Saturday, December 19, 2009

in the yellow


I can not post any pictures of the awful, no-good, snow storm that has walloped the DC metro area, because, I am not there. (Suckers).

I retreated to California on Wednesday (the 16th) right before the first of the snow fell (an apparently it has not stopped yet). Thus, solidifying my outrageous claims that I have this unreasonable deal with Mother Nature. I can't go into details.

I do have this sad, sad picture though:

As you can see, it details the weather across the US on the 19th of December, around noon. I am in the yellow :)

Monday, December 14, 2009

They were alone and they were ashamed...

Often, I venture to the movies alone. I liberated myself a few years ago, and have gone solo to movie theaters on a regular basis ever since. My favorite place to watch movies is a little theater in Shirlington. There's no real good reason I love that place so much. It doesn't have stadium seating, the theaters are small, and the screens are low, it's pretty old, and the audiences are sparse. But hey, I do like to put my feet on the backs of the seats in front of me, and usually the audience consists only of a few housewives, a few elderly couples, and me. [Insert here predicted comments about a.) how I can't wait to be a housewife or 1/2 of an elderly couple and b.) how I don't have a "real job" and thus go to the movies in the middle of the day]

Friday, I had some time in the late afternoon and decided to go astray to a theater I never go to. It's inside a mall; I thought shopping and perhaps I would take in a matinee.

There should be no question what I wanted to see: Disney's new animated film "The Princess and the Frog". I thirsted for the feel good, high moral, musical cartoon.

At 1:22pm on Friday afternoon I walked into the theater and found a different scene then which I am accustomed: there were a bunch of moms and kids and then, the best shock of all.. peppered through out the seats were fellow solo movie-goers, but they were men! Now, mind you, this theater/mall is situated among various government agencies and many large, national, non-profit organizations. At least three of the men were still in suits. One of them was wearing some pretty thuggish street clothes and had a pierced ear or at least he should have. But mostly, they were middle aged business men sneaking out in the middle of their lunch breaks to watch "The Princess & the Frog". They were alone and they were ashamed.

I couldn't get over it. I mean, sure, it makes sense- when else would they be able to go watch that movie? Like any self-respecting straight man with out kids, they were forced to sneak around to watch the new Disney movie. How would they ever explain this to their girlfriends? What would their dude friends say? Really, there is no other way for them. This was their only opportunity.

But, their secret is not so secret anymore: I know, and now you know. The thing is: it's OK. As a matter of fact, I am proud of them... both for going and for keeping it a secret.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Time Change


I have many things to report on... but this conversation happened today, and I needed to get it out there; to shout it aloud, to inspire the world to feel with me. Maybe change the Presidents mind about this whole... ordeal.

[This chat has been modified from its original version. It has been formatted to fit this screen and edited for content]

Friend: We get an extra hour...or recapture the one stolen from us this spring
me: Yay! i take back the f bomb
X: its all yours
me: so now at six it will be five?
no!
it gets darker earlier
F again
and they shouldn't have waited so long to do this
i don't like that they pushed it to Nov
X: yes but it will be lighter when we get up.
me: not for me, the noon sun is pretty much the same no matter what time of year.

As you can read, I am maybe one of the least effected people out there... but this time change business is still alarming to me. Not because it messes with my light, but because it speaks to something greater: we (and by "we" I am referring to not only man kind, but in particular myself and NASA) haven't figured out the true calendar yet.

Ok, here is the deal: a calendar measures time and the laps of time dependent on the moon, stars, space, God, etc. Back in the day everyone thought they could figure out the calendar. The Aztecs started it and the Jews pretty much finished it. At some point everyone just threw in the towel and agreed that we were just close enough.

We add a day every four years, we have an extra day every other month, except for July & August when we have two consecutive months of 31, we mess with the time twice a year so it all evens out (though I realize that step it just a luxury of light and harvest, in a perfect world the time would fix it on its own.)

Also, there must be some tie in with global warming. I am not sure how, but it is in there somewhere. Right? It has to be. It gets hotter at noon, in the summer. It must get hotter during some grand calendar cycle.

Ok, anyway, if we can figure out how to get to the moon, we should be able to figure out how the tides roll in and how to have a perfect calendar.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Bush & Bono should be BFF's

Bono is first and foremost a rock star. He parades around on stage and people pay good money for it. He also parades around as a humanitarian and people buy it.

I got irritated all over again at the gross mis-use of human resources at the U2 concert last night... naturally that made me think of the Bush Administration. I will get to Bush in a moment, first allow me to slander the U2 concert.

The production itself cost a reported $40 million and takes the crew three days to break down, transport, and set up again. Tickets to the show are anywhere from $50 to $250 a ticket. The stadium I went to holds about 90,000 people. That means in just three shows the production costs are taken care of. There are 45 stops scheduled with a possible third leg being added. Millions of dollars. Hundreds of thousands of staff hours and even more time sacrificed by concert go-ers.

45 times they will pack stadiums across Europe & North America. Stadiums full of talented, blessed people from the richest countries in the world. 45 times people will choose to give their time to watching a man sing. 45 times Bono will shove his political and social agenda to crowds of people. I am sure his intentions are pure; he thinks that he is sharing a message. I am also certain much more could be done.

I could not help but to think of what we could have been doing instead with our time, talents and money. Now, I'm a firm advocate for leisure. I don't think there is anything wrong with going to a concert. But collectively, there might be. Especially when a man is such a fake propionate of change in Africa. He was playing to his audience. The same people who are the lawmakers of the free Nation. The show was very focused on saving Africa. Choose one or the other; a gluttonous music love fest or a humanitarian political rally. Hell, why doesn't he combine the two with an ACTUAL effort made (instead of just talking about it) and then give the people a concert as a thank you.

At one (shameful) moment Bono asked the crowd to "send love and good energy" to a political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma (who by the way, spent her entire Nobel Peace prize money directly on setting up a a trust in her country). So, Bono doesn't even have the guts to use the word "prayer". Come on, we are all Christian and you are toting free speech and you're too afraid to ask your American audience to pray... no, no, that is too much to ask... can we please just send some vibes to her? Ack.

Bono did thank one person, who has actually changed Africa. George W. Bush is a lot of things. A hero to Africa is just one.

President Bush's Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (Pepfar) was initiated in 2003. At the time just 50,000 Africans were on anti-retroviral drugs. By 2007, 1.3 million Africans were on medication, much of it paid for by the Bush administration.

His administration pumped $18bn into fighting HIV/Aids, much of it in Africa

He backed cancelling $34bn worth of debt for 27 African states

He launched initiative that has halved Malaria in 15 African countries

He led the condemnation of Sudan's record in Darfur as genocide

He pressed for north-south peace deal in Sudan

He backed Ethiopia's invasion of Somalia to battle Islamists.


{Stats Found here.}

Bush fought war after war in Africa... and won many of the battles. It wasn't a modern war like the one waged in Iraq. It was a calm rebellion. It was a war fought with change and money. Bush has saved millions of lives in Africa. Bono has helped... a little bit.






Monday, September 28, 2009

Two-Fer

I am going to share with you two useful tools that you can use throughout your life... or at least for the next six months to five years.

The first is something my friends and I developed. The second is something Google developed. One may argue that though google has a sophisticated and universal tool, my tool is way more useful.

My Tool #1: Personalized Buyer Guide

This blog rarely goes too personal, but I liked this concept enough to share it with you.

When you make a big purchase it usually comes with an owners manual or a buyers guide. Something that helps you get the most out of your investment. People should be no different. During a road trip, while forced to spend unacceptable amounts of time together, some friends and I developed a concept: a "Dating Buyers Guide".

I urge you to discover the things about yourself, and go ahead and share them with people. Create a personalized manual on how to manage being with you successfully. Who wouldn't find something like this useful? There a couple people right now who I would love to know how to deal with.

Here is the start of mine, basically some pointers on how to deal with me.

1. Be bold.
2. Must be able to draw out and facilitate my tender side.
3. Be a tad dependent upon me.
4. Don't be afraid to put me in my place (when necessary).
5. One of the most effective way to show your love for me is through gifts.

If you know me, feel free to add to my list - insight is always helpful.


Googles Tool #2: Google Reader

My love for google reader is far reaching. Google Reader is only going to work if you have gmail. So, for those with out gmail, stop reading and feel sorry for yourself.

When I was a kid my grandma subscribed to Readers Digest. I would read it. I mean, what a great concept; someone else would scour all these print publications and pick the best articles and then you got to read the best of the best. Now imagine that, only personalized and modernized, and the people are reading through the internet for you, and they are your friends who know you best. Sounds great right? It is.

Let me break it down: You find stuff online and you share it with your friends on google reader. They read stuff online and share it with you on Google Reader. You also can get news feeds specific to your interests posted regularly with out having to check various media web sites. Another bonus, you can add blogs to your reader and every time there is a new post, it shows up in your reader.

So, I log on each day to find various blog posts, new stories, interesting articles, and silly sports stats shared with me by my fellow google reader friends, all in one spot.

____

There you are, two shiny new virtual gifts that will make your life better if you choose to use them. Enjoy!

Monday, September 21, 2009

I Still Love You. Love, New York.














Zipping across this island of Manhattan in a two seat convertible, three of us enjoyed a quick jaunt into Brooklyn. (That's right three of us. A tight fit; totally fine.) I wanted to check out what that borough had to offer. It was a pleasant day in Brooklyn. The sun was shining. The air was mellow.



As we left behind all that wasn't what I had hoped Brooklyn to be, we found ourselves on the expressway back to Manna-hata. The sun had dipped below the famous skyline and the sky was a powerful orange.
















Note: It turns out that NY as a whole doesn't love me... just Manhattan.
And I am ok with that. It is discretionary. It is a more narrow, deep love.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Oh No!

7:02 PM on September 9th, 2009.... I just realized my pants are on backwards & they have been since I dressed my 28 year old self this morning, approximately 10 hours ago.


(It's important for the readers to know I am not perfect)

P.S. Four minutes later... I haven't turned them around yet. (Don't know if I will). Haha.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Hey Champer-Gamper

Cats... where do I start? Lets start with: I hate them.

{Also, we need to make sure that we are on the same page. When I say "cat" I am referring to a cat bread of the genus Felis, species Felis Catus; otherwise known as a typical domesticated house cat. A cat from the genus Panthera, or a jungle Lion ... they are hard core, they are totally different. Ever since Mufasa taught my little brother how to be a man, I have nothing but respect for Lions.}

Back to cats; I am sure they provide comfort and love to certain people. Those are not my people. As much as I love cats, I love cat ladies more.

Sometimes, because God knows how much I hate cats he offers me a peace offering. Something that says, "Mary, because you must endure those things roaming the earth along side of you, I will give you this, a special gift that almost, almost makes up for it"

Here it is:

I really lost it around 2:25
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnZhi5gaX8g

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Leaves Fall



The leaves fall, the fruits are harvested. Ah, I can't wait for Fall to arrive.

Now, Summer is full of things I enjoy: pool days, sunshine, lemonade, relaxed attitudes, baseball, and American pride. But that season has run its course and as the summer sun grows dim, I can't help but to get anxious for Fall. I am anticipating it daily; to feel a storm brewing, to see the leaves turn, to take a deep breath of the crisp air, to smell the pumpkin. I had an affair with Summer, but I am married to the Fall. I can't wait for it's return. I miss it.

Last year I came up with this little comparison to illustrate my love for the season, a refresher:

I like Fall as much as I like the color red... and that is a lot. Here is a list of colors I like, and the order in which I like them:
1. Red
2. (intentionally left blank)
3.
4...
109. Black
110. Purple
111.
112...
209. All other
colors- they all tie for two-hundred and ninth place.

The point is I like red that much more then all the others. Same with Fall.

I am also much easier in the fall. That's right, you heard me, easy. No, not that kind of easy... it's just that the fall evokes a sense of adventure and contentment in me that can't be found any other time of the year. It is easier to get me out, to try new things, to be complacent.

So, to Summer: I bid you farewell, at some point in the near future when the snow falls I will miss you madly, but in the meantime... to Fall: welcome, I have been waiting.



Sunday, August 9, 2009

That Mountain

So there we were, in the Shenandoah National Park prepared to camp. Though, all campgrounds within 50 miles in the park were full. There was one problem and many solutions. We could attempt to find a private campground (RV Park anyone?). We could cook our dinner at a day-use picnic ground and then go to a local hotel. We could camp anywhere along the famous Appalachian Train which we were not far from. All solutions viable. We chose none of these options. We chose to take the road less travelled; literally.

There were a few key conversations that led us into the night and to where we ultimately would end up...

Me: Where along the the Appalachian Trail would you suggest to camp?
Park Ranger: There are many venomous snakes in this area. I wouldn't suggest you to camp along the trail here.

Tyler: Any open spots?
Jellystone Park Attendant: No.

And finally the clinchers. The deal sealers.

At a nearby ice cream shack, along the side of the road, not far from Skyline Drive, this plays out:

Me: There are no campsites open, any suggestions on where we could go?
Teenage Ice cream Scooper Girl (in southern teenager voice): "Yeah, like go to the top of that mountain, when you get to the top there's a dirt road, turn left and that's where we go"
Me: (turning now to an older gentleman for verification and further details): Sir, do you have any ideas of where to go?
Old Man: (a long pause, Chase thought he was mute at this point) Top of that mountain (pointing) turn left on the dirt road and pitch yer tent.

These people were clearly locals. They should know. So to the top of that mountain we drove, onto the dirt road. Chase & Tyler found a great little campsite tucked off the side of the road.

Here is what ensued:


Jenn & Tyler & the best (only) tin foil dinners I have ever made.


Me & Jenn roughing it hardcore style

Breaking down the tent, Chase & me

Me by the roaring fire (I may look bored, that's because I was camping and everyone knows camping is boring).

The drive from DC to the Shenandoah park is a little slice of Americana. Shout out to Chase for driving all the way from NYC, that is a whole hunk.

NOT PICTURED: There was a moment driving along Skyline Dive... a thick mist had fallen at dusk & out of the mist of one of the cliffs flew a black crow. The crow flew slowly and deliberately and then perched atop a rock overlooking the valley. It was bewitching.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

U.S. Constitution, Article One, Section Eight



{Preface: This post is for my country, for my fellow man, and for freedom. It's no secret my blog is not only read, but when needed, listened to by the powers that be. Cough, pirates, cough, Cindy McCain Debacle 08, cough. I maybe a bit bold here, but I can only hope this blog entry is responded to with such swift actions as the ones before. Note: I am totally serious with this post.}


Our United States Constitution states, "To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations."

I'd like that to happen.


The pirates were dealt with (finally)... and now there are USSR(1) submarines trolling around off the east coast like it's no big deal. Read about it here: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090805/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/us_russian_subs


U.S. control extends a short 12 miles off our coast line. Then it is International Waters... I don't think anyone should be comfortable with this. How can there be so much territory unclaimed? Let alone unruled.


The Ocean has a lot going for it:
1. It is lawless
2. It is massive. It is 71% of the Earth.


I absolutely love the constitution. And I am not just saying that, like how people say "I love music" and have an ipod full of crappy downloads, I mean in in the way Michael Jackson said he loved music. I love The Constitution. It was written by perspicaciousness men with gumption. Before we as a nation even existed we were throwing around claims of things we only dreamed of. It is a lesson in leadership: have a plan, carry it out. The Constitution was so far fetched, yet had people who stood behind it with conviction. And guess what? It worked. It was/is a comprehensive and exhaustive document that is ever changing. I would like this particular line, "To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations" to be reexamined. What is stated there is this: we rule the seas. Our country is in charge.



Now is the time and this is the place to implement the clause about the High Seas.






(1) As noted before, I am going to continue to call Mother Russia "the USSR" and refer to them as "Soviets" because ever since they decided to invade Georgia last August, they have been acting like they used to. Get out of our waters, out of your subs and go home.


Twits



For those of you who don’t know, Twitter is a site that offers users a chance to update their personal status with a one sentence “tweet” explaining what they are doing. (Note: Twitter is a catchy name, why the hell would they screw up their entire brand by not even conjugating their own words correctly. Why is it called tweeting? The site is Twitter. Shouldn’t that be called twitting? Or shouldn’t the site have been called Tweeter? And the obvious: a user of Twitter is a Twit.)

I just don’t get why anyone would care what I am doing right now? I certainly don’t care what you are doing right now. It would in no way help me stay connected to people. I have face book, blogging, email, texting, and good old fashion face interaction for that. I can stay connected to people and actually gaining real information from other sources. Twitter gives me absolutely nothing but a (typically self-promoting) snippet of a person, which is fine if it is accompanied by, say, something useful like a chat feature (gchat status) or by a wealth of personal information (facebook status). But now, Twitter leaves me with nothing.

The Evil Media likes to claim that news can be proclaimed instantly with Twitter. Part of why I hate twitter because of it’s users. I don’t want to get my news from the creepy guy down the street. I don’t want to get my news from some 16 year old drama-queen. I don’t want to get my news from anyone other then a trained professional, or an actual friend whom I trust.

People so desperately want Twitter to be the next "it" thing. They want to be able to jump on the bandwagon and be hip to the next online feature that everyone will use. They want something that will provide cooler talk and up their social prowess. They want something that they can integrate into their job; something that they can impress their boss with. It seems Twitter is the answer, after all the media is shoving it down our throats (but really, it is for the same reasons individuals have put our hopes and dreams into Twitter, the mass media has grabbed onto Twitter).

Others say that “everyone is doing it”… no, no, no. Everyone signed up to find out what all the hoopla was about, and most intelligent people realized it was a fa├žade. A Harvard Business School professor reported in June of 2009 that 10 percent of the service's users account for more than 90 percent of tweets. Current Nielsen research states that 60 percent of Twitter users do not return from one month to the next.


Let me set the record straight: Twitter is not worth it. Twitter is not a phenomenon. Twitter is a (bad) fad. Twitter is useless. Twitter is a microcosm of other, more popular/useful online tools. Twitter provides nothing more then cheap information; a sliver of the public whole. Nothing is insightful. Nothing is exciting. Twitter is the red-headed step child of Myspace (a now graveyard in social networking).


We were handed a huge innovation called The Internet (dun, dun, dun) in our lifetime that revolutionized we the way we live. It provided us with exactly what we never knew we wanted. After the internet bubble burst, we have been given short bursts of useful technology along the way: online banking, facebook, gmail, etc. These tools are not only fun and novel, they actually help us. As spoiled information-agers we continually are expecting the next breakthrough. That breakthrough is not Twitter.

I leave you with a quote from Kayne West (and if this guy can figure it out, then I have hope you will too) “Why would I use twitter? Everything that twitter offers I need less of.”

Afterthought: I would like to offer up a suggestion of a useful innovative idea of technology that would help everyone: voice to text. I need to text while driving. I would like to text you back, but sometimes I am just that lazy and can't be bothered by it. Talk to Text is the answer. Press a button. Talk your text, phone conversion and you hit send. Someone please, for the love, invent that.

Monday, July 27, 2009

In Real Life is Real

Huddled around a computer, Joe introducing us to lolcats for the first time ever. 2007.

I already like this blog entry: dripping with irony. Maybe with a splash of hypocrisy.

It's high time to distinguish conversations and knowledge received "in real life" as opposed to all those textual relations, facebook flirts, and gchat chatters that we all too often take as being the same as "in real life".

I am not talking about people who have fake profiles or make up things online. That is another brand of crazy and I don't know those people.

Don't get me wrong; I love being plugged in and actually find it annoying/inconvenient when someone doesn't know how to chat online or can't text like a normal, sane person. Electronic communication is essential, not that hard to learn, and will profit you. I judge people who can not or will not adapt.

But, IMPORTANT NOTE: in real life is totally different than electronic communications. Learn the differences, accept the differences, act accordingly.

Online/texting is like a game of chess on speed (or worse yet, a checkers game, and sometimes just a game of Connect Four). The Sender sends info (in text, email, on a wall, etc) and then The Receiver gets to wait, plan out a response, edit knee jerk reactions, draft something, and THEN after all that happens, respond. Sometimes the responder even consults multiple human resources before proceeding (come on, you all do it; you show a friend the absurd text, you forward on an email for your BFF to look over, and facebook makes it real easy by allowing the sender to just post it publicly on your wall in the first place). Like a game of chess, it is competitive.You need to perfect your moves. You have the luxury of deciding what piece to play, what move to make, what words to say, what response to craft.

"In real life" is more like a makeout session. Both parties are engaged. There is no time to really strategize. It's a back and forth situation and it requires skill. You say things vocally as well as with your physical self. . In real life is more of an art form then anything. The faces I pull in real life say more then I could ever say with words. (Same with some faces I have while making out, haha). Think about the last time I was really happy, I probably didn't say anything to you, but you knew, you could see it in my eyes. It is uncut. It is real. And it is typically the whole picture.

Both forms of communication require a give/take. In real life both parties are continually actively involved, simultaneously. There are things about interpersonal communication that simply can not be qualified by verbage alone.

The bottom line is that in real life is far less safe. In real life is, well, real.

Scenario #1
Sally: "He said the L word to me yesterday... he said it, "I love you", finally! [squealing with joy]
Me: In real life? [Sally's face drops]
Sally : Well, he texted it to me it, he was all "yeah. lol. love you."
Me: Doesn't count [Some nice person like Mandy then has to pick up the pieces I left in my wake of devastating dose of reality and explain that it was just a typical salutation]

Scenario #2
Sally: He said the L word to me yesterday... he said it, "I love you", finally!"
Me: In real life? [Sally has a beaming smile]
Sally: [Shakes head in agreeance] Yep, we were joking around and I said something really funny/cute/charming and he was giggling and sighed and said "yeah" then paused and said "i love you". it was really sweet.
Me: Ah, tender

Same words, one in real life and one not. See?

Another quick example: (ripped from Real Life) Found out via facebook that a friend is no longer engaged. No further details. Assumptions galore.

Electronically, I say things I really mean and I say things I really don't mean. Electronically we get snippets of truths, quick and cheap info.

I urge you to just be aware. Ask the hard hitting question: In real life?

*You may or may not have noticed I didn't make any reference to twitter in this post. It is not that I am behind that times, it is just that I hate it with a passion of a thousand burning suns. Blog rant on twitter with tons of inappropriate vowel changes to the word "tweet" forthcoming.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

consider yourself warned



Someone who knows me ran into this man in Virginia Beach and thought of me... possibly because I hit the mark on many things listed. Ha. Doomed.

The Chaff

{This is a hot button issue, so if you are easily offended, I would urge you to read on, because the more you are exposed to differing views of your own, the less you will be generally offended. Everyone comes from a different place, everything uses different insights, everyone has a different slant, and you are only you... so, read on, get offended and then get over yourself.}

It's no secret that my news venue of choice is CNN. They unabashedly lean to the liberal side of reporting. They are biased and they own it. It makes it easy to discern fact from opinion over there at CNN. I take my daily news from them by saving the knowledge and throwing out the chaff.

The chaff: They have a series called "Black in America" and now, "Black in America 2". I don't get it at all. How is drawing attention to race helping anyone? It is so counter productive. It is just perpetuating the racial divides in our country. Clearly, we as a Nation have gotten over race to some extent and have moved onto (or shall I say regressed back to) using socioeconomic status as our new prejudice. It matters far more how much money you don't have.

How can it possibly be a good thing to call attention and focus an entire series on being black? The goal that we are so close to reaching is to have it not even matter what color your skin is. Now, I understand that a black person is treated differently then a white person. But, so is a poor person, or a person who is ugly, or a short man, or a fat woman. Everyone is different. Get over it. Streamlining a whole nations focus to being black in America is only perpetuating the notion that black people are different and of another class. Dig the divide deeper why don't you CNN. Ugh.

Now, also in the news there are reports that one of the nation's most prominent scholars was arrested in his own home for disorderly conduct.

Who cares that Henry Gates, Jr. is black? The answer: he does. If a white man had the same thing happen to him, no one would care. There was a call about a break in. He did appear to be breaking in. The man was disorderly. If this happened to me and the police showed up at my house, mistaking me for breaking into my own home, I would be praising the police for keeping the neighborhood safe, not throwing some sort of fit because of race. Furthermore if a poor black man with no money or education was arrested in the same situation, no one would care either. Would this have ever made the news had he been poor? Guess what Mr. Gates: they cared because of your social (thus economic) status.

Another thing CNN is reporting on is some principal succeeding by saying "you're black and you're smart". Ack. How about just "you're smart"? What would be so wrong with that? No one told me "you don't have glasses and you're smart" or "you're short and your smart". It is absurd. Stop acting like it matters.

It continually baffles me that people are still running around as if there is still prevalent racial prejudice when the real issue here isn't what color you are. For goodness sakes, our President is black. Guess what else he is: rich & educated.

We as a nation are so close to getting over racial divides. Please stop the hysteria. Let it go.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Boston: Freedom & Fun!


So, here is how it went down: I drove to Boston to celebrate America. A throwback to the old American Roadtrip, I hit the road with high hopes. They were not dashed.

I would say I was lucky, and there was no traffic... but that would be a lie. Here is the truth: I am a damn fine planner and thus, there was no traffic. I fled DC in the middle of the night, drove up to NYC and didn't hit any traffic, picked up the boys, ate at Jimbo's in Harlem, and continued on to Boston. The drive wasn't bad. Neither was breakfast.

On to Boston!

We listened Neil Diamond belt out "America", twice. We walked along the Freedom Trail. We lounged poolside. We threw tea into the Boston Harbor. We got chills as the Boston Pops performed 1812. We conquered the Frog Pond. We cheered at the Cheers Bar where everyone knew our name. We were delighted by a fly over. We marveled at the fireworks. We got our fill of crazy people watching. We (they) had a pun war. We enjoyed Boston.

Pictures for the people, by the people, of the people... And we all know how much I love a photo essay... but I don't have it in me today... so, here is a series of of short stories.

___________________________________________________________________
The Reason for The Season

Waiting for Neil.

Neil.

Dancing to Neil.

More Neil.

After Neil.

____________________________________________________________________
Two if By Sea
Boston Water With Boats; Charles River

Boston Water With A Few Boats; Harbor

Boston Water With Out Boats; Lagoon in Commons

____________________________________________________________________
The Gang

Fire & Ice


Venom

____________________________________________________________________
Take a Ride With Me


On the road & off



____________________________________________________________________
Art That Touches You & That You Can Touch




____________________________________________________________________
Founding Fathers, Where They Are Today

One dead man (Washington) in a park in Boston.

Many dead men (Adams, Hancock, Revere, etc) in a park in Boston


____________________________________________________________________



Monday, June 29, 2009

Wonderwall

You wonder what I wonder about... so wonder no more:




The Post Office


Stephen Cobert brought this up the other day, and ever since he mentioned it, I can't stop thinking about it... you can have someone come to your house, pick up up a letter, trek it across the untied states and drop it off at someone elses house. Anywhere. This costs 44cents. That's right, they will come to you, pick up whatever from your house and deliver it in the middle of rural Wyoming. FOR FIFTY CENTS. This is crazy.







Eggs


Ok, I talk about and think about this almost every time I eat an egg, or see one... THINK ABOUT WHAT AN EGG IS. (About to get graphic here) But, ok, seriously, the chicken drops an egg from its reproductive organs, just like I do every month, and then I am supposed to eat this unfertilized egg. I can't stomach it. At this point, I still eat eggs, but I don't know for how much longer... I already stopped eating mammals for obvious reasons. Eggs are next.




[Note: No picture was included for this section because they all were even offensive to me.]



Paper


I have an exciting announcement to make: PAPER IS RENEWABLE! That's right folks, trees grow back, and guess who plants the most trees? Paper companies. Guess what else about trees: They give off vital oxygen and reduce carbon- they also help moderate ground temperatures. Using paper only perpetuates good wholesome American things like life and jobs. YAY!








That's all for now.




Friday, June 26, 2009

All Black

I decided to wear all black today to mourn with those who mourn... but really, just did it to mess with people so they would wonder about me.

(No white glove)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Battle of the Washingtons

When President Obama took office people were abuzz with the idea that "DC is the new Hollywood". Stars were showing up, Michelle became a star, and the parades started. Now it is raining on our parade. Literally. Whoever said DC is the new Hollywood got it wrong; DC is the new Seattle.

It's time to arm you with the facts...

Seattle, Washington Annual Precipitation: 37.1 inches
Washington, DC Annual Precipitation: 39.35 inches

Now it is time to alarm you with further facts... those are averages. This year is not average.

Average May Rainfall: 3.8 in
Actual May Rainfall: 6.1 in

Average June Rainfall: 3.1
Actual June Rainfall (thus far): 4.7

And it's raining right now. And there are still two weeks of the month left.

And, one more thing: average yearly rainfall in San Diego, CA: 10.2 inches.



Monday, June 15, 2009

NYC maybe in love with me


I am pretty sure that NYC has gone from just loving me to being in love with me...

Here are some lessons learned on my recent trip to NYC:

The play "August: Osage County" is good. Even if they tried to pass off Mrs. Husckstable as a white woman, everything else is perfect and thus you forgive the race bending. 

If you ever find yourself in a jewelry store that also offers a spicy Vietnamese sandwich in the back, take it. 

Gwyneth Paltrow gives good advice.

The World Science Fair is kinda boring. 

A park in East Harlem is not the same as Central Park. 

And finally, perhaps the most important lesson learned: All I need in life is peanut butter, my cell phone and The Good Word... All Chase needs is peanut butter & his cell phone. 


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Lucky Charms & Guinness



I am here to dispel all those myths and legends you have heard your whole life about Ireland. Starting with mythical things you were told by cereal companies as a child, all the way up to drinking tales told by beer companies as an adult.


I present to you rhetoric and photographic evidence of my findings...


MYTH: Dublin is fun/historic/a drinking town/the heartbeat of Ireland.

FACT: If Dublin fell into the murky east ocean of Ireland I would probably celebrate by hosting some exorbitant party. I would not serve potatoes. Dublin is not fun. Dublin is like the Philadelphia of Ireland, but without interesting historic landmarks. Having a relatively small urban city center, it boasts nothing more then a couple pints and some cheap tarts (both of the pie variety and the lady-folk). Sure, some of the filthy buildings were great to look at and Graffon Street does have some nice shopping, but so does the internet. Like right at this very moment you are on the internet & will get to see the same exact great Dublin buildings:

top to bottom: just a Bar, a Bank, a Shopping Mall, and a Church.



LEGEND: Leprechauns are real

FACT: This one is actually true.

hiking along and found what appears to be a leprechauns house. he wasn't home.


MYTH/LEGEND: Ireland is full of graceful green rolling hills and pristine country-side.

FACT: Also actually true... but, we need to have a short historic recap to get to the bottom of this (pun intended, read on). The wise men built their houses upon the rock; in Irelands case: limestone. There is actually an area called "The Burren" which one can only conclude comes from the latin bases "Burr" or "to bare" and "en" or "not". (I made that up, but I bet I am right). So the Burren is barren - it is miles and miles of limestone hills. Indentured servants moved all of the rock out of the surface layer to get to the bottom layer of the mountainsides so they could plant crops. Peoples entire existences were based around moving rocks from the ground and lining them up alongside the property lines. The results: graceful green rolling hills and pristine country-side.

a potato farm
county clare



MYTH: Ireland is haunted
FACT: I wish. I went to the two castles below, and even slept overnight in one of them. Neither were haunted. Perhaps they are haunted, but they just were respectful of me.


Spent my first Irish night in this Killkenny Castle: definitely not haunted.

Rock of Cashel: also not haunted

MYTH: The Fighting Irish concept

FACT: I have travelled the world and the ones I met are some of the most accommodating, friendliest, warm people I have come across.

a couple shots of adorable men who were lovely, of good report, and praiseworthy



MYTH: Mary Ann McMullen doesn't love Ireland

FACT: Let me tell you about the things in Ireland that are worthy of my love: The entire west coast. I loved it. Adventure is to be had there. I hiked to ancient ruins, I caved to underground waterfalls, I leaned over the Cliffs of Moher's sheer 700 ft. drops, I hung out at the World Ocean Race in-port festival, I took a cruise to the celtic Aran Islands, and I enjoyed every moment of it.

Inishmore Island

Cliffs of Moher

Galway Docks

World Ocean Race in Port

High Crosses of Tipperary

Dun Aengus

Waterfall Underground


Aillwee Caves & me having the time of my life in Ireland.