Today I Voted.

Today I voted.

But I didn’t just vote like it was a student government election,

I voted as if my life depends on it.

Because it does.

I voted:

For The President of these United States (again!).

For my Congressman (again!).

For my former Governor in the U.S. Senate race.

For my Mayor (again!).

And for “up to six” City Council candidates running to serve and serve again in my fair City.

I didn’t vote party lines.

I didn’t wear democrat blue.

Voter LES.  Photographer STU!

I voted early because I was excited. It was the first day of in-person absentee voting in the City of Alexandria. I was certainly the first (in my demographic) to cast my paper ballot.

Election day is like Christmas to me & this Election Day will be no different. I will wake up super early just to “hurry up and wait” and see how many voters come to vote at James K. Polk Elementary at 6 a.m. I will enjoy the entire day and be exhausted come sundown. BUT – it will be all worth it, guaranteed!

Do you want to be an Election Officer, too? We need you.

Do Something Revolutionary – Become a City of Alexandria Election Officer!

You have the opportunity to be a part of history by serving as an election officer for the City of Alexandria during the November 6, 2012, Presidential Election. The Alexandria Electoral Board is looking for civic-minded individuals with basic computer user skills who are interested in the election process and are available to help on November 6. This will be an exciting election because Alexandria residents will vote in the Presidential Election along with the election for Mayor, City Council and School Board. Turnout will be near record.

Election Officer Requirements

  • Registered voter in the Commonwealth of Virginia
  • Basic computer user skills
  • Willing to work from 4:45 a.m. until after the polls close at 7 p.m. (and results are tallied). It’s a long day, but it will go fast!
  • Willing to adhere to the standards of Integrity, Neutrality, Transparency and Accuracy

Job Description

  • Set up voting equipment and prepare the polling place for voting
  • Verify voter registration and check-in voters using laptop computers
  • Demonstrate the voting process and provide assistance to voters\
  • Produce election results at the end of the day
  • Close the polling place and secure voting equipment and supplies
    • Election Officers receive $100 for their efforts but the value of their service is priceless

How to Apply

For more information or to apply please choose one of the following options:

No Time Like The Present. Vote 2012!


9 Things I Am Looking Forward to & Getting Excited About in the 9th Month of 2012

1.  Election 2012!

I am inspired and energized by the conventions. Yes, both of them.  And yes, of course, I thought one was better than the other, but we’ll chalk that up to my going to college in North Carolina.

 Now is the time!

 I am indeed “fired up and ready to go!” and by “go” I mean go get my T-shirt out of storage that says so. 

Which brings me to…

2.  ‘Tis the season for wearing your favorite school, team and candidate every single day. Not just Game Day, not just Election Day, not just Game Seven, but every day!

Go Blue!
It’s Lauren & Stu!

Enough Said!

Go Green, Go Gold!

LES The Nat’s Fan!

Team Smedberg!

3.  Donating Blood. 

See my friend (and yours), Craig Fifer’s guest blog post about how and why to do so.

I am excited in September to encourage it because of Jordan and because spreading the word is all I can do.

Being “medically ineligible” to donate does not mean I can’t ask (ok, beg) you to donate, offer to drive you, go with you, hold your hand the entire time, I can!  So, what do ya say? Let’s go give!

 4.  The Fall Market.

LESt you forget, Do More with LES can also help you with your home-buying (& even refinancing) needs.  I have a Virginia real estate license on referral status with McEnearney Associates and I’m happy to help you in any way I possibly can.

Preparing to move? Do More with LES can help you with just about anything and everything.  Here are a few testimonials to convince you!  And this blog post is a good one, too!

I frequently hold open houses for Sue Goodhart & The Goodhart Group and would love to have you stop in to see me.  Just “like” Do More with LES on Facebook to find out where I am on any given Sunday.

5.  The Boss! Bruce Springsteen is coming to Nationals Park this Friday night and I am really looking forward to going.  This has been on the bucket list for 35 years, so a thank you shout-out to my season ticket holder friend for scoring tix well in advance! 

6.  Michigan at Notre Dame.

Yes I said at.  I am going to my very first University of Michigan football game on September 22nd at the University of Notre Dame. Mom and I will fly to Chicago and drive to South Bend, Indiana.  Having never been to Indiana and I can’t wait.  Thank you shout-out again for friends in high places who scored me some tickets!  Yes, my favorite Wolverine will be meeting up with us in South Bend to cheer on his team.  Hard to believe he just started his Senior year.  Seems like only yesterday we posed for this pic after his Freshman Convocation.

One Proud Sister & One Excited Wolverine!

7.   A much-needed and long-overdue trip to St. Louis to see 1) my godmother Mary Ann, 2) John, a family friend and freshman at Washington University, and lastly, the St. Louis Cardinals in Busch Stadium as they play the (hopefully still #1) Washington Nationals! 

8.  My new friend Josh in NYC.  I miss him.  Thank goodness for a good blog, twitter, facebook and texts or I’d go crazy!  A return trip to NYC is set.  11/17, baby!  Just 69 more days.  (Thank you, DaysUntil app!) 

9. Eleven. 

In New York City I spent time at the 9/11 Memorial.  Stop for moment on September 11th, this Tuesday, and remember those that our Nation lost.   Moms, dads, aunts, uncles, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, nieces, cousins, nephews, fiancées, expectant parents, Clergymen & women, Firefighters, Police Officers, nurses, doctors, women, men, children, boys, girls, neighbors, clients, friends, … Humans.

Thank-You for Reading!

Fired Up Friday with Another Guest Blogger….

Dear Friends,

My dear friend Craig sends out this “fun” newsletter every now and then, but today’s is unfortunately not so fun, but definitely needed to be shared.  

As you know, I am one of the ones in this world who is “medically ineligible” to donate blood, but I figured some of you good and kind people may be, so PLEASE give soon.  Black, White, American League, National League, Red State, Blue State, Gay, Straight – you can ALL donate!

Many thanks in advance.

The Fifer File
Sept. 7, 2012
My Brother’s RequestMany of you know that my youngest brother, Jordan, has been hit hard by Crohn’s disease since the age of 10. Despite the miserable daily effects of this illness, the countless nights in hospitals around the country, and the impact of a stem cell transplant at age 15, Jordan has been an inspiration to me and to our family through his determination not to let Crohn’s keep him down.While completing his middle school, high school, and soon undergraduate studies, Jordan has excelled as a journalist for The Roanoke Times and The Highland Cavalier. His work, both in written word and multimedia, has appeared in print and online everywhere from the front page to the homepage. His numerous awards — from the Virginia Press Association, the Society for Professional Journalists, and his own coworkers — speak to the talent he has developed for his craft and the respect he has earned from his peers, all while battling a relentless disease with virtually no complaint.

As Jordan faces his latest challenge today, I would be grateful for your prayers and good wishes. I also ask you to consider Jordan’s only request, which I can’t state more eloquently than he recently did on Facebook:

“After 12 years of exhausting medical therapies for severe and refractory Crohn’s disease — ranging from the traditional to the burgeoning, the alternative to the experimental — I’m due Friday morning to have what I’ve attempted to put off for more than a decade: a subtotal colectomy that will remove about four feet of large intestine and a little less than a foot of small intestine.It’s not a cure for the Crohn’s but rather a stall at best; most patients report their disease comes back in other areas, albeit in a more mild form. But after a year of sometimes-constant hospitalizations, I’ll take that for now. The recovery for the surgery involves likely a week in the hospital and about six to eight weeks outpatient at home.

Many folks have asked what they can do to help. Frankly — donate blood, donate blood, donate blood. Make an appointment tomorrow to donate. You don’t need to be rich to make a difference, and no one religion can save a life. Yes, the needle prick may hurt a little bit for a moment. But think of the pain the person who needs that blood is going through. Think of their family. And then think of the real difference you’ll make in their life, just as people have made before in mine when I’ve received blood transfusions.

And if you’re like me and medically ineligible to donate blood, donate your time. Donate your experience to help run or volunteer at a blood drive. Little things do make a difference.

I’ll be back in touch very soon with some exciting (and much happier) news. Until then, thank you for your support for Jordan, and for all those who your blood might save.

Click here to make an appointment now!


Thank – You


The Heart of Politics…

Dear Friends,

Those who know (and love) me know that I am passionate about two things:

Politics (& yes, OK, a certain side!)
Congenital Heart Disease

So imagine how thrilled I was to tune into the Democratic National Convention last evening just in time for this…..

Please give right here, right now if you’re “fired up & ready to go,” or here if you would rather support my ticker!

Moving In New York City … A Guest Blogger!

Dear Do More Followers, some of you perhaps a tad confused,

No, I did NOT move to New York City.  I went on a temporary assignment there for most of the month of August.  It’s very true, I miss it more every day now that I am home, but I still don’t think I could live there, nevermind physically move there.

Lucky for me – I don’t have to – I already lived thru that!  See, my last week in NYC I helped my new best friend, Joshua J. Bennett move-in (officially, finally, sadly) to his apartment next to the Hearst Building.  I didn’t really think my version of the  day was blog-worthy, but…lucky for you, Josh’s version definitely was and it’s been copied and pasted right here for all of you to enjoy.  

Perhaps it’s a “I guess you had to be there” story, but it’s fun nonetheless, so sit back, relax, and read this with the rest of your holiday weekend free time.  It’s raining and you’re done working on your tan anyway, right?

Here goes:

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

First, I just have to say that I am going to miss Lauren when she heads back to Alexandria, VA on Thursday. The past week since we met has included some of my favorite moments of NYC past or present…

As per her instruction (Yes, SHE is in charge no matter what she tries to tell you. I informed her today that she should be my manager,) here are the top 10 funniest moments of the day:

10. Forgotten Hand-Truck– Admittedly, the first part of the day went very smoothly, except for one tiny detail that would have helped us out tremendously. Lauren met me at the Budget Truck Rental lot, and we sailed somewhat smoothly toward Judy’s home (my old home) in Brooklyn. I had eaten a DD muffin and had an extra-large coffee, so I was flying high. Now, while I was on the Subway to head to Budget I did realize the Hand-Truck that had been lent to me was left behind, but it was too late to turn back. Whoops. This eventually resulted in me on one end of the furniture, and Lauren and Judy on the other. Judy is normally a power-house when it comes to lifting, but new (and apparently impatient) baby Benjamin ruptured her Hoo-Ha on entry. Needless to say, she is on light duty until her poor Hoo heals. We managed quite well in spite of the lack of the Hand-Truck, and I now have a desk, my couch and one of my dressers at the new apartment. Thanks, Judy! Hope your Hoo gets better real soon!

9. Half a Donut – By the time we had loaded these items, Lauren and I were just a little dehydrated and hungry. Lauren purchased refreshments at the DD (Today’s show is brought to you by the letters DD,) and we split a celebratory donut in the cab of the truck as we drove off. Lauren gave me the larger half of the donut. I did not object. Little did we know this would be our last food for a quite some time.

8. Tombstones, Trains and Towers – The GPS on my phone (before dying on us!!!) directed us to drive up McDonald Avenue from Judy’s residence. For those of you who are not familiar, McDonald runs UNDER the F line of the MTA. Perfect timing put us directly under a train heading in the same direction, so most of our conversation on McDonald Ave had to be screamed. We were also treated to sights of the graveyard that give Gravesend (Judy’s ‘hood) its name. We talked of how silly it is to create mausoleums for the dead, and I pointed out that many of the tombstones (Tomb-Log?) seemed to be trying to be the tallest in the graveyard. “Hey! Look at this log on top of my tomb! I’m the tallest! Notice ME, I’m DEAD!” I guess it works…

7. Drug Bust – We had avoided the Battery Tunnel going into Brooklyn, because it was designated for cars only. On the return, however, Lauren noted that the clearance was over 11′ and we were only 9′ so we could take the tunnel instead of waiting for entry to the BQE. Now, in the process of trying not to drive into other vehicles, road-blocks and walls, all the while taking instructions from the GPS on my phone via Lauren, I apparently missed a sign that told me where trucks of a certain size should go. Lauren soon noted that I was being waved over by an out-of-vehicle officer. GREAT. After looking condescendingly at me for a few seconds (Must ALL New Yorkers be so nasty?) he spoke, “All trucks must be in this lane for drug inspection. If you’d been paying attention, you’d have seen the sign.” Instead of saying all the things I would have liked to at that moment (Dear Officer…,) I merely apologized and handed him the necessary documents. I was then instructed to open the back of the truck. It’s too bad I didn’t have a cargo-hold full of exotic animals ready to pounce instead of boring old furniture. I was cleared, and we continued on our way…

Side Note: Apparently, you can’t take drugs through tunnels, but you CAN take them over bridges… Hmmm…

Our route then took us DIRECTLY UNDER THE FREEDOM TOWER. I was so close I could have touched it. Well, with a 100 to 200 ft pole maybe. I was so excited and shouting and looking that I probably WOULD have missed a sign for drug inspections at that point!

6. Sheila and Schedules – We pulled up to the apartment, and my friend Charles arrived shortly after with bicycle in tow. As he went to lock “her” up, Lauren asked “her” name. “Sheila,” was the proud response. I later commended Lauren on picking up on this important detail, and making Charles feel special. We got the furniture in with little trouble, and then headed to the storage unit with Lauren sitting in the imaginary seat in the middle of the cab. I was just lucky there were no drug inspection points in the few blocks to the storage unit, or we may have had bigger “immigration” fish to fry! There are certain moments when you realize that smart phones truly have taken over our lives. I had one of these epiphanies during this ride when I realized I had been talking for 5 minutes straight with no response from my cab-mates. Charles was so distracted by his “schedule” that he barely spoke to us all day.

5. Granola Bars – Things at the storage unit went almost perfectly (there always has to be a moving day tragedy,) but due to a severe lack of food, I watched helplessly as sugar levels plummeted and moods went south. Luckily my stored bins of food saved the day with offerings of granola bars. This was a much better option than drinking honey straight out of the bottle or doing shots of Grand Marnier, and definitely helped us through the rest of the afternoon.

4. Guitar Lamp/Death of Turntable – During our last load from storage, Lauren placed my encased guitar on her back. Finding an errant lampshade (and after deciding wearing it as a hat would severely impede her vision,) it ended up on the neck of the guitar. Hysterics and a photo session ensued. Oh yeah… And my record player died today. Moving tragedy of the day.

3. Acetabula – Did you know that some people have more shallow acetabula allowing them to have more range of motion in their hip joints? Did you know that acetabula is a word? Now you do (and somehow in my delusional state of dehydration/exhaustion I am doing the splits in the storage building while waiting for the elevator.)

2. Drag Bag – There are those costume items that become legend. It just so happens that I own the boots I wore in The Rocky Horror Show. Every time Lauren saw a large shoe-box emerge, “Are those the boots?” was her question. We also discussed the fact that I have enough drag items to constitute a “Drag Bag.” Somehow Lauren ended up getting a photo of her carrying the show shoes from Rocky, Whorehouse and the Drag Bag all at once.

1. Show tunes – Charles left us before the last load (Many MANY thanks for your help, Charles!,) and then Lauren and I headed to Budget to return the truck IN RUSH HOUR TRAFFIC. Lord. Needless to say I “Blocked the Box,” got yelled and honked at, and pulled the most AMAZING box unblocking feat of my life. Due to having to get gas, we ended up in the SAME BOX mere minutes later. More shouting (and shouting, nay, SCREAMING back!) until I figured out an alternate route. Truck returned, aaaaaaaand aaaaaaaalmost done. Lauren and I walked to Arriba! Arriba! to replay our lunch from last week (this time with fewer mouth blisters,) and I did my best Drag Queen Out Of Drag rendition of every song that played. I blame El Papa and little sleep.

2 1/2 hours of sleep later, here I am at work. Overnight. Alone. God. Help. Me. Zzzzzzz…

Posted by Joshua Bennett at 1:54 AM onto

{& Reposted by Lauren Elisabeth Smith WITH Joshua Bennett’s Permission!}

1 comment:  (or a post script if you will….)

  • Lauren reminded me today that we escaped certain death while returning the truck. This death would have been caused by a slow-moving gent covered in filth pushing a grocery cart with gasoline cans inside and SMOKING A CIGARETTE. Talk about Stranger Danger! “Dear Man, Please don’t explode until we get past you!”

I am happy to add a few photos, which Josh’s blog lacks, but that’s OK we’ll forgive him
– he did the splits in storage after all!

The Tombstones in Item 8!  Scenic…

Photo credit & thanks to Charles!

See Item 4!
Picture worth a thousand words!

See Item 2!           Check out those boot boxes!
(& my excitement!)