Archive for January, 2010


In the event you haven’t been watching, this should clear things up. As for me, I’m just waiting to chew on the idea that Locke is now inhabited by some evil (? — we really don’t know…) guy. God I love this show…a few more days…[some bad language in the jingle]

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O and the A-Team

Okay, so I was going to wax all verbal about the State of the Union address. But the more I think about it, the less I think I have anything new to offer. I mean, at the outset, I liked that our Pres. used rhetoric that sounded more like an economically responsible leader than one simply interested in spending us into a ground littered with the detritus of pork barrel government programs (make sure to read the very last paragraph of the Business Week article though…). But, then, after watching almost the whole thing — I fell asleep right at an hour. I was sick man. — I was left with the same impression I’m always left with after hearing him speak, and especially recently: he’s irritated and snarky and tends to be a bit condescending, none of which actually contribute to the success of the bipartisanship he says he’s seeking. I’m interested in this general tone more than fact checking because there are plenty out there doing that kind of thing better than I ever could, like these folks, these, and the queen of BS busting herself (mad props to you ma’am).

No, I’m interested in the attitude the man has because I think it’s what makes him unjustifiably (in my opinion) call out the Supreme Court Judges seated in front of him that Bill Kristol rightly noted were only there out of respect for the other branches of government — they are not required to attend. And man, they do look peeved don’t they? How is that reaching out across aisles to get real work done? Also, as regards what’s about to happen with these upcoming elections (ya’ll know I think it’s about to be a new day on the Hill) he preemptively chastised his own party by telling them not to “run for the hills.” His finger pointing just smacks of arrogance to me and, to my mind, is the root cause of why he hasn’t been able to get much accomplished.

Also, the added distraction of Nancy Pelosi going up and down behind you onscreen like she’s a Catholic in church on Sunday doesn’t help. I’m just sayin’.

So, now for Friday levity. The Little Rock posted this amazing, surreal clip of a brilliant (? — I really don’t know but he’s lauded as such) director reading a hilariously pictorially accurate rendition of Curious George. It’s so random. And do delicious. Best line: “This should give you a dim view of human potential.”

Also, does anyone else want to see this or is it just me? Because Bradley Cooper as the Face just cannot be a bad thing…

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Bugs and bailouts

Wow ya’ll, some giant bug crawled into bed with me while I was sleeping last night and bit me. Hard. By the time 6 o’clock rolled around I could barely crawl out of bed. Still stumbling around actually, trying to convince myself that getting out into the fresh air this afternoon is exactly what I need to do rather than burying myself back under the covers and sleeping it off. Guess I should have taken the most recent bout of commercials for H1N1 a little more seriously. Heh. I don’t do sick well. I’m not good at it. I didn’t get sick a lot as a kid and, now that I’m older and, apparently, more susceptible, I don’t even know how to behave. So I just try to do what I normally do, which may actually not be a good thing. You’re supposed to rest, right? I seriously don’t know how to do that…

Anyway, let’s talk for a minute about something that came up at a blogger’s briefing I attended yesterday and that set me to thinking…U.S. Congressman Mike Pence spoke — to a roomful of young conservative bloggers and new media nerds. Totally my scene. — and he seems like a nice man and his positions are pretty well known and respected by those who attended this shindig. (You can read about it and watch the video here). But two things stuck out for me and I haven’t quite worked out what they mean…

First, Pence contends that the turning point for the American people as regards the current administration came during the last Wall Street bailout. The poll numbers certainly bear that out. But I think what’s fascinating, and granted this article is a few months old, is the point the writer makes about the bank bailout being coupled with massive spending. Now, this is all old news. But it certainly does seem to speak to the power of the voter and what I mean by that is this — with O’s soon to be announced proposed spending freeze, it seems that the drop in the polls made a difference on the direction of policy, which seems logical and unremarkable except for the fact that this is an administration that seriously didn’t care what the voters thought and tried to ram legislation down our throats regardless. To me, this just all solidifies the buzz on the wind — that there’s about to be a massive overhaul with the coming elections and favor currying is afoot. Things are about to shake up kids. Bet on it.

Also, there was a kid from this organization at this briefing and he acknowledged that he “stuck out like a sore thumb.” But I gotta give him his bravery props for attending. I met him later at Union Station and got his card so I think I’ll email him and chat with him if he’s willing. Always interested to hear the motivation/justification from the other side of the fence. It’s some of the most edifying stuff out there.

That’s it. I’m sick. No kidding, I feel really bad. But I must go for a walk or a run or something to just breathe. Just breathe…

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Let’s talk a little football, wanna? So, I kept having to explain to people last night why I wanted the Vikings to win. Obviously the Reggie Bush/Kardashian connection played a role (kidding!) but really it’s more about this:

I can totally appreciate why everyone was pulling for the Saints. All the reasons I knew about (underdog, never been to the Superbowl, coming back from the devastation of Katrina, NO just being a cool town, etc.) and a few I didn’t that a new friend informed me of (I made a friend! Who smokes cigars! So awesome…) like the Manning connection. But here’s the thing — my prediction is that Favre is going to retire, would have anyway even if they took it all the way this year, and I wanted to see a Superbowl win as a career capper. Also, and more importantly, as I watched the Saints play last night I was reminded of the fact that they are a team that needs to be tempered and must mature. They didn’t play with a lot of class last night — they fought hard, don’t get me wrong. And I won’t take that away from them — but there were some dirty hits out of bounds and on players who were already down, and some downright biased officiating that made their win, well, I suppose it took some of the sheen off it. Look I get it — everybody wanted the Saints to win. And I understand the underdog thing — generally that’s how I roll, too. Can’t tell you the parties we had in college the year the Braves went worst to first. (Still have my playoffs and World Series ticket stubs in my scrapbook. Pops was smart to get season tickets that year. Who knew they’d become the best team in baseball? I got to watch many a game behind home plate, field level. Pops, have I told you before you’re some kind of genius? Cause you are…). Good, good times. But — and I won’t win any popularity points for this but then, I’ve never much cared for that kind of thing anyway, I hope the Colts spank the Saints like the baby team they are. Then, next year, we’ll see a team that’s a little more grown up and wins because — well, because they’re a better team.

You’re a gentleman and a helluva QB Favre. Don’t let it get ya down.

So, I made a friend! I went to my little haunt after dance class and allowed myself a few beers — yes, I’m broke but c’mon people. I can’t be a shut-in. What good would that do? — and I met a very cool person who was also there watching football (her parents are big Saints fans so I had to defend the Vikings all night but that’s all part of the fun, man). She invited me to accompany her to this place for the second half of the game and I made even more friends. She gave me a cigar from her rented humidor — yes, this is the kind of person that rents a humidor at a cigar bar with a dude she worked with, who incidentally showed up later and knew a bit about technology so I was in good company. We talked about men and love and work and traveling and kids and football. Sigh. Finally. Friends.

Also, I might be writing about bands again, in a freelance capacity. Rock.

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Burnin’ to Shine

This was awesome. [UPDATE: NBC removed the vid for copyright reasons (of course) so here’s Coco saying goodbye. I hate cynicism, too Coco. Thanks for putting it out in the world. That’s a good thing you did there. Be sure to look at the other videos, esp. Kimmel’s Glen Burns documentary. Hilarious.] Especially ol’ Ben Harper in his Nike tennis shoes playing a little pedal steel. Three of that man’s albums got me through a difficult time in life and, listening to them now, I don’t even feel sad because I don’t know the girl I was when those songs healed my heart. She doesn’t exist anymore. Hearing those songs now are sort of elating because they remind me I’m a survivor and I don’t ever have to be that girl again. Nice.

MySpace bought imeem in December and jacked up the format a bit but take some time and listen to Burn to Shine (tracks 6 and 9 esp.), Fight for Your Mind (tracks 4 and 7 esp.), and The Will to Live (tracks 9 and 12 esp.). I’ve got some work to do this afternoon (I think I have to do some YouTube tutorials on video editing. It seems to be what everyone’s looking for and I need to brush up on the skills) at my little neighborhood haunt — at some point maybe I’ll find another little hang out but I’m becoming sort of Norm-like there. They have a big window, easy wireless, nice people working there, interesting patrons, always good music playing, football, and good beer. So, um, maybe I won’t find another place to hang out…

First, a run and then maybe a museum before I get to work. I’ve been hitting the National Gallery of Art quite a bit and never fail to just spend several minutes gazing at the Da Vinci they have there. It’s this one. Truly exquisite. Brother Daniel, you can’t see any brush strokes at all. I really don’t know how he did it…

And, best part, apparently the subject of this painting was a poetess and one line of her poetry survives. But what a line it is:

“I ask your forgiveness, I am a mountain tiger.”

I think this is my new motto.

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Just a smattering of things to read. The first came up yesterday in conversation and took me by surprise. As a Catholic, obviously the issue is close to my heart. But I think there’s a surprise ending in how I think about it. I’m still working it out — it may be a lifelong question for me — but suffice it to say that what I would do personally falls in line with how most Catholics feel about it; however I do not feel empowered nor sanctioned to make decisions for other people. I’m a free will kind of kid and I believe all must answer for and suffer the consequences of the decisions they make. Sometimes, poor decisions lead to the epiphanies in life. Should we legislate, fund, pay for, excuse termination of life? No. I don’t believe we should. But I cannot judge women for the choices they make either. And I cannot prevent them from learning the hard lessons they must learn. So, as I said, still working it out.

But have some links for your Friday. I’m going to try not to think about this all weekend…

Because free will (old article) is actually God given and it is the most confusing part of all this (new article).

Because I’ve been living off huge pots of homemade chili and several quiches (but I can make a fine quiche people. Booyah!), how to live cheaply.

Because he is supremely insensitive and has very little self-awareness, Hot Air presents a serious case of shark jumping. It actually makes me sad because I’m just not sure he gets it and I can’t imagine how it will hurt him when he looks around for his friends and they’re gone.

Because I laughed out loud for a full minute, vintage photobombing.

Because Google cracks me. It wasn’t that long ago they were working with China to censor certain search results (you can look it up) and now they’re all whiny. C’mon guys. Now you believe in freedom of information?

Because I’m choreographing in my head and I like that Kate Bush wrote a song about making a deal with God and not Old Scratch. Be yourself girl.

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Two things about the Brown win last night:

1. My favorite part was watching Chris Matthews and Rachel Maddow try to make sense of it all. Because they couldn’t even offer a grace note to the voters by acknowledging that they had made a decision they thought best for themselves and their country. These two just continued to be baffled at the stupid bourgeoisie and their inability to make the right decisions for themselves. Allahpundit liked that part too, because he linked this on Twitter. I actually think the bewilderment looked more like fear because the mob’s turned against them. I would feel bad for them but neither of them has ever shown anything other than a tendency toward sarcasm and snark and so I leave them to the bed they’ve made.

2. There was a comment on Facebook regarding the Brown win by someone who was chastising people for thinking that what happened in Mass. was somehow a vote against the healthcare overhaul because, as this person put it, Mass. has state-funded healthcare so that couldn’t be what they were against in voting in Brown. Oh but you see my dear, that is the irony. And it’s quite stunning. The voters who live under a microcosm of what could’ve happened at the federal level had the majority not shifted voted against government funded healthcare. It’s interesting and telling and you should chew on what it means a little before deciding that it couldn’t possibly be an outcry against a system they enjoy. Enjoy, obviously, is the key word there.

And, for fun and wistfulness, I’m stealing a clip from Stage Right from the 10-year anniversary concert of the London cast of Les Miserables. I saw this cast perform in London as a teenager. Our seats were awful and the theater was hot and sweat-inducing. But oh the music. He posted the following in response to Brown’s win. I post the second clip because my college dorm mate and I used to swoon — literally — at the 2:38 mark when they sing “pain.” We listened to my CD constantly. People on our hall thought we were so weird. (Love you Bob)

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So, there may be a need to start a second blog that focuses only on my half-baked ramblings about politics and world events because this one is increasingly a personal vent diary and who wants to read that really? But it’s a forum where I can find a little sanity at a time when I’m almost pathologically unsure of the future (although, oddly, not unsure of myself…more on that further on) and so I don’t want to limit my writing just because you all could care less. And I say that with love. Really.

And so here are the personal thoughts that I’d like to get on out there, and that prompted me to consider a division of effort as regards topics of interest:

I think I got called evil the other day. Not because of something I did, nor some awful injustice I heaped onto an innocent soul, nor any action so far as I could tell. Pretty sure it was all about politics, specifically, the unpopular viewpoints I hold concerning the leadership abilities and policy decisions of certain current politicians (how’s that for euphemistic? yeah!). Notwithstanding the fact that polls would indicate that these opinions are increasingly more popular, I want to clarify a few things here because, as I’ve noted before, I’m almost compelled lately to write my own narrative. Don’t know why…

When I was younger, I was quite the liberal little heathen. I know. Shocker. In fact, my time in college was characterized by nothing but unadulterated debauchery — okay, I’m joking there. But I did hang out with people and engage in activities that would make any God-fearing conservative blush (whatever. smell the sarcasm). My father and I used to argue incessantly over my bleeding heart and illogical ideas about social justice and my tendency toward over-sensitivity (which is actually a lovely quality I got from my mom, but having it does make it hard sometimes to live in a world that can be brutish and unforgiving. One doesn’t tend to make good decisions when one can’t stop crying. Awwww…). The word “liberal” was spit at me more than once in my home, followed by a lengthy lecture on how I had been indoctrinated by the public school system and I was no less than a spoiled child who would benefit from not having everything handed to her. My father actually saw his working his fingers to the bone to provide for his children anything they wanted a failure in some ways. That’s the kind of man I have for a father. He never made us want but blamed himself for the imperfect nature and obvious consequences of growing up a little soft (something he was most definitely not afforded in his youth.) He was — and is — amazing.

But here’s my point — in my youth, I was not “evil” I guess because my opinions tended to run with the popular kids. As I grew older — and frankly began to watch the ideas I had had as a younger person in action through other people — I began my real education. And those opinions began to change. I became a rabid reader of anything related to human nature and historical events and the nexus of the two. My interests became more aligned with concepts of doing what’s right, not what’s popular; and that real social justice is treating everyone from the same starting point, i.e. that we are all capable, allowed, and I believe mandated by a universal source to accomplish and produce and give our talents to the world. And that is the real social justice. And treating people from a different starting point — as if they are somehow inherently less than by assuming they need your help and, indeed, making their survival dependent upon your help — is what is truly unjust. And, dare I say, evil. To the bone. And as these ideas began to take root, I slowly became more and more conservative. And less and less popular. And that’s about the best way I can describe it.

I only felt the need to say all of this because as the prospect of meeting new people here looms on the horizon, both professionally and personally, I just wanted to crack the stereotype a little. For some reason everything reminds me of the movie Good Will Hunting lately and that scene with his therapist by the lake is springing to mind …

Okay, I feel better.

Now, I have to continue downloading and saving any and all current events related to Afghanistan (and probably the history of the region as well) so I can go somewhere today and just immerse myself in it (in the event that I haven’t resolved the wireless issue which, let’s face it, there’s reason to believe I haven’t) so that tomorrow, when I’m having dinner with people who write about what’s going on over there for a living, I can, at the very least, follow along and nod my head in the appropriate places (the intent is to do more than that obviously…and how’s that for a run-on sentence? yeah!). But first, some lunch and then a good run because dear Lord it’s a beautiful day for a run…

By they way, I don’t think evil people like the sun as much as I do. Just sayin’.

And, in celebration of the spirit of MLK day, here’s my favorite speech of his. He was pretty aware that he may not live much longer I think when he spoke in Memphis. And yet he spoke. And that’s just brave and beautiful and we need more of it in the world.

And just because it’s an awesome song and is on the GWH soundtrack, here’s some Elliott Smith:

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What next?

I’ve spent most of the morning trying to figure out why my wireless LAN card utility isn’t working without calling Dell support. Because Help Desk techs scare me. Why? Because I worked for 6 years or so with people who do that kind of work and, while I loved them dearly, I was also familiar with what they actually thought of the calls they took. And I just don’t want to risk ending up as a stick figure on some white board with the dubious distinction of being the “most genius question of the day.”

Alas, my troubleshooting is becoming a fruitless endeavor and just short of removing the utility and trying to download it again, I may have to make the dreaded call or it’s no wireless for me. Which means being stuck in the house while I look for work which is just logistically not a helpful proposition. But I do have the blackberry so that helps…anyway, I digress. Wouldn’t wanna bore ya *wink*.

So, while I continue my email tirade before heading out for a run and then more of the same this afternoon — it’s interesting “working” full time and getting paid nothing for it. First time for me — I’ve been employed since I was 15 and this is really, really hard for someone used to employment — here’s a nice Krauthammer article that actually makes me feel kind of bad for the current administration. I mean, I think their policies are dangerous and the cult of personality is very nearly ludicrous (I always have the urge to act like a child when people wax poetic about O and Co., i.e. sticking a finger in my mouth as if gagging while actually saying “barf.” I know. Low brow. But it’s just how I feel…); but their extreme underestimation of the resolve and intelligence of the people in this country (I don’t include myself; low brow, remember?) — on both sides of the aisle — just makes me feel sad for them.

“Ideas matter. Legislative proposals matter. Slick campaigns and dazzling speeches can work for a while, but the magic always wears off.”

Also, I just got this. I’m diggin’ it. Just throwing it out there…

UPDATE: oooh, just found this. It’s old but dang I like Joss Stone’s style…I’m choreographing in my head…

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This guy is all class. And the heart swells because he’s from the old hometown. See, I told you the South gets a bad rap. Here recently someone told me Georgia was a backwater state when they found out that’s where I was from. Heh. This gentleman is anything but backwater. And he’s brave, too, because many black men and women (at least as far as I’ve been made aware) take a lot of heat from the black community when they have the opinions he has. Speak it Lt. Col. West. I’m cheering for you.

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