29 November 2012

Dipping a Toe (Again)

I've kept this blog off and on (mostly on) for a number of years. It never reached a huge audience, and that's okay. I began it as an outlet because I was encountering a number of big events and required a means of expression. The big events continued (as they do), but I pretty much stopped blogging after the death of my late husband.

Now, you might be thinking, "if maintaining M, P, & G, S, had been a real outlet, then she would have not only kept at it, but maniacally so." To which I say, "nah." But then, I expect that any widow or widower would say this: you lose interest in nearly everything after losing your spouse. I didn't fall into a depression so much as I just--felt neutered. I am still trying to emerge from that state. It comes and it goes, but I can say that colors are reappearing and interests are being re-piqued. And that's all one can ask for.

The point is that I'm going to attempt to reintroduce myself to blogging now that I'm feeling like I can "speak" again. So there it is. Onward and upward. 

28 November 2012

Freedom of Speech, 2012-Style

Over at Foreign Policy, Lee C. Bollinger offers a review of concerns about freedom of speech in 2012; he finds governments and corporations" that have struggled to silence individuals pitted against "ordinary citizens and activists" who insist on speaking their minds. Although there have been numerous crackdowns by said "governments and corporations," people, aided in no small way by technological advances (e.g., smartphones), decline to just hush up, which bodes well, in the long run, for freedom of expression.

08 May 2012

Maurice Sendak, RIP.


The author, illustrator, and cultural icon passed away today at the age of 82. Here's a video of Christopher Walken reading and commenting on Sendak's best-known work, Where the Wild Things Are.

23 April 2012

Overheard this weekend:
young man (about 15 years old or so): "Every French word means 'surrender.'"
I have no context for this quote. I've also never seen/heard someone so young snark on the French.

19 April 2012

Holocaust Remembrance Day & OWS

Sadly, some nutjob chose to post an anti-Semitic editorial cartoon to a community FaceBook page associates with Occupy Tampa today, which also happens to be Holocaust Remembrance Day. Of course, such a post is never acceptable, but that said nutjob did so today makes his or her action especially excoriable.

53 people "Liked" the image. A few commenters signalled approval while more than 400 people objected to the post.

According to the website The Algemeiner, Occupy has "denounced" the image, and it has been removed from the FaceBook page.

Here is the image, which, incidentally, originally appeared in a Qatari newspaper, Al-Watan, on 30 September 2011.

Someone seems to have the completely invented, fantastical hoax of The Protocols in mind.


I am obsessed with Mad Men (aside: I don't have cable--I see new episodes via Roku and Amazon streaming. That little Roku is a Godsend). My obsession forces me, after viewing an episode, to read other people's takes on whatever has occurred to the people of Sterling Cooper Draper Price. One of my favorites is "Mad Style," written by Tom & Lorenzo at their eponymous blog. Among their varied commentaries on pop culture and media, Tom and Lorenzo analyze Mad Men's clothes, accessories, etc. to show how something as insignificant as a small scarf can provide great insight into a character's emotional state. Give it a go,

17 April 2012

Nugent? Nothing New Here

According to the response to Ted Nugent's recent diatribe against President Obama (video here), you'd think that Nugent had said something out of character, but he wasn't. He's been something of a jerk with an inclination for violent language since...forever. Consider his onstage rant at Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama from a few years back, or just about any of his appearances on television. My point is, Nugent's extremism is hardly breaking news. The pearl-clutching Shock! Horror! response feeds the beast--gives him what he wants.

Aside: In 2006, Nugent sat down for an interview with a U.K. broadsheet while visiting for a Monsters of Rock festival. The piece references, and partially debunks, a revealing bit of Nugent legendry:

At 18, he was called up to serve in Vietnam. "In 1977 you gave an interview to High Times [the cannabis user's journal of record] where you claimed you defecated in your clothes to avoid the draft."
("I got 30 days' notice of the physical," Nugent told them. "I ceased cleansing my body. Two weeks before the test I stopped eating food with nutritional value. A week before, I stopped going to the bathroom. I did it in my pants. My pants got crusted up.")
"I never shit my pants to get out of the draft," says Nugent, good-naturedly.
"You also told them you took crystal meth [methamphetamine, the highly destabilising drug sometimes described as poor man's crack] before the medical - as a result of which, and I quote: 'I got this big juicy 4F.'"
"Unbelievable. Meth," he replies, in a tone of deep sarcasm. "Yes, that's my drug of choice. You've got to realise that these interviewers would arrive with glazed eyes and I would make stories up. I never did crystal meth. And I never pooped my pants."
"But you did dodge the draft." "I had a 1Y [student deferment]. I enrolled at Oakland Community College." (The Independent).

Also in the interview: in 2006, Nugent was thinking about running for Michigan governor in 2010.

So now you know.

Added: Rosie Gray's post at Buzzfeed, "Threatening Obama is Only the 10th Craziest Thing Ted Nugent Has Done," pretty much says it all. I didn't know that he was his underaged girlfriend's guardian. Now that is just . . . ugh.

16 April 2012

. . . And We're Off

One week into the campaign and we've got announcements that Romney is ahead of Obama, including an "edge among the all-important independent voters" (NY Daily News). Following this news? An alert declaring that a slightly newer poll has Obama leading Romney, including "a 48%-43% margin over Romney among crucial independent voters" (CNN). In a timely article, Nate Silver posts some "Notes on Poll-Watching," a series of suggestions for fans of election polling. The key takeaway? Take a breath and use common sense before celebrating/sobbing about your candidate's ranking. Place the polls in context (news cycles, economy, etc.), expect instability, don't ignore outliers (but don't shout about their results), and don't place too much faith in prognosticators. Sound advice, all of which shall be ignored. I don't know about you, but I'm not particularly excited about the upcoming election cycle and its associated media hysteria.

02 March 2012


It's been a surprisingly mild winter in my region. Already, we have blooms. Here, now, seasonal optimism accompanies a persistent sense of loss. So here, now, William Carlos Williams's "Spring and All":


By the road to the contagious hospital
under the surge of the blue
mottled clouds driven from the
northeast-a cold wind.  Beyond, the
waste of broad, muddy fields
brown with dried weeds, standing and fallen

patches of standing water
the scattering of tall trees

All along the road the reddish
purplish, forked, upstanding, twiggy
stuff of bushes and small trees
with dead, brown leaves under them
leafless vines-

Lifeless in appearance, sluggish
dazed spring approaches-

They enter the new world naked,
cold, uncertain of all
save that they enter.  All about them
the cold, familiar wind-

Now the grass, tomorrow
the stiff curl of wildcarrot leaf
One by one objects are defined-
It quickens:  clarity, outline of leaf

But now the stark dignity of
entrance-Still, the profound change
has come upon them:  rooted, they
grip down and begin to awaken

25 January 2012


A shot from 6:30 this morning (because I liked the lights' reflections in the pond)

24 January 2012

Pre-SOTU '12

I hadn't really planned on tuning into the State of the Union tonight (it's not that I'm apathetic; I'm pretty disgusted with the current Congress for a number reasons--gridlock, smug finger-pointing, juvenile tribalism, etc. etc.), but Andrew Sullivan, having received a heads-up about the speech's details, posts that we "should get some caffeine ready." It's pretty ambiguous (the address's contents are embargoed), but that statement suggests that we'll be up late tonight. Of course, it could also mean that we'll require extra energy to keep us alert during the speech, but Sullivan says that hearing the argument from the White House's communications team "is not the same as listening to Obama deliver the case," so I'll go with my initial interpretation of the caffeine recommendation and get that coffee going.

23 January 2012


Wow. It's been a year since my last post. More than a year even.
Briefly: I have moved closer to the action; e.g., I am now on the east coast.

Thanks for the emails and good wishes I've received in the past year. I've only just now accessed them (for various reasons, including said move--during which I managed to misplace certain passwords--I've been unable to check in here.

I am well. After the move, I was fortunate to find employment quickly, and, after living in a nice-but-small apartment, quite a pleasant place to live shortly after that).

More later.
Cheers, and happy new year.