Friday, October 31, 2008
The other morning I stared at nine TV screens for 45 minutes or more at the gym. At a minimum this keeps me touch with American pop culture as filtered through TV networks. Or at least, what they perceive American middle-aged women want to see. Apparently what they think we want to see is more cute young guys.
On the Today show, they had Robert Buckley, who plays Kirby Atwood on the show “Lipstick Jungle”. (Synergy! Cross-promotion! “Lipstick Jungle” is on NBC, as is the Today Show.) And they showed a shirtless shot like this. Sexual orientation unknown by me at this point:
On another channel, Rachel Ray was literally in bed with this guy, Nate Berkus, an Oprah-favored decorator who hosted Oprah’s Big Give show. Oh, and apparently he’s gay, so not much will be happening in that bed, but still, it’s the imagery that counts here:
Video of Rachel and Nate in bed together here:
And on to more serious topics with Fox News Scare Tactics. These are phrases or topics I saw on Fox News. Nothing is made up here, it’s all true:
- Obama once toasted a Palestinian terrorist at a party – naturally! He and Bill Ayers were with him at a party once! Eek!
- “what will be the effect of a Democratic “super-majority” on the economy?” I’m sure it will be instantaneous socialism. And what’s with the use of the word “super-majority”? This is what makes me think these are scare tactics. What they mean is Democractic-controlled White House and Congress, what we had during the first GW Bush term;
- McCain is having a “Joe the Plumber” rally. That’s literally what they called it. It sounds like something from a preschool show – Bob the Builder, Joe the Plumber. Don’t get me started on the Joe the Plumber thing. Is he supposed to have some kind of persuasive power over me? You’ve got to be kidding.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Guest blogger Dr. Carla Seal-Wanner has a report on her experience voting absentee in New York City. Sounds like she had a wonderful experience! And, based on my personal experience, performing any bureaucratic activity in New York City is not usually pleasant, so kudos to the state employees at 200 Varick St. (Photo was taken by someone voting in 2008 primaries in NYC, unfortunately at 45 Wall St., not at 200 Varick St. Posted at New York Times Polling Place Photo Project.)
Trivia about 200 Varick St. I was unsuccessfully looking for a photo of this building to spice up this post, but I did find out that the building also houses B & J Magazine, Designers and Illustrators Christmas Card Co., a Chipotle Grill (when I lived in NYC a million years ago, there would never have been a chain restaurant at this location!), Debs Catering, Omnicom Advertising, H&H Woodworking, and is the mailing address for S.O.B's, a world music club across the street where I went for a couple of dates in the early 90's! Also, this item appeared in a police blotter from 2003: Varick St. fire:
A man working on aviation instruments in a laboratory at 200 Varick St. just south of Houston St. spilled a small amount of a highly flammable chemical onto a hotplate on Sun., Nov. 30, causing temporary evacuation of the building. The man sustained minor facial burns when about two ounces of the spilled liquid, benzyl peroxide, flared up.
Today I had the exhilarating experience of voting absentee in New York City. Yes, exhilarating! I applied for an absentee ballot when I decided to take the month off and work for the candidate of my choice in a battleground state through Election Day. Alas, it did not arrive in the mail so I drove back from New Hampshire to pick up an application and cast my vote. I could not have anticipated the uplifting experience I had ahead of me.
As I walked into the old marble lobby of 200 Varick Street and attempted to sign in at the front desk, an older African American gentleman with the impossible task of directing the steady stream of people called to me, pointing to the elevators, “No need to sign in today…Tenth Floor, Board of Elections?” I replied; “How’d you guess?” “It’s all the rage these days, My Dear!” he exuberantly responded. As I laughed and sardine-squeezed into the elevator he said, “Now get your ID ready, because I’m sure they’ re going to make you prove you are old enough to vote!” “Well, thank you for making my day,” I flirted back, knowing his gift of cordial flattery would be bestowed on many other delighted woman who had been voting for at least thirty-four years. As the heavy doors closed, sending this multicultural gaggle of New Yorkers to do our democratic duty, I muttered that I was surprised to see a crowd early in the morning. They concurred with a tone tacitly admitting that our plans for getting in and out fast were doomed.
These worries were confirmed as I turned in my absentee ballot application to wait for it to be processed and took one of the last empty seats in a room full of -- I’m guessing … 8 rows across by 12 chairs deep … approximately 100 voters ? Yikes! One hour and a half later, I had read the NYT’s thoroughly, along with Michael Chabon’s perspicacious Obama & The Conquest of Denver and Joseph Lelyveld’s shrewdly disturbing John & Sarah in St. Paul in The New York Review of Books (fair and balanced reading?) while actively eavesdropping on the fascinating reasons folks revealed to each other about why they were voting absentee.
Sitting around me in the laminated chair-desks we all suffered numb buttocks from in our student pasts were lawyers who were going to be poll watchers across the country; students and other citizens of all ages who, like me, were going to battleground states to work for a certain candidate; workers whose time shifts prohibit them from voting; executives who will be out of town for a meeting; elderly voters anxious about navigating the long lines anticipated with an unprecedented turnout; a Columbian man that recently became an American citizen who has to leave town to care for an ill relative but is determine to cast his vote for the very first time; and many others who offered up exceptional reasons for voting early. By the time my name was called to collect the precious approved ballot and cast my vote, we had shared salient life stories related to the hopes and dreams we have for this election. Extraordinarily, in a room full of busy New Yorkers no one complained rudely about the long wait!
The fellowship I discovered in this room packed full of citizens from all walks of life was not the only unexpected delight of this civic endeavor. The Board of Election Officials, notoriously (perhaps unfairly?) gruff by reputation, fulfilled their critically important administrative responsibilities with a reassuring competence and grace. Without patronizing they dutifully instructed us to be careful to follow directions exactly when filling in our ballots and properly seal the envelope afterwards. Listening so intently I may have momentarily transitioned into slow motion, determined not to make a stupid error that could cancel my vote. Complicit in our raw awareness that getting this election correct is paramount, both the teacher and student exhibited a generous dose of patience, respect and warmth. This alliance producing confidence that there will be no hanging, butterfly or any other sort of rejected chads at 200 Varick Street, NY. “Not this time, not this year…there is too much at stake,” to paraphrase one of the presidential candidates.
As I handed in my sealed ballot, the cheerful (I’m not exaggerating) official who took it from my hand, smiled and thanked me. “No, thank you, for the good work!” I returned, pleasantly disarmed. Walking back toward the elevator, dodging the next rainbow-colored crowd arriving to repeat my democratic exercise, the pride I felt was reflected back at them in my tear-filled eyes. Man, my inner choked-up voice was saying, this election really is like none other in my lifetime.
I exited the building under its downtown shadow, reached for my cell phone and called my college sophomore daughter to make plans for our drive back to Belknap County, New Hampshire to help Get Out The Vote.
Dr. Carla Seal-Wanner, children’s educational media expert, formerly Director of Columbia University’s Graduate Program in Instructional Technology and Media, current Education Director of ClimateCartoons.org.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Down the street from my house, I saw a Ralph Nader yard sign! Wow. That's someone who's really disenchanted. This is what it looked like.
"Barack Obama accused Republican rival John McCain on Wednesday of stooping to low tactics by labeling the Democrat a socialist. "I don't know what's next," Obama, the presidential candidate, said at an outdoor rally in North Carolina. "By the end of the week, he'll be accusing me of being a secret communist because I shared my toys in kindergarten. I shared my peanut butter and jelly sandwich."
Obama ridicules McCain charges he's socialist, A.P., October 29, 2008
And this article gets at exactly what I'm talking about. It's certainly not radical to advocate that government "redistribute wealth". In fact, it's one of the main functions of government. "Spread It Around: Barack Obama favors redistributing wealth. So does John McCain", Jacob Weisberg, Slate, Nov. 1, 2008
China Infant Formula Scandal Highlights Decline in Breastfeeding
by Julie Bhatia, Sept. 24, 2008
Behind Milk Scandal, a Decline in Breastfeeding, Maureen Fan, Washington Post, October 25, 2008
Behind the Tainted Formula Pomfret's China, Washington Post blog, Sept. 17, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
Your result for The TV Addict Test...
THE ABOVE-AVERAGE WATCHER
TV is pretty darn sweet!
You scored 38 TV Obsession points out of 75!
You are more than an occasional watcher, but you wouldn't necessarily call yourself an addict of any sort. You likely watch great shows like House or Heroes every week, but it's really unlikely you'd ever go to a convention.
I recommend for you: The Office, Supernatural, and Burn Notice.
If you're curious about the pictures, send me a message!
Well, I'm totally addicted to Torchwood, so I guess that's an exception, and I'd probably go to a convention for it, too.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
Photo taken by jhava on LiveJournal
Friday, October 17, 2008
McCain Forced to Fight for Virginia, Washington Post article, Oct. 17, 2008.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
I’m not personally all that interested in marriage. However, the legal protections for spouses and children are unparalleled. Civil unions can never replicate all the protections and legal rights that marriage guarantees. This is especially true when federal law doesn’t recognize any civil unions or marriages between same sex couples. Federal law provides many marital benefits that state law cannot (e.g. Social Security). In addition, the right to marry is important symbolically, as it acknowledges that same-sex relationships deserve the same legal protections as traditional straight couples.
So it’s a big deal whenever a state recognizes the right of same-sex couples to marry. And Connecticut has just done that.
Gay Marriage is Ruled Legal in CT (NYTimes)
Text of CT Supreme Court decision
Pretty soon New England is going to be a gay mecca. Gay marriage is legal in Massachusetts, gay civil unions are legal in Vermont and New Hampshire, and Maine has legal domestic partnerships that provide many of the same rights as civil unions. (see NYTimes article link above)
This article also describes the development of indie films, which is pretty interesting.
From Indie Chic to indie, Sheesh
And, just because I can, here's the trailer for "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist":
Friday, October 10, 2008
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Your result for The Perception Personality Image Test...
NBPC - The Daydreamer
Nature, Background, Big Picture, and Color
You perceive the world with particular attention to nature. You focus on the hidden treasures of life (the background) and how that fits into the larger picture. You are also particularly drawn towards the colors around you. Because of the value you place on nature, you tend to find comfort in more subdued settings and find energy in solitude. You like to ponder ideas and imagine the many possibilities of your life without worrying about the details or specifics. You are in tune with all that is around you and understand your life as part of a larger whole. You are a down-to-earth person who enjoys going with the flow.
The Perception Personality Types: