Friday, August 29, 2008

Democratic National Convention: Day 4

nothing like being 24 hours late... i know! and there's so much shit to talk about today....

but one must focus.

we turn our eyes back to yesterday. a historic day. an amazing evening.

and one word that says it all:

at 9:12 CST, barack obama took the stage at mile high stadium and spoke the words that made history: "with profound gratitude and great humility, i accept your nomination for the presidency of the united states."

and just like that.... an african american claimed the top spot on a major political party's presidential ticket.

from there....obama was pitch perfect.

his speech was the ideal blend of rhetoric, specifics, laser-guided attacks, and promises for a better tomorrow.

it was not the speech he gave back in 2004. it wasn't as moving as hillary's speech on tuesday night.

but it was everything it needed to be so, perhaps, the best speech of the convention.

i had friends who didn't want "soaring rhetoric" but wanted to hear specific plans for the future:

Change means a tax code that doesn't reward the lobbyists who wrote it, but the American workers and small businesses who deserve it....

I will eliminate capital gains taxes for the small businesses and the start-ups that will create the high-wage, high-tech jobs of tomorrow....

I will cut taxes - cut taxes - for 95% of all working families. Because in an economy like this, the last thing we should do is raise taxes on the middle-class....

And for the sake of our economy, our security, and the future of our planet, I will set a clear goal as President: in ten years, we will finally end our dependence on oil from the Middle East.

he went on to talk about affordable health care for all, equal pay for equal work... specific after specific.... each point peppered with a promise for a better tomorrow. making sure our country, and our people, live up to their potential.

some individuals wanted to hear him acknowledge hillary clinton and her historic campaign. within a minute of starting his speech:

Let me express my thanks to the historic slate of candidates who accompanied me on this journey, and especially the one who traveled the farthest - a champion for working Americans and an inspiration to my daughters and to yours -- Hillary Rodham Clinton.

and there are those democrats that wanted red meat and strong attacks on mccain.

But the record's clear: John McCain has voted with George Bush ninety percent of the time. Senator McCain likes to talk about judgment, but really, what does it say about your judgment when you think George Bush has been right more than ninety percent of the time? I don't know about you, but I'm not ready to take a ten percent chance on change.

and he went on to explain that...

It's not because John McCain doesn't care. It's because John McCain doesn't get it.

and for those who were looking for that classic obama rhetoric, the speech did not disappoint in this regard either. obama ended his speech thus:

This country of ours has more wealth than any nation, but that's not what makes us rich. We have the most powerful military on Earth, but that's not what makes us strong. Our universities and our culture are the envy of the world, but that's not what keeps the world coming to our shores.

Instead, it is that American spirit - that American promise - that pushes us forward even when the path is uncertain; that binds us together in spite of our differences; that makes us fix our eye not on what is seen, but what is unseen, that better place around the bend.

That promise is our greatest inheritance. It's a promise I make to my daughters when I tuck them in at night, and a promise that you make to yours - a promise that has led immigrants to cross oceans and pioneers to travel west; a promise that led workers to picket lines, and women to reach for the ballot.

And it is that promise that forty five years ago today, brought Americans from every corner of this land to stand together on a Mall in Washington, before Lincoln's Memorial, and hear a young preacher from Georgia speak of his dream.

The men and women who gathered there could've heard many things. They could've heard words of anger and discord. They could've been told to succumb to the fear and frustration of so many dreams deferred.

But what the people heard instead - people of every creed and color, from every walk of life - is that in America, our destiny is inextricably linked. That together, our dreams can be one.

it was a speech delivered so that everyone in america who heard the sound of his voice could understand his message. it spoke to everyone who has suffered over the past eight years.... barack said it perfectly:

Tonight, I say to the American people, to Democrats and Republicans and Independents across this great land - enough!

it was a powerful speech....

and now the work begins.....

quick hits
actually, before the real quick hits... i do want to point out (again) that yesterday marked the 45th anniversary of martin luther king jr.'s "i have a dream speech." the moment was marked at 6:00 CST by representative john lewis of georgia. as the last remaining speaker from the march on washington, lewis introduced a fitting tribute to MLK and that historic day.

--msnbc began with the panels of a really funny doonsbury cartoon that included chris matthews and keith olbermann (who also provided their voice work) watching obama at mile high stadium as bill clinton parachuted in.
--do you think stevie wonder had any idea how much make-up he had on? who did that to him? and was that gary coleman singing with him?
--the msnbc crew was dancing along with stevie's performance. gene robinson of the post dances just as white as i thought he would.
--and rachel (maddow), no.
--7:58 CST, joe biden has entered the building.
--pamela cash-roper from pittsboro, north carolina... pam. i swear she has smoked two packs of lucky's and downed a fifth of whiskey every day since she was twelve... but fuck me, that reformed republican really pumped up that crowd.
--did i mention the theme for the evening was "change we can believe in"?
--dick durbin, the senior senator from illinois, gave a really nice introduction to obama. but when he said, "we know how barack obama thinks." all i could think was: "with his brain, right?"
--obama used the term "fat cats" in his speech. ever since i tried to unionize my kitchen staff at the pasta company oh-so-many years ago, i've always been fond of the term "fat cats."
--obama spoke for 42 minutes.
--al gore had a great line about how mccain just wants to recycle bush's failed policies: "i believe in recycling, but this is ridiculous."
--i loved reformed republican barney smith who said he's voting democrat because he wanted a party that would look out for "barney smith" not "smith barney." god, how long did it take the obama camp to google him?
--after the speech, jesse jackson was asked by the grand asshole himself, chris matthews, if he thought the country was ready for a black president. his answer was priceless: "america may be more ready than the commentators are."

final thoughts
it was a strong week for the democrats. while their convention was lacking in many respects, their primetime line-up was impressive and delivered the goods, as they say.

i think barack leaves denver a stronger candidate and the party leaves a stronger party.

but, and i stress this again, now the work begins. whenever anyone says "obama is a muslim" or "obama was a crack dealer in hawaii" (this was a new one i found online today).... tell 'em to shut the fuck up and get their facts straight.

and then give them the facts.

talk to you friends. your family. remind them why they voted democrat in the past. remind them that mccain voted over 90% of the time with george bush and ask them: "are you better off now than you were eight years ago?"

remind them that mccain voted for the bush tax cuts several different times. that he's given in to the religious right. and that he and what's her face from alaska (don't worry - i promise to blog more on this tomorrow) are both pro-life.

no one but the democrats will look out for a woman's right to choose and strive for equal pay for equal work.

now is the time, my lovelies.

obama/biden 08!


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Democratic National Convention: Day 3

good evening and welcome to day three of the democratic national convention. or just another evening of bad white dancing.

i failed you a bit this evening, loyal readers. i had a farewell gathering for a friend that i had to attend and i missed the roll call that ended with today becoming a historic day: a major american political party has nominated an african american for president of the united states.

i missed the vote but i've tracked down the skinny for you. from

Democrats nominated Barack Obama for president Wednesday after Hillary Rodham Clinton released her delegates and cut short the traditional convention roll call with a motion for approval by acclamation.


In the end, Clinton, who had finished a very close second in the presidential primaries and caucuses, stood among her home state delegates and urged that Obama be declared the nominee by acclamation.

"On behalf of the great state of New York, with appreciation for the spirit and dedication of all who are gathered here, with eyes firmly fixed on the future, with the spirit of unity ... let's declare altogether with one voice right here and right now that Barack Obama is our candidate and he will be our president,” Clinton said to the cheers of thousands of delegates and others filling the convention hall.

After a second to the motion, sought by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the convention chair, the crowd shouted a collective aye, and she declared Obama the Democratic presidential nominee.

what an amazing day.... what a historic moment. no matter your thoughts or feelings on obama... you have to be proud of the united states today.

one step closer to realizing the dream.

as you can see... i'm blogging earlier tonight than the past two. i've been up late bringing you all the news of the DNC. but i'm tired, my friends. so i'm sorta/kinda live-blogging.

i plan to talk about the two major speeches tonight and i'll be adding quick hits at the end of the entry throughout the night.

the first speech has already occurred. and, just reaffirms something i've said over and over again.

i miss bill!
president bill clinton was introduced at 8pm CST by representative kendrick meek of florida. now, i'm sure it was no mistake that an enthusiastic african american introduced bill.

let the healing begin...

and meek outlined all the successes of bill's presidency (so he didn't have to) and bill took to the stage at 8:02. three minutes later...when the resounding and enthusiastic applause began to subside, bill said: "i love this. and i thank you. but we have work to do here tonight. first, i'm here to support barack obama." HUGE applause. "and second, i'm here to warm up the crowd for joe biden."

it was all classic bill for twenty minutes (he was scheduled to talk for ten, but come on.... who honestly believed bill would only talk for ten minutes?) and he highlighted every point he needed to hit home with the party he once led.

he said that last night hillary said she would do anything to help elect barack obama president. "that makes two of us," he said. "actually, it makes 18 million of us" as he then echoed hill's call for her supporters to back obama.

bill said there were two things the next president had to accomplish: "rebuild the american dream and restore american leadership in the world." and then he said that his 8 years as president and from all of his experience over the years, he knows that "barack obama is the man for this job.... barack obama is ready to lead america.... barack obama is ready to be the president of the united states."

it was an unequivocal endorsement and should go a long way to putting to rest democratic fears that obama is not ready to lead. as bill pointed out, the GOP tried the same argument back in 1992.

bill also spoke a lot about the need for restrengthening america... from jobs and economic equality to (something that i care strongly about) renewing "the battle against HIV/AIDS here at home."

he said "people around the world have always been impressed more by the power of our example...not the example of our power."

and, perhaps his best line of the night, was when he said:

[The republicans] actually want us to reward them for the last eight years by giving them four more. Let's send them a message that will echo from the Rockies all across America: Thanks, but no thanks. In this case, the third time is not the charm.

as i said, he spoke for about 20 minutes and once again proved the clintons know how to deliver a barn burner. good speech. (but not as good as hillary's.)

the senior senator from delaware
at about 9:20pm CST, joe biden was nominated as the democratic vice presidential candidate by acclamation. then beau biden, joe's son and soon-to-be-deployed soldier to iraq, gave an emotional and powerful introduction for his father.

joe took the stage and proclaimed:

Since I've never been called a man of few words, let me say this as simply as I can: Yes. Yes, I accept your nomination to run and serve alongside our next president of the United States of America, Barack Obama.

and then he launched into a strong dissection of what's wrong with the republicans and the policies of john mccain. but not before he said, "george, i'm sorry. i mean john mccain. freudian slip!"

"john mccain is my friend," biden said, "but i profoundly disagree with the direction john wants to take the country."

then he went into a litany of "that's not change" examples, "that's more of the same." he pointed out that mccain voted against a raise in minimum wage 19 times. "these times require more than a good soldier, they require a wise leader."

he talked about putting "security back in social security," accessible and affordable health care for everyone...and he really emphasized equal pay for women.

he thanked both clintons early in his speech who both enthusiastically applauded him throughout the evening.

and he questioned mccain's judgment, better than anyone else so far at this convention, over and over and over again.

biden completed his speech with these powerful words:

These are extraordinary times. This is an extraordinary election. The American people are ready. I am ready. Barack Obama is ready. This is his time. This is our time. This is America's time.

much like president clinton, believe me when i tell you: "i love joe." i wrote in my notes, sometimes i still can't believe biden is the veep... but goddamn, i think he'll be a great fuckin' vice president.

quick hits
--i caught part of senators jay rockefeller and majority leader harry reid's speeches this evening. BORING! what snoozers. why are so many boring white people talking at this convention? bring back jesse jackson, jr.
--at 7:00 melissa ethridge performed and, for a few minutes, transformed the DNC into the lilith fair.
--msnbc interviewed president jimmy carter. nice that they could give him some time since the convention didn't. i really love listening to carter's insights.
--spike lee offered his personal psychoanalysis of the clintons for CNN...really hitting bill pretty hard as a "sore loser." nice spirit of unity there, spike. he even made some comment that bill couldn't get past a large number of african americans that wanted to nominated obama over his wife. ummmm..... shut up.
--maddy albright spoke about the most important quality in the president being the ability to learn. mccain refuses to learn from history.
--spotted so far in the house: hillary and chelsea clinton. michelle obama. MOHAMMED ALI! jennifer garner, jessica alba and chevy chase.
--when bill took to the stage, michelle looked.... underwhelmed? nervous? hmmm... she was enthusiastic, however, in her applause as his speech went on.
--i did want to mention that president clinton had one line about biden's experience and wisdom supporting obama's insight. that's the line the GOP will jump on. but then again, if mccain picks romney, they're both covering their weak points.
--did i mention i got the HBO movie recount in the mail from netflix? guess who will be fighting back the DTs from convention withdrawal with a certain movie...?
--michelle obama cried during beau biden's introduction for his father. (i got teary too... fuck, these things make me emotional.)
--9:41, CNN breaking news: barack obama is in the pepsi center.
--melissa ethridge furled her brow and didn't look pleased with biden's "scare tactic" proclamation that al queda is plotting more attacks in the mountains between afghanistan and pakistan. hmmm....
--biden is the first person from delaware to serve on a major party's ticket. just FYI.
--the "surprise" entrance by obama at the end was electrifying. even if cnn spoiled the surprise.

final thoughts
some good attacks on the GOP tonight. i think bill clearly outshined biden, who still gave a strong speech. i think i just heard chuck todd call it "disjointed" and that sounds about right. biden just learned about being v.p. a few days okay... i'm sure he's still processing and acclimating to his new position.

tomorrow night the convention moves to mile high stadium and a crowd predicted to reach 80,000. will this idea of "opening up" the convention backfire and reinforce the GOP attacks of ego and celebrity?

i don't know... but tomorrow is historic.

this entire election cycle has been historic.

what exciting times we live in. please find a moment to take it in and enjoy it.

obama/biden 08!


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Democratic National Convention: Day 2

oh, snap! the shit was good tonight....

the theme for the second night of the DNC was "renewing america's promise." if nothing else, it renewed my admiration for hillary clinton.

but i'm jumping ahead....

there's so much good shit to talk about tonight but i feel i must hold off on what i wish to talk about the most. i think i'll break this up into a few sections to help with the clarity.

the 19th amendment
yes, today marked the 88th anniversary of the 19th amendment which gave women the right to vote. in turn, the convention highlighted female senators from the democratic party. there are 16 women in the senate and 11 of those are democrats.

the following senators appeared and spoke about the following subjects:

--barbara mikulski (maryland): equal pay for equal work.
--barbara boxer (california): the environment.
--mary landrieu (louisiana): FEMA.
--blanche lincoln (arkansas): health care.
--debbie stabenow (michigan): middle class jobs.
--maria cantwell (washington): energy independence.
--claire mccaskell (missouri): fiscal responsibility.
--amy klobuchar (montana): lower taxes for the middle class, affordable college and health care.

just for your benefit (and because you need to know): women still only make 77 cents on every dollar a man makes for the exact same work.

also, lilly ledbetter, the plaintiff screwed by the supreme court over her equal pay case spoke just before the keynote address. it wasn't a great speech and she seemed a bit overwhelmed (and annoyed) by the noisy crowd, but it highlights the need (beyond reproductive rights) for more liberal judges on the bench.

great fucking lines
the evening, for the most part, was still shockingly lacking in the red meat department. i don't think the dems have to be ugly... but for vishnu's sake... let's hit back at the republicans! we need to define who we are but also what we're not.

at any are some of the highlights from tonight's speeches:

if you didn't tune in early, you missed a fiery speech from that lovable imp, dennis kucinich. he spoke just before 6pm CST and called over and over again: "wake up, america!" he fired up the small crowd present but ended with the up with people refrain of "up with health care for all! up with peace!"

hillary supporter and governor of pennsylvania, ed rendell, spoke around 6:30 and immediately hit the bush/cheney energy policy. he tied mccain to bush stating he votes with bush 90% of the time. and he had the great line: "the only thing green in john mccain's energy plan are the billions of dollars he's promising in tax cuts to the oil companies. and the only thing he'll recycle is the same, failed george bush approach to energy policy." AND...he went into specific energy plan policies.

steny hoyer went after bush's "historic failure of leadership" and said even mccain concedes we're worse off than we were four years ago. but you can't bring about change when you voted with bush 95% of the time in the past year.

howard dean repeated the common phrase heard tonight: "we need change, not more of the same, which is john mccain." he called mccain "four more years of george bush" and when talking about the republican party said: "their president is a disaster. frankly, mccain is a disaster."

kathleen sebelius, governor of kansas, said: "i'm sure you all remember that girl from kansas that said, 'there's no place like home.' well, in john mccain's version, there's not place like home. or a home. or a home. or a home."

senator bob casey of pennsylvania started a rousing chant of "not four more years. four more months." but his best line was "john mccain calls himself a maverick" but votes with bush over 90% of the time. "that's not a maverick. that's a sidekick." he also used the term "bush/mccain republicans."

the keynote address
former governor of virginia, mark warner, who is now running to be a senator from virginia...gave the keynote address this year. obviously, we couldn't expect anything close to what obama delivered four years ago. well, it wasn't close. he had some nice moments but, as david gergen put it: "it wasn't a barn burner." but he did call it an arresting speech and pointed out that it was the first time he's ever heard science and technology and the future mentioned in a speech.

i found it ho-hum. not bad... just nothing special. gene robinson called it a "non-partisan, partisan speech."

he did speak about how ideas, whether there's an R or a D next to it, are good if they're good. he also talked about how "no american need be left out or left behind" and that "you shouldn't have to leave your hometown to find a world-class job."

you know... good. just not great. tonight...there was only one great.

my girl!
oh hell, my lovelies. i think i got myself so worked up in anticipation of hillary clinton's speech tonight that i had to take half a blue pill.

it started just after 9:30 CST. a video tribute to hillary. and oh, yeah: i cried.

and then hillary took the stage at 9:42 CST and she delivered what will go down as one of the great speeches of this political season. i don't even know where to begin. the resounding applause that lasted throughout her speech? bill bursting with pride listening to her?

the masterful way she accomplished everything she needed to do and did it with dignity, empathy, wit and style?

tonight...hillary made me remember why i wanted her as president. tonight...she was presidential.

but more importantly...tonight she laid out her case for why you need to vote for barack obama.

she started her speech with why she was there "as a proud democrat... and a proud supporter of barack obama." she went on to say "whether you voted for me or barack, the time is now to unite as a single party with a single purpose."

she spoke of how nobody can stand on the sidelines and that "we don't have a moment to lose or a vote to spare."

she said, "i haven't spent the past 35 years in the see another republican in the white house squander our promise as a country."

she spoke directly "to my supporters, to my champions, to my sisterhood of the traveling pantsuits. from the bottom of my heart.... thank you."

she consistently emphasized "barack obama is my candidate" and spoke of the "family of democrats" and of women's rights and gay rights. but perhaps her greatest argument was this:

I want you to ask yourselves: Were you in this campaign just for me? Or were you in it for that young Marine and others like him? Were you in it for that mom struggling with cancer while raising her kids? Were you in it for that boy and his mom surviving on the minimum wage? Were you in it for all the people in this country who feel invisible?

and of course she talked about health care, health care, health care. she talked about obama ending the war in iraq honorably and responsibly.

and she hit john mccain: "no way. no how. no mccain."

she said with the way bush and mccain's agendas seem to parallel, it's fitting they'll both be in the twin cities next week. "these days it's hard to tell them apart." was just such a great fucking speech. and she ended with a brilliant, and powerful quote from harriet tubman. "when you hear the dogs barking. when you see the torches... keep going for freedom."

it was amazing....

and universal praise... even from those who don't normally praise her. keith olbermann said, "i don't know how it could have been better." rachel maddow claimed "she nailed it. she sealed it." was amazing. youtube it, my friends. she will blow you away. perfectly written. perfectly delivered. perfect message.

how can her supporters NOT vote for obama after her call to arms?

quick hits's getting late and my blue pill is kicking in.

--in the house: michelle obama, joe biden, sheila jackson lee, jimmy carter and bill clinton.
--once again ann curry went in for the kill with governor rendell and asked only of the hillary feud (good word, sally).
--by 6:45 pm...hill's speech was already really built up by everyone from david axelrod to lisa caputo.
--chris fucking matthews asked "what is hillary's current plan for getting the white house back for the clintons?" caputo laughed and said, "oh, chris. how can you ask that question? for godssake!" when chris asked why she was laughing, he was serious, she said, "it must be a question fabricated to fill the 24 hour news cycle. her only plan is to campaign for barack obama and get him elected."
--i like lisa caputo.
--have you seen the commercials for the magazine the nation? it's just beyond bizarre and uncomfortable hearing sam waterston say "just the straight dope."
--have you noticed that even keith olbermann looks at chris matthews like he's a jackass. i get the feeling he wishes him away.
--at 7:07 they took the "commemorative panoramic" photo of the convention. it took about a minute.
--CNN broke the news that hillary will be attending obama's speech on thursday and will probably be asked on the platform with him at the end.
--james carville suggested to bill that it wouldn't be appropriate for him to attend. that hill and obama need to move the country forward.
--msnbc continues to disappoint. at least cnn shows some of the "lesser" speeches.
--from 7:30-7:50 the dems staged "america's town hall" and held a panel discussion about domestic issues. they answered emails and video questions. BORING! we're in primetime, people! we need big speeches! we need excitement! NO ONE but c-span was carrying that shit. was a nice opportunity to lay out a platform and rebuff mccain...but who cared? who was watching?
--crap! rachel maddow's "post rational" referred to clinton supporters. i only caught the end of that discussion last night. i probably wouldn't have brought it up.
--at 8pm, kathleen sebelius, a very sweet woman, i'm sure...delivered a snoozer of a speech. again...PRIMETIME and no red meat. no excitement.
--bob casey of PA is pro-life and was brought on to highlight obama's ability to reach out and respect individuals with differing views. in 1992, casey's pro-life father was "barred" from the dem convention. paul begala on cnn dispelled the lingering myth: casey refused to endorse bill clinton and wanted to give a 30 minute speech on abortion. ummm...not at the DNC.
--mark warner called thomas jefferson the "founder of our party." he may have been a dem...but it was a different democratic party: he was all about states' rights. that's a republican platform, my friend.
--i miss bill.
--i like governor brian schweitzer of montana. he has great energy and he's kinda goofy. but he got the crowd fired up and off their feet.
--cbs, abc, cnn & msnbc aired the great hillary tribute film. nbc was at commercial.
--bill could be seen mouthing the words "i love you" over and over again to hillary as she took the stage.
--hillary fucking rocked it.

final thoughts's been a long night. but i suffer for you, my lovelies.

as i said...tomorrow night we switch to foreign policy and since mccain is building his campaign on the iraq war and his five years as a POW... i expect more attacks tomorrow night.

i mean, the wrong track numbers for the country are at historic highs! where are the attacks? the GOP will not play nice... we can't afford to play nice while they run off with the election.

tomorrow night bill speaks and so does v.p. candidate joe biden. should be another night of good speeches. they both have a special way with words.

but nothing will compare with hillary's speech tonight. she may have outdone teddy kennedy...

great ending to a mediocre night. and on that note: good night!

obama/biden 08


Monday, August 25, 2008

Democratic National Convention: Day 1

well, my lovelies.... i sacrifice for you. who else is watching over four hours of the democratic national convention each night to provide you with "insight and analysis" and all the juicy dirt in between?

yes.... i have spent the past four hours flipping between cnn, msnbc and c-span (not to mention the broadcast channels at 9pm) to bring you all the convention highlights.

tonight's theme was "one nation" and was to feature michelle obama as the keynote speaker the evening. but at 8:15 caroline kennedy took the stage. she spoke of her uncle, the liberal lion of the senate. and she was followed by a fuckin' great tribute piece by filmmaker ken burns.

and then... even though all the talk hinted at it happening... the most electric moment of the evening happened: senator ted kennedy...suffering from brain cancer and urged not to attend... took to the stage.

and my friends...there is no shame to my game: i cried.

ted kennedy will go down as the highlight of the evening.

it all began with caroline's declaration that "teddy is your senator, too." and she spoke about obama inspiring her the way people tell her that her father inspired them.

and then teddy came out.... a man who after 35 years in the senate is still not afraid to say the word "gay" or show is passion for universal health care. and he ended with this most powerful refrain:

the work begins anew. the hope rises again. and the dream lives on.

if you didn't know you would never know he was sick... that he had brain cancer. he was a lion up there and he called the convention to order the way no one else could.

just an amazing moment that will go down as one of the best from this week.

the softer side of michelle
michelle obama took to the stage around 9:36. she followed a very loving tribute by her older brother who holds an uncanny family resemblance to his sister.

let me say up front: michelle is a great speaker. her speech was well delivered and well crafted. i actually wrote in my notes (yes, i keep notes... leave me alone!): "wow - she is a great speaker."

she talked so beautifully about her parents and her father who suffered from multiple sclerosis but worked for years to support his family and would get up earlier each morning to struggle to get dressed and how he used "two canes to make his way across the room to give her mother a kiss."

she talked about barack obama talking about "the world as it is versus the world as it should be and too often we settle for the distance in between."

now mind you... when i say it was a well crafted speech i also mean it was a very smart speech. it accomplished many things the obama campaign needs to accomplish this week.

not ten minutes into the speech she spoke of hillary clinton and the 18 million cracks she's put into the glass ceiling. she talked about women getting the right to vote.

she talked about "why i love this country" in order to fight back against claims that she's unpatriotic. she spoke of giving back to the country that has given her so much.

and she needed to fight against the image that the GOP has painted of her. and tonight she seemed (and i hate to use this word) softer than i've ever seen her before. she came across as warm and loving and passionate.

it was a good speech.

and now for some quick hits
--nancy pelosi called the convention to order just after 7pm CST. she's as awkward on the teleprompter as she is speaker of the house.
--nancy also mentioned hillary clinton and how her "candidacy has strengthened our country." but she had a very yuck moment with her emphatic "one nation, under god." can we please keep religion out of politics?
--msnbc is obsessed with the "reported" clinton/obama strife. ann curry grabbed pelosi as she walked off the stage and asked her nothing but her thoughts on the clinton drama. the press has got to get off this story... give up the ghost! there is no ugliness here!
--by the way, nancy was better at shutting up ann curry than she was at speaking in front of the convention.
--savannah guthrie of msnbc spoke with senator chuck schumer and asked him about... the hillary drama.
--jimmy carter had a nice film about katrina and the sad aftermath and government response in NOLA. but for fuck's sake! how do you not give a nobel peace prize winner any speech time!?! shameful....
--obama's half sister maya soetoro-ng spoke of barack and their mother. "she brought us to telescopes and microscopes" was such a beautiful line. there is a lot of charisma in that family.
--maya did bring up that she is a "u.s. history teacher." what's more patriotic than teaching american history? stay on topic....
--congressman jesse jackson, jr. delivered a helluva speech which will have been missed by most. he hit on themes similar to obama's powerful 2004 DNC speech and is a powerful speaker. well done.
--cnn aired jackson's speech... msnbc was too busy fussing over the hillary drama. msnbc is really starting to annoy me.
--rachel maddow has coined a wonderful phrase: "post rational."
--et tu, brokaw? even tom brokaw's first question to kansas governor kathleen sebelius was about hillary!
--governor sebelius did have a great response to tom about women who may want to vote for mccain: "voting for mccain doesn't protect their daughters or granddaughters." well said....
--biden was in the house, by the way. he and howard dean had a privet pow-wow at about 7:57 CST.
--there are always too many rhythmically-challenged individuals shown dancing on the floor of the convention. ugh....
--interesting fact: this is only the fourth time in history conventions have been held back to back. the previous years were 1912, 1916 and 1956.
--around 8:05 i took a break to wash dishes. i'm not sure what i missed.
--there was some interesting breaking news between 8:30 and 9: petitions are being sent around to put both hillary's and obama's names in nomination. hillary will get votes in the beginning but at some point will cut it off and obama will be declared the nominee. i.e. obama is really fucking going out of his way to appease the disgruntled hillary supporters.
--crap! i missed part of senator claire mccaskell's speech. the senator from missouri is one of my favorites. she tried an ode to obama's 2004 speech with a "missouri is not a red state or a blue state, but a united state." but overall, not a great speech. and not covered anywhere but c-span.
--the moment at the end where obama appeared via satellite via kansas city, missouri was just awkward. and i know everyone finds the obama spawn adorable, but i just found it all clumsy. not a strong way to end the evening.

final thoughts
a good night... but not a great night.

it was to be a softer night. a "getting to know barack" night. but the DNC needs to really outline their platform more. and there was a shocking lack of bush-bashing. but that'll come.

hillary speaks tomorrow night... the 88th anniversary of women getting the right to vote. she needs to accomplish a lot and i can't wait to see what she does.

bill speaks on wednesday before biden. bill's ego is bruised and he feels disrespected over his accomplishments in the 90's and hurt over unfairly being called a racist.

that should also be interesting... but hillary has the bigger job at this convention.

overall... i'm hoping for a good week. i'll keep you posted.

obama/biden 08!


Saturday, August 23, 2008

What'cha Know, Joe?

the first thing i did this morning when i woke up was turn on my computer and check my email. and there is was.... the announcement we've all been waiting for.

of course, after cnn had confirmed last night that it wouldn't be senator evan bayh of indiana or governor tim kaine of virginia....

and after the reports that hillary was never even vetted.... never asked for so much as a page from her records.... never even met with caroline kennedy.... (by the way, this whole "non-vetting" of hillary will only cause more ripples with her supporters and dig a deeper rift between those individuals and obama.)

well...let's be honest: the email was not a surprise.

yes. senator barack obama has chosen senator joe biden of delaware to be his vice presidential running mate.

biden's a great choice. i'm still not sure he's the best choice.... but he does pick up in all areas where obama lacks.

he's been a senator for 36 years. he has served in both the judiciary and foreign relations committees.... two very hot jobs in the senate.

and, of course, he now heads the foreign relations committee. the man knows the world and knows washington.

granted, the three electoral votes he brings from delaware is no big win... i mean, the dems were getting those three anyway. but he is catholic and he was born in pennsylvania. he takes the train home every day and he does well with a lot of the core groups that made up hillary's coalition.

there are a lot of great arguments for having him on the ticket.

now....i will admit that i was holding out hope for hillary... a real surprise announcement. all this talk of never being vetted just a red herring to throw everyone off the trail.

but no... she was kinda screwed by obama. apparently she would make anyone's short list accept obama's. and all this will make the convention all the more interesting.

so.... obama/biden 08.

in all honesty, should probably be biden/obama 08.

but whaddayagonnado.....?

obama/biden 08!


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Veepstakes & Other Troubling Obama Trends

well, i would think the text messages should go out tomorrow... or first thing saturday at the latest.

afterall, obama is scheduled to appear with his vice presidential choice saturday evening in springfield, illinois. on the steps of the old capitol. where it all began well over a year ago.... (february 2007, to be precise.)

i'm just not sure it's the right choice.

actually.... senator joe biden is an excellent choice as a vice president. i still think he's better suited for secretary of state. i mean, v.p. will be such a waste for him.

but how does the choice pair up with obama? what does it bring to the table?

sadly... it appears to be the george bush/dick cheney model: if we're all on the plane and two people are in the cockpit... at least we know ONE of them knows how to fly the plane.

but does biden's four decades of experience bring into question obama's clear lack of experience? and does biden's extensive foreign policy experience (he chairs the foreign relations committee in the senate) highlight obama's lack of the same?

the good news.... biden will have no problem playing the attack dog and going after mccain... something obama seems uncomfortable doing. and biden's smart...

the senior senator from delaware doesn't quite go along with obama's narrative of turning the page and outside of washington.... but it's not pro-life tim kaine and it's not boring ole bayh.

of course... guess who's name has also popped back up in the news?

my hillary is back!
wow... it's amazing how much talk hillary is once again receiving around the vice presidency. and i truly think it's about as likely as notre dame going #1 this year.


a new NBC/WSJ poll shows that about 11% of hillary supporters still refuse to vote for obama. in fact... where obama only slightly leads mccain in the poll, hillary holds a confident lead over johnny boy... and she's not even running anymore!

that spells big problems for obama. and when we're looking at such slim margins between the two candidates... 11 points is huge!

so we return to the old question. is there still a need for "the dream ticket"? does obama need hillary to solidify the party and win in november?

i mean, the NBC/WSJ poll is no anomaly.

more bad news for obama
the most recent la times/bloomberg poll has obama topping mccain by a mere 2 points: 45% to 43% (with a +/-3). back in june....obama held a commanding lead over mccain: 49% to 37%.

that same poll shows obama's favorable rating down from 59% in june to 48% in august. mccain is holding steady at 47% in june and 46% now.

cnn's average of several recent national polls shows obama holding a slim 3 point lead over mccain, 46%-43%. obama was up by 8 points in mid-july according to that same "poll of polls."

in fact, the average on only shows obama holding a 1.5% lead over mccain when you look at all national polls.

in general head-to-head match-ups... the dems beat the GOP by double digits when asked about the white house. so why is obama doing so poorly? and does a 40 year veteran of the senate from the great state of delaware really help?

remember...this will be the first time we've elected a seated senator to the presidency since JFK. so it's not like voters are generally impressed by senators. they want executive experience.... so a governor makes a better choice.

one bright note for senator obama
now... we may all be mashing our hands together and wondering why obama isn't hitting back harder at mccain. or why does his campaign not seem too worried about these polls.

well, they're probably looking at the electoral map.

remember, national polls ultimately mean jackshit. it's not about your individual vote (although... you really need to vote) but it's the electoral college. and right now, obama is sitting pretty.

realclearpolitics has a fabulous electoral map that shows a silver lining for obama:

they currently predict 228 electoral votes for obama... 183 of those being solid.

they have mccain sitting with a mere 174 electoral votes... only 139 of those solid.

that leaves 136 toss-up votes with 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency.

ummmm.... that's pretty good math for obama.

so... to sum up: while i worry. things could be worse.

obama has chosen his veep and we should know soon.... final tally for me:

democratic veepstakes:

1. joe biden
2. evan bayh
3. tim kaine

and again... hillary could be the ultimate spoiler.

the democratic national convention begins on monday and it should be one helluva event.

we've got both clintons speaking. we have clinton "whips" out there helping to cover any lingering hillary troublemakers on the convention floor.

and obama is speaking at a fucking football stadium to accept the nomination.

great theatre....

here's hoping for a nice bounce out of denver.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Post Play Post

and just like that... another year with the 10 by 10 has come to a close.

i have a mixture of emotions coming out of the scriptwriters/houston 18th annual showcase of new plays. overall, my best experience with the 10 by 10.

my director, while i believe hesitant at first, came through and really invested a lot in my play. i think the subject matter initially made her uncomfortable, but she ultimately embraced the themes and the relationship and gave it her all.

she told me she was pleased people would get to see the play because it would probably be a new experience for most.

my actors were the best i've had in the three years.... they both put a lot of emotion into their performances and i think they were roundly applauded for their efforts.

unfortunately, i think the order of this year's ten plays were probably the worst they've ever been and (in particular) i think my play was lost in the shuffle. i followed an over-the-top play about terrorism, torture and even a jesus reference... and then i was followed by an over-the-top, convoluted absurdist play about... well, there is still some debate.

my play was probably the most subtle of the evening. an experiment in dialogue and relationships more than plot twists and clever gimmicks. the entire concept of my play was built around what wasn't said... two individuals incapable of expressing their emotions coming to a point where, maybe, they could.... but ultimately, stop short.

it was obviously lost on some. understood by others... but again... i just think it was lost among all the rest.

some reviews... very varied.

wrote one:

Gay lovers on the brink of breaking up, don’t. Or do they? Travis Springfield and Kelly Williams soak the stage with recrimination and almost make you believe there’s a story here. Lots of subtext, no question, and it all gets laid out. But where’s the beef? You have to wonder, how many times have they had this same fight? [e.] gets a lot of mileage out of his scenario: miles to nowhere. If there was a point to this piece, I couldn’t find it with a spotlight.

ummm.... ouch. but i think this person missed the point. immediately following this review, however, someone wrote they wish mine had been expanded because they would like to have seen more. And goes on to write:

Travis Springfield and Kelly Williams were superb in their roles and showed the strongest relationship in the night. And I easily could have seen this done at minimum as a lengthy one act piece around 45 minutes, or as a full length play, including in the play when the younger man is at the bar being picked up by a stranger, but to deny him only to go home to his older lover to engage him. And for their conversation to pick up the following day, and perhaps the older man to return to drinking, to see what he was actually like before, as the younger man described. Anyways, it was the best piece of the night.

the last line, in particular, means i at least reached one person. and that's what writing should be about. reaching people. making them think. forcing them to reexamine what they believe or misunderstand.

overall, it was a good year. i was pleased with my play even if i felt the majority of friends and family found it lacking compared to my other pieces.

it was different. less obvious. more stylized. my favorite description so far was my friend who called it "theatrical."

but you win some... and you lose some.

this past weekend was a win for me.... even if i didn't come in first, second or even third. it was something i was proud of and i think i'll look back on it next year and still find myself pleased.

to all of you who came out and supported me and the other nine houston playwrights.... thank you.

and for those of you in the know... the saturday night "after" was fucking fabulous! a great group of friends having great food, drink and conversation. thanks to all who stopped by, provided their feedback and just let go and had fun.

a special thanks to those four friends who put it all together and made it happen.

presently, i'm not sure about next year. my gut tells me "no" but my desire to be on stage and see if i can keep the streak alive tells me "yes."

maybe something comedic next year? maybe something more accessible?

or maybe i'll just fuck with everyone again and make 'em work for it?

who knows? i mean, somebody has to shake that shit up?


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

That Old Familiar Feeling it is, my lovelies. it's hell week for the 10x10 and i've been experiencing all those old familiar feelings that hugged me like a needy lover this same week the past two years.

part of it may be revisiting those oh-so familiar themes that haunt the works of scriptwriters/houston year after year....

just like the 10x10s of past you will find plays filled with the same ole spectres of those we've wronged, young women dealing with incest, wannabe french sex farces and, of course, plenty of relationship abuse. oh - and the twists! don't forget the scriptwriters' twist!

fuck me! they do love a good (or not so good) twist.

as for me... my familiarity runs beneath the themes and into my own insecurity.

monday night... i hated my play.

tuesday night... i loved it.

tonight.... i hated my play in new ways and i'm certain it'll flop.

and there are factors for my insecurity. top of the list: my actors still struggle with some lines. it's a tightly written script and one flub really starts things tumbling.

i also follow a rather intense 10-minute play chock full of torture, screaming and the one word i've yet to have uttered on stage in one of my plays (even though i keep trying).

i keep thinking, "great. we've just spent ten minutes watching this guy get the shit tortured out of him... now let's watch the fags fight!"


last night i really felt parts of my play were close to poetic. one of the other playwrights told me i made her cry.

an actor told me he wanted to do my play more than any of them and he thinks it's the strongest of the ten.

while another actor continues to bemoan the fact that he wasn't cast but he's certain mine will still be the best of the night.

and yet i watch it and i wonder.....

mind you, i look back on my piece from last year and find it overblown and melodramatic. a piece of shit, almost. just way too preachy. and yet it won runner-up as the audience favorite.

so the fuck do i know, right? i mean...please forgive the cliche' but i am my own worst critic.

i just hope the little, blue pills i've started taking help me from becoming a nervous wreck opening night.

so.... the next big question is: do i hope tomorrow night is a shitty night so friday will be spectacular? or do i hope for a stellar evening, full of passion and energy....and hope it carries through into friday.

maybe i should just plan to start drinking early....?

gotta love those old familiar feelings. and hey! don't worry about me... this is all par for the course before any of my openings. truly....

if they can remember their lines... we'll be golden.

if not... well, i'm happy to show you the script any time.


Thursday, August 7, 2008

Our Long National Nightmare Is Over

yes! praise the baby jesus, my fellow americans. we can now rest at ease....

the insanity. the grueling back and forth...

the constant waiting. the not knowing...

it's come to an end.

and so has brett favre's time in green bay, wisconsin.

yes, my lovelies, late wednesday night the packers traded brett favre to the new york, jets...who, after six years of chad pennington, can definitely use the help. (apparently favre was leaning more towards the buccs, but hey - anyone is better than him becoming a turncoat and playing for the vikings.)

the greenbay press gazette declares the "end of an era" and writes:

So ends a 16-year relationship between the Packers and one of their greatest players, in a manner that would have seemed unfathomable until recently — with an extended public feud leading to a parting of ways with the three-time NFL most valuable player.

Favre started an NFL-record 253 consecutive games at quarterback for the Packers and has played in 255 consecutive games, the longest current streak in the NFL. He led the Packers to two Super Bowls, winning one. He holds most of the NFL's major passing records. He was riding the bench with the Atlanta Falcons when the Packers acquired him for a first-round draft pick in February 1992.

personally, i have mixed feelings. i love favre. i think he's one of the greats. and i have strong feelings about players who become known and successful at a certain team who go off and end their careers (usually abysmally) with another team. (please see: arizona cardinal emmitt smith of prior dallas cowboys fame or the immortal michael jordan...who, let's be honest... will always be a chicago bull and not a washington wizard.)

and the pack probably should have welcomed brett back and made him their starter. why wouldn't you after his performance last season?

but i also know he's been jerking around the team for the past couple of years with his on-again, off-again retirement.

at some point...a team needs to move on. and green bay was doing just that.... after favre's emotional retirement earlier this year, all of wisconsin went into mourning. there were primetime specials airing nightly in wisconsin marking this sad departure.

and then...just a few months later...he's back?

you can't toy with our emotions, brett. we can only take so much!

the packers team is owned by the fans. being owned by the people is a big deal up in union-strong wisconsin. woodman's grocery in janesville (where my parents live) is proudly "employee owned."

so, yeah... it's a bit more personal up there than most places.

and while this may not ultimately be the best outcome... it's an outcome. and it's over. the team can move on and start working with aaron rodgers.

and the greatest nightmare of all? before the NFL season has even officially begun, i've just forced my friend steven to read an entire blog entry on football.

sorry, puppy.

and, hey! go texans!


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Veepstakes: We're Getting Close

i've been promising an update to the veepstakes for sometime so i thought i'd take my free day and put some thoughts down.

i honestly expected an announcement from obama this week on his vice presidential running mate. afterall... the olympics start on friday and go on for two weeks. you don't want to announce during the olympics... the coverage will be lost.

there was also a report from the prince of darkness himself, robert novak, that mccain was to announce while obama was in europe... to steal some of his thunder.

it appears none of these are to come true. unless obama surprises us in the next two days. again...the olympics are two weeks... then we immediately jump into the democratic national convention. we normally know the veep before then.

as a quick note: it's also been mentioned that mccain will announce his running mate immediately following the dem convention in order to steal any coverage or "bounce" obama should receive from his DNC coverage.

but who knows....? so let's talk about what we do know and who appears to be on the shortlists.

first the republicans. my prior standings stood thus:

1. crist
2. romney
3. pawlenty
4. sanford
5. petraeus

i'm limiting my standings now to the top three. it's crunch time and we need to get serious.

my top three may remain the same...just jostled a bit.

i'm happy to see that all talk of bobby jindal of louisiana has been squashed. what an idiotic pick. and i just don't feel much excitement about sanford and i think petraeus will simply tie mccain too closely to the bush camp (as if he needs any help).

one name that i had at the top of my list at one time was ex-governor of pennsylvania and the first head of the department of homeland security, tom ridge. his name is being bounced around again and if he could help win pennsylvania it would be a huge boost the mccain camp. however, mccain's biggest weakness remains his inability to excite the conservative base. ridge is probably a more moderate republican than mccain (not that that's hard to do) and, worst of all, he's pro-choice. i just can't see mccain selecting him as his running mate.

governor crist of florida i still think is a strong choice. he's also recently become engaged in order to hush any possible grumblings of another closeted republican.

rob portman has also been talked about but he held such an important position in the bush administration, once again i just can't see mccain tying himself to an ex-bushie (unless, of course, they're constructing your racist advertising videos for you).

no... my money is on two names that seem to be the common consensus: pawlenty of minnesota and good ole flip-flop mitt.

mitt could help with michigan and for some odd reasons the true economic conservatives love him. but does mccain? i think it was pretty obvious from the primary that the two despised each other. i don't see mccain picking someone he hates.

there's also much talk of the midwest and the great lakes states really being the toss-up states this year... and pawlenty, the popular governor of an increasingly purple state may do the trick.

and he's conservative through and through. so my predictions?

republican running-mate:

1. pawlenty
2. romney
3. crist

now let's talk about the good party. my prior standing for the dem v.p.:

1. strickland
2. rendell
3. the virginians (warner, webb, kaine)
4. sebelius
5. mccaskell

well, i think i'm really having a change of heart on this one. i'm taking out mccaskell, an early favorite of mine. i still think ed rendell of pennyslvania is a great choice but i'm striking him too. two of the virginians, warner and webb, have removed themselves from the running (and i believe them).

strickland is still a great choice... governor of ohio, a must-win state. but i've heard no enthusiasm over him.

i still think sebelius is a nice bet... but again, only those who seem to think he'll pick a woman (and not hillary) seem to mention her. and as cokie roberts put it this past sunday... all obama needs to do is pick a boring, white guy.

tim kaine, the governor of virginia, seems to be everyone's best bet for obama. he's outside of washington and relatively new. so it's on message. but here's my big beef with kaine: he's pro-life.

now... for a campaign who constantly talks about the need to win over female voters and bring those hillary supporters over to their side... what better way to alienate women by picking a pro-life running mate? i think women have enough questions when it comes to obama. and his "present" votes in illinois on the big issues don't help quash any of that uneasiness.

so why stir more uncertainty with kaine? yes, he has stated he would uphold roe v. wade... but he's also very vocal about being "personally" pro-life. it makes me uneasy. and i feel too strong about a woman's right to choose to have any question mark hovering over my candidate.

no.... i'm putting my money back on evan bayh of indiana. i had taken him off because i felt obama needed a governor... thus kaine or sebelius, etc. however... i forgot that bayh was the governor of indiana before he became a senator from there.

he's also great at staying on point... and he's the perfect, boring, white guy. he's not been steeped in washington long enough to fight against obama's talking points but he has executive experience and once again puts into play a midwest, great lake, purple state.

oh, one last point: there's been a lot of talk about joe biden, my man from delaware. personally, i still think he's a better bet for secretary of state. and i think his experience will bring into question obama's lack of experience too greatly (as one person pointed out: it's the same as the dukakis/bentson dilemma). people will ask if the roles should be reversed. also, biden wanted to join obama on his trip to the middle east but was not invited. were they concerned that biden's foreign policy bona fides would too greatly outshine obama's lack of experience?

and...again... i think obama needs a governor with executive experience and someone "outside" of washington. biden has been in d.c. for a long time.

so...without further ado:

democratic running-mate:

1. bayh
2. kaine
3. sebelius

and...because i refuse to give up the ghost just like everyone else... hillary remains the ultimate spoiler - but it just ain't gonna happen.



Just Like the Fall of 2002

much like the edouard i slept with twice back in the fall of 2002, tropical storm edouard has proven to be a disappointment. neither possessing that tempestuous quality i was seeking.

t.s. edouard made landfall a bit further north today than had been expected which has left me without the thrill of a storm complete with donner und blitzen... the kind of storm i was hoping to sit back and enjoy all day. you know, sip on some wine. enjoy a good book.

these are the types of days i enjoy. give me overcast, cold and rainy any day of the week over hot and sunny.

i mean.... my organization closed for the day. that's nice to be sure. but i really wanted some puccini-like drama from this storm.

instead... just a steady pissing of rain all day long.

maybe the winter of 2002 was when i started sleeping with black men....?

who knows? all i know is.... disappointing this.

at least the wine is still good.


Sunday, August 3, 2008

What the...?

so earlier....i'm relaxin' this blistering summer afternoon in houston. i'm flipping channels and hit upon a story on cnn.

there's something out in the gulf of mexico..... may become a tropical depression.... planes flying out to take a look.... blah, blah, blah....

so i think i'll check on it again later.

suddenly it's a motherfuckin' tropical storm!

when the hell did that happen.....? earlier today that blonde on cnn said it might not even generate into a tropical depression.

then i turn on the weather channel again and there's a "local hurricane statement" scrolling along the bottom of my screen.

son of a bitch...

tropical storm edouard. sounds like a guy i slept with twice back in the fall of 2002.

anyway.... i've actually been hoping for a tropical storm for some time now... i could use a good day of storms. i mean, i love storms.

but suddenly it's a strong tropical storm... slight chance it could become a low-grade hurricane.

and the bitch of it is... i was at the store at 4:30 this afternoon just before they upgraded it... never thought of picking up water or other supplies.

oh well... i have plenty o' booze should anything happen.

if the power goes out... party at my place!


Notes From All Over: M.I.A. Edition

oh, my lovelies... you have no idea what fresh hell i've experienced the past couple of weeks. please forgive my absence but work has dragged me down into a level of hell that not even dante could have imagined.

i realize i've been missing in action so i present to you a quick recap of the past couple of weeks from all angles.

it has been beyond busy, beyond terrible. for two straight weeks i was basically working ten hour days. i was unable to break free for lunch i was unable to do any of my work. i was focused on the digital upgrade my program made and it has not been fun.

i have finally passed a good portion of the digital responsibility on to other people and this past week i've been able to focus on projects that i need to do. but i've also had meeting after meeting, i've had to tour other facilities, i've had to find a new front desk person, i'm dealing with a 20 year old A/C unit that is about to go out on me..... not to mention every other little fire that's been coming up and the still straggling questions and pesterings about the digital upgrade.

and all the whining and bitching that goes along with it.

in short.... i hate my job.

but hey! what's new, right?

is it sad that i just put family after work? and that friends will come after that?


the baby is home and doing well. apparently she thinks the days are for sleeping and the nights are for raising cain (which reminds me of my days as a waiter), but she's healthy and parents are doing well. if not just exhausted beyond all belief.

but you know... who told them to go off and have a baby?

i may make a trip over there in september to see the little rugrat (for those of you pushing the issue).

looks like my parents will be coming down in august to see the baby and to see my play in the 10x10. they're good parents. they really are. i'm fortunate.

i haven't had much of chance to see them but last weekend we did throw a white trash theme party for my friend steven. he went into detail about the party on his blog ( so i won't bore you with too many additional details.

let me just put one thing in the public record: i was MORTIFIED when i had to purchase strawberry cake mix with strawberry icing along with two boxes of double cheeseburger hamburger helper.

i've not been able to take enough showers to wash off the dirtiness i feel.

but steven is worth it.

the lesbians really went all out with their tuna surprise, their giant dingdong and their outfits. it was hilarious...

and - believe it or not - a great time was had by all (i believe).

the dark knight
saw it. loved it. ledger is brilliant in it. watching him i felt the way audiences must've felt when they first saw brando in streetcar. just something wholly original and fresh (and frightening).

see it.

brideshead revisited
i finished reading evelyn waugh's novel yesterday and i simply devoured it. beyond the initial shock at just how fucking gay the book really is.... it was a fascinating blend of sensuality, family drama, religion and politics. it's the first book by waugh i've read and i'm very interested in reading more by him.

if you haven't read brideshead, i highly recommend it.

what a bizarre couple of weeks in politics. obama becomes the new david hasslehoff in germany and mccain puts him in an ad with britney spears and paris hilton.

some thoughts.....

i thought the trip through europe could have some downfalls. we can all agree that obama has an ego. but hell, you better have an ego if you're running for the ruler of the free world. i'm sure mccain has an ego to boot. he's just not eloquent enough for us to see it.

but comparing obama to britney and paris is just silly politics. they're vacuous airheads and i don't think anyone can accuse obama of that. but i understand the message mccain is trying to make. obama is a celebrity but he's as empty as these two.

for the record: i don't see any parallel between the blatant "protect your white daughters" message in the 2006 harold ford commercials. but it's all still pretty ridiculous.

what concerns me more is this new mccain ad titled "the one." and all week we've been hearing words like "arrogant" and "fussy" and "ego" and it boils down to a very disturbing message on behalf of the republicans and the mccain camp.

please forgive me for putting this in print....and i hate the word i'm about to type.... but they're basically saying: "look at the uppity nigger. don't he know his place?"

it's the same tactic used against hillary. "that bitch. doesn't she know the proper place for a little lady?"

the GOP has a record of running these divisive sexist and racist campaigns. they can't beat obama on substance so they're driving home the message to blue collar whites that this black man may be a little too big for his britches.

it's disturbing. and i finally heard david gergen bring it up on this week this morning. and it's a particularly clear message to racist, southern voters.....

it's the worst kind of politics but it's the politics of rove and bush and mccain is now using those same tactics. they don't win on the issues... they win on bringing the other candidate down.

and worst of all... it seems to be working.

instead of a huge bounce coming out of his tour of the middle east and europe... obama has actually slid in the polls since mccain has come out with these ads. the latest gallop has them tied, i believe.

i hope the media is smart enough to attack this issue and not pussy-foot their way around it because everyone is so afraid of talking about race.

i hate to break the news to you, kiddos, but race is a factor. it's the big-ass elephant in the room and we need to talk about it.

we need to discuss the positives. and we need to discuss the negatives.

we need to be grown-ups in this process. not break out ads with paris hilton and charlton heston.

silly and childish. is this "straight talk"?

shame on you, john mccain. didn't you promise everyone better than that?

god, this is probably a very long, rambling entry without a lot of insight or good things. and it suddenly made me kinda cranky.

i'll add an update to my veepstakes here in a bit and cheer myself up.

that's getting good.

have a great week, everyone. (i promise to be better.)


p.s. the play is going really well and i think i'll be very pleased with my 10x10 this year. actually, rehearsals have been the bright spots during the past couple of weeks.

also.... i'm in the current issue of outsmart (in the news briefs). i look nice and plump... but hey, i'm smiling. you can find it in print or online at