President Obama

I tend to be extremely cynical about politics. Tonight, my hope was rekindled and my cyncism died, when I heard Barack Obama deliver the keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention.

I have never felt so proud to be a Democrat, and so proud to be an American, and I've never felt so hopeful that our country will recover from this dark period under the rule of the guy who lost the last election.


Since the last update to Blogger, I find it difficult to post from work because we are on a Microsoft browser, and Blogger suggests a Mozilla browser for optimal functioning. I have Firefox on my home PC, but between me, Loki, and Sweetness, I find it difficult to have the time to post while at home. (Monkey is not interested in using the computer yet. It requires far too much sitting still.)

That's why I haven't posted very much lately.

I did watch some of the convention last night - I caught Carter's speech, and I must echo Jon Stewart - Carter was the Velvet Hammer. I did have to suffer through that pussy David Brooks whining that Carter didn't mention the boogeyman during his speech, because everyone knows that the most serious problem facing this country right now is Pussy-Ass Brooks' fear of Islamo-fascists who want to kill us, never mind the context, never mind the loss of allies, never mind the completely incompetent pursuit of the War on Terror under Bush.

Uh, Mr. Brooks? Ever occur to you that we might find more success fighting the war on terror when we bring in the rest of the world? Or are those glasses for myopia?

Sheesh - why do we have to have pundits to spin the speeches for us, anyway? Maybe they haven't taken a good look at the ratings, but the people paying attention to the convention are probably already pretty well informed, and we don't need anyone, even liberal pundits, to interpret the speeches for us.


What are you listening to?

A couple of weeks ago I saw Ben Folds, Rufus Wainwright and Guster in concert. Ben Folds is a longstanding love affair of mine, I never, ever tire of listening to any of his (both Ben Folds Five and solo) CDs, and with the exception of maybe one or two songs, I never skip a song on any of his CDs either. I missed him the last time he came around Connecticut because Monkey and I were at Disneyworld, so I was not going to miss him this time. He delivered, as usual - huge energy, very funny, gonzo piano playing, audience participation - he is definitely an artist who must be seen live to be fully appreciated.

I was only familiar with a couple of songs by Guster, and I had only heard Rufus Wainwright's cover of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah.

Guster was a pretty tight band, with great vocals, but since I wasn't too familiar with their songs it was hard to get into it. Their drummer plays mostly hand drums, which was kind of cool.

Rufus Wainwright was sort of fascinating. He has massive stage presence, and he's very funny, but his music was so mellow it was like we were being lulled to sleep. He also mumbles, so I couldn't understand what he was singing. But the melodies were so beautiful I decided I would have to check him out.

So I bought his CD Want One, and there is a lot to like. The first song on the CD (I think it's called "What A World") is built on the melody from Ravel's Bolero. Right now, my other favorite song is "Vibrate"

My phone's on vibrate for you.
Electroclash is karaoke, too.
I tried to dance to Britney Spears,
I guess I'm getting on in years

The music underneath is similar to the bass line of that famous song from the opera Carmen (sorry, not hugely into opera so I have no idea what that is - for people from my era who are reading this, you would recognize the bass line from a filmed bit on Sesame Street where an orange gets all gussied up and sings "l'amour").

I will still listen to something more upbeat on my way into work (One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces makes for an uplifting start to my day), but I am intrigued by the work of Mr. Wainwright and would like to subscribe to his newsletter.



When I was a small child, I was afraid of a lot of things. I would curl into a ball on the couch when my mother vacuumed, afraid I would get sucked in; I had to be out of the bathtub before my mother could turn the drain on, for fear I would go spiraling through the tiny holes; I would lie on the floor of the car covering my head when we went through the car wash.

When I was a little older, I was afraid that Reagan was going to annihiliate the planet with nuclear weapons, that no one would ever notice that I was getting beat up at home, that I would never have my first kiss or sex.

As an adult, I have conquered these fears. (I don't fear GWB so much as get fucking pissed off by him). But I am currently grappling with a completely unexpected, throwback to my small childhood years kind of fear: I cannot jump into the pool at my swim lessons. Every time our teacher asks us to jump, I stand at the edge, sure that this time I will muster up the courage to just do it, and every time, I step back, holding my churning stomach. I can dive in, no problem, but I cannot step off the edge of the pool.


Back to School

My first attempt at post-high school education ended when I found myself broke and pregnant. All ended well, of course, I was pregnant with my dear Sweetness, and although I'm not well off or even comfortable, I can pay my bills every month.

So last night, more than 15 years after I graduated from high school, I signed up for college again - community college, this time, since it's all I can afford. Despite all the time I've spend thinking about it, I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up, so I decided to major in something I love dearly but have mostly pursued as an avocation - Music. My current plan is to get an Associate's in Music and then transfer to one of the Music Education programs at one of the 4 year colleges in this neck of the woods.

Sweetness and Monkey are thrilled that we will all go back to school together this fall. Loki is proud now, but I'm sure he'll complain a little when I'm actually in class for 3 hours or more a week.


New (temporary) additions to the family

We currently have two monarch caterpillars in full chrysalis construction mode sitting on a milkweed plant in our kitchen. We put netting over the plant to protect them from the cats. The caterpillars are more fascinating than I thought they would be. They basically ate for several days in a row - and that's all they did, all day long, and all night long, too. It was astonishing to see how much they ate. Then they both found a spot on the plan and compacted themselves (one of them was about 2 inches long, the other about 3 inches long, and they both compacted themselves to about 1 inch), and then curled into a "J" shape, and they seem to be secreting a substance from one end of their bodies.

When they emerge from their chrysali, we will bring them to Magic Wings butterfly conservatory in So. Deerfield, MA.


At least they live 3000 miles away

Loki and I took a week off from work because his mother came to town.

It was like spending a week with a Stepford Wife and her Lord and Master. Her husband picks out her clothes, chooses her meals, and makes all the decisions. She is allowed to make respectful input, but from what I saw, he always gets his way.

It was absolutely infuriating. At the end of every day, Loki and I and his sister would get together and contemplate the demise of the woman they used to know.

Did I mention that Stepford-in-law and her husband are die-hard Republicans? They are completely unable to see anything from anyone else's point of view. I'm a die hard Democrat, but I can see the point of view of many Republicans, and I can even see the appeal of the Republican philosophy, although I find it to be reprehensibly selfish. The first night they were here, the California gubernatorial election came up, and I questioned their support of the groping Austrian actor. Stepford-in-law mentioned that they were really voting against Bustamante, and she started to bring up his involvement with MECHA, and I slapped her down, hard. I ended my rant by asking why Bustamante's extracurricular activities in college were something to take seriously but she couldn't take Bush's activities when he was the same age (and older) seriously. No answer.

We went to Watch Hill for a day at the beach last week, and on the way home, I drifted off in the car, and when I awoke, I heard Burt railing about gay marriage, and how their church may have to split because of the issue. I couldn't hold my tongue, and I suggested that perhaps the church should heed the wisdom of Solomon: one one side, you have people who would rather tear the church asunder than not get their way, and on the other side you have people who simply want to be included and live their life. He didn't get it. In his mind, no reality can exist where gay people are not a problem.

Well, at least we only have to see them every other year.


Kerry/Edwards 2004

Kerry has announced his pick for the VP slot, and it is Edwards. I look forward to seeing the good looking, youthful, optimistic and intelligent Edwards in a debate against the cyborg of death Dick Cheney.


What took me so long?

Hullaballoo with the incomparable Digby added to the blogroll.