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The Adventures of Steve

Episode 1: Calm before the storm

Thursday, December 25, 2003

I left Rancho Cordova fourteen years ago and here I am, back again. I am sleeping in the room I grew up in. The furnishings are all different but I still recognize some of the patterns found in the asbestos spray ceiling. The house has evolved a tad, but some things here that I remember so well have disappeared a long time ago. My parents haven't really changed at all, at least not in my eyes.

It's late on Christmas Day here and it's been a day of family activity and entertainment. I've seen what big families do on this day, and it is quite a contrast to my little family of three. I am thankful that I have family.

I left Eugene last Sunday morning. I will never forget the sight of my friends waving me on as Dad turned the car south. They were my family for those long years in Oregon. And I'm flying the nest again.

Although I must admit that I have made no significant effort to contact my fellow Dean campaigners, I have no further details on my upcoming trip to Iowa. But that's okay. This week has been about being an honored guest and a son. Next week I'll fret about leaving home again.

Leaving Eugene, once the die was cast, was too easy. So easy, I never really felt the pain of wrenching up all my anchors. The last month flew by in an amazing rush. I unloaded more than half (by weight) of my possessions, hosted five parties, received gobs of gifts, packed up what I was keeping, and said goodbye one or two times too many.

Not a day has gone by that I haven't felt the gaping sadness of leaving beloved friends. I have no desire to return to Eugene, which makes the pain of departure a little more poignant, because I know there are some of my friends I won't see again.

Sad, yes, but workable. My departure wasn't necessary, but underneath my stability, constancy and dependability, I have a wild hare for adventure. It's what led to the "why not?" decision to go to China last year. And right now, I am so thrilled to be getting involved in an upstart underdog grassroots political campaign that could really make a difference in how the future shapes up. In fact, I'm tickled pink.

Later on this week I'll let you know how the Iowa plans are shaping up, along with updates on what's happening right here in the Ransom household.

Finally, my Christmas gifts from my parents: Lord of the Rings RISK game, LEGO 4481 Hailfire Droid, a wireless networking PC card, a sizable campaign donation, plenty of chocolate and a (new) grilled cheese machine. Do they know me or what?


All of the Adventures of Steve

   Episode 1: In which Steve leaves Eugene and arrives in Rancho Cordova.
   Episode 2: In which Steve visits the Jelly Belly factory and gets a haircut.
   Episode 3: In which Steve gets a cold, a big box, and a seat on a train.
   Episode 4: In which Steve receives shiny new toys and loyal old friends.
   Episode 5: In which Steve departs for Iowa and rants a bit about why.
   Episode 6: In which Steve takes a trip to Des Moines.
   Episode 7: In which Steve gets really involved.
   Episode 8: In which Steve starts hobnobbing but is haunted by Arne Baker.
   Episode 9: In which Steve becomes a groupie and is informed that we all have love in our hearts.
   Episode 10: In which Steve becomes a media whore.
   Episode 11: In which Steve takes on Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine and Michigan.
   Episode 12: In which Steve is pitted against Fort Dodge, Iowa and seven vans of unruly Texans.
   Episode 13: In which Steve learns that all his hard work wasn't enough to put the candidate back together again.
   Episode 14: In which Steve does nothing.
   Episode 15: In which Steve reaches a decision and attempts to get virtually hired.
   Episode 16: In which we thank the good doctor for all he did.
   Episode 17: In which Steve suits up for a new life in the Cap City!
   Episode 18: In which Steve starts to realize he’s not in Eugene anymore.
   Episode 19: In which Steve switches from job seeking to home seeking.
   Episode 20: In which Steve starts to learn some things via the error side of trial and error.
   Episode 21: In which Steve experiences his first blizzard.
   Episode 22: In which Steve contemplates his next move.
   Episode 23: In which Steve prepares to switch gears... again.
   Episode 24: In which Steve spends a week in a hotel with four thousand teenagers and then gives his 30-day notice.
   Episode 25: In which Steve reminisces about his 10 weeks in Columbus while waiting in the wings.
   Episode 26: In which the squeaky wheel gets the grease.
   Episode 27: In which Steve changes everything.
   Episode 28: In which Steve finds Brood X, gets a teeny crush on a fellow trainee and learns where he's going, approximately.
   Episode 29: In which Steve starts to see how politics really works.
   Episode 30: In which Steve writes a letter to Kelly, executive director of the group that fired me.
   Episode 31: In which Steve spends a tentative week commuting to work in Maine.
   Episode 32: In which Steve learns he's just one piece on the board.
   Episode 33: In which Steve settles in for three months of intense campaigning.
   Episode 34: In which Steve is deep into the final countdown.
   Episode 35: In which Maine wins, the nation loses and Steve heads home.
   Episode 36: In which Steve doesn’t do much more than comb the classifieds and update his Web site.
   Episode 37: In which Steve slips into a normal life.

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