blame me, I voted for nader
4 more years of g. w. bush?
be afraid. be very afraid.
vote your fears, not your hopes.
NADER ENDORSES NADER
quote 'o' the day
The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. Instead of altering their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views ... which can be very uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that needs altering.
the days are getting longer, both coming and going: the sun rose at 6:42 am this morning in madison, and it set at 5:39 pm. but unlike jimmy the groundhog, my brain apparently saw its shadow sometime around the beginning of february and has crawled back into my skull for another six weeks of winter. wake me up when winter's really over.
and while you're at it, wake up jamie too. she's been snoozing a lot of late, and not just metaphorically. seems like she got a semester long backstage pass at snooze-a-palooza
I devoted a good chunk of last weekend to sorting and filing the stacks of papers that had piled up on top of the file box, in various plastic bags, and on all the available horizontal surfaces, including the floor. this was part spring cleaning, part new year's resolution: it was the first step in writing a will, one of my goals for 2004. (for those of you who are keeping track of my other resolutions, my flossing record for 2004 is near perfect, though the vitamin/calcium regime is a bit spotty.)
apparently, writing a will requires that you have a list of all your assets and some idea of their value. sheesh, what will these lawyers think of next?
turns out that bill & I have 9 retirement accounts between the two of us. we still don't know what would happen to most of them if bill & I died at the same time, but at least the statements from the 9 accounts are now in 9 tidy manila folders.
I came across a few other noteworthy items in the great paper chase:
a man with one watch knows what time it is,
in the news
the chief of newsday's washington bureau notes that "Something changed in Washington last week, and it wasn't the weather." now that the press and the media have taken off their kid gloves I hope they keep the heat on and fight the good fight when it comes to political coverage. the overuse of mixed metaphors is optional.
A Change in Political Climate By Timothy M. Phelps
usa today recounts the numerous details and ommissions from bush's record that suggest he received special treatment in the national guard. for example, he was accepted as a pilot even though he had 2 arrests for college pranks and 4 traffic violations, 2 of which involved accidents.
Why Bush stopped flying remains a mystery By Dave Moniz and Jim Drinkard
I haven't been been following the post super bowl coverage of the uncoverage of janet jackson's nipple, but last week orelia mentioned that it seemed like janet jackson was taking the serious heat, while justin timberlake was getting off with only some finger-wagging and tut-tutting because "boys will be boys." even without having seen any of the coverage, I don't doubt that the reaction would have been very different if a black male rapper had ripped the shirt off of white pop star. this article from the chicago tribune explores the double standard in the media's treatment of janet and justin:
It's an old story: Nasty Janet, Naughty Justin By Heidi Stevens
on tv, but not for long
I resisted buffy the vampire slayer for the full 7 years that it was on tv. then last summer, long after the final episode had reduced sunnydale to a smoking pit in the ground, bill & I let our guard down and got sucked into the hellmouth. it started with a few minutes here and there, watching reruns with our old housemate caroline (not be confused with our current housemate carolyn) while waiting for the pasta water to boil. then it was whole episodes. then it was two episodes every night. when we got back to wisconsin we started with season 1 on dvd, and now we're counting the months until season 6 comes out on dvd. how the mighty have fallen.
I will not, I repeat, will not get sucked into watching angel. even after it reaches the end of its run on primetime, which looks like it will be sooner rather than later. but I liked what joss whedon, creator of buffy and angel, had to say after learning that angel was (unexpectedly) cancelled:
Remember the words of the poet:
meanwhile, liz passes along this appeal:
at a coffeeshop
written in silver magic marker inside the men's room door
you become what you think about all day.
that is a very scary thought.
still haven't decided who I'm voting for in the primary tomorrow. actually, dean, edwards & kerry (candidates listed in alphabetical order) all look good in their own rights, and even better better when compared to bush. dean's record as governor of vermont is impressive, combining fiscal responsibility with real progress on issues that matter, like health care. edwards is the son of a mill worker and spent a good part of his career defending the weak and poor against the rich and powerful. I also appreciate his emphasis on the separate and unequal existence of "two americas," one for the wealthy, the other for the rest of us. kerry has a solid record and isn't afraid to play hardball. he's striking right back after bush ran an online ad accusing kerry of taking money from special interests. and they're all air breathers so it's looking good for the democrats.
a few website additions: some pictures from kites on ice, madison's own "it's 20F and the wind is really blowing so let's go stand outside on the lake all day" winter festival, and a chronological version of my blog entries of my roadtrip to arkansas/kansas, with coverage of an alternative reality accessed by travelling alternate routes, a truck stop on planet obese, fear and loathing in missouri, chez pam, poodles, DWI (driving while insane) and way too many twizzlers. both are linked to from my alt.personae page.
bill has been brushing up on his unix skills now that we're using mac OSX. he foudnd this nifty command line tool that plays music files in the terminal window, qtplay, over at version tracker. we have qtplay set to play random selections from our entire collection of mp3s. it's like living on the set of "name that tune" --- we keep getting up to check what song is playing. I'm surprised at how many things that we recognize, given that we have 54 Gb of mp3s. laura love is playing now, following up on carlos nakai & his echo machine and some weirdly tuned instrumental thing that passes for music in the misty reaches of the internet. bill had to change my default shell from tcsh to bash to get qtplayer working, and he made some aliases in my bash profile so I don't have use the awkward syntax for calling qtplay, I just type "playall." sigh. he's got root. he's a real sudo geek. I'm just a rootless pseudo geek.
last night we went to hear a lecture on and performance of alban berg's violin concerto the memory of an angel by diego bañeulos. the lecture was interesting, with the interpretation focusing on events in berg's personal life, the "secret program" of the concerto, rather than on the life and untimely death of manon gropius, the "open program" of the concerto. the musical analysis, unfortunately, passed through my neural net completely undigested, I hope that roughage turns out to be as good for the brain as it is for the bowels. after the lecture, diego played the concerto with piano (and triangle!) accompaniment. there's a heck of a lot of violin playing in a violin concerto, at least in this one anyway. watching the concerto performed, seeing the sheer effort involved in calling forth that much sound from an inanimate object, made it feel consequential in a way that was absent from the recordings with an orchestra. it almost made me nervous, like watching the olympics: the performance skates on the edge of catastrophe, one mistake and the violinist is doomed.
I've figured out how to watch movies while I workout on the nordictrack at home. but they can only be movies with really predictable plots or ones that I've seen before, because the sound of the machine cancels out some of the dialogue. I've watched baz luhrman's version of romeo & juliet (not to be a spoiler or anything, but it does not have a happy ending. they both die.), franco zefirelli's romeo & juliet (boy meets girl. girl meets boy. they get married. they have sex. they die. what kind of a plot is that?) and west side story (boy meets girl. girl meets boy. they sing. they pretend to get married. the boy dies. the girl threatens to kill herself but doesn't. oh happy day!) if you want something much more cheerful, with a happy ending, watch dark days, a documentary about homeless people living in squalor in the amtrak train tunnels beneath the streets of new york. (make sure to read to the "where are they now?" epilogue on the dvd.) and if you want to be bored beyond endurance, or if you want to be reminded of just how bad an adaptation of a book can be, watch the mists of avalon.
I was going to call this entry "schmata" which I thought was a yiddish word meaning "bits and pieces." turns out it actually means "rag" or "worthless stuff" and is more typically spelled shmatteh. in a fit of cyber-self-esteem I abandoned shmatteh as a possible header. today's entry is titled "untitled."
retreat, hopefully strategic
I've moved my two blog entries in progress, one on the law of unintended consequences and the other on kids these days and the crazy way they talk, to a separate file --- they're too long and not finished enough to continue lurking in this one. I really hope this is a temporary retreat and not a permanent rout, but the blognotes folder of unfinished entries sings the siren song of defeat, "come rest here a while...".
I started out three days ago intending to write a series of short breezy comments like these:
hunter snuck upstairs onto the third floor again and prowled into the room. he headed straight for the table that holds all our tea and tea stuff, the brita water filter, the hot water gizmo, a teapot, lots of mugs, and stuck his head into a box of herbal tea that I had forgotten to close. third ingredient in peace tea made by the algonquin tea company: catnip.
imagine the world from hunter's perspective: when he walks into my room the largest, loudest, brightest thing in the perceptual landscape is an open box of herb tea.
let nothing come between you and the light. h. d. thoreau
I broke down and bought one of those lights that's supposed to convince your body that you live on an island in the carribean when you are actually stranded in the middle of the dark frozen wisconsin winter. it's very bright and very white. I'm supposed to sit under it for 30 minutes in the morning and then again for 30 minutes in the evening.
is my pineal gland really that gullable? I hope so.
...and this is where my blog entry composed of short breezy comments itself ran afoul of the law of unintended consequences, morphing into a sprawling, still-in-progress contemplation of the law itself. stay tuned...
meet the rivenelves
an unplanned convergence of all 11 people living at rivendell in the same place at the same time is a rare occurrence, but the stars and the pizza (homemade by nathan and andrea) aligned just right for a full constellation at dinner on 02 feb 04.
exclusive footage of the elusive rivenelves:
keep your eyes peeled for the pink tea cozy, I think carolyn's still wearing it.
PS 11:53 AM, 06.02.04
the quicktime movies don't seem to work in every browser, you can try this AVI version instead.
entries from 01.04