Did we just make history?

As many know Monday night was caucus night in Iowa and I couldn’t be more excited. Not because I’m into politics, the exact opposite actually. I rather detest the state of politics today, usually because traditionally campaigns focus on why other candidates are awful rather than point out the good of their own candidate. All that is accomplished by this tactic is that everyone looks like a terrible prospect for (in this case) president and voters are reduced to trying to find the candidate that they find least offensive. Sounds fun, right? This has been my experience in life up to now.

Ignoring the Republican side for this post (you lot matter, but don’t have much to do with what I’m addressing today) I was delighted to see that there was minimal slashing between Clinton, O’Malley and Sanders. Or at least I wasn’t exposed to much, I don’t have live TV any more so I didn’t see many commercials, but seeing as how I’d do media blackout in the past and was still subjected to awfulness I think it was down in percentage, not gone, I’m sure, but less. Candidates tried to focus more on why they were the best or were pointing out the flaws in the system in general.

Focusing back to Monday. 24 hours before I was certain I would not be caucusing. As stated, I don’t love politics, I don’t like conflict and I felt like I had other things to do that I would enjoy 1000 times more than assembling with my fellow democrats (I can say that now, because I had to finally register to caucus). However, on Monday during my free time I decided to get informed. I read up on the candidates (mainly Clinton and Sanders since they were the front runners) and then on how caucusing worked. I was delighted to learn that I was wrong (how often do people say that). Before that day I thought each precinct had to support just one candidate but no no dear readers, you just need a high enough percentage (15%). I also started thinking about civic duty. We expect a lot from our government, and if I’m going to make demands of it, then I need to do my part too. In this case, being an Iowan, I am called to caucus. So now informed on the candidates (if you look into it, and whittle the answers to their essence (like this site does) you’ll find that Clinton and Sanders have pretty similar views, they are just playing the political game differently) and armed with clarification on how the process worked I made my mind up to go to the assembly.

We arrived about 45 minutes early (that Quarnstrom gene will not be kicked) and I was the 31st person to register. Over the hour that number swelled to 320 (I believe). As I looked around I saw lots of Bernie shirts, Hilary stickers and signs for both. I was glad I had picked between the two of them, there were enough of each to meet the threshold of 15%. Why does that matter? How a democratic caucus works (because yes, our friends on the right run things differently) is that you find out what the threshold for a viable candidate is (for our turnout you needed 47 supporters for any one candidate to be able to get a delegate) and then divide into support groups. For our precinct there were four sections: Clinton, O’Malley, Sanders and undecided. After you divide, you count off to see if you meet the required number. Both the Clinton and Sanders groups qualified but the O’Malley and undecided did not so they needed to pick one of the other candidates. People from both sides went to talk to the dozen-ish people that were left to get them to join them. The people who needed to switch had thirty minutes to decide and then after a few counts Clinton left with four delegates and Sanders left with three.

This neck-and-neck rate was how it ended up for the state, with Clinton earning just .03% more of the vote than Sanders. More is more and for the first time ever (I think) a woman has won the caucus and it seems like everyone is ignoring the fact, instead focusing on faulty coin flips and what not. So, let it be known, I noticed, and I am not alone. A woman “winning” a caucus is a huge achievement (and just 96 years after ratifying the 19th amendment). Another note that should be made is that combined the two had the approval of over 99% of the party. Perhaps a Clinton-Sanders ticket is in our future? I know, not likely, but it’d be nice if they could reunite our party after all the division that has occurred supporting the two. Pipe dreams, maybe, but I’ll hold on to them for now.

It’s been a good year so far. I just haven’t been posting about it.

Life is ever flowing and hard as I try to blog I find that I have two modes:

  1. I have too much going on to sit down and organize my thoughts into a coherent narrative
  2. I have so little going on that an entry would be somewhat mundane

Life passes and with my sieve-like memory if I don’t write down what happens (either on a blog or in my journal) I completely forget what happens, even the little things. Seeing as how life is made up of ‘little things’ I shouldn’t discount them too much. So, new resolve to write at least once a week.

Until next time
~ Q



Going with the flow

This week marksFamily the annual family weekend. In the past we’ve gone to Lanesboro, Red Wing (twice actually), Lanesboro, LaCrosse and last year we stayed at my sister’s place so we could do a dry run of camping with the nephew. This year we were all set to revisit Lanesboro until tragedy struck. Or, to be more specific, lightning. The place we were suppose to stay was struck earlier this week and will be without power this weekend. So, as we do, we’re improvising and just rolling with the punches. Instead My sister’s family will come down here and we’ll do more of a ‘stay-cation’ with a day spent in Des Moines. All that matters is that the 7 of us will be together. As an added bonus I don’t have to board Watson so he gets to stay with the family for the weekend, win-win. I’ll tell you all about the visit next week.

Until next time
~ Q

stuck in my head

Last night I was walking the hound when all of a sudden words popped into my head. Ever since I have had oddly poem-esq lurking in the back of my mind. I figured I would post it to see if anyone knows what the real words are:

You are you and I am me
the two of us could be a perfect we.

I would be yours and you would be mine
our lives and love forever entwined.

But in the end you are you and I am me
and the distance between us is far indeed.

The writing bug has bitten me again so I’ll be back soon.

Until next time
~ Q

I Got My Wish

Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday dear Jamie,
Happy Birthday to you!
Uh-oh. It’s time to blow out the candles – I don’t have a wish!!
What to wish for? Nothing is coming. Come on brain think of something.
No, nothing? NOW you choose to be quite?
What about at three o’clock in the morning, huh? Not then? Good Grief.
Oh, love? Love is what you’re giving me now? That’s a silly wish.
I don’t really want to wish for that. Seriously, stop being so helpful.
Ah geez, I can’t stall any longer, the family is waiting.
Fine, you win brain. Remind me to fire you next year. I can’t believe this…
I wish for ‘love’.

My birthday is June 1st and this year I had easily one of the best in recent memory. Or semi-recent, after all, you only get one birthday a year. For the last three months I have been engrossed in a musical. Every year the local theater troupe (which I am a member) produces a show for the town festival. This year we produced Little Shop of Horrors. It was an amazing process/project/endeavor and I am so proud that I was a part of it. I mention the production now because it took up 99% of my free time.

My birthday occurred in the final days before opening, so I knew meeting up with my family to celebrate was going to be tricky. Luckily we had afternoon rehearsal the day before my actual birthday so I was able to head to my parents’ place that night to celebrate. Arriving an hour later than I intended I was graced with a relaxed evening with my mom, dad, sister and dog (can’t forget that guy). I enjoy going home, especially on nice late-spring evenings. We had pizza from my favorite place and sat around the table sharing anecdotes of the last few weeks.

After supper they sang to me, and it was as they we were singing the final notes of the birthday song that I remembered I was suppose to make a wish. As they hit ‘happy birthday dear Jamie‘ my mind went blank. I fear that may mean I am too unimaginative to think of more for my life. I, however, prefer to think of that I have everything I need. Either road I made my wish – it was a simple wish. Perhaps a throw away, seeing as how I like being independent. But who growing up on Disney wouldn’t wish for love? Truth be told, I didn’t really have my heart in it. We had the special order chocolate cake, opened presents and then went outside to watch my sister play fetch with Watson. She may be a dog whisperer. Animals just respond to her, which is great for her, not for me. Watson listens about 65% of the time but I digress. I concluded my evening with my family and headed home to get as much sleep as possible. I knew I would be getting little sleep for the rest of the week after all (I ended that week with about 30 hours).

I woke up on Monday morning and was thankful I had so much to look forward to on a Monday. Seriously, those are just so rough. I went to work where my coworkers all wished me a happy birthday. At noon we all circled up and ordered lunch. I wore the obligatory birthday crown while enjoying time with my work family. One of the things I love most about my job is that I work with like-minded individuals. We all are hard workers, have complimentary personalities and can balance work and whimsy. I am beyond grateful that when I leave for work everyday it isn’t with dread. Yes, it’s still work, but when you’re in the foxhole with such great people it’s hard to hate it.

That night I headed to rehearsal not expecting anything. We were knee deep in tech and had dress rehearsals to focus on. Much to my surprise when I arrived the director said, “your party is upstairs”. Thinking she was joking I smiled and thanked her. “No, seriously,” she continued, “there are 4 dozen cupcakes.” She wasn’t kidding and in fact she and I (with the help of the sound designer) managed to decimate nearly a dozen during the night while we frantically finished last minute projects. At intermission the cast and crew took a break to enjoy the treats and sing me happy birthday. Let me tell you something, having thirty-ish theater people harmonize ‘happy birthday’ is something to behold. If you can swing it, everyone should experience it.


My bestie sent me flowers for the occasion.

Just when I thought the night would end I got a text from my buddy asking if I could meet up with him and some more friends after rehearsal. I knew cast members wanted to do something too so it seemed perfect. We met up at the bar where they had baked a cake for me. There was another rousing round of happy birthday and I am pretty sure I had a permanent smile on my face as I sat and chatted with my friends. As I looked around the table that night I realized I had gotten my wish. So often people think of love as being something that has all these strings of romance attached to it. But I have found that love takes countless forms. Sure, it was emphasized because it was my birthday, but it was clear none the less. I am lucky enough to have countless people in my life. I care for them, they care for me, and that’s really all I wanted. So although I had scoffed at my juvenile wish for love, I opened my eyes to the more mature reminder that I already had it. So not such a silly thing after all. After all, who doesn’t like having their wishes come true?