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


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 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

"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 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