lundi, novembre 29, 2004

dimanche, novembre 28, 2004

tools for blog addicts

Obsessively search for other blogs that link to yours at Technorati.
Publish your blog in book form, at Blogbinders.
Pour over your site stats at Sitemeter.
Buy yourself a self-promotional T-shirt
Via PlanetDan

we don't need no ... royalties

I was helping Diana and Ophira pack on Friday when a curious news blurb flashed on the CNN ticker.

Apparently, the kids who sang on Pink Floyd’s Another Brick in the Wall (it's Part II, right ?) are suing for overdue royalties.
We don’t need no education,
We don’t need no thought control,
No dark sarcasm in the classroom,
Hey! Teachers! Leave them kids alone!

The pupils from the 1979 fourth form music class at Islington Green School secretly recorded vocals after their teacher was approached by the band’s management. Now the 23 ex-pupils are suing for overdue session musician royalties, taking advantage of the Copyright Act 1997 to claim a percentage of the money from broadcasts.

samedi, novembre 27, 2004


"You must be the change you wish to see."
Mahatma Gandhi, 1869 - 1948, statesman and advocate for non-violent resistance

vendredi, novembre 26, 2004

earthly desires

You are by no means obligated to get me anything for ChristmaHanuKwanzIce.

The best gift you can give me is volunteering at a charity or non-profit organization. If you're short on time, please donate to the American Cancer Society or Kidney Cancer Association.

And if you really feel compelled to give me something and are at a loss for the perfect gift, here is some guidance:
  1. Frankly, your best bet is cash, as I'm saving for a lovely vacation in 2005.
  2. If that doesn't strike your fancy, consider an item on my Amazon wishlist.

jeudi, novembre 25, 2004

giving thanks

I spent Thanksgiving with the Schubert-Sturak clans. Jennifer and Craig (and their respective families) put on a great spread at Chez Sturak. We ate all the usual foods, and I'm hoping to get Craig's mom's cranberry sauce recipe, as it was fab. The hearts game and Ali's tasty desserts courtesy of Starbucks (who knew?) were also great.

Kudos to Jennifer (and Craig) for delivering a wonderful meal and memorable holiday with grace and aplomb.

mardi, novembre 23, 2004

national do not call list for cell phones

The national cell phone directory is about to be published and telemarketers will have access to your cell phone number. This will be even more annoying than the calls to your "regular" phone because in addition to being a disruption, these calls will also use your cellular minutes.

If you wish to avoid this, register your cell number on the National Do Not Call list, (888) 382-1222 as soon as possible. Telemarketers must comply within 3 months of your request. Complaints can be filed at this # or on the Do Not Call Web site as well.

Via Harrison

the best of daily oliver

My ex-father-in-law used to joke that he wanted to be reincarnated as a cat in a Jewish household. I'd settle for being Oliver or Hugo, living it up in the South of France.

Here are some of my faves:

Telling the dogs apart:

And the pièce de résistance:

lundi, novembre 22, 2004

vioxx killed more people than 9-11

My colleague Sandra told me something alarming last week: Vioxx killed more people than 9-11.

I finally got a chance to read up on the topic and am shocked. Can we trust the FDA?
At a Senate Finance Committee on Nov. 18, government drug reviewer Dr. David Graham said FDA's handling of Merck & Co Inc.'s withdrawn painkiller Vioxx, is a 'profound regulatory failure' by an agency 'incapable of protecting America' from another dangerous drug... Graham told the committee that research indicated that Vioxx caused up to 160,000 heart attacks and strokes. It was responsible for an additional 27,785 deaths from heart ailments from 1999 to 2003, he concluded.

samedi, novembre 20, 2004

girls, inc.

Girls Inc. is a nonprofit organization that inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold. With local roots dating to 1864 and national status since 1945, Girls Inc. has responded to the changing needs of girls through research-based programs and public education efforts that empower girls to understand, value, and assert their rights:
  • Girls have the right to be themselves and to resist gender stereotypes.
  • Girls have the right to express themselves with originality and enthusiasm.
  • Girls have the right to prepare for interesting work and economic independence.
  • Girls have the right to have confidence in themselves and to be safe in the world.
  • Girls have the right to accept and appreciate their bodies.
  • Girls have the right to take risks, to strive freely, and to take pride in success.


"Attend to the present to deal with the past."
Lao Zu, Tao Te Ching

john ashcroft sings!

Before the soon-to-be-ex-Attorney General got busy with the Patriot Act and banning gay marriage, he was a hit singer peddling Truth.
Via PlanetDan

no shit

This NPR story slayed me.

Apparently, the WTO (World Toilet Organization) is having its 2004 summit in Beijing, in preparation for the 2008 Olympics and (Western) potty shortage.

The affluent are discussing the effluent... and the impact of toilets on tourism. One 5-star restroom included personal TVs in each stall. That's a big change, because finding a public toilet in China used to be a matter of following your nose.

But I think these folks may have taken it too far:
Photos of showcase lavatories were also displayed at the conference, from a ladybug-shaped one in a public garden to another modeled after a grass hut in a wildlife park. Facilities with baby-changing stations, wheelchair ramps and gleaming white ceramic urinals were also featured.

"New public toilets are an important symbol to demonstrate the development of the city," said Liang Guangsheng, deputy director of Beijing's Municipal Administrative Committee.
Delegates also debated the pros and cons of squat toilets versus the sit-down toilet, including this frightful fact -- When you flush a toilet that has fecal matter in it, it sends bacteria several meters in the air.

vendredi, novembre 19, 2004

jeff bridges at MOPA through March 13, 2005

Jeff Bridges, Julianne Moore, "The Big Lebowski," 1998, silver gelatin print

Jeff Bridges - Pictures
November 18, 2004 - March 13, 2005
This exhibition represents 30 years of photographic practice by one of Hollywood's most compelling actors, Jeff Bridges. These are not traditional Hollywood glamour shots, but images of people at work. They act as Bridges' personal and professional diary, with actors, directors, and crew appearing as equal participants in the task of making movies, including "The Last Picture Show," "The Big Lebowski," "Seabiscuit," and many more.
Anyone wanna join me for this on free second Tuesday next month?

tax dollars in vs. tax dollars out

Guess which states pay the most federal tax dollars compared to which states receive the most federal tax dollars?

The Tax Foundation has released a fascinating report showing which states benefit from federal tax and spending policies, and which states foot the bill.

US 50 States MapThe report shows that of the 32 states (and the District of Columbia) that are "winners" -- receiving more in federal spending than they pay in federal taxes -- 76% are Red States that voted for George Bush in 2000. Indeed, 17 of the 20 (85%) states receiving the most federal spending per dollar of federal taxes paid are Red States.

Via PlanetDan

jeudi, novembre 18, 2004

quench your thirst and wash away your sins!

I really hope these folks are kidding.
You may not be religious, and you may not even believe in heaven or hell, but if you have the choice between two quality spring waters, one that has been blessed, and one that has not been, then why in heaven’s name would you even take the chance? Our spring water tastes great, costs about the same price as other brands, and is blessed by religious leaders as it is being bottled.

For thousands of years, in virtually every religion, water has been used to wash away the sins of Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, and even members of the Occult. Now you can cleanse and protect yourself while extinguishing your thirst with with Holy Spring Water™.

Holy Spring Water™ is 100% pure natural Spring Water, that tastes great and has been blessed. By a Monk, a Catholic Priest, or a Holy Shaman, the blessing does not take away from the taste. Holy Spring Water™ washes away the sins of anyone feeling “less then saintly” while quenching your thirsts…like nothing else can. Try our Holy Spring Water™, Your immediate redemption and satisfaction is guaranteed.


"Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of someone else."
Judy Garland, 1922-1969, American singer and actress

mercredi, novembre 17, 2004

'sexiest man alive'

November 29, 2004 issue

Please sit down.

I say that because I actually have friends who don't think Jude Law is attractive. Intelligent people can disagree, but I feel more than a bit vindicated. Mind you, this is the first time I've used People magazine as the justification for, well, anything. But everyone knows that the hard-hitting journalists at People are the experts when it comes to beautiful people.

Jude Law, star of “Alfie” and “I (Heart) Huckabees,” has been named this year’s “Sexiest Man Alive” by People magazine.

“What’s he all about? Supernatural good looks, supersize talent — and so nice, he might just kiss you if you have the nerve to ask,” People says in its latest issue...

She took the words right out of my mouth:
Naomi Watts, who starred with Law in “I (Heart) Huckabees,” describes the 31-year-old actor as “the most beautiful man who ever walked the Earth.”

Law, divorced from Sadie Frost and now dating his “Alfie” co-star Sienna Miller, told The Associated Press recently that despite his sex symbol status, he’s no Lothario.

“I grew up, I suppose, always looking for commitment and looking for a relationship, and that’s why I got married so young. ... And I’m in another relationship now,” he said. “So that just seems to be my pattern.”
Lest you question my reading habits, I found this on a reputable news site. And I'm not some freakish, obsessed fan. I'm just a single woman smitten with one incredibly handsome man.


My new friend Denisse mentioned some things women do at work that can undermine their success, including:
1. Women tend to try and be everyone's friend at work.
2. Women tend to touch their hair when nervous. A lot.

... which made stop and fret about my own habits. (And touch my hair once.) Then she told me about this book: Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office: 101 Unconscious Mistakes Women Make That Sabotage Their Careers

Speaking of subconscious habits... I was in a meeting today where someone used the word "um" 52 times ( I didn't count the other filler words, but noticed a bunch) in a presentation.

I suspect that I still use lots of "ums" and other filler words when I make presentations, but listening to her verbal static today has re-kindled my motivation to attend Toastmasters regularly. Feel free to join me -- the meeting is every Thursday morning from 7 - 8:30 a.m. at Acapulco restaurant on San Juan Dr. in Old Town.

mardi, novembre 16, 2004

jude law is a very lovely boy

Paramount Pictures

Paramount Pictures
Renee, Dan, Miguel, and I saw "Alfie" on Sunday. At the end of the movie, Miguel commented that the movie was great, but that it didn't really need the last two sentences in the monologue at the end.

I didn't have much to say, which makes sense, given that I was engrossed in Jude's sexpot character, taking in the visuals, and the sound of his smashing accent (and not actually focusing on the words coming out of his mouth).

I guess that's reason enough to see it again. And this time, I promise to not look at Jude like a piece of flesh with a British accent.


Paramount Pictures

Paramount Pictures

apparently, I rock

As all of you loyal readers already know, I just started a new job.

It's always nice to get feedback on your work, but especially nice to get it when you're new. Here is an e-mail I received today. Names have been removed to protect the innocent.


I've incorporated your suggestions and cleaned up the draft you returned. I hope I've answered your question regarding policies. I'd like to discuss further when you have time or after ____ has reviewed. Thanks so much for your great input. You rock already----and it's only been 1 week!

dimanche, novembre 14, 2004

queer eye for the single girl

The challenge -- Helping Happy get new clothes for work that are:
  • Professional looking. (She's part of the management team.)

  • Flattering. (She's rarely sure about what looks good on her body.)

  • Stylish. (She's single.)

  • Reasonably priced. (She didn't get THAT big a raise.)

  • The team -- Three fashionistas, one very interested commentator, and several amused sales clerks/ spectators:
  • Harrison: Style diva and girl voice #1

  • Nolan: Décolletage expert, argyle afficionado, and modern-dance wonder

  • Reggie: Smashingly fabulous price point guru

  • Diana: The voice of reason and girl voice #2

  • The results -- Ninety eight minutes, four stores, and $368 later:
  • Four good-fitting pairs of pants

  • Two just-below-the-knee skirts

  • Twelve fitted work shirts and sweaters

  • Two way-too-tight-and-low-cut-to-wear-to-work shirts

  • One very fun pair of underwear

  • Thirteen pointed messages about Happy needing to get some boots already

  • After their experience with Happy they have decided to turn pro and are available for hire as What a difference a gay makes!

    Epilogue -- Our heroine decided to shop for a few still-needed items on her own today. Will the panel love them or send her back to style school?

    vendredi, novembre 12, 2004

    interesting correlations

    a bit ticked off here in California

    Dear President Bush:

    Congratulations on your victory over all us non-evangelicals. Actually, we're a bit ticked off here in California, so we're leaving you. California will now be its own country. And we're taking all the Blue States with us. In case you are not aware, that includes Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, all of the North East States, and the urban half of Ohio.

    We spoke to God, and she agrees that this split will be beneficial to almost everybody, and especially to us in the new country of California. In fact, God is so excited about it, she's going to shift the whole country at 4:30 pm EST this Friday. Therefore, please let everyone know they need to be back in their states by then. God is going to give us the Pacific Ocean and Hollywood. In addition, we're getting San Diego. (Sorry, that's just how it goes.) But God is letting you have the KKK and country music (except the Dixie Chicks).

    Just so we're clear, the country of California will be pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, and anti-war. Speaking of war, we're going to need all Blue States citizens back from Iraq. If you need people to fight in Falujah, just ask your evangelical voters. They have tons of kids they're willing to send to their deaths for absolutely no purpose. And they don't care if you don't show pictures of their kids' caskets coming home.

    So, you get Texas and all the former slave states, and we get the Governator and stem cell research. (We would love you to take Britney Spears off our hands, though. She IS from the south, right?)

    Since we get New York, you'll have to come up with your own late night TV shows because we get MTV, Letterman, the Daily Show, and Conan O'Brien. You get... well, why don't you ask your people at Fox News to come up with something entertaining? (Maybe you should just watch Crossfire. That's a really funny show.)

    We wish you all the best in the next four years and we hope, really hope, you find those missing weapons of mass destruction. Seriously. Soon.

    Sincerely, California

    Via Alicia

    jeudi, novembre 11, 2004

    f$#* the south

    Another post-election rant.

    Warning: This rant contains beaucoup beaucoup beaucoup de profanity.
    Via Hilary

    public enemy number one million two hundred and twenty six

    Tim Allen, comedian, had this to say about Martha Stewart:

    Boy, I feel safer now that she's behind bars. O.J & Kobe are walking around, Scott Peterson's going to be soon, but they take the one woman in America willing to cook and clean and work in the yard and haul her ass to jail.
    Via Nancy

    valkyrie, schmalkyrie

    Via Tatjiana (click image for a larger version)

    Me, at Kendall and William's Hat and Tie party a few weeks back.

    Now imagine 500 Norwegian soccer fans wearing this hat and screaming for Swedish or Danish blood, because that's where it usually gets worn by the owner of the hat. (Not me.)

    she called it my SNL photo

    Photo © 2003 Alicia Holdner-Campen (click image for a larger version)

    mercredi, novembre 10, 2004

    sorry everybody

    Via Healy (click image for a larger version)

    Some of us — hopefully most of us — are trying to understand and appreciate the effect our recent election will have on you, the citizens of the rest of the world. As our so-called leaders redouble their efforts to screw you over, please remember that some of us — hopefully most of us — are truly, truly sorry. And we'll say we're sorry, even on the behalf of the ones who aren't.

    what I learned at lunch today

    When dining at the food court:
    1. Don't order the chicken gyros (a chicken mystery meat) sandwich.
    2. Order the chicken souvlaki (real chicken breast meat) sandwich instead.

    mardi, novembre 09, 2004

    welcome to _____

    I had a great first day at my new job. Here's the rundown for those who are actually interested:

    7:55 Get let in by sympathetic administrative assistant who already knows my name.
    8:15 Talk to my new boss and get the heads-up about what to think about for my 10 a.m. Big Meeting with the campuswide committee I'll eventually be co-chairing. I comment that I'll probably listen more than I speak.
    9:00 Get legit: I'm escorted to HR to sign papers and become a bona fide employee.
    9:35 Walk back to my office and get ready for Big Meeting. Meet more co-workers.
    10:00 Big Meeting. I listen and then end up speaking a bunch in spite of myself. Make ridiculous comment about actually promulgating web standards with manadatory elements (search, logo, comment) in consistent places and am informed that the Style Guide addresses that. I also hear the words "Welcome to ____," and I feel like I've just stepped in it. To avoid tracking it around, I opt to just listen for most of the rest of the meeting.
    12:00 Lunch with the new boss and other managers in my department at the Faculty Staff Club. I learn more about the folks I'll be spending quality time with and decide that they are cool people and that I have, in fact, made an excellent choice in deciding to work with them.
    1:15 Get legit, part deux: Obtain ID, parking permit, keys, etc.
    2:15 Campus tour: A very nice guy named Aaron drives me around on a large (four-bench) golf cart/ bus and gives me the big tour of the place. We get off the cart to check out the sculpture garden near the ceramics kilns and, later, by the sundial that I mistake for an astrolabe.
    3:00 Meet with my boss. I begin by telling him that I feel like a rock star after the royal treatment I'd received today (I really did). He gives me his view of the projects and their priority in my job (thank god!), his management style and expectations, etc. We talk about projects and what I need to get going on soon.
    4:10 Dash out to get to an appointment.
    7:00 French class: Learn to conjugate -ir verbs au present, au passe compose, a l'imparfait. Also learn the conditional tense.
    10:00 Tell Harrison about my fab day and generally ramble on about how happy I am to have my new job.
    10:15 Consult with Harrison on tomorrow's outfit.
    10:21 Post this tale to the blog.
    11:39 Pass out

    samedi, novembre 06, 2004

    golden advice

    My friend and former colleague Sydney (and fellow golden retriever afficionado) had this advice for me as I begin my new job.

    Remember these golden retriever tips:
    • Perk your ears up and listen carefully before you decide to bark.
    • You don't have a tail to wag, so share that beautiful smile to let people know you're friendly.
    • Assume that all newcomers are friendly, but give them a thorough sniff-test to make sure you've judged correctly.
    • Be loyal to those who feed and care for you.
    • If you get stressed out, curl up and take a nap so you'll be ready to play again.

    take a closer look

    Via Cass (click image for a larger version)

    For the names of the deceased soldiers pictured, visit and scroll to the Thursday, November 4th, 2004 entry (My first thoughts after the election... )

    map: U.S. voting by population

    Lynne wanted to see a map that shows how the states voted (and accounts for their population). Here's the best I could find: a map of the electoral vote, with states sized according to their electoral vote contribution.
    Via DDTB

    them's fightin' words

    Via Harrison (click image for a larger version)

    smart IS sexy

    The Akademics clothing company ran ads with the slogan "Read Books, Get Brain" on about 200 NY transit authority buses for the past two months. The ads are no longer featured on NY transportation, because "get brain" is slang for oral sex.

    The advertisements that ran on about 200 buses across the city in recent months carried posters displaying a suggestively posed woman in hot pants kneeling among a pile of books beside the snappy slogan “Read Books, Get Brain.”

    What unhip, unsuspecting local transportation officials did not know was that “get brain” is street slang for oral sex...

    Kelly, who said he was his 60s, said that after he was tipped to the hidden meaning of the phrase on Thursday he ran a test among some young MTA workers. “I went downstairs to the mailroom and showed some of the young guys a copy of the ad,” he said. “I was watching their faces and they all start smirking.”

    how the rest of the world sees us


    The UK: In case you missed it, the 59,054,087 daily mirror cover from Thursday, Nov. 4
    Via Michael C.

    France: In addition to the general "incroyable" response, there's also this fun editorial --Pourquoi? and one perspective on how the Dems can come back:
    Pour renouer le fil avec l'électorat populaire, le Parti démocrate devra retrouver une cohérence économique et investir à son tour le domaine des "valeurs". Mais le risque est qu'il soit séduit par une ligne populiste et qu'il renonce à ses origines. Sa politique doit être celle de la défense des libertés, au moment où elles sont menacées au nom de la lutte contre le terrorisme.

    vendredi, novembre 05, 2004

    o canada, we plead to cede to thee

    I am perfectly willing to incorporate "eh" into my vocabulary.

    ADOPT US, O Canada!
    As a blue-red split continues in the Divided States of America,
    we note that every blue state is contiguous to Canada or to a another blue state
    that is contiguous to Canada, except Hawaii - that's not contiguous to anything
    but a lot of blue water that's contiguous to Canada.

    Therefore, we've got an idea. How about a sort of second American
    Revolution, Canada, in which you annex all the blue states, liberate us from
    King George, and thus become the world's sole superpower.

    What Canada Gets:
    • Higher education

    • Serious sports
    • Warm-weather vacations
    • The cultural arts
    • The entertainment industry
    • The automobile industry
    • The biotech industry
    • The computer industry
    • A burgeoning tourist industry
    • Fresher produce
    • Arnold Schwarzenegger

    What the Red-Staters get:
    • Exactly what they want.

    What Blue-Staters get:
    • Canadian citizenship
    • "O, Canada"
    • Free flu shots. (Not to mention free health care.)

    You don't like our "values," red-staters, you've got your wish - we're outta here.
    But remember, the next time you want to see a Broadway show, visit wine country, Hawaii or the birthplace of liberty, don't just bring your Visa card, bring your visa.
    You're in Canada now. And we're tightening our borders.
    Don't delay, Canada. This offer expires in four years.

    Via Ron C. and Tom K.

    the voice of reason?

    This is a pleasant surprise indeed.

    PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (AP) -- The Republican expected to chair the Senate Judiciary Committee next year bluntly warned newly re-elected President Bush on Wednesday against putting forth Supreme Court nominees who would seek to overturn abortion rights or are otherwise too conservative to win confirmation.

    Sen. Arlen Specter, fresh from winning a fifth term in Pennsylvania, also said the current Supreme Court now lacks legal "giants" on the bench.

    "When you talk about judges who would change the right of a woman to choose, overturn Roe v. Wade, I think that is unlikely," Specter said, referring to the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion.

    "The president is well aware of what happened, when a number of his nominees were sent up, with the filibuster," Specter added, referring to Senate Democrats' success over the past four years in blocking the confirmation of many of Bush's conservative judicial picks. "... And I would expect the president to be mindful of the considerations which I am mentioning."

    Via Scott D.

    jeudi, novembre 04, 2004

    the culture war begins

    At Toastmasters this morning, my friend Matt made an impassioned impromptu speech about the country not needing to come together to heal, because the two parties are so fundamentally different ideologically. He also talked about how that has historically sparked discourse and positive change.

    After the meeting, we talked about how to connect the Blue States of America, and he quipped that the Dems need to take gun control off the table, since what keeps Montana and Wyoming from being blue is the "God, guns, and gays" rhetoric of the GOP.

    still ill

    Interesting commentary on our post-election shock:
    Via Harrison and Jennifer S.

    mercredi, novembre 03, 2004

    electing to leave

    So the wrong candidate has won, and you want to leave the country. Let us consider your options... A reader’s guide to expatriating on November 3

    the axis of evil supper club

    Props to Christi and Lynne for taking me out for a tasty goodbye lunch. As we weren't feeling celebratory about national politics, we took some time to strategize how we'd create a geographically noncontiguous nation that only included the blue states. Advantages: We'd control most of the nation's ports and hold the red states hostage with port taxes.

    We also spitballed some names for a group that would get together for dinner and (political talk?) on a regular basis:
    • The Axis of Evil Supper Club
    • The Dinner Underground
    • The Better Half
    • The non-cowboys and indians
    • All Your Ports Are Belong To Us
    • The Lefta and Raita
    • The Curry Taskforce
    • Something that incorporates all the labels that rightwing nutjobs use to stereotype slander us: godless, gay, feminist, liberal, pinko, commie...
    If you are an open-minded tolerant smart liberal and like to surround yourself with other elitist discerning folk, apply here.

    mnemonic devices

    I'm almost ashamed to say how I remember whether I'm a blue state or a red state.

    Rednecks are the majority in red states.

    woe is U.S.

    C'mon, people. I'm depressed, too. But this is the price of democracy.

    The comments on today's Daily Oliver made me smile, though.

    I voted Oliver!— Deviant Brainwave Nov 3, 8:40am

    Ollie for Prez!— Taylor Nov 3, 11:05am

    Oliver, although cute, cannot be President. He’s not yet 35 years old, he was not born in the United States, and he’s a dog.
    Soooo….Oliver for Senate!— Sean O Nov 3, 12:18pm

    oh to be a dog right now instead of an american… woe is U.S.—
    catherine Nov 3, 3:39pm

    here kitty kitty

    AFP - Getty Images
    History remembers Vespatian as a very bad man. He's the Roman Emperor who reputedly fed the Christians to the lions in an amphitheater better known as the Coliseum.

    And now, there's the modern-day version of this insanity, only this Christian literally dared the lions to bite him.

    TAIPEI, Taiwan - A man leaped into a lion’s den at the Taipei Zoo on Wednesday to try to convert the king of beasts to Christianity, but was bitten in the leg for his efforts.

    “Jesus will save you!” shouted the 46-year-old man at two African lions lounging under a tree a few meters away.

    “Come bite me!” he said with both hands raised, television footage showed. One of the lions, a large male with a shaggy mane, bit the man in his right leg before zoo workers drove it off with water hoses and tranquilizer guns.

    Newspapers said that the lions had been fed earlier in the day, otherwise the man might have been more seriously hurt ... or worse.

    mardi, novembre 02, 2004

    musings on my 'hood

    Who knew that stodgy, south-of-the-iron-curtain San Diego could be so liberal? Every time I vote, I get discouraged, because it seems that no matter what I vote for, the majority of my county votes against. Or if I'm against it, then they're all for it. This time, things were different, at least in my own precinct and the precinct where I worked.

    Giant disclaimer — these numbers come from ballots cast in the precinct (not absentee) :
    • Kerry 433 to Bush 132 (out of 582 total ballots cast)

    • Plus, landslides for Barbara Boxer, Susan Davis, Christine Kehoe, Lori Saldana, and a certain write-in candidate for mayor.

    Election geek that I am, I stopped at the precinct where I voted today (my own Normal Heights neighborhood precinct # 271800) and read the election results tape posted to the door. I'm pleased to report the following:
    • Kerry 457 to Bush 138 (out of 608 total ballots cast)

    • And more landslides for Barbara Boxer, Susan Davis, Christine Kehoe, Lori Saldana, and that write-in mayoral candidate.
    Sisters are doing it for themselves... and my 'hood is seeming cooler and cooler all the time.

    voicemail from cass

    "Did you know today is National Abstinence Day?

    No bush, no dick... "

    voting is sexy

    As most of you know, I'm spending today, Nov. 2 at precinct 271200 in San Diego. That precinct includes significant numbers of voters for whom English is a second language.

    Here are the prelim numbers in my precinct:
    • English (language) ballots cast so far: 382
    • Spanish (language) ballots cast so far: 14
    • Vietnamese (language) ballots cast so far: 7
    • Provisional ballots (voting out of precinct, etc.) cast so far: 33
    In addition to the overall record turnout, I am seeing so many faces that are in the 35ish- and- under crowd, which is encouraging, because people from every demographic are getting out the vote!

    lundi, novembre 01, 2004

    eminem redeemed?

    Yes, I think Eminem is a homophobe and generally disrepectful to women. And his music does nothing for me. But he's inching toward redemption in my eyes with his latest song and powerful get-out-the-vote video. It is available to stream for free on the web:
    Scroll down to"Videos matching "mosh":" and click on Eminem's video.

    The bottom line is this: Generally, I don't think of myself as a patriotic person because I think many people mistakenly equate patriotism with jingoist flag-waving silliness. But I do get pretty riled up about voting, because I see voting as the most patriotic thing I as an American can do. This is the fourth election where I've worked the polls, and I hope that Eminem's video helps bring more people in my generation to the voting booths, no matter who (whom?) they vote for. I respect celebrities who use their star status for something they think is important, even if sometimes I disagree with them, because it means they have put their careers on the line for their values. I just hope this one doesn't backfire on Eminem.
    Via Jen

    Via Hilary S.

    on being adopted

    I have several friends who were adopted. Some have no desire whatsoever to find their birth parents, while others are on a seemingly impossible quest.

    I read open brackets occasionally and the woman who writes it mentioned recently how she feels on the subject. As usual, the writing is great and I found her words very thought provoking.