where all are welcome but few will stay

12.18.2007

On the 18th Day of Christmas...

Several of my friends are flying tomorrow to several different parts of the country to be with their families for Christmas. Annually we all make the trip home for the winter holiday even if the expense serves as a valid reason to keep us away the rest of the year. Tomorrow they'll wake up, and brave the traffic and irritation at the airport to board a flight they're not really sure they want to be boarding. By the time they've spent two hours in line waiting to move through metal detectors while novice flyers slow the pace attempting to get their illegal token liquid presents or other contraband on to the plane, my friends will start to think of how irritated they are to have to make such inconveniences to accommodate their families. They'll start to pick apart and remember all the faults they initially found in their hometowns. And all at once, the reminders of why they left will come flooding into their minds building dissatisfaction into monumental levels that will never abide until they are back home. Their home. Essentially, all the good will which has been building and stored up through out the year will be spent in an hour before they've even left the ground.

My best friend once told me she admired me for moving to another part of the state and making a life for myself. I've never been able to express to her that I've always thought she was the braver one for having stayed home. Running away is easy. And figuring out that running away is easy is the best lesson to have learned from leaving home. People who leave home often boast about the lives they've built for themselves out of nothing. Nobody ever tells you that the best time to build something is when you have nothing because you have nothing to lose. Watching some DVD extras this week after a movie I came across an interview in which the moderator based his question to the director by first laying out this premise. That all writers are essentially bastards (or assholes I can't remember which). That he, the moderator, was most qualified to say this because he himself was a writer. Writers, he said, live in their own worlds. They create worlds and even the most talented writers are obsessed with their own perception of the world; its what creates their art--their perception. Am I an asshole? Are my friends assholes? Is this what makes an artist? The ability to selfishly indulge in one's one thoughts or perceptions? Or is this just the red herring question everyone of a certain age asks themselves? And by that I don't mean an actual age, but rather someone who has never really wanted for something. Someone who has never been tested by circumstance to want something that they can't readily access or conquer. Is it a question of the over privileged? Privileged not by wealth but by an abundance of choices and circumstance.

So on this the 18th Day of Christmas, I acknowledge that the things I want most this holiday are things that can't be readily given. But I'll settle for this, that when my friends finally land and they are met by an equally agitated family member who has been circling the crowded airport for two hours (not having known about the delay) that they are all suddenly awash in good cheer. That for some unknown reason a warm holiday feeling floods back into them and they are able to see themselves in the family that they see so little of.

12.10.2007

Robin Gerber: Oprah's Other Favorite Candidate - Entertainment on The Huffington Post

Last night and this morning the media is reeling with Oprah's first campaign trail appearance along side Obama. There are at least four other blog posts on the Huff Po all about the impact Oprah will make by endorsing a candidate. Robin Gerber believes that this is just the most obvious showing of Oprah's politics a planned out foray which was vetted by having Morgan Spurlock and Micheal Moore appear on her show. Gerber's stance is Oprah's politics have been "showing" since the beginning of her show this year. Oprah amassed a fortune and an army on the weight of her politics. The truth is Winfrey's politics only seem to be showing because the country's political climate under the Bush Administration is becoming more and more strained as they single handedly wipe out the middle class; Winfrey's base. Oprah's had other politicians on her show before to discuss their beliefs and stances on issues facing the U.S. People forget the show she hosted during California's Governor 's race where she interviewed her good friend Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Oprah's politics are exactly like the politics of this country. They shift according to what will be best for her own interests whether those interest are directly related to her own well being or that of her friend's Winfrey will always stand by what she believes is right. And in the end isn't that something we're all guilty of?

Thankfully as she hits the campaign trail this time I agree with her.


Robin Gerber: Oprah's Other Favorite Candidate - Entertainment on The Huffington Post

12.07.2007

On the 7th Day of Christmas...

Comfy cozy things are my down fall. Its no secret I've got a permanent case of the lazies. If I could stay home all day and talk to no one just read and play with the computer that would be heaven. I also don't like to share, but that's another story. Anywho, it should come as no surprise than that I already owned a pair of warm winter slippers to ramble around my apartment in. So when my boyfriend suggested new slippers from Restoration Hardware I balked.

After he bought his and I tried them on I insisted we go by me a pair the next day. Foot duvets is an excellent description. You better get you some!

Luxury Plush Foot Duvets Eucalyptus

12.06.2007

On the 6th Day of Christmas...

As if I didn't love the interweb too much already, I give you Songza! There are some instances where we've been able to stump it, but by and large you can hear almost any song.

Recently, I wanted to try and find a copy of Shirley Ellis's Clapping Song. I wasn't able to find it anywhere, but at least with Songza I can hear it.

12.05.2007

On the 5th Day of Christmas...

100 Notable Books of the Year - 2007 - New York Times

Matrimony sounds the most interesting to me. After watching the British "Up" series this year I've been most interested in projects that track people's lives. For the stories but also for the artists who put all their effort into one life long project.

12.04.2007

On the 4th Day of Christmas...

Amazon.com: Oprah Winfrey and the Glamour of Misery: An Essay on Popular Culture: Books: Eva Illouz

Seems like I'm not the only one obsessed with the power of O. This is a mighty pricey book...maybe its out of print and my thesis surrounding Lady O still has a shot.

11.11.2007

The Browning of History

I couldn't resist the link for this SF gate article this morning. Months ago when Ken Burns' The War was set to air the Chronicle's t.v. critic Tim Goodman put out a scathing column detailing his outrage toward Latino groups who pressured Burns to include a segment on Latino veterans in Burns' film. The column stuck in my mind because I've always admired Goodman's reviews, his sense of humor, and his taste in television. So when I read the article it pissed me off. It was like a friend had reached out from my monitor to slap me in the face. His argument was one I've had with friends for years. Where is the line between art and personal social responsibility drawn? Is it Ken Burns' responsibility to add every shape and color of veteran to his documentary? Do groups have the right to pressure artists to change their art?

Well, in the Burns case I would say, yes, yes they do. Documentaries are a form of chronicling history and given all of our "new media" platforms, I think more and more they are going to become history. Strict written narratives will be replaced by a more interactive way to view our history through film footage- of first person accounts, still and moving pictures, coupled with voice over criticism- that medium will be the history books of the future. And Burns, has the rating to prove he is our most popular teacher. So this morning when this link presented its self I thought, now what? What is this? Is this the Chronicle's way of making up for Goodman's hissy fit? I'm I suppose to feel appeased?

Whatever my feelings, once I read the comments section it became clear that the majority of Bay Area residents felt the article did nothing more than put a "liberal" slant on a day when we are suppose to be honoring all veterans. In their passing comments about "another liberal skewing propaganda laced Chronicle piece" they failed to recognize their own indifference to Latino veterans. Or they didn't, some made hostile comments pointing to the two movies made shortly after the war that did include Latino protagonists to prove that the subject had been addressed.

Disgusted, I returned to the Chronicle's homepage shaking my head and resolved to let it go. Further down this morning's home page is an article providing advice on buying property in Mexico.


Veterans Day is a time for forgotten Latinos to be recognized

11.05.2007

FRONTLINE: the undertaking | PBS

I meant to post this last week to coincide with the Day of the Dead, but life got in the way. While flipping channels around I found a Frontline which wasn't about the War on Terror, Iraq, or 9/11 and it caught my attention. It was billed as "the business of death," but really it was about the personal relationships behind those who die and the undertaker. I'm not sure if it was Frontline's intention or if it just happened, but two of the participants who sought out consultations eventually do die by the episode's conclusion. Several times the undertaker comments that Americans are so far removed from death and that in our rituals surrounding death we are actually celebrating life.

His comments trigged in me memories from when I was about eight and we went to Mexico to bury my Step-Dad's Father. Back then, and possibly in some places still, they held the wake in the family's home. The body stays in the house with you surrounded by candles in the parlor for three days until its burial. I vaguely remember passing it on the way to bed and in the morning while going outside to try and escape the scorching heat in the house. Other than the odd feeling when passing it I don't have any other connection to the event. While watching Frontline I sat through the scenes of bodies being prepared for burial and thought how odd it was that our society is so removed from death. Maybe in part its why we don't seem value life as much as we used to.

FRONTLINE: the undertaking | PBS

10.31.2007

No! Not My T.V.!

Tim Goodman: What a writers strike would mean for viewers

Happy Halloween! Here's a scary story for you, what would happen if the writer's strike comes to fruition? Tim Goodman's take on the toll it would have on t.v. Although, I disagree with him on some points, like I think some freshman series have been rather good. "Pushing Daisies" is quirky and fun to watch, and even though a lot of people are tired of the premise I like "Reaper". I think the most horrifying affect the strike could have on programming is the return to reality t.v. shows. I was so excited to see real t.v. come back this fall that I was willing to over look a lot of faults. Can you imagine a January full of reruns and reality shows? Scary isn't it?

10.24.2007

David Sedaris

Always relevant, David Sedaris.

David Sedaris: Unapologetic, quirky as ever -- chicagotribune.com

A Celebration of Tex-Mex

A Celebration of Tex-Mex, Without Apology - New York Times

Interesting...I've never heard of enchilada sauce described as gravy. Texas is strange, its also the place that calls laundry mats washiterias. What is that? I would have wanted to know more about the Mexican program which flew out Americans to teach them what is and isn't Mexican food. I agree with the Times writer. Our food is regional and tasty. Its good to know the difference but the variation is just as enjoyable.

10.23.2007

Free 411 services

Free 411 services have their own hang-ups

Check out this article on free 411 services. I was out and about this weekend and just happened to see a 1-800-Goog billboard. Without knowing anything else I used the service which was quick and easy! Hurray! What else can Google do to make my life easier?

10.17.2007

He's In It To Win It

If Steven Colbert ran in other states he'd win for sure. Let's hope South Carolina keeps him in the race.

Colbert Announces Presidential Pursuit

10.16.2007

Cousins?

Cheney and Obama are distant cousins: Mrs. Cheney - Yahoo! News

Well, certainly not identical cousins, all the way. Today's political news story is the weirdest non-Onion or Daily Show headline I've seen in a while. Its either oddly true or a novel way to derail Obama's campaign. Maybe the new Republican tacit is to kill us with kindness.

Feel the Love!

10.15.2007

WTF?

Very, nice! Video of Win and Regine Butler of Arcade Fire joining Bruce Springsteen on stage for "Keep the Car Running." Bruce was in Montreal over the weekend apparently he was joined on stage for an encore. The shocked exclamations of "WTF " and "Holy Shit!" make this footage.

I love that they chose "Keep the Car Running." I had already renamed it the "Bruce" song, and had named Regine Pat Benatar, but that's a whole 'nother story.


Trendwhore � Win & Regine Join Springsteen on Stage [VIDEO]

10.14.2007

Sunday Morning Coffee & Steven Colbert

What a wonderful way to spend a Sunday morning, sipping coffee and reading the New York Times newest columnist Steven Colbert. I wish I had his number to just call him over... and the recipe for a Dirty Cosmotinijito.

A Mock Columnist, Amok

10.11.2007

She Doesn't Care

Lessing not impressed by Nobel Prize - Yahoo! News

Doris Lessing's comments on winning the Nobel are amusingly honest. Her new fiction reimagining her parents life without the influence of WWI sounds interesting.

10.10.2007

Carrie Fisher Cares

I love Carrie Fisher. Not just for her iconic Star Wars role. I love her because she gave the world "Post Cards From The Edge." She is a brilliant writer and has a great sense of humor. I think her and Steve Martin are among with few who could actually admit to self-googling without fear.


Fan Interaction: When Carrie Fisher The Actress Met Carrie Fisher The Epileptic Dog - Defamer

Elvira T.V.

I loved watching Elvira when I was little. She was funny, the movies were funny or scary or both on a good day! So what are we to make of her new reality show? Well, if they can find a clone of her than I'm all for it. If not it sounds like a horrible idea. I grew up with the real thing if I ever meet Elvira I want it to be her Cassandra not a reality show winner.

After reading this article I totally have costume envy. Not only is she Elvira, but she had that cool Miss Kitty costume, lucky!


Welcome to her nightmare - Metromix Los Angeles TV

10.04.2007

Left Far Behind ?

Snafus involving Marines in S.F. and Oakland have critics raving

What do you say to an article like this? The rest of the country thinks San Francisco has returned to 1967. Is it our fault for celebrating the anniversary of our counterculture revolution? Who's right? Articles like the one above which have been making the media rounds lately cut me to the core. I chose the Bay Area as my home town. Even though half of my family is made up of veteran conservatives who have lived in Orange County for most of my life. And still, here I live in the belly of the Leftest beast, and if that wasn't enough, my degrees and my career all have served Leftist organizations. Far Left organizations.

My parents were high school sweethearts they met and married and in his early twenties even though he was in college, and could have avoided the draft, my Father enlisted with a friend and was off to Vietnam. He was a Marine. When he came back obviously he wasn't the same. He suffered from post traumatic stress disorder. My Mom says, "that's what your Dad had," when she speaks about it now making sure to note that they didn't have a term for it back then. Their marriage fell apart and I've always been left with the impression that their age along with a war that took place before I was ever born affect the entirety of my life. I'm proud of my Father's service to his country. I know the GI bill helped them to buy their first house, and I know that traditionally the Armed Services offers others the opportunities my parents afforded me. But I also understand that those hand outs come with a price. A very very costly self price that isn't in the fine print. Do I condone the horrible treatment soldiers received when they came home from Vietnam, the spitting and so forth? Fuck no, I don't. Do I condone the war now or even Vietnam in retrospect? Fuck no, I don't. I don't condone these wars because their destructive for no reason. Its that simple. We've gotten involved in wars which aren't really to protect our country from a threat rather they're to protect our interests, and there is a big difference.

Doesn't anybody see the blurring of the real issues again? The Administration is running out of enemies and so it turns to the Bay Area because we are an outspoken liberal bastion. We're easy. We get our collective panties in a bunch and close ranks. And in that vein, what would be wrong with the rest of the country becoming more like the Bay Area? We have high salaries, one of the largest educated work forces, and a ton of programs aimed at social responsibility. But I get that people have earned the right in this country to live as they please including living in ways that are different than the way I chose to live.

Here's a clue for both sides: people are tired of righteousness and blame. It makes both sides dig their feet in and eschew change. It uses divisive language, "us versus them." It does nothing. Nothing, but make us hate one another and stymie any real solution. Oh wait maybe that's the point...

9.27.2007

The top of the heap

Bay Area economy, pay, cost of living are at the top of the heap

We finally pass NY as the most expensive place to live! Yay! Oh wait... that means the majority of us really can't afford to live here. Is this really the heap we want to be the top of?

9.22.2007

Your Turning Violet, Violet!

Online sex blogger Violet Blue recently wrote about her experience as a female porn expert on the Tyra Banks show. Here is her video diary



Neither Tyra Banks or Violet Blue are my favorite media divas however the account of their meeting proves interesting fodder in a myriad of ways. It confirms Tyra Banks' insanity and bipolar approach to her views as aired on her show. Often it seems like Tyra struggles to be an assertive talk show host with a strongly feminist view. Her topics are salacious and attempt to be cutting edge yet when you watch the show in its entirety she often backs way from taking an unusual or vocal assertive stance in favor of a more mundane big sister gloss over the real facts tell me where you got that skirt sort of banality. The fact that she changed her mind and skewed the show's message away from a honest discussion of porn and female sexuality shouldn't be such a shock to anyone who has been watching her shows the last year. Tyra has proven time and time again that she is unable to follow through with any sort of real discourse.

8.30.2007

Our Media Runneth Over

I was going to attempt a Katrina anniversary response, but its being covered (ad nausea) by both mainstream and indy media. So maybe you come here for a little break from it all? Or maybe not...

Yesterday, while watching Brian Williams I think I hit my Katrina coverage breaking point. One of the articles keeping me from becoming too cynical and detached is Ken Foster's "We're All Oprah Fodder in New Orleans."Its a scathing look at the media's treatment of NOLA's residences (as if they didn't suffer enough). Today, via Pop Candy, I read the account of Chris Rose a first time author out of New Orleans who was asked to appear on the Oprah show, but was banned from talking about his book, "As Not Read By Oprah."

8.29.2007

Neil Diamond, Neil Finn, Irony and Satire

Crowded House performed in the Bay Area this weekend. I had never seen them as a teenager and had no idea the brilliant Neil Finn could be just as funny as he is serious. The set list varied between old favorites and newer recordings. The set itself was simple and beautiful most of the stage hangings were covered in prose cut out into shapes like a man falling from what seemed to be an elephant's tusk or a Tim Burton-esque hill. Having read Finn's biography after the concert the set wasn't as much of a surprise. I didn't know Finn was a painter. The band kept falling into a disco beat in between songs which eventually they just played out to "get it out of their system" while Finn sang, "We Are Family/ I have all my brothers with me." Inspired by the fact that it was a Sunday night they also sang a Velvet Undergrounds' "Sunday Morning." Proving Crowded House's music to be more than just the 80's hits they are known for or at least giving greater context to their musical references. During one of their encores, Finn sang a melancholy song about a fisherman who drowns off the coast of New Zealand. In his final moments, the fisherman, remembers his family and the songs and stories they told around the dinner table.

This morning while reading Pop Candy I came across Whitney's posting for a new music review anthology. Listed among the articles is Ann Power's "Latinos Give New Life To Neil Diamond Anthem." Whitney doesn't link to the article which may not be available on the L.A. Times site anymore, this disappointed my lazy butt greatly. After finally finding an online version of it I was happy to have put out the effort.

I don't think I've shared with you my love of Neil Diamond. I love Neil Diamond! Our first Christmas together my Boyfriend gave me a special anniversary edition of "The Jazz Singer" dvd, and that's how I knew, he really listens to me (sigh). Growing up the Jazz Singer was one of those movies I could watch over and over again, like the Wizard of Oz was for other kids. A couple of years ago my Mom and I went to New York. We did the requisite tour of Ellis Island, which I avoided during my "young adult" visits to the City because I was just too cool for that. Ironically, I had to drag my Mom there she was completely uninterested. Anyway, I couldn't resist standing on the bow of the ferry and raising my fist while shouting, "They're coming to America!," and "Today!"My Mom laughed and other people just looked at me like I was an idiot (ok given), but at the very least I amused myself.

Going back to Power's article, read it. Its great. It also reaffirms the fact that Neil Diamond is the coolest ever! I could say more academic self-reflexive things about the article and how it resonated with me, but Ann Power's says it for me.

8.20.2007

Ohmigwad, what's up with Anne Rice?

Hum, somewhere the 19 year old version of myself is crying. Anne Rice doesn't seem so appealing these days.

Searching Broadsheet

Recently, a friend of mine directed me to Salon.com for an article I just couldn't miss. He was surprised I hadn't seen it already since I was the one who introduced him to Salon years ago. I have to admit Salon's incompatibility with my anti-virius software had made me too lazy to access it. That's right I'm that lazy.

This morning while perusing Salon's Broadsheet column I came across an interesting article. Apparently the Catholic Church is considering asking good Catholics every where to boycott Amnesty International, an organization its funding help start. The Vatican is taking issue with Amnesty's assertion that international rape victims have abortion rights.

My reading of this article is timely. Last week a friend and I had a faith based bar discussion. She grew up mostly atheist and I Catholic. Though I've survived my own angst ridden adolescence with an acceptable (to me) sort of spiritualism my friend's journey continues (as does mine in a sense). Where is this tangent going? Well, I told her I always had this arrogant view of organized religion and a certain dislike of it. Until I had the chance to travel to Italy. Where in Assisi I had the chance to stay in a convent and meet some of the most open minded spiritual people I've ever met in my life, including clergy.

So articles like these always initially infuriate me. Until I remember that the Vatican is a kin to Bush's White House. I really hope this new proclamation concerning abortion rights is nothing more than posturing. And if it isn't... well it hasn't been a very good year for the church overall, has it?

TV Fall Updates Begin

I like Heroes. I actually think it saved my faith in television's ability to still entertain me last season, which is saying a lot because I've always loved t.v. Its always there...So I was excited at the latest Heroes news. Kristen Bell is joining the cast.

Not being a big Veronica Mars fan I wasn't always into KB. Until I realized she played a vicious little swindler on an episode of season two in Deadwood(forever a favorite). I'll reserve final judgment of her until about episode six of this season's Heroes.

In other t.v. news sounds like Flight of the Conchords has been renewed. And believe it or not, I was in doubt, t.v.s done some stupid things before and for some unknown reason not everyone is as enamored with Bret and Jermaine as I am(thought they will be...).

Hey! Maybe David Milch will come to his senses now that John from Cincinnati is officially over (like it ever really started) and start to write those Deadwood movies! One can dream...

Long Absence

August seems to have marked the month where my blogging became victim to my schedule. Between friends visiting and the awful realities of a "real" job things I take joy in inevitably fall to the side. Like most other people I tend to put my own "selfish" things second when people are in town. Thankfully, I have enough friends who do their own things to remind me its okay to make time for my stuff. So here I am...why is it we all have to be periodically reminded of these things? Welp, because we get caught up in the self-inflicted mock drama of it all. Or if your more exciting than I am then I suppose its real drama.

If you have friends or family in the SF Bay Area than they've told you not to visit until late August or early September. Certainly if the weather is a factor you consider when traveling you shouldn't come until then. The fog tends to burn off more often during these months and you just might catch our Indian Summer days. This weekend marks the beginning of a string of visitors and birthdays. So if your wondering (like any one reads this)where is she? I've opted for non-electronic socialization. Whatever that means...hey, maybe I'll let you know in a couple of weeks.

Get out there. No matter where you are summer is almost over.

8.04.2007

Too Much Caffiene!

I've had way too much caffeine and You Tube this morning! What do Julia Louis Drefus, Jesse Jackson and the Twilight Zone have in common? Why, Ed Grimley of course!
What?

Ayi Papi!

Stephen Colbert when will you, your midriff, and I be together?

Its What I'm Into

I swear one day I'll write something again. For the moment, I can't get enough Conchords.

7.31.2007

JS Online: 2 inmates brawl over Woody Allen

JS Online: 2 inmates brawl over Woody Allen

I think I would give just about anything to have heard Woody Allen's initial response to this.

7.19.2007

Thank You All for Coming to My Birthday!



I have a lot in common with Gerhard. We flirt the same, laugh with the same lilting mirth , love with the same passion. I'm also surprised and excited at staying up past 7:45pm!

7.14.2007

Rob and Big

After MTV stopped airing music videos there were few things to lure me back over to viewing the channel regularly. The only Real World that I watched was San Francisco and I was never really a devoted fan of that either. What season of the Real World are they on now? 65?

This summer I've been lured back by an unlikely show, "Rob and Big." The premise of the show is enough to turn anyone away. A professional skater and his bodyguard get their own reality show. Why would you want to watch? Add to that people like me who don't know any thing about professional skate boarding other than Tony Hawk's name (and that's because he was on the Simpsons), and you'd think this show would have failed in its first season.

But once you give the show a chance, say five minutes of your time, its easy to see why its stayed on the air. Rob and Big are very likable guys. With their enjoyment of the "little" things money and some notoriety can afford, and their genuine friendship the show manages to insert an aura of "reality" into a reality program. Something that is rarely if ever achieved in "reality" programming. Rob and Big seem very aware of themselves. They don't try to be something that they aren't. They're young guys talking shit and having a good time. And their enjoyment is infectious. This summer, why not join them?

Rob and Big | Show Cast, Episode Guides, Trailers, Aftershow & Previews | MTV

7.08.2007

Fly The Evil Skies

I think the first thing that's gonna go are the individual t.v.s! Better hurry up and fly JetBlue before Mr. Burns has his way with the airline. He's already hijacked the Chairman's interwebular chronicle!

JetBlue | About JetBlue | Chairman David Neeleman's flight log

Once

This weekend we went to see the film Once. One of my friend's had spoken to me about it back in June. She had heard that in its limited release it was selling out all of its showings and wanted to see the movie for her birthday. Unfortunately, the movie was only playing in Marin and to make the trek out there just to see a film didn't exactly appeal to me. Then last week when we went to L.A. for another friend's birthday the film came up again in conversation.

So instead of waiting for "Once" to go to my favorite second run movie theater we made the effort to see it this weekend. Not knowing anything about the plot except that it was vaguely a romance of sorts, and not knowing much about The Frames Glen Hansard's band, I was floored. Not much happens in the movie, but the plot is so expertly laid out and the story so well told that the movie's touching appeal is obvious. What I don't get is why its appealing to such a wide audience.

The movie's music and lyrics are painfully honest and listening to them you can hear the grief the music was borne from. This type of art usually goes ignored for its honesty. People tend not to want to be reminded of "real world" hurt so what is propelling "Once" fever? It must be framing the music into a movie plot. Three of the most used songs in the movie were released before the movie in 2006 on an album called "Swell Season." If you take into consideration, that the movie must have begun filming around the same time, as the album release, you can think yourself into a chicken and egg conundrum. Why they didn't hold the cd release until the film opened remains an unanswered question for me. Whatever the appeal is I hope it lasts. "Once" is one of the best music movies to have been released it years.

David Sedaris's Latest Essay

I think we all get a little nostalgic for the past, but certainly we don't all go as far as David Sedaris. What is it that draws us to something another has cast off? My own "collecting" has always been for thrift store finds. Mostly, its been clothes I pick up and I can't even say its a yearning for a certain era. As a teenager I wouldn't give up a construction jacket my Dad didn't want any more. It was blue and had a bright orange lining. The zipper was broken and one of the elbows had a brush mark of white paint across it. I wore it all time. My Mom would try to bribe me to take it off, but of course I wouldn't. Hum...I should try and find it. I think its in a closet somewhere.


Reflections: This Old House: Reporting & Essays: The New Yorker

7.04.2007

What were they thinking?

Antonio Villaraigosa is the latest politician to join the mayoral infidelity ranks. What was he thinking? He had a bright future as a politician. A little known fact, or at least little spoken of in the Latino community, is as we race to assimilate many choose to become Republican. As if this allegiance will instantly buy them cache in a society where their heritage doesn't. Villaraigosa's election meant the first step in showing the tide changing politically for Latinos. Today, I'm disappointed. As the article below points out he's doing a good job and isn't doing anything other mayors haven't done before him, so how much of a problem will it be for him? I hope not much, but personally I can't get over the lack of character a scandal like this displays, no matter who the mayor is (Gavin Newsom, Willie Brown, Antonio Villaraigosa etc.). If they are willing to disrespect a person close to them (a wife, a friend, both) why would I expect any loyalty as a voter?

I'm tired of these scandals rocking good politicians. Is it our own doing? We're holding on to 50's style values of what a candidate should look like. As the facade falls apart and we see the people beneath it we're disappointed. Haven't we as voters learned by now the stereotype just isn't feasible now a days. Do you really think its possible to work 60 hour weeks and have a healthy marriage? What kind of parent is a parent who's never there? Put the politics aside and think about your own home life what would happen if you took on a week like that? Then think about a month or years in that kind of life style, how would your marriage fare? We should just let these guys be people. If we elect them as they are instead of making them think they need the wife, kids, and dog to play the game then maybe the scandals will stop.

L.A.'s Villaraigosa stars in the latest mayoral soap opera

7.03.2007

Live Concert Videos

You may not recognize several of the bands listed on this site. Its still worth the visit. If you go to the "concerts" page and point your cursor over one of the concerts featured to the left it will play without you loading another page or leaving your current one.

Awesome! What a great way to check out new music!

Fabchannel.com - live concert videos

What A Small Weird World We Live In

If it wasn't for the interweb and the Pop Candy blog I would never have known that Salman Rushdie and the host of "Top Chef" were ever married let alone getting a divorce. Who knew Rushdie was such a playa? Apparently, his marriage to the former model (almost half his age) was his fourth! That's right playa haters I said his FOURTH!

Don't be sayin' literature ain't sexy... I wonder how much his Bridget Jones cameos added to his game?

'Top Chef' Star and Salman Rushdie Divorcing - Splitsville for Padma Lakshmi and "Satanic Verses" author - Zap2it

Unfortunate Product Placement

Its no secret, or the worse guarded one, that Target is one of my favorite stores. I hope for their sake that they remove the wrestler themed toys based on Chris Beniot. If you were at a loss hearing the name, like me, you'll remember he's the wrestler who has been in the news lately for the murder of his family members. Its alleged that he suffered from 'Roid rage at the time.

TMZ notes some, now tasteless, accessories his action figure is currently merchandised with.

Chris Benoit Lives on ... at Target - TMZ.com

First McCartney & Now Sonic Youth

Starbuck's is increasing its cache. Does any one remember Thurston Moore's column in Sassy magazine?

SFGate: Daily Dish : Moore Defends Starbucks Record

6.28.2007

Amoeba & Paul

Okay, you caught me. I was surfing the celebrity cheese as I'm ought to do and came across this...

Paul McCartney -- No Love for Jennifer Love? - TMZ.com

When I stopped laughing (oh to be Kenny G's girl...sigh), I realized, wow Amoeba got Mc Cartney to play at a in-store show! Impressive. I hadn't seen the Hollywood store until January of this year. Its huge! Good for Amoeba! I hope this helps sales. I hear they treat their employees pretty well and have a rockin' Holiday party that in the past has included big name private shows.

Patti Smith 12

What is Patti Smith's 12? Welp, its her recent collection of 12 cover songs. I picked it up from the library (you know that place known for books?). My favorite is her take of "Smells Like Teen Spirit." Check out the Spinner article below, it has the video featured.


Exclusive Video Premiere: Patti Smith, 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' - Spinner.com - Free MP3s, Interviews, Music News, Live Performances, Songs and Videos

Oprah Winfrey: From media mogul to store owner - USATODAY.com

Oprah Winfrey: From media mogul to store owner - USATODAY.com

Another footnote to my fascination with Oprah. I wonder if something like this will propel her fame or repel people who think its overexposure? She's Oprah though is there such a thing as overexposure? You'd think the magazine would have qualified, but that's doing really well.

I guess in essence its going to be akin to the NBC store in New York.

6.27.2007

This is Amy Winehouse; this is Amy Winehouse with a Mirror Shard

Friends of mine recently bought me tickets to Amy Winehouse's San Francisco show in September as a birthday present! I'm so excited! I hope that she stays sober enough to actually show up and sing.

If you aren't familiar with Amy Winehouse. She sings in that wall of sound, girl group, throw back kinda way. Her album Back to Black is brilliant. Sample her music either on her official site or here.

Then stay tune, in September I'll give you an update!

SFGate: Daily Dish : Winehouse Shocks Reporter With Self-Harm

6.23.2007

Clooney Protests Himself

If Laglio, Italy is now a tourist attraction because of Clooney you'd think he could do more than just sign a petition. Unfortunately, I couldn't find an online version of the extended article that was in this morning's Chronicle. I know he isn't an Italian citizen (as far as I know), but he could use his clout to do more than just this.

SFGate: Daily Dish : Clooney Speaks Out About Lake Como Petition

Last Night T.V. Saved My Life


I started working this week and quickly realized that this isn't what I thought it was going to be. Needless to say Interwebbers, my search for the dream job will continue. When you haven't worked for a while working again is always a shock to the system. I really needed a break last night and some good mindless t.v. Working sucks.

Luckily for me hope came in the form of Flight of the Conchords. HBO's new Sunday night show about two guys from New Zealand and their digi-folk band. I was so ready for t.v. along the lines of Age of Love or Hell's Kitchen it being summer my expectations weren't very high. Instead I got t.v. along the lines of 30 Rock and Extras. With tears welling up in my eyes, as I sipped my second mojito, all I could eek out was, "th th thank you HBO, thank you." This is t.v. done Wes Anderson style (I'm stealing my friend John's clever observation). Visually "FOTC" is just fun to watch add to that silly yet brilliant songs and musical segues, and you have genius...pure genius.

If you don't have HBO (like me) and you don't have a friend with HBO (like John) than head over to HBO's site and watch the entire episode online. Its worth the effort.

No Doubt Is Recording

Perhaps Akon's antics were the catalyst that repelled Gwen back to her No Doubt roots. Whatever it was, yay!

Celebrity gossip juicy celebrity rumors Hollywood gossip blog from Perez Hilton � Blog Archive � Get Ready To Rock Steady!

Wonder- ful!

No wonder she was my hero! Wonder woman looking hot.

Lynda Carter -- A Wonder of a Woman! - TMZ.com

6.20.2007

John From Cincinnati Review

Dead in the Water: Television: The New Yorker

I'm not sure what to think about John From Cincinnati. My T.V. friend's and I have decide to reserve judgment until we've seen three episodes. This review is interesting because it talks about Milch as a write and references Deadwood.

Johnny Depp In Japan

YouTube - JapanProbe Update

Best interview I've seen in awhile! It for sure beat stupid Matt Lauer's interview of the Princes of Wales. What a waste of t.v. time that was. I think I ended up going to bed rather than sit through it. I mean I feel for them it sucks that their Mom was taken so young and she was a wonderful and giving person. But it was such a softball interview that I just couldn't handle it! At least change subjects... or show different pictures instead of the same sort of Dateline montage over and over again. Help me Jeebus!

Anyway, back to Johnny Depp. This is awesome I didn't know if I should blog it or put it in the video link at the side. Chances are you'll see it there next week. I just don't want it to fall off the page, because I know you're lazy Interwebbers and don't check out the achieves.

And this is that awesome!

Latest Teacher Turnover Numbers

Teachers not staying in the profession, report finds

The latest report shows that teachers are leaving the profession at the rate of 500,000 a year. Alarming yes; surprising no, sadly this is what happens when we don't put enough money into the resources they need. I've thought of teaching, but don't think I have patience enough to deal with all the obstacles at a pay rate that won't allow most teachers to live comfortably.

6.16.2007

Our Governor's Latest Remarks

Schwarzenegger recently commented on English language immersion for Latino immigrants in the Bay Area. I understand that immigration is a very big national issue, however, the fact that Schwarzenegger thinks he has the answers because he himself is an immigrant is arrogant. This debate has been waged in this state since before he was ever born, and it surprises me that someone from Europe wouldn't endorse bilingual education. We are one of the few nations that don't encourage people to speak more than one language. Many countries take pride in their bilingual education efforts. For example, Ireland has adopted several steps to save their cultural language Gaelic, which would have become extinct without legislative efforts.

A couple of years ago Harper's ran an article outlining the dominating effect of English on the rest of the world. It's wiped out several global indigenous languages and even knocked Latin off its perch by becoming the language of most scientific nomenclature. English is not endanger of being forgotten, far from it. So let's stop hiding behind language as a shield for the climate of xenophobia this nation has endured since manifest destiny was achieved. I loved language, all languages, and I'm tired of politicians using them as cultural weapons.

Oprah

Oprah Voted Most Powerful

Not so shocking... but the fact that she lost to Tom Cruise last year is. Isn't last year when he had his breakdown?

Cal Streakers

Apparently, this is now how you celebrate the end of finals at Cal. A friend of mine said students have been doing this for years now.


YouTube - Stacks Streakers

6.14.2007

Pride In The City

Its that time of year again...time for Pride in the City! We have one of the largest pride celebrations in the United States here in San Francisco, and guess what? Were proud of it! Everyone has a good time at pride those Out and those of us who support them. Pride is one of the City's events that remains fun. Unlike Halloween, which has sadly been taken over by thugs, and recently been removed from City sanctioned events. But on to happier topics... besides the parade we have the Frameline LGBT film festival. It was as a part of this festival that I first saw the film version of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Nothing can beat the packed house at the Castro theater singing along to Wig In A Box! I'm so excited to see what they are offering this year.

This morning the Violet Blue sex columnist to the Chronicle posted this article on how to fly with your sex toys. I think some one should have posted something like this a long long long time ago. The article reminded me of a time when my Mom came out to visit long before September 11th. She was hosting a bachelorette party for her best friend in the weeks following her visit. I told her about the local sex shop that has taken a lot of the taboo out of fetish objects and porn, and made it more educational. You know, the neighborhood sex shop purveyors Good Vibrations.

We headed there to buy some goodies for the party. One of the things we bought was a ridiculously big (and I mean big) silicone dildo. Heading home my Mom put the penis ice trays and booby candy in her carry on along with the dildo. Sex toys don't come cheap and they aren't something you want to lose. Going through the security line the TSA agent stopped her luggage. The same agent then searched her luggage. He laughed and waived over a female agent they began to giggle and proceeded to call another agent over. By now the anger is building in my Mom because they're holding her up. Curiosity is one thing of course they were giggling the way we were in the sex shop, but they were doing it at work. Big difference. Also they didn't know if it was for her personal use and they were making a show of what was in the bag.

By this time, no longer going through the metal detector, Mom was at the end of the conveyor just waiting for them to finish. Having had enough she reached down into the bag pulled out the enormous dildo waved it in the air and started screaming, "Here is this what your laughing at? If you pull it out of the bag everyone can have a better look!" Their faces went white and the TSA Supervisor ran over. The Supervisor could not apologize enough, put the item back in the bag and wished my Mom a safe flight.

The moral? Well, if none of Violet's tricks work for you take control of the situation yourself. And hinting at a lawsuit wouldn't be bad either...

The TSA Hates Your Vibrator / How to safely fly with your sex toys

6.13.2007

Summer Movies Dave Eggers Style

Summer Movies: Commando: Reporting & Essays: The New Yorker

I'm going to see Spider Man III (is it Spider Man or Spiderman ?) tonight so this is timely reading. Especially, since the Transformers movie will be coming out soon too. Oh and the Simpson's movie, and the Harry Potter movie...

Crowded House

LA Weekly - Jukebox - Crowded House - Time On Earth - The Essential Online Resource for Los Angeles

Crowded House will tour this summer for the first time since 1996. One of the first albums I owned was Crowded House's self titled debut, needless to say, I am super excited about this new tour! I was up early this Sunday to get the best tickets I could, and we paid for it too. Pete Yorn is opening for the band and he is another one of my favorites, so I justify the ticket price that way.

Anyway, the L.A. Weekly has four new Crowded House songs streaming. Their new album doesn't hit stores until July 10th.

Let me know what you think...

Oh, check out Scissors for Lefty while your there. I'm still deciding if I like them.

6.11.2007

Random Monday

I'm not really sure why this crossed my mind today, although it was a pretty busy weekend and my mind might just be crashing from the mac n' cheese overload I put it through yesterday. Okay, indulge my tangent for a bit, we made a French mac n' cheese to take to a brunch pot luck yesterday. It had whole milk, whipping cream, gruyere, prosciutto, and parmesan in it. It rocked! So ate that, then went to a friend's BBQ where another friend made American mac n' cheese, which is pretty much the same except cheddar cheese and garlic croutons are thrown on top. So tasty! My arteries are probably crying today. Either that or all that cheese is creating a block and the normal amount of blood that usually would be sent up to my brain is actually cut in half!

All of which would explain why this crossed my mind today. I loved this movie when I was twelve. It is such a random way to remember Martin Sheen, but every time I see something written about the man this movie will enter into my thought process. I was surprised to even get the title right on the first try when searching for it! Here is the IMDB plot outline:

"An escaped mental patient kidnaps an illiterate teenage farm girl and takes her to his mountain hide-away, where they soon become friends and, eventually, lovers."

I love the dramatic comma pause, eventually, lovers. Like that can make up for the obvious plot direction you could see coming a mile away. Apparently, Linda Blair wanted then boyfriend Rick Springfield to play the role Sheen was given. That would have been all wrong! Or maybe not, maybe, that would have launched Springfield's acting career and instead of playing a small role on General Hospital he would have ended up playing the president on West Wing. Wow! But he still would have been all wrong because he can't do the cool jacket thing Sheen can. Poor Rick Springfield, he'll forever live in Martin's shadow.

Too bad there are no clips for the movie on YouTube and no plans to release it on dvd either otherwise I could welcome you to my messed up tween idea of romance.

Traveling Wilbury cds to be reissued

Wilburys set to travel again - USATODAY.com

For years I searched for these cds! Finally, I was able to get my hands on a copy of volume one. George Harrison's joke naming the second album "vol 3" must have thrown other fans off, as it did me, during the years the cds weren't available. I kept thinking is there a cd I don't know about?

6.09.2007

Political Woes

By now the entire country has read the sordid details of Paris Hilton's jail saga. More interesting to me is the fallout Sheriff Lee Baca will now face in Los Angeles. Not that his actions haven't been called into question before, but this time by giving a reason so obviously transparent for her release, Baca has thrust himself into a national pop culture story that isn't likely to fall from the headlines for... well, at least 45 more days.

How ironic is it that a case involving someone of no real consequence turns to reveal the lack of consequence in the person who is suppose to be enforcing consequences in one of the largest cities in the country?

6.06.2007

And Something For The Rest Of Us

Salon has an interesting article with Dr. Heta Kotb. She's a Muslim sex therapist with a weekly show airing in Egypt. In the article she discusses the many ways we are all like in the bedroom, her militant view on homosexuality, and the Quran's teachings about female sexuality.

http://www.salon.com/mwt/feature/2007/06/06/kotb/

You may have to view a sponsor message before being directed to the article.

Stuff For the Kiddies

Being an English major people are always asking me what I would recommend for kids. The only children's literature class I took focused more on subversive children's literature, but it at least open my eyes to another form that can be more interesting than adult fiction.

A couple new children's books are getting some well deserved recognition, and though I haven't read them myself, the topics and/or authors seem interesting. So give'em a try and let me know what you think...

Different Like Coco by Elizabeth Matthews
About the life of legendary fashion designer Coco Channel. How an impoverished girl became a fashion diva. As Dr. Frank-n-Furter said, If you can dream it, be it!

What would you do if martins took your Mom? Would you miss her? This book has been criticized for not showing representations of working mothers, but what it does do is show kids to love before those you love are gone (thanks for the tip John B).

6.05.2007

Arcade Fire and my lack of motivation

Yesterday, I thought of writing about my weekend outing to see Arcade Fire at Berkeley's Greek theater. However, we are in the middle of another freezing ass summer in the Bay Area which leaves me feeling unmotivated to do anything other than shuffle my feet across the room and plop down in front of the computer. Hey your gain! Right? Right?

The Arcade Fire played two nights in Berkeley. We went to Friday night's concert. Arcade Fire puts on a damn fine show. In case you aren't familiar with the band there are about 11 of them and a million instruments including a hurdy gurdy, accordion, some strings, horns, and a loud speaker. We didn't know very much about them before we bought the tickets (the offer came to me as a pre-sale event) other than David Bowie and Chaka Khan were fans. Three months later, we both have raved about their albums and were super excited to see the show.

They don't interact with the crowd very much other than to introduce songs. Win Butler, the lead male singer, yelled at the audience because the San Francisco fog shorted out his amp, and then played a song just for us from Six Feet Under. The Song is about their visit to San Francisco to bury his grandfather who was originally from here. Its a sweet somber song.

Anyway, my slough like movements precluded me from posting the following fun fact. Apparently, depending who you believe, Win Butler stole some guy's basketball right before Saturday night's concert. The online war began when the guy posted this blog with his accusation. Which is pretty funny, because it really is only $10 bucks to get into the RSF and because I'd think there are better things to do in Berkeley to pass the time other than go to the RSF. Win Butler not only denies taking the basketball but declared all out internet war and posted this response site.

The fun is in the comments on both sites which range from:

"I just think it is weird that so many guys are obsessed with Win Butler's balls."

to:

"I think we are losing site of the real story. Which is of course, the revelation that Arcade Fire can play basketball? Sure, they put on perhaps the most athletic show ever, but who would have thought that realization of music and theater geeks everywhere also brings their game to the hoop court? This has got 'charity event' written all over it. Perhaps a wager?"

Check it out, check out their site, and check out their music. My favorite song by far is "Wake Up" (the link here is a version with David Bowie), although "Rebellion (Lies)" has gotten the most air play.

6.04.2007

Mondays suck; the Fug Girls don't

Go Fug Yourself: Alison Goldfugg

Yikes! Check out the Nicole Richie fug on the home page while you're there.

6.01.2007

Montana Loves The Beatles

I Am The Jurist, Goo Goo G'Joob - June 1, 2007

Like my friend Tex said when he sent this to me, "don't mess with a Beatles fan."

Yay The Beatles!


I love the Beatles!
And truly that is an understatement. As long as I can remember I had a poster of the Abbey Road cover in my bedroom.
I never got rid of the poster my parents keep it in the guest room to this day. The Beatles' influence continues to be consequential and permeate our pop culture.While speculation continues over when and with who the Beatles catalog will be released online I say just go out and buy the music. Its worth the investment and you won't have to wait or head to your local library I'm sure they must have some Beatles there for you.

'Sgt. Pepper' at 40, from A to Z

5.31.2007

What was Phil Collins alluding to ?

There's something in the air in Rome: cocaine - Yahoo! News

I just like how the highest concentration of particles was found in the air around the University, and the warning not to draw conclusions from that statement. Why say it at all?

Maybe we should study the air around all universities. What would be in the air around Bob Jones?

Discovering Nora

This mornings news lead me to the Huffington Post to read something about Rosie O'Donnell and her departure from The View. I'll spare you the link. I've never really read the Huffington Post because I've had enough of Ariana Huffington over the last few years and just associated it with her (note where her picture was taken on her wiki page...nuff said).

But this morning, I was lead to Nora Ephron's blog. Who is Nora Ephron? Well, before this morning I knew she was a writer who I thought wrote about fluffy women's issues. She also wrote a couple of chick flicks that did well at the box office. While searching through her blog this morning I gained a great respect for her and her views.

I especially liked this entry about Condi Rice and Hilary Clinton. Its an old entry but I think the commentary still holds. Her take shows that both democrat and republican woman are falling into political traps, and takes them both to task over it; regardless of her own political leanings. It also just amused me that Ephron still holds some weird grudge against owning a VW, and her idea that we should all forgive and rush to visit Berlin as penance for upholding WWII stereotypes.

Clearly, she isn't perfect.

But what she is is honest, eloquent, and worth the read.

5.30.2007

Love me! Hate me! Love me!


This Memorial Day weekend while many were displaying patriotic sentiment through the grilling of meats Rachel Smith was representing the U.S. in the Miss Universe competition. I'm only familiar with Rachel because of her appearance on the Oprah show. Apparently, she was an intern at Harpo Studios, and having heard that she had won the Miss USA pageant, Oprah had her on to discuss her experiences. Usually, pageant contestants are only interesting to me as targets for sarcastic humor. They remind me of Stepford sorority girls. Anyway, the few impressions the interview left me with were:

1) This girl really hasn't faced very much adversity in her life.
2) How stupid it was to have her go on to discuss Oprah's leadership Academy in South Africa because really what wisdom could this Beauty Queen impart to girls in South Africa?
3) There are a lot of people that work for Oprah and she has no idea who they are. Since it was obvious that this was the first face to face meeting between the two of them. Did Oprah just use the connection to further remind the audience about her leadership academy?
4) blah blah blah why isn't Sylvia Browne on Montel today?

The interview was mid-day filler for me, nothing else.

Slowly, though as the blogosphere starts to awaken from its BBQ induced coma, reports are circulating that Miss USA was booed all through out the Miss Universe competition. Of course I had to see the footage for myself and even though it was amusing (come on it totally is!). I felt so sorry for Rachel. And if the boos weren't enough, she falls flat on her ass during the evening gown competition! I'm pretty sure her confidence must be pretty well shattered and still she keeps a smile plastered to her face. A nation is basically booing her and Ms. Smith holds it together. Even though I felt pretty ambivalent about her before I had to give it up to her for going through all of that with an unshattered sense of decorum. Kinda makes me feel like Rachel should have belted out "And I'm Telling You," like Effie in Dreamgirls. Not that the booings would have stopped, but I would have loved her all the better for it. If adversity is what I wanted to give her some sort of validity there it was, and is since its playing over and over again on youtube, for all the world to see.

Comments on sites about the incident are ranging from a call to oust all Mexicans from the United States to teach them a lesson. To calls, asking the Miss Universe organization to boycott Mexico for its boorish behavior. To others calling for a race war against Latinos. Really what is the logical response to such outlandish requests? Isn't it that sort of attitude what fostered this reaction in the first place?

5.24.2007

I'm so not Buddhist.

Mo. Toddler Ruins Monks' Sand Design

This story reminds me of my only visit to the Louvre in the summer of 2000. A mother and daughter with distinct southern accents were touring a hall filled with marble statues. They would walk up to one marvel over its age and how lovely it was... and proceed to stroke it.

YouTube - MISHEARD LYRICS - Pearl Jam - Yellow Ledbetter

YouTube - MISHEARD LYRICS - Pearl Jam - Yellow Ledbetter

As I nurse my mosquito wounds and overdose on antihistamines (they may have won the battle but not the war!), I wonder with YouTube around am I really gonna miss t.v. that much this summer?

We'll see...

5.22.2007

Jiminey Cricket, Oprah!

Staying home all day is a fantasy for most people. They think about their college days when they set their own schedules and lived life according to their own clock...ah, good times. The last couple of years I've done just that. Having decided to walk a way from a great corporate opportunity I used the time off to finish a Master's program and go to my dream destination--Italy. My trip was over a year ago now and my degree came in the mail the other night. Graduate school is truly over. I literally have the degree to prove it (insert desperate waving of paper here). Nowadays, I spend my hours hoping a dream job will come my way soon.

I have to admit being home isn't all that bad. I get to workout when I want for as long as I want. I go to the store and to get gas at off hours to avoid long lines. I tend to wake up when I please. I try not to look at t.v. while at home, though I do allow myself to engage in two day time shows regularly. One is Tyra Banks and the other is Oprah (no last name needed she's like Jesus and Madonna all rolled in one!). I've always had a love/hate relationship with Oprah. When I was working she drove me insane but now that I'm home she's kind of growing on me.

The two biggest things that drive me crazy about Oprah still drive me crazy. One is her book club. Now, I've heard all the arguments for the book club and have even debated the issue with two College English Professors. The core pro-book club stance usually comes down to, "at least she's getting people to read." An argument I'm sick of because, seriously, if someone wasn't much of a reader before they became an O-minion (copyright pending) they certainly aren't going to be one now. Every time she announces a new book the sales of that book skyrocket and instantly best seller lists are thrown off by the O-minions who go out and immediately do her bidding. She's even alluded to her own print power on more than one occasion and frankly this self-appointed gauge for what should and shouldn't be read by millions offends me! Let's suppose... Oprah had a falling out with Maya Angelou and went on the air to say, "Audience, Ms. Angelou has lost her way. She is no longer the voice for millions of women's experiences." Would Maya Angelou suffer? Its Maya Angelou I'm talking about here people most likely not. She would still be a literary treasure with or without the O-minions, but she would suffer a popular set back and her mainstream audience might be lost in the event of such a condemnation. And do I dare say, she may even fall out of public favor so much that she becomes this century's Zora Neale Hurston.

I just have a problem with one person having so much power over something so close to my heart. Okay that was a cheap sentimental argument. Especially since I know the number of publishers in this country is way below the number of fingers I have and almost all major industry in this country is a monopoly and synergy is just making things worse. Still though... the kind of power she has scares me. It would scare me no matter who was wielding it even myself.

Sometimes Interwebers, I have a day dream that Oprah and I are in Napa drinking a bottle of wine I couldn't buy with the blood of my first born (she's paying of course), and debating whether or not she should disband the book club. We sit, in a shaded area just outside The French Laundry (she's paying of course) and share a meal as the sunsets over the green rolling hills. Oprah has requested seating outside, and even though they don't have it, its done. She's also requested that dinner be served at 5:00 pm because we're being healthy and neither of us eats after seven. We laugh, we cry, and in the end... well, we order another bottle of wine. In case you didn't know, Oprah enjoys a drink or two! I didn't know this until our recent afternoon meetings began. And that is why she's growing on me because truth be known, Interwebers, I enjoy a drink or two. We also both love Neil Diamond and hate scary movies. We could hang me and Oprah as long as the topic of politics is avoided.

Politics, the second reason why Oprah still drives me crazy. I will never ever ever forgive her (a third bottle of wine; well, if you insist...) for having Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver on her show during the California recall election (Maria, Maria, Maria!). That show reached millions of viewers across the nation. It gave him the upper hand in an election that was a fight for the future of my beloved state (born and raised, holla!). In case you didn't know a lot of Schwarzenegger's election campaign money came from out of state, interesting, no? What did she think she was doing? I know she and Maria were college roomies (she mentions it at least twice during dinner). Still isn't there a law that networks aren't allowed to give one candidate more air time than another? I mean aren't they suppose to give both sides an equal amount of time to air their respective messages? I must of missed Gray Davis's appearance on her show. Either that or you know once again she's used her massive power base to land a friend a job, and you know what, this one wasn't at a magazine that starts with the letter O.

It wasn't just the election. I wasn't a big fan of Gray Davis's either, but at least you could assume he read the job description before he took the job. Its politics in general that seem to ruin dinner for Oprah and me. For instance, once she said that she was going to make it one of her personal missions to have child molestation charges be a one strike deal. You're convicted once and you're sent to prison for life. Before I go any further, you should know, I'm in no way condoning this disgusting behavior. I find it deplorable and I agree child molestation laws need to be revamped, but the problem is way bigger than that. The three strikes law in this state has overburdened our penal system. Just this week it was announced, for the first time ever, California will spend more on incarceration than on education. How disgusting is that? What does that say about how much we, as a state, value our children? The answer to these problems doesn't just lay in prison terms. Where do they lay? I dunno. I have ideas, but really I bet the answer lies in more than one person's opinion.

At least Oprah has an opinion and she fights for it, I'll give her that. I may not always agree with her but I always admire her reporting. She continues to bring forth important issues most of us let pass us by every day and she still cares enough to shed light on obesity, medical issues, domestic abuse and a myriad of other things we as a collective would rather just ignore. Oprah's been our Jiminey Cricket for a while now and she's done a pretty good job. So maybe I shouldn't begrudge her opinion and book club? Naw, not unless she let's me pick the next bottle of wine.

5.20.2007

Turn, turn, turn

"The rise of '60s counterculture has had a significant impact on our culture today. The Summer of Love resonates in strip mall yoga classes, pop music, visual art, fashion, attitudes toward drugs, the personal computer revolution, and the current mad dash toward the greening of America.

While some of the counterculture's dreams came true, others evaporated like the sweet-smelling pot smoke that saturated the air that summer."

Joel Selvin, San Francisco Chronicle

This morning, the night after I said good bye to very good friends of mine who have had enough of the cost of living in the Bay Area or should I say the Bay Area has had enough of them? This year as San Francisco celebrates the fortieth anniversary of the summer of love I curse the rise of the dot.com industry. I lament the loss of San Francisco's Summer of Love ideals. And I watch, as we one by one leave the Bay Area because we can no longer afford it. Most of us are interested in the arts. Either artists, musicians, or writers by profession we also surround ourselves with ourselves and live as shadow artists encouraging one another not to lose hope.

As e-commerce and web industries make their return so slowly does the money back into Bay Area cities. Not that it ever really left. It was more apparent in the 90's when many en mass were priced out of the Bay Area, but slowly and surely even the middle class can no longer afford it here.

I met my friends over ten years ago. We all worked together at our low paying University jobs. We didn't get paid much but had unlimited access to priceless print collections and we were nerds enough to think that enough. About six months after working together two of our ranks left. One back home to Kansas and the other to live in Italy. My friends began dating shortly after that and moved in together within a couple years. Their apartment became the epicenter to our group as we all moved on to other positions. We would gather for bountiful bbqs or be summoned to an art shows at their gallery. Trouble first appeared as the answer to the housing shortage was found in urban living condos and cheap but plentiful complexes went up quickly. Those projects started to push out the last of the artist communities in our cities. The land where most of the galleries and live work spaces were situated became prime development areas.

As the cost of living was still steadily rising so were these buildings and the landscape became unrecognizable. We were unable to identify with what it was we were fighting so vigorously to stay apart of. One of my friends actually took her P.H.d's off of her resume so that she was more marketable -- less intimidating, and took administrative positions. My friend's are leaving for good reason. One was offered an artist residence in Montana, and the other doesn't want California living to eat up the last of their savings. In Montana, they say, we can eventually afford a home. As they leave we joke that maybe if "the big one" hits they'll come back.

What will become of San Francisco after we are all gone? After it finally has its way and costs us all out of here? In my travels when people would ask me where I was from I was proud to say San Francisco. Often even though I was American, people treated me better knowing this. They would complement my city and forgive me my country's arrogance. If the City does away with its artists by making it impossible for us to live here will it continue to enjoy its reputation as a cultural well-rounded metropolitan?

Maybe Joel Selvin hasn't taken this phenomena into account for the spreading of Summer of Love ideals. Maybe its just the dreamers who no longer could afford to live here going forth and populating the country. What happened to those the San Francisco Mime troupe fed in the 60's? What is going to happen to us?





5.18.2007

On writing

Virgina Woolf said that all women writers needed was a room of one's own. Nowadays perhaps it isn't so easy. Or maybe it is... its just that I don't have the independent means she also spoke of. I decided to start this blog after reading an article about a ninety-one year old man who had just published his first book, and learning that my college roommate had just published her first book. One raised my spirits immensely and the other brought them right back down. Not that I don't like my college roommate. She was awesome. She held like four jobs, put herself through our very reputable school, and immediately went on to graduate school after. I covet my college roommate's drive. Bitch.

Meanwhile, I stayed here. With my boyfriend and enjoyed my low paid job. Ah how life changes...life is like a Seinfeld episode. When you think back on Seinfeld you think about the story lines like: Wasn't that one about George's fat wallet funny? How about the one where Elaine hates Putty's fur winter coat and chucks it out the window? Then there's the one where Kramer and Newman decide to reverse their peep holes! ...then it hits you, those situations were all a part of the same episode! Whoa... you've gotta stop and give Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David their due. Some of you are saying, come on this is old news where have you been? Of course Seinfeld was genius. To you I say, I was working (and I don't really like Larry David on his own).

I'm not as driven as my college roommate but in my younger years I actually matched her for a bit. I worked. I went to school. I worked. I had some fun. I worked. That was about it. Most of my rebellion happened in high school. I was smart enough to know that juvenile records are usually sealed. Once I graduated by the skin of my teeth (by then I had been caught and grounded for about a year) I knew I was going to have to work hard to reverse most of the damage and I did.

Until three years ago, when I ditched College Boyfriend, lost my cushy job, and started to live life irresponsibly.

Interwebers, this is my story...