Posts from August, 2008
Quisque sed purus consequat, gravida velit eu, pharetra ex.
the lady sparkler and i decided to do a little painting this labor day weekend. [insert punchline here.] as you can guess from the picture, it isn’t going terribly well.
we decided to paint the hall and the bathroom.
unfortunately, the hall has five doors, two archways, and a whole bunch of heating and air conditioning objects to dodge.
even more unfortunately, once we moved stuff out of the bathroom, the wall had 30+ holes left over from at least three remodelings, the tile work (under the sink) wasn’t ever completed, there is a hole through our wall going down to the neighbors below, the last paint job peeled off on in the face of light sanding, and our light fixture was cracked to the point that we became retroactively frightened for our safety during the last year.
needless to say, this one is going into extra innings.
for some reason, i got a hankering this weekend to watch the dem’s convention … i also got a notion to do a triathlon, oddly enough, but that sounds much harder. maybe i’ll stick with politics for now, even though this certainly violates my prohibition on paying attention to the news.
|6:45 pm||early start … and only CNN is covering so far. (resisting the urge to put my foot through the television.)|
|6:55 pm||tee-hee! gold medal winning u.s. olympic gymnast shawn johnson led the pledge of allegiance today. i don’t know why that makes me giggle, but it does.|
|7:04 pm||why couldn’t they have put civil rights legend rep. john lewis in prime time when someone would have seen him?|
|7:11 pm||and while we are asking stupid questions, what are the odds that obama’s acceptance speech would fall on the anniversary of the day m.l.k. gave his “i have a dream” speech?|
|7:18 pm||i just saw michael dukakis! no tank or helmet, tho. (booooo!)|
|7:20 pm||i hope u2 is getting royalties for each time “beautiful day” is played at the convention. they’d be like bajilionaires or something.|
|7:36 pm||oh, will.i.am. what have thou wrought?|
|7:42 pm||sheryl crow? dear god. i never thought i would say this … but i’d like a little more substance, and a little less wolf blitzer dancing.|
|7:50 pm||make. the. pain. go. away.|
|7:58 pm||“i cann seee cleeeeearly nowww the raiiiiiin has gonnnnne.”|
|8:00 pm||whew, pbs.|
|8:10 pm||i love when pols wave to the audience as if to recognize their cheers, but with no actual cheering … udall just left the stage as if he had sacked rome, and all to the sounds of crickets chirping.|
|8:19 pm||bill richardson looks, dare i say, statesman-like? well, except for the ferret that appears to have attacked his neck.|
|8:26 pm||we’ve got to lose this “take america back” message … too confusing from a party that keeps talking about moving us forward.|
|8:38 pm||the baylor bears are loosing (shocked, i say, shocked!) on the other tuner. no option but to watch stevie wonder.|
|8:46 pm||i *swear* i just saw Jin-Soo Kwon from Lost.|
|8:52 pm||gore got a great speech, but has the personality of a wooden plank. there was a glimmer there around the environment, but he couldn’t spin it into the traditional platform issues.|
|8:56 pm||jeez, al. slow down …|
|8:58 pm||al needs to go back to being an elder climate statesman … ugh.|
|9:07 pm||i know that michael mcdonald has a “core demographic” but i’m damned if i can figure out who that would be.|
|9:17 pm||an eisenhower at the dem convention? i can’t *wait* to see who the repubs dig up for theirs …|
|9:22 pm||you know, i’d think eisenhower and the generals were good enough to really make a difference … if i thought any undecideds were actually watching this convention.|
|9:30 pm||(yawn) isn’t someone important supposed to be speaking tonight? i want ice cream. speaking of, do you think that the ballpark vendors are working tonight? i’m guessing veggie burgers, freedom fries, and tofu ice cream. no! sushi, fruit smoothies and an organic espresso bar.|
|9:36 pm||okay, disadvantaged soccer mom just went off on “what has george bush done for me” and all i could think of was “ask not what your country can do for you…” jeez, i’m slipping into the abyss.|
|9:38 pm||now *there* is the message we want: “i voted for nixon, reagan, bush and bush — but i can’t afford four more years…”|
|9:44 pm||those average joes just changed the convention … who ever found them, wow. authentic. completely unforced. life just doesn’t get better than a crowd of 70,000 people chanting the name of someone they just met for the first time.|
|9:47 pm||the lady sparkler just finished her puzzle.|
|9:52 pm||watch out, folks. pbs commentator david brooks has started drinking the kool-aid.|
|9:59 pm||dick durbin is such a happy man. joey biden was just a happy man. *everyone* is happy, and (most importantly) not faking it. who’s party is this again?|
|10:08 pm||is this what 1960 was like?|
|10:09 pm||… well, except the sixties probably had less u2.|
|10:13 pm||wide shot of the stadium, at capacity, with flashbulbs popping. awesomeness.|
|10:19 pm||“That’s why I stand here tonight. Because for two hundred and thirty two years, at each moment when that promise was in jeopardy, ordinary men and women — students and soldiers, farmers and teachers, nurses and janitors — found the courage to keep it alive.”|
|10:21 pm||the convention is using the words “democrat” and “republican” too much. it’s got to turn away some centrists and moderates …|
|10:25 pm||okay, barack. we get it. time to stop going after McCain’s plans and start laying out your own …|
|10:33 pm||Better, thank you: “That’s the promise of America — the idea that we are responsible for ourselves, but that we also rise or fall as one nation; the fundamental belief that I am my brother’s keeper…”|
|10:38 pm||No taxes: check. Energy independance: check. National service and higher education: check, check.|
|10:42 pm||Damn, he’s good. And he’s just getting warmed up. “We must also admit that programs alone can’t replace parents; that government can’t turn off the television and make a child do her homework; that fathers must take more responsibility for providing the love and guidance their children need.”|
|10:44 pm||The national security parts were, quite literally, perfect. “You don’t defeat a terrorist network that operates in eighty countries by occupying Iraq. You don’t protect Israel and deter Iran just by talking tough in Washington. You can’t truly stand up for Georgia when you’ve strained our oldest alliances.”|
|10:46 pm||Keeps coming … “We are the party of Roosevelt. We are the party of Kennedy. So don’t tell me that Democrats won’t defend this country. Don’t tell me that Democrats won’t keep us safe.”|
|10:48 pm||Is the crowd chanting “USA, USA”? … I don’t think I have *ever* heard that one at a convention. “And I will restore our moral standing, so that America is once again that last, best hope for all who are called to the cause of freedom, who long for lives of peace, and who yearn for a better future.”|
|10:52 pm||“I realize that I am not the likeliest candidate for this office. I don’t fit the typical pedigree, and I haven’t spent my career in the halls of Washington. But I stand before you tonight because all across America something is stirring. What the nay-sayers don’t understand is that this election has never been about me. It’s been about you.”|
|10:57 pm||Unreal. I have no words. Crazy good.|
|11:01 pm||Big wins: going to be harder to cast him as soft, or as an aloof eastern liberal intellectual, and he made a solid play for the center.|
|11:11 pm||You know, he might just pull this off.|
|8:01 pm||hillary moving to accept the nomination of barack obama by acclamation is a *really* nice touch. bravo, hillary (and her handlers), bravo.|
|8:08 pm||this notion of energy independence as an imperative to cut funding for “the terrorists” is a fascinating theme for the convention, and not one i was really expecting.|
|8:16 pm||the lady sparkler has given up and is doing a puzzle.|
|8:26 pm||why does Rep. Patrick Murphy have a men’s choir of secret service agents standing behind him?|
|8:37 pm||evan bayh?!? i *love* people named Evan … they are so smart, and handsome.|
|8:40 pm||note to senator bayh: if you are going to do an audience refrain, you need to wait for the audience.|
|8:43 pm||if i think evan is sexy, does that make me a monosexual?|
|8:45 pm||“We can no longer be divided into red states and blue states but must stand united as 50 red, white and blue states.” (groan…)|
|8:53 pm||in the movie of life, the Honorable Jack Reed (D-RI) would be played by William H. Macy.|
|9:02 pm||here he comes … jesus, bill. don’t screw up.|
|9:06 pm||four minute standing ovation. wow, we have a *very* short memory … has everyone forgotten the last 12 months?|
|9:11 pm||it’s like watching the Prodigal Son come home. jeez, he just exudes charisma.|
|9:12 pm||“Barack has the curiosity that every President needs.” wow, bill. now that you mention it, i think you needed a little less curiosity …|
|9:15 pm||“The world is always more impressed by the power of our example, than the example of our power.” Oh, Bill. I want to bear your children … hold me.|
|9:24 pm||*i love you, Bill!* i’m sorry i ever doubted you … take me back. please, take me back. (call me!)|
|9:35 pm||if we are dragging out john kerry, can michael dukakis be far behind? (ooo, and in his tank and helmet, please.)|
|9:39 pm||Is it just me, or does Kerry look positively gleeful to be asked to portray McCain as a flip-flopper? “Before he debates Barack Obama, John McCain should finish the debate with himself.”|
|9:43 pm||Did they just bring out Barack Obama’s white uncle?!? Oh no they didn’t!|
|9:47 pm||Note to Senator Kerry: Dude! Where was this four years ago? If you had showed this much spine in 2004, we’d be having a very different convention right now.|
|9:59 pm||Palace intrigue? How funny would it be if Bill Richardson got bumped because Bill Clinton went 10 minutes too long.|
|10:04 pm||Quite a short film from Spielberg and Tom Hanks. Worth watching if they post it.|
|10:20 pm||Joe Biden’s dad told him that the reason we fall down is to learn to pick ourselves back up. I think that means he is Batman.|
|10:31 pm||For the record, I had no idea Joe Biden wrote the Violence Against Women Act. Now, I did know that he called Slobodan Milosevic a war criminal to his face …|
|10:35 pm||Get Grandma Biden’s face on a stuffed animal. Cutest. Celebrity Grandma. Ever. (Except for that “bloody the bully’s nose” story. Little scary.)|
|10:44 pm||Does anybody get it? If you do an audience refrain, you *must* wait for the audience. Come on, people. Please.|
|10:52 pm||Joey is going to be quite the pit bull. Between that and the international affairs background, Biden’s shaping up quite nicely. Wish he brought more than three electoral votes, tho.|
|10:58 pm||Awwww. And the DNC even sought fit to invite the nominee. Isn’t that sweet?|
|11:01 pm||All joking aside, I love it when the families crash the podium. If only they could select slightly less obvious music than “We are Family.”|
|8:01 pm||first sign tonight is going to have a much different tone, from Gov. David Patterson of New York: “If McCain is the answer, the question must be ridiculous.”|
|8:15 pm||second sign tonight is going to have a much different tone, from Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland: “Eight years [after the start of the Bush administration], what do they have to show for it? Surpluses squandered, our national reputation tattered, jobs lost.”|
|8:24 pm||anna berger (Change To Win, SEIU) should be harnessed as a military weapon … her voice could shatter reinforced steel.|
|8:51 pm||is a mayor of fairbanks, alaska *really* the best republican the dem’s could dig up? (update: he’s actually the mayor of a borough of fairbanks, not even fairbanks proper…)|
|9:06 pm||Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (of Kansas) ain’t all that. She makes McCain look like a Baptist preacher. No way she makes national office, and would have been a *horrid* veep.|
|9:17 pm||Another refrain of “We can’t afford more of the same…” I’m sensing a theme, here. Not terribly original, but a theme none-the-less.|
|9:26 pm||It just dawned on me … Joe Biden is from Scranton, Pennsylvania. Dunder Mifflin is in Scranton, Pennsylvania. I’ve never seen Joe Biden and Andy Bernard in the same room. Coincidence?|
|9:42 pm||If Mark Warner’s jaw was any more square and rugged, it would be classified as a mountain range.|
|9:50 pm||Nominee for quote of the day: “When we look around today, we see … an energy policy that says let’s borrow money from China to buy oil from countries that don’t like us.”|
|9:52 pm||Now, *there* is the theme they need to keep hitting: “This election isn’t about liberal vs. conservative. It’s not about left vs. right. It’s about the future vs. the past.”|
|9:59 pm||Who wrote Warner’s speech? Damn, brother should get a raise …|
|10:11 pm||Gov. Deval Patrick (D-MA) just gave the third “shout out” of the Convention. We need to stop it with the “shout outs.” Pols just shouldn’t try to get “jiggy” wit da “lingo.”|
|10:21 pm||Is everyone on the planet from the southside of Chicago?!?|
|10:33 pm||The world needs more Brian Schweitzer’s in specific, and bolo ties in general.|
|10:37 pm||BWAHAHAH! The Hillary tribute video just featured Bill Clinton, and the only caption said “Hillary’s Husband.” Oh, how the mighty have fallen.|
|10:41 pm||I’ve loved Chelsea ever since that MTV inaugural ball where she gushed over Michael Stipe and 10,000 Maniacs.|
|10:42 pm||the lady sparkler is certain that Hillary’s had (at least one) face lift.|
|10:52 pm||Hillary just thanked “everyone in the 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the territories.” Damn it, D.C. get’s no love. *No* love at all.|
|10:58 pm||I (mostly) get the Hillary thing now. Once she got out of the thank you’s and into her stump speech, she became quite a speaker … and very eloquently told her supporters to stop yammering and get in line.|
|6:45 pm||just started watching coverage on CNN.|
|6:48 pm||egads, it’s wolf blitzer! just stopped watching CNN. starting to watch “Family Guy” instead until convention coverage starts on PBS.|
|8:05 pm||i think that Jim Lehrer just referred to the next president of the united states as “beru.” as in, “aunt beru” from star wars. i don’t think that can be a good thing.|
|8:22 pm||early nomination for the most awkward moment of the convention: jimmy carter walks on stage, waves, walks off stage. you’d think if we trusted him with control of the nuclear football for four years, the dem’s would trusted him with a microphone for four minutes.|
|8:33 pm||second nomination for most awkward moment of the convention: somebody tell me why barack’s sister (Maya Soetero-Ng) wasn’t allowed to read her speech before she gave it.|
|8:49 pm||god, i love Jesse Jackson, Jr. now, only if his daddy would shut up.|
|8:54 pm||oh, that’s why carter wasn’t given a microphone … when asked by lehrer if obama had enough experience, carter said barack had more experience than he did when he was elected (ooof).|
|9:16 pm||carolyn kennedy taking the stage to the tune of “sweet carolyn.” i should be horrified by the cliche, but instead i’m getting my red sox garb.|
|9:17 pm||oh, god. why are they showing the kennedy’s at play on their yacht? are we trying to steal mccain’s $5-million-or-less middle class voters? let’s put him in a golf cart next, to seal the deal.|
|9:27 pm||ha! there’s the golf cart.|
|9:33 pm||damn, teddy looks and sounds good. can’t we find just one of the next generation of the kennedy clan who is fit for public office?|
|10:04 pm||jim leach. glad he’s a republican. glad he supports obama. but, he sounds like kermit the frog.|
|10:12 pm||nominee for the soundbite of the evening from Leach: “This is not a time for politics as usual or for run-of-the-mill politicians. Little is riskier to the national interest than more of the same.”|
|10:21 pm||second nominee for the soundbite of the evening goes to Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri: “we’re not a red state. we’re not a blue state. we’re a united state.” (groan…)|
|10:29 pm||the lady sparkler is crying watching the michelle obama tribute video.|
|10:37 pm||the lady sparkler thinks michelle looks good. i’m a little nervous about her condi rice inspired hair cut.|
|10:45 pm||the lady sparkler is interested that “they” didn’t put michelle in a suit. i’m thinking she’s spoken in front of a crowd once or twice before …|
|10:46 pm||michelle spoke of military families saying grace with an empty place at the table for their deployed family. she’s gooood.|
|10:47 pm||… and *then* a shout out to hillary clinton. damn, that girl is crazy good.|
|10:52 pm||she’s got the entire audience in tears. i wish i had something snide to say, but i’m coming up a bit short … where is Cindy “20 year old face, 80 year old neck” McCain when you need her.|
|10:58 pm||one more nomination for most awkward moment of the convention: the satellite cameo by barack with his family. i know it was supposed to be cute, but *awkward*.|
man, i shouldn’t have watched … now i’m going to be really bummed when the republican machine rip the obama campaign to shreds.
we’re only 200+ hours into the coverage, and have a solid 80 hours still to be watched on our tivo. (i know 200 hours sounds like a lot, but remember that one third of the coverage was commercials, and i swear another 20% was rowing or handball.)
from what i have heard, every one seems to think that the games were a solid “A+” for China, and so far I absolutely to agree.
unfortunately, i have started to hear some rumblings that the Olympics are starting to lose meaning. common talking points include:
the Olympics are from a more simplistic time — Since the 1972 Madrid crisis, national politics have mattered nearly as much as the sporting events themselves, and this year the games were held in China despite their miserable human rights record.
the Olympics promote rampant nationalism — there was an obsession about the total medal count (USA vs. China), an “our country is better than your country” measure if there ever was one. NBC’s coverage was pro-American to the point of being jingoistic (except for gymnastics, which was pro-Chinese once Al Trautwig finally shut up about the age of their women).
maybe there is some truth to this, but it seems to me that this is a bit simplistic. each of us watch the Olympics and take away exactly what we want to:
the internationalists see a great coming together of cultures to promote cooperation and understanding. the nationalists see a chance for us to prove our dominance in yet another arena. mommy-figure liberals see a reason to break out the kleenex box. daddy-figure conservatives see a reason to spend 2 weeks exploring the other 236 channels on their television.
george w. bush sees a chance to be relevant (and human) again.
sure, the coverage could be better. sure, the little sports (high jump, javelin, shooting) should get their due compared to the big sports (diving, beach volleyball, track). sure, tivo should be able to record all seven olympic channels at once and should be able to record more than 86 hours of coverage at once.
but, in the end, it’s been a kick-butt two weeks … even ignoring Michael Phelps (which a dark, hidden side of me was trying to do after medal five or so). i discovered a version of the Star Spangle Banner doesn’t sound like the British drinking song that it is. i discovered that the Chinese know how to party, and are freaky good at coordinated dance moves.
but, most poignantly, i discovered (finally) why every field hockey player i ever knew could crush me with their pinkie.
|MVI_1583 — Originally uploaded by [ecpark]|
the red sox had a home game today in baltimore, maryland … with more red sox fans in attendance than they can even fit in fenway park north (i.e. the one in boston).
you think i am exaggerating for effect, but:
i actually feel bad. it’s incrediably tough to be an orioles fan at these sorts of games — i followed the O’s myself for neigh on two decades, until i finally had my fill of peter angelos being nasty to d.c. — and the true fans must just stay home.
as proof, some of the people behind us were kidding with one of the beer guys about how the only people who wanted beer in our section were the ones on the top row, but the beerman snapped back, saying: “i can’t wait until friday when the real fans come back.”
the sad thing is he’s right … the fan’s just didn’t show, obviously biding their time until the sox (or yankees, who actually manage to have even more offensive fans) leave town. even the ushers looked beleagured.
funny aside: we played “count the manny ramirez jerseys” today at the park and got up to just four. four! and he was only traded from the sox to the dodgers (for jason bay) three weeks ago.
now, for reference … there were 200+ papis, 100+ papelbons, 20+ becketts/dice-ks/youks. there were even a dozen brand-spanking-new jason bay tops. but the manny jerseys have been euthanized from red sox nation.
i’d wonder what that says about red sox nation’s feeling for manny, but i think it’s pretty apparent that it translates to “don’t let the door hit you in the !@#$@# on the way out.”
so, there was a sobriety checkpoint tonight, southbound on 16th street. southbound, as in going *into* the city. obviously, lots of people get drunk in residential areas on Saturday night and *then* drive into the city after midnight … as opposed to vice versa.
interesting hypothesis, but not my main complaint: they setup the roadblock just past the exit for park road.
for those of you playing at home, park road — which was left wide open — leads to (a) a residential neighborhood, (b) a great cut-through street for people going to the bars of georgetown, dupont and woodly/cleveland park, and (c) one block away from a road that will let you drive around the checkpoint entirely.
to make matters worse, they put the “sobriety checkpoint” sign at the top of the block, to ensure that anyone who could read knew they should take this right.
how drunk do you have to be to get caught by this checkpoint? were they hoping to catch drunk people who were leaving their homes, but weren’t going towards the clubs, who weren’t able to read, and were too upstanding to drive drunk through a residential neighborhood?
who’d fall for that? was paris hilton in town? mark foley? Vito Fossella? the bush twins?
a couple of observations from seven days of olympic coverage so far:
the serious winner from the olympics so far is the divine marriage of my tivo to the lady sparkler’s HD tv. it’s amazing how much difference the high-def “experience” actually makes, and (more importantly) how quickly you can watch a 24 hours worth of Olympic coverage when you “tivo” out the fluff pieces, the commercials, and the awful commentary…
just finished up the olympic women’s gymnastics team all-a-round competition … and we are *done* with the manic-depressive rantings that spew from nbc’s gymnastics commentators.
really, people. they weren’t negotiating a peace treaty. they weren’t transporting nuclear waste. this is a sport. frankly, Sacramone going to have all sorts of undeserved shrink bills even without your drama queen commentary. (we still love you, alicia…)
anyway, we’re using the mute button from here on out.