Election Night in America

I am truly proud to be an American again. I feel privileged to have been able to not only witness, but to vote for history and see an African-American become the president of the United States of America. This is not only a message to the world that we want change and to repair our image, it is a message to Americans on how far we have come and that anything is truly possible in this country. It reaffirms every value of this nation. And I'm especially glad that I was able to experience the night in Berkeley. Telegraph Avenue went absolutely insane! There were people crowded on the streets, people hanging from street lights, jumping on to the sides of buses. But it was all peaceful. Not to mention it was the only time I was happy to see a tree-sitter. (Video below soon...) I saw so many of my friends I haven't seen in months. Everyone was cheering "YES WE CAN" and "OBAMA" and "USA! USA!" as if we had just won every gold medal at the Olympics. The only thing that would have made me happier would have been to see Sarah Palin board a one-way flight back to Alaska. Or maybe to Russia.

elections-berkeley-telegraphUnfortunately, the evening was bittersweet. While I am proud of my country, I am ashamed of my home state. While even at this moment (9:51am PST), the San Francisco Chronicle still won't call the Proposition 8 race, it is clear that California will write hatred into its own constitution and literally divide us into first and second class citizens. It is applalling from the state that has a reputation and prides itself on being on the forefront of social change and being one of the first states to repeal laws against inter-racial marriage. Now it's a sham. I am not as proud of being a Californian as I was even just yesterday.

Nevertheless, the United States is on the right path again. For the last eight years, while I have always loved my country, many people including myself questioned the direction it was going in. I am very aware that the problems we face now will take years to repair, but I am confident now that it will get done.

And despite my renewed love and pride, I am leaving -- but just for two weeks -- as I'm boarding soon for Manila, via Tokyo Narita Airport. Unlike past trips I've taken outside of the U.S. in the last eight years, I'm not longer afraid of people heckling me. Peace out, America!

Leavin' on a JetBlue Plane

In six hours I will be in San Francisco for 22 hours, upon which I will eat all of the Mexican food in Berkeley. First off, as I sit in JetBlue's new Terminal 5 at JFK airport, I am very impressed with the new interior design. I have been to airports in third-world countries that were newer and cleaner than the old JetBlue terminal. Well done. Also, thankfully, I received my absentee ballot (unlike a lot of unfortunate friends) and I've already voted. I was deeply disturbed when I got a robo-call from the Yes on 8 campaign using Barack Obama's statements to endorse their campaign. While I know he has stated that he believes marriage is a union between a man and a woman, I never remember reading about him campaigning for this elimination of people's rights. Not to mention they called me at 11:55pm EST, when I could have been sleeping if I weren't packing. Anyway, all I ask is that Californians vote No on 8 and keep marriage a right to all who want to marry the partner of their choice, as well as No on 4 and not restricting a woman's right to choose, regardless of age. 

Also, please vote for whatever prop the high-speed rail train bond is. I would really like to take a train between SF and LA in 2 hours for less than $70. 

Finally, I know you have all been waiting for this, but I am officially endorsing Senator Barack Obama. It is certainly change we need, and I hope Americans are smart enough not to realize that moose-killer from Alaska is not capable of running this nation, should she ever be given the chance. Look, Manhattan Mini-Storage agrees with me:

palin-manhattan-mini-movers