1) Legalization of Marijuana
I’ve been working on a project for a class/government agency on public opinion of marijuana since 1970. My personal responsibility has been to become an expert on past laws/propositions in the marijuana world. We are going to use this data to chart public opinion, and to get an idea of where trends are going in certain states.
I knew about prop 19 before this class, but I didn’t realize how far medical marijuana had progressed. 15 states and DC have medical usage laws in place, and in 2010 another 18 had laws on the ballot/in the legislature. Certain states, like Maryland, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, and Minnesota are only a year or two away from passage. Personally, I’m not against this, but I didn’t realize as a country how far we’d progressed.
Technically, within federal and international laws, medical marijuana is illegal. I doubt the federal government will enforce that superiority law, but it puts an interesting perspective on things. Another interesting point I’ve learned is that the wording of Prop 19 in CA actually made it illegal for a workplace to discriminate against a drug user, even while federal policy made it a legal requirement to have a drug free policy. Also, under federal law, any money made from illegal activity (such as taxing legalized marijuana) can be seized at any time by the federal government. Those discrepancies make the failure of the proposition much more comprehensible.
Another interesting point is that of 50 states and DC, 46 have had SOME type of MJ law – decriminalization, medical, legalization, therapeutic research, etc. Indiana (my home state) is off the list, as are Utah, Kentucky, North Dakota, and Idaho. I knew my state was conservative, but I didn’t realize we were among the same ranks as Utah and Idaho.
2) Bible Belt
This kind of goes with my next interesting point. I overheard some international students on the shuttle today discussing religion in the US. One made the point that every time he visits the US, he discovers a new religion. They were jokingly going through a listing of local churches. In my hometown, the city is literally called the City of Churches. Within 5 miles of my house, there are two evangelical christian mega-churches, a catholic church, a lutheran church, baptist, episcopalian, three churches of God/united Church of Christ, and I think a presbyterian. If you go another 2-3 miles, there will be a dozen more. That’s a LOT of religion.
People ignore Indiana. They disregard it. No-one understood why I was SO amazed when the state voted democrat in 2008. I mean, we are one of the 4 most conservative states in the nation. We’re more bible belt than some southern states. We do have a lot of factory workers, rural employees, and labor union type of folk, and we *are* right next to IL, so Obama makes some sense. But, IN is also traditionally one of the most racist states. Muncie, IN was used as Middletown America in a variety of national studies to represent small-town america. I have a new sense of appreciation for my hometown.
3) I’m questioning Big City living.
I keep thinking about leaving Pittsburgh in May (or August, whenever it happens to be). I don’t know how I feel about it. I really am passionate about public policy and public service. I want to work in energy policy. I love it, it keeps me on my toes. I want to be in the center of it all, and the best place to be is Washington, DC. But, when it comes down to it, I want more out of my life than a career. And yes, if it’s a career in public service than it is making a difference, but I want a family and a home life too. I just don’t know if I’ll find that in DC.
I’m not from a “small” town. My town has 250,000 people, and my high school had 2,000. I went to college with people from high schools of 200. In Indiana, my town is the second largest. When I visit larger places, however, I realize that even though my city was big by IN standards, it is very small compared to the Eastern Seaboard cities. I’m all about an informed public and being around people like that, but I also value midwestern morals and manners.
I’m a nice girl. I smile at people, I talk to people. I reserve judgement, and try to be nice to everyone I meet. I can find joy in simple pleasures. I like open space and nature. I don’t mind discussing corn, or spending a weekend just hanging out by a lake. I enjoy long drives to get places. Don’t get me wrong – I love the culture, museums, art, music, sport, and educational benefits of a large city. I just don’t know that I want to live in one…definitely not long term. I want to be near enough to one to take advantage of the nighttime and weekend activities, but I want my suburban/semi-rural living.
As much as I’m a “career-woman,” I’d also be a great soccer mom. I’m not ready for kids just yet, as I don’t feel I’ve lived enough yet (plus I’m not patient enough or settled enough), but I want them someday. I want a house, a husband. I don’t want to have to give up my job, though. I know in government, they’re cooperative. And, in theory, if I get the right federal appointment, I could transfer to a smaller town in a few years, maybe.
Hard choices. I’m still staying on the DC track of my program; I understand the logic of how much it will get me ahead. I’m just revisiting choices I made when I moved to Pittsburgh; a smaller school, in a smaller place would have suited me. I’d be just as happy working in a local government office in the long-term, even though I’m pursuing jobs at the national “super ambitious” level.
4) I need to reassert my comprehension of my own knowledge.
I started qualifying my answers again. I’m one of the youngest people in my grad program, and sometimes I feel really incompetent. I forget that I’m just as qualified to be in the program, that I’m intelligent too. I doubt myself. When that happens, I start to preface my answers to things with “I don’t know, but…” then I give the answer. I raise my voice at the end of statements, indicating uncertainty. This only makes people doubt me. NO MORE. I DO know what I’m talking about. A friend recommended that I think “what would a man do” before I speak up…which is sad, but true. Men aren’t afraid to be falsely confident, and they rarely show fear at being wrong. I need to absorb that mentality.
5) Valentine’s Day –> Cupid = Santa?
If Cupid were Santa, and I could ask for anything romance-related that I wanted, it would be this:
I want to go on a date with a Dominant fellow, and surrender control for the entirety – no decisions. That includes dinner and whatever activities. I don’t want to pick the restaurant, or the movie. I am ok giving input when requested, but I don’t want to make the choices. The specifics don’t matter as much – I don’t care what activities we do (I’m really easily pleased), but that’s the gist of it.
If Cupid was feeling particularly generous, the fellow and I would have enough attraction that I’d enjoy him touching me, and he could assume temporary “ownership” for the evening as well. That could include discrete torment or teasing throughout the evening or afterwards. Maybe not full on sex, but again, that’s the gist of it.
Either way, the first part would be enough. I’ve experimented with different types of kinky play, and I enjoy doing that and will continue to do so. I want to experiment more with actual power exchange, in an everyday scenario, when it isn’t as sexual. I want to feel that type of submission. I realize it’d be all the better with someone I really like and am attracted to, and have hope of a relationship with, but I figured I’d keep my Cupid requests on the lower expectations side of things.
If I haven’t said so before, I like things in multiples of 5, so that’ll be all.