Thursday, October 30, 2008


My friend Andrew does freelance art. Many times he does delightfully educating "How To Draw" instructions. As has been noted, I am a bit artistic myself. With this in mind, I thought I'd try to get in on the act.

How to draw a dog.

First, sit at your desk.

Now imagine a dog...any dog. Could be the dog that your brother ran over when he was learning how to drive.
Now get the idea in your head. Remember its color, shape, smell and taste.

Now proceed to put pen(cil) to paper.

Now, simply add some color and shading and...


You've got yourself a doggy.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Christmas Tale

Once upon a time there was little family. This family had a daddy, a mommy and a little boy named Billy. Billy was a generally happy little boy. He loved to play trucks and Superman and sometimes would even catch pop flies on the baseball field. One winter, as Christmas neared he saw his Mommy and Daddy looking worried.

"Why are you so worried Mommy and Daddy?" he asked.

"Billy," they told him "You're Daddy's job at the steal mill is in danger."

It seems they were sending all of the jobs over to a far off place called South America, where they could pay the people less and hit them with whips just like in Indiana Jones.

That Christmas Eve Billy knelt by his bed and prayed and prayed to God.

"Please God, don't let daddy lose his job. He'll be sad. I'll give up all my gifts this year. Signing off, Billy."

The next morning Billy sprang out of bed and ran down stairs to tell his mommy and daddy what he's prayed about. But when he got to the bottom of the stairs he heard his mommy and daddy crying.

Billy hadn't gotten his wish, his daddy had lost his job.
That next year was very hard for Billy and his family. His daddy would cry and holler at them all the time. Sometimes they had to go stay at shelters (just like Mary and Joseph did!). Right before Christmas, Billy's daddy drove him to the Steel Mill where he used to work. He told Billy to stay in the car. He got out of the car holding a little bag and went inside.

A few minutes later Billy heard loud bangs and some loud shouting. Just as he was about to get out of the car to see what was going on, his daddy came out covered in red stuff and waving a gun. Before his daddy could get to the car, some police men drove up and pulled their guns on him. Billy's dad looked at Billy and then at the police. He then aimed his gun at his head and pulled the trigger.

The big ambulance came and took Billy and his daddy away. That night, sitting at the bed at the hospital he prayed once again to God. This time he prayed even harder, shutting his eyes tight and clasping his hands.

"Dear God, let my daddy live. I'll never ask for anything else for Christmas! Signing off, Billy."

Billy didn't get his wish that year either.

He cried and cried all year. He got interviewed by all kinds of important looking people and was even on the news, but nothing made him feel better. He missed his daddy and so did his mommy. She would just sit and stare at nothing, glassy eyed like a teddy bear.

On Christmas Eve of that year Billy went to his bed and prayed one more time.

"God," he said "You didn't let my daddy keep his job and you didn't save his life. Please grant me this wish..let me see him one more time this Christmas. Signing off, Billy." Billy climbed into bed, his hands hurting from praying so hard.

Billy woke up in the morning and walked down stairs. He was surprised to see all the neighbors standing around. They all got quiet as he came into the room.

"Billy," his mom said, "we've got a surprise for you. I heard you praying last night and I told some of the neighbors about it. They all helped me out a little bit…so here he is! Your father!"

Through the dirt and stink he saw the corpse of his father. Ms. Donnelly from next door made the body wave.

Billy ran up and hugged his daddy's corpse!

"Thank you neighbors! Thank you God! You have given me the best present of all! God Bless us everyone!"

That night, they all cooked and ate Daddy. And he was the best Christmas dinner ever.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Town Hall, Shmown Hall, Prawn Hall

For this debate we decided to go over to le blog de Gabrielle.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Live Blogging Biden vs. Palin

We're at our apartment, with Edmund Fitzgerald, Blue Moon, a bunch of marshmallows and an eye on tomorrow. Or, um. The future. Gabrielle and Katharine join me in our down home take on the Most Important 90 Minutes of Your Entire Life.

9:32 B-Book it. Done.

9:31: K- I'm still boggling over Palin's closing comments. Blargh!

9:30: K- Joe Biden, it might be the beer talking, but I want to make out with you. Have I mentioned that?

9:30:K- Mainstream Media. Ronald Reagan. And she's quoting "Proud to be an American"????

9:29: G - OH NO KATIE COURIC HURT HER FEELINGS. I think my mom is trying to call Palin's office to set up a tennis date. BLUGH.

9:29: G - I love that movie.

9:28: G - THE GREATER GOOD! I wonder if Sarah Palin ever saw Hot Fuzz.

9:28: G - Ten bucks says Sarah's about to wink at me again. Here she goes.

9:27: G - Sarah Palin once made the mistake of choosing streamers over balloons for the senior prom. FAIL.

9:27:B- Hee hee. Number 2.

9:25: K- There's just something about Sarah Palin that presses my "SNARK" button and holds it down.

9:24: K- I'm just glad that he hasn't said anything completely offensive or vaguely patronizing.

9:24: K- Mmmmm, moral terpitude.

:24: K- Drunk. Kinda want to make out with Joe Biden.

9:24: John McCain is to Maverick as some retarded lie is to truth.

9:23: "MCCAIN IS THE MAN EVERYONE WANTS TO LEAVE." You're damn right, Sarah. First right thing you said all night.

9:22: G - MAVERICK! Everybody drink!

9:20: G - "What is your achilles heel?" is exactly what they asked in my job interview. I blacked out then, but I'm pretty sure I said something to the effect of "Sometimes I'm just too dedicated to my job and helping others and getting things done. I have a tendency to 'get the job done.' Also I'm a maverick."

9:18: B- Does Palin have a special needs child in Iraq.

9:17: K- Joe Biden, so hot! VP role, lay it out for us. ROWR!

9:15: K- Joe Biden: OSFDVPCILF. Hawt! Sarah Palin just said "tapping into," she wants to hit it as well. Also, Sarah Palin's flag pin looks like she bought it on QVC.

9:14: G - Joe Biden: VPILF

9:14: G - Palin sure is winking a lot. She must be scared. Agh she did it again. STOP. WINKING.

9:13: B: A shout out to third graders? At least she's speaking to people on their level.

9:11: K- DOGGONE IT???????? GOD BLESS HER, HER REWARD IS IN HEAVEN???? Is that a snide reference to his first wife who is, ostensibly, in heaven. THIRD GRADERS CAN'T VOTE!

9:10: K- Wasilla, AK: MILF capitol or Meth capitol? Also, I have no doubt that Joe Biden frequents the Home Depot in Wilmington, DE. I think I stood behind him in line to buy beer and cigs, that I then smuggled over the border to Pennsylvania.

9:09: K- I don't care what Ben says, I don't want to eff Sarah Palin, hot lesbian MILF or no.

9:08: B- Now we're on to what would happen if the Prez died. I'm pretty sure Palin's going to say "wet myself"

9:07: G - Also can I just say five years in a box is not my idea of real life experience. There.

9:06: G - What war did John McCain? Oh, the Civil War. OK. Cuz it wasn't Vietnam. ALL KINDS OF SIGHS.

9:06: G - Dark beer goes with chocolate. Light beer goes with marshmallows. YES.

9:06: G - Sarah Palin begs to disagree.

9:05: G - Bring it home, Joe! MCCAIN IS WRONG WRONG WRONG!

9:04: G - I keep expecting Sarah Palin to ask me to put up my tray and return my seat to the upright position.

9:03: G - Uh oh. Here comes Sarah. It's all about the great state of Alaska. That's really wonderful. Ya know, I used to want to take a cruise to Alaska, and now I never will. SAD SARAH SAD.

9:00: B- Biden says Nuclear correctly. Apparently he's the one who can talk. If you can't say it, you shouldn't be able to use them.

8:58: G - I want to buy Biden a drink and some fish and chips down the street at O'Bama's, my local Irish pub

8:57: G - I just want to say Biden is a BADASS for starting his sentences with "Gwen" instead of "Sarah." He must know he would sound condescending if he said ANYTHING directly to the cutesy wootsy pretend wannaba governor.


8:56: K- "Nu-cu-lar." Everyone drink!

8:55: K- MAVERICK! RESPECT. Oooh, "past is prologue." Joe Biden, that's profound. I'd buy him an Edmund Fitzgerald.

8:53: K- God, this Edmund Fitzgerald is delicious. Gabrielle says that Sarah Palin's voice reminds her of a flight attendant's: friendly but authoritative. Thanks for flying the friendly Straight Talk Express. Considering my mom was a flight attendant (and she's uber-Republican), the comparison is not lost on me. But I digress.

8:53: B- Biden and Israel. BFF!
8:51: B - SPAIN

8:50: G - Our friends and allies have also told Sarah to SIT DOWN, SIT DOWN, SIT DOWN.

8:49: G - Yeah I went there.

8:48: G - Sarah had a "good conversation" with her pal Hank Kissinger recently. They gabbed about .... woah RESPECT FOR WOMEN'S RIGHTS. Um. Look in the mirror lady. You are our own posterchild for the American Taliban. YAH I WENT THERE.

8:48: G - Downright naive. Downright dangerous. Downright MILF: The Sarah Palin story.

8:45: B-Iran vs. Pakistan. Can Palin pronounce things that don't involve downs syndrome, Alaska or hockey?

8:43: B-War funding debate. Everyone has voted against funding the war as it turns out. Why can't we all agree at the same time?

8:41: K- "Exit strategy" reminds me of a euphemism for bodily functions. Also, Joe Biden asserts that we will end this war, and Sarah Palin is LYING. LYING. Gah!

8:40: K- I think Sarah Palin keeps saying "straight up" as a subliminal message that we should all be straight. Also, I wish Joe Biden would say something about the states' involvement in talking about gay marriage, because there's a difference between saying your administration doesn't "support" it and saying that gay marriage isn't necessarily a federal issue. Which many people would agree with.

8:39: G - The crowd either just laughed or all just got shot.

8:38: G - Please stop saying straight up.

8:38: G - Sarah Palin is telling you straight up that she is insane.

8:37: G - Is Sarah Palin's husband gay?

8:36: G - I just found a hair in my noodles.

8:36: G - Woo equal rights for different sex couples!

8:34: B - Where's Palin from? Is it Alaska? It must be because her Alaskan lapel pin is above the USA flag. She must be a terrorist.

8:34: G - Barack Obama will invest not only in wind and water but heart, earth and fire!

8:33: G - Alright Biden, slow down. Don't get teachery. You're doin good.

8:32: G - Sarah Palin: Other countries don't care hard enough about the environment.

8:30: K- Hey, Sarah Palin, as a leader of the nation's only arctic state, how do you feel about polar bears eating each other?

8:29: K- Hi, this is Katharine. Gabrielle and I carried my gorgeous West Elm chair 6 blocks, then ran out to buy beer. Delicious. I also got a haircut today, and my stylist said that Sarah Palin's hair is "unprofessional." But she also said that she "feels bad for Sarah Palin." I don't feel sorry for Sarah Palin, not at all. Oh boy, climate change.

8:26 B - I don't think Palin even knows what the questions are..

8:25: G - Oh hi. Katharine brought her own chair. We brought 12 beers and will now begin drinking them as quickly as possible. Also I think Sarah Palin just winked at me and I am not comfortable with this.

8:24 Palin doesn't answer any questions.

8:20 Biden says McCain's health care plan is "the ultimate bridge to nowhere" snap girl friend.

8:17 Palin just accused Biden of being a Communist. She talked about his ideas of "redistribution of wealth." Welcome to the 1950's.

8:15 "I may not answer the questions they way you ask them..." Palin. They clearly didn't write out her talking points the right way.

8:13 Next time she says "Darn right" I'm gonna hit something.

8:10. I lose the bet. The first "Hockey Mom" referance comes only 10 minutes in. She's talking about the American peoples economic troubles like it's a kid with chicken pox. Awww!

8:08 Palin is trying to cover up for the "Economy is strong" gaffe from McCain just before the economy tanked. Jeez. It probably hurts to lie like that.

8:05 He's refering to Palin as Govoner Palin, she wants to refer to him as Joe. Jesus she's talking about the economy by refering to polling at a soccer game. Poor people can't afford to go to soccer games. Did you know that. She sounds a little shakey.

...Biden's up first. Economic Policy. He's cool and collected. I imagine Palin is fidgiting in the corner. We're starting with spacifics of Obama's plan. Cool and collected. It's the details that are going to get Palin.

8:03 The candidates meet. Palin "Hey can I call you Joe?" very folksy

8:01 Gwen Ifill. She's an eyeful. She's got a nice blue almost reflecty coat.

8:01 No, it turns out. I was wrong. There will be no men with tight pants.

8:00 Olberman "Good Night and Good Luck". He's comparing the debate to the the Giants/Patriots Superbowl. I assume it's because of the abundance of men with tight pants who will be flooding the stage.

7:59. Sitting alone at home. The menu? Noodles and rice. International fair..ish.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Palin Fail

There's been much made in recent days of Sarah Palin's apparent inability to accomplish anything. We've been hearing that she's unintelligent and incoherent. We've heard she's narrow minded and bigoted. We've heard she's a moronic zealot who disregards the facts in front of her, instead opting to create a world of half-formed truths and outright lies.

We've heard all of these things, and thus far I have seen nothing to convince me otherwise.

To be honest though, it's not the sheer idiocy or hubris of Palin’s attitude, it's her complete and total lack of curiosity that bothers me.

Here's a bit of the infamous Katie Couric interview that's been bouncing around causing havoc on the campaign for the last week.

COURIC: And when it comes to establishing your world view, I was curious, what newspapers and magazines did you regularly read before you were tapped for this — to stay informed and to understand the world?

PALIN: I’ve read most of them again with a great appreciation for the press, for the media —

COURIC: But what ones specifically? I’m curious.

PALIN: Um, all of them, any of them that have been in front of me over all these years.

COURIC: Can you name any of them?

PALIN: I have a vast variety of sources where we get our news.

The video is above.

I've sat through Palin's offensive comments about economics, evolution and homosexuality without blinking. I've listened as Palin herself set the cause of feminism back by decades. I've even withheld my laughing when she fumbled over sentences that a middle schooler could construct. But for some reason, it's this kind of thing that bothers me the most.

We're at the tail-end of a decade that's been ruled by a man whose mental deficiency has only been outweighed by his intellectual stagnation. We’ve scraped and shuddered through the last 8 years and have finally come out on the other side, wounded but still breathing. The last 8 years has seen us continually lower the bar to the point where we can’t even separate it from the ground. It’s not a road we can afford to continue traveling down.

Conversations like VP Candidate Palin’s with Katie Couric are evidence of not her inability to consider the issues, but simply her unwillingness to do so. Her words continue the unspoken Bush mantra that dictates that a “complex mind is too cluttered by facts and points of view.”

You want to know one of the main reasons that we are constantly facing issues in education, accountability standards and inability to compete in the world market?

It’s this.

It’s our leaders cavalierly standing up and saying “I don’t need to learn about or consider issues, I know what is right.” It’s the point of view that “We don’t want Ivy League elite running our country; we just need a regular guy. Someone who is plain spoken. You know, the kind whose only Champaign is Miller High Life.” It’s the fact that our leaders continually use education as a wedge issue, batting it back and forth instead of actually doing something about it.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Sarah Palin is not a stupid person. She’s honestly not. Her problem is that she doesn’t have an active mind.

What we need is someone who is willing to embrace complexity.

This election can help us put to an end the idea of black and white, not only in a racial sense, but also in a broader intellectual sense.

We need a world class mind who, above all, values people and ideas as the currency as the currency on which this country was founded.

We need someone who realizes that this isn’t a game or a test, that each vote and each decision should be an expression of the depth of commitment to not only the dream of freedom and equality, but to the idea that each person deserves the dignity that comes with healthcare and a good wage.

We need someone who realizes that freedom is a fragile concept. That America was created as an experiment to show the world that no matter how delicate freedom is, it is the birthright of all of humanity.

We are all shepherds of this experiment and we owe it to ourselves, to our history and our future to strengthen our minds and open our eyes to the world that surrounds us.