Wednesday, August 31, 2005

It's alright if you love me . . .

Tom Petty last night. How a man who could be a grandpa (prolly is? I don't know) can rock until 12:30 while higher than a glaucoma patient in Amsterdam is among the mysteries of the universe.

Black Crowes opened up. I am not the target audience for the Black Crows but they were pretty good, and Kate Hudson could be seen offstage smoking like a chimney and downing beers, so that was kinda fun.

Needless to say, I am suffering major concert hangover/burnout this morning, so I'll keep this short. It's going to take me more time than usual to get things done today, so I'd better get started.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Tuesday List, "Making light of the situation" edition

HOW PEAK OIL WILL AFFECT US THROUGH LESS-PUBLICIZED PETROLEUM PRODUCTS:


1. Lucite: Shortage of clear stripper shoes, paperweight factories shuttered.

2. Acrylic: The airbrushed nail industry collapses.

3. Styrene: Indian restaurants will put your leftovers in leaky paper bags.

4. Waxes: Apples less shiny, bikini lines unlandscaped.

5. Vinyl: S&M shops forced to consider alternatives, pretentious bands reconsider releasing 45s for retro-cool cred, crazy old ladies confronted with dilemma when considering how to cover their furniture.

6. Vaseline: Pageant winners' smiles less gleaming, widespread chafing.

Monday, August 29, 2005

That old, familiar feeling

Last night Dad called, told us to get gas while the getting was good. So after seeing Lizzie off back to Longmont, I got into the SAAB and headed out in search of an open gas station.

Most of the ones I usually frequent were closed. Which was weird. The pumps all gave me this mysterious "Pump Halted" message. I finally found a very crowded station down on Colorado Blvd. and was able to ge a tank but the whole experience left me with kind of an anxious, postapocalyptic feeling. Like something real bad is going to happen soon.

It isn't just the gas, it's a lot of things- from the "Constitution" that they are trying to prop up amid serious misgivings by the Sunnis in Iraq to the jobs going away to the fact that the same groceries I paid $20 for last year are costing me $35 now. When Lizzie got off the phone with Dad last night, I drily asked if the stock market had crashed, trying to put my Dorothy Parker face on through this feeling of unease. "No," she said. "But it might tomorrow."

Last time I had this feeling was when Bush gave the address saying that he was going to begin military operations in Iraq. And, like then, the tone has been set for the week, the month, probably the rest of the year. This foreboding, numb feeling that tells you that all is not well, and won't be for some time.

Do those relentlessly optimistic Bush voters know at all what this feels like? Those folks who believe that freedom is on the march, that the Bush Boom is more than just an Orwellian marketing slogan? Do these feelings of dread ever seep through to their cores like it does to mine? I guess if it doesn't, I understand a little better. Who would want to feel this way? If maintaining that Bush is the man for the job makes you avoid this feeling that your culture and economy are on the brink of destruction, than I guess I can see where they are coming from. I just don't know how they do it.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Don't you want me, baby?



Audrey retrieves the pig toy.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

But clearly you can tell from my assortment of ribbon magnets that I do indeed support the troops!


Your tax cuts at work!

From CNN:
Walter Reed Army Medical Center has treated presidents, foreign leaders, veterans and soldiers.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A federal commission voted on Thursday to close the crown jewel of Army hospitals as it began its second day of decision-making on sweeping plans to restructure military bases across the country.

Located in the nation's capital, century-old Walter Reed Army Medical Center has treated presidents and foreign leaders as well as veterans and soldiers, including those returning from the Iraq war.


According to the article, they will cram all of Walter Reed's stuff into two other hospitals, one Navy hospital in Bethesda, Md., and a community hospital at Fort Belvoir in Virginia.

Cozy. The administration is calling it "jointness."

Also:

On Wednesday, the panel breezed through proposals to shutter hundreds of small and large facilities in all corners of the country, and, ahead of schedule, began taking up recommendations that would streamline support, education, training and medical services across the military branches.

After finishing those joint-service proposals, the commission was moving next to the Air Force plan, much of which includes recommendations to shake up the Air National Guard, a highly controversial effort. The Air Force also proposes closing both Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota and Cannon Air Force Base in New Mexico.

"We're doing some very large muscle movements," Gen. Gary Heckman, a top Air Force official who helped lead the service's base-closing analysis team, said in an interview.

He said his service branch wasn't hit in previous rounds of closures as hard as the Army and Navy because overhauling the Air Force's structure -- which is what has been proposed this time around -- is very difficult.

Ellsworth's proposed closing has caused the most political consternation because Sen. John Thune, a freshman senator, had argued during the 2004 campaign that he -- rather his Democratic opponent, then-Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle -- would be in a better position to save the facility. Nonetheless, it showed up on the Pentagon's closure list.

Closing Cannon would cost Clovis, New Mexico, a small town on the Texas-New Mexico line, nearly 3,000 jobs.

Overall, the Pentagon has proposed closing or consolidating a record 62 major military bases and 775 smaller installations to save $48.8 billion over 20 years, streamline the services and reposition the armed forces.


Rummy says these closures and trims in the military budget will make our armed forces more "Nimble." "Smaller but smarter." "Fleet."

The truth is that the government is broke because a whole mess of poor people came out to vote to lower their bosses' taxes and to continue an ill-advised and hugely expensive war. The panel eventually spared New England from the closures (thereby saving more than 31,000 jobs in one base alone) but other communities are going to see several shutdowns of military bases, decimating already struggling towns in some of the poorest regions in America.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

too good not to share


Scored these at The Buffalo Exchange.

Had to buy boxed mac and cheese for dinner this week, but hey, so it goes.

Good luck with that.

So I'm reading "What's the Matter with Kansas" now, and it has occured to me that I am a far, far less compassionate person that Thomas Frank. While Tom seems slightly saddened by the fact that Kansans, and poor conservatives as a whole, vote consistently against their own interests due to wedge-issue promises that continue to go unfulfilled, I can't help but feel indifferent to this.

If you are a poor farmer who votes for a president who passes this, than you get what you deserve.

If you are a Boeing assembler who votes for an administration who makes it easier for Boeing to ship your job overseas, you get what's coming to you.

If you are a recipient of Social Security, farm subsidies, welfare, foodstamps or any other government program and continue to vote people in who want to drown the government in a bathtub, have fun eating leftover Alpo.

If you live in a small town that has been decimated by the local WalMart, and you have voted in people who continually chip away at corporate regulations, then best of luck in finding work that doesn't involve wearing a blue vest with your fool name on it.

I am beyond feeling bad for these people. They made their bed. Now they have to lie in it. I am sure that your misfortune will ripple across the land and affect me in some way in the future, but for now I really don't care. As long as you are happy being lied to, sold out, ignored and shipped off to war, I'm not going to weep for you.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Tuesday Lists- Mediocrity Rules Edition

CITIES THAT ARE HOME TO AT LEAST ONE TGI FRIDAYS:

Abu Dhabi
Bogota
Quito
Guatemala City
Tegucigalpa
Mumbai
Reykjavic
Pusan
Beirut
Kuala Lumpur
Jeddah
Kiev
Caracas


SONGS UNLIKELY TO MAKE IT ONTO A "KIDZ BOP" COMPILATION

"Hell is for Children," Pat Benatar
"Figured You Out," Nickelback
"How Many Licks?" L'il Kim
"Walk on the Wild Side," Lou Reed
"Closer," Nine Inch Nails
"Icicle," Tori Amos
"Stroke Me," Billy Squier
"Lola," The Kinks
"My Name is Luca," Suzanne Vega

SONGS THAT, ODDLY ENOUGH, HAVE MADE IT ONTO A KIDZ BOP COMPILATION:

"This Love," Maroon Five (Choice lyric: I tried my best to feed her appetite/ Keep her coming every night/ So hard to keep her satisfied)

"Dilemma," Nelly (Choice lyric: I know how n****s start actin’ trippin’/and hate up all the girls/And there’s no way Nelly go for it/ Ain’t f***in’ with no dame, as you could see)

"1, 2 Step," Ciara feat. Missy Elliot (Choice Lyric: Stroke my stuff/
And yes i flaunt it/ Goodies make the boys jump on it)

Monday, August 22, 2005

To whom it may concern . . .

Dear Mr. Bush, Mr. Rumsfeld, Ms. Rice:

Please do not bomb her:


Please do not bomb this:


Please do not bomb them:


Please, please do not bomb Tehran.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Friday Wyoming Blogging


The Rawlins airport

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Freedom of Speech won't feed my kitten.


Which British Band Are You?

We're a nation of Indians, ruled by Swedes!

Got the cable bill yesterday (owie) but stayed up late to catch the Daily Show, hoping that it would make it feel more "worth it" to shell out $47 bucks of my hard earned cash.

It helped. Stewart's running commentary on Justice Sunday II was priceless. I particularly enjoyed the fact that most moments didn't need commentary. There was this one really fat preacher guy, Rev. Jerry Sutton of Tennessee, who they kept showing, who actually said the title of this post (in reference to the "fact" that India is the most religous country, and Sweden is the most irreligious . . . and that somehow that makes the above statement appropriate.). The evening's "Moment of Zen was actually the opposite of Zen for me- it was Sutton bloviating further on the image he has of modern America:

"It's a new day . . ." What? Sunday? No, pretty sure that one has been around a while. You of all people should know that.

"Liberalism is dead." You folks just keep telling yourselves that.

"The majority of Americans are conservative." Well, I guess if you can define Pi as 3, you can call 30% a "majority."

"You can count on us for showing up and speaking out." Well goody for us.

"And ... let the church rise." Yep, right into the ceiling fan for all I care.


What kills me about Justice Sunday is the sheer mythology upon which the entire Evangelical Right bases its arguments. I'm not talking about the mythology of the Bible- everyone knows that they'd just as soon ignore that completely in order to acheive their political ends. I'm talking about the collection of beliefs that have emerged in recent years that feed their continued political fire.

These beliefs:

1. There is a group of evil leftists that want to shut up the religious right. This group alternates between the ACLU, the NEA, Amnesty International, PETA (for some reason), NOW, MoveOn, etc etc. The ambiguity here is due to the fact that none of these groups actually care to eliminate the Christian voice, but whenever there is an issue at hand in which any group opposes the Right, they call "persecution" and claim that it's all part of a bigger scheme to eliminate God from public life. I'm sure we'd all like it if Rev. Sutton would shut up, but hey, it's his right to make idiotic comparisons between the U.S. and India.

2. America is a "Christian Nation." OK, most Americans do identify as "Christian." Fair enough (although Christians in general are down 8 percent since 1990, blowing away the notion that the Christian Right is growing). But when you ask people whether or not religous belief should be mandated by the government, they tend to disagree. Americans may be a Christian people (about 80 percent), but as a whole they are not crusaders, theocrats or witchburners. Like John Stewart said after a clip of Zell Miller decrying the fact that there are warning signs against smoking by gas pumps but no way to warn people of the consequences of a sinful life: The government SHOULD try to keep us from being engulfed by flames in this world, and that's pretty much it.

3. The best way to improve a nation's morality is to impose it upon them by law. Uh huh. They really believe this. Why else would a group of evangelicals gather to try and change the course of government? Because they believe the best way toward a moral nation is to make religious dogma into law. Of course, the really slimy evangelicals like Dobson may only be in this for the cash, it's entirely likely, probable even that he and other megachurch folks just know that Christ is good business. But there are the freaky folk like Zell Miller who kept coming back to the idea that we need Christianity to be mandated by the Supreme Court- or at least, pseudo-Christian ideals like abortion bans, school prayer mandates and prohibitions of same-sex unions. They want to see this because they believe that this kind of control will be better for everyone- leaders and led alike.

But what's so nutty is that the evil, irreligious places like Sweden and Western Europe (what Dobson referred to as "that most liberalist place on the planet") have the kinds of social tranquility that evangelicals can only dream of. Low crime, low rates of teen pregnancies, low divorce rates.

But, of course, those evil liberals are getting results by doing things the wrong way- by creating open and permissive societies rather than regulated and constricted societies, so they are all still going to Hell. So it's really better if we all just shut up and let the evangelicals take over, so we can all lead moral lives over which the government has ultimate control. Because there is no better way to profess one's faith than to cram it down the throats of others.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

sigh.

You know what?

I would suggest to the Church that it has far more pressing issues at hand than a sure-to-be-crappy Ron Howard movie based on a crappy book. Considering that they are currently helmed by a former Nazi Sith Lord and can't seem to be rid of troubling law suits involving pederasty, you'd think that the establishment Church would have bigger fish to fry than whether or not a WORK OF FICTION (and a pretty bad one at that) will threaten the foundations of the faith.

But what do I know, I'm just a godless heathen.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Tuesday Lists

First, a lesson.

Don't rely on your VCR to know that the cable system has changed. Otherwise, you will rewind your tape to discover not the full Sunday Night Adult Swim lineup, but three hours of the Golf Channel.

Dammit.

And now, the lists:

SURPRISING HOBBIES OF WELL-KNOWN DESPOTS

1. Stalin: Crocheting.
2. Pol Pot: Tole painting.
3. Frederick the Great of Prussia: Scrapbooking.
4. Tamerlane: Bocce ball.
5. Ceausescu: Pottery.


PRODUCTS AVAILABLE FOR SALE AT JOSH GROBAN'S WEBSITE:

1. The Per Te cookbook, a compilation of recipes from Groban's fans
2. A Josh Groban T-shirt wearing teddy bear
3. Josh Groban aromatherapy travel candles
4. Josh Groban logo CD-R discs

Monday, August 15, 2005

I do agree that "struggle" seems more apropos

Rummy sez it's not a "war" per se.

Bush keeps gleefully using the word "war" any chance he can get.

So what's really going on in Iraq?

Well, for one, the Pentagon seems to be seriously lowering its expectations on what it hopes will be accomplished in Iraq:

The United States no longer expects to see a model new democracy, a self-supporting oil industry or a society where the majority of people are free from serious security or economic challenges, U.S. officials say.


Okaaaay . . . kinda like how I no longer expect to be married by 30 and am now looking at the brochures on a fabulous future in spinsterhood.

But just what is going on? It is a struggle that now has no pre-set conclusion of a democratic, self-supporting nation. There is no end point. The nation-building tangent has now been eliminated, so now the Bush administration is just looking for a way to bug out and say "we tried," then go on with the "struggle" in Iran. Even the most ardent Bush cheerleader has to admit that this is pretty lame. Right?

Oh, no.

From Free Republic, in response to this article:

"I have seen no confusion on Bush's part. He has been consistent and anytime he varied it was in response to hypothetical questions to which he supplied hypothetical answers.

This is part of the Democrat game plan to build up to a big crescendo nearing the elections. They intend to present the war as a failure with ill defined and confused goals. If the confusion is not there they will just declare it is anyway. It is BashBush in overdrive."


Well, presenting the war as a failure with ill-defined and confused goals will certainly present an uphill battle on the part of the Democrats. Seeing as how even the Pentagon is now characterizing it as basically a lost cause.

As Jesse Taylor at Pandagon sums up, we were told this was a war to construct, to renew, to rebuild, to begin a new era in the Middle East of freedom and democracy. Not that I ever believed that for a moment, but there were certainly people who did. And now we are presented with the possibility that Iraq will become one of the largest failed states on the planet. And the administration is admitting to it.

What did we build? What "democracy" did we spread? How will those faithful to Bush characterize the failure of Iraq, of our failure to turn it into anything but another Islamic republic, vulnerable to attack within and without its borders? Our only hope is that the fact that even the administration is lowering its expectations will stir some to understand that this was truly never about democracy, freedom or the improvement of life for the Iraqi people. Of course, none of us are pleased about the failure of Iraq, but those of us who expected this all along can at least look at it with a feeling of hope that perhaps it will act as a catalyst for change.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Had to share

For my birthday, I received a very old, very heavy antique typewriter from my parents. My mom was trying to explain to me how I could aquire ribbon and other parts for it.


Mom: So if you ever need anything, you'll need to look online . . .

Wee Vespa: And you can't, because it's a typewriter.



I don't know why this was so funny, but it was. I'm smiling right now just thinking about it.

And with that, I begin the weekend.

Until Monday . . .

Cat and music blogging

What could be better?


Audrey on her favorite rug . . .

AND

Denver metro concert update:

1. Looks like Oasis and Kasabian are coming to Red Rocks September 20 for what I will call the "Pompous Belligerent Asshole Summer Tour." Too bad I like the sound of both bands . . . they seem like groups that would be really fun to dislike.

2. Nine Inch Nails, Queens of the Stone age and Autolux are headed to the Pepsi Center in October for a concert that is sure to bring together at least two generations of pasty white guys with notebooks full of poetry using the word "tortured."

3. System of the Down, The Mars Volta and Bad Acid Trip, Oct. 2 at the Pepsi Center. Word to the wise- this is going to be like a good music sandwich made with crap for bread. I intend to wait for the day when SOAD is opening for The Mars Volta, then it might be worth going. By then the tweens who listen to SOAD and cry about girlfriends named Hayleigh will probably have gotten over it. Probably.

4. Rufus Wainwright, Ben Lee and Ben Folds, Aug. 16 at the Fillmore. This could be cool, but I envision the crowd as a Chex Mix of supersensitive gay guys, starry-eyed piano girls with reluctant boyfriends and plenty of college girls. Might not be worth it.

5. White Stripes, Aug. 22 at Red Rocks (I dig the color + object combo. They should have a festival with the White Stripes, the Legendary Pink Dots, Green Day and Black Flag at Red Rocks . . . or maybe not). Come for Jack White's mental illness, stay for Meg White's enthusiastic, if not terribly complex drum antics.

6. Tom Petty, Aug. 30 and 31 at Red Rocks. Yes, I'm going. No, I'm not really a huge "fan" of Tom Petty, I mean, he's alright and I love "American Girl." But in my house, growing up, you listened to Tom Petty. To say you don't like him would be like saying you didn't like oxygen.

7. Tori Amos, Sept. 5 at Red Rocks (man, the Rocks are having a killer lineup this fall). I was not one of those "Tori" girls growing up, you know, the kinds of girls, with their glitter makeup and their well-practiced smirks and dyed red hair and their Trent Reznor boyfriends and their own notebooks full of "tortured" poetry. But I still dig her, and she always tears it up at Red Rocks.

8. Devo and Flock of Seagulls at Coors Amphitheater (formerly known as Fiddler's Green. Before Colorado was officially owned by beer). The "Whip It" video is among my first television memories. Kinda explains the subsequent weirdness I exhibited as a child.

9. Henry Rollins, Macky Auditorium (Boulder), Nov. 5. Hells yeah.

Passing us by (damn you!):

Beck- sticking to the coasts. Bastard. I wanted to see "Que Onda Guero" live, dammit!He's also touring with Le Tigre this year. Double dammit.

Dolly Parton- six dates in freakin' Canada, none in flyover country. Bloody hell.

Cake- Sticking to California, Oregon and the East Coast this year. Fine. You know what? I didn't even like "No Phone" that much. Okay, yeah, I did.

Coldplay- What? The rain from last time scare you off? You're from freakin' ENGLAND.

An ad in Westword today prompted me to consider heading to Vegas for the Las Vegoose festival. I'm no Dave Matthews fan (a couple of years living in Boulder will either suck you into the Dave Matthews Vortex or sour you on them forever) but Flaming Lips, The Arcade Fire, The Shins and Ween could be fun.

Plus, it's Vegas, baby.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

24

At 2:17 p.m. today, I'll be officially 24 years old. It used to be that birthdays were mostly just an excuse to dive head-first into cake and expect presents. I guess that hasn't really changed, but birthdays have grown to be a little more significant as I get older, and have become times that I allow myself even more introspection than usual.

In looking at the 1981 page on Wikipedia, I see that there were a lot of chaotic events that year. I can only imagine what my parents were thinking, at 22 and 23, expecting their first kid and watching Peter Jennings deliver news about Reagan being shot, bombings in Israel, hostage situations in the Atlanta FBI building and the first emerging cases of AIDS. Not to mention the anxiety they probably already were feeling due to encroaching student loan payments and tuition costs for my dad at CU. Not to mention the fact that somehow, Christopher Cross swept the Grammies for "Sailing."

What's my point? Well, I often tell people now that this is no world to bring a kid into. That I wouldn't do that to a kid, that I wouldn't bring a child into this kind of environment. But I'm glad and grateful to my parents that they did bring me into this broken world. If they had waited for a perfect world, I'd never had been born.

So thanks, folks. There is a lot wrong with this world, to be sure, and I am guilty of focusing on that more than I should. But I'm glad to be in it anyway.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

It's not that it's windy in Colorado

It's just that Kansas blows so much.
('cept K.C., Ass. Of course.)


You got a little something . . . right there.

I mean, Jesus Christ on a Nordictrac, just what IS the matter with Kansas?

Intelligent design. Here's the problem: one, we are not designed as if by a perfect being. We are screwed up. Walking upright is a bad idea, really, and we are not optimally designed for it, so either we were "designed" by a pretty crappy engineer, or we were formed over generations of genetic trial and error. Where's your god now, Intelligent Design believers? Second, why would "true" believers need to hear about intelligent design from their teachers? If they are among the faithful, they will already have heard about it and will believe accordingly. Teaching intelligent design in schools would be pointless for them, and would only serve to proselytize the kids whose parents had the good sense to send them to public school instead of keeping them at home and telling them that dinosaurs are really "Jesus Lizards" and were known to have hung out with Adam and Eve. 6000 year old earth and all that.

If I had been Dorothy, I'd have blown that popsicle stand and stayed in Oz, munchkins, talking trees and evil green women notwithstanding.

I have been saying lately that I don't believe that anyone in the White House or at the Federal level has any real interest in pressing far-reaching, faith-centered policies, and I more or less stand by that. Even if Rick Santorum wants to outlaw IVF clinics, he's not going to get too far with that because Bush and pals have much bigger, more profitable fish to fry. But the real danger does lie in local politics- it is at the local (state, city, school-board and even corporate) level where these initiatives are coming into play. In Colorado, you've got Bill Owens saying that the religious concerns of a hospital override the privacy and health needs of a rape victim. Cities in Texas and Kentucky demand the right to display an old movie promo of the 10 Commandments on courthouse lawns. Local pharmacists are claiming they have the right to refuse to dispense contraception and the Morning After Pill on religious grounds.

The trouble is that on the local level, in smaller populations, it is easier to gain support for measures that would not pass on the Federal level. The old conservative argument goes that if people have a problem with these kinds of measures, they can leave the area in which they are in effect.

But tell that to this woman, a mother of six whose husband's condom broke. She was refused the morning-after pill and resorted to abortion, after being so berated by the pharmacist as a "babykiller" that she didn't seek out a second outlet to get her prescription. While Walgreens is a corporation, and as such allows its pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions on moral grounds, laws protecting such decisions are up for debate in some states. If the issue was a matter of state law, could she have simply left the state? Not likely- if she couldn't afford to have a seventh child, chances are good that a move would have been financialy impossible. And what of the kids who are not down with the idea of Intelligent Design? Can they leave the class? Not likely either, seeing as how if they are attending public school their parent or parents probably can't afford a private one and their families probably couldn't afford to uproot the family and leave town.

Again, I don't know that I foresee federal laws reinforcing these local statutes. But it is just as troubling that they are gaining support on the state and local level.

**edited for semantic correctness, per Dex in comments**

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Tuesday Lists- Birthday Edition

Yep, on Thursday I'll be almost a quarter of a century old.

I am told this is not old, but being that it is the oldest I've ever been, it is a little daunting.

So for today's list, and for a little cosmic perspective, here's what else has gone on on Aug. 11, in the past five millennia or so:

3114 BC - beginning of our current era in the Maya Long Count Calendar
480 BC - Persians under Xerxes defeat Spartans under King Leonidas in the Battle of Thermopylae. The Spartans fought to the last man.
480 BC - The Persian and Greek fleets also fight the indecisive Battle of Artemisium.
1858 - First ascent of the Eiger.
1918 - World War I - Battle of Amiens ends
1919 - Constitution of Weimar Republic adopted
1920 - The Latvia - Soviet Russia peace treaty which relinquished Russia`s authority and pretences to Latvian nation and territory for all time. In 1940 the Soviet Union unilaterally broke this Treaty and occupied Latvia
1929 - Babe Ruth becomes the first baseball player to hit 500 home runs in his career with a home run at League Park in Cleveland, Ohio.
1934 - Federal prison opened at Alcatraz Island
1943 - World War II - First Quebec Conference of Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, T. V. Soong and William Lyon Mackenzie King begins.
1948 - Olympic games open in London
1951 - René Pleven becomes Prime Minister of France
1952 - Hussein proclaimed king of Jordan
1960 - Chad declares independence
1965 - Race riots begin in Watts area of Los Angeles, California
1966 - John Lennon held a press conference in Chicago excusing himself from the "Jesus affair"
1970 - A trademark application by the Van Brode Milling Company for the word Spork was published by the USPTO.
1972 - Last United States ground combat unit departs South Vietnam
1987 - Alan Greenspan becomes Chairman of the United States Federal Reserve.
1991- The three original Nicktoons, Doug, Rugrats, and The Ren and Stimpy Show make their debuts on the Nickelodeon cable channel. (I remember this!)
1995 - A TTC subway accident took place when a southbound train hit the back of a stationary train, killing three people. see Russell Hill Subway accident.
1999 - A total solar eclipse visible from Europe and Asia.
2003 - NATO takes over command of the peacekeeping force in Afghanistan, marking its first major operation outside Europe in its 54-year-history.
2003 - Jemaah Islamiyah leader Riduan Isamuddin, better known as Hambali, is arrested in Bangkok, Thailand.


And here's who else celebrates a birthday on my day:
1667 - Anna Maria Luisa de' Medici, last of the Medicis (d. 1743)
1673 - Richard Mead, English physician (d. 1754)
1718 - Sir Frederick Haldimand, soldier (d. 1791)
1794 - James Barton Longacre, American engraver (d. 1869)
1807 - David Rice Atchison, American politician (d. 1886)
1833 - Robert G. Ingersoll, American politician and soldier (d. 1899)
1833 - Kido Takayoshi, Japanese politician (d. 1877)
1870 - Tom Richardson, English cricketer (d. 1912).
1872 - Shidehara Kijuro, Prime Minister of Japan (d. 1951)
1892 - Eiji Yoshikawa, novelist (d. 1962)
1897 - Louise Bogan, American poet (d. 1970)
1902 - Alfredo Binda, Italian cyclist (d. 1986)
1902 - Lloyd Nolan, actor (d. 1982)
1905 - Erwin Chargaff, biochemist (d. 2002)
1912 - Eva Ahnert-Rohlfs, astronomer (d. 1954)
1912 - Thanom Kittikachorn, Prime Minister of Thailand (d. 2004)
1913 - Angus Wilson, British novelist (d. 1991)
1919 - Ginette Neveu, French violinist (d. 1949)
1921 - Alex Haley, historian, novelist (d. 1992)
1925 - Carl Rowan, journalist
1932 - Fernando Arrabal, playwright, novelist
1933 - Jerry Falwell, Christian preacher and politician (Well, crappy birthday to you, jerkwad)
1943 - Abigail Folger, American coffee heiress (d. 1969)
1943 - Pervez Musharraf, Pakistani general and leader
1944 - Ian McDiarmid, actor
1946 - Marilyn vos Savant, newspaper columnist
1950 - Gennidy Nikonov, weapons inventor
1950 - Steve Wozniak, American computer pioneer
1952 - Harry Tavitian, Romanian Jazz musician
1953 - Hulk Hogan, professional wrestler (cool!)
1954 - Joe Jackson, singer
1954 - Juan Maria Solare, composer and pianist
1955 - Sylvia Hermon, British politician
1957 - Richie Ramone, American drummer (The Ramones) (Hey Ho! Let's go!)
1964 - Jim Lee, comic book artist and publisher
1967 - Joe Rogan, comedian, television host
1967 - Enrique Bunbury, Spanish rock singer/songwriter
1970 - Andy Bell, bass player (Oasis)
1972 - Jonathon Prandi, American male model
1974 - Audrey Mestre, freediver
1980 - Lee Suggs, American football player

And as an interesting side note, August 11 is also the day that our part of the world gets to see the Perseids Meteor Shower. And in Zimbabwe, they celebrate Heroes Day on Aug. 11.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Affectionately known as the "Cowboy State"

For anyone who was trying to reach me this past weekend, I apologize. There is no cell phone service in Wyoming.

Why was I in Wyoming? There has to be a reason, because people do not go to Wyoming for no reason. It's not like Vegas. Yes, there was a reason. I went to spend some time with my Grandparents, whom I have not seen in at least a year, probably more. It was all in the spirit of putting bad things behind us and trying to rebuild a relationship that has, at least since my graduation from high school, usually been cool and distant at best, cold, silent and tense at worst.

Where was I in Wyoming? Cheyenne? Laramie? Jackson Hole? No. Hanna, Wyoming. Situated on a coal seam and with an ever-dwindling population of miners, made ever-more unnecessary by high-technology mining equipment and safer practices. But a mere two generations ago, when my grandparents lived and mined in Hanna, there was no strip mining. Only the cold, dark and exceedingly dangerous man-made caverns underground.

I learned a lot about what it was like living in these places in the first half of the 20th century, and although I was really, really dreading the trip with its requisite derision about my hairstyle, piercings, the dreaded baggage associated with selling my grandmother's car, I was pleasantly surprised.

Sadly, most of what the grandparents had to show me was where things once were- the cottonwood-lined grove where a dance pavilion once stood, the sagebrush-flocked flat spot next to the coal mine where their company-owned home once faced Elk Mountain- it was interesting to get some insight into the lives that miners led in that part of the country. I was surprised at the diversity- Finnish, black, Mexican, Japanese, Italian and Greek miners worked side-by-side and lived in the same towns (until, of course, the Japanese were all whisked away during the war).

So, I'm sorry if anyone tried to call or email this weekend. I was in Wyoming. About fifty years ago.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Novak, leaving CNN?

Sounds like Novak knows he's in hot water.

My guess: He'll give us the old "I am leaving to spend more time with my family" line.

You know, to hang out with his wife, Baba Yaga, at their house.

As you wish . . .

Funny thing- we went to see "The Princess Bride" on Red Rocks this week, and I was struck by the underlying political plot of the film. You have a corrupt and evil prince who decides to plant false intelligence blaming Gilder for the kidnapping of his popular bride-to-be, thereby starting a war. Nobody's sure why he really wants to start the war, but he has this whole elaborate plan on how to kill his wife and blame the sworn enemy of Florin for it.

Sounds familiar, right?

What really tied it up for me was when the Prince is telling his advisor that he'd heard that Gilder was going to murder Princess Buttercup. The advisor guy says "Our spies have heard no such thing."

Imagine.

Now if we could only find our own Miracle Max to help us get out of this mess.

"Have fun storming the castle!"

Well, while you all ponder that, here is a vacation picture for you:


A Route 66 cafe near Raton, N.M. Is that a yellow Valiant?

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Heh.


For all my trekkie friends . . . although I'm not entirely sure the analogy here is all that apropos.

I was driving to the Park and Ride this morning and listening to NPR, which has been steadily disappointing me lately (Nothing like waking up to Rick Santorum blathering on about how persecuted he is just because he stands for the American Family . . . it's enough to put you off your breakfast) and they were discussing the Bolton appointment. The spokeswoman for Bolton was talking about how she believes his new approach will lead to a new direction of success in the UN . . . and the NPR guy was just kind of eating it up. It bugged me.

I mean, where else but in the bizarro Bush administration would this guy get appointed to anything? Imagine:

MANAGER AT HOT-DOG-ON-A-STICK: Mr. Bolton, why do you want to work at Hot-Dog-On-A-Stick?

BOLTON: I fuckin' hate Hot-Dog-On-A-Stick. In fact, there is no such thing as Hot-Dog-On-A-Stick, only the greater mall collective, which can only be led by the one remaining anchor store, Macys. If 10 Hot-Dog-On-A-Stick franchises across the nation blew up, it wouldn't make any difference.

MANAGER AT HOT-DOG-ON-A-STICK: Ohhhkay. Um, we'll just check your references and get back to you.

BOLTON: The American shopper can no longer be fed the worthless crap that comes from Hot-Dog-On-A-Stick.

MANAGER AT HOT-DOG-ON-A-STICK: Riiight.

Then the district manager would wait until the manager was off his shift and go ahead and hire the sociopath, and Bolton would refuse to wear the dorky outfit and would constantly be trying to sabotage and steal from the Hot-Dog-On-A-Stick.

Seriously, though- this can't be good. In six weeks, the UN is going to be working on sweeping reforms to change the UN supposedly for the better, but in one of the most prominent spots we have a guy whose management style makes the guy from "The Office" look like supervisor of the year by comparison.

My theory (well, not really MY theory, I've seen it elsewhere) is that the Bush administration has no use for the UN and is sending this guy in to gut it, block up any chance for positive reform, and spin the blame to land squarely on the shoulders of the organization, not Bolton.

But what is even scarier is that Bolton could plainly NOT get appointed through the correct channels, and received his new job in a back-door manner that shows the Senate, the voters and the world that no protocol is going to stop Bushie from getting his way. Not cool. Not cool at all.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

His invite must have gotten lost in the mail

Looks like Frist was snubbed for the planned Justice Sunday II.

This is kind a funny because a: Frist is losing support among the embryo-huggers and b: Frist, it would seem, is distancing himself from the embryo-huggers, implying that their votes don't matter all that much to him. And judging by recent poll numbers, the "Snowflake" crowd is in the minority.

Which means, in the end, both of them- Frist AND the hardcore fetus cult- will lose some of their pull.

Meanwhile, the poster child for why Intelligent Design is probably NOT a viable theory has not only stated that ID should be taught in schools, but he's also saying that he will veto the stem-cell bill, should it ever come across his desk.

Proving again that Bush isn't supported by any mandate.

You gotta wonder what happens now?

A brain-dead woman in Virginia has given birth to a baby girl, nearly four months after she was rushed to the hospital and declared brain dead with no hope of recovery.

So they kept her alive, and delivered the child.

Now what?

Man, brain dead women who have babies. Sounds like a Bill Frist fantasy scenario.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Tuesday List

So nice I decided to post it twice:

Top Five Vietnam-themed NRO Epithets for Jessica Simpson, by HWRNMNBSOL:

5. Jessicampuchea
4. The Goof of Tonkin
3. Daisy Duc
2. Simpson Simpson French Indochinese isn't it?

And #1: The Tit Offensive

(Just "Jessicampuchea" is worth the price of admission. If there were a price of admission.)

MIGHT HAVE BEEN BETTER CHOICES FOR UN AMBASSADOR THAN JOHN BOLTON:

1. The Incredible Hulk
2. Yosemite Sam
3. Gary Bussey
4. Ozzy Osbourne
5. A vial of unstable hydrogen cyanide
6. A starved, baited grizzly bear
7. Jessica Simpson
8. Elizabeth Taylor
9. Dakota Fanning
10. Swamp Thing
11. Nero

NTodd, Internet Sugar Daddy

I changed my gravatar from the South Park cognate to the classic pic of Uma Thurman on the Pulp Fiction poster not too long ago . . . and it has prompted a number of clever and amusing Pulp Fiction moments on the Atrios boards, including one where NTodd, of Dohiyi Mir offered to buy me a $5 shake at Jackrabbit slims.

In jest, I said that I accept paypal.

So this morning, I open my e-mail to find that $5 in real money has, indeed, been transferred to my paypal account.

Thanks, NTodd . . . I'll meet ya at Mamie Van Doren's table.

In other news, I'm a guest blogger now over at the Colorado Soapblox. Check it out- we're trying to build a state-specific sort of Daily Kos thing.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Goofy

This guy gets paid to blog.

Oh, excuse me, "Eblog."

I dig Kirk, he's a funny guy, he sneaks in these great double entendres during the 9news newscasts and he's easily the funniest TV news personality in Denver. But his blog reads like that of a hyperactive gay 14-year old:
"Blow Out"

I caught a marathon session of the BRAVO reality show "BLOW OUT" -- I swear the first 20 min, I thought I was watching a Saturday Night Live episode! -- This over the top reality show, follows the trials of a top West Hollywood Hair Dresser! - Jonathan Antin. -- His ego is bigger than ANY News Anchor I've EVER worked with! -- Here was a scene last week.

" You Bi#$@! - I told you to put a Number 3 Ash on her hair!" -- "How can you do this to me?!!" -- (Runs away in Tears) -- This is so campy, so over the top, such a cliche! That I swear it was a skit! My god, you would think these people were working in a "ER"! --


OMG! I so totally thought it was Fake! I had to check the Figure Skating Calendar on my 1950s Vintage pink Frigidaire to Make sure it was Actually Tuesday!

Oy vey.

Gonna make it after all!

So, got all moved in at the new place, a circa 1950 apartment in Governor's Park with a ton of windows and closet space. Which I need because I have an astonishing amount of crap.

You never realize how much crap you have until you move, and then it is a disheartening and guilt-inducing experience. I am ashamed to admit that the largest box we had to move was my box of shoes . . . how did I accumulate so much? Oh, right, because I have been a shoe-obsessed nester since the age of 11. Maybe earlier. I've been furnishing an apartment for just about as long as I can remember, with lots of help from my grandparents, parents and gigs at kitchen and furniture stores. Most of my friends barely have a mattress and a stereo, and I've got enough to very cozily furnish a one-bedroom apartment. Very cozily. What other 24-year-old single girl has vintage armchairs, a collection of vintage tea towels and tablecloths, a vintage Scandinavian china hutch, a full set of vintage German china? So much STUFF. It causes serious issues with the plans I was going to make to become a rootless nomad. Ah well.

So it looks like Rootin Tooton Bolton is heading to the UN. That's just fabulous. Where did I see a version of the American flag with a huge middle finger right in the center? Seems more apropos every day. Mostly because such a large population in America has absolutely no problem with America giving the rest of the world the finger. They revel in it, in fact . . .

I just wonder how long- if at all- it will take for America and the world to recover from eight years of the Bush Doctrine (of course, "Doctrine" implies a consistent, premeditated line of thought, which would make "Bush Doctrine" an unfortunate and ironic misnomer). How long will it take for America's image to be repaired? How long will it take the Middle East to regroup? How long will it take for America to regrow its Blue Collar class? Maybe it will never happen. Maybe the suckitude of this administration will only be expanded upon by the suckitude of future Republican administrations. The spiral of suckitude.