Archive for April, 2009

Taking a break from the news because I just don’t have the energy to be freaked out by how I’m going to die penniless tomorrow. Sigh. I met a man once from a tribal village in Africa who was here in the states going to school and I asked him what he considered the biggest difference between the African worldview and the worldview he’d encountered in the States. He said that in Africa, they knew life was dangerous and that they were prone to disease and tragedy and pain and discomfort. They just didn’t talk about it as much, preferring instead to LIVE THEIR LIVES rather than worry them away. Just sayin’.

On that note, here’s some funny because I’m an intellectual, specifically a language, snob. This can be ironic given my tendency to butcher grammar but let’s not discuss that. (Thanks Nate and John for these).

Some people are worse at grammar. As Dave Barry put it in his tips for writers:

Dear Mister Language Person: What is the purpose of the apostrophe?

Answer: The apostrophe is used mainly in hand-lettered small business
signs to alert the reader than an “S” is coming up at the end of a
ANY ITEM’S. Another important grammar concept to bear in mind when
creating hand- lettered small-business signs is that you should put
quotation marks around random words for decoration, as in “TRY” OUR HOT
DOG’S, or even TRY “OUR” HOT DOG’S.
— Dave Barry, “Tips for Writer’s”

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Crazy business this weekend. I’m not going to devote too much space to the tragedy that occurred here in town Saturday except to say we were waiting for our show to start backstage when several of my dance mates had to stop getting dressed, applying makeup, etc. to answer frantic phone calls/text messages from family relating the story of an incident that happened an hour prior and less than a mile from where we were. You can read more about it here. I’ve thought a lot about it and it frankly baffles me. I have nothing more to say.

Instead, I’ll talk about a moment at the other end of the spectrum, when an obstacle was faced head on and because of the inherent goodness of the environment and those involved, it became a moment of rare beauty that will stay with this kid for a long time. My dance friends Saturday took the stage for a lovely piece that I know was a special one for the choreographer who was also in the dance. Several seconds into the 2 minute long piece, their music stopped. For a half a second, there was tension in the audience and on stage. But let me tell you, those girls, phenomenal dancers all, just kept going, kept moving, and nailed that piece with a grace and fluidity of movement that I hadn’t seen from them before. It was nothing short of inspiring. I cried. It’s hard to explain but there really is just a magic moment when live theater of any kind is done well. The chills start and for a minute you forget about people so deep in despair they feel the need to gun folks down at a picnic on a beautiful spring day. People who haven’t done it before don’t realize that dancers can’t really see each other on stage, just in brief glimpses in turns and twists. But they kept the time of that invisible song and finished that piece and the audience was serenaded with the sound of their breathing as they gave us a beautiful, muscular, riveting show. Sigh. I loved it. They did it again later in the show with the music and nailed that one, too. But my friend Jen turned to me after the second time and said, “You know, I think I liked it better without the music.” Awesome.

So, in honor of this weekend, I’m giving you clips of the music from my three favorite pieces. The first is the music that stopped, the second is in honor of Joy and the third is a shout out to the ballroom boys and girls. I love you people. When I get the DVD maybe I can slice it up and post the actual performances here.

Currently listening to this and wishing that the UGA professor had listened to “People Like Me.”

Slow Me Down — Emmy Rossum

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Okay, finishing up a few things and then going home to rest before dancing in front of what is reportedly 700 people. Well 703 now because my parents and brother are coming. Hope I don’t go into a coughing jag on stage. Stupid cold. No, no I jest. It’ll be fab. Got all the weirdness out last night at dress rehearsal so good vibes will abound.

I leave you with yet another little crush I’ve developed. They took Life on Mars off the air and replaced it with a show I was prepared to hate but ended up really liking. It helps that this gentleman is one of the leads. He’s also in that movie The Hurt Locker that’s been getting quite the buzz and may be a war movie I can actually watch without wanting to weep for the death of humanity.

Just sayin’. Have a great weekend. I’ll be too sore to move by the end of it.

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Sometime I can’t watch the news or think about politics at all. It exhausts and depresses me. Oddly, at times, it does the exact opposite. Today is the latter. This little video is why I’ll be voting for Newt in 2012 (should he run of course). He doesn’t panic, isn’t histrionic or mean-spirited and is very focused and yet sort of cool at the same time. No BS here. From his assertion that “this is a very shallow administration,” to “the fight over whether or not politicians should dump debt on you,” he just calls ’em like he sees ’em. Brave and coherent. I like that.

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I’m potentially on some federal watch list according to the ridiculous Department of Homeland Security report that was pushed through just in time for the Tax Day protests that is painfully free of any quantitative supporting documentation. So, if of a sudden the flavor of this little online diary changes you’ll know I’ve either been intimidated out of my own voice or brainwashed. Just a heads up.

Better things? My brother told me Saturday that he’s been talking to his sons about goals and encouraging them to make some decisions about what they might want to be when they grow up. So when the 11-year-old asked if he could look at my camera at the soccer field of course I complied (with some boring rules I won’t go into). He figured the thing out quickly — how to manually focus and even how to finesse the long angle lens for the best shot. He even figured out that there must be something going on behind the lens because of the discrepancy of location between where you look to line up the shot and where the actual lens is, leading to a removal of the lens and an examination of the mirrors. Anyway, he decided it was something he might like to do as a profession and was pretty interested in what the photographers did for the newspaper I worked for. I felt like crying. Sigh. Anyway, with the exception of the first one — which is actually one I took of him and his sister — here’re are few of his shots. Not too shabby my little redheaded genius. Aunt B is impressed…

Also, Gabriel chowing on cake at his 2-year birthday bash, his father the drama queen and Steve’s homage to Terrell Owens. Love these people.

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I was going to avoid talking about this but watching Rachel Maddow with the interminable smirk on her face interview someone yesterday from Air America (I think) who said that a sign a tea party attendee was holding that said “Obamarx” was “mildly racist” (okay, wtf? How is calling the man a socialist a racist statement? It may be inaccurate — remains to be seen — but it hardly speaks to race. The straw-grasping is getting waaaaay out of hand…) just forced my hand. Here’s the deal — MSNBC’s little sexual innuendo is offensive, and not for obvious reasons. It’s offensive because it’s ham-fisted and, frankly, unfunny. And as someone who really appreciates a good dirty joke, that’s just unacceptable. It’s a groaner of a joke — much like the one my brother told in mixed company a week or so ago that, were it not for the saucy content, would have been “a Dad joke,” as Lord Somber calls them. They beat you over the head trying to be funny. And when they’re bawdy, you look around to see if anyone heard that might be offended. That’s one of the only reasons groaners are funny. Because they’re daring.

But you MSNBC have removed the daring part by broadcasting this groaner over and over and over and (yawn) over again. To all of us. No sly under the breath delivery or polite attempts at shock. Just a little in your face with a weak bathroom pun.

Perhaps even more offensive — and I go back to my brother and his groaner — is that not only have you resorted to essentially playground tactics because you disagree with the tenor of the protests (leaving out that, were you good at your job, whether or not you agree would not affect your coverage of said NEWS event) by demeaning in a sort of last resort way something these people take seriously like their right to protest what they consider unfair policy, but there is implicit hypocrisy in your action because I’m 100 percent certain had you been in the company of my brother when he let his groaner fly you, Rachel Maddow, Anderson Cooper, and David Schuster, would have been the first to look down your elite little noses at his dirty attempt at humor. But here’s the thing. His was delivered well — subtle, strong pun, quick, off-the-cuff timing. Yours? I’ll let you know the next time I hear it. In about five minutes.

Oh yeah, and don’t even get me started on the irony of the crack CNN reporter who complained that the tea-parties weren’t “family viewing.” Ever tried explaining the MSNBC play on words to a child who may be up watching the news wondering why the talking heads giggle every time they say it? Family viewing indeed.

Just FYI, here’s what the tea parties were actually about. If you can stop laughing long enough to read.

The Obama administration will be hard-pressed to avoid raising taxes on the middle class, according to economists crunching federal budget numbers in the lead-up to tax return day — today, April 15.

President Obama’s proposed changes to the tax code, combined with exploding entitlement costs, will lead to ever-growing debt, according to independent estimates. The big question for Obama and his economic team will be whether he can meet the rising costs with increased tax revenue only from small slices of the electorate. …

“You just simply can’t tax the rich enough to make this all up,” said Martin A. Sullivan, a former economic aide in the Reagan administration who said he backed Obama last fall.

“Especially just for getting the budget to a sustainable level, there needs to be a broad-based tax increase,” said Sullivan, now a contributing editor at Tax Analysts publications. “If you want to do healthcare on top of that, almost certainly, it just makes [a middle-class tax increase] all the more certain.”

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I couldn’t wait to post this because it made me cry with joy after a day of feeling kinda low and cynical. She sings one of my all-time favorite songs from — well really from anything. When I was 17 I saw Les Miserables in London and my heart just ached for these characters who watch their lives and loves ebb and flow during the French Revolution. This is Fantine‘s song, a young woman who falls in love and is impregnated only to see her lover leave when he discovers her with child. She sings this while dying from, I think, TB. And Miss Susan Boyle sings it just as well as I remember hearing it by a professional singer on the London stage. Thanks Miss Boyle. You made my day. Sigh…

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I think what happened in the Indian Ocean is phenomenal. The Captain of the Maersk ship is a certifiable hero and I’m inclined to give our White House all the credit in the world for stepping up and letting the high seas hooligans have a little taste of US Special Forces. And then Steph reminded me of the details of the tethering of the pirates’ lifeboat and the ostensible negotiations that were going down. Hot Air ponders the same questions. As for me — you terrorize a major shipping pathway for a year, take one our countrymen hostage and then point a gun at him while asking for $2 million ransom? — pretty sure I’d lie to you with a great big trusting smile, tether your boat to make sure it was within sniper range, offer you some coffee before talks got under way (as Zimmer puts it) and then promptly eliminate your backup on the lifeboat and let you know the jig is up. I suppose flying the white flag as a ruse was ill-advised…Probably better just to go in and take em out without offering to negotiate at all. But that would sound too much like “We don’t negotiate with terrorists” and that can’t be right. Could it?

Hell, I don’t know. But I know the extortionist thugs will think twice before mucking about with an American vessel again. And I’m cool with that.

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“This is my commandment: love one another as I love you./No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:12-13

This is the scripture passage I always think of at Easter. It’s what he did. Had he not, those no account friends of his (who threw him under the bus to use the modern vernacular) would very handily have been dealt with by the same authorities of the day. Not much debate about this. Would you do the same for your buddies? Now ask me why I’m a Christian…

Thinking about this, listening to this (and loving both the album art and the fact that the whole thing seems heavily influenced by 60s American girl groups and has a full monologue over Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata)and feeling elated about this. Oh Baby D, I’m so happy for you and Big D and I can’t wait to meet the little cornshucker. I give you Chicken Little D and big love for this Easter season. Make it good.

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Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich came to UGA yesterday and spoke, first to a group of Law students and later to a group in the chapel. This kid was supposed to go but didn’t. I don’t want to talk about it…

Regardless, I like old Newt. He’s a smart cookie and I hope he runs in 2012. I’m aware conservatism isn’t hip. I’d rather be square and formulating my opinions logically than groovy and deluded. Here are a few news stories covering the event, one from the wire and one from my former place of employment. Be sure to read his remarks from the AP piece about gay marriage and how he implies that if the decision is the will of the people within a state then discussion should center on the fact that it is the will of the people within a state and should be respected as such. Here’s the rub: many, many people will hear that he spoke of gay marriage, never bother to read his remarks and just chalk what he said up to those evil conservatives trampling everyone’s rights again. Lame.

Pretty cool to see him standing behind the SPIA lectern, which was the school my master’s program came from. Damn I wish I could’ve been there…

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