Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I'm Just a Bill

I will start off saying, I believe my money is somewhat safe in the bank. Somewhat. I'm trying not to panic.

Say what you want, Nancy Pelosi was justified in her comments (and you know I'm not fan of hers) and if the GOP wants to take their marbles and go home, so be it. But I don't think they can blame the Dems on not getting their bill passed. You know - the one both W and McCain supported. 67% of the republican house voted 'nay' on it.

"They" doubt it will come back up on Thursday (at least as of last night), because those in the house who are up for re-election have to go campaign. G-d - would you want to go to your constituency if you were running and had just voted down this bill? Regardless of how iffy it was.

So, the bill tanked. As did the market. Biggest. Single. Day. Drop. Ever.

Just because I can't seem to finish this in a dignified or educated way - I'll just YouTube my way out of it. Well, link my way out of it - as the YouTube user disabled the embedding feature. So just click here. I know you think you saw it yesterday - but this isn't all you think it is.




Song by: Jack Sheldon

Monday, September 29, 2008

No Song Title Today - Just Funny

Since I was traveling, I missed this when it originally aired. The SNL/Sarah Palin thing continues and Tina Fey is knocking it out of the park.

This segment is so much funnier than the initial outing a few weeks ago.



I'm sure every other blogger in the universe is posting this as well - but I'm a follower, so sue me.

Though Amy Poehler is good, her blinking was as distracting as when Katie Couric was doing it. Fey is absolutely terrific. The mix of direct Palin quotes with clear embellishments is flawless and funny - which is so not SNL.

I'm sure Fey is hoping Palin won't win so she can stop doing double-duty, but until the election, she might be stuck.

The video originally was slow to buffer and get through the 6 minutes, but maybe you'll all have better luck. It's worth it, eventually.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Tired

I just flew in from Nashville (and Chicago) and boy are my arms tired. ......thank you ladies and germs! I'll be here all week - don't forget to tip your server!

I'm sure I'll get to stories in the next day or so, I'm just tarred (that's Appalachian for 'tired' dontcha know). So tired I actually dozed on a plane, which I never do. I needed the rest. My liver needed...no...DEMANDED... the rest!

And even better than stories: pictures!!! Maybe just one. We'll have to see.

I'm going on record though: I hate O'Hare. But I have yet to find one person who likes that airport. Considering it is the busiest, or one of, I would assume someone likes it - but they are all elusive, much like the GOPer who really really hates Sarah Palin. They are out there somewhere, but they ain't talking.

The cats greeted me and then smelled me to see where I've been - places they'll never get to, just smell on me. Then they went about their regular everyday cat business....whatever that is. Denton did pretty much the same.



Song by: Lili Von Shtupp

Friday, September 26, 2008

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Crazy

I had started another post regarding the economy when the crazy that is McCain hit the airwaves and blogosphere.

What a freak.

For full disclosure - yes, I'm a democrat, but I have no issue with pointing out the flaws of my party. You've read this blog - right? The DNC and their folks can be just as big of fuck-ups.

But my g-d! These last 12 hours have been hilarious, but I can already see how the GOP will spin it. Everyone can - and though it is full of hole, ones you can drive tractor-trailers through, it won't stop them. And my fear is middle america will ignore it.

McCain going to personally solve the credit crisis so we don't go into the Great Depression II - as he stated on CBS yesterday! Mind you - eight days ago he said "the fundamentals of the economy are strong". That's quite an eight days, don't you think?

I've heard nothing out of McCain's mouth on how to salvage the goings-on over the last few weeks. Hell, even Meredith Viera took McCain to task about his stance on not giving rewards to CEOs who put us in this mess. .....well, except for his own financial adviser, Carly Fiorina who got a $45 million golden parachute while 20,000 HP folks lost their jobs.

I've kind of stopped watching Keith Olbermann, but I really really really suggest you watch (on-line) his show from last night. I don't know it's easy to do, but you can podcast it. You don't really need the visuals. The show really encapsulates the weirdness of the last day.

I have to be in Nashville for the next three days (don't ask) and not sure I am going to blog, but I was planning on getting drunk and watching the first debate. Now, I'm not sure I'm going to be able to do that.

....except the getting drunk part.




Song by: Icehouse

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

People Talkin'

Monday night we went to Cleveland State's Town Hall lecture series. Last year, we saw quite a few good talks - and this year kicked off with CNN's Christiane Amanpour and her husband, former Clinton-era State Department spokesman, James Rubin.

Each got their 30-45 minutes at the podium, along with a joint Q&A session afterwards.

The event was the best one I've seen. Clearly, they are a well-informed couple, and well spoken. I love when someone comes out without notes and clearly doesn't need them, even if they did.

Each had great insight to how the world has come to view us over the last decade. And while both were fairly objective, Amanpour was more so than her husband. I guess that's her job though as a journalist. Rubin was a little less partisan, but he didn't let that get in the way of his analysis of who we are perceived.

There was some discussion and questions about the upcoming election. Neither had predictions or wishes (ok, maybe Rubin did) - other than how to get ourselves out of the hole we've made for ourselves. But they both likened the U.S. to being a 12 year old when it comes to Iran. You just can't ignore them - it's not a good diplomatic strategy. The last 5-6 Secretary of States agree with them - save Ms. Rice.

The crowd was good and intelligent, but I guess you kind of figure people who goes to these things don't normally attend Monster Truck Rallys. Normally!

The next one is with Eleanor Clift, whom I really like. It's odd, but I never read her in Newsweek - mainly because we don't get Newsweek. But I do watch her on the McLaughlin Group weekly - and have for about the last two decades. How scary is that?

Anyhoo, she will be at the next lecture, which is before the election, so that should be good.




Song by: Lucinda Williams

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

RECORD OF THE MONTH

I figured I'd do a monthly 'what I'm listening to' kind of thing. This could be viewed as a lame placeholder kind of post. And probably it is. But it's my blog! So there!

These may or may not be newly released disks. They might not even be a good disk - just what is been in heavy rotation in my car (as usually the iPod is playing anywhere else).
Whoa! has Lindsey Buckingham not aged well - physically. How many covers shots were taken before they finally settled on this beauty? eeek. He looks like a beaten man.

Buckingham, however, has aged just fine musically. At least with Gift of Screws. His solo album track record isn't all that great. I say that every other disk he releases is listenable. That is not to say they aren't all interesting, just not everyday kind of fare.

Gift is his only his fifth release in 27 years. He clearly peaked with 1992's Out of the Cradle, and while 2006's Under the Skin was great musically, lyrically and vocally it majorly lacked. And that is has always been his biggest issue as a solo artist. Buckingham is clearly a great arranger, producer and guitarist - possibly one of the most underrated guitarists that is out there. But the experimentation he started on Fleetwood Mac's Tusk has gotten the better of him.

Without other singers/songwriters/musicians to balance his quirks, sometimes he just comes off as the Howard Hughes of pop music.

That being said - Gift of Screws brings Buckingham back to center. Left of center for sure, but a bit more normalcy for the listening public. There are Tusk and Cradle elements in the songs, but I wouldn't go as far as to say it sounds like any of this other albums. But some of them sound some of this other songs. I don't think he can help himself with his multi-layered vocals. Not a bad thing, and it is not nearly as annoying as it was on Under the Skin.

Yeah, I'm a sucker for late 70s Fleetwood Mac, so I find the best songs to be "Did You Miss Me" and "Love Runs Deeper". His guitar work on songs like "Bel Air Rain" is exemplary (as it is on "Time Precious Time" though with weak weak vocals), but how does the beginning of "A Right Place to Fade" not pull directly from his Rumours song, "Second Hand News"? ...and not just the beginning, I guess. "Underground" and "Treason" reflect some Cradle work.

Incorporating the past with the present isn't a horrible thing or equates to selling out. There is only so long one can stand out on the edge before alienating your buying public. Buckingham has stepped off that edge, possibly just in time.

Will the disk get any kind of radio or VH1 support? No, but it is a decent disk that should at least have the chance to be heard.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Brothers in Arms

I'm not a huge Maureen Dowd fan - at least her writing. Granted, she has a Pulitzer and I don't, but I just don't have the peeps to get me nominated for anything. Hell, I can't even get a Bloggie.

No matter.

I do like her when she appears on shows like Real Time w/Bill Maher. She is intelligent and witty, but sometimes her columns just come across as annoying. Kind of like yesterday's.

....I said 'kind of like...'.

To be fair, it is in the style which she'd write - faux conversations between real politicians. But she didn't write this - it was Aaron Sorkin. It is a fictional conversation between Obama and Sorkin's fictional president, Jed Bartlet.

I was a big West Wing fan. At least the Sorkin years. It was well written and even insightful to the inner-workings of politics. Exaggerated to a degree? Sure, but the points were made. I used the title of the post from one of their better episodes - which was possibly the best incorporation of a song into a drama show. Sure, it begat every show from using the trick and now it's overdone and not done well.

Most of the article is throw-away, which is why if you didn't read the intro, you'd just assume it was Dowd who authored the piece. But it's not until about three-fourths into the article that it gets to the heart of the matter. Feel free to follow the above link to read the entire thing, or you can just go to what I'm cutting and pasting below.

To set the scene, Obama has come to New Hampshire to get the advice of former president Bartlet.

OBAMA: What would you do?

BARTLET: GET ANGRIER! Call them liars, because that’s what they are. Sarah Palin didn’t say “thanks but no thanks” to the Bridge to Nowhere. She just said “Thanks.” You were raised by a single mother on food stamps — where does a guy with eight houses who was legacied into Annapolis get off calling you an elitist? And by the way, if you do nothing else, take that word back. Elite is a good word, it means well above average. I’d ask them what their problem is with excellence. While you’re at it, I want the word “patriot” back. McCain can say that the transcendent issue of our time is the spread of Islamic fanaticism or he can choose a running mate who doesn’t know the Bush doctrine from the Monroe Doctrine, but he can’t do both at the same time and call it patriotic. They have to lie — the truth isn’t their friend right now. Get angry. Mock them mercilessly; they’ve earned it. McCain decried agents of intolerance, then chose a running mate who had to ask if she was allowed to ban books from a public library. It’s not bad enough she thinks the planet Earth was created in six days 6,000 years ago complete with a man, a woman and a talking snake, she wants schools to teach the rest of our kids to deny geology, anthropology, archaeology and common sense too? It’s not bad enough she’s forcing her own daughter into a loveless marriage to a teenage hood, she wants the rest of us to guide our daughters in that direction too? It’s not enough that a woman shouldn’t have the right to choose, it should be the law of the land that she has to carry and deliver her rapist’s baby too? I don’t know whether or not Governor Palin has the tenacity of a pit bull, but I know for sure she’s got the qualifications of one. And you’re worried about seeming angry? You could eat their lunch, make them cry and tell their mamas about it and God himself would call it restrained. There are times when you are simply required to be impolite. There are times when condescension is called for!

OBAMA: So what about hope? Chuck it for outrage and put-downs?

BARTLET: No. You’re elite, you can do both. Four weeks ago you had the best week of your campaign, followed — granted, inexplicably — by the worst week of your campaign. And you’re still in a statistical dead heat. You’re a 47-year-old black man with a foreign-sounding name who went to Harvard and thinks devotion to your country and lapel pins aren’t the same thing and you’re in a statistical tie with a war hero and a Cinemax heroine. To these aged eyes, Senator, that’s what progress looks like. You guys got four debates. Get out of my house and go back to work.

Amen. That was me, not Sorkin.


Song by: Dire Straits

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Closer and Closer Apart

UGH.

The only thing worse than waking up to devastating financial news is devastating election news.

McCain is ahead in Ohio. 48-42%. I swear, it has making my stomach turn all morning. Yeah, I could get a big-ass Obama sign for our corner lot, but the reality is, Obama will carry Cleveland. It's the southern, more podunk areas (yeah, I'm talkin' to you New Lebanon, Wapakoneta and Cincinnati) with their gun-toting, papa don't preach, I'm keeping my baby, ways.

Yes, it is the white voters, more specifically, the white man, who is tipping the scales for the old white man. Same old political machine. Same old story, same old song and dance. Possibly 4-8 more years of this shit.

Since 1944, Ohioans have sided with the losing candidate only once – opting for Nixon over Kennedy in 1960. Double UGH.

I hate the ill-informed. Like a man quoted in the paper today saying he will vote for McCain because of the democrats stance on abortion. oooooooooooookay. When will someone inform him that McCain (personally) is pro-choice. Politically, maybe not. But then all democrats are not pro-life either.

Ok - there is some good news. I hope. These polls were done two weeks ago - before Bear Stearns, before AIG, before the proposed $700 BILLION bail-out.

Here are some McCain's quotes from a few months ago: 'I know a lot less about economics than I do about military and foreign policy issues. I still need to be educated." Or this one, "The Issue Of Economics Is Not Something I've Understood As Well As I Should."

Don't get me started on Palin and her spin on economics.

Denton points out to me, that while yes, all this is true, people (read: voting public) don't read the papers or political journals. I hate it when he's right.

I can barely wait for the debates....and then on the other hand, I don't want to see.



Song by: Mary Chapin Carpenter

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Ain't No Money

AIG, Lehmen and Bears. Oh my.

Opening my hotel room door each morning this last week to pick up the Washington Post - each day's headline worse than the day's before. I just couldn't stand to read it all. The pall over the city was amazing. I'm sure it was all cities, but man, I could not imagine being anywhere near Wall Street.

I'm scared to death to log on to the Fidelity website to see how demolished my 401k is after this last week. If there is a dime left in it, I'd be slightly surprised.

But what do you do? I mean really?

If I take it out, I incur a huge penalty. If I let it stay in 'because it can only get better' and it doesn't - well, I'm fucked too. The irony is, of course, that I was never going to be able to retire. There ain't no money enough that I could ever put into it or invest into something else that I could have to live without working.

And if I could have - I think this week's tanking economy might have made the 'work till you die' thing a reality.

Really, how much worse can it get? After Freddie/Fannie, I would have said it had to take an upswing, but oh, how wrong I was. Now, I'm wondering if history will be repeating itself, ala 1929.

I am really quite surprised that no media has mentioned that - Black Friday. But really, why couldn't it all just implode? It's not unprecedented. I think the media and administration knows if they did even hint at it that, the panic would be colossal.

And I have no faith in the FDIC, that my money is insured and protected. Even if it is, the process of getting any (not all) of it back, I would have to live years on a bread-line before I saw a penny of that.

Clearly I have no actual basis in this. I'm not an economist, but I do listen to Marketplace daily!

The Bush administration has been so out touch on the economy, since day one, that no one months ago could agree that we were (or were not) in a recession. They didn't dare utter its name. It's beyond recession time folks.

...and now another bail-out????? They say it's government, but what it is is you and I paying for the fuck-ups that "didn't see this coming". You know that check some of us got to stimulate the economy a few months back? Do you? Guess what - now you get to pay that back like 5-fold.

Yes, this bail-out will cost each household $7,044. Weren't the stimulus checks only $1,600 per family? At least W still things the fundamentals of our economy are strong! It's a sad day when our stockmarkets rise when the Bush administration steps in. Not sad - SCARY!

A recent on-line CNN poll says that most americans don't believe that W & Co. can even stabilize (not get it moving in the right direction) the economy.

Yes, it's 'not a scientific poll', but seriously, who are these 19%? They must all be Bush staffers who voted 2,000 times each. I can see Laura on her Commodore 64, hitting refresh over and over again.

I have three clients already who are looking at the possibility of terminating our services just so they can cross a line-item off their budget. Mind you, it is service they will have to pay for somewhere else, but it looks good to the bean counters. Just the other day one laid off 100 HR reps. (First off, who has 100 HR reps? It seems a bit of a redundancy.)

Yes, I believe it will get worse before better. Mind you, I think this will hurt McCain more than help him, but g-d help us if he wins. He and Palin will start WWIII to jump-start the economy. I just know it.



Song by: Rosanne Cash

Friday, September 19, 2008

Site of the Month

A few months ago, I did a site of the month for Dickipeida and then way way back I did WookiePedia.

I guess Wiki is just going to drive my SotMs every now and again. That's ok.

I actually found this from my friend, Brad. I had heard that Sarah Palin's personal email address had been hacked, but since I was traveling, I had not really heard any details. Brad says this is where he found it: Wikileaks.

As for Palin's email - g-d, I hope she really was conducting government business on a personal address in an attempt to get around freedom of information of elected officials. She really is a twat.

I mean - not really as stupid as McCain not knowing the difference between Spain and Mexico.

Anyhoo - there are a number of leaked and underreported stories via Wikileak - for the conspiracy theorist in all of us.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I've Got Second Sight

So, I've been wearing my new contacts. Not for great lengths of time, or for multiple days in a row. But so far, so good.

The first day put a huge strain on my eyes. It's been 2+ years since I even tried on the old contacts I had. I finally threw them all out, since I had a hard time keeping them in and well - they eventually expired. The second day showed no sign of eyeball strain.

I think they've come a ways in 'contact technology'. Besides the bi-focal lenses, the comfort seems better. But I keep telling myself 'it's only been two short days'.

Me, being me, has already found a flaw in them: the way I look.

Shut up, I know! You're shocked! Me and my self-esteem - or lack of it.

Of the times I post a picture of me here, I take my glasses off, because in some twisted universe, I figured I looked better without them. Now that they are off, of course, I'm thinking, 'I think I look better in specs.'

I know there is no winning this one.



Song by: Marti Jones

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Mayor of Simpleton

Ed Koch has endorsed Obama!!!

I know - you're thinking, "so?". But it isn't really. For all his faults, Ed spoke his mind - right or wrong and it was all about equal in my book.

But in 2004 he endorsed W - which made me completely question him. I didn't agree with him, and why would I? That being said - as I've said many a-time here, I didn't vote for carry as much as I voted against Bush. Koch made the decision that he couldn't in good conscience vote for Kerry.

People derided him for not voting with his party, but I too think that's hooey. I would like to think that if the GOP ever had a candidate worth voting for, I would. Just not in my voting lifetime has there been one that wouldn't have kept me up at night.

So in yesterday's New York Times, there was a follow-up article to Koch's endorsement of Obama. It was his response to people who wrote to him regarding this siding of a democrat. You can read the entire article here, or just the highlights (or what I think are highlights) below.

(sorry NYT if I'm doing any copywrite infringement. I have no money, so don't come after me. And I feel you owe me after that entire Judith Miller debacle from a few years back. You owe all of us!)

“I believe you made the wrong decision. ... I just pray that whoever wins is the choosing of our Lord.”

“I really don’t believe God chooses our candidates and winners. If that were the case, how did Hitler win? He was elected in a democratic election before the dictatorship. So let’s leave God out of this.”

“No one believes you are really endorsing Obama out of a sincere belief that he is the better candidate after you endorsed Bush in ’04.”

“How foolish of you. ... The fact that I exercised independence of my party then is surely relevant and establishes that I vote my conscience.”

“If Sarah Palin’s experience scares you, Obama’s lack of experience, and lack of executive responsibilities, should horrify you. However, knowing your liberal left ideology, I understand your endorsement.”

“Although Obama is not a crackpot like Palin, his experience is the equivalent of Palin’s."


There was something else in there about Obama being a 'community organizer' and Palin being 'mayor'. But as I heard on some radio show the other day - directed to Palin: "remember - Jebus was a community organizer. Pontius Pilate (or pilates, as I would call him) was a mayor."

If you care about such shit. I don't - but it is a good taste of her own medicine.



Song by: XTC

Monday, September 15, 2008

Hurricane

Can I say how impressed I am with Ike?

Yeah, that sounds weird to say, but here it is about 24 hours after it made landfall and his remnants are already up here in NE Ohio. Rain rain and more rain (which we need) but the winds are incredible. 60-65 miles per hour gusts.

I worry about our 90 foot oak behind us on days like this, but whatta gonna do? As long as Denton and the kitties are unharmed, it's all I care about. Everything else can be repaired. My heart couldn't be.

It's a sleepless night. And who knows I'll get out for DC in the morning. I see no way where my flight won't be delayed. But it's early - as you can see. They won't probably tell me until I'm on the way to the airport. But as fast as Ike moves in, I can only assume it he will move out just as quickly.

Hopefully the weather won't follow me there.....but you never know.



Song by: Neil Young

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Father & Son

I forgot to mention this little blurb yesterday when at getting my eyes checked. No, not the part about waiting for my eyes to dilate and being forced to sit there listening to Dexy's Midnight Runners. No one should have to endure that torture! No one!!!

As I was at the front desk turning in my paperwork, the lady behind the desk asked me if I was named after my grandfather. I looked a bit perplexed and answered 'no', and for some reason I offered that I was named after my father.

She goes on to tell me (not ask me), 'but he's 87 years old'. I kind of just stared at her. Clearly my father goes to this same eye doctor (what are the chances? apparently, pretty good) and she has his name up in the computer. Mind you - she didn't ask if that was my father, but how many 87 year old's with the same name could there possibly be?

Yes, my father is almost 88. I always say, I was a possible accident and my younger sister was a probable one. Or as Morty's parents would call us: a pleasant surprise!

All of this was going on while I was completing my HIPAA form. The irony was not lost on me - though it was on her.

This wasn't the first time my father's and my medical records have been mixed up. Years ago, I requested them from my hometown doctor and got back some of my pediatric records mixed in with a lot of my fathers medical issues.

No, my oldest sister was named for my grandfather - not me.! And thank g-d. Like middle and high school weren't bad enough. Can you imagine me going around with this name?

Sure, it works well for my sister - but they feminized it (shut up, all of you!) for her. But it would have just made me more of a target. No offense to my sister, but being named after this man is not a plus. He was kind of a prick - at first I thought to just his grandkids, but it extended all throughout his life.

I snapped this and the other pics in this post a week or so ago. On a whim I drove into a cemetery I pass a few times a month. It is all of two miles from our house, but I never drive in. Namely because weekend time is precious and of course, it is closed on Saturdays.

So, Denton and I went in - and finding the family plots was easy. They are all over the place. Names from all over my family tree buried in one place......well in a few places. This wasn't a Kosovo grave site. I haven't been here since a year after Adrian died. I went with my father to see if they had placed his headstone (they had not).

Both sets of paternal grandparents and their kin are buried here. Some in the ground, some in the family mausoleum. The crypt is pretty well full. Two spaces left - I'm assuming for Sonny and Bill. I'm planning on just having my body cremated, though I am fine with it being donated to medical school for student to do what they will with it. (see - I told you I thought a lot about death!)

And as much as I am grateful I wasn't named for my grandfather, I realized I was only two or three generations from being named something much more nebbish with family names.


I called my mother the next day and thanked her for naming me what she had.




Song by: Cat Stevens

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Brown Eyes

Take a look at the image.......you are getting sleepy.....very sleepy.....

Actually it's not a hypnosis machine. It's not even the time travel gizmo from Austin Powers. Honest to g-d, it is something they used at the doctor's office to look at my eyeballs for my exam and the possibility of wearing contacts........again.

Last time I got fitted for contacts they didn't have such a contraption. Oddly enough, some of my other exam was much more primitive - cardboard with letters or making a triangle out of my two hands to see if I was right or left eye dominant. (I'm left - for the record.)

My vision benefits suck, but damned if I wasn't going to use them at least for my exam. I'll milk every frickin' dollar out of these guys that I can. I mean - I am paying for it, right?

My prescription has not changed at all in two years - not too bad. As I always assumed I was not so slowly going blind (must have been from all of that self-love I performed as a teen......and as an adult), it was nice to see and hear that things are no longer progressing that way.

It has also been years since I've worn contacts and I just kind of want to see if I can do it without irritating my eyes again. But since that last time, I've moved into bi-focals. Yes, I'm old - I get it! So we are trying bi-focal contacts. Sometimes they give one for near and one for far sightedness. But these are actually bi-focal lenses, so we'll see how they go.

I don't have them in, since my pupils are the size of dinner plates thanks to the dilation. If it were another year, one might think I was high. But I'm not.

Oh and yes - my eyes are brown.



Song by: Camper Van Beethoven

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Antichrist Television Blues

Yesterday, Becky twitted that the weather today was 'so 9/11-y'. Of course I had to come back with a snide reply that I thought it was very 9/10-y. But I got what she meant - at least where I was. Downtown was blue sky and low 70s. Not too unlike 7 years ago.

One of my work peeps has his birthday today. That's gotta suck. And he's gotta be on a plane too. Now I don't think that sucks too much. And I believe that in the law of averages it won't happen again - not like it did. But remembering his birthday isn't all that difficult.

Everyone remembers 9/11. But if you were born on 12/7 - is everyone anyone associating it with Pearl Harbor?

It still kind of floors me that it has been 7 years. It seems like yesterday. It seems like a lifetime ago.

If you haven't seen the Pentagon memorial, I find it kind of impressive....and a little weird. There is a bench for everyone who died, but the benches make-up the path of the jet into the building. A little too freaky for me.

There's really not point to this post. I thought I'd have one with my friend's birthday, but it never came into focus. I wasn't formulating anything of significance.

Why the Arcade Fire song? The title doesn't lend itself to the post - but the opening verse of the song does:

I don't wanna work in a building downtown
No I don't wanna work in a building downtown
I don't know what I'm gonna do
Cause the planes keep crashing always two by two
I don't wanna work in a building downtown
No I don't wanna see when the planes hit the ground


Freaky. But I still like the song.



Song by: Arcade Fire

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

He's a Runner

I'm really just blogging this morning to give props to Morty - he's more than a runner. He's an Ironman! Not like Robert Downey Jr. More like Mark Spitz, Lance Armstrong and Flo Jo all wrapped up into one. If you take into account his hair, he's probably more like Bruce Jenner.

Seriously, this is a man who has done 25 marathons, or so. Impressive in it's own right - no? But this last weekend he did a 2.4 mile swim and a 112 mile bike race on top of that run. Not in that order. The run came last.

All done in 12.5 hours. I'd still be on the swim. ...and I'd puke, which he didn't.

I think it's great he did it and so very proud of him. I can do the bike ride (probably) but not much else.

The only thing more insane than actually doing one of these, is doing another.....which he is planning. Well, I guess it's a better diversion than drugs, alcohol or internet porn.


.......maybe.



Song by: Jonatha Brooke

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Record of the Month - Classic

Another installment of a disk I have enjoyed over the years. I'm trying to keep the Record of the Month posts to be fairly new releases. Classics are going to be ones that are at least 5 years old.

While not her most commercially successful album, Sarah McLachlan's Fumbling Towards Ecstasy is arguably her best.

Released 15 years ago (well, in Canada - 14 years ago in the States), it was one of the two best disks of the year (Crowded House's Woodface being the second).

I had seen McLachlan a few years earlier perform at this little Columbus bar called Gibby's, located in the Brewery District, before there was a Brewery District. She did an admirable job, but I wasn't jumping out of my seat or anything.

Flash forward maybe two years. Denton and I were in Toronto and heard a song I was immediately drawn to, "Possessions", but it was nowhere to be found. Having just been released only to radio - neither the single or the disk were yet available. It would be months before it was released here.

As good as "Possession" was, it kicks off a disk that works on every level: songwriting, vocally, musically and production. Pierre Merchand's production work is pristine and he uses McLachlan layer multiple backing vocals over her lead.

As the overriding theme of Fumbling is fear, a song about love being better than chocolate seems woefully out of place. Of the 13 songs (the last being a hidden track), "Ice Cream" is the only one doesn't work for me.

I'd say there aren't any other bad songs, but there are some that are better than others: "Ice", "Everywhere", "Fear" to name three. And I still really like "Possession".

McLachlan's label just released a Legacy version of the disk for it's 15th year anniversary. The disk isn't expanded really - they just tacked on the live and majorly inferior Freedom Sessions onto a second disk. But her label has re-released so much of her stuff in so many formats, it is not surprising.

With her greatest hits album coming out before the holidays, it would be easy to get that - but it is the music and the sequencing on Fumbling that makes it what it is - a fully formed album and not just a compilation.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Shopping with Blobby

Yet another installment in the drudgery that is everyday shopping. The camera-phone makes it a bit more fun - though I get looks whenever I take pics of products. Like I care what people think!

I've never had one that tasted like rum, mint and lime. Ever!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

The Duel

I know, this blog is becoming a kind of repeat of the Fall of 2004. More political or political-lite pieces than the other times that are not presidential election years. Maybe that's the way it should be - but it certainly gets away from 'stuff & nonsense'.

Sorry - only like eight more weeks to the election and then the inevitable three weeks of McCain suing Obama (or vice versa) until Roberts & Co determine another presidential erection election. Then I'll be back to more stupid-ass posts.

Below is a screen capture of an interactive map that the New York Times has on their web site that tracks, via polling, how states are leaning in terms of electoral votes (you can click on it to make it larger). As always, the blues seem under-represented, but that is number of states, not electoral votes.

But just going by the solid and leaning numbers, Obama is much closer than Palin McCain. As predicted, Ohio is a "tossup" which means tons more ads and candidate visits than most of the other states. This is not the kind of attention we really want. And yes, I'm speaking for all 7 million of us (and dwindeling).

I really find it amusing that anyone in Ohio would consider the GOP. We are in such sorry shape economically over the past 8 years, I don't think most are better off than they were pre-Bush. How do they truly think this will turn around with more Republicans in office? My $0.02.

Anyway, the map is pretty cool. Click on a state and it will tell you how many electoral votes the state has, recent polling data and the election history for the past five presidential races. It also tells you the current make up of state government (governor, senators, etc).

On a side note, my 15 yo nephew claims the NYT to be liberally biased. I won't necessarily discount that - but in reality, he has no way of knowing, as he's never read it. Two weeks ago, I took out a Sunday edition to him and plopped it in front of him. I told him to read it and show me how many were liberally biased articles and to tell me what the threshold is of how he made a determination of what is liberal and what is not.

I doubt I'll get a report back. But it made his father laugh that someone called his son on it. Mind you - chances are that the nephew got his views on this from his parents and where he grew up (which is the same place I did) - and it is a highly red area. But I just see it to be my responsibility to help educate him and at least question what he's hearing.




Song by: Allison Moorer

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Dreamboat Annie

Have you seen or heard about the email from Wasilla, AK resident, Anne Kilkenny? It's making all the blogs (clearly - I am days behind!) and the viral rounds.

What starts off as a seemingly nice enough letter to her friends about what she knows about Palin, as they live(d) in the same town, turns into a pretty scathing diatribe about the current Alaska governor and Vice Presidential candidate for the GOP.

NPR had a report on Anne, more so than the email. Actually, they don't read word one from the email, just the impact it is having. Forget the media attention - and there's lot of it, I can only imagine focus of the townsfolk on her. She can't be a hugely popular figure. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe she said what others in town are too afraid to state.

I love that this letter will make Eileen Flowers pissed off. As pissed off as one of the nicest ladies in the state can get, that is. Yes, Mrs. Flowers - you see how Sarah Palin treats librarians. I will assume you can help the democrats win the Librarian Coalition.

I only have one issue really with this letter. Though it is not said here, apparently the original that went out said to feel free to pass it on to others, but Ms Kilkenny was hoping it would not make it on to the web - at least that's what NPR reported.

I'm just not so sure of that. Is Anne bitter at Sarah - and is this just payback? I don't give a shit, if even half the facts in the email are true. Anything more is just gravy.




Song by: Heart

Friday, September 05, 2008

It's Over

I admit I didn't watch Palin's speech the other night. I couldn't. The hypocrisy with the entire send-up, set-up and execution would have been too much for me to handle. The kids are off-limits, except the eldest, because he's a-goin' to war!!! WAR. They got guns thar! But let's parade the rest of them everywhere - and now we'll bring in the husband/daddy-to-be as well.

It hasn't been lost on me that the preggers child has been doing nothing but hauling around the youngest Palin kid. You don't need to beat any of us over the head to say, "see.....look how well she can take care of a young 'un. She be a good mommy, yes siree!" FUCK YOU!

It was all I could do to stomach some NPR on the drive in to work. And the papers? Barely touched them - except for this precious tidbit from another republicunt woman I can hardly stomach: Peggy Noonan.

An "unknown" open-mic let Noonan and ex-McCain staffer Mike Murphy prattle on about the candidacy:

"It's over," said Noonan, who earlier in the day had praised Palin in the Wall Street Journal and then added, "Most qualified? No. I think they went for this, excuse me, political bullshit about narratives ... Every time Republicans do this, because that's not where they live, and that's not what they're good at, they blow it."

Mind you - Noonan has already apologized for the comment and tries to defend herself, but it's fairly empty, if you axe me.

It made me recall an episode of the West Wing from years back. President Bartlett was talking to a morning new show and said some unsavory comments about his opponent on an "unknown" open-channel. Turns out, he knew the feed was hot, which is why he took the opportunity to say what he did.

Always the cynic, the West Wing made me a tad more so when looking into the underbelly of politics and the manipulation that goes on. I only half-believe that Noonan didn't know the mic was on.

But I love this: She doesn't believe McCain can't win. Can we fit another negative in there - a triple one somehow? PLEASE?

I did enjoy a Twitter from Andrew earlier today. He pointed out a Politico article that made me smile. Of course, I Twitt'd back that only 50% of the readers probably knew it was tongue-in-cheek. ...or outright sarcasm.


....oddly enough, the auto-spell check went nutso on this post. go figger.




Song by: Aimee Mann

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Deathly

Monday, after going out to lunch with my parents, my mother made a trek over to her best friend's house to see her. Unfortunately, my mother stumbled upon tragedy when she discovered her friend had died sometime in the previous 24 hours. More unfortunate was that my mother was the one to find her.

They had been friends for over 30 years - and she was just one of the nicest people you'd ever want to meet. And while she seemingly passed away peacefully, and regardless of how it happened, I know it was a shock to my mother - as this person was almost 20 years my mother's junior. Nothing expected.

There was the calling of emergency services, so to speak. There was the need to tell her sons and her estranged sister. But it is the image of her sitting there in a hammock chair that my mother cannot get over.

I've spent a lot of time thinking about death. When all added it up, it probably totals months and months. I don't think I'm a horribly morbid person, but my mind wanders to it, especially was we get older. I find myself noticing the ages on the obituary page. I've made a deal with myself that I get to go first - as to be abandoned in this relationship, left behind, would ironically, kill me. Sometimes it keeps me awake at night.

What? Too much of a downer?

I wish I could lighten the scene and tell you some of the conversation my mother had with her friend's sister. To say it was surreal would be selling it short. But I've tried to draft it, and nothing comes out right. I would say it was shocking at first - and then laughable. To the point I had to make some snide retort, which at least got my mother laughing.

Later in the day, Iris DeMent's "My Life" popped up on my iPod. There is a portion of it I always cherish - and if nothing else, speaks to me - and hopefully to others about me:

I gave joy to my mother.
I made my lover smile.
I can give comfort to my friends when they're hurting.
I can make it seem better for a while.




Song by: Aimee Mann

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

It's No Secret

There is a great blog post regarding Sarah Palin, from one of her fellow Alaskans. Granted this blogger is mere mortal, like us, which makes it more the better - in my opinion.

There are also still remnants floating around the internets of that Daily Kos post that Palin's now preggers daughter still birthed the youngest of the family children. Even if Sarah is the mommy, her judgment in that high risk birth is beyond questionable.

Becky sent me this little visio-diagram. It's funny - but you'll need to click to enlarge.



It's been said in a million blogs over the last few days: What the fuck was McCain thinking?

I don't think for a second that unwanted or teen pregnancy is that big of an issue. But it kind of is when you're a hypocrite about it. Don't be against sex education in school. Don't expound the virtues of abstinance. If you don't know what is going on in your own home and have no control over it - then don't you dare tell me (and 300 million others) about right and wrong. And certainly don't go making national decisions.

When will this fucking thing implode??? Not soon enough. Not soon enough.



Song by: Jefferson Airplane

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Goodbye

I thought I'd take a minute to acknowledge the passing of Large Tony's blog. Yes, he's tall, but that is not why he's "large". Allegedly.

No, it's not because he died - but the blog did. Yesterday he wrapped it up and had it put to sleep. Unlike some of us (i.e. me!!!), he chose to not overstay his welcome.

I've never met Tony, but read him consistently and commented on some of his posts. He and I would even exchange a few emails over his or my posts. Tony even offered for me to do a guest post on his blog which I never followed-up on. Shame on me. Though he told me I'd 'puss out'.

I didn't do that as much as not have a good enough of a topic to expound upon. Oh - the pressure. Then time just kind of got away, and clearly now has run out. Shame on me, indeed.

Tony had some great posts, but I always suspected he wasn't the rube he sort of led you to believe he was. Many of his posts were extremely well constructed. They were well crafted, sweet, poignant and sometimes just downright racy. Boring too - if you don't give a shit about Tennessee football, that is. I wouldn't say his posts not not suitable for work - but some aren't for the faint of heart.

He is keeping his site up, at least for awhile, so I will keep him in my blogroll as well. It also seems fitting to give him a blog post song title from an artist from Tennessee.

Goodbye, Tony. Good luck.





Song by: Emmylou Harris

Monday, September 01, 2008

Believe Me Baby (I Lied)

The Daily Kos has a potentially explosive story regarding Sarah Palin's youngest child. It might be her 16 year old daughters!!!!!!!!

Sure, in ways I so want this to be true. And I haven't know the Kos to go so far over the top to have such false inflammatory stories. But how great would it be if McCain so fucked up on vetting his VP choice that they missed the classic Kentucky/West Virgina trick of raising your grandchild as your own? It'd be off the charts great. That's how.

Granted, they could pull off the 'pro-life' item saying that their daughter didn't abort, but where would that leave her on family values, sex education and abstinence? Better yet, where would it leave him on his decision-making abilities?

He can't come back and say, "I knew" - now when they know this stuff could get out. Not when you let her try to pull off this alleged lie.

I just don't know if any of this is true - but like I said, it would be great if it were. But I can't imagine who it went this unnoticed.

Update: Oh well, clearly not true as they tried to bury the news during a major hurricane that her unmarried, teenage daughter is now pregnant. But she's getting married - and I'm sure it is because she's in LOVE!!! Because every 17 year old knows 'true love' at that age. ...and not just because it will ruin the family values, no abortion platform the GOP is so famous for.


And where I'd like to take credit for the following - I cannot. I saw it at Milky White Goodness and had to share. I can be a pretty hard nut, so it takes a lot for some web stuff to make me smile, let alone laugh aloud. So here it is - a little Separated @ Birth for you:



Song by: Tricia Yearwood