Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Middle School Election Tactics

Dominique is running for Student Body Officer this week, and we have been having some discussions about elections and campaigns.  A few weeks ago, she asked me to help her.  I agreed to be her campaign manager (an un-paid position, by the way).  She decided that she wanted her theme to coincide with something she could hand candy, a bracelet, you get the point.

I came up with several bad ideas.  Then she really liked, "Don't be a sucker, vote for Dom."  We thought we could get suckers and use the label maker to put her slogan on labels and wrap them around suckers.  She said to me, "Let me check with my friends and see what they think before we decide."  Um, excuse me?  I said, "I don't mind being your campaign manager, but I don't need to vet all ideas through 'your people'!" Since I'm also funding the campaign (posters, suckers and supplies), I think my opinion counted a bit more than a group of 7th grade girls.

Do you know how much suckers cost?  There are 180 7th Graders at our school.  I thought...this is going to cost me 10 bucks or so.  Guess again.  A bag  of 18 suckers cost a whopping $3.00.  When did sucker prices go up so much????  Luckily, all suckers were on sale at Walgreens.  We spent $20.00 to get 190 suckers.  Then I spent about $45 on the cartridges for my label maker.  I have no idea what Dean spent on posters the week before, but I can tell you that the Sharpies used to color said posters have come up missing (or at least some of them have).  I'm guessing I'm out at least $100.00 on this campaign.

So, as we are adorning suckers last night with labels (Oh, and we got some Dum Dums...and I made the labels for those say, "Don't be a 'Dum Dum,' vote for Dom Dom."  Apparently, I'm the only one who thinks that is funny, but oh well...since I was in charge of the label maker....)

While doing our project, Dom says, "Is this what it's like when you run for President of the United States?"  I couldn't contain my laughter.  Can you imagine???  The Obamas with 300 million suckers and a label maker?  I said, "Yes, it's similar, but you don't give out suckers.  But you have a campaign manager, a budget, a slogan and a reason that people should vote for you."  Running for student body officer is a mini-life lesson....

Then I asked her what she thought her chances for winning were.  She says, "Oh, I plan on winning, because I'm going to make everyone pinky-swear to vote for me."  Can I tell you how proud I am! 

I hope she wins because she really, really wants it.  In the end, we might be out spent, and I know that we don't have the best slogan.  I'm holding out for the coercive "pinky-swear technique" to push her to the finish line.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

No Problem, Man...

It's been a month since I've posted to the blog.  I have thought about posting nearly every other day, but I've been SOOOOOOO busy.  Tonight I find myself in my hotel room...I've prepped for tomorrow...I've had room service for dinner.  I have only to watch more TV, iron my clothes and finally make a blog post.  Here are some highlights of the past month....

First up: Jamaica.

In April, Dean and I traveled to Jamaica for Evan and Melissa's wedding.  I've known Evan since 1985...since I was a sophomore in high school.  Friendships like that are few and far between, and it's been great keeping in touch throughout the years.  The people you grew up those formative years...understand you like no one else.  Pekin, Illinois is a cultural experience, and only those who grew up there "get it."  That kind of bonding experience has endeared me to many folks from my youth.  It was such an honor to be asked to attend the wedding.

I got a lot of good pictures of the beach wedding, but this is one of my favorites! 

Weddings are so much fun!  We had such a great time!  The best thing about a wedding reception is that you really get to know people by the end of the night!  Below is Melissa being ceremoniously raised in the air by the men at the party.
This is Evan taking the chair ride....which seemed to be a questionable and somewhat unstable ride...but no grooms or participants were harmed in the process!
Also while in Jamaica, we did a lot of relaxing and a little bit of site seeing.  Our favorite activity was a raft trip on the Martha Brae River.  You'll see in the video below, the rafts are made of bamboo (about 15-17 pieces of bamboo across).  There is also a "seat" made of bamboo, so you sit about 18 inches off of the raft.  It was cool to be basically right on the plane of the opposed to being elevated in a boat.  Along the shore, there were folks selling towels, trinkets and rum...lots of rum.  The captain would pull over if you wanted to buy something.  It was a really nice ride.  Our captain's name is Larry.  He's been captaining the raft for a few decades. 

The first resort we stayed at was the Hilton.  It was a family-friendly property...the kind where we would take the kids.  This is a view from our room.
Here are some pictures from the Secrets St. James Resort. 
It was unbelievably beautiful.  I got in the water for one day...only because I didn't want to get sunburned...and I burn easily...even with sunscreen.  The water here was warm and clear and just beautiful!
We also stopped by a fresh fruit stand where I had my first coconut milk drink.  It kind of tastes like coconut flavored water.  
We then stopped for lunch at the Pork Pit...a local/slightly touristy informal BBQ.  Good eats, reasonable price. 
We are so blessed to be able to afford luxuries like a trip to Jamaica.  Some of our favorite times were just taking in the beauty of the sea.  It was a bit of paradise.
When we got home and handed out the Jamaica presents, the girls didn't hesitate to put on the hats!
And...I still have a lot of catching up to do, but reporting on our Jamaica trip is one thing off of the list.  Yah, man...