Thursday, January 31, 2008
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
I wasn’t paying attention to politics during Bill Clinton’s eight years. I’m happy I wasn’t because I was still very much a kid and well, happily more invested in kid-like things like getting a girlfriend, puberty, and such. However, toward the end of
Growing up I heard some things—some confirmed, some unconfirmed—about his presidency and
- The economy blossomed. Lots of people tell me this. That’s great, but it also strikes me as a time during which
would have seen enormous growth under any president. America
- According to Toni Morrison, he was the “first black president”.
- His wife tried to push health care reform. That didn’t work.
- He did, in fact, have sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky. They did something naughty in the Oval Office.
- He’s a slimy, untrustworthy man that will do anything and say anything to get what he wants, including falling back on his own word.
So, when I did start paying attention to politics I approached Bill Clinton with caution and curiosity because I had spent much of my life around Republican friends and family members that didn’t think too highly of the man. They had their reasons, but I didn’t quite have mine. So to me, he was just an ex-president that committed adultery and initially lied about it to the country.
I’ve spent the years since his departure from office looking for something to celebrate in Bill Clinton. I’ve also kept an eye out for that slimy, untrustworthy, red-faced, angry man I had heard so many people speak of.
I found the something to celebrate.
More reason to celebrate: the Clinton Global Initiative. CGI is a “non-partisan catalyst for action, bringing together a community of global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges.” Those challenges: HIV/AIDs, disease, hunger, poverty, etc.
However, I also found the something not to celebrate: Bill Clinton campaigning for, and with, his wife for a return to power. As a former president who has won respect from many right-wingers, center-right politicians, and young voters, like me, for his work since leaving The White House, he sure has done quite a bit in the last month to unravel the good standing he might have had with me. If anything, he has shown me the
Bill Clinton has been a disgrace lately. From the whole
Conclusion: Bill, keep campaigning for Hillary, it’ll keep on hurting her campaign. Help her lose the nomination that is hers to win. Then, when it’s clear there will not be another dynasty back in The White House, go back to what you do best…raise money for the people that really need your help.
Monday, January 28, 2008
We have been saving a lot of money around here by not going to that many movies. We like to pay for bigger and more expensive things like CAT scans, MRIs, X-Rays, an ER visit, and visits to the doctor. Speaking of doctors, I saw my tenth doctor today. That’s a different story, though.
No Country was the fourth movie we have seen in the theaters since arriving in
I don’t want to write more because I fear spoiling the movie. I want to recommend it and say that I went into it guessing it wasn’t going to be a typical movie, with manufactured elements, and an everybody-goes-home-happy ending. I can’t tell you if I was right or wrong. That would be a spoiler.
This isn’t a spoiler though. Here is a clip from the Goonies. Brand (Brolin) gets tied up by Mikey (Astin) and friends. What a great song, too. My favorite line from this clip is right after Mouth, played by Feldman, lets the air out of Brand’s bike: “Now it’s his most flattest thing in the world.”
I'll probably still post a clip of him as Brand Walsh if I find it, but the first video I found was this video of Brolin doing an interview and confirming some rumors about a Goonies sequel. Amazing. I hope Chunk does the Truffle Shuffle again.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Friday, January 25, 2008
A friend of mine, Trey Tatum, whom many of you have met once or twice over the years, sent me this link a while back to a Myspace page. He is in a band called Ask You In Gray. I think all the songs but one are recorded live so they don’t sound great at this point, but I like what I hear, especially because the music has so much of the person that I know, in it.
From now on the link can be found on the sidebar under “Friends”.
Go take a listen. I know they have free or very cheap shows across the
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
We’re just halfway into our first year here. I think it was maybe too early to call it quits and give up on this place.
We have decided to stay a little longer and see what happens. I feel if we left in July I would be leaving behind untapped opportunity. So, there, I said it. I guess I still have some hope for the two of us and
Aerial shot of Milwaukee provided by Bryce.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
I hear and read about a lot of shocking things in the newspapers, the blogosphere, and places in between. We all do. The immersion that I have been subjected to of horrific events and radical ideas has possibly numbed my reactions to those events and ideas. Admittedly, I have become skeptical, in an irrationally hopeful manner, that someone won’t possibly do something that stupid again, or that someone couldn’t really still believe that. Life and humanity certainly have a matter of keeping hope in check.
Last night at the Bucks I asked an employee if they were voting in
“Yeah, but I don’t know who I’m voting for.”
“Well, the time is approaching. Any ideas? Republican? Democrat?”
“I don’t know,” the employee said as they hunkered over a Sunday New York Times with a picture of Huckabee on the cover.
“Huckabee?” I said.
“Who are you voting for?” The employee asked.
“Who’s that?” The employee honestly wondered.
“OBAMA?” I said, certainly hoping that would strike a chord in the employee’s memory.
“Oh.” A pause. “Why are you voting for him?”
I sighed. I usually do this before a long answer. “Well, I am not really excited about any of the Republican candidates. If I had to choose one I could, but I don’t think I’m going to so I’ve taken a look at the Democrats and have sided with Obama and—“
“Isn’t he a Muslim?” The employee interjected.
I did plan on talking about how I came to Obama and how I think he stacks up against the other candidates, how I wasn’t always for him, and other stuff that would formulate a long answer, but it became clear to me I would not be given the opportunity. The conversation just hit a wall and now there was a little fire in my veins.
“No, he is not. That is a lie.” I said.
“Whatever, he’s a Muslim.”
I tried my best to defend him. “That rumor was started a long time ago and is not based on the facts. It was created by people out there that fear change, people that are racists, nut jobs that will do anything to keep him out of the White House.”
“My friend’s mom told me that he was a Muslim.”
“She’s wrong.” I said.
“Well, what is he?” The employee asked.
“He’s a Christian, has been for twenty years,” I said.
“No. I mean, I’m white. He isn’t black. What is he?” The tone of the employee’s voice was pure disgust, as if Obama’s mixed-race disqualifies him for the presidency or, for that matter, disqualifies him as a human.
“He is mixed race. His mother was white and from the
The employee rolled their eyes at my answer and said, “I’m not going to vote for that.”
That? I couldn’t talk. It had been so long since I had been confronted face to face with such ignorance, stupidity, and frankly, blatant racism. All I could offer was a sarcastic “That’s a rational way to think about it.”
The conversation ended like that.
My hope took a hit, that’s for sure, but if it is suffocated under lies and killed by racism I am dead to the world, dead to change. Know hope.
Pretty sad. He was young, pretty damn good at what he did, and leaves a daughter, and I am sure family, behind.
Update: Possible drug overdose. It was Mary-Kate Olsen's apartment? Autopsy to be conducted tomorrow.
Monday, January 21, 2008
If my Packer devotion were to be evaluated by a Cheese-head, I would probably get a failing grade. Still, even with my comparatively feeble enthusiasm for the Pack, last night’s game against the Giants was painful. The Packers had everything on their side, but played like victory was just going to come to them. Even if all the chips fall in a team’s favor like they did prior to this game, not to mention several times during the game, the team still needs to play the way that got them to the NFC Championship Game. The Packers didn’t. The second half was some of the most aggravating football to watch.
Then overtime. The Packers got even luckier by winning the toss. There was one last glimmer of hope until Favre threw it right into the hands of a Giants defender.
Bum deal. I’m surprised flags aren’t at half-mast today.
Saturday, January 19, 2008
It was -13° during the infamous Ice Bowl in
I don’t think tomorrow is going to best that, but to give you an idea of how cold it is here, right now, at 11:30, I’ll tell you there is not a cloud in the sky. It is one of the clearest days I’ve seen in
Friday, January 18, 2008
Thursday, January 17, 2008
For me, last week’s NFL games came as close as any week of the NFL has to rivaling, let’s say, a week of college football bowl games.
Bottom line: I didn’t really care who won this game. If I were in a pool at work, I would have picked the Colts in a tough fight. I didn’t watch all of it, but was surprised that
I guess I am sort of unfair.
New England Patriots vs.
Oh, the Pats. Did anyone pick the Jaguars? No, because the Pats are good, damn good, but so freaking boring. Like most of the nation, I am not a fan, but I am over them. If they win it all, I won’t be upset. If they lose, I might be a little happy, but I might be a little sad because then we’ll have to hear more from the 1972 Miami Dolphins. My main gripe against the Patriots…All season long they denied that they cared about running the table and that all they cared about was winning the Super Bowl. Each time they did this they were lying. Athletes care about their record and if there is a chance for them to make history they will care about that too. When the Patriots had only one or two games left a number of them were all of a sudden revealing that they did care about going undefeated during the regular season. That’s sneaky. Act like you don’t care when there is a greater risk of you losing. Then, when the risk is not as great, and it doesn’t look like you are going to lose your dignity after all, let everyone know how you really feel.
The first three minutes of this game were painful. The Packers were down 14-0 after Grant fumbled twice. I think if that happened later on in the game, like in the late first quarter, the Packers wouldn’t have been able to brush the deficit off so easily. As we know, they did. They cruised through the rest of the game in the blizzard and cold of
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
The opening round cynicism is lovely.
Monday, January 14, 2008
It was a great football weekend. I've been meaning to do an NFL rant for a while, but it won't be up today because I have to go to work soon and close tonight.
For now, the video...this was a memorable moment from the Packers win over the Seahawks on Saturday. Like my ghetto shirt says, Favre is "38 and STILL GREAT".
Thursday, January 10, 2008
At first I didn’t know why. A year ago, when all the presidential candidates were doing the same thing as they are today, campaigning, a lot more of us weren’t ready to pay that much attention to them. I wasn’t ready yet. I mean, 2006 just ended and the talking heads were getting jittery about an election in 2008.
But 2008 is finally upon us. This means, regrettably sometimes, that the nonstop coverage of the candidates’ parade around the country is justified, and almost necessary for those that have managed to stay mysteriously uninformed about who is running for president in 08.
One of those running is Barack Obama, the junior Senator from
There is a big problem though. I, and, I think, many others out there, don’t and can’t possibly equate experience in politics with smart decision making, a moral high ground, and leadership qualities; maybe in another era, but not this one. “Experienced” politicians have committed adultery in the Oval Office. They have unexplainably launched missile attacks at overseas targets when the heat was on them in
Typically, experience is not a bad word, but recent politicians have tarnished its spit-shined image. Now, from experience flows polarizing agendas, dusty speeches, and low-ball tactics on the campaign trail.
The critics of Obama’s experience are right. He doesn’t have decades of practice behind him. He was born in the 60s, early enough to not possibly have been assimilated by the partisan politics of
I don’t think I take to too many trends easily. At first, I didn’t warm to Obama at all because he was so popular. My cynical nature refused to get excited about this man. After all, it was clear that he didn’t need any more people being excited about him. I did my best to avoid Obama and his throngs of fans, but that was all but impossible leading up to the primaries.
As summer turned to fall I started reading a lot more about the junior Senator from
Maybe Bill Clinton was right. It all sounds like a “fairy tale” and I am caught up in it. But I have seen the alternative. I don’t want it and, I am not alone.
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
I know it is just the New Hampshire primary, but I felt devastated last night. I didn't only feel that way because Hillary isn't my choice for President, but because she was the choice of so many other people. They are hopeful that Hillary could win the presidency. I can't blame them. You want to be hopeful about your candidate's actual chances, but if she wins the nomination, Hillary doesn't have a chance. Her polarizing power will be on full display November 4 and I think America will have squandered the opportunity to elect a unifying candidate.
The antidote for all this madness: Beer and Bowling with Kate and friends at my employer's store party.
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
Did the tears help? Did Bill calling Obama's campaign a "fairy tale" change people's minds?
I hope not.
The Daily Show's punch has been diminished by the absence of its wonderful team of correspondents, but I'll take what I can get.
Monday, January 07, 2008
Today is January 7 and it reached 60 degrees in Milwaukee.
Sunday, January 06, 2008
Romney wins in Wyoming
He is quoted in the article as saying, "This is just the beginning," after gaining eight of Wyoming's twelve available delegates.
That is funny because I don't think Mitt has started a trend in Wyoming.
Angela, Kendra, and Kate by our tree (that is still up by the way, and still drinking water).
The Bradleys brought their beloved Scotty dogs. Here, Kate is jostling for position with Molly, the pup.
We always have poppers on Christmas Eve. Each popper comes with a sweet paper crown and a present. I got a toy bike. Kate got an eye patch. Argh, me maties!
Tim sports his new hat. I want one. However, I would need a larger hat for a larger head.
Friday, January 04, 2008
I was captivated by the excitement in the room, by the young voters, by the turnout, and by Obama's ability to give a speech.
Obama says at one point, "I know you didn't do this for me." I believe him because I don't think that room of people did do that for him. That room of people thinks the world is changing and they think that America has gone awry in recent years. That room wants change. That room wants hope for America and they see Obama as the catalyst of that hope. I really do believe they did this for America. Obama gets to ride the wave now.
And, the man sure can give a speech.
Thursday, January 03, 2008
Let me know if you like the new look.
There is a poll about it in the sidebar.
Second, can I just say that I think people in general don't talk about who they are going to vote for enough? Yes? Okay. People need to talk about the candidate they are going to vote for more. I don't know why so many people treat their choice for a future leader of this country as classified information. I want to be proud about my selection. I want to feel like I am informed about my candidate's platform. And, I don't want to make my choice and then file it away in some closet only to break it out on November 4 to find out my choice isn't on the ballot. So, share a name. Have a discussion. Debate. Don't lose your temper. Change your mind. Agree to disagree, but please, please don't hide your choice for the next President of the United States of America.
At this point, since it is still so early, I am endorsing one candidate from each major party.
That's right. I'm not going to explain in detail at this point why I like those two. I have my reasons. Those are big posts though. Today is not a big posting day. I just wanted to get my selections out there before tonight. Explanations will follow.
"We grew up in an oral culture and we like to laugh," Bill Clinton.
I'm sure he'll expand upon this quote in his follow up book to Giving, Receiving.
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
This blog is an outlet for me. I shed a lot of feelings on here. These words lighten my load. One thing I am on here is incredibly honest. In speech I may avoid certain topics, but not on here. If I want to write it, I will most likely write it. However, I am getting better at thinking things over before I post. Just like there are things better left unsaid, there are things better left unwritten.
This is not one of those things…
Curse words. I have always sort of been fascinated with curse words. I had a very bad mouth back in grade school and middle school. I went through that stage that many of us go through; when I thought cursing was really cool. I thought if I could learn to be good at cursing, like they are in the movies, I could impress people or even make them laugh.
I grew out of that stage when I heard others cursing around me. They didn’t sound cool. They didn’t make me laugh or impress me with their ability to string a bunch of expletives together. Anyone can do it. Plus, they always sounded uneducated.
But there is an appreciation for curse words that I suppose may never leave me. For example, I will always appreciate the way gangsters curse in gangster movies like Goodfellas and The Departed. It is so believable. Everyone is doing it. And, by the end of the movie you are going to end up loving at least one character that has a mouth on him worse than any you have ever heard in person. That takes talent.
Timing is everything when it comes to a well placed curse word. It is best when no one is expecting, but you need talent to know when no one is expecting.
Curse words are filthy words, I guess. If I ever have a day, or a sentence for that matter, where I feel there was a surplus of curse words, I will feel pretty bad about it. I don’t want to be the person that curses a lot.
However, there are those rare instances though that creep up on you in life that couldn’t be described more beautifully by any other group of words.
Today, I find myself in one of those rare instances, and all I have to say about it is FUBAR.
Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition