The Third Estate
What Is The Third Estate?
What Has It Been Until Now In The Political Order?
What Does It Want To Be?

Has It Been A Whole Week Already?

Friday, July 31, 2009
Item 1: Brazen Hussy has continued to make delicious meals. Last night it was Moroccan chicken. If she keeps this up I'm going to become enormous. Hugely happy, as it were.

Item 2: We watched the first two episodes of Dollhouse last night. We kept hearing that "you just have to get past the first 4 episodes." But I liked what I've seen so far! BH thinks maybe they were a little hard to follow, but I tend to like really intricate stories so maybe they weren't to everybody's taste. In any case, I'm very happy to have something new to watch by Joss Whedon after discovering Firefly years after it had been canceled (after a single season!). Stupid networks.

Item 3: I finished my 6th chapter this morning. Chapters 6 and 7 were the ones I had been really looking forward to (of those I have clear in my mind so far). Now on to the big dramatic conflagration that ends Part I! I know this means nothing to anyone other than myself. Let's just say that I feel like I'm making real progress now. It's taking me about a month per chapter, so expect a depressed post in 6 weeks. I'm not completely sure what happens in Chapter 8 - I'm planning on just letting it happen. Scary.

Item 4: If Barack Obama really thinks that the only thing in Washington that needs to be changed is the party in charge - that our institutions don't need to be fundamentally renovated - then he's in for a very long four years. And only four.

Item 5: On a related note, why do Democrats from moderate or conservative districts think they can survive the failure of health care reform? If health care fails, then Obama's agenda will be dead, hence he will be perceived a failure and Democrats will have nothing to run on in the face of what will be pretty high unemployment next year. It's not the liberals who will lose their seats - it's the morons who are sabotaging Obama's legislation. It's mystifying. One day I hope that Democrats in Congress will realize that their fates are linked to each other. The Republicans know that this - that they're a party, not an aggregation of autonomous officeholders.

Item 6: In case you're curious, one of the reasons that Republican Presidents have an easier time getting things through Congress than Democrats do is because of institutionalized pro-Republican gerrymandering. The Senate overrepresents rural voters, who are typically Republican, and House districts tend to pack minority voters (and hence Democrats) into supermajority districts (because of the Voting Rights Act). Our voters are as efficiently distributed as Republicans are. As a consequence there are always a lot more Democrats in marginal seats than there are Republicans, especially when the Democrats have solid majorities. It's not the only reason, of course, but I think it's one that doesn't get as much attention as it should.

Item 7: Yes, I've broken my week or two break from politics. Not completely, but partially. I'm trying to maintain a bit of emotional distance, though. I'm too old to get wrapped up in legislative minutea.

Item 8: It's Friday. Yaaaay!
Posted by Arbitrista @ 1:28 PM

0 comments :: permalink

Writing Women In Love

Wednesday, July 22, 2009
So I've kept my word and haven't paid much attention to politics over the last week or so, and as a consequence I'm a lot less stressed out - about politics, anyway. Work has been another matter, with a huge project I've been trying to complete while waiting for my supervisors to give me the input I need to finish it. But I don't feel like whining about work either, and consequently I haven't had a great deal to write about. Who knew I was so one-dimensional (no comments from you, BH!)?

The principal item consuming space in my brain these days is my book. The writing hasn't gone quickly, by any means, but I have managed to maintain a steady pace of about 500 words per day. I try not to do the math on how long it will take me to finish at this rate - if I did I might despair. Every chapter has interesting new challenges for me. In the current one I'm writing about the beginning of a romance from a female perspective, about which I am quite nervous. I'm not concerned about sex scenes because there aren't going to be any. I'm more worried about a woman's take on attraction and wooing. It's been a long time since I was single, and I don't know how useful my experiences are going to be anyway, given the gender differences. To make matters more difficult the couple in question are young - around 20 years old. I suspect that the volatile alternations of reckless daring and crippling insecurity I had at that age are pretty much universal, but who knows? When the chapter's done I'll give it to Brazen Hussy to read and see if it sounds plausible, but in the meantime I find myself sitting around trying to remember what all my female friends told me about their love lives over the years.

This is what I get for trying to stretch my creative abilities, I suppose. I was always proud that I was never silly enough to take a very hard class in college to "test myself," and now here I am.
Posted by Arbitrista @ 10:48 AM

4 comments :: permalink

The Burden of Maintaining Professionalism

Monday, July 13, 2009
I work very hard to be a professional at work. I don't yell at people, even when they deserve it. I try to be friendly and polite and cooperative. When I have a deadline, I try to meet it. When I tell someone that I'll have something done by x time, I make a major effort to do so and apologize when I don't. I try to take criticism as helpful rather than insulting, even when I think the criticism is foolish. I do these things because they are good manners and make working with others possible.

But sometimes being a professional is very, very hard. Not everyone I work with is a professional - several folks at my office behave erratic and unpredictable ways, can't take suggestions, don't remember anything you tell them, ignore deadlines and emails, and generally make everyone else around them insecure. They also tend to make what I regard as stupid decisions but are unable to hear that what they've done is stupid. I say nothing, because it isn't my place, but when their behavior means more work and aggravation for me - well, let's just say that right now my door is closed and I'm hoping no one wants to come talk to me because I'm just a tad irritable at the moment.

Of course, the fact that there was doggie poopie all over my living room floor this morning isn't helping. Ack, Mondays.
Posted by Arbitrista @ 10:35 AM

0 comments :: permalink

Political Burnout

Wednesday, July 08, 2009
I love politics. Shocking, I know, but it's true. It's probably my chief interest in life, aside from trying to make Brazen Hussy happy. But I have to admit that I tend to have a bit of an obsessive personality, which applies to politics as much as anything else. I didn't slow down much after the last campaign. Locally, I went directly from working on a campaign to consulting with the City Council. Nationally, I've paid excruciatingly close attention to every jot and tittle of Obama administration.

Yesterday I was having lunch with a friend who was regaling me with political stories, and I suddenly realized - I just didn't care very much. I wasn't feeling it in my gut the way I usually do. Perhaps my frustrations in both instances (local and national) are the cause of my recent disenchantment, or maybe I just need some time off. But whatever the source, I need to create some distance between myself and Politicalworld. I have a lot I'm tackling right now - writing a book of fiction, academic articles, politics, exercising, my job, and my life at home (not in that order) - and I feel that something has to give. So to my surprise, I think - for the time being at least - it has to be politics.

So for a time I'm not going to read the newspapers or the blogs. I'm not going to worry about what Democrats or Republicans are up to. I'm not going to go to local political events. I'm going to just stop. For a while, anyway.

This doesn't mean I intend to give up blogging, just that the focus will likely change a bit. And it's perfectly probable that in 3 weeks I'll be back to normal. Right now, though, I'm just tired.
Posted by Arbitrista @ 10:21 AM

2 comments :: permalink


Monday, July 06, 2009
I'm not going to say much about my grandmother's passing, other than that I very much wish I'd made more an effort to stay in touch with her over the last few years. I just want to thank everybody who commented on Brazen Hussy's post for wishing us well. I appreciate it.
Posted by Arbitrista @ 3:40 PM

2 comments :: permalink