Monday, March 31, 2008
But the thing that perplexed me is all the photos the tourists were taking of ducks.
They don't have ducks in BFE?
I could understand it if the ducks were sitting on Abe Lincoln's lap in his memorial or taking a crap on the Constitution at the Archives ("Hey, mom, look, a Republican duck!").
But random pictures of ducks in water...I don't get it.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Now, that alone makes him an expedient politician. But he doesn't stop there. He thinks it's time to move past the anger of victimization and the words of divisiveness and hate. And he can't lead that effort from outside.
Obama won't end racism in America. But he is a leader uniquely qualified to move us to try and make progress the way no other in this election can.
Monday, March 24, 2008
What Mr. McCain almost never mentions are two extraordinary moments in his political past that are at odds with the candidate of the present: His discussions in 2001 with Democrats about leaving the Republican Party, and his conversations in 2004 with Senator John Kerry about becoming Mr. Kerry’s running mate on the Democratic presidential ticket.
Oh yes, I can see: "My Friends, I'd like to talk about why I'm the conservative candidate for President, but first let me tell you about when I wanted to leave the Republican Party and become John Kerry's lap dog."
It's fair game for a news story but treating like "news" the fact that McCain doesn't bring it up? Gimme a Break.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
The first thing that flashed through my mind when I saw this was the day of his birth and beholding that flailing, writhing pink, wet fleshy helpless thing for the first time. A blank human, unable to do anything but breathe, eat, cry, pee and poop.
Blink. He recognizes me for the first time. I could see it in his eyes one day changing his diaper. Blink. He laughs. Blink. He begins talking. Blink. He crawls. Blink. We're counting steps. Blink. He's running. Blink. His first bike. A few more blinks and he'll be driving, dating and doing things his dad could only dream of.
Friday, March 21, 2008
Thursday, March 20, 2008
In recent years, testing has revealed the potentially serious health impacts of phthalates. Studies on rats and mice
Okay stop right there. I'm picturing a scene in the lab: "Uh, professor? I can't get the little mouse dildo in, the little bugger won't hold still!" I wonder if they made a "lifelike" reproduction from Mickey?
Anyway, the research shows that this chemical can cause cancer and reproductive problems. The phthalates will leach out of the product when exposed to, well, heat and friction, not to mention lipids (i.e., fat). Those of you who scrub your dildos in hot water in bleach may be turning your favorite sex toy into a cancer stick.
What can the horny-but-enviro-and-health conscious-enthusiast do?
Again, according to Grist:
The most ecologically correct choices may be metal or hardened glass dildos -- which, with their elegant, streamlined shapes (and sometimes hefty price tags) can double as modernist sculptures."No, mom, that's just a decoration. Please put it back on the bookshelf..."
You can also get a product called the "Solar Vibe," a vibrator wired to a small solar panel. "Excuse me, you're blocking the sun, and I was getting close."
The Solar Vibe would be a great stocking stuffer (wink, wink) for the green members of your family.
I thought briefly that maybe the best option is the real thing...but they come attached to people who must be warmed, cooled, clothed and fed and damn if that doesn't lead to carbon emissions!
For more on greening up your sex life, read this article from Grist.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Really. And I've never heard a minister use the word "tits" in church before.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Considered by some as blasphemous, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's Jesus Christ Superstar does at least one thing brilliantly -- it captures a human, doubting, angry, defiant and ultimately compliant Jesus. And all at once in the moving Garden of Gethsemane "I Only Want to Say" scene (both my favorite part of the Gospel and the Musical).
Some Christians don't like this side of Jesus, but isn't Jesus' humanity sort of like, well the point?
See if chills don't go up your spin at the climatic point in the song when Jesus sings "Die!"
Oh, and hunky disciples in the beginning don't hurt.
And I almost forgot about the uniforms. Which you had to pay for yourself. They were made of a fascinating sandpaper/polyester hybrid fabric. The things even smelled flammable. If the plane went down, everyone would die. That's because there would be no flight attendants left to remind people about their seat cushion flotation devices. The attendants and their poly-blend getups would have all combusted at the first spark.
The other is "The Age of Miracles: Embracing the New Midlife." The first was recommended by my friend and ubermom, Andrea. The other I found through Curtis.
It seems my son is rebelling against the restraints on his will necessary for the safe growth and development of a three year old. Meanwhile his dad is rebelling against the changes and restraints of middle age.
In his case bribing, reasoning and restraining haven't worked to well. In my case, religion, pharmaceuticals and therapy have likewise failed.
So we'll see what these books have to offer.
Friday, March 14, 2008
Send me songs of inspiration or positive reflection. Like Ryan Shupe's Dream Big.
Sometimes my moodiness dips into depression and this is one of those times. Good music will help. Suggestions?
Okay, here's my list:
The Farmer and the Cowman -- Oklahoma (fun b'way tunes count as "inspirational")
We Are the Champions - Queen
Can You Feel the Love Tonight -- Lion King Soundtrack
Express Yourself -- Madonna
Sweet Transvestite -- Rocky Horror Picture Show Soundtrack
Dream Big -- Ryan Shupe
Don't Blink -- Kenny Chesney
Mountains -- Lonestar
Suddenly Seymour -- Little Shop of Horrors Soundtrack
Paradise by the Dashboard Light -- Meatloaf
Rocky Top -- Osborne Brothers
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Have you no shred of decency, Katie?
Hat tip: Talking Points Memo
Read the whole statement.
The ability to inspire new thinking is a more important ability in a leader today, than simply being a "problem-solver." We're always trying to solve something.... solve health care...solve the economy... solve social security, and so forth. Yet according to Carl Jung, our most important problems cannot be solved; they must be outgrown. Just figuring out who has a better plan with which to treat the symptoms of a problem is not the one who ultimately solves it. What we need is someone with a better state of mind, who will lead us to a better state of ours.
Being swept up in Obama's inspirational ability is not naive; thinking inspirational ability doesn't count for much, is in fact naive. For in the ability to inspire lies the ability to command the most powerful forces of all. No plan, no piece of legislation, no Washington strategy or political maneuvering would alone be enough to change the probability vector of America's future. For that, we would need a mighty wind. And a mighty wind now blows.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
My most vivid memory was testifying against the Defense Of Marriage Act in 1996. It was the day of the hearings. We were going to lose; we always knew it. But the Clintons told the press on the morning of the hearings that they didn't believe there were any constitutional problems with DOMA, cutting us off at the knees. Yes, that was politics. I understand. All I want to remind the next generation of gays about is: don't ever expect anything more than "just politics" from the Clintons.
And if you think the Clintons "had" to do it because of the Republican-controlled Congress, I urge you to read the account posted by John Aravosis on AmericaBlog regarding Bill Clinton's advice to John Kerry to support anti-gay marriage state initiatives in 2004.
And remember...the same people that were advising him then are advising her now.
Monday, March 10, 2008
Sunday, March 09, 2008
I love this song by Kenny Chesney. It's about change. "Never Gonna Feel Like That Again."
I'm closing a big chapter of my life, leaving something I've done for nearly 10 years. A friend recently gave me a great gift of memories of some of that 10 years. It brought to mind this song:
Another chapter of my life is over
No I'm never gonna feel like that again
Time's rushin by me like the wind
Someone made this video to go with Chesney's music. I identify very much. No, I didn't play football, but I was in the marching band and Friday night games were a highlight of the week. And no, there was no "Cindy Lou" but I did have a thing for a boy on a motorcycle. And of course there is now a "boy who looks just like me."
Enjoy each chapter. You can't flip it over and start again.
Much later, it was 3 a.m. My mom was safe and soundly asleep in the guest bed while the LTR and I slumbered peacefully above.
The phone rang.
I sat bolt upright in bed.
It kept ringing.
"Hillary?" I cried. But she was no where in sight. Damn. I'll have to answer the phone myself.
It was my father. Mom's flight was canceled (the airline called my mom's cell phone, which, by logic only understood by my parents, was with my dad).
3 a.m. A phone call and a problem. And we were Hillary-less. We had to take matters into our own hands.
Luckily, I have experience in dealing with middle-of-the-night crisis. When I was little, I often spent the night at my grandparents and my grandpa was county engineer, which meant he was in charge of the roads. In the winter, this often meant getting phone calls at 3 a.m. as road conditions deteriorated and he would have to send the road crews out and coordinate their activities. Many times I would lay there and listen as he spent the night on the phone, in his pajamas with my grandmother wringing her hands at his side as he made the county safe.
With all that experience of nighttime phone call handling tucked under my belt, I knew I had crossed the crisis management threshold and had been ready since day one of my mom's visit, I took the phone in hand. I expertly called the airline and waited on hold for an agent. I'm vetted, I told myself as I waited, phone in hand and glasses perched on the edge of my nose, giving me an aura of Clintonesque competence to my mother.
Once the agent got on the phone I fought for my mother to get her on another flight. I took on the vast flight wing conspiracy to keep my mom in DC for another day. We need solutions, not excuses I told the agent. After all "Your flight is canceled" are just words. Thanks to my experience, the agent came through and we booked my mom on another flight. I have the scars to prove it.
Yes, thanks to my experience in handling middle of the night crisis from those years I spent at my grandparent's house, my mom is on her way to rejoin my dad.
I think I should be county engineer. Hell, make that a pilot.
Saturday, March 08, 2008
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Aren't mother's supposed to puff us up? Say wonderful things even if they aren't true? Well, somebody forgot to tell my mother.
The warmer weather meant I was lounging around in gym shorts instead of sweats the other night. Now, I'm not a lean guy but my leanest feature are my legs. Hell, my legs were even endorsed by DC Metro!
So we're watching TV and my mother casually comments, "when did you get varicose veins on your legs?"
"What?! Mom, those are just veins. My legs are cut."
"Where? Do you need a bandaid?"
"No...cut, defined, lean...all muscle and vein and sinew."
"Nothing. What's 'sinew' with you?" (you see where I get it from.)
"Very funny, mother."
"Oh. Well, they can do wonderful things with surgery. My friend Dorris across the way had her varicose veins taken out."
"Ok, thanks, mom."
I think she is trying to get back at me for the time when I was a kid and I got mad at her and tried to kill her houseplants. Shouldn't she be past that by now?
Today the sun is out and I'm actually feeling optimistic. About what, I'm not sure.
So, Hillary won the vote, if not the delegate count. Multiple analysts say it's highly unlikely she can win the delegate count. Of course, that also depends on Michigan and Florida. My guess is some way or other those states will send delegates to Denver. That could make the outcome very, very ugly.
My man Obama had a bad week. He botched NAFTA. He botched handling a tough presser. Every candidate stumbles. Let's hope Obama learns and moves on. He can do better. Yes, he can.
Two possible silver linings in a protracted battle with Hillary:
1) it will continue to toughen Obama up for the general
2) maybe, as has already started to happen, Hillary supporters will come to recognize the say anything/do anything to win at any cost machine that so many on the right have seen.
I'm not sanguine that will mean anything if the party tears itself apart in Denver, but hey -- I said I was feeling optimistic.
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
It's a scrappy mix of African-Americans and with an influx of Hispanic and white newcomers. Shortly before the LTR and I took a risk and bought an oh-my-god-how-are-we-ever-gonna-fix-this-place-up-house, a new Metro stop went in, surrounded by several empty fields. The whole neighborhood had deteriorated after the riots that took place in the city in the wake of Dr. King's assassination.
Today those empty fields have been replaced by new condos, subsidized housing for those with low-incomes, a Target, Best Buy, Bed, Bath and Beyond, a Washington Sports Club and Starbucks (of course!) and more.
Target opens tomorrow. The Washington Post has pictures.
Crime is still a problem. My neighbors have experienced break-ins and there is, oh, you know, the occasional random shooting. I'll never forget the night shots rang out and I dived off the bed and hit the deck. The LTR calmly rolled over and said, "We're on the third floor, they're not shooting in the air." Still, I wasn't taking any chances.
Several years ago there was a rash of break-ins in our garages. A bunch of us were meeting the police in the alley behind our houses. Their advice to us homeowners: Buy guns. Ironic, given the gun violence in a city with some of the toughest gun control laws in the nation.
Then there was the night I was chased down the street by six or seven
Still, it's a great place to live and it just got better. Not to mention the fact that my property value has tripled.
It is a beautiful day in the neighborhood.
Monday, March 03, 2008
Sunday, March 02, 2008
Saturday, March 01, 2008
It was, in this reporter's opinion, the most interesting moment in today's Clinton campaign phoner with reporters. Responding to the release of HRC's new TX TV ad, which asserts in no subtle terms that only she has the experience to deal with a major world crisis, and, relatedly, to keep your children safe, Slate's John Dickerson asked the obvious question:
"What foreign policy moment would you point to in Hillary's career where she's been tested by crisis?" he said.
Silence on the call. You could've knit a sweater in the time it took the usually verbose team of Mark Penn, Howard Wolfson and Lee Feinstein, Clinton's national security director, to find a cogent answer. And what they came up with was weak -- that she's been endorsed by many high ranking members of the uniformed military.
Listen to the painful silence.
I'm guest blogging over on MattyDale's Blog "MattyDale in the City" and while doing some, um, "research" for a post there I came across this Web site "DrawFellas" devoted to art and and the male form. I liked the art I found there and it provided a nice diversion from the nightmarish visions I have of Hillary eking out wins in Ohio and Texas. Here are a few drawings I liked that I could post here (most are full nude on this site, so be warned if you click over while boss man is standing over your shoulder).