January 31, 2009
You know, like he didn't know he didn't pay his taxes.
If you're keeping count, that's the second lobbyist hired by the BHO administration to handle their own areas of expertise.
11 days and counting.
January 30, 2009
Quote of the Day: "We're going to say to friend and foe alike: We want you to be a part of us, we want you to with be with us, and for those who wish to obstruct, get ready to get knocked over." - Michael Steele
Big congrats to Michael Steele, the next chairman of the Republican National Committee!!! I have to say, I love me some Michael Steele and watching him speak after they just announced he is the winner, I am fired up! It's time for a new direction and some new leadership from someone who understands what the party is all about, particularly small government and less spending.
I first heard Steele on the "Laura Ingraham Show" when he was running for one of the Maryland senate seats in 2006. When he lost, I knew he wouldn't be going away anytime soon and was thrilled to see him show up as a regular commentator on Fox News, but I think he officially won my heart one night during the Republican National Convention when he said he hoped John McCain would pick Sarah Palin for VP. At the time, that made two of us.
After this and the House vote on that ridiculous stimulus deal, I'm starting to have a little faith in the party, again. Who knows, maybe I'll get more involved in elections to come. At the very least, I'll quit deleting the RNC e-mails I get every other day!! I'm kidding!
January 27, 2009
Wishful thinking, I suppose. This time, last year, I took these at my parents' house:
January 26, 2009
But if I squint one eye and turn my head to the side and if Joe Biden would jut put on a black dress and a long blonde wig, it's almost like I'm there.
The ten Republicans:
Corker (R-TN) Cornyn (R-TX) Crapo (R-ID) Ensign (R-NV) Graham (R-SC) Gregg (R-NH)Hatch (R-UT) Shelby (R-AL) Snowe (R-ME) Voinovich (R-OH)
And to think, I wanted Hatch to run for President.
January 25, 2009
In the fall of 2002, I was in the only car accident I've ever been in with me at the wheel (no, Jessica, hitting parked cars in the Old Navy parking lot doesn't count). I was on my way to school at GSU in Atlanta rush hour traffic and if you've ever been in Atlanta during rush hour, you know it's probably the single worst driving experience one can be a part of. Add to that the fact that it was pouring down rain. I was just getting off I-20 and onto the 75/85 connector and was ironically in the exact spot I'd been in when I heard about the first plane hitting the World Trade Center a little over a year before that. I leaned down to pick up a CD I'd dropped and when I looked back up, this guy had somehow maneuvered in between me and the car in front of me. I slammed on my brakes. I looked in my rearview mirror and saw the guy driving the VW bus behind me looking at who I would later learn was his wife and not paying a bit of attention to me. I knew before it happened that he would hit me, so I cringe and braced myself as I became squished between the bus and the guy in front of me. I think all three of us were really at fault, but the bus guy was charged and his insurance company had to pay for my totalled car.
About a month later, I decided I'd like to buy a brand new car and one morning, my mom and I went to a local Honda place to see what they had. Thinking I was just going to look around, I threw on some dirty jeans and a black turtleneck, threw my hair in a sloppy ponytail, and decided I'd shower and do my makeup later, before work. (I was working in retail at the time and had to be there around 5:00 PM that evening.) In other words, I looked like crap.
Once we arrived at the car dealership, I fell in love with a little black Honda Civic (I hate that car now and am dying to trade it in for an SUV, but at the time, I HAD to have it) and the guy made me an offer I couldn't refuse. I spent the next eight hours filling out paperwork, arguing fees, applying for a loan to make up the difference, trying to get insurance because I got so much off if I drove it out that day, etc. I also had to make a few phone calls to work, explaining to my boss that I simply could not leave the dealership because I was so far into the process and could she just give me another half hour and maybe another. At that point, most of my co-workers and I were like family and the particular manager I spoke with was really understanding.
I think I finally got to work around 7:00 PM and for whatever reason, the nice manager had gone home and the one everyone did not like was there for the night and was sure to let me know he did not enjoy my lateness. I was not amused. Not only that, but I was exhausted, I felt nasty because I hadn't showered and my clothes weren't clean, I looked like crap, and I just wanted to work my three and half hours and go home. The jerk of a boss had made it clear that I would not be getting a lunch break and I didn't really care, but after a couple of hours on the registers, I really had to go to the bathroom and asked if I could take a quick five or ten minute break.
I was on my way out of the store, into the mall, so I could run up to the food court and grab a little something to eat or drink as I hadn't had anything all day when I heard a voice say, "excuse me, could you help me find something?" I sighed, remembering I'd forgotten to take my nametag off and turned around.
The guy was very cute, though I can't even remember exactly what he looked like. But his looks had nothing to do with what made suddenly not so concerned with the interruption of my plans to hit Chick Fil A. And trust me, few things stand between me and Chick Fil A.
"I saw this bluegrass special on PBS, last night, and I'm just wondering if you guys have the CD. Wait, you're on your way to a break or something aren't you? I'll ask someone else."
"NO!" I nearly shouted in his face. "I mean, I know where it is, I can help you, really quick."
I started thinking back to the night before when I'd sat in my living room and watched that same bluegrass special on PBS and as I was watching it, I said something to my mother like, "I wish other people my age appreciated this music the way I did. I need to meet a guy who likes this kind of music." It was all too ironic.
As I walked him back to the bluegrass section he says to me, sort of embarrassed, "You know, I don't really like country music. Like Tim McGraw, Faith Hill - I don't like that kind of stuff, but I like some of the old stuff and I just love bluegrass which I guess some people think is kind of weird and I liked it before the 'O Brother Where Art Thou' soundtrack thing.'"
Wow. I don't know if I've given my own country music speech on this blog, yet (I know I've hinted), but it goes a little something like, well, like what he said. I do not like MOST modern "country music." There are a few artists I adore and some of it has been growing on me over the last few years. I do like a lot of the old stuff, though, but bluegrass. Oh, sweet bluegrass. I can't put into words how much I love bluegrass. And I loved it long before the "O Brother Where Art Thou" soundtrack thing. And I think a lot of people find that weird.
"OMG me too!" I tried not to sound overly excited. Was this it? The moment I'd been waiting 21 years to happen? My dream guy just thrown into my life on a day where I could not possibly look worse than I did or be in a worse mood than I was in.
"Me too. I love bluegrass but I am not a big country music fan and I liked it before 'O Brother Where Art Thou' and people think I'm weird!" We spent the next five minutes talking about Bill Monroe, Ralph Stanley, Lester Flatt, and Earl Scruggs. We talked about how it made us feel to hear a fiddle and a banjo and how it reminded of us of good things and growing up. It was one of the best conversations I've ever had in my life.
Finally, I glanced at my watch, knowing I needed to hurry up to the food court if I was going to get my chicken sandwich. I was just about to tell him I had to leave when he made a joke about something we'd been talking about previously. I won't repeat what he said because it was slightly tasteless, but it was about Trent Lott and it was timely and it was right in line with my politics and my sense of humor (there are very few people I've met who can match my very smart-assed sense of humor - I've often said that's why the aforementioned Jessica and I have been friends for so long).
"What did you just say?"
"I'm sorry, that was offensive," he said, trying not to laugh.
"No, no, I...hey, you said it not me!" We both laughed and started talking about politics. It was very much a "get out of my head" kind of moment.
By this point, I'd forgotten about Chick Fil A and for that matter, my job. That's why I jumped a mile when my jerk of a boss came storming up behind us. "Sarah, you were supposed to be back five minutes ago!"
"I'm coming, I'm coming!" I said as the guy I was certain I would marry asked when I got off work. Before I could answer, my boss was screaming and bluegrass/red state guy was taking off for the register. "I'll be back in tomorrow, maybe we can get together, I don't want to get you in trouble," he called behind him.
I didn't have a chance to tell him I didn't work the next day and wouldn't be back again until Sunday. As a matter of fact, when I went in on Sunday, this psycho girl I worked with who didn't like anyone told me that some cute guy had indeed been in the store, asking if I was working that day. She also said he asked for my number but she didn't want to go against store policy.
I sulked and cursed the ground my boss walked on, that night but I never saw guy again. But still, thinking about it, as I said, makes me laugh and gives me a little hope that 1) there are some interesting guys out there and 2) I'm not the only person in the world who likes bluegrass and Trent Lott jokes.
I leave you what what is probably Bill Monroe's most popular song, "Uncle Pen."
It's true, the other media doesn't properly portray the man you hear on the radio for fifteen hours, each week. I've never seen so many words taken out of context and reported on with such fury. He's certainly not boring and unless you don't understand the meaning of the phrase "tongue-in-cheek," he's not a jerk. Whether you agree with him on political matters or not (and I suspect many people actually do more often than they realize, they just don't understand the packaging), you can't argue that the man is extremely talented and a master of many things.
But politics aside, there have been two things that have stood out to me since I've started listening to Rush. One has something to do with why he didn't finish college but the one that has been weighing heavily on my mind has to do with worrying about what others think of you. I wish I had the exact wording of the speech he gave that day but I do think of it from time to time and try to apply it to my life. The concept is simple and one we've heard since kindergarten: don't base your life on what others think. Rush spoke of how much his life changed and how successful he became the moment he decided to do just that. There was something about the way he said it that day that really stood out to me.
Today, I was listening to some music (iTunes set to shuffle) and the song from which I got the name of this blog came on: "Truth No. 2." Obviously, I really like the song. I like the "swing me way down south" line because it reminds me of growing up in the South and the great places and people I've experienced in my home state and those that surround it. But the rest of the lyrics have always been important to me, too. Ironically (since the Dixie Chicks ended up covering the song and Patty Griffin wrote it), I've always applied the words to what I write, think, and say about politics. I'm sure there is some sort of copyright law against posting the entire song's lyrics, so I will link them here: TRUTH NO. 2 LYRICS, but I think the first verse is really telling:
You don't like the sound of the truth/Coming from my mouth/You say that I lack the proof/Well, baby, that might be so/I might get to the end of my life/Find out everyone was lying/I don't think that I’m afraid anymore/Say that I would rather die trying
For a while I found myself burned out on politics in general. But in June 2008, someone mentioned Sarah Palin for Vice President. I liked that idea, but thought it'd never happen, simply because she was the most logical person for the job and I had very little faith in John McCain. I'm not talking about picking her to play to certain audiences or anything like that. I'm talking about picking her because she had strengths where McCain had weaknesses and once again, I saw another common sense, "small government" leader. Most people had no idea who she was, exactly. I'd been following her career since she became governor of Alaska. I honestly think it was the name that originally caught my interest, followed by my desire for there to be more young, vibrant women playing larger roles in the Republican Party.
I'll never forget the day McCain decided to announce his Vice President. I was out somewhere and my dad called me. He said something like, "I don't believe it, but I think you're right. They say a plane just touched down from Alaska." I hurried to my parents' house and we sat around and watch as the country was introduced to Sarah Palin. To borrow an idea from our current first lady, I can think of very few moments when I've been prouder to be an American and as you all know, I love this country more than anything.
That day, my interest in politics came back. The next few months would be long ones and if it weren't for my friends, Pat and Roxy, who were just as passionate about blogging about the election as I was, I'm not sure I would have made it through! And if it weren't for Sarah Palin, I honestly think I would have lost a little faith in this country. I saw a politician who was there for the right reasons in Palin. I saw millions of people ready to follow her every move, not because she was some mythical creature created by the media or a "rock star" as people often said, but because after twenty years of waiting, the people who had entrusted their lives and the lives of their children with Ronald Reagan because he did speak from the heart and he did use common sense, these people were learning to trust again. They saw someone who spoke for them - who is them.
There is a point to all of this. Since the election, I've struggled with how much or how little I wanted to keep myself involved in politics. There have been days I've wanted to shut off my computer and TV, never to speak of it again and there have been days I've been itching to drop everything and reapply for a political internship I started to go for once before. I think I've learned a lot about myself and what really matters in the last few months and a lot of about the people around me. But there are days when I'm scared, yes, SCARED to put my opinions out there out of fear of the responses I'll get or worrying what people will think of me.
If Rush Limbaugh worried what other thought of him, I'm almost certain the republican party would be in worse shape than it is. We're lacking true leadership these days, if you haven't noticed, and I honestly accredit that to the media, somewhat. Some days, I feel like Rush is all we have. Call him a "celebrity" or whatever you want, but he's obviously important or our dear President wouldn't be talking about as he has this past week and CNN wouldn't take his every word out of context and make it a top story.
If Sarah Palin, the woman I'm not ashamed to say is my hero, worried what others thought of her, she'd probably never have entered politics at all. The state of Alaska would probably not be in as great shape as it is, and again, the Republican Party would probably be in worse shape than it is. I drive around and I see people still proudly displaying Sarah Palin memorabilia. I see new Palin '12 stickers and signs. I see Sarah Palin enthusiasts all throughout the internet with groups like Team Sarah with over 65,000 active members.
I could go on with other people I admire, but they all seem to have that one thing in common.
There's a reason I chose that song to make my blog theme and it's not all about being a proud Southerner. It's about having my opinions and not being afraid to put them out there. It's about not letting others get to me when I know in my heart that I can live with my own opinions and values and am learning to be happy with the way I live my life. I've always been very political and that's just the way it is. It's interesting and to me, it's important. I have no problem with people who aren't and I have no problem with people who disagree with me. If you look at my list of blogs I read, several of those listed are not politically in step with me but I like to hear what they have to say on other matters. I have several friends and relatives who do not see eye-to-eye with me on any one political issue and that's fine. There are a million other things we have to talk about and a million reasons why we can't let that stand in the way of our relationships.
What I don't care for are people who are rude and disrespectful over a difference of opinion and do let it stand in the way of everything else, but that's to be expected in anything, I suppose, particularly politics...and I'm learning it's true that those people usually aren't happy with themselves. They aren't as confident in themselves as Rush Limbaugh is, as Sarah Palin is...as I am.
And I will never apologize for it.
January 24, 2009
My favorite line:
Imagine a disorder that blends the earnestness of global warming theology with the compulsion of internet porn - creating a relentless need to remind yourself how great it was that you voted for Obama - over and over until your hands are blood-raw from patting yourself on the back.
BTW, speaking of our great leader, why is he carrying on about Rush Limbaugh. Why is the leader of our country concerned about, intimidated by, or even giving credit to Limbaugh when all you hear from the left is that Limbaugh is nothing more than a "celebrity?" Hmmm? He's playing right into Rush's game! (I'm certainly not complaining, just a little embarrassed for those who supported him.) As for his "I won" comment...all I have to say is BE AFRAID.
UPDATE: Limbaugh responds: Limbaugh Responds to Obama
Also, Gerald Warner has a great piece in the London Telegraph! It's a must read: Barack Obama inauguration: this Emperor has no clothes, it will all end in tears.
My favorite line from this one:
It is questionable whether the present political system can survive the coming crisis. Whatever the solution, teenage swooning sentimentality over a celebrity cult has no part in it. The most powerful nation on earth is confronting its worst economic crisis under the leadership of its most extremely liberal politician, who has virtually no experience of federal politics. That is not an opportunity but a catastrophe.
Finally, file this one under "Dumbass of the Day." Not only is he reporting false information but come on, "If she can read?" I'll let the video speak for itself (let's just say ol' Chris still gets a thrill up his leg from all things Obama):
January 23, 2009
There have been rumors going around that Gov. Palin is shopping an $11 million book deal. According to Greta Van Susteren, those rumors are simply not true. From Greta's blog:
This does not mean she won’t write a book in the future and shop it (all politicians and TV people seem to do that so it is expected) but she is not doing it right now…and she is not asking for $11 million dollars.
Why correct this ? Because information on the internet is malignant…and if the facts don’t get corrected, the lies and misinformation just multiplies.
As I've mentioned before, Greta's coverage of Governor Palin throughout the campaign was the dictionary version of "fair and balanced." Her interviews weren't conducted with an agenda in mind, but to find out more about the woman who could have and could possibly be the leader of our country.
In other Palin news, the Governor is working to rein in spending in Alaska starting with a hiring freeze and a proposed seven percent reduction in spending from last year. From Palin's annual State of the State address:
At a time when other state legislatures are staring at multibillion dollar deficits, and when our federal government proposes a deficit in excess of a trillion dollars this year alone, we have all the cautionary examples we need in the virtues of living within our means. With less revenue, we have an obligation to spend less money.
By "less revenue," the good Gov. is talking about the $100 a barrel drop in oil prices. According to Forbes.com:
Alaska's treasury is 90% reliant upon oil revenues. Last year, when oil prices were high, about $140 a barrel, lawmakers stashed away billions. Palin said because of that, Alaska is well-prepared to face the challenges of a downturn in the national economy now that oil prices have plummeted to under $40 a barrel.
Let's see - less revenue coming into the state's treasury means less spending by the state's government. What a simple idea! Too bad our federal government doesn't quite grasp it!
Palin's speech also touched on the much talked about proposed natural gas pipeline, how important it is to her state's future and how it will effect the entire country:
America's security, Alaska's revenue, Alaskan careers, affordable fuel, even our ability to finally diversify our economy - all these hinge on the success of this great undertaking. I assure you: The line will be built, gas will flow, Alaska will succeed
It sound to me like Palin's Alaska is in good shape and some of our other leaders could take note. Unfortunately, unless you turned into "On the Record" during the last couple of months of the election season, you probably didn't get past the pregnant daughter or the wardrobe. Shameful.
So, I'm driving down the road and all is well when a local radio station I'm listening to breaks in as though they have important news. I didn't think much about it - I figured it had something to do with the senate seat in New York or maybe the President drank a glass of water or something - until I heard the sweet sound of circa 70's Lindsey Buckingham telling whomever was listening they could go their own way.
"Fleetwood Mac is coming back to Atlanta...a historic reunion, must-see concert!" the DJ announced.
I'll admit, my heart skipped a beat. I've known since the summer that the band would be reuniting sans Christine McVie but as of yet, they'd only announced dates for the spring and they were all in the Northeastern part of the country. I just assumed the rest of us would be graced with their presence later in the year, giving me plenty of time to prepare. The GC and I already agreed to go together no matter what.
Back to today.
The advertisement for the tour continued, playing snippets of songs and talking about the band's accomplishments. I waited patiently, ready to text the GC with the date so he could get it to his boss and secure the day off. I was thinking May/June/July.
"April 28...at whatever venue..." (I can't even remember where it's going to be)
Okay, April 28th...sooner than I thought but really close to my birthday. Wouldn't that be a fun way to celebrate the big 2-8? My phone's in my hand, ready to text...
"Tickets go on sale MONDAY at 10:00 AM!!! GET THERE EARLY, THE SHOW IS SURE TO SELL OUT!!"
What? Monday? As in January 26th? As in three days from today? There's one small problem with that. If you've been keeping up, I'm not exactly employed at the moment and have had the worst luck trying to become that way...missed phone calls, interviewer errors, not realizing I knew the person who was doing the hiring, lack of fluency in Spanish. So being that I don't actually have a real job right now, I'm not exactly rolling in cash to buy concert tickets with. What little money I have at the moment is going towards things like car insurance, school, and my cell phone bill. As a matter of fact, Monday is supposed to be my next big "look for a job" day. Who puts tickets on sale three days after they announce the concert? I was pretty upset, this summer, when I missed REM and Alison Krauss with Robert Plant, but this will be the ultimate disappointment. If you're going, please don't even tell me about it. I'm just going to pretend to be blissfully unaware.
This may be the most depressing thing I've heard all day. And that's considering I got an invitation to my ten year high school reunion, today. Go figure.
Song of the Day: "Never Going Back Again" - Fleetwood Mac
January 20, 2009
Now back to my workout...squats were a lot more fun before I ran over myself. SIGH.
For some reason those words have been swimming around in my head for the last few hours. I watched the actual swearing in just for the sake of watching the process and seeing President Bush - looking slightly relieved - for the last time as the leader of our country, but that's about as far as my inauguration viewing went, today. I couldn't help but wonder as I watched President Obama stumble over John Roberts' words, if a President Obama will pick just men such as Roberts for the Supreme Court should the need arise. I couldn't help but notice how race played such a big role in the festivities, which in my opinion contradicts the words of the man we were supposed to celebrate, yesterday. I couldn't help listening to the President's less than inspirational speech and resenting phrases such as "remaking America." I couldn't help but listen to the crowd chant "Obama" as if they were at a Beatles concert and wonder if the cult-like mentality that surrounds this man could eventually be what brings our country down.
That said, he is now my President and unlike many on the left treated Bush, I will not disrespect the office nor the man unless he gives me good reason to. All I can do is hope and pray that he won't guide us away from the "shining city upon a hill."
Speaking of inauguration speeches, this one has to be one of the best ever. I was not even born at the time this one was made but I've heard it many times and it gives me chills with each listen:
If ever you doubted that Obamamania is fundamentally a religious movement, at least among nitwits like this, watch and note how few of their pledges are tied to Obama’s policy agenda. It’s mostly personal pap about smiling more and being a better parent, forms of self-improvement which, it seems, simply couldn’t be undertaken until the GOP was out of the White House.
And from The Weekly Standard regarding the video:
Ashton Kutcher announced this new initiative in a barely literate personal essay at the Huffington Post over the weekend. The concept seems to be 'Pay it Forward,' but with a creepy loyalty oath to our new leader mixed in for good measure. Here's the video of a bunch of B-, C-, and D-list celebrities, and Michael Strahan, resolving to take time out of their busy schedules of pilates and facials to end slavery, hunger, and Alzheimers -- and to be a "servant" to our new president. That or a lot of slaves, hungry people, and confused seniors just got punked.I don't have a lot to add though I'd like to second the notion of how it's funny these celebs couldn't be the great people they've decided they're going to be until Bush was out of office. Sorry, I can't take four years of this self-indulgent bullshit from the Hollywood crowd.
January 18, 2009
I thought Tuesday would be the only day I'd have to avoid my television, but it seems like "Obama Day" has already started. I woke up, yesterday, to see that Fox News has their weekday big guns doing the weekend lineup. Why? Well, I didn't watch much of it (they lost me at the side-by-side pictures of Lincoln and Obama...seriously?) but it seems like the not yet president can't go to the bathroom without a camera and Shepard Smith giving the play-by-play. I'd hate to see what MSNBC is doing. I suppose I'm relatively young compared to most people who are politically active, but I just don't recall this sort of hoopla with past presidents.
Anyway, as I mentioned, I plan to avoid inauguration day like Tim Geithner avoids the IRS. It's not because I didn't vote for Obama, but because I think it's become a spectacle that it shouldn't be. There's something about the celebrity involvement that's really rubbing me the wrong way. When I think of precious moments in America's history (as I'm pretty sure Peggy Noonan will later describe this day), they don't involve Oprah and Beyonce. Sorry. Whether they're gushing about how they will be in attendance, throwing money at the thing, or having an "after party," I just don't like the Hollywoodness of it all.
I've written this before, but I'd have so much respect for the Big O if he's step back and say, you know what, guys, this is not a time for this. Tens of thousands of people are losing their jobs each day. We've got a war going on, the economy is in shambles. Thanks, Halle Berry for that $50,000 you donated, but you know what? Take that money and pay the bills for a family who can't turn their heat on because mom just lost her job. Don't spend January 20th in DC, go to your local military base and thank the guys who keep you safe every day. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for people doing whatever the heck they want to do with their money (which is why I didn't vote for the Big O), but I have a big problem with hypocrites.
The other issue I have with this entire ordeal is the free pass the media is giving the Big O. When President Bush was sworn into office in 2004, you'd think he quoted Hitler and sacrificed an infant. There were countless reports of the unprecedented $40 million event and the unusual amounts of security, particularly during wartime. Well, guess what? Obama's inauguration has already tripled that number ($150 million) and we're still at war. Here's an interesting tidbit of information from Newsbusters regarding ABC and the late Peter Jennings (just to prove my point):
The day before Bush’s 2005 swearing-in, ABC’s Web site pleaded for tips of “any military funerals for Iraq war casualties scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 20.” Sure enough, then-ABC anchor Peter Jennings got his wish to report how “just about the time the president was speaking, there was a funeral for a young Marine reservist: 21-year-old Matthew Holloway was killed in Iraq last week by a roadside bomb.”
If there was ever any doubt in your mind that the media is biased, let this prove otherwise. And if you want more examples, I'll be happy to provide them.
I've yet to hear a reasonable explanation as to why this is acceptable. I've heard the "but it's historical." Aren't all inaugurations historical? Here I go being a "racist" again, but I don't really care that he's the first "black" president, I care that he may or may not fix the economy or keep us safe from radical Isalm and the other security issues we may face. And it's certainly not a reason to not hold this soon-to-be president to the same standards the current one has been held to for eight years.
If you want a good laugh, check out this Salon.com article by Eric Boehlert from January 20, 2005. I don't know what Boehlert's doing now, but I'm pretty sure he hasn't chastised the Big O for what's going on, this week: Giving Bush a pass -- again - Salon.com
Here's another great post from Ace of Spaces, taking the AP to task: Ace of Spades HQ
I love this! You all know I'm a crazy, obsessed "Andy Griffith Show" fan, right? Well, for some reason, I never really loved the episodes with The Darlings on them but full disclosure: even though I'm not really all that into country music, I love bluegrass and I have always appreciated the music that each of those episodes was sure to bring. If you don't know, the guys who made up the non-speaking Darling sons were actually a real-life band called The Dilliards. I actually listen to some of their music now (my favorite is their cover of "I've Just Seen a Face"). Anyway, this episode was on, the other night, and I absolutely love this version of this song, so I thought I'd make it my song of the day.
January 16, 2009
I don't know about you, but I'm still scratching my head, wondering why those people on that airplane in New York had to stand on the wings and wait for a boat to pick them up. Or does Obama not do the walking on water until after January 20th? And I know I'm still holding off on paying all of my January bills...just in case. Why waste the money if the Big O is going to pay them for me? (I'd much rather spend my car insurance money on a Wii.) For that matter, why the hell are we waiting until January 20th to put him in office!!! Why can't we get Bush-Hitler out of there NOW!!!
Okay, I'm kidding, obviously, but this is the sort of attitude I seem to be met with, lately, from almost everyone I encounter. I've been pretty busy and wrapped up in own life, this week, but even so, it seems I can't avoid the hysteria surrounding the man who will become our president sometime next week (I hear he's going to be sworn in on the Oprah show or something)?
I'd like to list my examples, but there have been so many, I'm not so sure I can remember them all. I guess I'll start with the academic world. As many of you know, I'm taking a few classes because I've decided to return to school to get certified to teach elementary school. I figured it'd be a good thing to fall back on and something I wouldn't mind being stuck doing the rest of my life, but after a week of classes, I'm beginning to wonder if my conservative/libertarian values fit into the world of education (I think I'll post more about that later). During yesterday's class, we had to fill out a "getting to know you" worksheet that asked questions such as "What do you like to read?" and "Who do you admire?" I thought about the "Who do you admire" question and I had a brief internal debate with myself. Do I take the easy out and just scribble out "my mom" in the blank and move on, or do I stand up for what I believe in and give an honest answer and write in someone like "President Reagan," or perhaps even worse, "Governor Palin." This class is full of predominantly older black women, so I already kind of stuck out like a sore thumb. I listened as others began to share their answers. There were a few relatives, a few "Dr. King's," but not yet "President Obama" seemed to get the most votes along with a few longer than necessary speeches to back that answer up. The professor oh'd and ah'd over how wonderful each one was, and the students' eyes gleamed as if the man, himself, was in the room with us. When they got to me, I mumbled something about how my mother always puts her family first. Half of me was ashamed of myself for worrying what other people thought but the other, more logical half realized I'd made the right decision. It was just a stupid little exercise, but I have to admit I was bothered about how uncomfortable I felt about potentially speaking the truth. Not to sound like a girl, but it was not so much what they said, but the way they said it. It was as though there was no room for any opposing thought in the room. If I were younger and had the energy, I may have taken the controversial route. You know, make the case for Palin, then call into radio talk shows, or write to O'Reilly so he could have that Jesse Waters guy chase my professor to her car. But honestly, school, I'm just not that into you.
Following my experience, I was talking to the GC, this morning, who is also starting a fresh semester at a local university. He's taking some kind of basic lit class and he said some of his required reading will include books written by the Big O. I'm not sure how an autobiography written by someone who hadn't really accomplished anything classifies as literature, but the GC claims the professor seems more interested in having her students learn about the "struggles Barack had to go through in his lifetime." I'll keep my opinions to myself about the Big O's "struggles," but I do think maybe the GC should be the one to get Jesse Waters on the horn.
Another example I have is the huge display I saw in Wal-mart, yesterday. I'm certainly not anti-Wal-mart, but I try to avoid my local one like the plague for personal reasons. Unfortunately, yesterday, a trip could not be avoided as it suddenly occurred to me that I should probably have some pens and a notebook for my class (hey, it's been a while). As I was crossing over from the garden shop (great parking if you go in that door) to the office supplies, I noticed a huge display in the middle of the store with Obama books, calendars, and other merchandise. Okay, fine, they're celebrating a new president (even though when I worked in retail when Bush was elected, we seemed to celebrate with anti-Bush memorabilia). But I couldn't help but notice the other stuff on the display had nothing to do with Obama. I'm sure I'll be labeled a racist for even saying this, but all of the other stuff on the very large display was quite obviously aimed at people of a certain race. So much for being president for all of us, huh? I'm kidding. Obviously, it was some sort of marketing scheme by some crafty capitalists, but there's a method to the madness, there, and a reality behind it.
Today, I was out running errands and I heard a commercial on the radio for some store in Atlanta. I want to say they were selling beds or mattresses, but I was kind of half-paying attention as I was debating what kind of not so healthy stuff I wanted to get for lunch. The company was promoting a sale they had going on and the words "sale lasts through Obama Day" stood out. Obama Day? When is that?? Is that January 20th? Does their sale last until Obama's birthday which I believe is in August? Does he already have his own day? Did MLK day get the boot? Was January 20th, 2000 called "Bush Day" and I just missed it? Again, a marketing ploy, I suppose, but it had the opposite effect on me.
I could continue down this list, but I have a reason for pointing this stuff out. It continues to amaze me that so many of these people are STILL mesmerized by the celebrity, the myth that surrounds this man and I truly believe they are still counting on this myth to fix everything within a week of "Obama Day." A few of them have already received a cold dose of reality: the rabid "gay activists" and the choice of Rick Warren for the inauguration and the loony protesters who are kinda sorta realizing the Big O is not going to end the war or close Gitmo on January 21st, just as they thought he might. I've even heard countless people talk about how they are putting off looking for a job until after he takes office because there will be more? So many people have unrealistic expectations of this man and that's ultimately what put him in office. People are also so caught up in how "historic" the election was and that's great. I even see where they're coming from but right now, I don't care about history because if that's all we're worried about, we're not going to have much history left to make. I can't get caught up in a feel-good fairytale when my father doesn't know if he has a job from day-to-day or I see kids in my classes whose parents can't afford to buy them a coat for the twenty degree weather because their parents lost their jobs. I can't be concerned with history books when all I see is my country beginning to fail.
There actually seems to be a huge misconception out there that those of us who are anti-Obama want to see the country fail under him and that couldn't be further from the truth (though if you honestly believe that, look up the phrase "tongue-in-cheek," it will do you a world of good)! I would like nothing more than for this country to grow and prosper and continue to be the best country in the world, but I just don't think it's going to happen under this president because not only is he already showing signs that he's a bit in over his head, but it has been proven that many of his ideas do not and will not work, and could possibly take years to be undone. Of course, I hope I'm wrong on that one, but I do know there's one thing I'm right about: it's beyond time some people take a huge dose of reality.
January 10, 2009
“[Some players] lost a father figure. I lost a brother. If he’s retiring, that’s one thing. But for him to play somewhere else is unacceptable.” - Chipper Jones
If you live in Atlanta or are a Braves fan, you've probably heard by now that John Smoltz is leaving our team to play for the Red Sox, next year. I'm sure many people are wondering why this is such a big deal - baseball players switch teams all the time. True, but for the better part of the last two decades, John Smoltz has avoided what has almost become the inevitable, and has been the face of a team that has seen ups and downs and everything in between over the course of the last twenty years. With Smoltz gone, being a Braves fan has lost meaning. If Chipper Jones' recent tirades are any indication, being a Braves player has too.
My first vivid memories of Smoltz are from the 1991 season, a year Braves baseball changed for the better - the "worst to first" season, if you will. I think John Smoltz was the opening day starting pitcher, that year, and he was backed up by guys who now work only as coaches, announcers, and business owners. The year was the beginning of a decade of division and play-off wins, even a World Series, with guys like Smoltz, Tom Glavine, Ron Gant, David Justice, and Terry Pendleton leading the way. I remember everything about that year almost as vividly as if it just happened. From the excitement that filled the city as the laughing stock of the MLB started to win games, to the end when the Braves drove through the streets of Atlanta in a parade celebrating their accomplishments. I was in 5th grade that year and I was very upset that my mother wouldn't let me skip school to attend that parade, but I still have it on video somewhere. I remember Smoltz sitting next to his pregnant wife, Dyan, a little younger and with a little more hair. At that moment, I'm not sure if he or anyone knew what sort of personal and professional journey the future held for him.
Smoltz would go on to become one of the best pitchers in the league. He became the guy everyone remembered. As the "90's guys" left for other opportunities or just left the game of baseball, Smoltz was there. Even when my beloved Tom Glavine set out for Shea Stadium, Smoltz was there. His presence in this city was important, both on and off the field.
And that's why so many people are having a hard time digesting just what has happened between Smoltz and the Braves' administration in the last week. Suddenly, our guy is gone. Our last bit of a team that defied all odds is just a guy in a Boston Red Sox jersey. There's so much that can be said about the financial aspects of professional sports these days. I hate when people complain about how much athletes make but if you're able to look past this, Smoltz got a raw deal. To the guys in the office, money is everything and while fans have come to terms with that, they still go to game to see their heroes. There are few greater feelings than watching a guy play ball who was someone your dad watched and rooted for, before you were born (for me, that man was Dale Murphy). The Braves aren't doing well right now and I understand they're trying to fix that. But what Smoltz wanted to stay in Atlanta was pocket change in the grand scheme of baseball salaries and worth every penny if for no other reason, to fill seats. People do not want to go to a stadium to watch a guy they've never heard of play mediocre ball.
Even the players haven't taken this lightly. As I mentioned, Chipper Jones (perhaps the last guy left who could be called the "face of the team"), has been quite outspoken since the decision was made. It was no secret that even when he wasn't playing, Smoltz was a mentor and a coach to the young guys who came through the Braves' organization; I can imagine many of them aren't too enthusiastic about the choice, either.
If the comments I've seen on local blogs and newspapers are any indication, a lot more Braves fans will be shying away from the field and their televisions, this year. And if you're keeping count, that's not a good thing as the team has had a hard time filling seats in the past few years anyway. Atlanta sports teams seem to have some of the most apathetic fans in the nation but to be fair, the Braves haven't given us a lot to be excited about, lately.
That said, they will continue to be my team as they always have, but I'm left my shaking my head at this one. Given his age and his medical woes, it's true, Smoltz is a huge risk for any team. But if a team like Boston is ready to take that risk, it's a little disheartening to think the team that Smoltz has done so much for (including taking sizable salary cuts in the past just to stay here) would not be willing to do the same.
Jeff Schultz has a great column about it in the AJC here: Smoltz deserved better from Braves
And thinking about the 1991 season reminded me of something I posted last year about a guy who was also there in the 90's who many people may not know: Walter Banks: The greatest man in baseball you will probably never know
January 09, 2009
January 08, 2009
John Ziegler has conducted what I think is one of the best interviews with Gov. Sarah Palin to date. He interviewed her in her home on January 5th of this year for a documentary he's doing about the media's unfair coverage of the 2008 election.
You can read more about his experience with the interview here (this is really a great read if you have the time...gives you another inside look at the "real deal" that is Palin): Big Hollywood » Blog Archive » Video Exclusive: A Revealing Morning With Sarah Palin
You can read more about the documentary here: How Obama Got Elected
And you can watch some excerpts from the interview here:
The best description I can find is this quote from Breitbart: "If conservatives don't figure out popular culture soon, the movement will die a deserving death."
From Rush Limbaugh's daily email newsletter: "Andrew Breitbart has launched Big Hollywood, a blog aimed at getting conservatives out of the closet in Hollywood and breaking the liberal monopoly on popular culture."
I'm very excited about this because it's something I've been saying for years...as a matter of fact, once up a time when my head was buried in acting classes and a film major, my single goal in life was to try to come up with a way to bring more uhhhhh conservative-ish type things to our pop culture (particularly TV/Film), but my dream died a slow, horrible death at some point in the past few years when I decided I should find a sensible career.
Anyway, lots of great people are hanging out over there, so check it out...
January 07, 2009
January 06, 2009
Primary school drops word school from name as 'too negative' - Telegraph
Granted it's in the UK but isn't the Big O's goal for us to be closer to Europe...or something like that? I've already learned the school system where I live doesn't give grades anymore...what's next?
January 03, 2009
I really had high hopes for the Falcons in the play-offs and they came so close to winning this game against Arizona, tonight, but I'm not going to dwell on the fact that they didn't. Let's face it, after last year, those guys came along way. A rookie quarterback that wasn't the most well-received man in town, a new head coach all the off-the-field issues...I don't think anyone expected them to make it even this far. Maybe next year, Atlantans and Falcons' fans everywhere will pull their heads out of their butts and attend some games.
In the meantime, GO COLTS!!!!
1. Universal health care 64.9%
2. Economic recovery and job creation 62.1%
3. Build a green economy, stop climate change 49.6%
4. End the war in Iraq 48.3%
5. Improve public schools 21.6%
6. Restore civil liberties 16.8%
7. Hold the Bush Administration accountable 15.2%
8. Gay rights/LGBT equality 8.6%
9. Increase access to higher education 7.6%
10. Reform campaigns and elections 5.7%
Ok, admittedly, a couple of these are legit - I think we'd all like to see the economy get back on track though I bet they have different ideas than I do on how to do that, but there were two things that really cracked me up.
1. Goal # 3: "Build a green economy, stop climate change" received votes from half of their members. It ranked higher than education issues and ending the war in Iraq. I don't even know where to go with this one without giving a Limbaughesque speech. Maybe I shouldn't be laughing, maybe I should be crying at what a cult this global warming stuff has become. I went grocery shopping today for some real food (but healthy) and I almost had to put my bag of Sun Chips back on the shelf. There was a little green label at the bottom and upon first glance, I thought it was the American Heart Association Seal of approval that so many food items have on them these days and I'm pretty sure used to be on the Sun Chips. I couldn't be more wrong. Upon further inspection, I noticed it said "We Buy Green Energy Credits." WTF? "Going green" is more important than a healthy heart now?
2. Nowhere on the list do I see anything about national security. Nothing. Nothing about keeping the country safe, nothing about keeping a strong military, nothing about fighting terror. I wish I lived in this ice cream and rainbows world the far left seems to live in. How does it work exactly? If men can marry other men, Al Qaeda won't try to kill us anymore? Too bad Frank Capra and Donna Reed aren't around anymore, I smell a classic film in the making!!
I just hope this agenda doesn't become our dear President-elect's. So far, I have a little faith that it's not going to but as I was just commenting on Pat's blog, you really can't tell with him.
P.S. Yes, I'm ignoring that the number one thing was universal health care - all I could think of was a "liberals don't have jobs" joke. That's just too much to rationalize during the Falcons game.
BTW - here's the link if you want to read more about the agenda of the far left: MoveOn.org Political Action: Democracy in Action
January 02, 2009
I'm going to try this again, simply because I have an OCD thing with making lists. Who's with me? Books read in 2009 - I'm aiming for 50 and hoping to go beyond that, but that's assuming life doesn't get in the way and/or I find a better way to manage my time. Keep in mind, I'll be returning to a world of text books as I am getting certified to teach. Anyway, enough excuses, I'm going to start my list and will update periodically:
1. Life's a Beach by Claire Cook - cute, light read which I plan to do a lot of, this year, to counter said text books. And yes, technically I started it in 2008, but I read more than half in 2009, so it doesn't count.
BTW - I also added a "Currently Reading..." thing to the sidebar. I'll probably forget to update it, but it's there.
January 01, 2009
So this year, People Magazine chose Hugh Jackman as their "Sexiest Man Alive." I have to say I was actually pretty impressed with this somewhat unconventional choice (by unconventional, I mean not Brad Pitt or George Clooney). I don't know a lot about him but from all I've seen, Hugh seems like a pretty decent guy who doesn't take himself too seriously and doesn't know how sexy he is, and I think that's the sexiest thing about him. I'm sure you're all wondering who I'd choose as the sexiest man alive (just play along) and since I'm in the habit of correcting magazines lately, I've decided to make my own list...in no particular order:
1. Curtis Stone (aka the take-home chef) - if you've never seen TLC's "Take-Home Chef," you have no idea what you're missing. I've never been one of those "Food Network" girls like so many of my friends...probably because I don't cook...but I have seen more episodes of this show than I can count. I even made myself watch Oprah the other day because he was one of her guest celebrity chefs. Anywho, this tall, Australian, self-proclaimed surfer dude's personality shines through every time he's on TV and I've seen him make even Martha Stewart blush. I don't know of one single female who's tuned into his show and wasn't left wishing he'd take her home...with or without a carload of groceries.
2. Matthew Perry (aka Chandler Bing) - I didn't really get into "Friends" until the last few years it aired and that was only after I saw Matthew Perry on "The Tonight Show." There's something neurotic and real about him that I liked...hmmm. He's slowly become my personal "celeb crush" if you will. Anyway, MP hasn't done much since "Friends" (I can't be the only person that liked "Studio 60!!") but I'm looking forward to his new show "The End of Steve" this year.
3. Lindsey Buckingham (aka the guy from Fleetwood Mac) - I've been a Fleetwood Mac fan for as long as I can remember, but I'd never really paid much attention to the band itself (aside from Stevie Nicks) until this last August. I'll spare you the story as it's been chronicled on this very blog, but there was something incredibly hot about LB during the band's 1997 "The Dance" reunion tour. I can't say I'm a big fan of his '70s and '80s looks, and I think he's at his best while on stage with Stevie as opposed to the solo stuff, but I could literally watch him twitch and sing and play that guitar all day. There's something totally hot about a guy who's that into his music...assuming the music is actually good.
4. Andy Garcia (aka the actor) - Andy Garcia is pretty hot, don't get me wrong, but I think it's hearing him talk about this country that makes me all warm and tingly...uh, I mean that makes me want to add him to my list. I've been a fan of his for years and I love to hear him talk about life in Cuba and how unappreciative Americans can be of what we have. He talks about his family and all the success he's achieved with such appreciation, and he even went against the rules of Hollywood and made a film negatively portraying Che Guevara (I haven't seen it yet but it's on my list).
5. Andy Levy (aka "Red Eye w/ Greg Gutfeld" ombudsman) - If you haven't seen "Red Eye w/ Greg Gutfeld" on the Fox News Channel at 3:00 AM EST, you are missing out on quite a little treat. While Gutfeld and the others are all really great, it was Andy Levy who first caught my attention and after sitting up one night reading his old blog, I was hooked. He's hilarious, ridiculously smart, and aside from his inability to say nice things about Sarah Palin, I think he's a pretty nice guy. Pretty cute too.
There you have it - my idea of "sexy" in a nutshell. I had a few others I wanted to add to the list but I decided to narrow it down to five because...well, actually because I didn't want to spend all day working on it.
Update: I totally forgot to put Rob Lowe on here - I know he's kind of a perv, but OMG is he gorgeous... shallow moment>
Today I went to the grocery store and bought celery, apples, carrots, kiwi fruit, grapefruit, cabbage, tangerines, almonds, cashews, and broccoli. I'll start tomorrow (I couldn't pass up my mom's fried chicken and my aunt's sweet potato casserole, tonight).
I also plan to start working out on a regular basis. It's killing me that I can't swim right now and I've been seriously considering joining a gym with a pool for that reason, but I've found a person who owns a private pool a little north of here who's going to open it for $3 a swim (or $30 a month) starting in February and if I see it's not too crowded, I'm going to try to work that into my schedule. I may be one of the few people who actually likes to workout but swimming is where my heart is and I can go and go and go...plus it's easier on my bum knee (see: ran over myself in August). Sadly, that's one reason the little house in the woods is so appealing...as soon as the pool's open I can swim 24/7 without having to worry about doing something with my dog or driving across town.
I like kickboxing and I like doing circuit training but right now I don't have a lot of space to do that in. I also plan to take full advantage of Netflix's "instant watch" option and see what sort of workouts they have there. And if all else fails, the house I'm planning to move into is about a mile walk up hill, through the woods to my parents house and there's always the creepy park and the occasional tennis match.
I don't want to spend this night getting into politics and I'm getting tired of this little blogging all evening thing (though I didn't do as much as I planned...oops) but when John McCain chose Sarah Palin for his VP, my outlook on life changed for the better. I had so much hope for the future of our country. I will never forget how proud I was that morning as she accepted the nomination. I probably knew a little more about Palin that a lot of us outside of Alaska did, but getting to know even more about her was something I am very glad I had the opportunity to do. For the first time in a while, I was able to wholeheartedly trust and believe that someone in politics was there to better the country and would apply some good old-fashioned common sense to Washington DC.
The treatment of Sarah Palin and her family in the media was unbelievable and I learned a lot about people during that time, but Governor Palin handled it all with dignity and grace and I'm proud to say she was the VP candidate for my party. I'm proud to know that should I ever have a daughter of my own, there's a leader in our country that I can use as an example of how it is possible to be anything you want to be, that it's not always your last name, the amount of money you have, where you went to school, or who your friends are that gets you to the top.
I don't know what Governor Palin's plans for the future are, but I'm excited about the potential. I'll leave you with a quote from Tammy Bruce:
"I can tell you this--I think one of the best things to happen in 2008 was getting to know to Sarah Palin. Can you believe, with all that has happened, Palinmania just started on August 29th? For all the complaints we have about John McCain, we can thank him for having the courage (and the vision) to bring her to national prominence."