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

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

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.