The Ferry Life

So, let's catch everyone up a little bit: we arose this morning and came back to Tirana and went to pick up our Avis rental. Unfortunately, as they explained, there was no way to just leave the car in Venice because there was no Albanian Avis station there. Hu-wha?!?!
Well, we were a lot disappointed, but it probably is for the better. We'll still try to get over and see Croatia at least. The worst thing was that Avis America said we could when we rented it, but Avis Shqiperise said we couldn't. Oh well. We'd just have to find another way to get into Italy.
Those options are plentiful, and we decided to look into taking a bus up through the route we were going to take, going by boat, or going by plane.
Pricewise, going by boat turned out to be cheaper than us renting the car, while the others just weren't feasible.
So, we've got tickets on a ferry to Bari, Italy tonight at 11pm. We'll arrive in Bari in the mornin', and get on a train for Venice--maybe. We might just stay in Southern Italy and see Rome and Firenze (Florence) while we're there. Haha, we'll see how we feel!!


Home Sweet Vlora

Fier was beautiful, but, no offense to Fieraket, but I was dying to go to my home town. You know, my hood. My bed. My...well, for heaven sakes, it *was* my city for 9 months. I felt like I raised it as it raised me! That feeling is quite natural, of course, but I cannot replace the experiences I had in Vlore with anything, so...
First, there are some that notice that sometimes I write Vlora, and sometimes Vlore (should be an 'e' with an umlaut, but I'm too lazy to find the character). In English it would always be Vlora, but since I'm Albanian, I write it differently in different parts of the sentence. Vlora when it's the subject, and Vlore when it's not (that's the general rule, we won't get into specifics). You'll notice the same with Tirana. Tirane-Tirana. You might notice similar things with Fier and Durres: Fier, Fieri...Durres, Durresi. Anyway, there's your culture for today.
Now...before we left the Morton's house in Fier, I was finishing the blog entries, when, all of the sudden, we heard a 'psssshhhhhhhhhh' sound. I'm used to crazy noises here, so I figured it was a tank filling up. Well, it wasn't. It was their pipes exploding in the kitchen.
HAHA!! If we didn't help clean up, I wouldn't laugh now, and I know they had to spend their day fixing it, but I think it's important to find the humor in this. We mopped up over 80 liters of water as it drained out of their hot water heater (yeah, the water was steaming), and even more until we could stop the water from coming down the tank on the roof.

The Morton's, after we had contained the water and I had helped get some help, told us to make our way to Vlora before it got late, so we took off. The road was uneventful, except they fell asleep. Psh. I at least allowed them to sleep the night before, right?? I know I'm running them ragged but...right???? Okay, so they weren't asleep the entire time...that would be gjynah, and they wouldn't be able to enjoy all the wonderful countryside that this country has to offer...on the side.
Vlora is a special sort of town. It's a port town, a beach town, and has mountains all around it. So, that makes is even more special. As soon as you go over the hills, you see the entire city, right there on the coast. Magnificent.
As I drove (haha, I'm *driving* in Albania!!) through the boulevard, my mind got lost in all of the memories I had there. Seriously, I forgot so much of what I was doing, I ended up at the port itself, having passed the entire city. Haha...that was okay...I decided to keep going. We went further out of the city and pretty soon we were on the road to Dhermiu. Yes, that is the place with the amazing water, if you all remember. I planned on taking the fam to Himara, since that's where I was told one of the Lusho boys was, working as a waiter in a restaurant. However, upon approaching Dhermi, I found out from his brother that he was in Dhermi itself, at a place called Jolly.
We found Jolly quite capably, the only problem we had was parking. Grrr. I parked in a stall, only to have a lady come out and ask if we were Americans. I replied in Albanian--my worst mistake--and she told me that that parking place was for the hotel. So I went and found another parking place, and scratched the rental car up pretty good from the trees. Oh well, nothing a little shoe polish won't fix. When in Albania...
We had a great visit with Klevi Lusho--he's working 12 hour days on a beach and he's not allowed vacation. He can't even go the beach to swim. With all the hotels there, the waiters stay in tents. He's a shy kid, and he can't be enjoying it too much, but I admire his work effort. He's in it to stay (although his dad says he might pull him out).

After having a good time there, we headed back to Vlora. A long (1.5 hour each way) drive you may say, but I love that kid enough that it was more than worth it.
We got back into Vlore and got a hotel. Nicest hotel I've seen in Albania--thanks to President Clayton's recommendation. Classy hotels for classy people, right? I had all of my numbers on a Google Doc, so I had to run to the internet cafe to get them, since there was no wireless.
Ah, the memories. Internet cafes...especially this one!
I got the numbers, and tried a few, none of the house numbers worked for some reason, but I was able to set up two meetings with the Rrokaj and Isufi families. Sister Isufi (Eva) is the Rrokaj daughter. We met first with the Rrokaj's, had a nice talk, then went to Eva's house. The Rrokaj's gave me some pleasant news before I left: Krenar, Eva's husband had been baptised!!
Of course, nobody thought to tell me about it...just kidding. Eva was having a baby around the same time, so I understand how crazy it would have been. And the new baby is so cute!!! His name is Bruno, and he had these big eyes that would just stare at you...
Whoa...sorry. I'm back.
Noel, Eva's boy, had been asking her for days when I was coming. The kid is 3 years old and is really cute (here it is again), but he didn't even talk 10 words when I left. When I showed up, however, he got really bashful and wouldn't even smile at me directly (he kept sneaking smiles when I wasn't looking, which was comforting). We figured it was because I was with strange people (haha), I wasn't in a shirt and tie, I had longer hair and a goatie, and I had new glasses. Poor kid, I didn't mean to give him such anxiety...
We went to bed kinda early, so we coud get up to go to church. Apparently, they hadn't yet changed the hour from 10am to 9, because we got there really early. So, we took a drive around the city.
When church did start, and people started filtering in, it was real fun to see people's faces as they recognized me. Haha, it was like Santa Clause was real or something like that, and these people recognized him.
Church was great--President Chatfield, who is actually a patriarch, which is really nice because they are allowing him to give patriarchal blessings in the country, asked me to bear my testimony, which was crazy cool...but it also made me nervous. It was good though, and I know I said what I was supposed to say.
The afternoon as spent visiting my families, so there wasn't too much excitement. Well, okay, they were all over me.
At the end of the day, we went to leave Vlore. It was hard, but I felt good. I had visited all of the people that I needed to see--all of the people who really made a diference in my life in those 9 months I served there. I even visited my bartender, Mondi!!

We planned on getting to Tirana at night, but I had promised I would stop at some people's house in Fier. We drove out to Apoloni to see som cool stuff, then we ended up visiting the Morton's again to see how their water situation was. Well, of course we talked forever, so we ended up staying the night, and we just got our rental car in Tirana to get up to Italy. We have our confirmation to pick up in Tirana and to drop off in Italy, but the man told us that it said we couldn't take the vehicle out of Albania. This will be interesting...


Berat & Fier

We woke up this morning, and we packed up rather quickly. I didn't even get anybody breakfast at first. We had planned to go see a sister, Sister Baroti, real quick before we took off to head south. We headed toward the beach area of Durres, and went to her house. Good thing I pretended to know where cars can go. You see, it's quite different when you drive places than when you walk along the train tracks and go through secret alley-ways.
She wasn't home, which is disappointing, because Brother Risto had mentioned that she had been offended, and that perhaps seeing me would lift the ice. Her doors were bolted shut, so she was out shopping, or she had taken her daughter to Tirana or treatments. So, we backed the car up and took off down the boulevard again. When we got to the end of the road (Plepa), we stopped and I got everyone some Molto's (filled croissants) and Amita (fruit juice boxes) for breakfast, and we took off toward Berat.
I had never gone to Berat from the North, but surprisingly to me, there were good signs pointing the right way. It wasn't difficult by any means, and I guess since I've never driven before I had never noticed all of the signs.
We got to Berat about noon-ish and went straight to the castle. The castle in Berat is quite different from castles that most people think of. The castle consists of an outer wall and contains a city. In the middle of that city, there is a citadel, which was the where the governing body spent a lot of time, and finally, the palace was within the citadel, and was the house of the king and his family. Check the pictures.
We finished walking throughout the castle, sweating and hot, and decided to go down another way. We took the road, ahem, less traveled, which was made from weathered rocks. It was rather slippery, but it was awesome. And I was filming as I was driving. Haha. Yeah, you'll all love that footage.
Then we drove by the old part of the city, and went across the historical bridge. The houses in the older part of the city are beautiful--lots of windows and really classy looking architecture. I looked at my phone and I had received a text from some friends, inviting us for lunch in Fier, so we took off from Berat.

We arrived in Fier with no problems, well, the police did tell me to slow down, but besides that, you know, it was good.
When we got out of the car, we ran right into Elder Peco and Elder Behling, who were down from Lushnje for district meeting. It was good to see them, and right after that, President Clayton came up and saw us again.
We ended up eating with President Clayton and Morton's, the new humanitarian couple in Fier. Afterwards, the Morton's invited us to their house to visit a little bit. We said okay, but decided to go see a few members before.
We went to the fruit treg (market) to see Sister Mellaraj. It took a while for her to recognize me, even though I walked in with my video camera and everything. We visited and took picutres, and then took off to Sister Licaj.
Haha, *that* was an awesome meeting. She hasn't changed at all, for all of those who wanted to know. She brought all of her concerns to me, as if I were still in the position to take care of it. Ha.
Afterwards, we went to the other Sister Mellaraj, who was pretty mad that I didn't tell her I was coming. Oh well, that was the plan, actually. I didn't want them to do something crazy for me, so I decided to surprise most people. She took us to her daughter's work where we saw Emliha.
We took off to the Morton's to cool off a bit. We stayed there a bit longer than expected, and had to go off to find the first Sister Mellaraj's house--she had invited us to the house to see the family.
It was the first house I couldn't find, but talking with people later, they have changed the area around there, so I don't feel too bad. I sent a text explaining, so I hope everything is okay.
We took of to Ylli's house now. I expected a small dinner, but he just had fruit and drinks for us, which was fine, since we were still full from lunch. Something was wrong with him, he just wasn't himself.
We left there and went to visit the Gjika family. Sister Gjika was working at the kiosk, and she was very surprised and delighted to see me and the fam. We chatted for a while and pretty soon Fredi passed. Fredi is probably the only success story from Fier in the last year, and he stopped and talked with us. We then took off to go to see Brother Gjika at his house. What a great man.
We then planned on going to Vlore, but when we went back to the Morton's to get my computer, they insisted we stay at their place in order to not make the drive to Vlore. So we did.


Little update

So, photos are continually being updated, so keep checking old posts for new photos. You can also go to my picasa page: picasaweb.google.com/tsoelberg : to check out the photos. I'm also, in my free time, trying to write descriptions, so if they aren't there yet, I'm sorry.
A little word on the slideshows that are contained in the post: if you want to read the description, scroll your mouse over the slideshow, and on the little bar that pops up at the bottom, click the thought bubble (it's the second icon from the left). If a photo has a caption, it will display. If you didn't catch the slideshow, and you prefer that rather than going to the picasa page, just click the back arrow as far as you can, or, if it's ended, click the play button again. Lastly, to visit the picasa page directly from the blog, scroll the mouse over the slideshow, and in the lower right hand corner, click the picasa icon--a little multi-colored round thing-a-majig.
Place a comment if you need any other help.
PS - once we're in other places, you might get movies too, but that'll probably be better in HD when we're home...

Ta Durosh Vapen ne Durres

Well, after a lot of technical problems...I'm finally writing again.
We went and got our rental car, which was a completely new experience for me, since I've never rented a car...let alone in Albania. Except for that Hummer...that one time. Hrm...(HINT: I use rhetoric a lot.)
We took off from Tirana, picking up Arjona Kocillari from the train station. Arjona was nice enough to get us our hotel in Durres, and she happened to be in Tirana to finish some stuff for school. So, we gave her a ride back to Durres.
When we got to her house, we had lunch with the family, but since my internet went down, I couldn't look up her number for a bit, hence, I called her later than I promised, HENCE, she wasn't able to call ahead to her mom to say when we'd be there for lunch, **HeNcE**, we arrived while lunch was being started. Nice. We hung out and talked with the family for a few hours, and finally were able to sit down to lunch. The lunch was good, with a soup as the first course, which was followed by lamb and potatoes. Mmmhmmm. That's a good Albanian staple dish. It was delicious.
Arjona took us to our hotel, and I decided to do a xhiro (walk) with the fam. As if they hadn't walked enough, haha.
We went down to the Volga, and I showed them all sorts of things, like the War Museum (it was closed) and then down to the old church in the center. Poor thing has been beat up quite a bit since we left, and nobody takes care of the lawn now, so that stinks...
We continued our journey stopping at the mosque (we didn't enter this time...I've heard they aren't as friendly at that mosque...and we didn't hear the call to prayer either!! It's a good one there in Durres. In fact, either I'm so used to it I don't hear it, or they have stopped doing the call to prayer over the speakers. I think we've just missed it, because that would be stupid for them not to do it.
I next took them to the excavated Amphitheatre, where we got in for 10 percent of the normal cost for foreigners, thanks to my language. Okay, okay, I flirted with the nena. Are you happy? Geez, perverts. We enjoyed our time there, but I could tell my family was tired. You see, according to the news, at that time, it was about 44 degrees Celsius. Which is hot. Really hot.
Haha, we were sweating like...well, like Americans would sweat walking for hours in 112 degree weather with LOTS of humidity!! With my HD camera, (bling!), you can see the drops of sweat falling from my face--and I lived here for two years!!! The only reason I could imagine working in such conditions was because...well, we did. That's why.
Okay, enough of that. We finished at the Vollga (I've never had to spell it...) and stayed by the sea. No luck. Not a breeze of any sort. Whatev. I figured we'd now go to a sister's house that lived close by: Sister Gjoni. One of the sweetest ladies. Ever. This was the first house I didn't walk right to, because they redid some of the roads, and they're paved now, so I got lost because it wasn't all broken up. She wasn't home, so we had to make our meeting with the Agalliu family.
The plan was to eat dinner with them, but due to a lack of communication (I thought someone knew I would be with my family...), we all had smaller portions. That was okay though, because our lunch was huge. The Agalliu's gave us pastice and fergese, which was quite delightful. Olsi wasn't home (the older brother), but Bela gave us a good time. She's still quite the jokester, and she was blonde today.
We left a little later than I hoped--around 9.30, and I realized I didn't have the Risto's number. Stupid internet going out. I text my support group and got the number quickly. Little did I know, this was the daughter's number. Stela, the daughter, has been going to school at the Y-I for a few years now, and is engaged-to-be-married to another member in Durres in the Logan temple on the 6th of September. Well, her fiance, Enri, answered the phone, and I could've sworn he sounded just like Brother Risto. Haha. He gave Stela the phone quickly, and she informed me that her parents were not around. What?!
Well, they actually were on their way up the stairs, so she told me to come over. Wap, as soon as we got there: BAM, power goes out. Great, so they've fixed the power...except when I come back. Sheesh. Sister Risto told me it's because I'm light myself so we didn't need electricity. Oh. I love that woman. We had an amazing visit with them; Brother Risto has been battling heart problems for a few years now, and has been forbidden by his doctor to work, so basically on bedrest. He, of course, doesn't do ANYTHING his doctor says (okay, well, he does--it's a figure of speach) and he didn't take his medicine, and his condition isn't so great. But, he's strong, and a wonderful man to talk to.
About midnight, we decided we needed to take off, so we could get to the hotel and get to rest before we took off early in the morning to Berat and Fier.
I must say though, I'm such a good Albanian driver...


The Tiran-ous Second Date

Well, I would like to make sure that everyone knows we made it to Albania okay and in fine health. Besides the fact that we were incredibly tired. Our taxi driver was quick and nice from the airport, and after a little trouble, we found the house we were staying at. It's in a great location, and we're very grateful to the Kocani family for letting us use it while they weren't. Albanian hospitality knows no end.
A quick editor's note: I'm trying to write as many updates as possible, but the lack of wireless internet (free wireless internet) is hurting that a bit. However, we're lucky to have internet here in this house, and we should have internet the rest of the way, but if I'm absent for a while, that's the reason. Not because I don't love you all...
We woke up late this morning, and seeing as we were incredibly worn out after the flight and the day in Munich, that was understandable and prepared for. I was up first, and went out to do a little grocery shopping. I knew where we were, even though I've never served in this branch, and I recognized a market that is run by two brothers. I was brought here my last day in the country by Brett Ellingson, and he introduced me to one of the brothers, whom he had met and baptized. Anyway, I went once, but I didn't exactly recognize the worker, so I didn't say anything. I had to go back to get toilet paper, and I began to speak with him. It was the other brother, but I thought it incredible to know that I knew somebody who owned a small shop in a small country thousands of miles away from my house which has small markets all around that sell things I don't even know. Anyway, cool, right?
We left the house around noon and decided that the first thing we'd do was to go visit with President Clayton. We walked, since we weren't too far away. When we got there, it was odd to go upstairs and be met by a couple I'd never met before: the new office couple. They were nice at least, and said that President would be out shortly. He was, and he came out with that same jolly voice of his and welcomed us into his office. His wife, unfortunately, was out doing last-minute shopping for thank you gifts for various members, so we couldn't meet with her. They leave on Monday, and the mission home is being painted, so they've been in a hotel for a few days. Crazy stuff, you know, them going home. He was excited (I think) to see me, and even though the first thing he asked about was my love life, we eventually moved on to greater things. After chatting and having a nice visit, we took off to g up the gondola to restaurant on the mountain.
My parents and little bro. got their first taste of Albanian buses, although it was full. We got off the last stop and walked toward the station to go up the mountain, when about halfway there, an off-duty guard stops me and tells me that it is closed for service. Bummer! It's a cool trip.
So we turned around and went to the square to go to the museum. When we got out, we walked through traffic to get to the Museum. Closed! Well, it was, but only for a few more hours, so we decided to eat.
We ate at Taivani, a building built by...the Taiwanese. It's a cool place, and the food was cheap and delicious. Afterwards, we went to the Vodafone store to get my pin so I could use my phone. Unfortunately, I couldn't remember my number, so I couldn't get my pin, so I had to get a new one. After a few technical difficulties, we got it.
So, the museum was now opened, so we walked back there and went through. I enjoyed myself, but not everything was translated, so if I wasn't there, a lot of stuff didn't make sense. Somehow we missed the '97 display, but I think the gal directed us away from it because they were getting ready to close it. Oh well.
The next stop was the mosque. I was the only one who had been to a Muslim mosque, so I thought it would be a great experience. Inside of this mosque is very plain, but still very beautiful. Mom even had to put a shall on, so I think the cultural aspects were felt.
We then decided to go see if the Institute Outreach program was going on at the 2nd/4th branch building. It was, and it was english night, so we went into the advanced english class and had the students talk with us. Here, I ran into an Elder Leonard, who apparently killed somebody I knew quite well, but he mumbled the name. Brunson perhaps? If it was somebody reading this, let me know. Actually, I think he said Boomhower. Somebody give Boomi this address to confirm.
I think mom, dad, and Curt had a good time conversing and really talking to people who could...try...to communicate back. Ardit Tefikceli was there, a member I met in my first days as a missionary here. His brother, Beni, was also there, and I was told he's been baptised, so that's way cool. I also met Dorian Mani, who is a long-time member who just came back from Italy, having finished school there. He's a great kid, and we hit it off well.
After saying goodbye to us all, the couple who runs the institute program, the Monson's, showed us a great restaurant on top of a nearby building. My original plan was to go to a revolving restaurant, but I was told it wasn't good at all. The restaurant we did go to, however, was great, and once again, not too expensive. I have been told by many that Albania is getting expensive, and in a way, it is; but there are a lot of things here that haven't changed too much.
We got home late, and hit the hay pretty quick. The power went out, and unlike earlier when it was just a 6 minute flicker, this one's been off for about an hour, so I have no internet. I really do have pics, you'll just have to wait.


So, I have a huge post to post, but the power went out last night about 12.30a, and as of 11am (now) it's still not on. Well, great. Supposedly they had fixed the whole power outage thing, so not only is this abnormally long, especially for Tirana, they're importing power anyway, so it's not like they don't have it. I think somebody knocked a line down. What's that? A *real* excuse for a power outage?? Maybe...
Pictures are ready to be uploaded, and I have a post on me lappy. Good thing this internet cafe has a generator.
We're off to Durrës today, so we'll chat later!


Munchin' in München

Well, the day was clear and flying was quite peaceful today/yesterday/whatever the heck you call it when you lose a few hours of your life to time-zones. One day I'll get those hours back, you see, one day...oh, wait...
We actually did enjoy a peaceful flight, the most turbulence we suffered was landing in Atlanta. The wind didn't want to let us go down. Other than that, the flight over the Atlantic was one of the best long distance flights I've been on. Which reminds me of my flight to Brazil...I though flying was the WORST form of transportation after that flight.
Anyway, we arrived in Munich at about 7.30 Tuesday morning. Since we didn't have to wait for any bags, we took off to the service center where they held our bags for the day. I should've left my backpack there as well, because, well, it was annoying, and you'll see why.
We boarded the S8 train—plug for a national rail system NOW!—and went into the actual city. Eastern Europe is such a different experience than the western side of the continent, and so when we exited the train and walked up to Marienplatz, imagine my awesome when I turned around and saw the Rathaus. It was an amazing piece of architecture. We stayed a while in Marienplatz waiting for the marionettes in the tower of the Rathaus to dance to the hourly toll, but 9 o'clock came and went and no dancing. They didn't dance later, so I assume they were out of order...bummer.
I flipped out the GPS and asked Mr. Garmin what some points of interest were around there. It directed us to few churches, which was cool, but still we could only get into one. So we decided to hop on the train again and go to Olympiastadion, the Olympic stadium and park of the '74 summer games.
That was pretty cool, but even though the train took us to it, the actual grounds were humongous, and we walked a good long time looking at the crazy architecture of those games. We tried to get into the stadium...by going through the vehicle entry point (what is that called anyway? the big tunnel?) We got to the field, but were quickly informed that only workers today, no visitors. Made sense, since they were cleaning up from Celine Dion's concert last Saturday.
It began to rain lightly, which felt very good. We decided to make our way back so we could eat. Before boarding the train again, we saw the BMW Welt and Museum. Don't ask me what welt means...it had that word in German and English, so I imagine it's a class thing. Haha, whatev. It was cool anyway. I've officially decided that if someone...anyone...wants to gift me a new BMW, I will not be picky as to the model. Although the 160's looked like me. Hint hint. (Who says I'm hard to shop for???)
The museum actually cost money, so we just peaked. We were extremely hungry anyway, so we decided to go back to Mariensplatz to eat. Who knows why we chose that...huge tourist place + european cafe = many euros for notta lotta. Oh well, it did taste good. Plus, maybe if America could get used to European portions...yeah, right.
We now had a decision to make. We had eaten, we were all sorta tired, but our plane doesn't leave until 9.30 that night. It was not even 1. Out comes GPS again. We knew there was a pace called Englischt Garten, you know, those English Gardens. On the map it was HUGE, so we thought we'd take a look. Thanks to Mr. Garmin, we found out that one of the many trains actually took us quite close. So we decided to do that.
We saw the Chinese Tower (Chinesischer Turm), which was neat and pretty out of place...or at least I thought so until Mr. Garmin told us that is was the area's largest beer fountain. Ah yes, German ale. We took a break. by now our legs were dead, and I don't think our minds were much fond of us either. We headed back, but we had just walked to the center of a forest in the middle of the city that was over 10 city blocks, and we had to follow the path. So we did, and it led us to Hof Garten, which was a much, much smaller garden that actually resembled a garden. After resting and listening to live violin concertos, we head back to the Underground. Taking the subway back to Mareinplatz, we decided that we would just head to the airport, and catch a few winks before our flight, which is what everyone else is doing now...
Check this post again for pictures in about 9 hours...



And dominate he did. Well, we can all admit that it was close, but from February, not many have doubted that Obama would likely win the nomination. Now, with 2179 pledged delegates, Barack has clinched the nomination. Let's look at some of the very superficial -0-09-09 that this news brings:
-the opportunity to have a President whose career is diplomacy over a President whose career (while respectable) was military
-the opportunity to have a President whose age is 14 years younger than the average age of a fossilized congress, rather than a President who's 11 years older than the average age of congress
-the opportunity to have an instant political climate change in a stagnant Washington instead of further stagnation brought by continuation of policies and ideas that have proven their failure multiple times
-the opportunity to let the voice of reason triumph over the iron of war
-the opportunity for new economic policies with hopes to recover the economic stature and surplus that hasn't been seen since the late 90s instead of a growing insurmountable national debt that is more than twice it was at the same time

Okay, so obviously I'm not going into much depth, and many may argue that I'm wrong...but hey, this is a blog, so I'm not obligated to go into depth. All I've ever recommended is that everyone calms down, and starts to weigh ALL of the issues on the same level field. It is not reasonable to side continually with one party if you're not in the business (that is, a politician). Is the support of gay rights and/or abortion heavier than the number of lives that are lost each day in war? Heavier than corrupt businesses whose lobbyists in Washington guarantee that no innovation will come and change things? I suggest to you that they're not.
As I was talking with a friend recently, I made my stance very evident. He retorted that he was disappointed with all of the candidates because they are being so cryptic and not making their platforms really known. In other words, he suggested it was a game.
Well, sure, that's where we are, whether we like it or not. However, I stick to the belief that if someone is infused with a good ideology, their decisions will reflect that. Our candidates' ideologies are evident, they always will be because that's something politicians can never do without.
Here's to looking forward to a great showdown. McCain v Obama. May he that is fittest win the race.