Friday, April 18, 2008

Letting go ... of fleece and other armor

I know what you're thinking: "Sue J! Not another post on fashion!" Bear with me. I do have a point. Plus, I'm getting tired of "Clinton vs. Obama," as it is now known, so I thought we could all do with a change of subject. Temporarily.

It's a sunny 80 degrees in Maryland today, and I'm not ready for it. I've seen the college kids wearing shorts and flip flops for a couple of months, but they're such renegades. I have yet to wear shorts outside of the range of the eliptical trainer room. And my flip flops are still in a plastic storage bin somewhere in the back of the closet. I guess it's time to make the switch from winter clothes to summer ones. (Any one else who lives in an old house built before the word "closet" was apparently in the American vocabulary will know what I'm talking about there.)

But I like my fleece (as you can see), and I'm having a hard time letting it go. It's warm and soft and familiar. And it covers me up. So don't even get me started on wearing flip flops. I think my feet are ugly. I mean, I don't have any extra toes or anything (not that there's anything wrong with that), but you know at this point they're really ... white. As in haven't seen the sunlight in a long long time white.

Yet I know I can't fight it -- and I know that I shouldn't. Although we'll have a few cool days ahead, the warm ones will soon outnumber them. Before long it will be 90 and humid and I'll be happily sitting on the front porch wearing my cargo shorts and flip flops -- or perhaps going barefoot.

(Yes, Sweetie, I'm sorry but it's almost time for my dreaded cargo shorts. I know you hate them and think they make me look like a boy. But they're sooo comfortable. Maybe I can paint my toenails and look purty. Besides, I'm getting my haircut tomorrow, and as I told you: unless I chicken out (big possibility) it's gonna look really good.)

So why do I fight it? It's really not a "self-image" thing, because honestly, I think I'm in pretty good shape. And in just a few days I know that I'll be back to thinking that if I could wear cargo shorts and t-shirts every day I would be in heaven (yeah, I know, it is a little boyish). So it's just this transition from what's comfortable and familiar, from being protected from the elements, into a world where it's just me and the world. A world where I feel the stones under my feet, the rain drops on my arm.

I'm almost ready, but there's a cold front coming next week.

Barack Obama sends secret message to "Obama Nation" What could it possibly mean?

Wow. Or as one of my favorite bloggers would say, Yikes! The more I try to come to terms with the fact that Barack Obama is the frontrunner and quite possibly will be the Democratic nominee for president, the more he personally tries to turn me off.

My message to him: I'd like to end our dysfunctional relationship, where I keep trying to forgive you for all the "boneheaded" things you do (your word). Maybe we should meet over a drink in a public place (in case it turns ugly). "I'm sorry, but this just isn't working out for me. It's not you, it's me."

No, Barry, turns out it is you.

From Yikes!:

Obama Finger-gate: Oh no he didn't!

From No Quarter:

Obama Stands Accused of Conduct Unbecoming a Presidential Candidate [Updates: Chicago Tribune, more MSM]

And from Tennesee Guerilla Women:

Obama Gives Hillary the Finger (Video)

h/t to Yikes! Oh yes he did ....

And by the way, "Obama Nation" is from an Obama supporter. The irony is not lost on me .... you say potAto, I say abomination .... let's call the whole thing off.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Debating the debate: Hello? McFly? Has anyone been paying attention?

I wasn't going to write anything about last night's debate, but after traveling around the blogosphere as well as writing some comments here, I find that I do have just one point I'd like to make.

Where have all these outraged viewers been all season?

I tuned in to the debates halfway through without expecting much — and I guess the fact that I didn't feel compelled to watch from the beginning says something right there. The part of the debate that I saw could be characterized as (1) questions consisting mostly of issue-oriented topics, and (2) both candidates were taken to task a few times by the moderators when they seemed to avoid giving a straight answer.

Over coffee this morning I said to Un-named Partner that I thought it was a pretty good debate (compared with the rest of the debates this season), and that Clinton seemed composed, while Obama seemed tired. I also said I thought the moderators were tougher than they have been in the past, which is also how many saw it overseas and here at home. Little did I know that there was a storm brewing amongst the Obama supporters over planted questions, and "trivial" topics.

Where have all these outraged viewers been all season?

As a Dennis Kucinich supporter, I watched in disbelief as Kucinich waited patiently to get asked a question, only to have Tim Russert ask him about UFOs. The man is leading a movement to impeach the President of the United States for taking us into an illegal war, and you ask him about UFOs?

Where have all these outraged viewers been all season?

In the Republican debates, Ron Paul was regularly shunned and otherwise ignored. While I don't agree with much of what he says, he was a candidate on the debate stage. And deserved equal time. But the mainstream media ignored him. The mainstream media ran the show.

Where have all these outraged viewers been all season?

So you'll have to pardon my lack of sympathy for Barack Obama having to answer questions that some people think are "trivial." These topics of who he associates with and choices he has made in his past are an issue to many people, and while they may not have merited 45 minutes of primetime coverage, I am astounded that anyone is surprised it happened.

Where have all these outraged viewers been all season?

photo credit Jae Hong

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Rocky XXXIVCMII OR Dems debate in Philly tonight

O.k., I have no idea if that's a real number in the headline. But I do know that Clinton and Obama will be debating tonight on ABC. And it's been literally weeks since we last saw these two on stage together. Who will it be tonight? Obama the charmer? Or snarky Obama of "You're nice enough" fame? Will Clinton be able to walk that impossible tightrope the American public insists upon for her of being really really tough but still a lady?

The polls are up and down and every which way, so I just don't know. But I do know this: be sure you have a tall glass of your favorite beverage nearby as you watch the debate tonight.

Let the "Obama Drinking Games" begin!

43% of your taxes pay for war

Now that your taxes have been filed, you are officially a sponsor of war. Forty-three cents out of every dollar you paid in 2007 goes for military spending (click to enlarge image):

In other words, we spend 43 cents to blow 'em up, and 1 penny to help 'em out later. Nice diplomacy, Condy.

Here's a thought: when you receive your bribe complete waste of money we don't have economic stimulus check next month, please consider putting at least a part of it toward funding peace by donating to the Friends Committee on National Legislation. (Yeah, the Quakers -- the same ones Cindy McCain steals from!)

Cindy McCain's shadowy past: Recipe thief!

In yet another disgraceful example of the mainstream media refusing to dig into the sordid past of our presidential candidates, Cindy McCain gets a pass. Does anyone believe for a moment that this woman cooks any of her own food? Or does anyone believe this anorexic testament to plastic surgery actually eats? I mean food?

Thank god for teh bloggers! From The Wonkette:
Is there anything new first lady Cindy McCain won't steal? The beer heiress stole husband John McCain back when he was relatively young and handsome and needed a new wife, she stole dope pills from her own medical charity, she furtively brought home some orphans from Bangladesh one time, she continues to steal "stray" dogs, and now the Cougar Baroness is accused of stealing recipes from the Food Network!

A New York attorney was searching Google for some recipe by famous Food Network chef Giada DeLaurentis — this is what attorneys call "billable hours" — when she found those same exact recipes on John McCain's website, ridiculously labeled as "Cindy's Recipes."

The stolen recipes ("Ahi Tuna with Napa Cabbage," "Passion Fruit Mousse," etc.) include word-for-word rip-offs of at least three Food Network recipes, along with another plagiarized from teevee cooking lady Rachel Ray.

Intrepid blogger Al's Blog reports that this gastronomical plagiarism goes way back:
"Cindy McCain's 3-Minute No-Bake Cookies" was among the treats prepared by culinary students at Southern New Hampshire University and "tasted by a panel of esteemed judges."

"Cindy McCain's 3-Minute No-Bake Cookies," as it turns out, is identical to a recipe posted here, right down to an asterisked advisory that "If using old-fashioned oats, cool mixture in saucepan 5 minutes."

All that's missing from Cindy's submission is this: Recipe provided courtesy of The Quaker Oats Company.
I wouldn't want to be in Cindy McCain's Ferragamos right about now. I mean it's bad enough to have Rachel Ray come after you, but to piss of the Quakers?! She's in a heap 'o trouble now!

Wednesday Poetry Break

We're back on schedule, poetry fans. Hope you enjoy this one from one of my favorite contemporary poets, Billy Collins.


Why do we bother with the rest of the day,
the swale of the afternoon,
the sudden dip into evening,

then night with his notorious perfumes,
his many-pointed stars?

This is the best—
throwing off the light covers,
feet on the cold floor,
and buzzing around the house on espresso—

maybe a splash of water on the face,
a palmful of vitamins—
but mostly buzzing around the house on espresso,

dictionary and atlas open on the rug,
the typewriter waiting for the key of the head,
a cello on the radio,

and, if necessary, the windows—
trees fifty, a hundred years old
out there,
heavy clouds on the way
and the lawn steaming like a horse
in the early morning.

— Billy Collins

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Bitter? You bet!

If Barack Obama wants to meet some bitter voters, he should start with this woman from Florida. I don't know who she is, but I sure wish some cable news show would hire her, because she cuts right through the crap and tells it like it is. She is one voter citizen (sorry, Florida, you don't count), who's clearly had enough of Obama's rhetoric and the media's forgiveness.

ht/t to Yikes! for this one!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Polls, polls, and more polls! Clinton up by 20 points

The Pennsylvania primary is a week from tomorrow, and there will be many more polls popping up in the coming the hours, I suspect. The candidates have had a very busy weekend, and it will be interesting to see how the Pa. voters react. But first out of the gate is the poll from American Research Group, which has Clinton up by 20 percentage points (click image to enlarge it):

Hillary Clinton leads Barack Obama 48% to 44% among men (45% of likely Democratic primary voters). Among women, Clinton leads 64% to 31%.

Clinton leads 64% to 29% among white voters (82% of likely Democratic primary voters). Obama leads 79% to 18% among African American voters (14% of likely Democratic primary voters).

Clinton leads 52% to 43% among voters age 18 to 49 (50% of likely Democratic primary voters) and Clinton leads 62% to 31% among voters age 50 and older.

10% of all likely Democratic primary voters say they would never vote for Hillary Clinton in the primary and 24% of likely Democratic primary voters say they would never vote for Barack Obama in the primary.

23% of likely Democratic primary voters say that excessive exposure to Obama's advertising is causing them to support Clinton.

What's going on with that last item? People have complained about Clinton "attacking" and running a "negative campaign" in the past, but it looks like Obama's campaign is it's own worst enemy in Pennsylvania.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Hope, change, a beer and a shot!

As long-time Jello Heads will know, we play a little drinking game around here. Every time we hear Barack Obama use either the word "hope" or "change," we do a shot (much like the game "Hi Bob" of years ago).

And now, it looks like Hillary Clinton's playing along, too! Maybe next time she's choose a jello shot, instead of boring old whiskey!