Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Endgame for Coleman

My Dad lives in Minnesota and I have been a fan of Al Franken since his SNL days. So the ongoing Minnesota Senate battle has held my interest since Franken first declared he was going to run. Franken was trying to take the seat back from Norm Coleman who used the tragic death of Paul Wellstone to win the seat in the first place. The race has gone from a narrow Coleman lead to a narrow Franken lead. Coleman challenged the court ruling in Minnesota Supreme Court. The Coleman camp is claiming that civil liberties of Minnesota voters have been violated in re-count process. I can understand that thinking to a certain degree, but you look at the numbers which Nate Silver did (538 Coleman/Franken article), the math is not on Coleman's side. Unless something very strange happens Al Franken should be the next Senator from Minnesota. That leads me to the question what is Coleman looking to gain by the Minnesota and possible US Supreme Court challenge of election results.

Despite Coleman's claim of a higher purpose for his staying in the fight to the bitter end, this seems to be more about keeping Franken out of the Senate than the freedom and civil liberties of Minnesota voters. With Franken not being able to vote it becomes a defacto Republican vote, so that Coleman does actually to have to be in office. This may make a hero with the GOP and in certain conservative circles but is really the best strategy for keeping a long term political career alive. In the future will Coleman be seen as champion of a cause or just a sore loser who refused to let go or maybe it's just the simple fact that Coleman has no future and has no other choice but go all in on a long shot.

At this point it's just more of the waiting game. Al Franken tries to do as much as he can to be a Senator Elect. Coleman and his team keep making the claims of honoring the voters of Minnesota while pursuing their own goals. Gov Time Pawlenty is sitting on his hands instead of doing the right thing. Lastly the right wing noise machine keeps bitching whining and complaining about the scary notion of Senator Franken. It's insane but I guess if nothing else Al Franken as a great start to his next book.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Life in 24 World

The conservative blogger Lorie Byrd has a post that like many other conservatives tries to justify that we tortured people in the name of safety.

The Handcuffs We Willingly Wear

In the posting is the usual justifications of Bush kept us safe after 9-ll, liberals don't get it, the Democrats in Congress knew what was happening and so on and so on. There was one passage that did catch my eye and I think really gets the heart on where the left and right disagree on the torture issue.

"Some Democrats, including the President, currently succumbing to the howls from their rabid base, may want to remember that even in a country that now takes its safety somewhat for granted, Jack Bauer is the hero of the television show “24,” not the villain."

Jack Bauer is the hero of "24". To most of the right the world is a big and scary like on "24" where the clock is always ticking and we are hours away from our doom, but thanks to big bad Jack doing what needs to be done we are safe from peril.

This overlooks that "24" was created by a conservative who believes in that style of aggressive foreign policy, and is based on the ticking bomb justification for torture that very rarely actually happens in real life. It also does not deal with two sticky points that the right overlooks or just dismisses. One we agreed as a country that would not use such techniques. Two torture is simply not the most effective method of getting information. You can not depend on this intel because it may be true or may simply be a way for the tortured person to stop what was causing pain.

So to all conservatives out there please put the dvds of "24" and join us back in the real world where America is the shining beckon of behavior again. Besides all the twisting yourself into knots to morally justify torture can't be good for your back.

Time to Shame Hannity

Last week while interviewing Charles Grodin Sean Hannity of Fox News said he would be waterboarded for charity News Hounds Story and video. Keith Olbermann has offered $1000 a minute for each minute Hannity lasts being waterboarded Link.

This would be perfect because you would get all the right wingers who love Hannity and the people on the left that think he is a bloated windbag. We need to call Hannity on his bluff. If you look at the video you can tell his has no intention of actually going through with this. Hannity is a bully and blowhard, the only way we can get him to possibly go through with is if he is embarrassed into doing it. Stand up to Hannity and make him live up to his word. I would say this is a win win. Not only will some charity get money but all the people that don't like Hannity will gladly pay money to see that idiot get waterboarded and have to eat his words for change.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Perfect Party

Yesterday, Glen and I went to one of those perfect parties. It was a crawfish boil that the hosts throw once a year. It had all of the perfect party elements - good food, cold beer, great music, and I was surrounded by friends.

As Glen and I were walking back to my car, I told Glen that the feeling at that party was the same feeling I wanted for our wedding. I want people to walk away saying that it was a great party. That alone will make me happy.

It is so easy these days to get caught up in the details of a wedding. The dress, the flowers, the band - it all gets so messy and competitive. Does it really matter in the end if your wedding costs $100 or $10,000? I hope not.

To bring the entry back to the party, it was so fun to see people I have met in so many different places gather in one place. From the people I have known for years to people I just met recently, it was a great mix of people. If you ever get an invitation to Regina's crawfish boil, I hope to see you there.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Guess Whose DVR

There is a house in midtown that has two tvs and two dvrs, each one in a separate room.

Room A's DVR has the following shows:
1. Fringe
2. Bones
3. Good Eats
4. The Tin Man movie
5. Battlestar Gallactica
6. Dr. Who

Room B's DVR has the following shows:
1. Grey's Anatomy
2. Private Practice
3. The Office
4. My Fake Fiance movie
5. The Hills
6. Greek

Guess who owns which DVR.

When it comes to politics, Glen and I are on the same page. We vote, usually for the same people. We tend to like most of the same food - although he doesn't understand my aversion to fish or chicken pot pies. Neither one of us are overly neat or messy. He cleans the kitchen and I do the laundry. We see eye to eye on almost everything.

However, if you compare our music, our movies, and our tv shows - you would say we are never going to make it. You can go through our dvd collection and pick out the owner pretty quickly. I prefer ABBA and 80s Pop to Glen's Punk Metal and Industrial (I don't know what that means).

I am not sure there is a point to all of this, except to say one minute you know exactly what you are looking for, and the next minute an industrial listening, sci-fi watching chicken pot pie eating boy comes into your life and everything changes.

Commercial Appeal sounds like The Onion


You know it's getting bad out there for newspapers when a story from the CA sounds more like satire from The Onion. I first heard about this story listening to the Chris Vernon radio show Tuesday.

This particular passage is very funny and yet a bit sad when you think where this is printed.

"Namely, smoke weed, play hacky sack, throw the Frisbee, dance badly and say "dude" a lot.
Then get the munchies."

What the hell is going on down on Union.
Anyway check out the article it's pretty short.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

In Limbo

Some time in February, I was told by my current employer that my job was being eliminated. It was nothing personal, they said, it was due to the economy.

It may not have been personal to my employer, but it was very personal to me. I had been working for this company for over 8 years, first as a temp, then as a full time employee. It wasn't a job I loved, but it was a job, and in this economy, that is saying something.

This should be the happiest time of my life. I should be trying on dresses and dreaming of flowers and centerpieces. I should be able to give an answer to the very simple question on everyone's mind: have you set a date? The answer is no. I haven't set a date because I don't have a job. I am not capable of job hunting and wedding planning at the same time. The wedding would be a shiny key distraction that I don't need.

But, it sucks. Oh, how it sucks. I am still currently "working" at my soon-to-be former job. None of my customers know, and so they keep telling me their future plans to keep me busy. They compliment me on my work, and all I want to tell them is that nothing I do for them matters. No matter how well I do my job on a daily basis, the end result is still the same. On May 1, I join the ranks of the unemployed.

So, I am currently in limbo. I have to show up for work everyday. I have to do the best that I can, and I have to keep searching for a job. A job that will pay me close to what I am earning now. I will have to endure the wedding shower that my colleagues want to throw me next week, because I won't be there to celebrate when the wedding is actually scheduled. Just know that every time I click on or, I am longing for the day, when I do the majority of my web surfing here.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I want to be Anthony Bourdain

I did a top 5 on Facebook this morning and it was the 5 things I want to be when I grow up. I had National Geographic Photographer, Comedy Actor, Chef, and Cultural Anthropology for the first four. With that celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain popped into my head as a natural 5th. Bourdain became famous for writing books about the seedy underbelly of the New York resaurant scene. This lead to a show on the Food Network and then the Travel Channel called No Reservations, where he travels around to various places around the world sampling various cuisines. To me this would be perfect because he covers everything from to the fanciest uber chic places to food served off a cart or tiny back alley places. Bourdain combines a wicked sense of humor with a thirst for new and different experiences to make a very entertaining show.

Bourdain is a classically trained professional chef and it was his work as a chef that made the rest of his career possible. I have never seriously thought about being a chef but I do love cooking. I seem to have a natural instinct when it comes to cooking and do a lot of cooking by feel as opposed to a always using a specific recipe. I love combining flavors, textures, and different kinds of food. There is something very satisfying about cooking for others and they really like what you make. I can't imagine my life if I could not cook. However having said all of that working in a restaurant kitchen is a lot different than cooking in your own kitchen. If nothing else I would like to take some cooking classes so that I can add to the variety of dishes that I make.

While Bourdain himself is not a photographer his shows captures amazing images from all kinds of exotic from around the world. I have a feeling if I fortunate enough to be in a similar position there is no way I would not take a camera along with me. I do that now when I travel and it gives me a chance to capture moments of my trips. While I do no think I will ever be a professional photographer it will be something that continue to do and enjoy the rest of my life.

While Bourdain is more of performer being himself on his show as opposed to being an actor he uses his personality and humor to make the show watchable and entertaining. I have been taking classes and studying acting since college. I think in the past few years I have really grown as actor. I did some work with local indie movie makers and perform with Running Gag Improv. I really like performing and making people laugh. There is nothing better than finishing a show and knowing that you really nailed it that night. It can be a very tricky balance if you are not focused or into your performance can be off but if you are thinking too much and in your head your performance can be stiff and unnatural. At this point I am still working on my acting and doing improv. I do think there are some opportunities there to pursue this further but if nothing else it is something I enjoy doing as a hobby.

Last we have Cultural Anthropology. In fact I had settle on Cultural Anthropology because I wanted Food Anthropology in other words how and why people eat certain things. I think this is really fascinating and you look at shows like No Reservations you can see how the Spanish, French, English, and Americans going to other countries for various reasons have influenced their cooking. Such the influence of French cooking on various Asian countries during colonial times. Also it works both ways with Indian food becoming a staple in England for instance. I think it would be an incredible experience to travel outside of the states so I could try other kinds cuisines. However I want to travel anyway to be able to experience different cultures all around. I think No Reservations does this as well even though it is a food oriented show it not just Bourdain going to restaurants but he looks why people eat certain things and how food fits into their lives. How food unites people and that often food is a shared and communal experience. Someday maybe I will be will to travel like that and see something besides my little slice of the world.

Monday, April 20, 2009

That's What He Said

From the moment Glen and I started dating, he has wanted to share a blog with me. Now that we have been living together for 10 months and we are officially engaged, we decided the time was finally right. Those of you who know us from our political blogs may be surprised to learn that we have non-political interests, but we do.

We are going to talk about a little bit of everything: politics, pop culture, television, and occasional wedding talk. I guarantee we will find ourselves funnier and more interesting than you will think we are, but I hope you leave a little more entertained than you were when you got to our corner of the tubes.

Together again for the first time

Dabney and I have started a blog together. At first I was just going to add her to my blog, Leaning Left But Thinking Right. However I had been thinking I wanted to go in a different direction with my blog. In addition to politics I wanted to cover pop culture, fan boy topics, and just the shiznit that goes on in my day to day life. So together we will take on the world at least our little corner of it here in Midtown Memphis.