorite moment was when an older lady was sitting next to me in the office talking about palin and said: "can you believe she entered a beauty contest? did she look at herself in the mirror twice? i mean i'm a plain jane, but at least I KNOW i'm a plain jane." priceless.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

sarah palin: she winks and cutes

sarah palin has officially made cute a verb. that's what she does. she cutes. and winks. i'm just quoting one of our stellar volunteers. she's the one who made the homemade chicken soup.
a bunch of hazleton volunteers who made food for the out-of-towners. the menu included:
lasagna, chicken soup, egg salad sandwiches, tuna sandwiches, sloppy joes, chili, spinach quiche, raisin cookies, and carrot cake.

sabrina, the carbon county field organizer, enjoys the chili.

i enjoyed the cake.

we had three groups of new yorkers come into hazleton today to knock on doors and do voter registration. the pa deadline for voter reg is this monday, october 6th. i headed out and ducked my head into a few businesses with latino patronage. i was a big hit at the domincan barber shop and the latina beauty parlor. i'll be back tomorrow and monday. today i registered six people in about two hours, all latino. !!!SI SE PUEDE!!!

Friday, October 3, 2008

hazleton campaign office s.o.s.

so our campaign office is totally volunteer-powered, in terms of staffing, office supplies and dunkin' donut supplies. we have some out-of-town volunteers coming into town this weekend to canvass and we are so low on supplies that we aren't even sure if we'll have enough printer ink to print out the turf sheets for the volunteers. if anybody out there hasn't stepped up and wants to get involved in the campaign, send us a staples gift card or something similar.
our office address is:

barack obama's campaign for change
44 w. broad st
hazleton, pa 18201
phone: 570.454.0211

and for my new york peeps who are weekend warriors, come to hazleton!! it's not that far away and there is so much work to be done here. hazleton is the new phily. give us a call when you want to join us.

barack's campaign for change this is linz speaking.

"well good luck to ya but i got the wrong number!"

if i had a gun, i'd shoot the sonuva bitch

so yesterday was another busy, full day. i was in the office working from 9:30 am -9:00 pm, registering voters, making phone calls to volunteers to get them out and canvassing this weekend, entering data, and assembling yard signs for our die hard volunteers.

we had one woman, dawn, come in because she heard that we had springsteen tickets for philly show/get out the vote rally this weekend. think he'll play "streets on philadelphia"?
the tix are priority seating for volunteers who put in at least four hours. so she sat right down and made over 125 phone calls to get her tickets. she's a union member and was laid off. she was wearing a t-shirt with a picture of bush that said "clusterfuck accomplished". pretty awesome.

i headed out in the early evening to do some voter registration. i knocked on doors on wyoming street and a lovely dominican woman answered the door. she said that her daughter, a student at penn state, was filling out a card for her. i told that i could fill one out instead and turn it in right away so that she was sure to be eligible to vote. she wanted to call her daughter and double-check with her. (so cute!) so she invited me in and i sat down on the couch. she was born in the d.r. but had been living in hazleton for over ten years. she also went upstairs to drag her son out of bed and downstairs to register. after clearing it with her daughter (she passed the phone to me too), i registered them both. i also stood outside the library for awhile and got a couple of people that way. all in all i registered seven people, most of them latinos in like two hours.

we cut out of the office a little before 9:00 to watch the debate at bottlenecks. i'm sure you saw for yourself, so i won't rehash it. then back to the office to pick up some stuff, and home to do more data entry. i wrapped up at 12:30 am and left dave and heather slaving away.

new day. here we go again.

as i was typing this, a phone banking volunteer said that she called a man in his nineties on the phone who said he was a big obama supporter and campaigning on his behalf in his highrise. he also said that if he ever ran into bush "if i had a gun, i'd shoot the sonuva bitch." still feisty to say the least.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

don't worry honey, i'm voting for him

so yesterday was my first day on the job. i rolled into the office with heather around 9:30. (we have to work out the shower shifts more efficiently.) the day consisted of data entry, phone banking, voter registering, and a women for obama meeting. highlights included:"
the dominican resterante that gives discounts to us because we work for obama

the guy on the street who stopped to talk to me because i had an obama t-shirt on and offered to come by the office and buy me lunch

the eighty-something-year-old-woman who hollared "what's this about?" at me when i phone banked her, but after i told her i was with the obama campaign she sweetly said, "don't worry honey, i'm votin' for him."

the women for obama meeing attract 45 women who are fired up and ready to go. i especially appreciated the little chocolate donuts.

after we the meeting ending, the calls stopped, and we took a break from data entry, heather, dave, and i headed out to bottleneck, a local bar for some food and a pitcher.

the best thing about this bar is that it used have two separate entrances, one for men and one for women. and on the men's side, underneath the "men's" bar, there is a latrine with a drain so that men wouldn't have to trouble themsleves by leaving their stools to relieve themselves.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

the scene

i live above this pizza place

this is the outside of our campaign office downtown

this is the inside of our campaign office downtown

we are just down the street from lou barletta's campaign office.
lou barletta is the xenophobic mayor who hates hispanics. is running for state congress and must be stopped.

we are also across the street from this store. the owner is the mother of the (in)famous obamagirl.
watch one of her videos.