How time flies

It’s been so long since I’ve written here, the address to this blog has long but disappeared in history. 100+ readers have slowly dwindled to the occasional glance or linked blog post. It’s  been months since I’ve posted here, and probably over a year since I’ve left anything consequential on these pixel pages. And yet, I seem to come back today, of all days.

It’s the beginning of Thanksgiving break in the Senior year of my SUNY Geneseo academic career. My, has time flown since I first started this blog, since I stopped writing in this blog many months ago. All this time, I have had so much to say, but the process of sorting through my thoughts is long and frustrating, and the process of writing these thoughts down in coherent words is even more difficult. Thoughts become long streams of never-ending words, and I find it difficult to believe that many will choose to read this anyway. However, it is nice to know that, in some way, these streams of consciousness have been thrown into the wind, available for those who ask. At the very least, it is for my own sanity, that these words are to be published.

And now that we have gotten all of that out of the way, let us begin:

The best, and worst, thing about going home for a vacation break is that past memories seem to flow back. Houses are memory banks: everything has a history, regardless of whether it is remembered or not. Even mundane little things, such as old shopping lists, chewed up pencils, or the broken Snoopy doghouse which kept my change, have a past. A story.

Every time I come home, I usually find something that evokes a story. Most of the time, I don’t have the luxury to sit and reflect upon these stories. I simply move onto the next artifact. But, somehow, I have found myself with the limited, yet valuable, time to go through some old Christmas and birthday cards. Some of these go as far back as 2006-2008 (yes, I still have cards from way back when… I never have it in me to throw away any cards that are sent to me). All of these cards remind me of a moment, a slice of life that I will forever cherish, but I will never get back.

Boy that makes life sound absolutely tragic. But it’s not because, as all things, memories too will fade away. History will slowly start to disappear. And then all that we have are the physical objects around us. And not the cars, or the homes, or the fancy shirt that you bought last week from insert-expensive-boutique-or-designer-brand-here. I’m talking about letters, photographs, scrapbooks, journals and diaries. Grand letters that span over five pages and seemingly inconsequential notes you write to yourself about homework that is due next week. Photographs of friends at the peek of your year, or the subsequent diary post drenched in tears. When the mind has faded, and even the stories have just about disappeared, these photos and letters and journal entries, all of these things, seem to stand the test of time. Why? Because they are written from the heart.

When you create, write, draw, or take a picture of something, truly magical things happen. At least, I always felt as if they did to me. Verbal words can  be easily forgotten, manipulated by the cruel mistresses of memory. Pictures and words, things that are created by man and explicitly placed in something physical (such as a letter or a photograph), however framed they are, will last. So long as I can still read a letter, or see a picture, I can remember the stories. They are little time travel pieces, things that bring me back to a place in my life I thought I could not have reached.

When you truly take the time to write something down, or to draw something, or to really hold still and take a picture of something, that’s when it comes from the heart. When you pour your soul, your effort and your mind into something, that’s when these “time travelers” are formed, created by the will to hang onto a memory, to cling to relics of stories that would, otherwise, be forgotten. I think this is why the scrapbooking industry has done so well. Really, they are a time traveling industry.

In any case, looking through these letters and stories, I think about my past year (really my past year and a half). I have gone through a significant amount of change. Even the very core of my being has changed, in ways I would not have expected it to. If the past me met the me I am today, she’d be shocked. Perhaps even disgusted. Not because I am disgusting, but because she would not be able to understand that the person I am today, the person I am now, is the person she is going to become. It’s interesting how time changes everything. You may not think so, but time changes everything. Nothing is static.

Back to these time travelers. I have written many a story, typed out many a letter, and received many more in return. While I do not have them all on hand, there are plenty that I will never forget. Not only because it took an obscenely long time to write them, but because, when I sent it to you, I also sent a piece of my heart. I wonder where many of these things are now. The scrapbook box that took me hours to put together. The long Christmas letter made of comics that I painstakingly drew through the night. Even things I have never sent, like the four page letter sitting at the bottom of my stationary box. Just because they’re not sent doesn’t mean it wasn’t meant for you.

So much has happened in the past year and a half. And, with the hectic nature of life, these stories, no matter how important they are, no matter how much they may have changed your life, they are forgotten at one point or another. Some stories are forgotten for much longer than others. Some are forgotten completely, forgotten until you find the little time traveler that came along with it. That little piece of heart you stored away in the form of words and pictures.

In this past, I have loved. I have loved and lost and loved again… and lost again. I have survived break ups, and slip ups and mess ups and throw ups. I have broken hearts, and have had my heart broken, over and over. I have lost many things, but gained many more in the process. I know this all sounds pretty enigmatic, but there is no simple way to describe this year. How does one explain a year, a year so busy I have not had the time to think until now? A year so busy that my average sleep schedule is about 4 hours a night, so busy that I probably don’t even eat, on average, a meal a day. A year so busy I have had no time to reflect. No time to write in my own diaries, in my own journal. That’s right, there is no way to describe a year like that. Not in simple terms.

This year has been very difficult, for many reasons. Now, I realize that I am writing this, not only because I finally have the sliver I of time I have to write it, but because I have to write this. For me, it is much easier to write something than it is to say it. I think it’s because saying it is temporary, easy to say and easy to forget. Writing, writing is permanent. When you put that pen to that paper (or as you click away on your keyboard), you are truly turning your emotions, your heart, into something physical.

Of course, when you write something or draw something, or create something, you never actually write it for no reason. Things like this, they have to be written for a purpose. I always find that, when I am writing something (note: I will henceforth just use writing, as opposed to all the other terms, since that is my obvious medium), I am  not just writing for me, but I am writing for someone. I am writing to a person. I am writing to “Dear Diary.” I am writing in hopes that some day, someone, will find it. Even if that someone is future me, that someone will find it. I tear my heart, little by little, wrapping them up in neatly written words, so that someone, the right one, will find it. That person is not necessarily a significant other, or even a close individual. It’s whomever the words belong to. Whomever they were meant for. Could be a lover. Could be an enemy. Could even be a stranger. Quite possibly, even for you.

I think in the recent year, I have given up much of myself. I have torn my heart many times, placing it into the hands of both the right and the wrong people. Sometimes, these pieces of the heart are reciprocated, possibly with a part of the other person’s heart. But, more often than not, they are not reciprocated at all.

And this goes beyond just the letters, or the written words. Everything that I have done this year, everything is done with 100% of my effort. 110% if I could do it. And, in the recent weeks, I have found it progressively more difficult for me to do so. I’m not quite sure why, although I have an idea that it is really only myself I can blame.

Someone told me, not very long ago, that I can’t be a debbie downer. Not this year. It’s always up, up, up, optimism. Do it for the people around you, they say. Do it because it’s the right thing to do. Do it because you’re a leader. Sometimes, I wonder if they really mean: do it because I don’t want to have to deal with your bs.

Well, this time, it’s alright. You don’t have to deal with my bs. Because time flies. Time flies, and stories change. And when I have expended as much energy as I have this year, there is little left in me to keep recording stories, keep creating time travelers with no return. It is tragic to think in such callus terms, to think in concepts of “what will I get back?” But I think, for once, I don’t mind being selfish this time.

I look back to the letters of years past, and I can see stories where people have given their hearts to me. I see memories, probably glorified by the work of memory, but grand, golden memories none-the-less. I think of a simpler life, when there were fewer expectations, and fewer disappointments. I look at these memories, and then I look at my life now.

Perhaps when you do put it in to that perspective, life is pretty tragic. The many memories you make, you tend to forget eventually. The few that you do manage to keep are glorified, to make the current life you lead feel much worse. I don’t know what is better: choosing to keep all these memories, only to make yourself wish you lived in the past? Or forgetting it all?

I am not quite sure what makes this year different from the others. I think it is probably because of all the missing pieces of my heart, missing pieces that I will likely never get back. It’s also probably the fact that I’ve been spreading myself thin, making everyone mad at me, because I have accomplished nothing.

But then I can look back to these letters, these stories. I look back to a simpler time, and I try to forget the here and now. I try to use the little energy these time travels have left to keep going, day after day. I know that these little time travelers are not forever, that by over reading them, and over abusing them, their magical properties slowly start to wane. Yes, even time travelers can become mundane letters on a piece of fancy paper.

Time flies so fast, but it is only when time flies away that we truly start to appreciate the few seconds of life we have left. I can see the chapter closing quickly in this part of my life. And what will I have by the end of this year?

I’m not quite sure yet. At the very least, I will have this blog post. This one story. A gift to myself, and to you, a piece of heart preserved in the loneliness of a Thursday night, surrounded by past memories and stories. A reminder that, at the very least, I can appreciate myself. Even in this difficult, busy and demanding year, I still have at least a piece of my heart left, from myself and to myself.

I hope you find this letter. I hope you find this letter, and you understand. This stream of consciousness, it may not make much sense, but it has served its purpose for me.

To all those, who have loved and lost this year, who have struggled through the obstacles of life, barely able to make little time travelers of your own. To all those who have survived a difficult year thus far, I commend you. I appreciate you. I care for you. And, most of all, I am here for you.

And to all those who have survived reading this note: thank you. Hopefully, you will enjoy the piece of my heart that I have just given you.



Political Discourse?

*gasp* Yes, I am actually blogging, after a very (very) long lull. FYI, the title reference is from Final Fantasy XI.

In the “glorious” field of political science (note, here, I say political science, not politics), I often find myself in a discussion with people regarding the obvious topic of politics. It’s interesting to note that, regardless of the other person’s background, social status, age, or demographic, any person who comes to the realization that I am a Political Science major will naturally be inclined to “talk politics” with me. It doesn’t matter whether s/he’s even into politics, that person will simply hold a discussion about hating politics. In fact, even apathetic people will, at some point, note their apathy for politics.

I bring this up only because this allows me the “good fortune” to experience many conversations about politics, which has provided me a plethora of experiences with “political debates” (as some people would like to call it). And, while I wish this wasn’t the case, I find myself wishing, more often than not, that the topic of politics is never brought up in front of me. I am clearly not as experienced with other majors, but it seems to me that biology majors are legitimately interested in talking about biology, and anthropology majors like bring up their classes, even to non-majors.

This is not the case for me. Instead of being excited when people are actually interested in my field, I tend to dread the future conversations we may hold about the many layers of politics and the complexities that go with foreign relations, law making and international trade. More often than not, I feel pretentious for opening my mouth, so I tend to say nothing at all (whether other people perceive this as “wow this girl is a really dumb political science major” or not, I probably will never know).

This is a great way of degrading the conversation from an actual discussion to a one-sided lecture, where the other person is telling me about his/her ideology, political beliefs, opinions and overall criticisms of our government and economic system. I am not quite sure if this is an attempt to “bring me to their side” (which is curious, since I make actual efforts to never discuss my political ideology), but it’s always curious to see that people take my “silence” as “affirmation,” which encourages them to continue.

And while I would love to open my mouth in some sort of rebuttal, I fear that this will simply turn the discussion-turned-lecture into a heated argument, just because we don’t share the same political ideologies. Instead, I keep my tongue in check, and concentrate on making my mind wander off the topic of politics.

The worst is when the person doesn’t bring up any one specific issue or event, but instead talks about party politics and/or politicians. I think my least favorite thing to discuss is “who is in what party” and “why this party sucks more than others,” because it takes away from the importance of individual issues and forces other people into labels such as liberal, conservative, right-winged nut or democratic communist. I can already recall at least five or six incidents in which people go on (literally for hours) talking about “those right-winged, gun waving asshole,” or “That Muslim Communist Obama who wants to destroy our American way of life.” Honestly, it’s a bit embarrassing to even hear these things just because of their sheer lack of consideration of the other side.

And don’t even get me started when people start talking about media and politics (mind you, my other major is Communication with a concentration in Journalism and Mass Media). There is no overarching conservative or liberal bias through all the news stations. No singular news source will be completely unbiased. Your precious New York Times, Fox News, Wall Street Journal and MSNBC are filled to the brim with varying political biases and, no matter how much you may tout it to be “the more objective news source out there,” the truth is that reading one news source will severely limit your ability to think in multiple perspectives.

But that’s a story for another time. My point is, the worst “discussions” about politics are the ones where people are spouting out their political ideology and attempting to appear really knowledgeable about politics by throwing around popular words like “debt crisis” and “inflation” (inflation is probably my second least favorite buzz word, falling very closely behind “bipartisan”). Bringing up other people’s ideologies (e.g.: “My sister is an idiot hippie because she voted for Obama”) only makes it worse, as that other person may not be there (ergo, may not be able to defend him/herself) and might have their ideologies twisted and mutilated.

I don’t want to end it on a bad note, so I will say that there is definitely some political discourse that I enjoy greatly (I am a political science major, this does mean that I am actually interested in studying the political realm). I do love talking about bills being passed through Congress, international affairs that may affect our foreign policy and economic decisions made by the US Treasury. I like talking about the quarterly reports from the Federal Reserve, and I think it’s a lot of fun to discuss who would win in a bar fight: Merkel or Putin (my money’s on Merkel). These may seem “petty” and “lame” compared to grander topics of “political institutions” and “party system,” but I really don’t see the point in talking politics if it’s just going to be a trash talk between party platforms.

P.S.: I find myself rarely talking about political parties and whatnot to other Political Science majors. Usually, we stick to the topics that I mentioned already liking, or discuss how much we wish we were in the Middle East right now.

In an effort to convince myself to write more, I attempted to host a Human v Zombie blog as a human survivor. The chronicle of said adventures can be found here for anyone who is interested in viewing them.

And while I still seem to have negative time to do anything in my life, I’ve at least been shocked back into writing regularly. So, fingers crossed, I will be posting semi-regularly again here.

I hope to see you all soon.

Firstly, let me apologize (a million times over) for not posting in a significantly long period of time. I suck, I know. Go throw your tomatoes elsewhere.

At first, I wanted to post something intelligent and thought provoking and all that good stuff.

And I have all these wonderful ideas crawling down the side of my looseleaf. Some bullet points here, some notes there, a couple numbered lists of things I can write about and concepts to flesh out.

Yet, when I finally have the time to sit down and write about it (interestingly, always quite late at night), something just seems to block my head. I look at them, these squiggly lines called words, and I keep looking and looking and (for whatever reason), my brain makes some immature farting noise and pouts. I know I have plenty of things I do actually want to talk about (and trust me, I have enough ideas to procrastinate my studying for several more years), but something seems to set me back.


I think it’s because there are plenty of other things I need to say. Not specifically to anything, or to anyone, but it’s not the general yelling that I can just shout to the wind either. It’s not something that I want to lose within the hundreds of pages of my journal.

And then I think about it some more, and the more I think about it, the more I realize that a lot of the back up brain work of mine is suffering significantly because of this “pent up things I really need to say” (we’ll shorten the term to Pent Up Word Vompt for now). Where did all my time management capabilities go? Apparently out the window.

Instead, it is replaced with a mental torrent of crappy thoughts, which seem to sink me deeper into a state of stress and crap (yes, I said a state of crap), leaving me greatly unfulfilled and under-worked (despite having so much work to do). The limited things I can now accomplish are either labor intensive tasks that take little thought (weight lifting), repetitious movements (washing dishes, doing laundry) and things not directly related to human communication (making delicious pie).

Part of it, I am attributing to some fear of disappointing someone. Or fear of proving someone right. Or fear of dragging someone else in to a mess. Or even fear of making someone listen to something they may not want to. In the end, it (the situation) just kind of makes me feel extraordinarily lonely. I have more people that I can call “friends” now more than ever before, and yet I could also say I’m the loneliest I’ve been in a long time.

Another part of it, I believe, is that I have simply become bitter and angry, and feel the lack of will to get it out for fear of something. I think I am actually getting mad at myself for not being able to express this anger. I want to be angry and actually get to be angry. I don’t want life lessons and past stories. I don’t want to be interrupted with some miserable story about how your day went, or where your life took a turn for the worst today. Really. I appreciate your trust in me, but there is some time that is your time. And some time that is my time.

But back to this brain block problem. It’s not that I’m depressed, or have suffered from some near-exploded brain problem where I just broke my head. It’s more like an increased amount of earwax that slowly prevents me from hearing… except in the brain. Brainwax that prevents me from fully fleshing out whatever I need to say, because other stuff is in the way. And, until I get it out, my brain will simply trickle instead of pour.

And so, while I’d like to sit with you and talk about my opinion on the mosque and the elections (including the ever interesting Republican primaries in NY), and though I have a margin full of half-baked concepts about America and nationalism and foreign policies of developed countries in relation to developing countries (by the way, there is a difference between developing and underdeveloped countries), much of this seems to be on halt while my brain sorts out the Pent Up Word Vomit.

But in case you WERE wondering:

  • Complaining about the mosque is ridiculous. Even the simple fact of having a discussion on it shows how intolerant some people can be.
  • I kind of wish I had registered to a party because the only interesting elections in NYS are the primaries
  • I still don’t believe in Communism. Or Socialism. But I do believe that we are slowly reaching a point where we no longer deserve to govern ourselves.
  • Alexander Hamilton still PWNs Thomas Jefferson any day.
  • I don’t see how people can expect more successful government programs with less taxes and an increased cost of living.
  • Gender/Racial Empowerment (Male, Female, Black, White, Asian or otherwise) != Gender/Racial Equality
  • Government structures are highly dependant on how the creators felt about human nature. For a democracy or a republic to work, individuals must be educated enough to run themselves, and willing enough to act as a public servant (not a politician). Honestly, at this point, I almost want to throw in the libertarian towel because I don’t think Americans in this era are capable enough to run the country.
  • I’m kind of sick of hearing someone say “this” or “that” is “Unamerican.” The term “unamerican” is quickly rising in my “lists of words I want to punch people for saying.
  • Immigrants can be as American as, if not more so than, than citizens.

I also determined my paper topic for Research in Media and Culture Studies. I will be examining framing techniques used in several media sources (mainly print and TV) to see how journalists frame things to be distinctly Democratic or Republic. I am also examining the effects of framing on individuals who are strongly aligned to one party as opposed to the effect of framing on apathetic or undecided residents. This will include some level of close reading of the text in media, several in-depth details about influences of media on individuals, and a mass survey about political media consumption and interpretations taken from the media consumption.

If anyone is interested, and I mean actually interested, in helping me relieve some of the aforementioned pent up word vomit, feel free to let me know. But, as a warning, it’s not going to be pretty (or short), it might not make much sense, and I might end up either not finishing or declining.


PS: Ha. I posted.

COMN 107

We’re going to be doing blogs for comn 107, and we’re using wordpress so I just defaulted to my normal blog. I want to take this time to apologize for all the late postings and for not posting at all, but I haven’t been able to post often enough. I promise I’ll try to blog more and have a specific time for blogging next year.

– Mint

April Fools 2010!

Happy April First everybody! Because I have so much time on my hands (and not because I’m procrastinating my comparative politics paper on China and Russia’s communist regime types… I promise), I’ve decided to list a bunch of April Fools jokes I’ve been finding scattered around the internet. =] If you find any more, let me know and I’ll be happy to add to the collection. Happy Reading / Hunting.

Youtube’s new text only (TEXTp) optionSite .:. Blog

Topeka, formally known as GoogleSite .:. Blog

Gmail’s vowel shortageSite .:. Blog

Google Chrome’s Sound ExtentionsExtention .:. Blog

Google docs will store anything!Blog

unixkcdSite (YES!)

Woot’s blurry t-shirtSite
Actually, I really hope it’s not an April Fool’s joke since I bought it in my haze at 1AM in the morning… T_T (Mind you, it took 1/2 an hour to process since every wooter on the face of the planet seemed to have wanted it).

7) Ben & Jerry’s Virtual Ice CreamSite

ThinkGeek’s new product – Dharma Initiative Alarm ClockProduct

The Hulu InitiativeVideo

Reddit’s giving away admin privileges!Site

College Humor is being watched Going to college humor will temporarily redirect you to a “you are being watched” site =] – Site

Wikipedia’s Feature Article (Wife Selling)Article

Kodak’s AromatographySite .:. Blog

Starbucks’ new sizesBlog

Coldplay’s new cologneblog .:. Product

Alright. For whatever reason, many people have been expecting me to post about the newly signed bill about Health Care Reform (I’ve already written one, here: A Response. This past Tuesday, President Barack Obama signed a revolutionary health care bill into law. This bill would increase coverage to several million people and would force health care providers to adhere to various regulations as set by the 50 different markets that will be developed by this health care reform. Why we are walking backwards into a country that is no longer united, I do not know. Perhaps it is because the federal government is too terrified to make a solid decision on abortion (the Democratic party is united… united so long as no controversial topics come up). Perhaps it is because America is incapable of learning from past mistakes.

Other noteworthy comments about the bill:

  • No Republican voted for the bill (in either House or Congress)
  • The bill passed by 7 votes.
  • People who refuse Health Care or take health care that is not accepted will be fined.
  • Of all the bills that have been introduced to reform health care, this is the hardest one for me to find online. It took me 2 hours to simply find it. What the hell. The name (the actual name of the bill) has changed enough times that keeping track of it is nearly pointless.
  • Hopefully people who have been following the bill(s) now understands how a bill is passed. Perhaps the one good thing about this bill is that it encouraged people to understand how bills are passed into law (although I’m more convinced that people just gave up).

But what I really wanted to talk about was not the health care bill. Today, I want to talk about this ridiculous obsession about the health care reform bill. There are other bills out there that the Houses have to vote on and there is other news out there. Instead, we spent all our time concentrating on this one bill, which well all knew was going to pass whether we liked it or not because the Democrats have an obscene majority in the House and the Senate. Democrats who are touting it off as a new revolutionary bill that is the equivalent to the Social Security Act clearly have not seen how Social Security has been driving our financial standing into the ground and also clearly haven’t taken a serious look at the cost of the bill. (Either that, or they just simply believe every word that the Democratic Party says.) It’s also pretty ridiculous to claim that there have been immediate economic consequences (negative or positive) since it was signed into law on TUESDAY. Any change is simply a result of people’s reactions to the bill, not the bill itself.
Republicans who are too pigheaded to see that we need health care reform are equally ignorant. At least the Democratic party is making efforts to improve our health care situation. The Democratic Party at least made several attempts to include things that the Republican party wanted, while the Republican party has done nothing to try and create reform. The non-bipartisanship of this law is not the whole fault of the Democrats, who have made continual attempts to appease the Republicans.

And it’s this drama that keeps the Health Care Reform bill/law in the news. Rather than concentrating on things we can change and things that are equally important, we default back into Health Care Reform.

Below is a list of bills and laws that are equally important and are greatly ignored by mainstream America.

  • S.773 – Cybersecurity Act of 2009 – Creates a Cybersecurity Advisory Panel and allows the Department of Commerce to act as a Clearinghouse. There also a mention of a scholarship in there for students who are interested in going into cyber security, and ideas for competitions that students can enter.
  • H.R.2847 – Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act (HIRE) – Signed into law on March 18, 2010. Reallocates money into House of Commerce and Transportation agencies. Also creates new incentives for hiring unemployed workers.
  • H.R.4213 – American Workers, State, and Business Relief Act of 2010 – Passed both the House and amended by the Senate (must be re-passed with the new changes by the House). It extends the current deadline to file for certain unemployment benefits. In total, the bill will cost $140 billion dollars, with NO plan to make up the money in any other way (at least the Health Care Bill[s] had various plans, although weak, to make up the lost revenue over a long period of time). [Credits to jmflora for catching my mistake]
  • H.R.3221 – Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2009 – Reallocates money from the Stafford loans and from programs that allow for government subsidies to support private company loans to put into the Pell Grant program. Increases money to advertising science, math and technology fields to Hispanics and Blacks (aka: more scholarship money for them).
  • S.1733 – Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act (what is it with candidates for President who lost putting out bills on energy reform?) – Introduced by Senator John Kerry. Creates a nation-wide cap-and-trade program that would promote decreased greenhouse gas emissions.
  • H.R.1207 – Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2009 – Introduced by Ron Paul (the only Republican who supports this bill, mind you). Overhauls the current relationship between the Federal Reserve and the US Congress/US Treasury. Gives control to the Comptroller General, who will audit the Federal Reserve
  • H.R.226 – Broadcaster Freedom Act of 2009 – Stops the FCC from reintroducing the Fairness Doctrine, which required news broadcasters to present opposing views on controversial issues (the Fairness Doctrine was abolished in 1987).
  • H.R.231 – The Video Game Health Labeling Act of 2009 – Creates new labels warning parents about the dangers of certain video games. The warning would read such (for games with a rating of above T): “WARNING: Excessive exposure to violent video games and other violent media has been linked to aggressive behavior”
  • H.R.414 – Camera Phone Predator Alert Act – Requires that all phones with a camera make a sound (like a click-click camera sound) when taking a picture
  • .

I’m not asking for society to follow all the bills being passed in the US Government. Just please be aware that Health Care Reform is not the only be all end all of topics. It is certainly not the only one that is up for debate in the Houses.