Thursday, January 29, 2009

TKO Blago

Illinois State Senate - 59
Blago - 0

Not only did the members of the Illinois State Senate vote unanimously to oust the corrupt governor out of office, but they also barred him from holding any future office.
Ouch.

Lost - S5:3 Rewind

Jughead: A-

My how time flies when you're confined to the couch! Can't believe we've already seen the third installment of Lost season 5. This is me trying to forget that we have only (technically) 29 episodes left of the whole series - sad. Anyways, I digress, let's get to pickin apart the jaw-dropping fun that was last night...

Here's what we (I) learned:
1. Giving birth hurts - a lot. Did you see the size of those forceps?! Poor, poor Penny. Also, baby Charlie (tug on the ol' heart strings when Des said that!) was apparently born in the Phillipines - did anyone else get a glimpse of the 'Mabuyah' (welcome) banner with the Philippino flag when Des was running back to Penny and is this significant??

2. Um, Damon? Carlton? Your special effects people called - They're back from strike and ready to work again so you can stop rigging your own explosive scenes. I seriously rewound that like 5 times and laughed my ash off each time. This is season 5, you're better than that!

3. If you're an 'other' then you speak Latin and you are 'enlightened'. Duh.

4. Meet 'Jughead', the resident H-Bomb. So not only does US military know about the island, but they bring their bombs along to experiment. Daniel kept yelling 'Bury it! Bury it!' to little Ellie - Could this have been what was buried under the Swan station way back when? Chew on that...

5. When are they folks? Welp, they're 1954, 2 years before Locke is born - but not, b/c he's like there and 50. Also, Richard Alpert is still lovely and wrinkle-free, even in 1954 and he is apparently clueless as to who the hell Locke is and thus may not even be aware of the island's 'trippin' qualities. But know this: The reason why Alpert shows up at the hospital on the day of Locke's birth is indeed because Locke told him the when and where 2 years before. Interesting.

6. If you're a doctor then you must be the leader through any jungle trek. So, Jack escapes the island crazy and a new doctor has taken his place.

7. Daniel hearts - like really hearts - Charlotte. Or does he? Is this his attempt to save her? To become her constant perhaps? She's fading fast - literally. Is this what happened to Theresa - by the way, who the hell is Theresa and what is her connection with Widmore? Why is Widmore paying for her vegetative life style and why is he funding Daniel's adventures?


8. Ellie = Eleanor = 'other' in Latin. I'm just sayin. And what up with Daniel's comment "you remind me of someone I know." 2 kinda theories: a) Does she resemble Veggie Theresa? or b) She kinda looks like Charlotte. Could she be Charlotte's mom? We always thought Charlotte had been to the island before. Hmmm...

9. Miles is quickly replacing Sawyer as the island wise-ass and I love it.

10. Charles Widmore was an Other ya'll! And he was a little punk! And Locke almost shot him in the back but didn't b/c Locke apparently considers himself an 'other'. WHAT!?!?

Another exciting week folks. Not as many reveals as last week and we're left with a hell of a lot more questions. Best moment: The Charlie name-sake. So much awesome in that one little name.

Did I miss anything?
See ya next week for 'The Little Prince'.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Facebook 101

Was there an orientation session for Facebook and I missed it? Or an operations manual or an, I dunno, etiquette guide to friendly facebooking that got lost in my inbox!? Seriously friends, there should really be some established guidelines, some basic rules of etiquette if you will, that we can all check the little box and agree to follow throughout our facebooking ventures. Here is what I'd like to see:

1) All friend requests must come with a note of introduction/reintroduction or a 'hey, what up'. There have been too many times when I debate for way too long whether or not to accept or ignore a name that a) I don't recognize, b) I do recognize but not sure why, or c) There's no freakin photo and that's just weird!! Which leads me to...

2) All profiles must have a profile photo - otherwise it's just creepy.

3) There should also be some sort of friend request delay - let's say a 12 hour delay - that will send you an 'are you sure you want to request this friend' message before the request is actually sent. This could prevent one from I dunno, going on an alcohol-induced requesting spree that might lead one to be 'that person' on the other end of rule #1. I'm just sayin.

4) People should be able to be on FB and not be detected. Even offline. Sometimes a little anonymity is nice. I mean, do I really want my co-workers to know that I was facebooking til 2 am when I come dragging into work just 6 hours later?? Oh wait, who cares. But that does lead me to this next one...

5) Tagged photos should also go through a delay period where the tagged individual can 'accept' or 'decline' a photo to be tagged. There are some things that just don't need to be seen by the masses.

Do I sound paranoid? I sound paranoid, don't I. These are just some things that I think about from time-to-time. Really, I'm quite happy with the beast that is Facebook. It's brought me some kick-ass reconnects and kept me in touch with so many people that I hadn't realized I missed until they were my 'friends' again. Plus, it makes maintaining existing friendships so much cooler.

What would you add to the manual?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

This Week in Review

This week U2 released their first single off their up-coming album 'New Line on the Horizon'. The first track 'Get on Your Boots' opened to mixed reviews, including my own. It started to grow on me the more I listened to it, but it did concern me that I wasn't jumping up in down like the fan that I am in my heart of hearts. Here and now I will say that the last good album they had was 'All That You Can't Leave Behind' and the last great one they had was 'Achtung Baby'. I struggled with 'How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb' and I fear that 'New Line' may be the same challenge. Yet, as they continue to reinvent themselves, I will continue to buy and listen and hope for the best. Bono's vocal stylings and lyrics remain unmatched and unrelenting as he gets ready to release his 14th album spanning 3 decades.

Monday we remembered the 41st anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin King Jr. A dreamer, a leader, an activist. He was a peaceful warrior for economic and racial equality who dared to dream and make others believe. He instilled hope in individuals from all races and backgrounds, young and old and still does so today. It's wise to remember that he wasn't born a hero or born into a privileged life that paved the way for him to be one. He fought hard and won much in the short time that he was on this earth and I love that we still celebrate his legacy today.

Out with the old, in with the new... In case you were under a rock or on another planet this week, WE GOT A NEW PRESIDENT!!!! 2 million turned out for the inaugural address on The Mall in DC while 38 million others tuned in. Even at work they showed it on the big screen so staff members and even some school groups were able to view history in the making. The symbolism of it all, the camera shots from all over the world, had me covered in goose bumps, teary-eyed and goofy-grinned. The kids in our audience seemed equally inspired and caught up in the fervor. But while I'm all awash in hope, inspiration and feel-goodedness, I have to admit that I'm scared as hell too. I'm scared for the daunting task that is set before Obama. I'm scared that people won't have the patience to let him try and fix what's been done while at the same time I'm scared that he may try and fix some things too quickly. I'm scared for the economy, health care, security... But really ya'll, I'm a laid-back person. Can you imagine everything I was scaredabout when Buch was pres? Now at least I have hope.

January 22nd marked the 46th anniversary of Roe-v-Wade. I think that out of all the issues, this one remains one of the most polarizing for a lot folks. This topic made for some excellent lessons in my TEFL classes in Prague, building vocabulary and creating intense dialogue. There I felt ok throwing it out on the table and stirring the pot, often playing devil's advocate , yet here in the comfort of my own country and blog-o-sphere I remain censored (thank you JT who remains refreshingly uncensored at all times). Why do I do that? For many it's a black and white issue, but for me, there are so many shades of gray. Have I set myself and women back light-years for saying that? Also on Thursday Obama overturned The Mexico City Policy, adding fuel to the fire of the pro-lifers. This is something that I didn't even know existed until grumbles started a few weeks ago about the possibility of a reversal. Again, shades of gray for me. Damn those slippery slopes.

And Lastly for the week, OM MY GOSH YA'LL, LOOK WHO'S SHOPPING AN 11 MILLION DOLLAR BOOK DEAL!!?? It's been 2 months since I last said the 'P' word on this site and I'm still not gonna, but come on, really? Would you buy it? Is she really 11 million dollars worth of interesting?


I'd like to send a shout-out to...

The makers of this little box of Heaven:
I like to think I have a super-human immune system that is able to stave off most of the germy-germs that inhabit our planet. I don't get sick often, especially for working in a place crawling with kids who are crawling with said germy-germs.

That being said, my immune system has recently been the target of whatever it is that causes one's throat to become a little itchy one night, a little sore by the next morning, and then on fire and practically closed by the next night. Voice gone, sleep gone, all I want is a fire extinguisher to put out the flames. I may sound dramatic but you know you've been there.

Lucky for me my lovely husband made a special trip to the store in order to find whatever he could to ease my suffering and pathetic disposition. I admit freely that when I am under the weather, I become a sad lump of robe-clad, tea drinking woman. The kid returned with an arsenal of supplies - everything from honey (bless him) to the above pictured 'box of Heaven'. Seriously folks, even if you're as healthy as a horse, the sun is shining and you're running a marathon as I type, take those running shoes to the nearest drug store and STOCK UP! Speaking of stock, I might buy some in this product. For reelz, note to self.

Upon popping one of the honey coated disks into my mouth, I experienced instant relief. The back of my mouth and throat were suddenly coated in some honey lemon goodness that lingered, and within seconds, the numbing kicked in. Yes, the numbing. And then... nothing. I. felt. nothing. But in a good way. The fires we extinguished ya'll! For about 30 minutes, but it was a great 30 minutes. I think had I not returned to my Moroccan Mint tea the relief would have lingered. So I'm trying it again, sans tea. 24 minutes and counting...

PS - This is not a paid advertisement.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Lost - S5:1 & 2 - Rewind

Because You Left & The Lie: B+?

Déjà vu – Wednesday night, Season 5 of Lost opened with a fantastical scene that took us straight back to the S2 opener. Faceless man gets out of bed, turns on record player, fiddling around in kitchen… But this time it’s a baby bottle on the stove and it’s not our beloved Desmond, but the one and only Marvin Candle! Who knew he had such paternal tendencies!? He also apparently is not much of a morning person. At any rate, I was hooked straight away..

What we(I) learned:

  1. It doesn’t take much to get Kate running again and the forces that be that want her back on the island know that too.
  2. Daniel was on the island in the 70's - cool.
  3. Ben is an interventionist much to Jack’s dismay. I found myself grinning like a Cheshire cat when Ben’s response to Jack’s inquiry about his pills was simply stated ‘I flushed them, Jack’. But one has to wonder about Ben's sincerity when he says that they'll never know what happened to those left behind. A truly puzzling statement.
  4. Hurley hearts shih-tzus. And he sees dead people and they give him really good advice which he repeatedly ignores. I loved that Anna Lucia manifested herself to pull a reckless Hurley over and lecture him on not getting pulled over. And 'Libby says hi' - tug! Even after that tho, our shih-tzu loving friend goes and gets himself arrested - like 'please sir, here I am, take me to jail please please please' - by the end of the episode.
  5. Poor shirtless Sawyer ‘Lost everyone he loved’ on the helicopter – one of the saddest lines of the night folks, seriously.
  6. Daniel’s mom is none other than the silver-haired Mrs. Hawking! Or did you already know that? Regardless, it was an ‘ah-ha’ moment for me.
  7. Charlotte is not long for this world and the closer she gets to death, the nicer she becomes, delving out the hugs to our favorite geeky scientist. Did she really tell Daniel not to 'dilly-dally?' Is this one of those things where the writers try to make a character likable before offing them? Nose-bleeds, headaches, amnesia... The girl is toast.
  8. The Left-behind Losties are skipping through time like a record. Wow. There, they've said it. Cat's outta the bag. Damon and Carlton are really going there, saying it loud, saying it proud. I love the idea and the illusion to the record but I get motion sick at the drop of a dime - getting old sucks - and if they continue their skipping and crazy time traveling like this, welp, it's not gonna be pretty. And apparently Charlotte's going to kick it if she doesn't find her constant soon.
  9. Sun doesn't blame Kate - or Jack for that matter - for Jin's death. She blames Ben. Really? I remember Kate was the one that told Sun to go back to the chopper with Aaron and and she would go get Jin. I remember Jack saying 'Keep going!' as Jin waved his arms frantically on the deck of the wired freighter while the chopper was taking off. And I totally remeber that 'you're-gonna-effing-pay' glare that she gave Jack after it hit her that Jin was indeed gone. One has to consider her motives for saying this to Widmore. Hmmm.
  10. Alpert is a time-traveling junkie! So it wasn't some suped-up Dharma anti-aging cream that had this island protector looking so lovely and wrinkle-free whether it be the 1950's with young a Locke and Ben or present day. This kid was not only skipping through time but he was skipping through places. I'm still anxious to see how they really do get to come and go from the island.
  11. Alpert also gave Locke a compass - was it the compass?
  12. So Desmond is special but WHAT DOES THAT MEAN!?! According to Daniel you can't change or interfere with the past, fine. But then why does he bring past-Desmond out of the hatch and give him that list of 'to-do's', while remembering to exclaim 'YOU'RE SPECIAL DESMOND!'
  13. Hurley's dad (aka Cheech Marin) is a fan of Expose.
  14. Hurley's mom is awesome and hot-pockets can be used as weapons.
  15. Present-day dead Locke is being slugged around town in a 'weekend-at-Bernie's' kinda way. And now he's going in a meat locker. Interesting.
All in all I give this episode a B+. Am I being too optimistic? It was balsey and funny even with more questions answered than I had thought going into it - SPOILER-FREE I might add. But there were some cheese moments that could not be ignored like Hurley's gun wielding photo-op and Marvin's lame explanation for the 'energy harnessing time machine' at the beginning. Ah well, not a bad start to the season, let's hope the momentum keeps up, eh?

And to those of you who don't watch this show or have fallen off the wagon, then this recap must sound insane to you and may validate your reasons for not watching. But to those of you who do watch, well, I hope you enjoyed reading, for what it was worth. I know I missed a lot but who has the time to type and read all of it? Til next week...

Monday, January 12, 2009

No Line on the Horizon!



Is anyone else excited about this? U2 is at it again and is set to release they're 12th studio album on March 3 - got that? And if you're as impatient as me then you'll appreciate this recent album break-down by our friends over at Rolling Stone.
Enjoy!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Oh



Just wanted to share this song with you all. It makes me all warm and fuzzy inside on this gray and dreary day. Hope it can do the same for you :-)

You got to know when to hold 'em...


Dear Shady Rod,

The gig is up. It's time to take the impeachment like a man. You got caught with your hand in the political cookie jar - there's no denying it. You know, the hand that's attached to your arm which is attached to your body and thus attached to your face. Plus we have you on tape, and we have your finger prints, and DNA evidence from the crumbs you left behind which led back to your getaway car parked in front of your house.

Guess we can't blame you for not going out without a fight, after all it worked for Clinton - 'I did not have sex with that woman' .(In 1998 as a member of the House of Reps, Rod voted 'no' on all 4 impeachment counts for Clinton. He knows a kindred soul when he sees it.) You're grasping at straws here by claiming that the unanimous vote of the Illinois House of Reps was politically motivated. Really Rod? Like as opposed to personally motivated like your withholding of state money for a children's hospital in exchange for a $50,000 campaign donation? A children's hospital Rod, shame on you. Also blown are your plans to award state funds to The Tribune in exchange for the firings of those press card carrying folks who were mean to you. PLUS you're totally busted for gambling revenue diversions in exchange for - what a shock - campaign contributions. How do you sleep at night with so much planning and plotting going on??


Sigh... With these charges and more, how can you in good conscience stand up and say with a straight face 'I am not guilty of any criminal wrong-doing'? ( 'I am not a crook' - wha?) How is any of that in the best interest of your state? I was embarrassed for you when I heard you say that you were just being picked on for wanting to bring health care reform to the poor 'guys and gals' of Illinois. Seriously? And while I shouldn't have to remind you of your biggest blunder of all- the selling of the vacant Senate seat - I will remind you that yes, we know about that as well. My dog knows about that and he thinks you're guilty too.

In the words of Kenny Rogers (the singer not the pitcher): 'You got to know when to hold 'em, Know when to fold 'em.' The man knew what he was talking about Rod. Perhaps it's time to fold, step aside kindly and get back to doing what is in the best interest for the state of Illinois and all those 'guys and gals' that you claim to care so much for. Let them clean up your mess and move on. Sure this may put your presidential aspirations on hold for a few terms, but by 2020 I'm sure that this will all be forgotten in the muck and mire of all things politics.

Sincerely,
A Hoosier Neighbor

PS - Remember Nixon?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Sky Blue Sky


“Maybe the sun will shine today
and the clouds will blow away”

As a native Texan I often like to pat myself on the back every so often for taking to Midwest living so well (a place I never in my life imagined myself living - just being honest). Butt freezing 20 degree temperatures - pas ne problem. Cold wet white stuff that gets tracked through the house regardless of where shoes are taken off - bring it. Slick black roads that have me driving so slow that I may as well be in park - hey, it's good to slow down every now and then.
All these things I can bare. All these things I can even find endearing from time to time. The only thing that I can't seem to come to terms with however is the gray. The gray that seems to move in around late November, and then sticks around through February or early March. The dark settles in by about 5 pm where it remains for the next 14 hours. Ugh.
Growing up in Texas one rarely has to experience more than a few days at a stretch with no sun. A phenomenon that I think is easily taken for granted unless one spends an extended amount of time a little further from the equator. For me it was during my first winter in Prague that Kevin stated the obvious, informing me that what I thought was my first-ever bout with depression could have something to do with the fact that I hadn't felt the warmth of the sun or seen the blue of the sky for a number of months. Something that I hadn't really considered but suddenly it all made sense. I'd heard of this, a seasonal depression of sorts.
Since then I have managed to find ways to deflect the blahs in a magic Wonder Woman bracelet kind of fashion, but ultimately there isn't enough exercise, yoga, and wine in the Midwest that can take the place of the bright warm sun and the sky blue sky. The sun as it warms you from the top of your head to the tips of your toes. The sun that reaches through the skin and warms your very soul. Ah, I miss that sun. And around this time of year I absolutely crave it.
I indulged as much as I could while I in Dallas last month. Times were rough and emotions were high, 2 things that kept me in my running shoes. The sun was the other thing. For the first 4 or 5 days I was there the sun shone brightly and the temperature hovered in the high sixties. Ah, Texas in December. Running through my neighborhood, across my greatly improved old high school campus, music blasting, sun shining, it was healing. It helped. I needed that sun and sky and so I had it - for those 4 or 5 days at least. Eventually the gray started to settle in , just in time for my return flight to Indy. Luckily that too was short lived.
When we got to Hawaii and my feet first touched sand, I looked up at the bright blue expanse and suddenly Wilco's Either Way started to play in my head. I hadn't listened to that album in months and out of nowhere the lyrics were just there. So I let it play as we staked our claim in the sand and spread out the towels. By the time I'd applied my sun screen and laid down to close my eyes, I was on song 3, Sky Blue Sky. Little by little I began to breathe, inhaling the sun and sky, exhaling the gray and the ick. And as the sun worked its magic, I continued to breath, enjoying it while it lasted.