Saturday, January 17, 2004

Wild Ride Without Clothes

My friend Eric over at Wild Ride, recounts his habit of losing clothes when travelling. Boy, I suffer from that too.

Davos In Davos

The World Economic Forum which is known as "Davos" since it always took place in Davos Switzerland has taken place once NOT in Davos in the year 2002, when many people were worried about flying anywhere post 9/11.

It's basically the ultimate conference where the creme-de-la-creme of business leaders hang out, but read their description for a more accurate statement. It starts next week.

Mothers Don't Let Your Boys Grow Up To Be Rockers

At least that was the old advice you'd here. Maybe being Mick Jagger, going to London School of Economics and then being knighted isn't too bad a row to hoe. Check it out:
But any way you look at it, the Rolling Stones grossed far more than Springsteen did last year.

From start to finish, the Stones' Licks tour grossed $299,520,230 from 113 shows dating back to September 2002. We lumped the entire tour into 2003's Billboard Boxscore stats because we received them all at once from promoter Michael Cohl's office at the end of the tour. We do not estimate.

For the year, Springsteen's reported grosses totaled $181.7 million worldwide. If you take away the $90 million or so the Stones did in fall 2002, the band still easily outpaced Springsteen. The Boss' tour grossed $221.5 million from 121 shows, so tour for tour, the Stones also topped Springsteen's by more than $70 million

Cable Guy

Cable Guy came today to fix my box. It was doing funky stuff and would not display the TIME which I really need. It's a kid-proof time clock which matters around here.

Share It

I fekt a lot of happiness today once I got going and started sending it out in all directions. Nice how it can come back at you. Just got to keep sending it out. I think of it as a noblesse oblige of contentment. If you're of that special class of naturally happy people, it's your duty and obligation to share the wealth. I feel a lot of love in my heart and one mustn't be greedy and leave it locked up in there. Gotta open that heart door like a little door on a bird cage. Fly, fly, fly, happy bird.

Maple Syrup

When I wrote about Irish Oatmeal the other day, a friend emailed me to mention he loved it with maple syrup. Well, he guessed our secret. We pour tons of syrup on it and also butter. Probably the most fattening breakfast imaginable.

If You Wondered Too

Asked a friend what spaghetti squash was and here's the answer -- very helpful., thanks This site also has a link to a favorite thing of mine -- something my mom used to make that was incredibly good -- Beef Stroganoff. Love that stuff.

Funny Thing

A lot of funny things happened to me today. It was a good day. Probably the most hilarious was this weather. I went out bundled up like Nanook of The North (is that a racist term now ... whoops, sorry if so) and it was over 30 degrees -- felt like Miami Beach for goodness sakes. The postman was out there, and the two of us had a laugh about 30 feeling warm.

Avon Lady

BTW, I became an Avon Lady this week. Not kidding. Very interested in how they organize. Similarly, studying how the Dean campaign is doing their grassroots organizing.

Please feel free to buy some of Avon's cool stuff from me. They have a great day cream and a great night cream which have a light grey lid and a dark grey lid respectively -- genius, so I can figure out which one to put on when, without having to put my glasses on to read them.

Will write soon about their Valentine's Day line. Lots of stuff for women, men, kids.

They have a cool line of stuff for teenagers, called Mark.

BTW, if you want to be part of my leadership team and also work for Avon with me, drop a line.

We Quit Drinking But We Didn't Stop ...

Another reminder to me. Promised Joi I'd blog about another habit we all like to indulge in over at the new blog he set up called We Quit Drinking. I've been playing around with the idea all day ... now to get it on paper. Of nasty habits, it's a very good one.

Chitter Chat

Got to talk to and email my other girlfriends today like Jeneane and Renee and my sisters too. Dishing the dirt with a girlfriend is so much fun. Just the best. And there's something perfect about these conversations where your friend points out a feeling or an idea that's the EXACT feeling or idea you've been having and then you get to share it. That's the cure for loneliness, to remember everyone is going through this and none of us find it easy. (Note to me, need to call Nell.)

Call My Girlfriends

I'm just plain lonely on the day after my son leaves my house and goes to his dad's place, so this morning I wrote up a list of girlfriends of mine to call, visit, email, hang with. I just got back from tea and Scrabble with my 95-year-old friend Ruth from church who of course, beat me soundly at Scrabble. We had a wonderful time. She goes to church with me, but isn't a big God-talker, she's rather cool and edgy for a 95 year old. She was showing off her new pink Polartec jacket from Old Navy to me and serving up blueberry muffins and good English tea.

As we started to play Scrabble she says, "You know Halley, it's like God sent you straight to me this morning, I was feeling so lonely." I told her it was vice versa, that I was warding off loneliness too and missed her a lot. I figure I'm taking lessons on how to be 100 from her. She is a great teacher. She reaches out to people. She keeps busy. She cleans her house every day. She writes letters. She has her hair done once a week. I think she's great.

I think really old people scare us and we're not quite sure how to deal with them. They don't scare me. Only thing is she is really frail and I like to give her a hug but worry I'll crush her. She's like a little bird, a petite thing, probably as petite at 95 as she was at 25, but I have to be careful with her. She had the cutest after-dinner mint green cashmere sweater on and pearls. She is hot.

Handwritten Letter

At a recent MeetUp here in my home town, I wrote hand written letters in support of Dean to some folks in Iowa and some in New Mexico. This morning with the boring mail -- I GOT A HANDWRITTEN REPLY TO MY NEW MEXICO LETTER -- how totally cool. I am so excited to reply to my pen pal!

Friday, January 16, 2004

Barlow On Losing A Friend

I hope he's simply gone out for a long, long walk too -- soon to return.

Frozen Logger

An old folk song I used to sing as a kid. Thanks Bob for sending me the words. Perfect for tonight's dipping temps in Frigid Boston here. And your variation, "just add a B to sing about The Frozen Blogger" is especially appropriate.

The Frozen Logger

As I set down one evening in a timber town cafe
A six foot-seven waitress, to me these words did say
"I see you are a logger and not a common bum
For no one but a logger stirs his coffee with his thumb

"My lover was a logger, there's none like him today
If you'd sprinkle whisky on it, he'd eat a bale of hay
He never shaved the whiskers from off his horny hide
But he'd pound 'em in with a hammer, then bite 'em off inside

"My lover came to see me one freezing winter day
He held me in a fond embrace that broke three vertebrae
He kissed me when we parted so hard it broke my jaw
And I could not speak to tell him he'd forgot his mackinaw

"I watched my logger lover going through the snow
A-sauntering gaily homeward at forty eight below
The weather tried to freeze him, it tried it's level best
At a hundred degrees below zero, he buttoned up his vest

"It froze clean down to China, it froze to the stars above
At one thousand degrees below zero it froze my logger love
They tried in vain to thaw him and if you'll believe me, sir
They made him into ax blades to chop the Douglas fir

"That's how I lost my lover and to this caffay I come
And here I wait till someone stirs his coffee with his thumb
And then I tell my story of my love they could not thaw
Who kissed me when we parted so hard he broke my jaw"

Global Problem

I quote, verbatim:


An obsession with penis size is not a uniquely American phenomenon, said Virginia Sadock, a psychiatrist at New York University Medical Center.

'This is not limited to the United States by any means," Sadock said, noting that in Japan there is a condition known as "koro," in which a man suffers from delusions that his penis is actually shrinking back into his stomach.

And Muscarella said that the French are known for trading rumors about men with small penises, often accompanied by jokes and derision.

At the heart of the problem, Sadock said, is that since men don't see many penises other than their own, they have little basis for comparison."

No Calm Before This Storm

Incredible blogging called Bloggerstorm happening from Iowa and thanks to Dave Winer for pointing to it this morning. Thanks of course for Jim Moore's excellent post on the original of the BloggerStorm coverage. Thanks for Matt Gross's ongoing daily comprehensive non-stop coverage at Dean's Blog. And Zephyr, I see that you're going FLAT OUT. And I mean literally -- be careful girlfriend!

I'm gonna go call my Iowa friends I wrote letters to at my MeetUps - I'm sure they are SICK of hearing from people, but I want to know if they liked my handwritten letters all about the Boston Tea Party and everything. Just like I do here on my blog, you can imagine how I like to go on and on in a letter. I called them "my friends" but they happen to be perfect strangers, but not for long, right?

Dervala's Moving To Brooklyn

Her Irish family and friends AND her Canadian buddies will miss her, but their loss is our big win -- she's heading back to New York!

Guys Who Cook

How can you resist guys who cook? Hey, Rod, feel free to make soup at my house. And he bakes too! Only one thing I'd argue with -- the notion of "cold weather" in Florida and "cold weather" in Massachusetts I figure are a little bit different.

Irish Oatmeal

Dish it up nice and hot and sticky. Best thing for a morning like this. McCain's Steel-Cut Irish Oatmeal, mmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Give Me A Better Word -- "Cold" Doesn't Cut It

It's hard to explain how bad the cold is here. We're safe and sound inside but I just talked to my ex who told me it's really terrible out. We're both worried about our kid who loves to wear no hat, no mittens. NOT today though. This kid will be bundled up like a big ball of wool and polartec today before he gets to see the light of day.


I finally figured out what I am, a whole new demographic -- a neo-Teen. I buy teenager music, teenager clothes, I live with an almost-teen, I'm just about to start carting him around to rock concerts and helping him start a band (he's already learning guitar) and since I'm divorced I'm going to be dating like a teen with all the stupid and sexy stuff that involves. I like chat, IM, cool pale lime cell phones, email -- I'm a neo-teen, no question about it. I better get a Live Journal blog and go all the way.

Drake And Josh

Cool new show on Nickelodeon. Check it out:
Drake and Josh were high schoolers with little in common -- until Drake's mom and Josh's dad married. Suddenly they were odd-couple stepbrothers. Now "Drake & Josh" is a new live-action comedy series starring "The Amanda Show" alumni Drake Bell and Josh Peck as, respectively, the manipulative cool guy and the roly-poly egghead. Can teens who mix like beer and cola learn to get along? "Drake & Josh" begins on Nickelodeon at 6:30 p.m. Sunday. -- The Gleaner

Kissy Face

Great scene from this cool new show on Nickelodeon, "Drake and Josh" with Drake Bell and Josh Peck. Drake's divorced mom and Josh's divorced dad fall in love and get married, much to the two sons' amazement., annoyance, confusion. One son is a way cool guitar player and girl chaser, the other is a complete geeky nerd. The teenagers agree on one thing -- they can't stand watching their parents making out all the time like teenagers.

Drake walks in on the parents kissing on the couch:

Dad on couch with mom, "Now it's my turn to kiss YOU!" (smooch smooch smooch)

Mom on courch with Dad, "Now it's my turn to kiss YOU!" (smooch smooch smooch)

Cool kid Drake, "Now it's my turn to VOMIT!"

Why I Love Kids Bop 4

See, if you're a parent with a young kid, you're in a completely weird demographic -- you're in your 40's and you're buying music 10 year olds love.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Cold Night Here

But I know how to stay warm. Been moving plants away from the drafty windows. The poor things are shivering. African violets wishing they could just go back to Africa.

Billboard Dad

These sisters sure are making a lot of dough. I read somewhere they are the two wealthiest teenagers in the world ... but wait didn't they just turn 18?

Schools Closed -- Too Cold

I've never seen a school cancellation around here for SHEER COLD. Snow, yes, but cold? Never. But then when was it below zero with potential of 40 below wind chill. Frostbite can happen in 5 minutes to exposed skin. No kids waiting for the bus tomorrow -- too dangerous.

Chinese Food

We have a half day of school on Thursdays for the elementary schools here in my town. So my son is free at about 12:15 and in this dreadful 2 degree below zero weather we decided to go out to lunch. With this cold, you just end up huddling inside so much it gets to be claustraphobic, so it's good to make some trips out for fun things to do.

I did NOT want to go to this restaurant -- it's a not so great Chinese restaurant near the center of town. My kid talked me into it. They have a buffet and that means they get a good crowd. This weather can make you so cranky, if not depressed, it was great to be out and about with a lunch crowd all bundled up and happy to have lots of hot steam tables full of Chinese food to choose from. We got egg rolls and hot and sour soup and spicy green beans and fried rice and noodles and sweet and sour pork and sesame cookies for dessert. Sometimes my son knows how to live better than I do. We both had a great time and went back in the deep freeze with a good bellyful of food.


Okay, guess who this conversation is with -- it's from People Magazine this week.

Q: What was the first sort of grand romantic gesture he made where you thought --- ?

Him: Oh, we're not telling. (laughter)

Her: I think he's romantic. He's sentimental. Definitely sentimental.

Him : I send flowers. ... I usually send flowers if she's done something really great or I've done something really awful.

Coming Soon

Halley's helpful hints on what to get and especially WHAT NOT TO GET your sweetheart on Valentine's Day.

Denby on Moulin Rouge

I didn't know they had this great movie review database here at The New Yorker Online.

Moulin Rouge
A frantically ambitious postmodernist musical in which no single song is performed from beginning to end and no dance number is staged without the dancers' movements being kaleidoscoped into a dozen angles. Set in a stylized and digitalized Paris, the movie offers the Moulin Rouge night club as a seething Belle Époque Studio 54, where a fresh-from-the-provinces poet named Christian (Ewan McGregor) falls in love with Satine (Nicole Kidman), a consumptive cancan dancer and courtesan. The story is no more than a flimsy outline, but it still manages to combine the Orpheus myth and "Camille" and to vaguely evoke about a dozen other films. When the lovers sing a duet, they begin with a few bars of the Beatles' "All You Need Is Love" and pass through bits of Phil Collins, U2, and David Bowie and Brian Eno before capping it off with Elton John's "Your Song." It's as if the director, Baz Luhrmann, felt that he could hold the target audience of young people only by making reference to their entire experience of pop music. Luhrmann has a talent for décor, sudden shifts in perspective, and gentle, twinkling nighttime effects, but he whips much of the movie into an opéra-bouffe clownishness.
— David Denby

The Greatest Thing You'll Ever Learn

The Greatest Thing You'll Every Learn
Is Just To Love
And Be Loved In Return.

-- Moulin Rouge, Baz Luhrmann

Moulin Rouge

It's really hard to explain what a drunken romp of pure love the movie Moulin Rouge is -- but this is a great review of it -- don't miss renting it.

Just this rooftop scene where they sing lyric after lyric of love songs to one another -- everything from "I Will Always Love You" and "Love Lifts Us Up Where We Belong" and "All We Need Is Love" and "Silly Love Songs" and "We Should Be Lovers" and "Your Song" it's amazing. And their voices are lovely.

Christian:, please wait. Before when we were--when we...when you thought I was the Duke and you said that you loved me. And I--I wondered if...

Satine: If it was just an act?

Christian: Yes...

Satine: Of course.

Christian: Oh. It just felt real...

Satine: Christian, I'm a courtesan, I'm paid to make men believe what they want to believe.

Christian: Yes...silly of me, to think that you could fall in love with someone like me...

Satine: Oh...I can't fall in love with anyone.

Christian: Can't fall in love? But a life without love! That's terrible.

Satine: No, being on the street, that's terrible.

Christian: No! like oxygen.


Christian: (spoken) Love is a many splendored thing. Love lifts us up where we belong. All you need is love.

Satine: (spoken) Please, don't start that again.

Christian: All you need is love!

Satine: (spoken) A girl has got to eat.

Christian: All you need is love!

Satine: (spoken)She'll end up on the street!

Christian: All you need is love...

Satine: Love is just a game...

Christian: I was made for loving you baby, you were made for loving me!

Satine: The only way of loving me baby is to pay a lovely fee.

Christian: Just one night, give me just one night!

Satine: There's no way 'cause you can't pay.

Christian: In the name of love, one night in the name of love.

Satine: You crazy fool, I won't give into you.
(she tries to leave)

Christian: Don't... leave me this way. I can't survive without your sweet love, oh baby...don't leave me this way.

Satine: You think that people would have had enough of silly love songs.

Christian: I look around me and I see it isn't so, oh no.

Satine: Some people want to fill the world with silly love songs.

Christian: Well what's wrong with that? I'd like to know, cause here I go again! (Christian gets onto the very top of the elephant. Satine screams...) Love lifts us up where we belong!

Satine:(spoken) Get down, get down!

Christian: Where eagles fly, on a mountain high!

Satine: Love makes us act like we are fools. Throw our lives away for one happy day. (Christian gets down)

Christian: We can be heroes! Just for one day...

Satine: You, you will be mean.
(Satine starts to head downstairs)

Christian: No I won't! (he chuckles)

Satine: And I...I'll drink all the time!

Christian: We should be lovers!

Satine: We can't do that.

Christian: We should be lovers! And that's a fact.

Satine: Though nothing would keep us together...

Christian: We could steal time--

Both: Just for one day. We can be heroes, forever and ever. We can be heroes forever and ever. We can be heroes just because...

Christian: I...will always love you!

Satine: I...!

Both: Can't help loving...

Christian: You...

Satine: How wonderful life is...

Both: Now you're in the world...

Satine: (spoken) You're going to be bad for business, I can tell. (they kiss)


Toulouse sings: (drunk) How wonderful life is, now you're in the world...


Overcoming All Obstacles

In Moulin Rouge, Mlle Satine (Nicole Kidman) is caught in the arms of a young writer, Christian (Ewan McGregor) five minutes after the Duke, who is being wooed to invest in her theatre company had just left her embrace. He returns to get something he left behind and finds them.

They tell him they are rehearsing the new play he absolutely MUST invest in.

The manager of the theatre, Zidler bursts in to try to save the day. They've actually talked the Duke into investing and Zidler tries to get him out of Nicole's boudoir.

Zidler: My dear Duke, why don't you and I go my office to peruse the paper work.

Duke: What's the story?

Zidler: The story?

Duke: Well if I'm going to invest, I need to know the story.

Zidler: Oh yes, well the story's about...Toulouse?

Toulouse: Ugh... The story-the story's about it's- it's about um...

Christian: It's about love!

Duke: Love?

Christian: It's about love, overcoming all obstacles.

Toulouse: And it's set in Switzerland!

Poetry? Naughty Words? I Know It's Not Much But It's The Best I Can Do

The scene in Moulin Rouge where Satine and Christian first meet and he sings "Your Song" by Elton John with her nearly having an orgasm over him saying the lyrics as poetry to her ... it's some scene.

Satine: Oh poetry, yes, yes, yes this is what I want, naughty words. Ohh...

Christian: I--I don't have much money, but, boy, if I did I'd buy us a big house where we both could live...

Satine: Oh yes, yes...Oh yes... oh naughty!

Christian: If I were a sculptor, but then again no. Or a man who makes potions for a traveling show.

Satine: Oh...don't...don't...don't...don't stop!!! Christian: I know it's not much...

Satine: Give me more, yes...yes...YES!

Christian: But it's the best I can do.



Christian: My gift is my song
and this one's for you
And you can tell everybody that this is your song
It may be quite simple but now that it's done...
I hope you don't mind,
I hope you don't mind...
that I put down in words...
How wonderful life is now you're in the world.

What's His Type?

Nicole Kidman as Mademoiselle Satine in Moulin Rouge,

"What's his type?

Wilting Flower? *HMM*

Bright and Bubbly *GASP*

or Smoldering Temptress? *GROWL*

Just Plain Scary

This weather is really not human. It takes you about an hour once you're back indoors to even warm up. Yikes. 2 below zero. 20 below wind chill.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004


Florida may be key for Democrats it says here from December. What's the latest on that?

Super Superbowl

So instead of all that silly dot com advertising of 5 years back, are we looking at a Superbowl full of political ads!? Pretty funny to contemplate. As if the Superbowl wasn't boring enough yet. I think they should make the big name Advertisers mix it up with the politicians. Wesley Clark for Lite Beer. Howard Dean for Al Sharpton for Lexus.

I Like Lance A Lot

I actually do like Lance Knobel a lot, but also like Dean. Read his interesting post from London about expatriates wanting to be involved with Dean. BTW, Lance used to be involved in organizing Davos where he knew tons of influential people. Now he's doing even more interesting things and working with REALLY important folks.

I would say thanks to Dave Winer for the post and give him a link, except last week he swiped some of my content without a link or credit, so I'm not in the mood to be nice or magnanimous. In fact, the most fun thing in the world is coming up on February 9th where he and I will both be on Doc's panel at O'Reilly's Emerging Democracy thing. I expect we'll be acting like big brats, but it will be really fun to watch, since we'll probably be kicking one another under the table and putting plastic spiders in one another's water glasses and pulling the chair out from behind one another's behinds to make us fall on our tushes. You can expect very adult behavior.

Just kidding -- I always love to hear what Winer has to say --- don't always agree with him -- but respect the energy with which he asserts his position.

Doc writes about the upcoming conference here.

Come Clean On Adopt-A-Reporter

Jay Rosen has written a great blog post at PressThink about the idea we've been all kicking around, that big media reporters need to be adopted - each one will get a new foster parent in a blogger, who will study and post information about their work, in order to apply some scrutiny to how biased their reporting is, or simply to celebrate how accurate it is.

He says he loves and dreads the idea.

I love it if it lets us see who is twisting the facts about politicians to their own or their friends' partisan advantages and denying the American public factual information about what's going on in Washington. Just like giving up on Santa Claus being real, none of us really believe the media is objective anymore, do we? If the dirt on folks like Karl Rove is correct and they manipulate the media to destroy people just for the fun of it and for the big fees their benefactors pay them, this is a problem. A big problem. I'd like to trust journalists. I'd like journalists to help me be educated, to help me be an informed citizen, to help me participate in democracy. Am I naive? Probably, but I vote yes for foster parenting journalists if this can be the result.

I dread it too, as Jay points out, because it's got the potential to be simply hateful. Let's call a spade a spade here. Bloggers are just plain jealous of PAID reporters who have expense accounts, offices, chairs, coffee cups, pencils and a BYLINE with a BRANDED BIG NAME PUBLICATION. Bloggers are journalist-wannabes in many instances. We were all slobbering -- and you know it -- when Cinderella Elizabeth Spiers got plucked from scrubbing the floors at the blog Gawker into the bright ballroom at the castle -- New York Magazine. I was at BloggerCon, right after it happened and was watching the royal treatment she got (and I think deserved). It was a revelatory moment. I admit to envying her -- be real! Who woulldn't?! And as for bloggers not being partisan -- come on!

So, I think we actually are talking AROUND the subject. There is a middle ground we haven't found yet. We're at a flashpoint in terms of media technology. Bloggers instituting Adopt-A-Reporter is to journalists as Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz were to your travel agent, a transparency mechanism. The big difference being what's at stake -- an open democracy, or a cheap fare to Tampa/St. Pete. As we learned in the "transparentification" of the travel industry, there is no going back, but when it comes to democracy, I think we better proceed with caution.

Dean Poll: Attack Me, Elect Me, Attack Me, Elect Me, Attack Me

I've decided the only salient polling technique left is to measure who is being most attacked and thereby deduce that they pose the greatest threat to those who hope that person will not be elected. All the other Democratic presidential hopefuls are busily supporting Dean in this way -- they have no platforms, save attacking Dean. The Republicans are also rallying for Dean. He should thank them. By this math, Dean has not only BEEN ELECTED, but he's already been President for two terms.

Andrew Sullivan on Bush

I mention this for two reasons. I think Andrew Sullivan is right in many ways here. But most importantly, he defends his right as a blogger to be as painstakingly objective (and unpopular with his right-wing audience) as he can. Politics really doesn't have to be a contact sport like rugby -- you don't have to be on one team or another and spend most of the time bullying and tackling the other team -- you can use your wisdom, brains and experience to have an opinion that many people may not agree with.
Some of you have queried me for making criticisms of the president with regard to Iraq. I think I've earned a certain amount of credibility on this one. I'm a big admirer of the both the aims and methods of this administration in the war on terror. But that doesn't mean they haven't made some real mistakes. They got the WMD question wrong. The intelligence was faulty and they failed to be sufficiently skeptical about it. They did have elaborate plans for post-war Iraq, as Jim Fallows details in the current Atlantic, but largely ignored them, perhaps dismissing such details as cover for an anti-war agenda. This insouciance led to debacles like the disbanding of the Iraqi army in the middle of last year. I don't think it would kill the administration to fess up to this. They were human errors, compounded by a certain ideological fervor. I think, given the overall achievement, that they were entirely forgivable. And I guess the White House has learned to concede nothing, because when they do, it backfires (remember uranium from Niger?). But people did screw up. One consequence of that screw-up is that almost any future argument for pre-emption based on intelligence will be extremely hard to win. Ditto, the view that deficits don't matter could well lead to an inability to take military action in the future, since the country will be unable to afford it. In that sense, the Bush administration's errors have undermined the crux of their own foreign policy. That's a loss. And, with a little more modesty and skepticism, it was preventable.
(The BOLD ITALICS are my editorial additions.]

Of course the real story of his moments of anti-administration sentiment may find roots in this post. It can't be east to be a gay, HIV+, conservative Brit living in America writing a right-wingish blog. He reminds us that all are lives are complicated and can't be reduced into one easy political viewpoint.
I have no objection to and much support for the president's proposal to encourage marriage, especially for low income people. As long as the government isn't indoctrinating or imposing itself, helping marriages prosper and last helps all of us: the couples, the potential or actual kids, and society itself, because such families are more able to take care of themselves. Marriage matters. And government has some responsibility to help foster it. But, of course, it begs the question. If marriage is so good for straights, why is the government so intent on preventing it for gays? Don't gay men, in particular, face all sorts of problems and issues that the responsibility of marriage helps ameliorate? And then you realize: for this administration, gay and lesbian citizens are regarded as beneath responsibility. There is no need for a social policy toward them, since they have no human needs or aspirations. If gays try to build responsible lives, and families, the important thing is not to help or encourage or reach out to them, but to prevent their relationships at all costs and in any way possible - even if we have to amend the constitution to keep them excluded from families and society. Above all: don't ever mention them in public. It might lead to some sort of social policy that could help them. They can pay taxes, but the government has no interest in helping them construct relationships that last. That's roughly it, isn't it?

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Inside-The-Beltway Media Busy Eradicating Democracy?

This piece is very interesting. It's about how the Inside-The-Beltway media is trying to kill Dean. They are not attacking Dean. They are attacking people's right to participate in democracy and actually get honest reporting and accurate information. If this isn't a challege for bloggers to tell the truth and remind people that we are NOT bought and paid for like the traditional media. I don't see any advertising around here, do you?

DVD Watching

Loving this. Trying to arrest a bunch of grieving relatives at a funeral -- telling them they are criminals and he knows it -- tap dancing on the coffin. Johnny English -- very cool Alpha Male gone way wrong.

Clue Me In

Is there a reason that an 8-year-old boy can't keep from dousing yellow couch pillows with blue Gatorade even though he is allegedly drinking the aforementioned Gatorade in the kitchen many feet away from those cushions. Are there magnets in them? What gives? Someone clue me in. And then remind me it really, really, doesn't matter.

Those "Not Tonight" Girls

I don't know ... seems like life is awfully short to be going around turning down chances for a little nooky. But then again, sometimes a girl wants to wait.
Well I wanted her real bad and was about to give in
When she started talkin' 'bout love, and talkin' 'bout sin.
I said honey I'll live with you for the rest of your life,
She said no huggy no kissy 'til you've made me your wife

Honey my babe don't put my love on the shelf
She said don't hand me no lines and keep your hands to yourself.

Let It Bleed

I love this post by Laurie, aka CocoKat in Slumberland, about why she loves her period. All that blood -- is it grossing you out? Oh, come on. I love it too. I want to write about it too. My period. "Aunt Flo" as she says. "The Curse" as they used to call it. Read her great post first and then come back later and I'll write about it. And since I've already grossed you out totally, I'll say one thing I like a lot is a guy who's not shy about having sex when I've got my period -- what are diaphragms and condoms for anyway? Get real.

To Take Things A Little Too Far

Whenever You're Ready
---Mary Chapin Carpenter

Whenever you're ready
I've got the car and the engine running
It's such a bore when you know what's coming all the time
Whenever you're ready
To slam the door 'til the hinges fly
Trace an arc cross the big blue sky
It's always gonna be hard
To take things a little to far

Na na na na, c'mon baby
Na na na na, yeah it's crazy
Na na na na, I'll be waiting whenever you're ready
Whenever you're ready

Whenever you're ready
To light a match and to burn some bridges
Try to dance on a narrow ledge that's way too high
Whenever you're ready
To give it up or to just give in
The more you lose hell the more you win
In spite of all of your plans
It's always been out of your hands

Na na na na, c'mon baby
Na na na na, yeah it's crazy
Na na na na, I'll be waiting whenever you're ready
Whenever you're ready

It's always gonna be hard to take things a little too far

Na na na na, c'mon baby
Na na na na, yeah it's crazy
Na na na na, I'll be waiting whenever you're ready
Whenever you're ready

Kissing Booth

Putting those final touches to my kissing booth for Valentine's Day. I can see they're getting ready in Chile for the upcoming holiday. Practice makes perfect.

Legal Briefs

No, no, I'm not going to make some crack about lawyer's skivvies. I just wanted to point to Berkman's Briefings, a new offering from Harvard Law's Berkman Center Executive Director, John Palfrey.

These short backgrounders on legal issues will be very useful. Read this one on Diebold v. The Bloggers, written by Mary Bridges

Sandy A Go-Go

I'll be speaking at O'Reilly's Emergency Democracy Event in San Diego on February 9th. I can't wait. This conference will be a knock-out. Okay, now which bathing suit to pack ... hmmmm.

Start Thinking PressThink

It occurred to me maybe Jay Rosen is an inside secret with us Blogger-folks. I figured everyone in the world knew about him because he's really great, but then I realized maybe our best kept secret shouldn't be a secret anymore. Jay is a terrific blogger and Professor of Journalism at NYU. He's doing this great blog called Pressthink and I wanted to mention it, as well as blogroll it.

Iowa Eye Day

Only problem with finally having eye surgery -- which is rather tricky to schedule since you have to have people take you there, bring you home and take care of you as the anesthesia wears off, so you're working around a few people's calendars -- is that I'm getting surgery on January 19th, the day of the Iowa Caucauses. Funny how I didn't even think about it when I booked the date a few months back, but NOW I'm getting so info politics, I'm really bummed. It will be a good day for listening to the radio I guess, but that's okay.

New Eye

I'm finally getting my other eye fixed up. I go in for cataract surgery for Miss Right Eye next Monday. They put a mark over the eye they plan to fix, just to make sure everybody is in agreement about what they plan to do that morning.

Stuff I wrote last year -- I called it SNOW GLOBE:

I've had cataracts in my eyes -- both eyes -- since I was 16. Now they are finally getting too much and I have to have surgery soon -- probably in June -- but I'm trying to move it up if the doctor has a cancellation. Last night I had a wonderful time going over to the mall to Lenscrafters and getting LONG OVERDUE new glasses and new sunglasses. I have a wicked astigmatism, now I find I'm much more myopic than I realized and though I usually have my eyes checked far more often than normal people because of the cataracts, I had gone two years without new glasses -- very bad, very bad, bad girl, bad girl!
So I figured I'd take these Lenscrafters guys up on their "Glasses In About One Hour" offer and being extremely cynical figured they couldn't possibly do that for me -- being the problem child of eyewear that I am. I can never decide on a pair because I hit the existential question of "why the hell does poor little me have to wear glasses anyway?" headon. And if that weren't enough to stop me dead in my tracks psychologically, there's always the time honored "Men don't make passes at girls who wear glasses." which I know by first-hand experience to be false. But still, the whole experience can send me into a tissy and a dither and you don't want Halley in either of those places. She'll drive you crazy.

But boy was I wrong about the whole thing. I had my eyes examined by a great doctor there who was ... can I say it ... pretty turned on by my rare and weird type of cataracts. Poor guy doesn't get to see a girl with cataracts like mine every day. I mean heck, I have some really sexy cataracts which he explained look like snow flakes in my eyes -- lots of them. So I learn last night that my eyes are like little snow globes. I tell him I'm having surgery at Mass General for cataracts in the next few months. He says, "Great, there are great doctors there." And I say, "Yes, I had a recommendation for a guy that's apparently really good." And he turns and says the very name of that doctor, and I nearly flip at this point, "Yes! That's the one!" And the eye exam guy says "You'll love him." And I'm thrilled at this since I'm a big chicken and was very ill as a kid and had a bunch of things like meningitis and nearly died a few times and I LOATHE SURGERY AND HOSPITALS AND THE SMELL OF HOSPITAL CORRIDORS. Wait, slow down. I'll stop. Getting crazy again.

Anyway, I seemed to be making his day with my snow globe peepers and he seemed to be making mine with this spot on confirmation that I had the best Eye Guy in town. And then he did it -- made a great new pair of glasses for me -- improved things a LOT. Seems despite the astigmatism issues and despite the cataracts my real problem is that I've gotten a lot more myopic. And then he really did it ... yes, he kind of made a pass at me ... you can't help him ... my snowflake eyes had him so turned on ... he admitted he hadn't seen anything like them since medical school ... he asked me if after surgery he could have my lenses ... you know, like in a jar with some scary fluid to perserve them. Let me be fair, first he said that the Mass General doctor might give them to me and if I didn't want them ... maybe he could have them? He was kind of teasing, but hell, I'd give a handsome eye doctor like that a small body part if it turned him on THAT much.

It only gets better now. I went out on the "eye floor" -- not the proper name, but I just made that up -- and there were a bunch of really helpful guys and I found some great Gorgio Armani rectangular skinny plastic light green glasses, very 16ieme Arrondissment if you ask me, that match my green eyes perfectly and I found some Jackie O'ish Raybans that have a slight hint of Audrey Hepburn to them and they got me in and out of there fast as can be and in LESS than an hour and my glasses are a god send. I slipped them on and hell, it was like being high on dope with Oreos, with your best high school buddies and candles -- I am seeing things so much more clearly, I was amazed. I say to the glasses guys, "Whoa! I can really see with these things!" The manager says, "That's the idea!"

So I leave the mall, feeling so cool that I can see things -- like I can see my car in the parking lot, even before I attempt to open three other wrong Burgundy Camry's and before I have to bend down and braille-read the license plate. I'm just teasing, I'm not that bad. Well, almost.

Monday, January 12, 2004

That Feeling That Planning That Animal Instinct

Nearly jumped into writing this and then scared myself and jumped backwards away from the keyboard, thought I might burn my fingertips. Such a sizzling feeling. So ... maybe I'll ... well, shall I write about it? It's just a feeling -- a tumble of feelings. About late night lounges in hotels and music playing and women dressed in high heels and pink silk cocktail dresses, men in simple black suit white shirt black tie clothes. Wanting something. Some music. Something to drink. Something to hold in their hands. Someone to hold. A hibernation instinct. And why there must always be music.

Music lets us believe anything can happen.

Someone told me each different sense travels a little path of synapses from the outside world to the brain in order to register. Sight for instance, takes 12 stops along the way to the point where we see something. And smell -- talk ancient senses -- only requires two. This is why the scent of a woman's perfume is so evocative -- that and the other scents people learned to know in cavewoman and caveman days that would keep them alive or kill them in a New York minute. Of course, there was no New York then. But then later there was. And there only is a New York thanks to those cavemen and their scents. Odd.

Anyway, they told me sight took 12 stops on the neural subway and smell, just two and sound is somewhere in between. Maybe it was nonsense they told a woman at a bar -- me.

So if you're in a bar in New York at night, seeing things, seeing a woman's pretty legs, a man's handsome forearms, all the necessary sexy body parts and you're tasting something, something sweet, something salty, it can get anyone in the mood to go in for the kill, that's what I was thinking about. How that set of circumstances even in the most civilized place in the world, gets us in the mood to do that uncivilized forest and fur thing, gets us in the mood to mate. In the mood to mate like animals. Loosen our ties. Gives us that razor sharp ability to plan, we sit there planning with great gut instinct how to leave the bar, with a partner, how to go somewhere, get the other animal's clothes off fast, hunt for the little fur we humans have left, get in that nice skin-to-skin conversation, see where it leads, let one thing lead to another. Music can do that. Music can help you do that. Samba, cha-cha, rumba. Listen to the rhythm. The rhythm of hipbones. Listen to it.

[I'll blame this post on this music, which I find I like more and more.]

Ramon Estevez

Everything you ever wanted to know about Ramon.

Holy West Wing

Martin Sheen will be campaigning for Dean in Iowa today. All rather presidential if you ask me.

The Price of Loyalty

The book. Of course, it's ranked No. 1 on Amazon. Wish I were in charge of the publicity for this book. I could be sleeping in late this morning for sure.

It's a book, but if you don't have the time, it's a CD too. Paul O'Neill will begin to be really famous now, almost as famous as Brittney's quickie husband, Jason Allen Alexander.


I know we've been talking non-stop about how cool MEETUP's are in the Dean Campaign, but don't miss Bill McKibben's description of the PLAIN OLD FUN of the MeetUp's he's been to -- from his letter posted on the Dean blog today.

But what’s really impressive is how he has turned politics back into a participant sport. For as long as I’ve been conscious, presidential politics has been about raising money from rich people and then buying television ads designed to confuse everyone else. The Dean campaign is utterly different: people gather every month in Meetups at church basements and high school cafeterias (all sociologically-minded friends should definitely visit one of these) and there they write letters to voters, plan small events. Pundits have made a lot of the Internet, and indeed Dean’s people have used it well—but the way they’ve used it best is to allow real people who never before felt like they had any stake in the process to become deeply involved. This is radical democracy, far more radical and more important than the particular positions he’s staking out. The fact that it comes from a radical center, not the left or the right, makes it all the more important—makes it completely possible that Dean can win in November. And then when he wins he’ll actually be able to tackle the big problems—global warming, Social Security, etc—that just overwhelm even well-intentioned politics as usual.

Black and Blue Debate

Everyone wants to give Dean a black eye it seems. This is no surprise since we're now in the last reel of the movie, Dean Godzilla Visits Iowa. My intuition tells me his organization continues to grow so deep and strong out there that people find it rather like an unstoppable monster. This also tells me Dean can definately defeat Bush, if only because he knows he can and he dares to say it and believe it.

The psychology of this race is everything. Democrats have gotten so hypnotised by the Republicans setting the "thought agenda" that they don't even remember they have the right to think differently. Dean is scary because he dares to think, dares to know he can win.

Sunday, January 11, 2004


Just sending a handy wink out. You can use it tomorrow, Monday, when any number of people could use a wink. Send it across a room to someone who least expects it.

Democrats Flood Iowa

Interesting piece in the Washington Post and Yahoo News today about the flood of folks in Iowa. Must be an amazing place to be right now.

Community Cup of Tea

Sometimes I think I stop reading blogger Dervala every now just so I can go back and find a terrific monthful of new treasures there. She's been home in Ireland for the holidays and is writing the most terrific stuff.

She's talking about her parents' great community and how just about everyone drops by for a cup of tea. I want to call it the "old normal" Read this.
My parents have deposited in a bank of friendship for twenty or thirty years and that investment cushions against knocks. When you are sick here, or your house burns down, things get done for you quietly. In all seasons, tools and recipes, bottles of wine and children, are passed around as needed, and if your arthritis has flared up my father, or someone else, will dig your garden. Everyone gives their time: conducting a choir, staffing the Credit Union, visiting friends’ sick parents, teaching new widows to drive. It is a gift economy where time and effort are valued more than Tiffany’s boxes.

Okay, I Fess Up

I'm still not drinking, but I couldn't give up TV -- watched the Sunday morning political shows this morning.

More Gotcha Stuff -- Paula You Should Know Better

Joe Trippi catches Paula Zahn playing "Gotcha!" from what I can read here. Didn't see the interview.

She did exactly what he commented about here in The Washington Post in September 2003.
The Clark boomlet followed Howard Dean's anointment as the Democratic front-runner, when reporters started playing up his gaffes and misstatements on subjects ranging from race relations to Medicare. But the assault had little impact on the former Vermont governor, whose fundraising soared after a widely panned performance on "Meet the Press."

Voters have "a growing disdain for this sort of 'gotcha' reporting and 'gotcha' politics," says Dean campaign manager Joe Trippi. Besides, he says, "the connection between this campaign and its supporters is much more personal. They trust Howard Dean more than they trust the establishment or a lot of the press that they view as part of Washington."

6:30 PM And 25 Degrees

Getting out the vote in Iowa is about asking people not to vote at any old time on January 19th -- it's about going to a 6:30PM meeting on January 19th and being there for 3 hours on a potentially 25 degree temperature evening.

Broder Gets It

Broder on Russert understands blogging is about being PERSONAL. He gets the obvious (to us?) fact that it's a PERSONAL MEDIUM.

"I Am Not Now And Have Never Been A Blogger"

Pretty funny thing David Broder just said on Russert's show.