Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Her Morning Elegance

My favorite video of late, from Oren Lavie. I discovered this ... just after waking from a series of delicious dreams ... at a lovely blogsite: Life at Willow Manor. Willow discovered it via another beautiful site: The Clever Pup. So thanks Oren, Willow, and Clever Pup. All three are well worth spending time with.

Now, join the nearly four million people who have viewed this video. And read the lyrics below.

Her Morning Elegance
by Oren Lavie

un been down for days
A pretty flower in a vase
A slipper by the fireplace
A cello lying in its case

Soon she's down the stairs
Her morning elegance she wears
The sound of water makes her dream
Awoken by a cloud of steam
She pours a daydream in a cup
A spoon of sugar sweetens up

And She fights for her life
As she puts on her coat
And she fights for her life on the train
She looks at the rain
As it pours
And she fights for her life
As she goes in a store
With a thought she has caught
By a thread
She pays for the bread
And She goes...
Nobody knows

Sun been down for days
A winter melody she plays
The thunder makes her contemplate
She hears a noise behind the gate
Perhaps a letter with a dove
Perhaps a stranger she could love

And She fights for her life
As she puts on her coat
And she fights for her life on the train
She looks at the rain
As it pours
And she fights for her life
As she goes in a store
With a thought she has caught
By a thread
She pays for the bread
And She goes...
Nobody knows

And She fights for her life
As she puts on her coat
And she fights for her life on the train
She looks at the rain
As it pours
And she fights for her life
Where people are pleasantly strange
And counting the change
And She goes...
Nobody knows

Friday, February 20, 2009

A Homecoming (Drag) Queen? 2009? or 1967?

George Mason University elects a Homecoming (Drag) Queen. Sign of the times? Evidence of a new acceptance of diversity, as the new queen says?

Well, harken back to 1967 when TCU students elected a homecoming queen named Mason Dixon. A male homecoming queen. 1967? Texas! Christian! University!

Ryan Allen, who performs as drag queen Reann Ballslee in DC area clubs, is making headlines and being featured on news shows across America this week. I say more power to both Ryan and Reann.

I wasn't at TCU in 1967 so I don't know the details. And okay, maybe a man didn't win. Maybe he was just a candidate. But don't spoil my story with facts. What I know is that his name was Mason Dixon. He caused a stir and became legendary.

By the way, George Mason? Mason Dixon Line? Mason Dixon, Queen? Two degrees -- or lines -- of separation.

And I wouldn't have remembered the year, but I Googled it and sure enough it was a trivia question in The TCU Magazine's Winter 2008 issue.

If you're really bored, you can see the full quiz here. I'm betting on mouse (aka kimy) and her mousemate (aka f) to know some of the answers. But here are a few of my favorite questions in the quiz: (the answers are here)
The TCU You May Not Know Quiz
By The TCU Magazine staff

1.Which former TCU gridiron star played the lead role of Ranger Tom King in a serial Western titled "King of the Texas Rangers?"
a) Davey O'Brien
b) Jim Swink
c) Sammy Baugh
d) Bob Lilly

9. When early TCU officials were searching for an appropriate mascot back in the late 1890s, the runner-up to the Horned Frog was what?
a) Prairie dog
b) Cactus
c) Fire ant
d) Bullfrog

15. In 1949, TCU became the first university in the nation to offer a four-year degree in:
a) Physical Therapy
b) Ballet
c) Astrophysics
d) Photojournalism

21. What TCU football legend went on to a career in the FBI?
a) Davey O'Brien
b) Jim Swink
c) Sam Baugh
d) Rags Matthews

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Libraries, Erasmus, and Gutenberg

Speaking of the wonderment of libraries, as many are today, I remember one of my favorite quotations:
When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes.
--Desiderius Erasmus, 1466-1536
And remember, when he said this books were as new and revolutionary as the Internet is to us today.

So today especially, let us salute Johannes Gutenberg who made all these books possible by inventing movable type and the printing press. (Wikipedia's entry on Gutenberg gives a brief, fascinating look at his life and his influence on the Renaissance, in the context of that amazing time.)

On the other hand, his inventions probably cost the jobs of many scribes who had been painstakingly copying every book by hand until then. I wonder if their guild transitioned them into making movable type and running the new printing presses.

Gutenberg. The first union buster?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Aerosmith, Rep. Cantor, Hookers, and Hypocrisy

After Rep. Eric Cantor, the House Republican Whip, released an ad touting the Republican "victory" over the Democrats in the battle over the stimulus legislation, Aerosmith sent Cantor the following letter thanking him for promoting "Back in the Saddle," their song about hookers in a saloon town:

Dear Rep. Cantor,

Thanks for promoting our song about the hooker Sukie Jones. You and Sukie are made for each other. You've moved up from being the Chief Deputy Whip to Republican Whip in the 111th Congress. And her speciality is whipping bad boys like you.

Yeah, you and your Republican friends outflanked the Democrats in the stimulus battle. You showed them what a real stimulus plan should be about, didn't you, Mr. Republican Whip? Hookers, right?

I'm back
I'm back in the saddle again
Ridin' into town alone
By the light of the moon
I'm looking for ole' Sukie Jones
She crazy horse saloon
Barkeep gimme a drink

You left no doubt where your mind is when you picked our song. Maybe your constituents can't hear the words. But we know you like any song about a saddle-sore cowpoke riding into a saloon town of soakin' wet girls to get some time in the rack with his four-bit hooker.

Umm...come easy, go easy
Alright 'til the rising sun
I'm calling all the shots tonight
I'm like a loaded gun
Peelin' off my boots and chaps
I'm saddle sore
Four bits gets you time in the racks
I scream for more

Fools' gold out of their mines
The girls are soaking wet
No tongue's drier than mine
I'll come when I get back

And, we bet we're not the only ones who thought it was funny when your staff sent out the old AFSCME ad with the bogus sound track full of obscenities. Pretty funny. You, the bastion of conservatism who always defends America against swear words. I bet your constituents in the Bible Belt got the joke.

Hope you don't bleep all the good parts in our song when you find out what we're singing about. But, hey, you won't. That was your point, right?

I'm back in the saddle again
I'm riding, I'm loading up my pistol
I'm riding, I really got a fistful
I'm riding, I'm shining up my saddle
I'm riding, this snake is gonna rattle

Of course, we almost forgot. Your friend, Sen. David Vitter, has probably introduced you to ol' Sukie. He knows all the hookers from New Orleans to Washington.

And just imagine what you and Vitter get into on your foreign junkets. (Junkets? Where do you guys come up with these words?) I bet the taxpayers are glad to pay for all that. You guys need a break now and then.

You're known for going on the House floor to rail against swear words and how they're destroying America. But with Sukie, you can say all the bleeped words from the ads you and your staff promote. She'll spank your skinny butt every time you yell one. She'll even dress like your mother if you like that better than her leather boots and metal-studded pants suit. Or ... is that what your mom wore, too?

So, get back in the saddle again, Mr. Whip. And beg Sukie to whip you. Harder. Make it hurt. You're a bad boy, Eric.

Your buddies,

Friday, February 13, 2009

Princess of Hearts

This Valentine's Day art is by Kylie Shea, who is five years old and in her kindergarten year of a fellowship at the Beall Elementary School, College of Fine Arts. This piece and her earlier work are currently on exhibit in a one-woman show at the Great Falls Gallery in Rockville, Maryland, under the curatorship of Brad and Julie Parker. For future exhibition dates or to request a personal viewing, please contact her agent, Don Parker.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Only in Hawai'i - a Red Tornado

It's rare to see a tornado in Hawai'i. I lived there twice and never saw one, but I saw many in my years in Texas.

But you have to hand it to Hawai'i. When they have one, it's a beauty. Only in Hawai'i do they have red tornadoes. (Or is it tornados? Does anyone have Dan Quayle's phone number? Or Louis Armstrong's? "You like potato and I like potahto, You like tomato and I like tomahto. Potato, potahto, Tomato, tomahto, Let's call the whole thing off.)

Watch this for a minute or so and it gets redder. And there's a second one behind it and to the left.

And here's a rougher, but closer, view:

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Please Don't Divorce Our Families

If you can watch this video with dry eyes, you're tougher than me. It has beautiful music and lots of beautiful people who just want to stay married and keep their families despite the hate-mongering of Ken Starr and Proposition 8.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Comcast's Snarky Assessment of Sully and the Flight 1549 Crew

Here's how Comcast describes the Letterman show tonight, word for word. Personally, I could do without their snarky, judgmental assessment of these fine people at the end of the listing. (And they misspelled Sully's first name.)

"Late Show With David Letterman
Tue, Feb 10, 11:35p - 12:37a
029 WUSA
New, (2009) Capt. Chelsey Sullenberger, pilot of U.S. Airways Flight 1549, which landed safely in the Hudson River. Also: copilot Jeffrey Skiles and flight attendants Sheila Dail, Donna Dent and Doreen Welsh; Heartless Bastards. (Talk)"

Monday, February 9, 2009

Kellogg's Insider on Phelps: Corporation More Concerned About Chemical Delivery Than Marijuana

As a photo of Olympian Michael Phelps apparently smoking marijuana has stirred up a national discussion, an inside source at Kellogg's has revealed that the company dropped Phelps as their spokesperson not because of potential damage to its corporate image but for undermining its true corporate mission - to keep as many Americans as possible addicted to certain synthetic chemicals, food dyes, and artificial sweeteners.

Kelloggs announced they had terminated the endorsement contract because the photo of a bong-wielding Phelps was "not consistent with our image." But an unnamed Kellogg's source, speaking with this reporter off the record, said company executives were worried that the emphasis on Phelps and marijuana might divert attention from the true goal.

"Let there be no mistake, marijuana is a gateway drug leading to far worse substances. Like tobacco, alcohol, caffeine, high fructose corn syrup, and trans fats. But it's not the marijuana we worry about." said the source. "It's the short-term memory loss. What if a kid gets high on marijuana and then reaches for fruits or vegetables or mixed nuts? What if they forget our products and they go for Doritos or beer or Oreos? What good would that do our stockholders?

"We don't want kids thinking they can swim 50 miles a week, win gold medals at the Olympics., then relax with a bong hit. They need to keep their eyes on the prize - consuming our chemicals," the source said.

"To maintain our stock dividends, we brew synthetic chemicals in large vats and we have to keep it moving. We've created several chemical delivery systems to maintain the addiction to and consumption of pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamin hydrochloride, BHT as a preservative, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, niacinamide, red dye #40, blue dye #2, yellow dye #6, zinc oxide, annatto color, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, enriched flour, salt, palm kernel oil with TBHQ for freshness, baking soda, monocalcium phosphate, and artificial flavors.

"We owe it to our stockholders to ensure that kids - and adults -- consume these substances. To make it easy for parents to be sure their kids will continue to get these vital ingredients Kellogg's has created several chemical delivery systems and you can see our ingredients on our boxes or on our website, including: Kellogg's® Froot Loops® cereal, Famous Amos® Chocolate Sandwich Cookies, Sunshine® Cheez-It® Pepper Jacks, and our all-time favorite Kellogg's Frosted Flakes® cereal.

"Our chemicals! They're GGGGGRRRREEEEEAAAATTT!!!" said the source with a maniacal grin as this reporter closed his notebook.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Another reason to love “30 Rock,” Tina, and Alec

Their potshots at celebrities.

January 15, 2009 episode:

Elisa (Selma Hayek): I have to go back to work. I have another patient on my off days. He's a sweet old man with advanced dementia. Totally disconnected from reality.

Jack (Alec Baldwin): Oh, that reminds me. I owe Lou Dobbs a call.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Pope Ratzinger To Canonize Tomás de Torquemada, His Predecessor as Inquisitor General?

According to a highly placed source who can see the Vatican from his front porch, Pope Benedict XVI plans to extend his "big tent" reconciliation reunion tour by launching the canonization process for Tomás de Torquemada, the 15th century Inquisitor General.

Last week, the pope reversed the excommunication of four bishops of the ultraconservative Society of St. Pius X, who were consecrated without papal consent in 1988, including British Bishop Richard Williamson, who has denied the Holocaust occurred and speculated that only 300,000 Jews were killed during the Nazi regime, not six million.

According to the source, it occurred to the pope that if Pope Pius XII, referred to by historians as "Hitler's Pope," is to be canonized and a Holocaust-denying bishop can be reinstated, why not reach back in history and honor the efforts of Torquemada by making him a saint?

"Sure, Torquemada was instrumental in the Alhambra Decree, which expelled the Jews from Spain in 1492. But he only burned a few thousand heretics, and that was to save their souls." the source said. "If the Holocaust maybe didn't happen, what's a little Inquisition here or there?"

And if George W. Bush can sum up his presidency by saying he was "disappointed" that no weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq, the pope can be disappointed that the Inquisition has received bad press through the centuries, the source said.

The current pope, the former Cardinal Ratzinger, previously served as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, a successor office of the Inquisition.

Bush Vows Retaliation Against Canada, UK for Goose Downing of Flight 1549

Within minutes of US Airways Flight 1549's crash landing in the Hudson River, a little known terrorist cell of Canadian geese took credit for the near tragedy and President George W. Bush, despite his lame goose status, waved his bloody sword at Canada - and even the United Kingdom.

Bush warned Prime Minister Stephen Harper that Canada must take swift action to scatter the terrorist geese, or America will.

"If Canada continues to give these geese a safe nest, the United States will consider our neighbor to the North a terrorist regime. You're either part of our flock or you're birds of a different feather," he told Harper.

"This goes for the Queen of England, too," Bush said. "Queenie, your kid brother can no longer hide behind your royal skirts. If Canada allows these terrorist geese to roost near our homeland and you protect Canada, America will invade Ottawa and we'll dive bomb London.

"If you think this former fighter pilot won't take flight in my last days in office ... go ahead, make my day," Bush said.