Heather L. Barmore
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Heather L. Barmore
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Heather Barmore
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    Change In Action at Babble Voices


    Dispatch from Madrid: II

    (Click for the first dispatch from Madrid)

    "Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity." ~Voltaire

    October 8, 2014: When you go out to eat here you just sit at a table. There is no requesting permission or formalities. It’s a free for all and people are eager to feed you. Yesterday I was given croquetas with my wine because who doesn’t like some fried food to go with their drink? Speaking of food ALL I DO IS EAT That’s it. Sure, there are a few moments of writing and walking and pondering the great mysteries of life but with each day I wonder what food there is to try next. My friends and family are going to be sorely disappointed when all I have for souvenirs is copious amounts of tortilla and loaves of freshly baked bread but whoops! Ate that too.


    Your Big, Fat Guide to The 2014 Midterm Elections 

    Last month I sat with a friend who lamented on the current state of American politics. I emphatically agreed and mentioned the upcoming midterm election to which she replied that she knew nothing of these elections and that sound you just heard is that of my heart breaking as I re-tell this tale. Though it’s high time that I am honest with myself and say that no one gives a damn about these elections. In fact Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post just wrote a piece titled: “The election is in 29 days. No one cares.” I, of course, care as do the infamous Beltway insiders and Nancy Pelosi really REALLY cares but on the whole the average American is more concerned about Ebola than they are about the direction of this country and it makes me a little sad. Anyway, during our lunch I told this friend that I would whip up a little something regarding the midterm elections. Something I have been meaning to do for weeks but have I mentioned that I’m in Spain? Because I AM IN SPAIN. I cannot say that enough.

    Here goes:

    WHO: The entire House of Representatives and one third of the Senate are being elected this coming November in addition to 37 Governors (you can see all states with gubernatorial races here). The American public, i.e. YOU. Yes, you, get to decide. Please vote. Nothing annoys me more than people who complain about politics and then refuse to vote because it takes up time or it’s boring or they have no idea what’s going on. Please don't be that person.




    WHERE: The League of Women Voters has vote411.org where you put in your address and the site tells you the last date to register to vote in your state, the last day to vote via absentee ballot and the location of your polling place. You don’t have to sign up or give a blood oath. It’s all very easy which is exactly how democracy should be.

    WHEN: Tuesday, November 4th. I’ve been counting down the days for months but I’m a dork. Mark it down.

    WHY: Because it’s important? Because we want to avoid another government shutdown? Because you want your voice heard? Because it is next to impossible for Congress to get anything done as is and perhaps a shake-up is in order? Because we have this amazing power to be a part of our national political system, one that others died for and so we should use it? I don’t know what issues are important to you and that is something that you will have to decide for yourself what I can tell you is where to you can learn about what matters to you, your family and your community.

    HOW: Not how to vote but how to find out about the candidates, who is running, who your member of congress is and more on the issues that might be of importance to you.

    You can find your member of the House of Representatives here and your Senator here.

    You can find who is on the ballot, whether or not you live in an area with a highly competitive race and follow  some excellent coverage.

    Here is The Skimm's local guide to the 2014 Midterm Elections.

    Is your elected representative helpful when it comes to reproductive choice?

    How about on education issues?

    Is climate change important?

    Or maybe work/life policy?

    Or maybe you like the second amendment?

    Whatever speaks to you, whatever you think needs fixing in this country, whatever you want to see changed or improved, going forward is all up to you. At the risk of sounding like a broken record just vote. VOTE. VOTE.


    Dispatch from Madrid: I

    "Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe."  ~Anatole France

    In an unexpected turn of events which I shall go into with my trademark long-windedness at a later date; I am in Madrid. As in Spain. As in I up and flew across the Atlantic and have been here for one week already with two more semanas to go. I have never known this type of freedom and it’s exhilarating. I’ve been sharing photos each day on Instagram and here is a little something I penned while sitting down to some patatas braves and a glass of Rioja. The latter is cheaper than water. These are my people:

    October 6, 2014: What I find most alarming right now is that while I love - I mean LOVE - being alone, I would rather have someone else here in Madrid with me. I think that Heather and I could have a good time for like five days. Which, I think, is a ringing endorsement of how I feel about her as a person. It’s weird to be in a city such as this where togetherness seems to be paramount. Everywhere I see large groups of friend, women and men walking arm-in-arm down the street. It’s actually the type of intimacy I enjoy if only for a few days a month. And then there is me. Alone. Don’t get me wrong, I am enjoying time here immensely but I want to share at least a few bits of this experience with another.


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