So … I Went to Mormon Church.

There's a basketball court in there. No joke.

I figured what with a Mormon on his way to the White House and all, it might be an interesting and hopefully insightful experience to visit a worship service at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. So I did what I usually do when I have a Mormon-y question, and asked Justin to take me.

So last Sunday we set out for an LDS sacrament meeting. That’s apparently what it’s called – not worship service. No big, just vernacular so far.

Mormons are nice, y’all. I know we’re not supposed to lump groups of people together and label them, but I’ve never come across a not-nice Mormon. Like most religions, there’s a good mix of young, old, white, black (and everything in between), tall, short, fat, thin, smart and not so smart … but they’re all freaking nice.

Oh, and they have a lot of kids, too. You have heard about the five Romney boys and the 18 Romney grandkids, right? It’s a stereotype for a reason, people.

Since Mormons are so nice, I met several people before the service meeting even started. A lot of college and grad students at the Cambridge ward (I think that’s the word for congregation?) in Massachusetts.

Before I forget, I’ll add a side note: While we walking to church, we passed a Starbucks and decided we were hungry. Neither of us had coffee. Justin had apple cider or something because Mormons don’t drink coffee, and I had my usual chai tea latte – no wait – I had a skinny salted caramel mocha. Never mind. I was going to say I was well on my way to the full Mormon experience of no coffee, but no. Move along, nothing to see here …

Photographic Evidence

Back to the church part – I met lots of nice people. The sanctuary (meeting room?) had pews a lot like ours. There was a big indoor basketball court in the middle of the building. Justin told me every ward (stake? Which one is the building and which one is the congregation?) has one.

The meeting was called to order, there was a prayer, and we sang a song out of the hymnal. I was pleased to discover it was just as abysmal as some of the ones in our Psalter. Loooong and in a key no one but Justin and a couple others could hit. Dude can sing. I mouthed the words. Everyone there silently thanked me without knowing it.

Then there was communion. I had asked ahead on the procedure for that, because at my church, you have to get permission from the elders before service if you’re not a member. In the United Reformed Church, you may only take communion if you’re a member of a gospel-preaching church and under the spiritual care of church leadership. Some churches leave this up to the individual’s conscience, but our particular congregation asks you to talk to someone first.

Anyway, Justin had said it was fine, but I felt weird about it because it’s such a sacred thing at our church, so I passed. But I’ll tell you about it anyway, because if you’ve read this far, you’re probably as fascinated by the LDS church as I am and are dying to know more.

First- the kids take communion. Justin says it doesn’t mean anything until they’re eight and baptized. All Mormons get baptized at eight in the way that babies are baptized in Calvinism and Baptists when they make a profession of faith. I got to go to a Mormon baptism once when one of Thing 1’s friends invited us to attend hers, and it was super cool. Maybe I’ll tell you about it some time.

Second- they passed it around and everyone sat in their seats and partook immediately rather than waiting and doing it together as a congregation.

Third- most, if not all reformed churches I’ve been to offer grape juice as an alternative to the wine. I figured that would be the case. Nope! It was water. Jesus turned the water to wine and the Mormons turned it back again. Go figure.

After communion, there were three “talks” that definitely weren’t sermons. And two of them were given by WOMEN. Soooooo weird for me to see women up at the podium, addressing the congregation at a Sunday worship service sacrament meeting. That does not happen in the URC. Not even a little bit.

Now let’s discuss these talks, mmmkay? They were really great. Super motivational, well thought out, and I thoroughly enjoyed them. Totally not sermons. “When do you do exegesis??” I whispered to Justin.

“Exe-what-us?”

“Exegesis! When the pastor takes a section of scripture and interprets it…”

Totally forgot that Mormons don’t have pastors in the way that evangelicals think of pastors. We only stayed for the first hour, and apparently Sunday School is where scripture study comes in, so I may have to go back sometime just to see what it’s like.

The other thing about the talks: I felt kinda like I was at a motivational conference. I wanted to clap for the speakers when they were finished, and I half expected them to take a bow. Like I said, they were definitely not sermons in the sense that I think of them.

Overall, I’m glad I went. Justin likes to tease me that he’ll make a Mormon out of me yet. That’s usually right before I punch him in the neck and tell him I’d get kicked out so fast it would be the shortest-lived Mormon membership in LDS history. I don’t know if y’all know this, but I really enjoy wine. Plus that whole continuing revelation thing that I don’t believe in.

I might will never be a Mormon. But they’re not scary. They don’t worship weird things, they don’t judge others (as a group, at least … I can’t account for every individual church member), and they are welcoming and friendly. They’re family oriented, but don’t disallow divorce. They honor mothers that stay home with the kids and the ones that work outside the home with equal regard.

They’re good people, y’all.

I gotta say one more thing before I leave this subject alone for the moment: MORMONISM IS NOT A CULT. I’d encourage anyone considering not voting for Mitt Romney because of his Mormon faith to go check out an LDS service meeting.

And try not to be as ginormous a dork as me telling everyone, “This is my first time!”

Oh, and if you ever want to check out a reformed church to see what my typical Sunday morning consists of, drop me a line and I’ll find you one in your area. We serve wine for communion. Just saying.

In Other News, I’m Moving to Boston Today

72 hours ago, I got a phone call from Romney HQ in Boston, asking me if I would please join the team on site as a copywriter. Right now, I’m sitting in the San Diego airport with a one way ticket to Massachusetts, waiting to board my flight.

So that’s what’s going on in my life.

It all started a couple of weeks ago in Tampa at the Republican National Convention. I guess you could say it started four years ago when Obama got elected, and I committed to do everything I possibly could to make him a one term president, but I’ll just recap this latest development because that’s what’s interesting at the moment.

In Tampa, I got to meet up with a lot of cool people that work on the campaign, and whom I’d been doing some volunteer Twitter messaging for. It turns out they were even cooler in person than online, which always makes me happy because doesn’t it suck when people turn out to be duds in real life? Some people just come across better over the internet, I suppose.

Anyway, I met some people in Tampa, and started thinking about what I could do to help them. Writing. I’m good at the writing thing. I may have mentioned to some people that I’d love to jump in and help out.

Last week, I got a call asking if I was serious about a job, because they needed to hire a copywriter, stat. YES!! I could work remotely from California, right? Um, no. The job was in Boston, 3,000ish miles from home. Well so much for that.

I told Leif about it that night, in a sort of off-handed, wouldn’t that have been fun kind of way, and he looked at me and asked, “Why not?”

It’s an on-site job.

So?

In Boston.

So?

That’s in Massachusetts.

I’m aware of the geography.

I’d have to move there for two months.

Do you want to do this?

Yes! I mean — it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. I’d miss you guys like crazy, and I’d worry about the girls, but when am I ever going to have another chance to help kick a Democrat incumbent out of the White House? Never, that’s when.

I think you should go for it.

*blink blink blink*

So I sent them my resume on Wednesday. Friday I heard that they were interested, and they’d be getting back to me soon. Sunday I got a call asking what I’d need financially to make it work. I gave them a number, they said yes, and hooked me up with a flight and a hotel for a few days.

Then there were 72 hours of mad phones calls and emails to family and friends, sitters and dog walkers, and short-term apartment rental agencies in Boston. There were dry-cleaning runs, tons of laundry and packing, list making and instructions for the care of the kiddos and the house. I grocery shopped, meal prepped, and cried as I hugged my mama and my local friends.

This morning I almost couldn’t let my girls go. Leif was trying to get them in the car to go school, and Thing 1 started sobbing. Thing 2 said, “Bye Mommy! Have fun at the airport! I love you!” I went inside and cried into my pillow. Thank goodness for FaceTime and Skype. And for my mom and dad, who are going to be taking care of them after school for me while Leif is at work.

And of course thank you to Leif, who is willing to let me move across the country to work on a presidential campaign. He’s kinda awesome.

Now let’s get this thing done and get Romney elected, so some of the 23 million people out of work right now can find a job too.

 

Happy 10th Anniversary to My Darling Husband Leif

Look! Pink flowers!

I have loved sharing anniversary posts with you guys. I started two years ago on our eighth anniversary with a list of 25 reasons I loved Leif. Last year I wrote about my freak-out at the top of the aisle. This year, on our tenth anniversary, I want to tell you about the pink blossoms.

We are in Hawaii right now – Waikiki, to be exact – and I have seen so many pink-blossomed trees. Pink makes me happy, mmmkay? It makes me so happy that I picked it as one of our wedding colors. Black, silver, and pink. Elegant. Lovely.

Side note: A few weeks before our wedding, I sent Leif to the tux shop to get measured. He said he didn’t care what I’d picked out for him, so long as it was blue. Um, hi, Honey? Remember months ago when we talked colors and you said black, silver, and pink sounded wonderful? No blue tuxedo. Silly grooms.

The week before our wedding, there was a heat wave rolling through San Diego. Nelly’s It’s Getting Hot In Here was the number one song on the charts, and I had to agree with him. I was so miserable with the hot humidity I was actually tempted on several occasions to take off all my clothes.

Our wedding day, and our planned al fresco dinner party reception, grew nearer and nearer, as the heat topped the charts in the triple digits. I was too nervous about this monumental step I was taking to overly worry about my guests, but it was there in my mind. I don’t want everyone to be miserably hot at my wedding!

The morning of the 13th, I woke up so tired from spending the night before printing out the bulletins (maybe that can be next year’s story?), but when I opened the patio door of my parents’ house, I was hit with a cool breeze. The heat wave had broken.

The wedding wasn’t until six pm, but I stopped by the chapel and reception site to lend my hand to the last minute details. Family friends were busy stringing up twinkle lights into the courtyard trees where our guests would be dining mere hours later. Overnight, as the heat wave had broken, the trees had blossomed with deliriously wonderful pink flowers.

It was an encouragement I have always held onto: Even when things seem bleak and unpleasant … there’s always the possibility of pink blooms on the morrow. Thank you for so many flowers over the last decade.

Happy anniversary, My Love.

How Much Do I Love Americans for Prosperity? THIS MUCH.

Have I mentioned recently how much I like Americans for Prosperity? Because I totally do. The first time I attended one of their events was Right Online 2010 in Las Vegas, when I was still a newbie to this whole professional blogging thing, and probably in way more over my head than I knew at the time.

Being American-y with Pamela Gorman

On that maiden adventure with AFP, I got to meet so many fun people – AFP President Tim Phillips, fellow San Diego resident and former mayor Roger Hedgecock, Arizona State Senator Pamela Gorman, and poker superstar Johnny Chan. That last one wasn’t there with the convention, he just happened to be in Vegas. But I totally met him. And looked like an idiot doing it. Oh well, it all worked out in the end.

The next time I met up with AFP was the following January, when my friend Erik Telford, their Director of Online Strategy at the time tapped me to teach a training session on Twitter and Facebook at a regional event in San Diego. I’d given speeches at rallies before, but this was the first time I’d be teaching grassroots activists how to do something that other people believed I was good enough at to do. Eeeek! It ended up being fantabulous!

Around that same time, I drove up to Orange County to cover a School Choice Week event. There I met Hugh Hewitt and Dick Morris, and got a chance to chat with state directors David Spady (California) and Teresa Oelke (Arkansas). I was nervous as all get out, but the people at these things are so friendly that it’s easy to feel comfortable once you’re there. I ended up writing a pretty solid piece in support of school choice too (one of my pet issues) too, so yay!

That's Spark, not a mimosa. I'd probably look more relaxed if it were a mimosa.

A few months later AFP contacted me to ask if I’d be interested in covering the San Diego portion of their Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous on a Government Pension tour. Basically, I’d be spending the afternoon in a limo with David Spady and Jen Jacobs, visiting various tax day tea parties around the county. Um, ok! Let’s roll. I wrote this about it, but I will always remember that afternoon for the most awkward photo ever taken of me in the back of a limo.

Last June, a year into my adventures with AFP, they asked me to come teach a podcasting class at Right Online 2011 in Minneapolis. I’d basically gotten my sea legs at my strange but wonderful job at that point, so I went to Minnesota with a bit more confidence than I’d had the year before. Plus I was teamed up to teach with Ed Morrissey, who is not only amazing at what he does, but also one of the nicest men you’ll ever meet.

Right Online 2011 was full of adventures, like finding the Target Mother Ship, eating the world’s most perfect sandwich at Hell’s Kitchen, and infiltrating a Netroots Nation event. Plus there was a piano bar, rooftop lawn bowling, and tons of friends to just hang out with.

After that was Defending the American Dream in November, where I spilled my blogging secrets with Erik Telford. I also met up with my boyfriend Abe at the Lincoln Memorial, met some real-life heroes, and made a ton of new friends like Melissa Ortiz of Able Americans, an advocacy group for handicapped Americans.

Occupy had taken some sort of force by then, and I captured this awesome video about shaking your booty for freedom, shaking it for peace, shaking it against the police. So frickin’ lame. Get a job, hippies!

She likes pina coladas ... especially in the pool at the Palazzo in Vegas.

Since then, I did another regional event in San Diego, this time with famed California blogger Jon Fleischman of the Flash Report, and last weekend I was in Vegas once again for Right Online 2012. Vegas was special this time because Leif got to come with me and meet all my cohorts.

Oh, and it gave me an excuse to see Ashley. And stay an extra day and hang by the pool with her drinking pina coladas.

So yeah, AFP and I are buds by now. I love their commitment to grassroots training and activism, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it. There’s another Defending the American Dream summit coming up in August in DC. I highly recommend attending – it’s an experience you won’t regret.

Top 7 for the Week of June 22

This week, please excuse our technology fail intro, Furbaby barking her opinion, and a mishap or two as Ashley and I talk about:

  1. Dear Liberal Gays: Something About More Flies With Honey
  2. Fast and Furious and Executive Privilege
  3. Vacation Do Over! European Edition
  4. Why’d you kill this man? We wanted free Chinese food.  Duh.
  5. Michelle Wants Barack to Be Our Husband, But She Wanted to Divorce Him
  6. Some People Just Need To Freakin’ Get A Life
  7. The Hawt List

Plus we have a rant, a dirty joke, and Dude of the Week Chris Loesch.

Happy listening!

Listen to internet radio with Top 7 on Blog Talk Radio

Susan the Liberal Lesbian

Meet Susan. She was at the Personal Democracy Forum (PDF) that I attended in New York City last week. I spied her out of the corner of my eye, glancing surreptitiously at my laptop as she paced back and forth a few times in front of me.

Let me note at this point that my laptop is decorated with a bumper sticker from the Media Research Center that boldly claims, “I don’t believe the liberal media.” Let me also note that PDF was attended largely by liberals. Since I’m noting things, let me also say that I got a lot of interesting looks, and a few conversations, for my computer decals.

With the gorgeous Ashley Sewell and the referenced laptop

Back to Susan, because my conversation with her was by far the best one I had over my bumper sticker. She finally made her way over to me, and very politely asked, “Excuse me if I’m being rude, but I can’t help but notice the sticker on your computer … Can I ask how you’d feel if I had a sticker on my computer that said, “I don’t believe the conservative media?”

I almost snickered and said, “What conservative media,” but I held my tongue. Instead, I told her I’d be fine with it. When she didn’t respond immediately, I continued, “I don’t think anyone should believe only one source of information.”

“What do you mean?” She asked, appearing genuinely dumbfounded.

“I think when you hear something, you should keep from forming an opinion on it until you have all the information. Just because someone says something doesn’t make it true, and you’re doing an injustice to the story and the people involved if you don’t try to gather as much information as possible before taking a stance on it. There’s always more than one side of the story.”

(I probably added that last bit in there because I’d seen Wicked the night before. Spectacular, by the way.)

“Wow,” Susan said, “That’s exactly how I feel.”

Doubt it. But whatever.

We chatted for a bit, and she told me that I was unlike most of her Republican friends. She said, I kid you not, “I have many friends that are Christians that think if you’re not a bible-thumping, gun-toting, straight person, you should be shot.”

My reaction was immediate and exclamatory, “Oh that’s horrible!”

“They have other qualities that I love dearly,” she rationalized.

“Well I’m a Bible-thumping, 2nd amendment supporting, conservative wife and mom, and I love my gay friends, and wouldn’t begin to question their sexual preferences.”

“I’m your typical middle-aged liberal lesbian in grad school…”

Now I can’t imagine having dear friends that I love that hated some of my life choices so much that they wanted to kill me, but to each their own. Or maybe those dear friends she’d mentioned previously were only composite friends, you know, kinda like Barack Obama’s college girlfriend.

It never ceases to amaze me how liberals view conservatives, and how they make crap up to defend their preconceived notions as to how we think. Susan, you seem like a lovely person, and I thank you for your curiosity and willingness to chat with me. Take another look at the Republican Party. We’re not the racist homophobes you think we are.

Mr. Machete Espouses Republican Ideals … Then Bashes Republicans

Enjoying Balboa Park with Thing 1

Last Saturday, my mom and I took the girls to Balboa Park in celebration of Mother’s Day. We started the day at the farmer’s market, gathering yummies for a picnic lunch, then we went to the Titanic exhibit (Thing 2 declared, “Uh-oh, that boat broked!”), and capped off the trip with a stroll through the park to enjoy the street performers.

I love street performers. As a general rule, I never give money to beggars (sometimes a sack lunch, but not money), but to performers that have worked hard to perfect a craft that they use to entertain and delight people? I’m all for supporting that.

One performer caught our eye, so we wandered over. Dude was juggling machetes. It was pretty cool. Even cooler was when he hopped on a giant unicycle and juggled the massive knives some more, albeit a bit more cautiously this time. S’ok, Mr. Machete, you can juggle those giant sharp things as carefully as you like while riding the six-foot unicycle. I won’t judge.

While he was entertaining the crowd, he mentioned that he would be passing around a hat, and it would be nice if people contributed.

Let me interrupt myself for a minute to tell you that earlier in the performance, he had made a derogatory George Bush joke. It was not well received. He said, “Wow, I knew San Diego was a pretty conservative town, but George Bush! Come on!” More silence, to which he said, “It’s like I’m in Utah,” and moved on.

So he’s up on the unicycle, telling the crowd that it had always been his dream to do this, and our contributions were what made him able to do this, and that in America, anyone can have a dream and work hard and achieve their goals. Total Republican stuff.

As he juggled, the hat was passed, and he asked us to contribute what we could. “If you’re a Republican, put twenty dollars in and prove to me that trickle down economics works!” I was half-tempted to do so, and then ask for a ten back, because as a Democrat (I assume, since he was bagging on Republicans), he should totally be in favor of wealth redistribution, and I needed that ten to give to the beggar down the block.

People need to pay more attention to party platforms. Republicans want you to be able to work hard and keep as much of your money as you can. Democrats like to redistribute your wealth to cowboy poets and postmenopausal yoga classes.

In Which I Detail My DMV Experience

I maintain that this would be an AWESOME license photo

I had to go to the DMV last week to renew my driver’s license. I know. Boo! Hiss!

So imagine my surprise when the whole thing actually went kind of well. First off, I had an appointment, so I didn’t have to wait very long to get assigned to a counter. I was totally nervous that I wouldn’t pass the eye test without corrective lenses, but I did. The lady that saw me at first was really nice, and was trying her best to get another woman with a fussy baby to be helped (because who likes listening to fussy babies?).

I got stamped and approved, paid my renewal fee, and got sent to stand in the line to get a new photo, which made me a little bit sad, because the one I have now was taken about two weeks after my honeymoon, and I always think of that when I get carded and have to pull it out.

Someone asked if there was anyone in line just taking a new photo, not taking the driver’s test. “Me!” I jumped, and got moved to the front of the line in another area of the office. The guy told me where to stand, and I asked if I had to keep a straight face. He said no, so I made a sassy kissy face, mostly just to see what he’d say. He laughed and said I couldn’t do that.

“Why not? This is the face I’ll make if I get pulled over,” I retorted. Thankfully, he thought it was hilarious, and then shot a picture of me with my regular smile. We got to chitchatting a bit (there was no one behind me), and I mentioned that I really liked his purple shirt. It was a sort of lilac-y plum color, and I thought it would look really good on Leif, so I asked where he got it.

He told me years ago, and that it wasn’t his favorite, but that they all had to wear purple on Wednesdays. Um … why? It’s a union thing, he told me.

“The DMV is SEIU?” I exclaimed.

“Yeah, how did you know that?” He seemed genuinely surprised that the kissy-face girl would know that the color purple plus the word ‘union’ equals SEIU. Go figure.

“Oh, I work in politics,” I mentioned off-handedly. “So not only do they take a chunk of your paycheck, but they make you wear purple once a week?”

“Yeah, and it’s a big chunk too. I don’t even know what they do with it. We get sandwiches once a month though. Most expensive sandwiches I’ve ever eaten.”

“So sorry, Dude,” I told him, then wished him well and headed out the door, totally surprised by the pleasant, easy experience. Maybe health care run like the DMV won’t be so bad, I let my brain wander.

Let’s break it down:

  • I had to make an appointment two weeks in advance for a simple, routine, in-and-out procedure.
  • The most invasive test I received was covering up one eye at a time with a 3×5 card and reading a line of 6-7 letters.
  • The union running the place garnishes the employees’ wages and only offers them a monthly sandwich in return. Maybe they’re spending the money on this?
  • Anyone awaiting more comprehensive procedures requiring a specialist (like the driving test) had to wait in ridiculously long lines.

So I guess running health care like the DMV won’t be a big deal at all, so long as you don’t mind making appointments for routine procedures far in advance, waiting a long time to see specialists, or unions running the show.

Maybe that’s why Michelle Obama is so into combating childhood obesity. If no one every gets heart disease or diabetes, no one will ever question the efficiency of government-run health care.

Politics in Action at the 2012 AAPC Pollie Awards

I was in Austin for a few days, attending the 2012 American Association of Political Consultants Pollie Awards and annual conference. Remember a few weeks ago when I went to San Francisco and pushed myself out of my comfort zone to talk with the California Republican Party (CRP) ‘establishment’?

Yeah, that was a walk in the park in terms of comfort zones compared to this shindig. This is the kind of event that honors James Carville. In fact, it’s the exact kind of event that honors James Carville, because the Ragin’ Cajun was inducted into the AAPC Hall of Fame, alongside Paul Begoda and Karl Rove. Eclectic group, huh?

At grassroots/activist events, the conference goers are all on fire for America, because … the Constitution! I love these people. They are my homeys. At the CRP thing in San Francisco, I mostly saw the same sort of the thing, just with titles like ‘GOP County Chair’ instead of ‘Beginner Blogger.’ I won’t pretend to equate that with all CRP things, and I especially can’t speak for GOP events in other states. I’m guessing the GOP varies greatly from California to Texas to New York to Vermont.

Republicans in Vermont. *snort*

Anyway. This was a whole new ballgame. These were … political consultants. What the heck do political consultants do? They help candidates win. Well, the good ones do, anyway.

It would be awesome if elections and campaigns were all about the message, the integrity of the candidate, and doing what’s best for our communities and country as a whole. The reality is, as my friend Brittany Cohan likes to say, is that politics is a game.

Only one thing wins elections – votes. Elections are number games. How many registered voters are in the constituency? How many voters intend to vote this cycle? How have they voted in the past? Can their vote be counted on? What’s it going to take to win the votes? It doesn’t matter if you’re the second coming yourself, if you don’t get the votes, you don’t win the election.

If politics is a game, and the candidate is the starting pitcher or the star quarterback, then the consultant is the coach. That’s a pretty loose analogy, especially given my (extremely) limited knowledge of sports, but it’s just something to give you a little bit of a picture of what happens in campaigns.

Maybe the candidate is the team owner … someone is going to have to help me out with my sports analogies…

The consultants analyze the numbers and come up with a strategy to win the votes. That’s why Karl Rove is always going on Fox News with his whiteboard and talking numbers. I’ve always understood that this is how it works, but it was cool to watch the really real professionals at work.

Because I was in Austin, Ashley Sewell drove in from Fort Worth. Because, duh, it’s Jenny and Ashley. Since Ms. Sewell and I were together in Texas, our favorite former Texas Railroad Commissioner and current congressional candidate Michael Williams met us for drinks. Since I was in Austin in the first place because Justin Hart brought me out to do some social media stuff and meet with some people, he joined up with us too. Then Justin’s CEO Ravi Singh stopped by to say hello, and he got to talking to Michael about his campaign.

Ravi’s company, ElectionMall, does this really cool Campaign Cloud thing. They got together with Microsoft to create this service that organizes campaign tools (social media, blast emails, donor lists, etc.), and makes them accessible through one login. They pretty much rule when it comes to managing campaign technology.

The conversation went something like this:

“Tell me about the race – what’s the seat?”

“U.S. Congress. District 33.”

“What’s the breakdown?”

“New seat. One of the four that Texas picked up in the census. The area voted for McCain in 2008.”

“How many candidates?”

“Eleven.”

“Ouch.”

“I know.”

“Ok, well how many votes do you need to win?”

Then they talked about some different strategies to get the vote out, how they could win over the independents, and how they could get sometimes voters to commit to going to the polls on Election Day. It was totally fascinating to watch, and a good reminder that if we want to win races and send conservative politicians to Washington, we have to play the game.

We need more than solid candidates. We need effective strategies and tools to gain supporters and get them to the polls on Election Day. That’s how we win.

Adventures with Jenny At the Lincoln Memorial

“So what do you want to do?”

“I want to lick the Liberty Bell.”

“I’m sorry … what?”

That’s the conversation that Justin Hart and I shared on Friday night. Not being obsessed with How I Met Your Mother (seriously guys, it’s on Netflix streaming. Go watch it. You’re welcome.), the poor guy had no idea what I was talking about.

Especially given that we were in DC, and even though there are tons of national monuments and totally important historical things there, the Liberty Bell is in Philly.

It’s called a metaphor, Justin.

There’s this great episode of How I Met Your Mother in which Barney takes Ted to Philadelphia to hook up with some girls, and it turns out to be kind of lame, but then before they fly back to New York, Barney decides he wants to lick the Liberty Bell because why not? Life is for living. Grab it by the crack and lick the crap out of it.

My favorite place on the planet (so far) is the Lincoln Memorial. I don’t know. I just love it. I’m always so jealous I have to share it with the crowds because all I want to do is sit there and revel in it. Read the second inaugural address out loud. Wonder what would’ve been different if Lincoln hadn’t died when he did. Think freedom-y thoughts.

I wanted to experience that. So I did what any other completely ridiculous person would do and decided to sneak into the Lincoln Memorial. Because why not?

“YOU ARE NOT SNEAKING INTO THE LINCOLN MEMORIAL.” (That was Justin. Wuss.)

“I am not bailing you out. I have to work in the morning.” (That was Ashley. She had a legitimate excuse.)

“Come on, let’s just go and case the joint. Come on! Let’s go!” (That was me. I was determined.) “What’s the worst that could happen? Someone might ask us to leave?”

“Someone might ask us to leave by way of prison, JENNY.”

“There’s hardly any chance at all that could happen. Let’s go! Peer pressure, peer pressure, everybody’s doing it!”

“No one is doing it but you, and you’re reckless.”

“I am not reckless. Now let’s go sneak into the Lincoln Memorial.”

It’s really hard to argue with me sometimes.

Anyway, that’s how I ended up at the Lincoln Memorial at one a.m. on a Friday night Saturday morning, totally licking the crap out of the crack of life. And we totally didn’t get arrested.

When Justin finally pried me away from my boyfriend Abe, he thanked me for dragging him out there, because who knew you could walk right up to a national monument in the middle of the night?

It’s your life. Now go live it.

(And please try not to get arrested.)

Horrible Photo. But 'Pics or It Didn't Happen."