Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Sure he's a right wing Fox News loving nutjob,

But will he blend???

The answer my surprise you. Although it shouldn't:

Quick Hits- Champaign

It's been almost two months since we picked up stakes from Harrisburg, where I'd lived for ten years, and moved out west. I figured it was a good point to share some observations on the city, gathered while sitting outside Pekara with a lovely cup of coffee (Ethiopian dark roast, always a good bet.):

-I really could see myself living here for a while, especially if we stay within biking/ walking distance of downtown. I love that there are still a lot of local businesses, and a good number of vegan or adaptable vegetarian options (although it's far from perfect in that respect) foodwise.

-There is a disturbing lack of bagels. From a quick non-scientific tour of the coffeeshops, Dunkin Donuts appears to be the only reliable source for bagels. This is no good. The server I talked to at Pekara confirmed my fears, so it's not just me. Someone needs to fix this situation.

-I've started to notice some of that famous midwestern reticence. The students I've met have been lovely and friendly, but there is definitely a difference when it comes to "townies"- people are not really interested in making eye contact, and it's rare that a smile is returned. I'm not sure if it's because I dress fairly casually around town, so it could be guessed that I'm a student, or if it's just the way people are around here...

-Working from home has definitely made it harder for me to meet people. I've definitely got to go make an effort to do things like go downtown to watch a game at the bar and whatnot (dare I become a Cubs fan in addition to a Red Sox fan?)- this will be a LOT easier when the bars in Champaign go smoke free at the end of the year...

-Steak n' Shake scares me.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

So you like abstinence only education, do ya?

Your tax dollars pay for this man to speak at schools:

My personal favorite comes at about the 4:00 mark, where he goes on about how all the aborted fetuses are thrown in a blender and put into makeup. Not to mention the shame he's heaping on anyone in the audience who may have already had sex, or an abortion, or, god forbid, kissed someone...

Gah! I will say that I think it's great that one of the students was annoyed enough that he got out his camera and filmed this- this is the stuff that these righties won't show when they tape a presentation for teevee or anything like that. This is the stuff that Henry Waxman rightly went after this multi-million dollar industry for spewing (if you do click on that link, spend some time on the Guttmacher Institute website- you'll learn something).

The worst part is, even when you scream at the top of your lungs about this, you get the feeling no one's listening.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Boehner makes a boner?

First, watch the video:

Now let's see that in slow motion (emphasis added):

BLITZER: How much longer will U.S. taxpayers have to shell out $2 billion a week or $3 billion a week as some now are suggesting the cost is going to endure? The loss in blood, the Americans who are killed every month, how much longer do you think this commitment, this military commitment is going to require?

BOEHNER: I think General Petraeus outlined it pretty clearly. We’re making success. We need to firm up those successes. We need to continue our effort here because, Wolf, long term, the investment that we’re making today will be a small price if we’re able to stop al Qaeda here, if we’re able to stabilize the Middle East, it’s not only going to be a small price for the near future, but think about the future for our kids and their kids.

It could be argued that Rep. Boehner was just ignoring the part of the question about Americans dying, but one would think that, in this media savvy world of ours, a politician would be REALLY clear on how he feels about the Americans who die every day fighting an invisible enemy...

What a maroon.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Six years later.

I consider myself clever, after a fashion, and capable of spouting forth nonsense on so many subjects as to make the mind whirl and get myself ten seconds of attention. But there are times, like today, when words fail me.

I was at work that day, like any other Tuesday, bemoaning some project or other, thinking of places I'd rather be. And then the internet went nuts, and everyone was whispering, and "I heard" became the beginning of every sentence for the rest of the day.

"I heard they're telling everyone to go home"

"I heard there was another explosion in San Francisco"

"I heard they blew up a school bus"

The first visual evidence I had was going down to the hotel lobby and standing in the bar. At that moment, the first tower fell. I was dumbstruck. How is it possible?

A month later, I went to see Ani DiFranco just outside of Philadelphia. I'd been to several of her shows, but had never seen a crowd so quiet. There was a yearning there, that we all needed to be entertained, needed to think of something else, needed, maybe, someone to put how we felt into words. That night, she performed a very early version of "Self Evident", and there was one line that stuck out to me then, and still gets me to this day:

"and every borough looked up when it heard the first blast
and then every dumb action movie was summarily surpassed"

Because that was it. We never think of the impermanence of things like buildings, especially not once they become symbols. These buildings are forever. They only disappear in movies.

It didn't take long for arrogant patriotism to take over the country, and an almost nauseating quest for retribution began. And I could go back to fearing for the future our leaders were dragging us towards again. Le sigh.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Mo Rocca gets to the heart of the matter.

And people wonder why I sometimes get offended when I'm referred to as a "guy"???