Sunday, June 29, 2008

Dog Days

Marley found one of Jules' feathers on the floor.

Dylan finds it embarrassing.

My three dogs, Dylan, Marley, Daisy.
Love spending the day in their company.

Learning about foreign policy at the movies

Last weekend we watched In the Valley of Elah.

Last night we watched Rendition.
(photo from Rendition)

Such brave filmmakers.
I am shocked and appalled at the behavior of our country in the world.

We are in desperate need of a change.

Sunday Comic

Thanks George Carlin, you were not only funny, you were brilliant.
We are all richer for the time you spent with us.

Sunday Reading

I finished my book last night and have yet to begin my next book which enables me to completely focus on the Sunday NY Times and that is how I like my Sundays to be. Here's what I found especially worth reading today.

This story is more than just another story about cultural differences and human rights abuses, it's about the dignity and innate intelligence of a few little girls. The bit at the end blew me away.

I always love the Modern Love column in the Sunday paper; this one was especially well told (and I love the ending of this piece too).

And Thomas Friedman does it again.
Oh yes, we are in big trouble.
Here, there, everywhere.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Do you listen?

WMNF is the greatest little community radio station on the planet. No exaggeration. It's what makes it bearable to live in a reactionary little city.
The radio station just completed their summer mini-thon, trying to raise money to make it through the fiscal year. But times are tough and this time raising funds has been a struggle.

If you don't live in the area you can still listen online and you will surely find a show you will like. My favorites, besides the wonderful Morning Show with great music (check out the playlists) every weekday morning from 6-9 am, are -- Talk to the Animals, Art in Your Ear, The 60's Show, Fresh Air, Democracy Now, Alternative Health, Sustainable Living, CounterSpin. They also do great news and local call in shows every weekday. Lots of the shows are available by podcast.

We turned most of our tax incentive check over to WMNF, and in return got a pass that will get both of us into every concert, film, event for a year. And helped this community resource keep going till the next drive. That's right, WMNF is community supported, no government dollars come their way. And they take no corporate sponsorship or anything like that.

It's not too late to contribute if you didn't get around to it during this short fundraising drive.

I'm not linked to the work blog anymore!

I know he is not quite as ignorant as Bush, but then again, who could be? Well, I guess maybe those who voted for him, especially a second time.
But McCain gives me the creeps.
And so even though I like this bumper sticker I just got in the mail from MoveOn, I don't think I'll be putting anything with the hypocritical old man's name on my car. Too icky.
So here's a bumper sticker, up for grabs. Just be the first to comment below that you want it and I see that you have a shiny new sticker for your Obama Yes We Can car!
And speaking of MoveOn, I'm happy to see they are now joining forces with Emily's List, the other organization working for progressive politics that I consider donation-worthy on a regular basis.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Cascades, Sing the City Energetic

Summer is so not my favorite season in NY, even though it is normally when we go since we are stuck with the school schedule, and will be for the next four years, until Mark retires. (Wow, did I really say that? Four years doesn't sound like that much!)
Anyway, spring and fall are absolutely the best in NY. Winter can suck but only if it goes on and on and that doesn't always happen. And though there was a time that I hated winter in NY most of all, that was when I was forced out into a cold and crowded commute day after day after day after day....
That won't be the case when we are retired in NY. Imagine, for example, whiling away the day in a museum with a great show or old favorites and a good coat checkroom, a good cafe, and comfy chairs where you can sit and read a while when you get tired. There are so many that fit that bill in NY.
Or relaxing in our cozy apartment, taking a walk and wandering in and out of warm shops, stopping for something hot to eat, heading to the theater to spend an evening engrossed in a wonderful story.
Yeah, winter won't be too bad I think.
Anyway, so, my point is that we are going to NY this summer and it's likely going to be hot and smelly and none of the options of where we can stay has central air like we are used to and it's like a filthy sauna in the subways.
But now, this summer, there are waterfalls and I just cannot wait.
Don't miss all the cool extras you can see linked to the article, including a slide show, a video, and viewing tips.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Mr. Bush, Lead Or Leave

Thomas Friedman says it all, and says it so we can all understand it. As usual. Here's his column from today's NY Times.

My Gopher Tortoise crime

Friday morning I was driving north on Dale Mabry (6-8 lanes, cars driving around 50 mph) when I saw this guy, an endangered gopher tortoise, crossing the west side of the street. He was in the left lane approaching the median. How he had made it that far in the tail end of rush hour traffic I have no idea. I pulled over into the next center turn lane, threw on my blinkers (well I thought I did, turns out I threw on my rear window defroster), and ran back to grab the tortoise who was now on the median about to cross the other side of the street. I put him on the floor in front of the passenger seat and drove home quickly. I thought we would probably have to release him somewhere more appropriate though I wasn't sure he was a gopher. But we have rescued plenty of turtles and released them in our yard. After all, while it is fenced in, the fence doesn't go into the ground and it's easy for them to leave. And if they leave out the back there's a creek and preserve. Good for turtles. Maybe not for tortoises, but better than Dale Mabry.
I came home lunchtime and he was still there, hanging out in front of some bushes in what we call our pond yard, a non-grassy part of the yard with a little pond near the back door. I let the dogs meet him and he was cool about that. There he is with Marley.

When Mark came home the tortoise was still hanging around, so Mark called a gopher/wildlife person in Jacksonville who said I had done the wrong thing, in fact, the illegal thing. I could not remove a gopher tortoise, only help to the other side of the road. Obviously this person does not know Dale Mabry Highway as I would clearly only have delayed his death slightly had I simply put him in the parking lot that is either side of Dale Mabry. But Mark started working on a list of possible places we could release him close to where he was found.

By the time I got home from work it was a moot point. He'd found his own way out and I hope a safer home. Hard to find now that they have paved almost all of the gopher tortoise's habitat. In fact, developers have a choice when they are building in a gopher habitat -- move the tortoises to another location, or pave over them and pay a fine. What do you think those developers usually choose?

Think about all the buildings we enter every day in Florida that are built over gopher tortoise graveyards.

Sunday comic

"In a gas station today.The candy bar doesn’t scan, so the cashier holds up the bar and, in a thick accent, calls to the other employee:
'Spunow is same price as Snickers?'
It took me and the other employee about a minute to get what she was talking about."
From blogadilla, June 18, 2008

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Why I want to live in NY (Bklyn) again -- next in a series

That's right, Brooklyn.
Yes, this will be our closest subway station.

Not that it won't be Manhattan the minute after I win the lottery.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski

I snagged an advance review copy of this one last week; I hadn't heard anything about it and it is really a fat book but since I had recently loved The Art of Racing in the Rain so much I was in the mood for another good dog book and this looked like it might be engrossing. When I read Janet Maslin's review in The New York Times I knew this was going to be my big summer vacation read. I'm really looking forward to being on vacation later this summer and to reading peacefully for hours on the beach or on the deck of our apt. in Ptown.

How can we have an election without Tim Russert?

I cannot imagine what election night will be like without Tim Russert. I cannot imagine what this campaign will be like without his insight and his intelligent and relentless questioning. The world is darker without him.
Tour of Newseum

I miss being a library patron

Something I am really looking forward to about being retired is being a patron at my local public library. (It's years away, but that doesn't mean I don't think about what life will be like then, now. It's not very zen, but it's nice to daydream.) I cannot remember when I last browsed the shelves for something to read in a library. I do it at Barnes and Noble or Borders sometimes. Even better is Inkwood, browsing in the indies is excellent. But I love doing it in the library, I love being surprised to find a new book by a favorite author, and that is just not how it is when you work in the library. Anyway, reading this blog post on Library Garden reminded me. And curiously, also made me think about knitting. You can knit linen, hemp? Guess I'll have to speak to Judy, this book isn't in our library. Yet.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Recommended Reading

Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian
My GoodReads rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is the most immediate experience I have had of WWII. A completely absorbing, tragic story of a wealthy German family in the months before the Third Reich fell. Anna is traveling with her mother, younger brother, two soldiers who have become part of their little group, their horses, trying to stay ahead of the invading Russians. The terrible trek is filled with tragedy and horrors, and love. A very rich story and history I needed to know.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Prize Winning Photo!

One of Jesse Chamberlin's photographs of Jesse and Thom at the wedding won a prize in the Wedding Photo Journalist Association 2008 contest. Who knew there was such a thing? We all, however, knew that Jesse and Whitney were wonderful.
Congratulations to Jesse, Chamberlin and Armstrong both!

Monday, June 2, 2008

The girls are back!

I had the biggest smile on my face when we walked out of the theater after seeing Sex and the City Saturday night. The girls are back and it was great! It doesn't matter to me at all what critics have said about this one. It lived up to the series, it lived up to my expectations, and I loved it completely.

We watched a few movies at home too this weekend.

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead was disturbing, quirky, interesting and anytime Philip Seymour Hoffman is acting it's worth watching.

Sketches of Frank Gehry was a fascinating documentary, this from someone who avoids nonfiction of all kinds as much as possible. But the man is an artistic genius, and it was poignant to see Sydney Pollack with him, it seemed more like a conversation between friends (which they were, loved the Pollack interview on the DVD) than a portrait of one architect. And it made me want to live in a Gehry building. So you'll know where to find me when I win the lottery....

I also watched a silly little movie on HBO, Music and Lyrics, just something to occupy myself while folding laundry, but I am smitten by Hugh Grant and I don't care if he makes a fool of himself, he still looks great.