Monday, December 07, 2009

What's in a Name?


As a child, I would always go to kitschy stands that were filled with plastic license plates and other items bearing people's names in the hopes that one day I'd see something with my name on it. I'm not sure why I kept doing this when I knew very well that my name was not common enough to be included in the lot of names that received this honor.

I like my name a lot and I like that it is unusual, but even I was not immune to wanting some affirmation from the gift shop industry. Once, my father had a name card made for me.

So I recounted this memory to a couple of folks as we approached the gift shop at Luray Caverns, a tourist attraction that has the obligatory rack of name-related items. For moment I thought to look, even though I told myself that this was ridiculous. I glanced at the street signs that started with "J" and saw "Jade." Figures. Still, I kept looking.

And then what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a street sign bearing my name! Finally. Jada Blvd. There were twosigns and the child in me wanted to snatch up both. The grown-up in me thought better of it and left the other sign there for the next "Jada."

The importance being named and seeing your name was brought home to me again later that week when I noticed that at work my name was left off of the staff list on a program. Earlier, I'd been left off of birthday greeting for the boss as well. Both times I was told that someone had used an old list that no one had bothered to update.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The Fight of A Lifetime

Today's celebrity athletes are not the only ones to triumph over adversity only to find that self-discipline the greatest battle of all:

Washington Post's Wil Haygood to Discuss His Book on Sugar Ray Robinson-10/19

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Making Due

One dreary morning a few weeks ago, I got up and stumbled (if one can stumble while driving) over the DC's Half Street inspection station to get my car inspected, as was required by DC law. Other state, like Virginia, license various gas stations to inspect cars. But not DC. One and all must make their way to Half Street where you exit your car and walk through an adjacent building where windows allow you to watch as your car goes down the line, being subjected to various tests.

I chose a 6:15 am slot because the lines were allegedly shorter then and I didn't see how I'd fit it in during the day, what with work and all. The attendant who came to inspect my car chided me for being less than awake, as if we all should be bright-eyed at that hour. He was at work. I was not.

I'd recently had an oil change and gotten my brakes checked, so I felt confident about my car's ability to pass inspection...and yet it did not. Why? Because of a damaged windshield wiper blade. On Facebook, a friend would later point out that DC road are filled with cars that lack doors and radiators, yet mine failed because of the wiper blade.

This joke later served as a kind of prediction when I learned that to trim the budget DC had nixed the inspections all together. Now people really can drive around in cars held together by rubber bands because the city will not be regulating this aspect of their lives.

I got the new wiper blade in anticipation of returning for the follow-up inspection before learning that the inspections were ending. Since I tend to get philosophical about every and anything, so I try to look at it as a call to go for a higher standard. I'd been making do with that wiper blade for so long, I didn't notice it anymore.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Guiding Light

When I heard earlier this year that Guiding Light, TV's oldest soap opera (one of the few that made the crossover from radio waves to television and still survived), was going to end I felt a little twinge.

And since I've been so busy, I missed the final day (last Friday), so I felt an even bigger pang then. To me Guiding Light and Gramma are always linked. My grandmother watched Guiding Light on a regular basis and for years after she died, I did too. Even when my mother abandoned the show and questioned why I watched it, I stayed true. In college, my friend watched Young and the Restless. Gramma watched Y&R too, so I joined them because it was a social experience, but Guiding Light was still #1 in my heart.

Later, I learned Spanish and got hooked on novelas while studying abroad in Costa Rica. When I got to graduate school, I found classmates who liked novelas too, so I was in good company.

These days, I can't make the time to watch novelas or soap operas...well, I do watch Ugly Betty, which is a hybrid--an American nighttime soap that has some characteristics of a novela...but on the very rare ocassions that I do catch a soap opera or see a novela, the melodrama is more apparent than it was when I was younger. But I do not despise or make fun of them as some people do because I recognize the power of story. I once heard someone refer to wrestling as a "male soap opera" and in a way it is. The wrestling federation recognized that even those who were dying to see violence, still wanted a story arc to put the fighting in context.

And so it is is with the struggles of life. We tell ourselves stories to make sense of it all. Sure, there is something manipulative in the way that a soap opera will leave you hanging a bit to get you to return, but isn't that what the best storytellers do anyway?

Gramma and gone. Guiding Light is gone. But the power of storytelling remains.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Gone Fishin'

Well, not really...I've never fished in my life. But I am taking a break.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Isn't It Ironic, Don'tcha Think?

So I've been watching Ugly Betty, Season 1 on DVD (I didn't get hooked on it until the second season) and recently saw an episode where there was controversy because Mode, the magazine where Betty works, wanted to slim down photos of an actress. In real life, it is doubtful that the actress would be there in the room as the editors are discussing what "cuts" to make, but on the show it makes for good drama. The actress didn't feel so great about this, but the editors assured her that there were taking her great look and making even better.

If art is not reflecting reality as it really is, then it tends to be prescient...so I couldn't believe that just today the editor of Self magazine (a publication that in essence is supposedly encouraging its female readers to believe in themselves) were quoted saying that they altered Kelly Clarkson's image to make her look her 'personal best' (which sounds A LOT like what the Mode Editors said on Ugly Betty) and that magazine covers aren't supposed to look real since they are inspirational/aspirational (something else that was said on the show).

They'd like you to think that that doctor photos to give you something to aim for, when really the photos are doctored so that you'll want to buy more products--either because you are "inspired" or because you feel lousy and hope that more stuff can improve your look.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Rest in Peace?

So I must have been doing a pretty lousy job of representing myself because the other day someone after I greeted someone I hadn't seen in quite a while, she said, "Are you working?" Um...when am I NOT working? I replied that I am always working and that I've never had the luxury of not working. Not sure what gave her the impression that I might not be working...I think the last time I saw her, I might have been hunting for additional contract work, but I work as I hunt.

After this exchange, someone else came up to me to express their condolences over the dying newspaper industry.

Here I am a lady of leisure who is connected to a moribund industry. If only I had known earlier that I had a such a restful existence...

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Potpourri

After reading about Peggy Cooper Cafritz's amazing collection of art by African American artists, I was saddened to hear that Cafritz lost a lot of that art in a fire at her home. The good thing is that she was not home at the time. I had no idea that such a great patron of artists lived in my area and I think it is amazing that she is determined to keep collecting.

***

I wrote about an Asian movie that has been referred to as a 'Chinese Sex and the City' the other day. Really, it wasn't like Sex and the City at all, but we need easy categories to give people some frame of reference. Of course the "women in the city" genre is nothing new, movies like Three on a Match took on that topic in the 1930s.

Friday, July 31, 2009


99 Bottles of Un-American Beer

OK, so I haven't checked the news for the latest up-to-the-minute report on what happened when President Obama met with Henry Lewis Gates and the cop who arrested him. It is quite possible that there was a brawl, but I doubt it.

What bothers me is all the fuss over the beer being served. Come on, really. Yeah, it is the American way (or perhaps simply the human way) to make everything about you and insert yourself into every and any situation, but all this whining about the fact that American beer was not on tap was ridiculous. People like what they like and if Obama and his guests favor beer that isn't American, so what? Um, hello...the bigger agenda was a symbolic gesture towards healing race relations.

Plus, Obama was being a good host. If you are inviting people over to diffuse a tense situation, it only makes sense to ask what they prefer, rather than serve them some vetted drink that still would not have passed everyone's standards. If Obama could have had them drop by for a round at his neighborhood pub (something he could not do), he would have bought them whatever beer they wanted.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

What They Said

I'm no language purist. I follow the rules and at the same time take delight in breaking them now and again because languages are fluent organisms, not stagnant sets of rules. Still, even I have to admit I was surprised and rather taken aback when poet extraordinaire Celia White pointed out that according the Merriam-Webster, it is now okay to use "they" as a singular, gender-neutral pronoun. A rousing discussion ensued on Facebook about the pros and cons of this ruling.

If you are thinking, what does that mean, then let me tell you that if you have been diligently using "he or she," "he/she" or my personal (non)favorite "s/he," you can now use M-W to back you up when you just go for "they". If you don't know (or would rather not say) the gender of the person doing whatever, you can use they.

Lots of folks already did this and probably think that M-W is late and lame for finally just accepting it.

What can we expect from a world where young men can proudly wear their pants below their derrieres, belting them into this auspicious place? Pants dip further down, language slides into chaos, but I'm sure we'll all survive just the same.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

We Got Driving While Black...How About Living or Being While Black?

OK, so I really don't have anything brilliant or particularly moving to say about Skip Gates being arrested on suspicion of breaking into is own home, except to say that it is a damn shame.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Starbucks Giveth and Then Taketh Away (Or, No cake for you!)

I was so excited when I learned that Starbucks added a gluten-free menu item. Now Starbucks is pulling the gluten-free Valencia Orange Cake from its menu. They just put it up there in May.

I got this news from Facebook. Then I learned on Twitter that the reasoning for this brilliant move was that "people" said the orange cake wasn't really nutritious and that it was more of a treat. Umm...who goes to Starbucks looking for health food? If you have to avoid gluten, you have plenty of healthy things to eat. What you want is easy access to some baked goods.

One day I hope that places like Starbucks can have more than one gluten-free menu item. Starbucks decided to replace the CAKE with a fruit/nut bar. Really, money must come into play somewhere here. I can't believe that they just up and replaced the cake because it was too much of a treat.
Say My Name

I met Jamie at an amusement park one summer. He was mysterious and all I ever really learned about him was his name. (Well, that plus the fact that he was rather forgetful.)

Standing in line for some ride or another, I saw a teenage boy with the word "Jamie" tattooed on his neck. And me, being me, said: "Hey Jamie."

"How did you know my name?" he replied.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Imitation of Life

Yesterday, I was talking film on Examiner.com--


Where iterations of the classic film Imitation of Life differ and coincide


If you've never seen either version of Imitation of Life, they are worth renting or netflixing or streaming, or whatever it is you do to see movies.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Scenes from the Sculpture Garden

Sitting on bench at Jazz in the Sculpture Garden provides plenty of entertainment...



All Responses are Not Answers
Woman: I didn't realize there'd be so many people here.
Man: It is a district.

Who Will Watch the Children? (Or Babysitting for Beer)
I shared a bench with a woman who was content to sit and listen to the music. Until a man with two kids in tow showed up and started talking to her. He struck up a conversation with her about general topics and then asked her where she'd gotten her beer. After she told him, he started to get up and asked her if she'd mind watching his kids while he want to get a beer. She seemed to consent, although she did not explicitly say she would.

When he returned, he resumed the conversation, and handed her a beer.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Thursday, July 09, 2009


The DC Green Machine Gains Momentum

Just today I read that the mayor of DC signed a law that will mean we must pay 5 cents for every disposable plastic bag we take out of a store. I'm not sure if this will mean that those of us who bring our own bags will no longer get the 5 cent discount, but I have until January to reap the benefits of this practice without question.

What is does mean is that I will probably end up buying plastic bags to line my wastebaskets...

I've said before that it ain't easy being green and...well the green-ness comes in one way and goes out another.

But the folks at the grocery store near me have now gotten on the bandwagon.
The last time I was in the grocery store the bagger said, "This is one of those green bags." Being quite tired and therefore much more literal than usual, I wondered what he was talking about. The cloth bag I'd brought was off-white. And then I realized what he meant.

"Yup, she's saving the Earth," said the cashier in mock earnestness. The three of us chuckled.

"Well, I'm saving 5 cent, at least," I replied.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

All's Well that Ends Well...

I am big nerd (in a literary way) and I love that now I can go to literary lectures and discussions without them having to take notes or feeling like I had to ingest it all to get a good grade as I did in college. The Shakespeare Theatre Company had a theological discussion called "King Lear: A Family Divided," which I attended and wrote about for Examiner.com--

King Lear...with a Happy Ending?

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Wipe Your Mouth on the Welcome Mat

So I know that everyone does not have the same sense of humor and I try to make room for the things that other people think are funny, even when I don't agree...(ok, obviously I'm about to contradict myself here)

But when I take a leap of faith in the common sense of other folks and ask someone to hand me a paper towel, I do not find it funny when that person pretends to wipe their mouth on it first. In order to carry out the pretense, you practically, well, wipe your mouth on it. And I get pissy when I point this out and get some b.s. about how I don't get the "humor" because I 'didn't grow up with a brother, did I?'

As a matter of fact, I did grow up with a brother...on who has the decency not to wipe his mouth on a paper towel before handing it to me (or who at least has the sense not to let me see him if he were to do such a thing).

If you don't know enough about me to know that I have a brother, then maybe you don't want to joke with me. And maybe I need to only entrust such a delicate mission to someone that I know and trust.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


August Wilson's Radio Golf

This past weekend I ushered so I could see Radio Golf, the last play in August Wilson's 10-play cycle about the African-American experience. He did a play for each decade and Radio Golf covers the 1990s. This play covers the 1990s. I've been seeing quite a few plays lately, and I am always amazed at how a few people and a few props can keep me mesmerized for a couple of hours. It starts with the words on a page, but then with the direction and the acting, the lights, the costumes, they've created a different world that audiences get to step into for a bit.

But back to Radio Golf--many have wondered what Wilson would have thought of Barack Obama's presidency. Of course there is no real way of knowing, but in Radio Golf, he has one character say that a Black mayor or Black CEO will not erase all of Black folks' problems, win us automatic acceptance or make everything alright.

Radio Golf is an amazing play and you can read more (but not too many) details about it on my Examiner.com blog:

Radio Golf illustrates the tension between "progress" and preserving our connection to the past

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Tutu Much

Without knowing that I would, I ended up passing through downtown DC just as a Beyonce concert was letting out. If you don't know, Ms. Sasha Fierce (Beyonce's alter ego) is known for her fierce costumes and her fans follow suit. I saw lots of interesting outfits, but nothing tops the tutu.

I saw a woman at the train station who had on a tank top and a teeny tiny rainbow-colored tutu, drawers and nothin' else. She was working it though. Strutting proudly, as though it was no big deal to be almost walking around just wearing underwear. A fellow passenger on the escalator and I exchanged looks at dismay. It was like a car wreck--you want to look away, but you can't.

(Then I thought about how if she were on the beach, wearing what amounts to underwear is no big deal. So it is allowed in our society, but there is a time and a place for everything...and I'm not used to seeing people on Metro in their underwear.)

After we all exited the escalator, she ran into people she knew who said, "Girl, what are you wearing?!"

A defiant "You see it don't you?" was all she said before she started talking about the concert.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


The Third Wheel's the Charm (Or if you can't get your own date, why not unwittingly sit in on someone else's?)

So I met a friend last night for a free outdoor movie--great weather, no rain( finally), not too muggy, all in all a good night to be out and about. This friend is an inclusive sort of person, so I mentioned it to a few other people, in case they wanted to join us. For her part, she at first said that "this guy X might come." That was when we first met up. We got to talking about other things and she casually mentioned that she hadn't really met X before, they'd been trying to connect and hadn't before now and she mentioned the movie to him. So it was kind of a blind date. A blind date in which I would kind of be a participant.

I am a lot better at just rolling with it than I used to be, so it was what it was. He was hungry before the movie started, so he went to get food and offered to bring back ice cream for us both. I was happy to participate in that. Overall, though, I don't know if it was quite what he'd expected...had she told him she was meeting me at the movie or just that she was going to the movie? I couldn't tell. But hey--blind dates are supposed to have an element of surprise, right?

Monday, June 22, 2009


Tomorrow, Tomorrow, I Luv Ya Tomorrow
I was trying (and mostly kinda sorta succeeding) at posting three times a week, but now I am reducing frequency to 2x a week--so you can now look forward to my wit and wisdom on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

See you tomorrow/Hasta maƱana :-)

Thursday, June 18, 2009


What is the Point?

"We are all like the butterfly in the amazing, unexpected magnitude of our effect. Even when we feel most helpless, when events we cannot control or prevent pile up, even in our most bitter brokennes, we do have our role in the working out of the great plan."
-Madeline L'Engle

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Can I Get a Witness?

I was browsing a table near the front of a bookstore (remember those?) that posts a guard near the front door. In this bookstore, the guard was a black woman. In walks another black woman with two non-black friends.

"Tell them," she demands of the guard. "Tell them how long it takes for us to get our hair done. We can't be in an out in an hour."

The guard chuckles and confirms that we do indeed go through a lot to get our hair did.

For more on this topic see:

I Wanted a Cut and Color and All I Got Was This Lousy Story

Monday, June 08, 2009


King Lear Rehearsal

I saw an open rehearsal for King Lear starring Stacy Keach this past weekend.
And (now don't be all insanely jealous) I passed by the stage door on the way to me car, so I got to shake Keach's hand.

This version is set in 1990's Yugoslavia, with Keach playing Lear as an Eastern European dictator-type.

(Some of) the play's the thing at King Lear rehearsal


(Image courtesy of The Shakespeare Theatre Company)

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Commerce

This past weekend some friends had a Pimps and Ho's party that I declined to attend and a male friend offered to treat me to dinner, later saying something like, "If I pay for dinner, you'll put out?" I was pissed. He apologized profusely, saying it really was a joke and that he kids like that with other women (some of whom I know).

And there you have it: commerce.

(A lot of times, I edit out (meaning never write about) such foolishness, but I think you're grown enough to handle it.)

Friday, June 05, 2009


Business Savvy (or Scenes from a CVS)

We've had a lot of rain lately in DC. The good thing is that it has rained mostly on the weekdays, leaving the weekends sunny and beautiful.

Yesterday, there was a man outside of CVS hawking umbrellas for $5. "They got them in there for $8.99, but mine are $5," he told passers-by.

I went into CVS where a stockroom employee taunted the cashier as customers waited in line. "Why you workin' so hard?" he kept repeating, trying to goad the cashier into something. The cashier laughed it off.

Then the umbrella man came in as I got to the register. "I see these your umbrellas are $10," he noted aloud. The cashier smiled and nodded. "I'm glad to see that," Umbrella-man continued. "Mine a $5." He turned and walked out of the store back into the rain, satisfied.

Monday, June 01, 2009


Remote Possibility


Dear Gentle Reader,

That is how Miss Manners or one of those advice columnists likes to start their responses, but of course you haven't really asked me anything...but, I will tell you that I still cannot find the remote for my DVD player. But I am calm. Today's news about a plane that went missing makes worrying over a lost remote seem foolish.

Earlier today, I read in a book that the key to finding lost things is knowing where to look. Depending on your mood, a statement such as this will either seem trite or seem like it is pure genius. Of course knowing where to look helps when looking for lost things. At the same time, is this 'where' an actual physical space...or is it where as in the kind of places to look. Who knows? In the book, the protagonist drops this nugget of wisdom as she recalls how her mother, who is growing more and more feeble-minded, couldn't find something. Yet, she recounts this tale as she is looking for something much more crucial: her father, whom she has never met. She bought her mother a new spatula. She wasn't able to replace her father in the same way.

I'm getting all philosophical here. Really, I just want to find the remote.

Friday, May 29, 2009


ca·coph·o·ny

: harsh or discordant sound : dissonance 2 ; specifically : harshness in the sound of words or phrases

This was the word that came to mind the other day when I sat on a bench in the train station trying to read. Two little girls were invented their own clashing songs based on the electronic sign that tells you when the next train is coming. One kept repeating the minutes left over and over, changing as the sign changed. The other had some riff on the destination. I added a silent sigh to the symphpony.

Then I felt bad. They were just keeping themselves entertained and were not doing any harm. If anything, their train station melodies were very creative. I still wanted to read ( and couldn't because it was too hard to block them out), but as the train came I looked over an smiled at them.

Later that day, I was walking down the street when several emergency vehicles were screaming at the top of their lungs (as if they really had them). One added a horn into the mix because the likely stunned and confused car drivers weren't really getting out of the way.

That's it, I thought. Cacophony.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Just a Few Steps Ahead

In recent months, I've had conversations with fellow church-goers about why it sometimes seems like the meanest people in church sign up for hospitality-related work. In the past, the people serving breakfast are known to snap at you. (Although now there are much kinder faces; perhaps some of them needed to "retire.") Even a guest preacher told a story about how the ushers at his church did not simply seat you, they told you where to sit and did not stand for any protests from people who did not like the seat they were assigned.

So today I was gratified to see an usher who took her post seriously, but in a good way. I was on my way to sit in the balcony, when an usher politely asked me to step aside...so she could get to get to the balcony entrance 2 steps ahead of me where she greeted me with a purposeful "Good Morning" and handed me a bulletin.

Weighty Matters: Does being a doorkeeper in the house of the Lord include monitoring weight loss?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Ask a Silly Question...


The other day I put some Haagen-Dazs into my shopping basket, thinking that I surely didn't need it, but who cares? It was a small carton, surely it would do no harm. When I got up to the cashier and started to unload the basket, I thought about the ice cream again: Did I really need it?

As I put it on the conveyor belt, I noticed that it was slashed in the back. I needed to get going and since there was no time to go back and get a replacement, my question was answered.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


The Art of Finding Lost Things

Just yesterday a friend reminded me that you never find what you are looking for when you are looking for it. Case in point: if I lose something, I often don't find it until I start looking for something else that I've misplaced. Now, car/house keys must be found immediately...everything else can wait. If I lose an earring, I may not see it again until I am looking for a headband that I can't find. The headband may turn up as I am trying to find a shirt.

So what do I have to lose to find the remote??!!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Some Men Find the Pen to Be as Effective as the Sword


I've been in several discussions about the "why" behind the popularity of Steve Harvey's book, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man. One person said that it was because he had a good publicist, while others just marveled that the book has taken off as it as.

I try not to hate, but I have to admit that while I am happy for his success, I wondered about the white, leather-bound special edition that they were touting around Mother's Day. Is this really gift for your mom? The mom who has everything...except a man? Or is Mother's Day one of those occasions when you give gifts to women in general? Mind you if I had a book out, I suppose I'd squeeze every single money-making opportunity I could out of it...well, maybe I'd say no to the 3-D, pop-up, comic version that acts as a flotation device.

In any case, I was looking at his high ranking on the bestseller list in the newspaper (sometimes I still read it the old-fashioned way--on paper) and my eye wandered over to my bookshelf where I saw another very popular dating advice book that had a male (co)author: He's Just Not That Into You.

And I thought, maybe that is it! Women go crazy for dating advice from men because they figure that men are the experts on their own kind. Just as kids will pay attention when someone other than their parent tells them the same thing that their parents have said, maybe women don't want advice from other women or their close friends and relatives. Getting counsel from a stranger who is unconnected to you might make it seem more objective...Somehow I don't think that it would work in reverse: men would not go crazy for an advice book about women written by a woman. (Although, you never know: I was got an earful of male dating angst this past weekend as two twenty-something who sat a few feet away from me at an outdoor cafe went over their confusion and sex lives in great detail).

Friday, May 15, 2009


Beyonce's Band of Gold

A fellow Twitter-er (@suzywelch) mentioned this essay that examines Beyonce's "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” through the prism of that old song "Band of Gold." As you can imagine, the writer points out that the Beyonce song expresses some rather crude, archaic sentiments, but there is also an interesting analysis of how the music drives the story of the song. Sometimes we forget that the instrumentation is saying just as much as the lyrics...

Pop’s ring cycle

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Smokescreen
We had beautiful weather this past weekend. While out, I saw a man standing about 1 foot away from a car. smoking and talking. When I got closer I could see that he was talking to a young child in a car seat. What I heard was him going over the day's schedule, telling the child what they would be doing and carrying on an ongoing, but audibly one-sided dialogue.

I don't know that standing one foot away to the open window really protected the child from smoke, I admire him for keeping the lines of communication open, even while he had to have a smoke.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009



Saddened by Violence Against Women


I was saddened to hear more of the story about a young, pregnant woman found dead on Mother's Day in Maryland. They arrested her boyfriend, believed to be the unborn child's father. Both of their families are shocked and grieving. Members of his family say they know him and cannot imagine him doing anything like this.

And last week it was reported that Chris Brown wants the charges against him dismissed on the usual technicality. He has a good defense and they are doing what a good defense does in such cases. I couldn't have imagined it turning out any other way...and yet I shudder to think of the continuing precedent that is set when one can does not have to take responsibility for one's actions. It happens all the time and this is not the first domestic violence case in which it has happened...but that doesn't make it any less disturbing.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Live Long and Prosper


I boldly went to see a late showing of Star Trek last Friday, when I knew quite well that I would spend days trying to recover. No one said space travel was easy.

In the future, there will still be wars and conflicts; Iowa will still be filled with cornfields; a boy without a father will still rebel to drown his pain uptight nerds will still be at a loss to understand daredevils and people will still carry flasks with a little somethin' somethin' in them. Isn't it a comfort to know that the more things change, the more they stay the same?

Really though, I like the direction the took with the Star Trek prequel. It was a fantastic movie with a lot of action and a good storyline.

By the end of the movie, though, I had turned to my usual griping about the roles women, specifically women of color get to play. By then, it seemed that Uhura (played by Zoe Saldana) was only there to comfort her love interest. But then I remembered that her intelligence and competence had been established early on. She had been assertive with a superior to get the assignment she wanted and her knowledge had provided key information that the hero used to save the day. And as far as her being there to comfort someone, well back in the day audiences were scandalized when Uhura as played by Nichelle Nichols kissed William Shatner's Captain Kirk--the first kiss between an African American and a Caucasian on a television show of that type.

Her role may not have been perfectly balanced (who's is?) but Uhura did have range. And that is a lot more than many women get in movies that are primarily adventure stories that focus on male characters.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009


Cold Busted

In these harsh economic times, one cannot be too careful...and this is why I am so annoyed with myself for getting not one, but two speeding tickets along the same stretch of parkway. To go along with this, after the tickets arrived in the mail, I saw this newspaper headline, "Speed cameras bust taxpayers." What they meant was that not only will we be paying for speeding, we'll also be paying more for the costs of personnel to monitor and calibrate the speed cameras.

Really, I need to slow down, it seems. I looked at the dates and could not recall just where I was going. Since I have not raced to put out any fires or been a part of any other emergency operations in the recent past, I can conclude that there was no reason for me to be speeding.

When I talk to a friend about this, she pointed out something that got to my inner conspiracy theorist--it is interesting to see just where they put these cameras...often in places where you'd be expected to speed up a little, not in necessarily wealthy neighborhoods, and not where anyone is in any real danger. That parkway isn't a pedestrian walkway, it curvy so you naturally can't go ridiculously fast and it is not like you are going to roll over into a ditch because there are none.

Since I am slowing down (and it felt like I was crawling along the parkway), I've actually noticed the signs. The speed as I return home is 10 mph higher than the one I must abide by leaving home. Both times I was caught, I was going away from home. Had I been driving that same speed on the way back, there might have been no tickets...*sigh*

Monday, May 04, 2009

It's Clever (and yes, I am saying so myself)

The Other Side of Cinco de Mayo: 5 Ways to Pay Homage to the Defeated French
Hold the mayo...and the mocking


The other day when someone pointed out an error I'd made, I was reminded of the notion that you are supposed to use the sandwich method when dishing out criticism: It is better to point out an error if it is cushioned by two compliments on either side.

This really will not work in all situations, but when my mistake was pointed out, I was left thinking that I would have at least liked an open-faced sandwich.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Art Seems Different When You Get to Meet the Artist

I like art a lot, but I am much more into older and representational art than I am into abstract or modern art. But when the Smithsonian offered a press preview of a new exhibit, I was intrigued enough to go and found that I could relate to the artist's choices.

Jean Shin: Common Threads


Artist Jean Shin Honors Daily Tasks w/ "Everyday Monuments"

Wednesday, April 29, 2009



School Daze
Today I was reading the Examiner and came across a "Charticle" (And really I could just write a blog post on how that word amuses me. It kind of reminds me of the Statshot feature that The Onion has...except that the Charticle is supposed to be real and The Onion is being satirical.)

In any case, the "Today's Charticle" I saw was about how 4 of every 10 members of Congress have sent at least one of their kids to private school. There was more info and percentages and stuff. The point of it was the while our government officials use their priviledged positions to send their kids to private schools, they still make restrictive laws that make it difficult for everyday people to do so.

And I was reminded of this conversation I stumbled up in the kitchen at work where someone from England took Americans to task for condoning the fact that the Obamas decided to send their kids to private school. He said we were making excuses--he scoffed at the security complications being an issue--and that in other countries they'd expect their leaders to send their kids to public schools as a show of faith in the system. And when I asked what other countries these were, he couldn't name any besides England.

Americans are certainly no strangers to hypocrisy and making our own rules, but sometimes people just want to deride us because it is a fun pastime. Given the realities of DC public schools, none of us can blame them. No one said the president's kids had to be sacrificial lambs.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Recognition

We all want recognition, although sometimes it can be startling to be recognized. What am I talking about?

Well, a few weeks ago I went to a Happy Hour and went to greet someone I know who was talking to friends. One of his friends (whom I'd never met) said, "Oh! I recognize you from seeing you on X's Facebook page." I admit I was a little taken aback. True, I may have appeared on his Facebook page making a comment on in his "Friends" box...and although I have initiated this contact with the wider world, I didn't think strangers would recognize me based on a photo the size of a thumbprint.

And then yesterday I went to a press preview of an art exhibit. When I went to get my press kit, a woman I didn't know greeting me by name. Again, I was startled, but she explained that she had recognized me from the photo that is on my blog at Examiner.com. Again, not unreasonable, but still unexpected.

A few minutes later, an older Caucasian gentleman approached me and asked if I'd seen a show about Botswana with a fat woman on it. As I was taking a few seconds to decide how I wanted to respond, he went on to say that I looked like the secretary on that show. Well, I knew that he was referring to the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, and although it was not the most tactful way to begin a conversation, I could see that he meant no harm and told him that I had seen the show.

People often come up to me saying that I remind them of someone that they know. I am never that other person or even a relative of that other person, but there is some invisible thread that ties me to strangers in various places.

My desire to remain anonymous won't work if I keep putting my picture on the internet and even without that, I remain familiar simply because people can see someone else when they see me.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Interview with a Hollywood Producer

I interviewed rather energenic producer Will Packer for my blog at Examiner.com:

"Obsessed" Producer Will Packer: From Engineering to Filmmaking

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Disappearing Acts

With all the businesses closing, it might be a good idea to check to see if the place you want to visit is still in business. This may a a good idea no matter what is going on with the economy, but sadly it seems especially necessary now...

On Sunday, I thought I'd stop by a grocery store down the street from church to pick up a few things...but it was boarded up.

Today, I made a stop because it today was Free Cone Day at Ben & Jerry's...but as I neared the spot, I was surprised to see that there was no line spilling out of the door. That was because Ben and Jerry's was not there anymore. And since I hadn't been in a while, I had no idea.

Now this probably doesn't relate, but since I am on the theme of what was not there...I was amused to read in a newspaper (another institution that is disappearing) that it is the anniversary of the date that Geraldo Rivera promised me and about 30 million other people that we would see the treasures of Al Capone's vault.

I was super excited about it and I think I asked to stay up late. My parents were bemused by my excitement and I think they somehow knew what would happen. And when the gin bottles and vacant space were revealed, they didn't gloat.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Never Thought I'd be Excited About A Menu Item at Starbucks...

...but when glutenfreegirl mentioned on Twitter that Starbucks will be offering gluten-free Orange Valencia Cake with Almonds, I had to smile.

Ever since I learned that I am gluten-sensitive, the thought of any baked good that I can grab at an everyday store/restaurant is a bit o' excitement.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009


Shedding a Little Light

On my Examiner.com blog, I wrote an entry about visiting The Mary McLeod Bethune Council House, a site that is run by the National Park Service. And I got some highlights into the blog post (like the fact that Ms. Bethune's house has chandeliers that once graced the White House), but I couldn't cram it all in there...

One story about her life exemplifies all those sayings about light casting out darkness.

At some point after she had started the small school that later became Bethune-Cookman College, Bethune did some campaigning for a "progressive" mayoral candidate in Daytona, FL. (Progressive meaning that this candidate was in favor of allowing African-Americans to be educated in public schools.)

A certain white supremacist group (wsg) wanted her to stop canvassing for this candidate. The tour includes a movie about Bethune's life and it is implied that she was likely aware that the wsg wanted her to stop, but she did not.

So the wsg arrived at the school and managed to shut off the electricity to the school's outside lights. Bethune's female students panicked. (The school was all-girls originally and it seems this happened before the school became co-ed.)

Bethune told the girls to turn odd all of their inside lights. She then used generators to power the outside lights...and the wsg fled when flooded with light.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I Went for Food and Got That, Plus Some Food for Thought

Last night, I went to a charity reception with a friend on a whim. She had heard about it from a friend of hers and really had very few details about it. She didn't even know who was sponsoring it. But since it was at a hot new restaurant that I wanted to visit, I thought why not? (Food is always an effective lure.)

I am glad I went because the (free!) chicken+waffles, ribs, and wine were most excellent. But I am also glad I went because I learned about a great non-profit that gets young men who are jailed as adults to read, write and think about a different way of life--

Free Minds Uses Books and Writing to Show Incarcerated Youth A Better Way

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Clan of the Cave Men

I was in the grocery store and overheard two men who were stocking produce discussing the following:

"Yeah, now they got the greens all cut up in a bag, making 'em lazy."

"They cain't cook as it is..."

Friday, March 20, 2009


Girl, You Is a Woman Now

So Dora the Explorer is growing up and Tampax is getting real...

Some parents feel betrayed that Dora is going to be a tween, and like many "betrayals" it all comes down to money. If they thought there was a market for a thirty-something or octogenarian Dora, they'd make those too. As I said to someone else, at least the new tween Dora will be solving mysteries with female friends, not traveling around in some van with boys, a talking dog and strange snacks.

I actually felt more betrayed by "Princess" Dora, when they took her from being a spunky, adventuresome, problem-solving girl and morphed her into a long-haired, pouffy gown and tiara-wearing princess. What was that about? (Money.) If Disney was going to continue to parade out princesses, they thought why not make Dora into one too?

As for Tampax, it's interesting that they want to go snarky: Instead of being dressed in a flowy white dress and having a talk on the beach with your mother about the 'time of the month' or 'that not so-fresh feeling,' that wicked witch Mother Nature will show up with a red gift as you lounge on that beach in a white bikini.

Have we really come such a long way...one the one hand, they are keepin' it real about what a nuisance a period can be? On the other hand, if we are going to blame "Mother Nature," then that is still woman-bashing.

(And this isn't their first attempt, check out this Mariachi band period commercial)

Monday, March 16, 2009


Conversation with an Almost Three-Year-Old


Nearly 3: That's a lollipop.

Me: It's a necklace.

Nearly 3: I'm going to eat your necklace.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Everyone Wants to Jump in and Carpool on the Bandwagon I've Been on for Years

I just left church where the sermon was about the prodigal son, with the emphasis being placed on that wayward son. But when I came home and read the following opinion piece in The Washington Post, I could totally relate and started to feel a little like the scornful elder son...

I'm Not Buying Recession Chic


"The recession-chic advice isn't for the people who actually need it. It's for the people who put their summer homes on the market, not those who've lost the only home they had... And when it comes down to it, if you need to be told that packing your lunch saves money, you're probably not someone who needs to pack your lunch. So please don't pretend that you are. "

Friday, March 13, 2009

Recession on Refreshments?

Earlier this week, I went to a networking happy hour that is sponsored by an agency that specialized in outplacement for people who work in creative fields. I was happy to see that they had not ceased this happy hours due to the bad economy. The continuance of the happy hours did not mean that these event continued as they had in the past: the invite mentioned "light refreshments." Last year those words meant quesadillas and fried plantains, plus salsa chips and a one free drink for everyone. This year it meant salsa and chips, plus a free drink for the 25 people who cornered the guy who was not advertising the fact that he had 25 free drink tokens.

But tonight, I went to a happy hour sponsored by a newspaper. Now by all accounts, the newspaper industry is seriously hurting...but this happy hour had free tchotchkes and lots of and food from a rather top notch restaurant. And they were generous with the pizza and the mini burgers.
Go figure. Is this a smart investment or are they fiddling while Rome burns? Either way, the burgers were good.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


When Do You Break the Rules?

The other day I went to see Stars on Ice with a friend. The show began with a black and white film that has a voiceover featuring a woman with an regal, British accent talking about Art (or Aht, as she said it)...then the first skater came out in a loud colorful shirt and skated to a decidedly non-classical tune. As I watched all of these disciplined Olympians do backflips and shimmy in colorful costumes, I thought about a skater like Rudy Galindo.

Galindo had the audacity to do such things during Olympic competition and he was penalized for it, meanwhile all the skaters who adhere to the stuffy (and unofficial) guidelines, end up doing those same things when they retire and get on the ice show circuit.

Monday, March 09, 2009


Teacher, is that you?

I went to a screening of a film at Busboys and Poets, this really great at forward-thinking restaurant/bookstore/lounge/all around cool place to be. The film was touching and thought-provoking (Busboys and Poets Screens ARUSI PERSIAN WEDDING), but the highlight of the evening was when the waiter came back after swiping credit cards to tell one of the people at our table that she had been his fourth grade teacher.

Now, if you saw this woman, you'd hardly believe that she could have been the fourth grade teacher of someone who is old enough to be working as a waiter. Even though I know her age, I was still surprised.

Of course I had to tease her, since he had trouble understanding that we wanted him to swipe the cards of those who were paying that way and provide change for those who had cash, I asked what exactly had she taught him all those years ago...

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Double Take

The other morning as I was in between sleep and something like wakefulness, I heard a commercial for some new flavors of a certain soft drink. At that time, all I thought about was the different flavors, marveling at all the ways they could come up with to shove sugar down our throats...

But the next day, I was slightly more awake and not just getting up when I heard the same commercial. During this listening, it occurred to me that this commercial might be some kind of pastiche* of The Vagina Monologues. They even called termed this 30-second beverage reverie, "The [Diet Soft Drink] Monologues." And the woman in the commercial, talked about how women weren't indecisive, they were open to the physics of various soft drink flavors (this is why we stock every flavor, you know, just in case).

Considering all that The Vagina Monologues stand for, should I be offended? Or just chalk it up to everyday capitalism?



*Nerd writer alert--I really love the word pastiche and rarely find the opportunity to use it in any meaningful way...

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

I am still grateful for mercy...

although on the same day that I got the official written notice stating that my tickets for minor moving violations were void because the officer did not submit the paperwork in the required 15 days...

I got a parking ticket.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Mercy

I tried to pay a ticket for a minor moving violation online and got this message:

The ticket you have entered has been voided because it was not submitted timely as required by District regulations. No payment is required. You will receive written notification of this action in the mail.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

"The Aughts Are Over"

I heard some well-dressed young men on the train discussing this...mourning the ends of the aughts.

"Next year will be 2010."

I didn't know young men thought of such things.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Shadow Knows

Last night I was on the phone with friends as the Oscars began and one of them took one look at the set and said, "It looks like a game show." She felt this was a sure sign of things to come. And she was right. To put a plug in for one of my favorite literary devices: the look of the set foreshadowed the many Oscars that Slumdog Millionaire would take home.

This sends my mind in two distinct directions--

Snarky: So does this mean that we will see Backyard Bollywood Billionaire and slew of other Slumdog imitators in the next few years?

Serious: How are thing things that are happening in my life right now foreshadowing what is to come?

Friday, February 20, 2009

In Place of Our Regularly Scheduled Programming...

I really do have some brilliant thoughts and most excellent ponderings to share with you--but they are not quite formulated yet, and I'm running late. So in the meantime, check out my writings about the brilliance of others:

Edward P. Jones and Panel Discuss The Known World

Celebrate Black History Month with Music That Crosses Borders

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

*Therapy Not Included

Last month when I traveled to San Diego, I went to the Sarah's Smash Shack. A place where you can go into a booth and break plates, glasses, etc. while wearing protective equipment and listening to the music of your choice. (If you bring your own mp3 player; if not you can select from what they have.) When you finish, they sweep up the broken pieces and they go to artists and others who will re-use the fragments of your frustration in some creative way.

Anyway, on the plane ride back, the business-man type who sat next me on the plane struck up a conversation. He was traveling to scout out houses because he was relocating, to Denver, I think.

So when he asked me what I had done in San Diego, I mentioned Balboa Park and the Smash Shack.

After I'd explained what it was, he turned with a bloodthirsty look and asked, "Can you go in there with your spouse?"

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sigh

As you probably know, you do not have to directly experience violent or unsettling things to feel worn out by them. When you mix the things you hear about with the things you actually experience, it gets to be tiring.

This past week I...

-Heard that a young pop star had been beaten up
-Went to a forum on the crisis in the Sudan.
-Saw an unexpectedly violent puppet show
-Read about a plane crashing near my hometown
-Read about a man beheading his wife near my hometown
-Got into strange disagreements
-Saw a car on fire

Friday, February 13, 2009

The National Zoo Talks Animal S-E-X

So sad, even I have been reduced to using those three letters to get people to read my stuff:

Woo at the Zoo: Let's Talk About Sex

I'm thinking this will be one of my more well-read posts.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Crisis in Darfur and Sudan REALLY is a Crisis...Some of This Other Stuff, Not So Much

I'm back from a forum about the crisis in Darfur and the Sudan as a whole. I learned A LOT and thinking about the atrocities that have taken place there helps make some things that I am unhappy about seem really small.

Out of Exile: Enough Project Present Forum on Darfur and Crisis in Sudan

Dave Eggers
(author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, What is the What) was there and one woman stopped her own question to ask the panel to excuse the interruption so she could say that Dave Eggers rocked and it was great to be there with him.
Sista Prez Does it Again



I was happy to learn that the President of my alma mater is now going to be the new director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art--

Johnetta Cole Named Director of Nat'l Museum of African Art


She was the first African America woman to be president of Spelman College, an historically black college for African American women.

Monday, February 09, 2009


High Profile Case Shines Spotlight on Domestic Violence

Last night, I was on Twitter and read a throwaway remark about Chris Brown and Rihanna being something like Ike and Tina Turner. Since I wasn't up on the latest at that point, I didn't want to jump to conclusions about what that meant.

Well, I could have taken a flying leap because that person had explained all in rather callous shorthand: Chris Brown Charged, Arrested After Alleged Rihanna Assault.

That makes me very sad.

Increasing Domestic Violence Really Scary


Domestic Violence Hits Home (Again)

Friday, February 06, 2009


New Math

So the first part of this winter has been the winter of my discontent (wait--don't I say that every winter?), but I hope the rest will be much better.

Part of my discontent included doing something I don't think I've ever done before--losing a library book.

And, this is rich, I lost that book, one of those Jane Q. Public-friendly tomes on economics, by leaving it at the bank. That'll learn me to try to brush up on economics.

So after looking for it everywhere (including the bank's lost and found), I gave it up for gone.

I went to the library to confess and was told I'd have to pay for it. That, plus I owed 80 cents in late fees for a different book (I doubt that I've lost a book before now, but my saintliness doesn't mean I always turn them on on time.)

They didn't take cards, so I couldn't pay for the lost book. And since the library cash register was down, they could only take exact change, so I couldn't pay the fine because I didn't have eighty cents.

Before I had been called up, the young woman who was ahead of me had been told to step aside to fill out an application for a library card.

To my great surprise she, a perfect stranger, offered up the eighty cents to cover my fine. Someone who didn't even have a card yet and had a clean record was covering my late fees.

So, go figure: 1 lousy winter and 1 lost library book + late fees = 80 cents of undeserved favor. (Although, since undeserved favor cannot be measured, that 80 cents adds up to a lot more.)

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Catch Me If You Can...

It is great when I can post links to stuff I've written, but sometimes I write for pubs that do not put their content online and then you actually have to go a buy the magazine itself.

This month I interviewed DC power couple Morris and Jaci Reid for UPTOWN magazine

A review I wrote of Kinky Gazpacho appears in Fall issue in Mosaic Literary Magazine.

And an article I wrote on the NAACP Youth & College Division's "Vote Hard Bus Tour" appears in the Winter 2009 issue of The Crisis Magazine.

Monday, February 02, 2009


She's Got Legs...And She Knows How to Use 'Em

Last night when my niece,who was sitting in the chair next to me, hopped up from the table, I took that opportunity to put my legs up in said chair.

She returned to asked me in her curious, but also accusing way why women always do this. "You are just like my Mom," she said. " She does the same thing--whenever somebody gets up she puts her legs in the chair!"

A woman's work is never done, so if she she's the opportunity for a bit of rest, she should grab it.

Instead of really breaking it down to her, I answered in the cryptic way that tired adults do: "When you're a woman, you will understand," I said.

Sunday, February 01, 2009


Extra! Extra! Read What's Left of It...

While most of the newspaper-y world is dismayed over the demise of The Washington Post's Book World, I am still in mourning for the Post's now-defunct Sunday Source section.
In part because I used to write for it, mostly because I miss reading it.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Don't Have a Cow, It's Just a Name


On the very first inside page of the Express paper yesterday, I read that boys with names like Ernest or Ivan are more likely to commit crimes, while those who are named David or Michael far less likely to become criminals.

Then a few pages later, I read that cows with names like Daisy, Gertrude or Buttercup produce milk that cows with no names.

Is there any correlation? If you name your son Gertrude will he be more productive? Is a cow named Ivan more likely to kick over a bucket of freshly-squeezed milk?

These studies are all well and good, but they look for patterns that may or may not exist. It is likely that cows with names like being called by these names and maybe treated more affectionately, so they produce more.

The name article about humans concluded that it is not only names, but also household income and being raised by a single mother that make a boy more likely to be criminal. The study said it found this to be true whether the kids were black or white...but I just feel that they picked names like "Ivan" and "Ernest" for examples to try to avoid being accused of being stereotypical, since technically, someone from any background could give their kids these "uncommon" names.

Even the Freakonomics guy was doubtful: Do Uncommon Names Turn Kids Into Criminals?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Sometimes when you're not looking for a little respect, you might still get some.

I was on the train in a quiet spot towards the back reading my newspaper, when a gaggle of teenage boys entered. And I felt quite curmudgeonly because all I could think about was how noisy and annoying they were, but I tried to keep a straight face so my inner frowning wouldn't show.

I listened to their conversation for a few seconds and then decided to tune them out. One really doesn't have to keep up with the young people all the time. There is a fine art to being somehow alert and yet still concentrating on what you are reading. When I don't practice this, I nearly miss my stop if I'm reading something good.

At some point, I heard one of them recite song lyrics where each line ended with "like a b*tch." Again, I tried not to frown too much. But this did cause me to become more alert.

"Yo, son, yo."

I looked up to see one of them shifting his eyes towards me.

The boy right in front of me turned and looked sheepish. I waved my hand. His friends laughed. And he said, "Hello."

"Hello. How are you?" I replied, sounding like a school marm.

"Good." he said. And he and his friends grinned and then went back to their conversation. They eventually started to discuss the differences between "n*ggas and females" and how they hated when "females" who wouldn't talk to them when they were alone started calling them out and got bold when traveling in groups.

So the lyrics I heard weren't great and those boys won't stop listening to them or using the term "female" as if it described a lower species...the fact that they can show a small amount of deference tells me that all hope is not lost.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Spin Doctor

There was a kid in the grocery store today explaining to his mother why eating Coco Puffs (presumably with milk) good for him: "They have lots of calcium and vitamins..."

Monday, January 26, 2009


I'll Show Them, I'll Watch TV on the Internet (sO tHeRe!)

So I just read that the Senate has passed a bill that would delay the Digital TV Transition and keep us in analog mode a few months longer.

Last fall, I wrote about the transition to digital television and my converter box experience.

Eventually, I was able to get it all up and running...but this did not last. After a couple of months, my television would only tell me that it had no signal.

I hate to be a conspiracy theorist, but since this loss of signal occurred just as the Christmas shopping season started, I had to wonder if something had been scrambled as a way to "encourage" people to buy brand new televisions...but then I thought, "Nah." I'm probably one of a few early birds who set it up way before the original D-Day in February. Still, my box refuses to convert and I'm back to analog. If it still won't work whenever they decide to make the switch, I'll just watch Netflix, network websites and Hulu.com.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


I Wonder as I Wander

Why is it that people always stop and ask me for directions when I'm on vacation? I guess I look like I belong...Anyone who knows me knows how often I get lost at home, so this seems rather odd. Not only do I look like I know where I'm going when I'm out of town, I blend in so well, I get mistaken for an employee. In a gift shop, someone asked me if I worked at the place before ringing me up...presumably to give me the employee discount.

Speaking of wandering...on my flight out, the crew created an elaborate ruse to keep an 11-year-old guessing about our destination since the trip was a birthday surprise from her mother. Every time they made an announcement, they referred to various tropical locations ("We are now 2000 feet above Barbados." "As we make our descent into Puerto Rico...") I was glad to be going where I was going, but hearing the names of all these other places while half asleep on the early morning flight, made me wonder if I wasn't going to some island and sort of wish that I really were.

Friday, January 16, 2009


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O-BALM-A Special Edition Inaugural Balm