- Joe. My. God.
- Homer's World
- Chris C.
- Someone in a Tree
- Durban Bud
- Sore Afraid
- Knuckle Crack
- Mark of Kane
- Willy or Won't He
- Big Ass Belle
Kind rainy out even.
Nice break, though ... and it looks like we'll see a reversal in a couple of days.
Wed., May 27.
It used to be that I had lunch on Wednesdays with Andrew, the guy we call "Foxy," but he kept canceling on me.
Details here when they bring the site back up. Also, please start writing your own California ballot initiative that asks the state to do things like, "Prohibit Mormons from working as state employees" or "Prohibit Evangelical children from attending public schools." Both types of initiatives are now totally acceptable and would likely be held up by this court as legal.
(Except, I guess, if the California Constitution has specific measures that protect against religious discrimination.)
Even here on the other side of the country, we're all sort of on pins and needles waiting for the results of the Proposition 8 ruling by the California Supreme Court. Of course, the Supreme Court ruling in California has no effect in either New York or New Jersey. But I suspect that it will have tremendous ramifications in terms of the culture nation-wide.
Proposition 8 was not just about marriage.
It was also a test by hate groups to see if they could successfully use ballot initiatives to rob gay people of their civil rights.
If the results of the test are positive, who knows where things will go next.
Oddly enough, there seems to be very little out there that shed's light on Sonia Sotomayor's position on abortion.
Abortion is one issue that I believe a Democratic president should absolutely use as a litmus test for Supreme Court nominees.
Did Obama ask Ms. Sotomayor if she was pro-choice during his interview of her? I sure hope so. Though, given that Barack Obama's own commitment to a woman's right to choose has been somewhat weak, I doubt that he shares the same "litmus test" idea about reproductive freedom that I do.
Ms. Sotomayor's one ruling in an abortion-related case was against an abortion-rights group.
"Vienna" by Billy Joel is a great song ... and one of my all-time favorites.
Wikipedia sheds some light on what Mr. Joel intended when he wrote the song. The lyrics are an admonishment that I've tried for a long time -- unsuccessfully -- to take to heart, as I tend to "gobble through" life, over-consuming life experiences by volume and not always taking care to enjoy them. This song and "I've Never Been to Me" by Charlene have the potential to thoroughly shame me.
Click the forward icon below to listen to "Vienna" by Billy Joel.
I have to admit that my ability to "hurry through life" is significantly diminished by being unemployed ...
Looks like our long sunny streak has ended here in the New York area.
Tues., May 26.
Back to bright and sunny at the end of the week!
Camping beckons ...
Cute photo of my lord Joe with Rachel Maddow over at his place.
Joe interviewed Ms. Maddow last night for the upcoming edition of Pride Magazine ... From what I hear, it will be an interesting read!
Thurs., May 21, 2009.
Warming up quite nicely here.
I've got a lot to do today. I wish I was able to get out and enjoy this just a little bit more.
Okay, so ...
Over my morning coffee, I found myself watching L'Oréal advertisements on YouTube, specifically the ones starrring Aishwarya Rai. Not sure how I found myself browsing this particular genre of Internet irreleventia, but, well ... There I was.
It was interesting to listen to the different voices that they assign to Aishwarya, depending on the target language and audience. Aishwarya speaks English fluently, with a light Indian accent. (See her David Letterman interview here.) In ads around the world, for obvious reasons, she sounds totally different.
Here is Aishwarya in French, Italian, British English and American English.
The French and British English voice-overs are actually pretty good. The Italian ad doesn't bother with making the words sync up with her lips much. But all three seem to convey a sense of -- you know -- international glamor, etc., etc.
The American one? Ungh ... Just totally wrong. What were they thinking? She doesn't sound like exotic Indian movie star. She sounds like a housewife/small-businesswoman from the suburbs of Des Moines, Iowa.
I guess this is how you communicate to someone who might be concerned that her hair looks "ahrange" and needs to be told that "yer worth it."
Another favorite that I'm always happy to hear ...
Take some Latin Freestyle percussion, add a lead singer from Minnesota trying to sound like Phil Oakey of The Human League, combine with samples of Spock and McCoy from Star Trek and you get ...
"What's on Your Mind," a Top Ten hit here in the U.S. in 1988.
Click the forward icon below to listen to "What's on Your Mind."
Information Society was, in fact, a pretty good band. They had several later albums that nobody ever listened to in the dance/pop genre, even though they were quite good. The lead singer and songwriter later went on to compose soundtracks to video games.
UPDATE: Crikey ... The embedded audio player above is having some problems. Will debug later today.
UPDATE II: Fixed now.
Just ... fabulous weather here.
Wed., May 20, 2009.
So, so, so ... nice!
Oh, Kevin ...
Banned as commenter by Joe, de-linked by many (for I can't remember what reason), a victim of trial and circumstance ...
Yet he soldiers on with his crew of regular readers and commenters over at his "opinionated" website Casa del Retardo.
One of the things that I like about his blog is the care that he takes in recording the doings of a Heartland domesticity that seems pretty distant to me right now. Refinishing a bathroom? Plantings in the yard? Taking the kids for a hike?
(I hiked from "gay dining" at Elmo in Chelsea the other week, all the way over to "jockstrap night" at The Eagle. That is pretty much the same thing, I guess!)
Anyway, please drop by and check out what Kevin is up to these days.
It's true what they say ...
Orman's deal is that she tries to give people advice about how manage their money in a circumstance where wages and wealth for the average American are declining.
So, yes -- you can follow her advice and improve your standing relative to other folks. But the biggest financial problem for the average working family is that its piece of the pie is shrinking.
The "credit problems" that she helps people manage have come about, largely, because wages have not kept up with expectations that Americans have about their standard of living.
Some of these expectations are media-driven, yes, and have to do with desires for a lot of junk that people just don't need.
But some of these expectations are rooted in valid needs that people have for things like education, housing, medical care and retirement.
A lot of the junk that Americans buy -- portable electronics, kitchen gadgets, etc. -- has gotten cheaper over the last ten or twelve years, compared to incomes.
Housing, higher education, medical care and costs related to retirement, on the other hand, have exploded in cost. And it's really financial stresses related to these expenses that are the biggest cause of, for example, bankruptcy in our country.
So, yeah ... Suze Orman pretty much tells working Americans how to make the best of the shitty hand they are being dealt by the government:
The one where rich people and institutions bribe government to legislate them bigger and bigger slices of the pie every year, while working people suffer the emptying of their pockets, without a real ability to affect change.
This being said, you still do need to do whatever you can to optimize your ability to stay afloat ...
Joe and I accompanied Dr. Jeff to Fleshbot (NSFW) editor Brian O'Brien's birthday party on Friday at The Hose. Great party! I can't remember if it was there or at the after-party booze fest at Nowhere Bar where heard the DJ playing "Goodbye Seventies," one of my favorite Yaz songs.
Click the forward icon below to listen to "Goodbye Seventies."
"Goodbye Seventies" was track eight on Yaz's glorious Upstairs at Eric's album, the entirety of which was performed by band members Allison Moyet and Vince Clarke when they came to New York last year.
This song still comes to mind whenever I'm on the L train in Manhattan, the cars of which are invariable full of young hipsters with 70s hair departing the city for shag-carpet crash pads, presumably, somewhere out there in Brooklyn.