Friday, February 29, 2008
1. ghetto superstar, joi
2. where were you? the mekons
3. lithium, nirvana
4. keep my skillet good and greasy, uncle dave macon
5. energy, the apples in stereo
6. rock the casbah, the clash
7. tomorrow she goes away, the ramones
8. my life is right, big star
9. stone heroes, penetration
10. sgt. pepper's lonely hearts club band, the beatles
Hmm, I'm feeling all retro today, perhaps as a nod to the mead.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Interesting side note: For reasons that are unclear, certain local meaders offer a "spicy" mead, which was offered to us from a naked-lady-shaped bottle. Said vendor noted that the same mead was also offered in an equivalent male bottle (possibly penis-shaped--the precise form was shrouded in hushed mystery as he relayed this story), but his male customers were so discomfited, he had to defer to sensibility and serve from the boobies instead. There's a lesson to be learned here, something about us all living in dude nation.
Also, on the heels of a 7-bottle sampling of 12-percent-alcohol honey wine, a whiskey tasting seems like a disaster waiting to happen. (No, I didn't have the whiskey.)
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
"Pagan lawnmowers" would be such a cool name for a band, though, don't you think?
Because of the inordinately cold (and zealously policed) temperature settings on said fridge, there will be a mandated defrost to allow carrots and other vegetables to reside without freezing into an inpenetrable mass that must be whacked on a table before they may be consumed individually, as nature meant.
Send all your good thoughts to our brave, if quixote, warrior of the people who will battle on the behalf of sensible fridge users everywhere. Will he be able to forestall the senseless mid-week defrosting? Will he prevail in preventing perfectly fine lunches from being throw away for no good reason? The odds are not in his favor, but we wish him godspeed.
UPDATE: The battle has been delayed, in favor of another sick day. And you thought that the forces of evil never call in sick.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Monday, February 25, 2008
More than 1,000 Prairie View A&M University students and supporters marched seven miles to the polls on Tuesday to protest the lack of an early voting place on campus for the March 4 election.They did apparently later open more poll sites.
Students, local leaders, civil rights activists and elected officials walked from the campus to the Waller County Courthouse in Hempstead carrying "Register to Vote" signs. The majority wore black shirts with the slogan, "It is 2008. We will vote!"
Following After the march, some students stood in a long line to cast their ballots on the first day of early voting, while others filled out new voter registration cards in a building across from the courthouse. Early voting ended at about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, and some waited for five hours to vote.
WHEE!: And more snow on Thursday, according to the weather.com gurus:
The next threat of snow arrives Thursday as a clipper passes through the eastern Dakotas, Minnesota, northern Iowa, Wisconsin and northern Illinois.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Friday, February 22, 2008
1. the delivery man, elvis costello and the imposters
2. adventures in solitude, new pornographers
3. heroine, blonde redhead
4. the lesson, mayo thompson
5. love shack, the b-52s
6. bryte side, pernice brothers
7. from a whisper to a scream, elvis costello and the attractions (completely different band, so no dupes)
8. this is not a love song, nouvelle vague
9. these days (i barely get by), george jones (heh, right there with you, george)
10. running the world, jarvis cocker
My secret message is apparently dance! Then chill the hell out.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
It happened like this. I was in a long, slow line of cars in the turn lane approaching the highway on-ramp. Lights turned red, then green, then red again. We idled. We creeped. At long last, two cars decided that this state of affairs was intolerable and roared into the left lane, passed the line of traffic, and attempted to merge into the front of the line.
We've all seen it before, and it is practiced as high art on highways across the greater Chicago area. But today, we rule-followers stood firm to a one and with military precision closed ranks, following bumper to bumper and allowing no daylight between us for car after car.
Finally, the first car got disgusted and performed a kamikaze left-lane turn into the single lane of traffic onto the ramp, touching off a wave of hostile gestures and angry horn blasts. I didn't see what happened to car number two, but I like to imagine him, harrassed by a growing line of hostile through-traffic and obstinate turn-lane folk, having to finally give up and circle back around.
Fellow commuters, I salute you.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Poor Cindy. I always wonder about the timing on the revelation of these things (in this case, since it was 8 years ago). This ought to go over well with the base.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
The other thing that doesn't bode well for [Clinton] is that the electorate isn't remaining static. It's moving, and the exit polls suggest it's moving toward Obama. Last week, Obama made gains among white voters and women in Virginia and Maryland. Today, the exit polls show him eroding her core constituencies further: he won among women, among middle-aged voters, among lower-income voters, and among union households.
But I will say that the Obama team has been running a really impressive campaign. The organizing they're doing and the fundraising systems they've implemented will pay returns come November, I suspect.
Monday, February 18, 2008
Thank you, thank you. I credit my dogged persistence, as well as my oversized winter coat, which gave me the extra fortitude to withstand the attic cold long enough to sift through a few more bags.
Now if I screw it up, I can only blame myself and not technology.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Poor Gillian Anderson, though, in her intro segment looked as though she's been botoxed to immobility. I don't think she could have emoted if her life depended on it.
If I Were a Candidate, I'd Be Looking into How I Could Be on the Beneficial Side of These Voting Machine Errors
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Harold Ickes, a top adviser to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign who voted for Democratic Party rules that stripped Michigan and Florida of their delegates, now is arguing against the very penalty he helped pass.Sounds sensible--it's all a matter of donning the right hat.
In a conference call Saturday, the longtime Democratic Party member contended the DNC should reconsider its tough sanctions on the two states, which held early contests in violation of party rules. He said millions of voters in Michigan and Florida would be otherwise disenfranchised — before acknowledging moments later that he had favored the sanctions.
Campaigning in Wisconsin after Ickes' remarks, Clinton echoed his contention that a suitable arrangement could be worked out to seat the Michigan and Florida delegations.
"The rules provide for a vote at the convention to seat contested delegations," she said. "This goes back to the 1940s in my memory. There is nothing unusual about this. My husband didn't wrap up the nomination until June. Usually it takes awhile to sort all this out. That's why there are rules. If there are contested delegations, the convention votes on it."
Ickes explained that his different position essentially is due to the different hats he wears as both a DNC member and a Clinton adviser in charge of delegate counting. Clinton won the primary vote in Michigan and Florida, and now she wants those votes to count.
"There's been no change," Ickes said. "I was not acting as an agent of Mrs. Clinton. We had promulgated rules and those rules said the timing provision ... provides for certain sanctions, automatic sanctions as a matter of fact, if a state such as Michigan or Florida violates those timing provisions."
"With respect to the stripping, I voted as a member of the Democratic National Committee. Those were our rules and I felt I had an obligation to enforce them," he said.
It's an intensive experience, overall. Those unfortunate enough not to be muckety mucks of the uber or quasi variety don't get hotel accommodations. Ergo, they (we, poor saps) get to do the back-and-forth commute with family and other obligations in the mix. But I'm getting off easy, because by volunteering for insane morning hours (this morning: arrival at 6:45) and begging not to do evenings, I could arrange not to do 14-hour days. My unfortunate colleague with a few tech skills, however, is doing the 14-hour days, plus commuting, plus juggling family life with a 6-month-old. Did I mention they're living in a rental while trying to coordinate insurance and contractors on a water-pipe rupture? As I left today, he was curled up in a corner sleeping.
Meanwhile, other staff are not expected to work any events at all, with the management excuses on her behalf ranging from "the train commute for her on a weekend is hard" to "her home life is really difficult right now." Indeed.
And so it goes, not unpredictably. I'm sending out the resumes right now.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Here's a random ten to end my day and start yours off, if you're inclined to do similar on your Friday. Enjoy your day and your weekend! I expect to surface sometime on Monday. Sigh.
1. crips, ratatat
2. breakin' the law, new pornographers
3. i wanna live, the ramones
4. baby baby, the vibrators
5. heretics, andrew bird
6. the modern world, the jam
7. them belly full, bob marley
8. love is the foundation, loretta lynn
9. deanna, nick cave and the bad seeds
10. stay on the ride, patty griffin
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
He must have a real shot at the nomination, though, because now I'm having commitment-o-phobic thoughts like: wait! what if he disappoints us? He's a politician!
WOW: This is interesting, regarding Virginia:
One out of every five Democratic primary voters were independent — and those voters chose Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton, 67 to 32 percent. Seven percent of the voters in that contest were Republican voters who decided not to vote in their own party’s primary – they chose Obama by an even larger margin, 71 to 25 percent over Clinton. Registered Democrats also chose Obama, 59 to 20 percent.
Monday, February 11, 2008
Hundreds of thousands of Capital One and Bank of America cardholders have been notified in recent months that their interest rates are going up -- in some cases to as much as 28% -- even though they haven't been missing payments.
Why, you ask? Silly! Because they can, of course.
David Robertson, publisher of an influential credit card trade publication called the Nilson Report, said a number of factors determine rates for plastic, not least the greater risk of delinquencies these days resulting from the credit crunch.
But he said it seems clear that leading banks, having suffered billions of dollars in losses from the mortgage meltdown, are casting about for new sources of revenue.
"They need to raise rates because they can't raise fees anymore," Robertson said. "It's politically untenable."
. . . .
"The card issuers are moving from a risk-management strategy to a revenue-generating strategy," he said.
"Credit cards are consistently the most profitable retail banking product," Robertson observed. "The growth is not there anymore. And with a recession coming down the pike, there's no expectation of more spending by consumers. The industry needs to raise prices to keep profits where they need to be.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Because if I cannot find it, I will have to be holding this together with safety pins. Granted, that may be the kind of edgy design choice that will get you noticed on Project Runway, but I just can't see it flying on the day job.
Saturday, February 9, 2008
It says a lot about our moment in history that this kind of thing makes me want to weep with gratitude.
To recognize the number and complexity of these threats is not to give way to pessimism. Rather, it is a call to action. These threats demand a new vision of leadership in the twenty-first century -- a vision that draws from the past but is not bound by outdated thinking. The Bush administration responded to the unconventional attacks of 9/11 with conventional thinking of the past, largely viewing problems as state-based and principally amenable to military solutions. It was this tragically misguided view that led us into a war in Iraq that never should have been authorized and never should have been waged. In the wake of Iraq and Abu Ghraib, the world has lost trust in our purposes and our principles.
After thousands of lives lost and billions of dollars spent, many Americans may be tempted to turn inward and cede our leadership in world affairs. But this is a mistake we must not make. America cannot meet the threats of this century alone, and the world cannot meet them without America. We can neither retreat from the world nor try to bully it into submission. We must lead the world, by deed and by example.
Peggy and James Mason - Britain's oldest newlyweds - are holding hands and exchanging sweet nothings.
It would be touchingly romantic, were it not for the fact that Peggy, 85 years young, really should have both hands on the steering wheel right now, given that she is in the driving seat of a rather large mobile home which is hurtling down the motorway at speed.
"I love you, James, you know, my beautiful James," she coos, clutching her new husband's hand over the gearstick and shouting over the noise of the engine.
Friday, February 8, 2008
Some tunes to soothe me into Friday.
1. stinging velvet, neko case
2. one night stand, the pipettes
3. summer skin, death cab for cutie
4. because, the beatles
5. i want her she wants me, the zombies
6. sweet jane, the velvet underground
7. death of the buddyrevelles, the buddyrevelles (chicago band, friends of friends of friends. clever youtube video here.)
8. accidental death, rilo kiley
9. major crush, stanley ross
10. can't help falling in love, elvis presley
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Me: So, there was this interesting special about Stax records on PBS the other night. I kind of liked it.
Him: Oh, yes. I saw parts of that. You know, that one guy who featured heavily? Whoever that was, he had a great voice.
Me: Are you talking about Otis Redding?
Him: Oh, yeah. Maybe that's who it was.
The story of Barack Obama last night was in the small states where hard work and organizing paid off. He's building a new coalition, Hillary Clinton's expanding the old base, and together, they're making a new Democratic majority.
And I [heart] Katha Pollitt, who reads my soul in so many things:
When Obama won Iowa, I was surprised that I was glad. Much as I would love to pull the lever for a woman president -- a pro-choice Democratic woman president, that is --I realized at that moment how deeply unthrilled I was by the prospect of a grim vote-by-vote fight for the 50 percent+1 majority in a campaign that would rehearse all the old, (yes, mostly bogus or exaggerated) scandals and maybe turn up some new ones too. I wasn't delighted to think success would mean four more years of Bill Clinton either, or might come at the price of downticket losses, as many red-state Democrats fear. Democrats have nominated plenty of dutiful public servants over the years -- Humphrey, Mondale, Dukakis, Gore, Kerry . They have always lost (or in Gore's case, not won by enough to not lose).
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Alternatively, one of these wovel things could be good.
In contrast, Cokie Roberts does a nice, sober analysis of delegate shakeout and the role of superdelegates.
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
And Dick Cheney's daughter warns that a McCain nomination would be a "sad day" for the Republican party.
Apparently, said city election board spokesman James Allen, the poll workers told incredulous voters—including one spouse of an election judge—that the stylus used for touch-screen voting was actually an inkless pen to fill out paper ballots.It sort of makes you wonder, doesn't it, whether poll workers just get bored:
"I'm incredibly angry, and I feel so dumb," said Amy Carlton, 38, of Rogers Park. "And I am not a dumb person."
Carlton said all the judges at the polling place insisted that they had been trained in the use of the "magic" pens.
"I've voted before," Carlton said. "I was thinking, 'This is crazy,' but when someone in authority insists, what are you supposed to do?
As a side note, I'm amazed, although I don't know why, at the inanity of the election coverage on ABC, e.g., Diane Sawyer just strolled in leisurely fashion over to a clutch of cubicles in order to query some poor schmuck at his desk while the surrounding people busily pretended not to notice them.
But, Clinton is performing very strongly in the Northeast, better than exit polls indicated (someone needs to explain to me why, when exit polls are one way we determine if elections are fair in other countries, they're so often way off lately here). She also seems to be carrying a large proportion of the Hispanic vote. Regarding Obama, he carried 86 percent of the black vote in Georgia, and 43 percent of the white vote, which is pretty interesting. Obama is rocking and rolling the youth vote (which isn't coming out in force today), and Clinton continues her strong showing with the seniors.
The talking heads note that the margins on these wins seem to indicate that it indeed will be a race for delegates.
UPDATE: Ugh. I cracked on watching network coverage. They followed up vapid musings on Facebook polls ("Young voters, give us your feedback. What would it take for you to turn out? If I gave you an iPod?") with their table of "experts," including my favorite font of vapidity, Cokie Roberts, and George Will. I'll watch the rest of returns online.
Monday, February 4, 2008
You're Love in the Time of Cholera!
by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Like Odysseus in a work of Homer, you demonstrate undying loyalty by sleeping with as many people as you possibly can. But in your heart you never give consent! This creates a strange quandary of what love really means to you. On the one hand, you've loved the same person your whole life, but on the other, your actions barely speak to this fact. Whatever you do, stick to bottled water. The other stuff could get you killed.
Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.
Polls are tightening as we approach zero hour. Our three states are delivering the largest chunk of delegates. I know, ooooooh.
Sunday, February 3, 2008
When he saw Bill Belichick in the hallway before the press conference, Tom Coughlin's face contorted into a whine. "It isn't fair!" he shrieked. "You have all the best players!" he whimpered. "What happened to helping your fellow man?!" he mewled. "You ... all you care about is winning!" he sniveled.
The muscular coach set his prominent jaw, and his hard, handsome eyes glistened. "Why, Tom," he asked with a smile, "isn't winning what the NFL is all about?"
Coughlin's face turned bright red as he flapped his effeminate hands in hysterical gestures. By this time, a large crowd of reporters had gathered. "But, but ... your players are the best in the league! Your offense is unstoppable! How am I supposed to go on the field with my weak players or my simple, predictable playcalling?? We'll be destroyed! I tell you it isn't fair! We deserve to be helped! This is social treason!"
Belichick squared his broad shoulders as he stared Coughlin in the eye. The smaller man cowed and threw his hands to his face in a pathetic flail. "Tom," said Belichick, "I bet nobody has been honest with you in your entire life, so let me be the first. I was taught in the ways of strength. Yes, my men will win today. But it's because we've had the courage to act on our judgment, and the fortitude to trust our decisions. Long ago, we were faced with a choice—the same choice you faced. We chose conviction. You chose impotence. And now, today, you ask me not only to cut my wrists and bleed on your behalf ... oh no. You would also have me fund, design, and build the knife. You accuse me of social treason, and yet you beg me to betray myself." The beautiful man laughed a throaty, attractive laugh. "You are a coward, Tom, and a coward in this world deserves nothing."
With a great cheer, the reporters stood in unison and applauded.
Prediction: Patriots 326, Giants –27
Saturday, February 2, 2008
Ain't it just? Coming to terms with the strong possibility that, given how long your are in the tooth, you may never ever find love again adds at least another day or two to the cry fest.
Staff aged 24 years or younger can take one day off per year, while those between 25 and 29 can take two days off and those older can take three days off, the company said.
"Women in their 20s can find their next love quickly, but it's tougher for women in their 30s, and their break-ups tend to be more serious," Hiradate said.
The company also offers "sales shopping leave." You need a half day for that? I must be efficient, because I can hunt down damn near anything on a lunch hour. Huh.
Friday, February 1, 2008
Sounds ominous, doesn't it? I was imagining the lumps on my fingers (my god, that's what it is!) and digging for the old dr.'s number. Until I read it again and realized that I'm slightly under the normal range, rather than over. Putzes. I hate computerized benchmarking.
1. shatter, liz phair
2. red light, the dead 60s
3. for lovers only (reprise), southern culture on the skids
4. daisy glaze, big star
5. mama's boy, the ramones
6. the clock, the rogers sisters
7. i never, rilo kiley
8. kingdom of doom, the good, the bad, and the queen
9. (i want to be an) anglepoise lamp, the soft boys
10. open your heart, lavender diamond