Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Obama in the rain

We've had eight years of Republican rule, and here we are. Yes, there is plenty of blame to go around. The crisis we're in is not only Republican made, but they're in charge so they get the blame.

The day after the first debate Obama was in Virginia and gave this speech. My favorite line : '..John McCain had plenty to say about me, but nothing to say about you."

In my next president I want inspiration, not division. I want calm and measured response, not jumping like a tick in a skillet. I want a president who reads and thinks for himself, not one who acts on "gut feelings". I want a president who's been poor, who has had to sweat the rent payment or the mortgage, who's had to use or watch their parents use foodstamps.

I want Barack Obama.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Saturdays in the fall...

Will always mean this.

imageFor just over 20 years I participated in or taught color guard, in some form or another, in some school or another. To this day a sunny fall day brings memories flooding back of competition, practice, bus rides, staff meetings. Tearful girls (both joy and sorrow), dealing with rivals and infighting and catfighting and friendships and breakups.

In High School I loved the performance, marching in front of crowds in the big stadiums, trying to get them on their feet, trying to improve my own performance each week. In teaching I fell in love with finding those students who were on the edge - the ones who really didn't 'fit in' with any crowd, but had some small measure of talent and could be molded into a 'guard girl'. Or guy.

My greatest joys were rarely on the field, they were in rehearsal. Watching someone finally catch a triple (or finally catch it FLAT). Watching someone who at the beginning of the season struggled with drop spins now casually do double-time or even peggy spins. Watching that kick-ass section of the flag feature go from a horrendous mess to a thing of beauty over the course of the season.

I miss it.

In marching band there are no superstars. You succeed and fail on the strength of your weakest member. Coach can't sound the buzzer and send in a replacement for a weak second clarinet. Coach can't give a rousing halftime speech to bring everyone back to life for the rest of the show. There's no time-out to give your starters a breather and discuss strategy. It's just you and the music and your instrument (or flag or rifle or body), doing the absolute best you can, trying to do better than last performance, trying to reach perfection.

I love the activity because it forces each member to understand these things, to believe in themselves, to work hard at achieving something that they could not achieve alone. It forces them to strive for something esoteric; not a "win", but to better themselves each time out. Yeah they keep score, but for the best band scores are secondary, something oddly separated from the performance. Your score is important, but it's not most important.

So I sit here today on this amazing fall afternoon, watching my kids run around the yard, and listening to part of me that wants to be in the stands, watching a show, or better yet on the sidelines telling each girl to break a leg as they step on the field. And then holding my breath for the entire performance, waiting to see what wonders they work with the show.

Good luck to everyone out there between the lines today. Break a leg.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Sept. 25th, 2008 - The Day McCain lost the election

image I've felt sorry for McCain for awhile now. Really since he clinched the nomination and handed his campaign over to Rovian surrogates and lobbyists. And supposedly "former" lobbyists.

They've taken a man who really WAS a maverick and unafraid to buck party for principle and turned him into a far-right clone, a mouthpiece for the party.

Then he picks Palin because the party wouldn't accept Joe Leiberman or Tom Ridge. The party loves it, the rest of the country goes "WTF?".

Then he suspends campaigning to go to Washington and fix the bailout bill, even though he's not on that committee and none of the other senators want him there. In fact, his presence helps stall the bill. He tries to postpone the debates, including (inexplicably) the Vice-Presidential steamroll smack-down debate. He disses Dave Letterman, then goes on TV with Katie. And visits with Bill Clinton's Global Intiative the next day.

Goodbye, Senator McCain. Enjoy your remaining time in the Senate, your nine houses, thirteen cars, and trophy wife. You've not only let the party sink your chances to be President, you've likely expended all of your political capital in doing so. I don't know how you salvage it at this point, or why you'd want to.

I'm sure some major multi-national corporation will pay you to lobby for them when your term is up.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Stephen King's "N."

Now this looks cool. I haven't watched the entire thing yet. I'm waiting for some uninterrupted time.
I'm not sure how to describe the look - comic book animation with depth is about the best I can think of. It's really moody and well done, what I've seen so far.

The story "N." is apparently going to be in King's next anthology, "Just After Sunset", and some editions will include a DVD with this video on it.
The video is free on the web at the link.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Slander! Outrage!

From Slashdot:

"Eoin Colfer, the Irish author of a number of books (including the popular children's book series 'Artemis Fowl'), has been directly approached by Douglas Adam's widow, Jane Belson, to write a sixth book to continue the (even more) increasingly inaccurately named Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy trilogy."


Is nothing sacred? Surely they can't need the money that would come from this farce. First it was Gone With The Wind, then The Godfather, then the Wheel of Time series, now this?

The Hitchhiker's books are sacrosanct. Unique works of glee and genius, they can't be duplicated. Anyone who tries is on a fool's errand. Adams unique brand of whimsy and farce is not something that can be "continued".

The man is gone. Let the books stand alone.

In other news, Tad Williams has been asked to write the next book in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, and John Irving is reportedly working on "A Christmas Carol: Continued."

Friday, September 12, 2008

Unique 9/11 Remembrance

I give you a link to a unique remembrance of 9/11, from someone who was in the tower. I make no claims as to it's truthfulness, but it's chock full of little details that lead me to believe it completely. Plus, it's from one of my favorite blogs. So there.

Warning: Graphic descriptions, curse words, and racial epithets abound.

Here's the link.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Damn Nickelodeon!

image Now that they've started re-running Family Matters at night, I get to listen to my five and six-year-olds running around snorting, hee-heeing, and saying "Did I do that?" in a nasal voice.

I'd had enough of that on first run of the series.

Family Matters is proof of the death of the sitcom. Stephan Urk'el? Robotic Steves? Horrible.


It's suddenly February and I have a cast. All of them are people I know or have seen onstage, none of them are the people I thought wou...