Monday, August 31, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
If John McCain had spoken this way, said other things that he has since the election, and had not been forced to choose Sarah Palin as a running mate, it's likely he might be president now. Palin definitely appealed to the right wingnut evangelicals but scared away reasonable people. When the Republican Party courted that group, it was like planting kudzu which has also taken over the South.
All of us had the shrimp and corn fritters but Brian. When Brendan orders, he reads the entire description of each dish. Everyone ordered the panzanella. Paige had the pasta with shrimp, Melissa the chicken, and Brian, Brendan, and I the salmon. For dessert all but Paige had the ice cream sandwiches. I had a bite of Paige's gelato, and the cantaloupe flavor exploded in my mouth! Everything was wonderful! We ate too much and then ate some more!
You can click the menu to enlarge it. What would you have ordered?
Saturday, August 29, 2009
This was the most moving funeral I've experienced in a long time. The Kennedy family is part of American history and almost like royalty to us in many ways. No one hedged or denied their flaws during the memorial service and funeral, but flawed people are compassionate when they learn from their mistakes. They aren't as likely to be smug and sanctimonious. Senator Kennedy's life is about redemption, service, and compassion. Carrying on through all the loss he experienced couldn't have been easy, but his life wasn't about easy.
As President Obama eulogized:
It is a string of events that would have broken a lesser man. And it would have been easy for Ted to let himself become bitter and hardened; to surrender to self-pity and regret; to retreat from public life and live out his years in peaceful quiet. No one would have blamed him for that.
But that was not Ted Kennedy. As he told us, "…[I]ndividual faults and frailties are no excuse to give in - and no exemption from the common obligation to give of ourselves." Indeed, Ted was the "Happy Warrior" that the poet William Wordsworth spoke of when he wrote:
As tempted more; more able to endure,
As more exposed to suffering and distress;
Thence, also, more alive to tenderness.
Through his own suffering, Ted Kennedy became more alive to the plight and suffering of others - the sick child who could not see a doctor; the young soldier sent to battle without armor; the citizen denied her rights because of what she looks like or who she loves or where she comes from. The landmark laws that he championed - the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, immigration reform, children's health care, the Family and Medical Leave Act - all have a running thread. Ted Kennedy's life's work was not to champion the causes of those with wealth or power or special connections. It was to give a voice to those who were not heard; to add a rung to the ladder of opportunity; to make real the dream of our founding. He was given the gift of time that his brothers were not, and he used that gift to touch as many lives and right as many wrongs as the years would allow.
The elder President Bush didn't attend the funeral because his son represented the family according to this statement. All the other former presidents were there.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Listening to McCain and Hatch, I thought about Sarah Palin, who makes and takes everything personally. She could never deliver a speech like they did, and it's sad. She attacks spitefully and is one of many who are inciting crowds that I sincerely hope do not commit violent acts. When there were people at their campaign events who shouted insults, epithets, and lies about Obama, Senator McCain tried to calm them, corrected their lies, and explained situations. This needs to happen at the town hall meetings. There can be no reasonable debate or productive discussion when people shout and interrupt. As Senator Chris Dodd reported, Ted Kennedy called him after he had surgery recently and said, "Between having surgery for prostate cancer and attending town hall meetings, you made the right choice."
Joe Kennedy, II, and Caroline Kennedy gave touching tributes laced with childhood memories. Joe Biden, John Kerry, Chris Dodd, and John Culver delivered speeches with touching and funny memories. They are online if anyone wants to read or watch them.
There were people at that service who disagree without being disagreeable. It's easy to get discouraged and depressed by disruptions and craziness, but right now I want to think about those who try to make the world better and who aspire to be the best they can be. There are good people in the world who are making it better one person at a time and others who are on a larger scale. The Kennedys were brought up to devote their lives to public service. Yes, they were and are flawed, but they have definitely improved the lives of people. Besides, there are many of them, and we'll keep hearing from Kennedys for a long time. Wonder which ones will be in Congress, and if we'll have another Kennedy president?
Ellie Greenwich died Wednesday at 68. She wrote part of the soundtrack of my teenage years. Among the most famous songs that list Greenwich as a songwriter are the Ronettes’ “Be My Baby” and “Baby, I Love You,” the Shangri-La’s “Leader of the Pack,” the Dixie Cups’ “Chapel of Love,” Tina & Ike Turner’s “River Deep, Mountain High” and the Crystals’ “Then He Kissed Me” and “Da Doo Ron Ron.”
In 2004 Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest songs of all time included six by Ellie Greenwich and her husband and writing partner, Jeff Barry – more than by any other songwriting team. They had 17 singles in the pop charts of 1964, surpassed only by John Lennon and Paul McCartney of the Beatles and the Americans Holland, Dozier and Holland.
When, in the spring of 1962, the songwriter Jerry Leiber discovered 21-year-old Ellie Greenwich singing at a piano in the Brill Building in New York, he thought she sounded like Carole King, but looked more like the comedienne Judy Holliday. He observed a strapping young woman wearing a college blazer over a prim blouse with a Peter Pan collar, her hair teased into a platinum helmet. Source: Telegraph
Ms. Greenwich was in her early 20s when she joined the celebrated Brill Building school of songwriters, named for the New York workplace of such renowned pop tunesmiths as Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, Doc Pomus, Neil Sedaka, Gerry Goffin and Carole King.
With her then-husband Jeff Barry, Ms. Greenwich teamed with producer Phil Spector and turned out one Top 40 hit after another. Their songs, often written from a feminine point of view, helped define the infectious "girl group" sound of the early 1960s popularized by the Ronettes, Crystals and Shangri-Las, among others.
Ms. Greenwich was elected to the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1991. Describing her partnership with Barry in 2001, she said, "Wherever our heartbeats were, they were kind of all beating together. We thought along the same lines. We were hopeful romantics, and our songs came out that way." Source: Washington Post
Thursday, August 27, 2009
If this is true, I'm not going there. I hate the way Pine-Sol smells. I can't breathe when someone uses it like they did in the coffee place where I socially knit. Not the smell we want wafting through the air instead of the aroma of coffee.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Instructions HERE on how to do it in case you're interested.
We have a hockey team in Nashville (the Predators). I've never attended a game but would like to. I've been to the arena for concerts and events. It's called the Sommet Center now but was the Nashville Arena and then Gaylord Entertainment Center. I have negative feelings toward Gaylord since they dismantled Opryland Theme Park when they sold it to become Opry Mills Mall. As Joni Mitchell sang, "They paved paradise and put up a parking lot." This got a derisive, resounding, "YES!" Sunday when Richard Sher asked if we were upset about Opryland becoming a mall. It definitely hurt tourism.
Gaylord also got rid of TNN (The Nashville Network) which was on cable and did so many other despicable things I can't mention on here. They still own the Opryland Hotel here and in Florida (Palms), Texas (Texan), and DC (National). My cousin worked for the bastards for about 20 years and really liked her job. She did training and traveled quite a bit and helped open some of the hotels, too. She doesn't read my blog.
The Kennedy family was sort of like royalty to us when JFK and Jackie were in the White House. They were young and glamorous. I was a senior in high school when he was elected and one of the many young people inspired by his inauguration speech. We'd never been asked to do something for our country and didn't know we could. He made us believe we could make a difference.
When President Kennedy was assassinated, we lost our innocence but not our idealism. His brother Robert took up the standard but was also killed. We mourned with the family as they experienced another tragedy. It was almost too much when John, Jr., his wife Carolyn, and her sister died in that plane crash. I was glad his mother wasn't alive to endure every parent's worst nightmare.
Through process of elimination, Ted became the patriarch of the Kennedys. There were more tragedies, scandals, and loss, but Ted eventually rose from the ashes of his flaws like a Phoenix and became a dedicated, hard-working legislator and negotiator. He, like other members of his family, is a champion of those who need a voice. He's been instrumental in writing and passing legislation for civil rights, education, reform, and much more. He was a Liberal in all the best aspects of that label. Senator Edward Kennedy has been a strong force. Others need to step up and carry on the fight and never allow the dream to die.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Wednesday, August 26 is David Dust's birthday! Let's celebrate! Some of the Dust Bunnies will be in NYC to celebrate with him, so I say, "Have fun for all of us!"
Hope this is the best of all possible birthdays so far and that this will be a great year! I'm so glad to know you and wish that you have as much fun and friendship and happiness that you have brought to me!
A new study by New York University found that:
THREE in FIVE people don't change their sheets every week. And ONE in TEN changes their sheets less than once a month.
ONE in TEN people let the dishes pile up in their sink for two to three days before washing them, while 4% of people wait a week before washing the dishes.
Only 7% of people always wash their produce, while 57% of people never do.
More than ONE in FIVE people only clean out their refrigerator once a year.
12% of people say they only clean their bathtub once every few months, while 2% of people say they never clean it.
And 4% of people only clean their toilet every few months, while 1% say they never clean it.
Meanwhile, 15% of people say they never throw away their pillow, which doesn't sound like such a big deal, but it is. Why?
Because after five years, 10% of your pillow's weight is made up of dust mites and dust mite droppings.
I'm also whining. I do that with blogs quite often myself and read them but don't comment. Sometimes there's not much to say and other times too much! I'm the pot calling the kettle black in several cases!
Monday, August 24, 2009
What I'm saying is that I don't put a lot of credence in polls in general. The validity of the poll is usually unknown, and we all know about how many Americans vote. Just because the majority of people choose certain answers and vote a certain way doesn't make it the best choice. Look what they do on American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, and other competition shows where the audience is allowed to vote, and especially on the important elections where it affects the whole country, states, counties, and cities.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
As you can see, Richard Sher stands to ask the questions. The panelists are from left to right Carolyn Faye Fox, Nat Segaloff, Joyce Kulhawik, guest scorekeeper from Nashville and regular Benjamin Sher (both middle-school age), Doug Palau, Francine Achbar, Murray Horwitz, and Richard Sher.
Award-winning Western Swing band The Time Jumpers were the musical guests. They are really good! Article about them HERE that tells what each of the band members does full-time, and their website is HERE (warning: it plays music, so if you're at work, you can pause it or wait until later). They play regularly at the Station Inn (one of the most famous bluegrass clubs in the world), so if you're in Nashville, that might be a place you could stop in. Nashville studio musicians are legendary. They can play anything with anybody. Well, one of Nashville's nicknames is Music City, and it's not just for country music, although that is what it's most known for.
During that time one of the teams makes up a definition, Richard Sher walks around and chats with the other team. They obviously enjoy doing this and have a good time. The puns and banter are even more entertaining than on the radio because they say some things that won't make it on the air. When you listen to it, think about us and what a great time we had!
I think these photos will embiggen if you click on them. We were at the back of the orchestra section, and I did use the zoom, but it's still pretty far away. Our NPR station is WPLN, which began broadcasting from the Richland Public Library in Nashville (therefore, the call letters).
Good article in Nashville paper The Tennessean HERE.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Brian was born September 30, 1969. Coincidence? Yes.
Tom Degan Says:
August 21st, 2009 at 2:59 pm
The other day, I received an interesting and very instructive e-mail from my brother Jeff who lives in France. He asked me to share it with the readers of my blog. I think I will share it with you also.
“As an American who has been living in Europe for most of the last 20 years, one who has visited doctors numerous times in four different countries, whose two children were brought into this world in European hospitals (France and England), who has himself spent a week in a public British hospital, and who underwent an operation in a private British clinic, I think I can say a thing or two about health care in Europe.
“Our out of pocket expenses for the births? Zero, even though in France my wife spent 5 days in the hospital after the birth, which is standard, by the way.
“During the three years we lived in England, we never once paid for medicine for our children. Children get drugs for free in the UK. Visits to the GP are free for everybody.
“My expenses for the week in the NHS hospital? Zero.
“The cost of the operation in the private clinic? Zero, it was covered by my work insurance, as was the post-op physical therapy I needed.
“In Western Europe you would never be forced to sell your home in order to pay for your medical bills, as happens all too often in America when catastrophic illness strikes and the insurance company decides that your condition was ‘pre-existing’.
“The quality of the care? Mostly good. French hospitals are excellent, even the food is decent. The food at the NHS hospital was beyond awful, but then again most English food is pretty bad (though they do have great Indian food). At night, they were understaffed, but I am guessing that, apart from that place where Dr. House works, most American hospitals are understaffed at night, too.
“In short, in the US, you pay more, get less, and die younger than we do in Europe. What part of that don’t you understand?
“My fellow Americans, you have nothing to fear except those who would use fear to keep you enslaved to the myth of the might of the American health care system.”
What can I tell you? The guy is a Communist. Not only does he live in France, he actually likes it there. An eternal shame to our family’s good name. Let us boil down his seven paragraphs to their juicy essentials, shall we?
HEALTH CARE IN THIS COUNTRY SUCKS.
Here is (Excuse me, I meant to say, “Here was“) a golden opportunity for real reform and the idiotic Americans are screaming about socialism. Is it any wonder that we have become the laughingstock of the Western world?
PS – I love English food!
Friday, August 21, 2009
Wonder if that means he really can dance? Maybe she's won too many times. There will be no more hot, sizzling dances like she had with Gilles who should have won.
Here are some articles about next season of DWTS:
Partners Leaked :
Despite its decision to officially reveal Dancing with the Stars' ninth-season pairings on Monday's Good Morning America broadcast, 12 of the 16 couples have already been leaked.
The most recently revealed pairings are indicted former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and Cheryl Burke, actress Joanna Krupa and Derek Hough, UFC mixed martial arts fighter Chuck Liddell and Anna Trebunskaya, singer Aaron Carter and Karina Smirnoff, singer/actress Mya and Dmitry Chaplin, Food Network host Mark Dacascos and Lacy Schwimmer, former The Osbournes star Kelly Osbourne and Louis van Amstel, and retired NFL star Michael Irvin and professional newcomer Anna Demidov.
Actress Debi Mazar and Maksim Chmerkovskiy, entertainer Donny Osmond and Kym Johnson, actor/singer Ashley Hamilton and Edyta Sliwinska, and Olympic gold medalist swimmer Natalie Coughlin and Alec Mazo were all previously leaked as Dancing with the Stars ninth-season couples earlier this week.
DeLay revealed his pairing with Burke -- a two-time mirror ball trophy winner -- in a Wednesday post on his personal website.
"I couldn't be more excited," read DeLay's post.
That leaves singer Macy Gray, actress Melissa Joan Hart, former supermodel Kathy Ireland and professional snowboarder Louie Vito as the only remaining ninth-season celebrities who have yet to have their professional partners leaked.
Dancing with the Stars' ninth season will premiere with a two-hour performance episode on Monday, September 21 at 8PM ET/PT.
Birther Dancer in the Washington Post
Some of you specifically will identify and others can offer support.
I also mentioned to Chris that I'm worried about him and noticed that others voiced the same concerns in the comments section of his blog. I got this email from him but can't find where he posted it. Anyway, I thought you might want to read it. If you know where it was posted, let me know. He must have copied it to those of us who sent emails.
Hi Everyone--I don't know if it's appropriate for me to comment here, but I would like to say a couple of things about the show:
First, thanks to everyone for your praise of my collection--it is very flattering and means a lot to me! The show had incredibly tough circumstances this time, and I was lucky to get anything done...
About the sleeping...a few things colluded to make me extremely sleepy during the filming.
1) I got approximately 3 hours of sleep a night, less the night before the runway.
2) The first day of filming, I got a bad case of food poisoning at lunch (which they conveniently edited out) that made me very weak and dehydrated.
3) I am diabetic, and on a new medication that makes me very, very sleepy. It just can't be helped.
4) Yes, I have sleep apnea, have been diagnosed and have a CPAP machine. Unfortunately, the other circumstances of participating in the show overwhelmed any sleep I actually got.
5) Then, to top it all off, I went home after the final interview and went to bed, and woke up the next morning with a terrible case of the flu (which I must have been catching during the last days of filming).
PLEASE know that I try to take care of myself (yes, I am painfully aware that I really need to lose weight) and go to the doctor every 3 months to monitor my diabetes. I have made great progress with it since being on Season 4 (I was then insulin dependent, and no longer need it).
Thanks again for all your lovely compliments, and you can visit or email me any time on my website at www.chrismarchdesign.com.
Tina, Paige, and I are going to TPAC in Nashville Sunday afternoon to watch "Says You," the word game quiz on NPR. There are two shows, and Brian and I wonder how this works. Do they tape both of them to air later and combine them or have different words on each show? Have any of you been to a taping and know how they do it?
I'm ready for fall, but it won't be here for a while. When it does, I wish it would stay around.
Korto should have won the All-Stars competition. Her designs were prettier than Daniel's. His black and white red carpet dress was awesome, but Korto was robbed again. I didn't like the sportswear Daniel designed but obviously the judges did. Sweet P is a contradiction in how she looks with all those tattoos and her pretty designs. I like her and Daniel, too, for that matter.
I love Chris March and liked his designs so much! He is a genius to get all his work done and sleep so much. I'm worried about that, too, and hope he has seen doctors about it. He might have narcolepsy or sleep apnea or some neurological condition that could be dangerous. They acted as if "that's just Chris" and shrugged or made jokes, but it could be serious. I hope not. Oh, and he will blog about the show all season!!! HERE it is!
There's no cure for Santino! Good grief, he got on my nerves! His impressions of Tim are funny, but he is like those students with ADHD who disrupted class so much we couldn't get anything done.
The new season has some interesting designers on it. Flaky Ari was really out there, and Douchey Mitchell probably won't be on there much longer. I thought Ra'mon should have won.
It's too early to know much about the designtestants. This is so exciting to have PR back!
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Gordon Sumner, the rock star and actor known as Sting, got his nickname from the yellow-and-black jerseys he used to wear, which fellow musicians thought made him look like a bumble bee. Singer Johnny Cash was born J. R. Cash. He chose the first name John when the military wouldn’t accept just initials on its forms.
Anyway, just wanted you to know that I try to rationalize being lazy even though I know I really do need to get more exercise and clean house more often. Wish it were this easy!!