Saturday, May 31, 2008

Drink the Juice

The terrific SS and I want to Castle Island today, and hung around whilst little children clamored over each other to look into windows, but saw nothing (ha).

Then we watched Steel Magnolias. Much fun. Drink the juice.

Off to Toledo tomorrow. Will miss you all - will still report by thoughts from the road.

Friday, May 30, 2008


Fifty percent of New Yorkers and fifty-one percent of Californians want Sen. Clinton to drop out of the race (thirty-eight percent of Californians want her to stay) for the Democratic nomination. Sen. Obama has a nation-wide approval rating in the mid-60's. Clinton has never broken 45% since 2000. She may be famous, but it appears that people's opinions of her are set, and they can only go down from here. How quickly the mighty fall. Is she in a terminal decline? It's hard to say.

But if she takes this to the convention and tries to nab the nomination through procedural wrangling...I won't vote for her. I'll leave my ballot blank. Because, on the GOP side, I'll hate McCain's policy proposals and temperament. And on the Dem side, I won't trust her character and convictions, and I am disgusted with her lack of humility and her never-ending psycho-drama of a public life.

Please forgive this little summary, but this is how I feel the primary will turn out:

Hillary Clinton: I am afraid Obama cannot win. I am afraid we will be attacked politically, but we know all my scandals. I am afraid, so vote for me. Me Me Me.

Obama: I am not afraid. Work with my campaign to change politics. Not me. We.

So whom are you voting for?

If a candidate is scared now, how will they act while in office? That's why the Senator from Illinois has my vote. Go Obama!

Something Good and Something Bad

Every appointment (save two) I made this week has had to be rescheduled, canceled, or modified. Frustrating, especially since this is my vay-cay week and have all the free time in the world. Hence these lunches and appointments and meetings. It makes me wonder why I even bother with scheduling stuff anymore.

Also: double mint chunk is my new Ben and Jerry's flavor. FYI.

Crane Plumets, Heron Looks Away With Embarassment

The second construction crane collapse in Manhattan this year. Two people dead this time.
Last time, several city administrators resigned in disgrace, or had criminal charges pressed against seems like the zeal for building new buildings and creating more wealth on the island of all islands is getting the better of its inhabitants. I hope that this is the last large-scale accident for a long time, and then new safety regulations are passed to ensure that cranes are kept more stable, or shortened, or whatever restriction is necessary to ensure I could walk on the Upper East Side without having to nervously look skyward from time to time.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

I Love Coloring

Yeondoo Jung is this Japanese photographer who has taken children's drawings and renders them into real life. Dreamy stuff. Here are my two favorites.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I'm Sick To Death Of This

CNN Headline: Green Beret electrocuted in shower on Iraq base.

RIP, Ryan Maseth. You were a year younger than me when you died after being electrocuted in an improperly grounded shower-stall in Baghdad. I'm sorry our nation only pretends to support the troops so whole-heartedly (when we are asked to give them pay raises, better healthcare, better educational opportunities, better equipment., etc...the prevailing attitude then seems to be "to hell with those whiners...when's American Idol coming on?!?!?" )

If this Teddy-Roosevelt-esque-invasion is worth doing, it's worth doing right. But we're not doing it right. Soldiers are dying from electrocution in showers, literally billions of dollars just GONE and unaccounted for, and I've given up hope that ANY presidential candidate will ever get us out. Will this be the straw that breaks America's back? There's alot of chit-chat about invaiding Burma and getting aid to the areas destroyed by that cycolone three weeks ago. Want to know why no help will arrive? Because we have no troops or support staff available. Simple as that.

I am so angry at our government for pursuing an unnecessary war, and then administering it in a criminally-negligent fashion.

In his new book, former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellen writes that President Bush woulda-coulda-shoulda misled the United States for nothing more than ensuring his own personal historical glory.

In Iraq, McClellan added, Bush saw "his opportunity to create a legacy of greatness," something McClellan said Bush has said he believes is only available to wartime presidents.

The president's real motivation for the war, he said, was to transform the Middle East to ensure an enduring peace in the region. But the White House effort to sell the war as necessary due to the stated threat posed by Saddam Hussein was needed because "Bush and his advisers knew that the American people would almost certainly not support a war launched primarily for the ambitions purpose of transforming the Middle East," McClellan wrote.

The best of my generation are dying because the haggard Baby-Boomers wanted one final hurrah of glory before they go on social security. That's what it comes down to. IMO, you understand. When the history books are written...I don't know what they'll say exactly, but there's going to be alot of simple naked disgust for our country's leadership and populace.

Jaunt To The Boston Housing Court

I had my administrative hearing today for the MBTA's littering citation we received last month. I was put in charge of this violation appeal (which entailed a fine). I went to the sites in question and took photographs, I contacted MBTA employee employees to sign affidavits, I filed an official appeal with the Boston Housing Court, complete with exhibits, photographs, and the whole nine yards.
The scene of the crime...

Showed up today with a witness and my supervisor to observe me plead my case with eloquence and suit and tie, hair gel and cologne, having rehearsed my presentation (ALL ON MY VACATION)...

And I get the charges dismissed because they couldn't find record of the ticket, and said the officer must have filed it incorrectly. So we were free to go and the ticket was dismissed...


I could have done NOTHING, and still got the same result. Sigh...this is often what happens in the practice of law, I have found. You only need to give 40% most of the time, but the problem is that you have no idea which 40% it is. So you must give 100% all the time to be prepared.

And I was prepared. I just wish I had a chance to say a few words besides who I represented, and the notice violation number. I would'a shown 'em good.

I Am Half Sick Of Sweaters, Sighed...

The highest temperature we're supposed to get in the next ten days is a lousy 76 degrees, and the rest of the time will be mired in the mid-to-low sixties. I miss Cincinnati's heat.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

My Outrage Stems From The Calorie Amount, But That's Just Me

Dunkin’ Donuts has yanked this ad with Rachael Ray after some right-wing critic yahoos without lives said that her scarf looked like a keffiyeh, a traditional headdress associated with former Palestinian chief Yasser Arafat.

Seriously -people upset about this need LIVES. They are complaining about an advertisement for iced coffee. While people in Burma are starving to death. I hate fools (see heading).

DD's response:
‘‘In a recent online ad, Rachael Ray is wearing a black-and-white silk scarf with a paisley design. It was selected by her stylist for the advertising shoot. Absolutely no symbolism was intended. However, given the possibility of misperception, we are no longer using the commercial.’’

I don't blame them for just tossing their hands up in disgust and dropping the ads. But this remains yet another quintessential example of the quick-to-outrage making something a big thing by saying it's a big thing. See War on Christmas. That is all.

Such A Perfect Blendship

Yet another fluff piece by CNN. This weeks advice for the socially inept among us: how to end a friendship.

Hey BBF, want to go fishing on Lake Tahoe with me?

For those of you that don’t wish to read the article (probably because you have…you know…lives), it’s basically a bunch of anecdotes about women getting pissy at each other for no reason, and then over-analyzing it to death. Didn't Penthouse do that once?

CNN offered absolutely no applicable insight on these types of situations – just listing a bunch of wishy-washy do-what-ever-feels-right crap. I am also disappointed that the option of defecating in your now ex-friend’s sink was absent from the list. Take that, Non-Friend and Richard the Mortal!!! (Yeah, I wish). That is all.

Monday, May 26, 2008

What's A Semi-Weirdo Supposed To Do?

Nice big wheel he's got there, huh? This is the reason I begged for a green big wheel when I was a wee little gay boy in Maumee, Ohio. I got a red scooter instead...I've never quite recovered...emotionally, at least ;-)

Gonzo has always been my favorite Muppet. After years of reflection, and obscene amounts of research, I still cannot quite place my finger on the appeal. It has to do with his utter embracement of weirdness - off-putting, non-sensical, and unexpected. I think my sense of humor matches his perfectly (in fact, might my sense of humor actually have stemmed from our blue-pelted, big schnozed friend?). Whether its blowing his trumpet and tooting out green smoke/confetti/a fog horn/snakes/etc., getting shot out of a cannon, getting slapped by Miss Piggy, or just chilln' with Camilla, Gonzo knew who he was, and made no apologies for it. But there was always a sense of melancholy about him. A sadness that, though he knew what he liked, the "others" would never exactly see eye to eye with him.

"Come and go with me/It's more fun to share/We'll both be completely/at home in mid-air."

This song still touches me. Who could have sung it but Gonzo? He was definitely one of Henson's deepest and most versatile of characters.

When I say I was a fan, I'm not talking "oh ha ha, I'm a fan." When I become a fan, I go hard-core...

I dressed up as Gonzo for Halloween in 1st Grade. I owned a stuffed holiday Gonzo, and three of the late 1980's plastic McDonald's Happy Meal Gonzo figurines, and still maintain two of them in my lucky treasure's box (albeit with much of their paint worn off - come to think of it...was that lead paint? They were made in China...THAT sure would explain a lot about me).

I can remember vividly the day I lost the third at Crane Creek on the shores of Lake Erie (this really rad beach my extended family often visited in the summer). I dropped it in the water when I was playing the lake's sorry excuse for waves, and lost the poor little guy forever in the muck. I frantically searched through the glop and gravel for my lost friend, but to no avail. Crane Creek never quick elicited the same amount of joy in my heart after that day.

In honor of my blue friend, here's his swan song from Muppet Babies (I was OBSESSED with this show back in the day): What's a Semi-Weirdo Supposed to Do? Even in the tasks and activities he loves and excels at, it never seems to be enough. I ponder this trouble everyday. Hang in there, Gonzo - we'll figure it out someday.

I Did This Once, But Didn't Want To Brag

Update: 41.48!!!

Official race results were released. Actually, I ran the race yesterday in forty-one minutes and forty-eight seconds. 8.22 mph. 338th place. Ha ha!

$$$ Not-For-Profit $$$

The NY Times leads today with an article at how government officials are increasingly questioning whether nonprofit organizations deserve their tax-exemption statuses. At a time when nonprofits run businesslike operations, and some private universities (like the Big H up the street) have endowments that total billions of dollars, there is a lot of drooling over those big piles of monet. There are murmurs that it does not make sense for these organizations to retain a status that denies local governments property taxes and other revenues adding up to somewhere around $8 billion to $13 billion every year.
"Mr. May said that the determination process had become increasingly difficult, however, noting that the Mall of America, a major tourist attraction, was seeking tax exemptions as part of its plans to expand, arguing that it aids the state economy by drawing visitors.

“From our perspective in the assessment field, it’s harder to define what’s a nonprofit these days because there are so many different types, and many of them are doing the same thing for-profit groups that aren’t exempt are doing,” he said...

“The nonprofit sector is being pressed to be more business-like and to find new ways to fill the gaps between what government will pay and what services cost, but then assessors want to treat us like businesses, which pay taxes,” said Jan Malcolm, chief executive of the Courage Center in Minneapolis and a former state health commissioner.”

I can see the merits of both sides of the argument - there have been rumblings in the Massachusetts State House about taxing least ten Massachusetts universities with endowments over one billion dollars. And many tax-exempt churches have been acting nakedly partisan - i.e. stumping for political candidates and other not-for-profit no-no's. It'll be interesting to see what develops, though this is a state-by-state issue, so grad sweeping reforms are only likely to occur on the local level.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Professor X Gripes About The Hand That Feeds Him

A recent article in The Atlantic that I’d recommend. “Professor X,” who claims to teach introductory English Composition and introductory English Literature at two community colleges (“colleges of last resort”), claims that “[t]he idea that a university education is for everyone is a destructive myth.”

This article ticked me off for several reasons. First, the author states that he teaches Hamlet. If this were a college of last resort, wouldn’t a wise professor try to use material that is written in modern English? Hamlet is a beautiful play, but it’s Shakespearean prose can be daunting, and I do not think it’s smart to thrust that on part time evening students who are twenty years our of high school, and probably are not planning on taking advanced writing, literature, or theatre courses later on.

Not that we need to give them picture books. Instead of Hamlet, how about Of Mice and Men? Or something by Mark Twain? These students will need all the help they can get – I don’t think it’s wise to give them something so difficult, creating an unnecessary additional barrier at the starting gate. It sounds to me like Professor X is a bit snooty and likes to repeat the Horatio soliloquy to himself in the shower once too often.

The overall thesis of this admittedly fascinating article is that schools extort money from students who are woefully unprepared to complete their studies, much less succeed in class. To Professor X, I submit that there is no other way to know if you’ll sink or swim than by letting go of the swimming pool edge, kicking off the pool wall, and plunging forward.

It is unfortunate that people fail sometimes. But at least they got to try. I do not think that we should stand in people’s way and prevent them from trying. Especially because I would be very suspicious about the self-appointed person (Professor X might be up for the job) who got to decide who gets to move forward and who gets sent back without even the satisfaction of having tried. Just sayin’.

Professor X states that he tries to help his student utilize tutors, etc. But they do not. Well, that's their fault, and their wasted money. If they were so under-qualified, then write a letter of complaint to the Admissions office. Or quit and go teach high school to ensure that those students WILL be ready for college. But I suspect Professor X would think he's above that.

So basically, my cynical side tells me that this article is just a snobby professor (who has a job not quite as prestigious as he'd hoped) lamenting how dumb his students are, and why it is everyone else's fault that they fail. Lovely, though there are some good point to be made.


42 minutes and thirty-five seconds. That's the time it took to run five miles this morning in Boston's Run to Remember. My actual time is probably shorter, but I'm just going off the time on the clock when I crossed the finish line. Approx. 8.5 miles an hour.

The route began at Boston's World Trade Center - surprisingly beautiful up close. From afar, it's always struck me as resembling an unfortunate double-wide, with an Epcot Center theme. From there, it ran into downtown, along Atlantic Avenue, and then curving along Government Center. Up to Cambridge Street, down to Charles Street, and then to Boylston, Washington, Post Office Square, and back over the bridge to the SeaPort. The weather was (and is still) gorgeous. Bright sunlight, cool breeze, azure sky. And a lot of hotties along the way ;-) (with apologies to SS).

Much fun was had with my friends - the Danimal is heading to Holland this week, so I likely won't see him again :-( until the end of the summer. After the race, we got these really rad medals, which we wore without shame to Quincy Market and wandered about amongst the lumbering tourists.

I am sort of toying with running a marathon in the future. Danimal invited me to run with him in the Philadelphia marathon this November, and tells me there's still plenty of time to train...I think I have at least one in me, though I will have to ponder on it a little. What do you think, gentle reader?

Photos to follow...

Yes We Can

Will you allow me one final jab at Hillary Clinton before I reign myself in? It is MY blog afterall...

Good shall triumph - you'll see. Go Obama '08!!!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

I'm A Plantagenet!

By the by, I got my hair cut this week.

This is exactly how it was for me as well.

RIP, American War Dead

Happy Memorial Day Weekend to one and all.
If you can, please attend a memorial service, parade, or some other ceremony commemorating the war dead. It's surely the least we can do.

One...Thrilling Combination

Singular Sensation and I went to the ICA, and then walked along the harbor…and then got hotdogs at Quincy Market, then canoli’s at Mike’s Pastries. Then walked to Copley and bought some veggies for me (I’m making a repeat of my past dish at my friend’s on Memorial Day). Then back to my place. A five hour date. He’s quick with a quip, and has fiery Portuguese blood in him. He’s heading out of town for the weekend, but we’ll see each other on Wednesday.

I hate to say I have a good feeling about this one, since when I say these things, the gentleman caller in question usually runs away shortly thereafter, or has a secret rhinoceros horn hidden in his spiked hair… but I like SS. I like him a lot. I’m seeing him on Wednesday – probably a DVD and then a beer or something. He’s fun to talk to, which is the best quality a partner can ever have. Besides obscene wealth. But I’m a paper plate kind of gal, so I don’t necessarily have to marry a billionaire…

Shout out to SS, who’s likely visiting for the first time. Try the sangria! It’s my friend Vanessa’s recipe!

"With The Kids In The Car?"

Here's a funny video. Your childhood best friend's mother:

John Roberts, the performance artist in question, is reportedly a genius, and his drag shows in NYC are reportedly standing-room only.

Is Barak Obama A Muslim?

The answer lies within.

Hillary Wasn't Lying After All!

It's no secret that I'm no Hillary Clinton fan. Admittedly, she works hard and I will vote for her if she gets the Democratic nomination (though I will invest in the clothespin industry, since so many of us Obama fans will have to hold our noses as we pull the lever).

This made me laugh out loud:


Enjoy your Saturday! Singular Sensation and I are off to the ICA!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Best Buddy Is Back

I’m back. For good.

Sitting here in my one-room apartment in Chinatown, surrounded by the hum of I-90 and the jackhammers on the nearby street that eerily remind my of my mother's sewing machine...with a sink full of dirty dishes after spending the evening cooking and drinking with the nice cool May breeze wafts across the Esplanade and the miserable admin people at my law school tabulate my grades...I realize I am happy.

Richard the Mortal is gone from my life for good. He doesn’t have the tools necessary to form a friendship. I left him to himself and his insipid newt of an ex-boyfriend. I hope he can find happiness, because he could not share any with me.

I met a guy in January, and dated him for three months. Then he up and decided to tell me he felt nothing. But, he emphatically stated, he wished to remain friends…I never got a single one of my phone calls returned – not one. So the theology prodigy is gone. Alot of back-story, but he really doesn't merit it, in the end.

I had alot of anger to deal with, and sort of shut down emotionally while I was preparing for, and then taking, my second round of final exams.

But I've done nothing for a straight (ha!) week. Read a book on the Battle of Hastings. Started running 4.5 miles a day (in theory). And now I’m back. For good.

Hence Richard the Mortal’s banishment, and my finally getting the gumption to delete both the afore mentioned gentlemen’s email addresses, telephone numbers, and de-friending them from Facebook.

I met a really nice guy yesterday – he is kind, articulate, and seems warm. He’s a human resources guru, and loves musical theatre – even acted – his fave musical is A Chorus Line. I hence dub him Singular Sensation.

I am almost afraid to tell too much, lest he leave my life too quickly. Then I’d have to explain it to everyone, just like with the Theology Prodigy. We’re going to the ICA tomorrow to look at Very Deep Art. I’ll keep you posted.

Also: I love Barak Obama, wish Hillary Clinton would actually listen to herself once and awhile, love my friends, and feel like things are beginning to look up again.

Watch out, The-Blue-Line, I’m back.