Monday, March 31, 2008

In it to win it, but she won't

Hillary said in the Washington Post that she will stay in the race until the convention in Denver in August. She will try to use committees there to try to seat delegates from Florida (where all Democratic candidates had agreed to not contest) and Michigan (where Obama wasn’t even on the ballot). Nothing could be more damaging to the Democrats’ chances of winning The White House. I have tried not to join the throngs of bloggers out there constantly railing on the Clintons. I have failed. With this kind of material it is almost impossible.

The Clintons really are self-obsessed. Certainly, all candidates have to be a little self-obsessed to decide they are the best person to lead the only superpower left in the world, but Clintonian self-obsession, not to mention ignorance, is taking it to a whole new level. Hillary doesn’t seem to bat an eye at the numbers, proof that the youth are revolting (thank you, FIF) against the dynasties and proof that she can’t overcome Obama’s delegate lead. Surely, she has to notice the growing unrest in the ranks of Democrats. Politicians and leaders that have tried to stay out of this mess by not endorsing or showing preference are breaking down.

This sounds like an old adage now.

You can always leave it to a Clinton.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


I don’t remember that title being thrown about so loosely like someone is ready to be the leader of the only superpower left in the world. Although someone must take the mantle, I don’t think there is one trait or a perfect combination of traits that makes someone the most qualified to be Commander-in-Chief. There is something so absurd about asking that question. Even though I support Obama, I wouldn’t say Obama is for sure the most ready to be Commander-In-Chief. Who is? What are the qualifications? Age? How long one was a POW? A minimum 35 years of “experience”? A Harvard Law degree? How many trips you have taken to Iraq?

The truth is that most candidates have built themselves up into this perfect candidate that will fulfill all the responsibilities they will take on as the leader of the free world. I don’t buy into that and neither does Obama who has already said this about a possible Obama presidency, “there will be mistakes.” That’s refreshing. Even though there have been many chances, we haven’t heard an admission like that from the President in eight years.

I don’t want a battle hardened Commando-in-Chief. I want a leader that is aware of their responsibilities and realizes that he or she will not be able to meet all of them, but will do their best to meet as many as they can by assigning those duties of Commander-in-Chief that they feel they are least qualified to perform to their cabinet members.

This is one reason that McCain’s stubbornness scares me. He is battle hardened, a real American hero. He knows war and torture and he has wrongly presumed that qualifies him for guiding us through the Iraq War. If he takes The White House, McCain will perhaps take on the mantle of Commander-in-Chief even more stubbornly than Bush has. What would this look like? For starters, this would mean a continuation of Bush’s foreign policy. It would also mean a stay-the-course philosophy in Iraq that will continue to boil down the meaning of this war to winning (killing every last terrorist in the Middle East) or losing (withdrawing troops).

What McCain won’t do is redefine the role of Commander-in-Chief, but I think that is precisely what we need the next leader of this country to do. We need an Ambassador-in-Chief, an ambassador to the American people, a person willing to take diplomacy to new levels by engaging in talks with nations that some consider so evil that to do so, to talk to these nations, would mean lowering the US to their level.

So where do I draw the distinction then between the remaining candidates? If you regularly read this blog you already know some of those distinctions, but I will try to do some more drawing of distinctions now.

For one, Obama is younger and less absorbed into Washington’s ways than Clinton. I think when faced with a national or international crisis a Clinton administration is more likely to take worn back roads to solve a problem. Obama seems likely to forge new paths to quell current crises and those to come. Being so young, he is the fresh candidate, but that is not bad because we need a fresh perspective, a new way to solve problems. Also, I think Obama will be more willing to change policies of the current administration and his own if they are found to be failing policies.

So, maybe it is a matter of who is most ready. But the question: who is most ready to be Commander-in-Chief, places too much importance on the role of leading this country’s army. That is an essential role, don’t get me wrong, but we need a leader who is going to be the Commander-in-Chief of not only the army, but first and foremost, the people of this country. This leader, I hope, will give the American people input more than once every four years like Dana Perino says the Bush administration does. This leader should check in on the pulse of the nation more often. And when they find that opinion is found to directly oppose the current policies the leader shouldn’t respond with “So?” like Dick Cheney did last week when reminded that most Americans unwaveringly do not believe the Iraq War was worth fighting.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Handed to them

Damn. Wisconsin just got dominated. That's okay. I didn't pick them to get to the Elite 8 anyways. I picked Davidson. Just kidding.

This cheered me up though...

From Newsweek:

Comedian Tracy Morgan, in a response on "Saturday Night Live" to his "30 Rock" costar Tina Fey's line in support of Hillary Clinton

"Bitch may be the new black, but black is the new president, bitch."

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The whole world is on my case

Lingering with more frequency these days is some substantial doubt about my writing and my hopes to ever write for a career. I try to fend off the doubting voice in my head that says:

Who are you kidding? You are never going to make it as a writer. You should quit writing anything and focus on a different career path. There are so many writers out there. Why does your opinion count? I am not making a career of it because I have a blog. Everyone has a blog. Blogs are as common as Facebook pages. Most bloggers aren’t taken seriously. You shouldn’t start writing a book right now because you don’t know how to do it. Plus, what are you going to write about? Even if you write something people won’t pay for it to be published. Do you know anything well enough to actually write about it?

I have always seriously doubted myself and I don’t know why. So, these are the thoughts going through my mind almost every time I think of writing, look for writing jobs, or read about another young writer out there enjoying having his or her work published.

I think a lot of this doubt is circumstantial. Spring and summer are sweeping in on Milwaukee. Before I know it, Kate and I will have lived here for a year and a big part of me still hates this place. I have no roots here. I know no one. I still pray for change, but I chuckle when I do because it has been so long and spring is not bringing much hope…it is dying with the melting snow.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Public Works

Every outlet had to do something on the five-year anniversary of the War in Iraq, but the most compelling and the most informative by far, is Frontline's two-night program titled Bush's War.
The second part is on tonight. If you missed the first, or prefer watching all of it online, follow the link.

The thing I love about Frontline is that you hear from the people that were there in the room, not out in the hall, from the beginning of the ill-fated decision to the unending calamity.

Check it out.

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Church Search

Kate and I have almost been here nine months and we still haven’t struck gold in the search for a church. Should we even be looking for gold? That’s tough to argue. One could say it takes a while to establish a healthy connection to a church and not one out there is perfect. This is true, but over the last nine months I have developed much more appreciation for those moments in my life that I have met or heard of others looking for the right church.

It has not been easy to find a church we can call home. This is troubling. I don’t think it should be difficult, but it is. I don’t know if this search is difficult because of the qualities we are searching for in a church. Are we being too stringent? I don’t know if the search is difficult because of the selection available to us.

I do know that I have worried more than once that we (Kate and I) will not find the kind of church we are looking for. We have visited about eight at this point. Many of them have been too charismatic and Pentecostal for us. While I was at work a few Sundays ago Kate went to a church very close to us. She came back with a negative review. The pastor had reported from the pulpit that global warming is a hoax perpetuated by the liberal agenda in this country. The pastor then proceeded to heal members of the church by slamming his hand down on their foreheads. Luckily, there were some elders behind these members to catch them after the fall. We won’t be going back.

About a week ago we received a mailing from another nearby church. It looked promising. I checked their website and read their “essential beliefs” section. It was going well for a while until I ran across some rough patches. One of the rough patches was on leadership. This church, like many others, doesn’t allow women to be in leadership positions. Women can volunteer and work for the church, but when it comes to speaking and leadership roles, women are excluded. The site offered 1 Corinthians 14: 34-35 to justify this stance. We won’t be checking that place out.

The first church we went to out here was downright frightening, not to mention it was so huge that I think we could go there for a whole year and not be recognized once. This is the same for the church we went to on Sunday. There seemed to be 5,000 people in attendance. According to Wikipedia, it is the largest church in Wisconsin and, on average, 6,000 people attend services there every weekend. The senior pastor is an English Major. Hmm.

I don’t have a solution. I just wrote this to express a little bit of my frustration and sympathy for others in the same boat.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Did I have Lyme disease?

As promised, I will post a longer health update blog, but first this.

I have a day-by-day calendar that is from the writers of The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook. The topic on Monday was “How to Recognize Lyme Disease.”

More than a few times over the last five months it sounded like a disease I could have had, or have, once I found out you could have it and never have the classic bull’s eye rash.

The listed systemic symptoms are many and I have had many of them, including, ear pain, temporary hearing loss, ringing, sensitivity to noise, headaches, facial paralysis, stiff neck, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, inflammation, and possibly a sudden onset heart murmur.

I was tested for the Lyme antibody back in January. The test was negative. The mystery unsolved, but I was told it is sometimes hard to get a certain diagnosis of Lyme disease.

It is still one of my theories that I had Lyme disease and I am very slowly fighting off its grasp. Who knows?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Shock and Awful

Five years ago, when the War in Iraq kicked off with the Shock and Awe campaign, I remember sitting on the couch with Aaron in the family room of my parents’ house. I don’t remember us talking that much. Mostly, I remember just sitting in silence and watching bomb after bomb light up the Baghdad skyline.

I remember feeling somewhat okay with the invasion because the world would be a better place without Saddam. I also remember feeling very uneasy and confused about the decision to go into Iraq. There was, in my mind, a massive disconnect. I didn’t have the argument to be a supporter of the war or an opponent of the war. For this reason, I stayed silent about it a long time until I felt I could come out with a somewhat informed opinion.

Searching the archives of this nearly three year old blog for the first mention of the War in Iraq took me back to September 27, 2005. I quote this passage:

The nation's focus for the last month has been on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and Rita, but in the time between those hurricanes, 40 more US Soldiers have lost their lives in Iraq. I don't want to be comfortably writing on this blog a year from now while American men and women my age, and people of Iraqi descent, are being killed thousands of miles away in a war that lost its welcome a long time ago.

Here we are, two and half years since I wrote that. I am still comfortably writing. And generations are still dying in the desert. I am reminded of a huge reason my political ideology started to shift. I want this war to end. If America puts a Republican in The White House, I will be here in four years writing the same blog. I believe this to be true because the Republicans currently in power, and the Republican positioned to potentially take over The White House, speak of this war using conventional terms like winning and losing.

Occasionally they will claim that the duration and toughness of this war is due to the unconventional enemy we are fighting. Do they really believe that though? With every day that we are in Iraq; with every Iraqi death; with every bomb; we are raising up younger and younger generations of suicide bombers. It was our presence in the heart of Middle Eastern affairs that brought the terrorists here on 9/11. It is our continued presence in Middle Eastern affairs that is losing this war for us. I truly believe, in a way, that it is as simple as that. But Bush and his predecessor ramble on about victory. They’re old school. Empire is not possible anymore, but peace is. That’s why we need to get out of there.

Checking in on the Idol

I really have enjoyed not watching American Idol this year. I will never watch a whole season ever again, but I checked in last night and I have a few thoughts. I thought I’d get them out on here.

When I watched Idol last year I saw each contestant develop as a singer and performer. No matter what someone starts as on Idol, if they stay on the show, it is nearly impossible not to improve. In the beginning, I heard how bad many of the contestants were. Since I knew how much they were improving throughout the show last year I was more and more impressed with each performer as the weeks went on (except Sanjaya of course).

I had heard that this year’s top 12 were one of the best groups ever and when I saw them sing last night I thought most of them were horrible. I wonder how bad last year’s contestants would have sounded if I just checked in once midway through the season? There’s no telling, but I doubt they would sound nearly as good as I thought they were last year after watching them from their humble beginnings to the final weeks of the show.

It is now more evident to me that American Idol becomes more of a popularity contest than a singing contest. It is just convenient, that at the end of the show the winner usually happens to be a decent singer.

Looks like the worst movie. Ever.

Maybe it will prove me wrong...if I ever see it.

Watch the Speed Racer trailer at your own risk.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Obama's Speech

He is no messiah. He is not the end of America's problems, but I believe Obama and this movement he has stirred up, could possibly be the beginning of the end. To let this man remain only as a United States Senator would be a shame.

It is early, but I have found the speech on YouTube in four parts.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Monday, March 17, 2008

I English Major

I don’t know if you noticed, but about two weeks ago I wrote a very short blog on Brett Favre’s retirement. In the title of that blog I misspelled mourns.

Immediately after writing, I moved to the couch to do some reading and as I sat down a horrific thought popped into my head. Shoot, did I put an ‘e’ in mourns? Did I misspell a word in the title of a blog? I refused to believe, but I kept on getting flashes of “mournes” in my head. That’s impossible. I read on and didn’t get up for a while.

An hour later I went back to the computer and checked the title just to make sure I didn’t misspell mourns. I did. I had “Wisconsin Mournes” as the title of the blog. I was really scared and I changed it immediately, hoping there weren’t already emails in the inbox that pointed out the typo to the English Major.

There was one comment left on that blog while the typo was still up, but that person (Erik) was too kind to not say anything about it or maybe he just didn’t notice. I was lucky, lucky because as soon as I declared English as my major I entered into this mystical realm of literature, language, grammar, spelling, and punctuation. This is not a realm English Majors put themselves into. This is a realm that all others put us into. One could say English Majors get typecasted. Some, but not all traits of our typecast character include the following:

…is a perfect speller. I’m not perfect, but I can hold my own. This one has never really bothered me.

…has read everything. This one is by far the most annoying myth to confront. The canonical works that English Majors are required to read can be different from college to college, but rarely is the canon the same from decade to decade. Some books that may have been in the canon in the 70s may not have been in the canon in the 90s. You get the point. So, when I had a conversation with a co-worker a few weeks ago that went something like this…

Me: What are you reading right now?
Barista: Jack Kerouac’s On the Road. It’s one of my favorites.
Me: Cool.
Barista: Have you read it?
Me: Nope.
Barista: C’mon, English Major. How could you have not read that? It’s so relevant.

…I got a little fired up and that is when I first thought of writing this blog. Something this co-worker (and many more people!) needs to understand is that just because a book has been declared a Penguin Classic doesn’t mean it is in the canon. From what I know about On the Road, it is a relevant book, especially to Kerouac's generation, but as relevant to English literature as The Miller’s Tale, A Dictionary of the English Language, or Hamlet? Please.

…does not make errors in punctuation. I am almost positive I have made an error in this blog. That’s sort of okay with me because this is a blog. However, I do try to keep the punctuation errors to a minimum. My punctuation could be better, but I’m not trying to write the next edition of The Elements of Style. I think I’m okay.

…is not going to misspeak. This one drives me crazy. I misspeak all the time. I get my words in a jumble. My writing vocabulary is extraordinarily large compared to my speaking vocabulary. Making minor errors with verb conjugation, possessives, and the like, is a common habit for everyone else, why can’t it be the same for English Majors?

Don’t hate because I like reading Bill Bryson’s Dictionary of Troublesome Words during my down time.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Spring is arriving, but it's still cold

We drove to the lake today, to the same spot this picture was taken back in July. And to the same spot I wrote about in July, copied below.

I won’t ever be able to see that pier into Lake Michigan and not think about the trip I had out here with my wife and two fine gentlemen. I see them leap from it. Sounds of that trip come to me when the apartment is dark and empty. They make me smile.

How the weather changes never fails to shock me.

Ice formations made by the waves.

Ice had completely encased this section of railing. Crazy ice formations...courtesy of waves, wind, and cold-ass temperatures.

More of the ice covered pier.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Thoughts on the premiere

The movie wasn’t bad. I didn’t know what to expect, but it didn’t send me running for the exit.

I was on screen for a total of three seconds. The one line I had wasn’t cut.

My name was even in the credits, and in keeping with the quality of some of the acting and camera work in the movie, my last name was misspelled. Bryce Percia.

The movie definitely would receive an R rating. There is plenty of nasty, descriptive language and a flash of nudity, if I am not mistaken. The lighting was bad, but I believe one scene was shot in a strip club, or what was supposed to be one.

There was a post-premiere party where the beer was free.

I didn’t know what to expect for an official movie premiere in Wisconsin and felt awkwardly out of place when Kate and I walked into the theater. After seeing how some of the main actors and crew had dressed up for the occasion it was hard not to be cynical about the whole movie. From the dialogue, the soundtrack, the acting, and to the editing, there was a lot I wanted to pick apart. I had this overwhelming desire to degrade the movie because I was probably not going to think it was good, and I was still sort of embarrassed about being a part (an extremely small part) of it.

Before the movie started I was watching people stream into the theater. I spotted the director and he recognized me and approached me to shake my hand and he thanked me for coming out tonight. It was a nice gesture, certainly one I wasn’t really expecting considering the role I played in this whole thing. After a while I just toned down the cynicism. I knew this was the director’s first crack at filmmaking. Obviously, the movie isn’t going to be amazing. Plus, the first time most of us do anything it is really, really bad.

With that said, we stayed to watch the entire movie. I think that says enough. I was prepared to jet if it proved to be really bad, but it wasn’t. The whole movie centers on a serial killer who has already been imprisoned. He is serving a life sentence for five murders, but much of the information about why he killed these five people and where they are now remains a mystery. He says he will only reveal important information regarding his motives and the resting place of his victims to one man, an old criminal psychology professor and a handful of his students. The majority of the movie is shot in a warehouse where the serial killer speaks to the professor and five students. Essentially, the movie is a prolonged discussion amongst these six people about the serial killer’s motives. His motives? He takes justice into his own hands by providing much crueler punishment than our justice system allows. It reminded me of The Punisher if there were no action scenes and the Punisher just sat everyone down and told them why and how he did it. Toward the end there are a few flashback scenes and some nice twists to wrap up the story.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

So about that movie I was an extra in

You might recall me blogging about being an extra in a movie last August. Read about it here if you need to. Well, I’ve got an update. Since I hadn’t heard from anyone in a long time, I assumed the movie was old news and I had never been emailed or called about the premiere or a way to see it. Kate and I were just talking about this a couple days ago.

I received this email yesterday from the director letting me know that the premiere is tonight. I don’t actually know for sure if Kate will come with me, but I can’t turn down going to the premiere. Apparently, after the premiere the movie is going to be showing at this theater for about a week.

I’ll definitely review it on here, but right now I am apprehensive about going. I hope it is not too embarrassing to watch. I hope it is not too long. I hope it is not awful. I hope if it is horrible, I can sneak out of the theater. I am a ghost in this town. I can do that.

Oh, I almost forgot. If my one line isn't cut from the movie, I can add myself to IMDB. I’m doing it.

Scaling Back

I wrote yesterday that I was going to try to make it five weeks without this blog being dominated by politics. Then I read a decent chunk of old blogs (they were almost 2 years old) and I read this on Aaron’s blog “As Bryce is slowing down on the politics blogging, I'm just about to heat up” and I got sad and immediately regretted trying to dial down on the politics.

Selfishly, I wanted to be the one about to heat up, but I have been feeling somewhere inside of me that I am the one that needs to cool off…even if it is for a few days, weeks, or that five week hiatus I spoke of yesterday.

Reading through some of the archives helped me realize that this blog has been fairly political for a while now. In my head, I think of it as being political only since December. That’s not very long, but the truth is that a lot of blogs on here, maybe a majority, have a political undertone in them. To completely get rid of that would be to alter my style of writing and my voice. I don’t mean to do that, but I still aim to scale back.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

No More Politics

Barring any huge political news, I am hoping my blogs will steer clear of the political spectrum until the next primary. To give us an idea of how long that might be, here is a schedule of the remaining primaries.

April 22 – Pennsylvania
May 6 – Indiana and North Carolina
May 13 – Nebraska and West Virginia
May 20 – Kentucky and Oregon
May 27 – Idaho (R)
June 1 – Puerto Rico
June 3 – Montana, New Mexico (R), and South Dakota

There are a solid five weeks between now and the next primary week. I don’t really know what I’ll be blogging about between now and then, but hopefully I can keep a decent number up. What is a decent number? Well, in five out of the last seven months I have blogged as many or more times than there are days in that month. Without the rough and tumble health days of November and December I think that would be 7 out of 7 months, but stuff happens. I want to keep that streak alive and possibly improve upon those numbers. I don’t see that happening if I don’t have at least some posts on politics. So, there will be a few, but not too many…hopefully.

With that, I give you this. Newsweek’s new cover…


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Clinton is like Qdoba

I drive by Qdoba everyday. And everyday, I don’t go in because it is not a Chipotle.

When I drove by Qdoba yesterday I thought about how if Milwaukee had no Chipotles, going to Qdoba still wouldn’t be an option.

Then I thought of doing something crazy, like writing a blog that compares the Chipotle/Qdoba battle to the Obama/Clinton battle. Mostly, I thought I would draw similarities between the two from a very opinionated perspective. I was really excited. I do this a lot. See something. Think for a couple seconds and say to myself, “Oh, I could write about that.”

After getting home yesterday I thought about it and realized that would make for one crappy blog. I could only think of one point to make out of the whole comparison.

Clinton is like Qdoba. They are both all over the place, but in the absence of their competition (Obama and Chipotle), I won’t vote for her in November, and I won’t go to the Qdoba down the road.

Obama and Chipotle stand alone. There are no substitutes.

Live in Paris, The Shins

A sweet, spontaneous music video of The Shins in Paris.

Monday, March 10, 2008


Ah, some logical thinking from Obama about his illogical opponent.

There Will Be Blood

Out of all the Oscar nominated films I hadn’t seen by Oscar night, I wanted to see There Will Be Blood the most. I remembered scenes from the movie for days just because I had seen the movie trailer. Daniel Day-Lewis’ performance was also a point of curiosity for me. On every channel that did a story on the movie, or during any awards show, you could see a clip of Day-Lewis’ yelling “I’ve abandoned my child. I’ve abandoned my child.” I needed to know the story behind that intense scene so I took my only friend in Milwaukee to see the movie. Thanks, Kate.

From the first moments of the film when Daniel Plainview (Day-Lewis) is dangerously working by himself digging for oil, to the last words of There Will Be BloodI’m finished—the film is a sinister and foreboding look into the greed of men, specifically one man, Plainview. For him, there is only money and what he has to do to acquire that money—anything. There are no friends, no boundaries, and, ultimately, no loyalties. The filmmakers establish this ominous mood right away with an eerily screeching soundtrack. Making those in the audience wait over twenty minutes for the first word of dialogue drills the point home that Plainview, and his brethren, don’t waste words.

The first half-hour of the movie tested Kate’s patience. She was ready to leave me in the theater and slip into the new McConaughey/Hudson joint, Fool’s Gold, but I told her to be patient and “hold out a little longer. I think you’ll like this one.” She had to hold out for 2 hours and 38 minutes, but she did warm to the movie and left the theater comparing its goodness to that of No Country For Old Men.

It is a funny thing about the scene where Daniel Plainview yells “I’ve abandoned my child.” All the previews and clips of that scene made it look like the most serious and dramatic moment. Actually, that scene was full of irony and humor. It drew more than a few laughs from the audience. In this scene, Plainview is being baptized by a young, charismatic preacher Eli Sunday (played by Paul Dano). Sunday makes him confess his sins in front of the congregation. Hesitant at first, Plainview really gets into the baptism and starts yelling, breathing hard, and shaking his head. For Plainview, the baptism is a rite of passage he must endure in order to be allowed to build an oil pipeline across a church member’s land. Plainview is, for once, subjecting himself to something he doesn’t like and doesn’t believe in, in order to make millions of dollars from his pipeline to the coast of California. Day-Lewis does an amazing job of being enthusiastic about the baptism. His fervor patronizes the audience, but they embrace him as a brother and a new member of the church after Plainview rises because they believe Plainview’s confession is genuine.

There Will Be Blood does not lift one’s spirits. Much like No Country, this film ends on a down note and resignation. If Plainview’s destructive path through life doesn’t make you mourn for him or everyone in his way, then you have only to think about the oil industry today. I think this is where There Will Be Blood is most applicable to the times. Although I don’t think there are such crazy people as Plainview in the modern oil industry (there could be, you never know), the oil and the promise of wealth are still there and it is troubling to know that oil executives are consumed by, much to the same degree, the greed that consumes Plainview. Like Plainview, I don’t suspect any oil company to relinquish their drive for wealth until every last drop of oil is drilled. In doing so, the companies will push their interests in all other forms of politics and economic development in order to suffocate renewable energy research, alternative sources of energy, and environmental concern. They will do this because they only care about maximizing profits and building up walls of security and lavish wealth. Sort of on the flip side of all this, I couldn't help thinking about how I am making these people richer and richer when I get into my car to use $105-a-barrel oil.

Plainview got his profits, built his mansion, and showed off his wealth, but is a drunk and lonely man when the movie ends. To the bitter end he stamps out everyone in his life that seeks to change him, leaving the last victim bloodied on a bowling alley. Because real life often isn’t a storybook ending, this movie is worth seeing because it is no fairy tale.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Again, these aren't my words, but I like them

My only thought this morning is that I really want it to be over. I'll vow to raise $5 million for Hillary if she'll drop out.

Exactly How I Feel

I agree with this post. Word for word.

Money quote:

If the Clintons beat Obama this way, I have a simple prediction. It will mean a mass flight from the process. It will alter the political consciousness of an entire generation of young voters - against any positive interaction with the political process for the foreseeable future. I'm not sure that Washington yet understands the risk the Clintons are taking with their own party and the future of American politics.

Wyoming is Obama Country

It is hard to imagine huge political celebrities catering to the least populated state in the country, but it is happening. Barack Obama is holding a rally at the AA in Laramie tonight. Bill Clinton spoke yesterday. He was wearing cowboy boots and added he has been wearing them for three weeks. I have a tough time believing that, but either way, I would love to be in Laramie tonight. The atmosphere in that small college town has to be electric. Wyomingites don't get too much attention. They usually squirm under a scrutinizing eye, but if the limelight is temporary they will gobble it up. I am sure that is what they will be doing through Saturday.

And, it looks like Wyoming is Obama country. 15 of the 24 state (Democratic) legislators have endorsed him. The Laramie Boomerang has got the scoop.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

And I mourn

This gem via Andrew Sullivan via James Fallows. Hillary speaks today:

"Sen. McCain has a lifetime of experience, I have a lifetime of experience, Sen. Obama has one speech in 2002"
In the primaries, a vote for her, really is a vote for McCain. Hillary lover or hater, how could you think that this is something presidential to say?

I still hoped that Obama could pull out some miraculous victories last night in Texas. This morning it is clear that despite it being theoretically impossible for Clinton to win (in terms of pledged delegates), the democratic presidential primary is going to the summer.

I really didn't go to bed too happy last night. I am disappointed even more by the way Clinton has ran her campaign. I felt like my hope for Obama had diminished because of the looming "comeback kid" stories.

Now it's a new day. I still don't like Clinton. I've imagined November and the options that could be on the ballot: Clinton and McCain. I might not even vote if that's the case. That's the way I feel right now.

My hope for an Obama victory is back. It definitely took a hit last night, but hearing and reading the experts today gives me a little comfort. It sounds like Obama's delegate lead is not one Clinton can overcome. That's great, but he still needs to win states like Wyoming on Saturday and a few others scattered here and there throughout the next two months. I don't know if there is a point in this race that Clinton would actually realize she is going to lose this thing, but Obama must do his best to try to strive for that to save what is left of the Democratic party.

One more thing...

I am new to this political thing for a couple reasons. One, I am still young. November will be the second presidential election in which I will get to cast a ballot. Two, I voted for all the (R)s I could see on the 2004 ballot. I am not doing that anymore, but I would like to feel a little better about that, and this ugly fight is not helping.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Wisconsin mourns

Brett Favre retires. You can't believe what a big story this is here. Every TV channel. Every radio station. Every conversation.

And here come the tears.

Monday, March 03, 2008

The Last Class

Props are due to my boys in Laramie.

The 2008 Mountain West Conference Championships in swimming took place last week. The men finished third and missed second place by less than 15 points. This was a very impressive finish for them. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting it, but I am so proud of those guys.

I feel a nostalgic attachment to the seniors of this year’s team. They are the last class of swimmers at Wyoming that I was in the pool with. In a way, I feel like I went to war with them, albeit just for one year, because we sweat blood together in the pool, on the stadium stairs, on the runs, and in the weight room.

It has been fun following their progress as Cowboys over the last three years. Momentarily, I yearn to be back in their presence, together again in that brotherhood. But instead I watch from afar, proud as ever to say that I own a shred of that elite club in Laramie.

Way to go, Cowboys.

Photo: (Trevor Brown, Jr./NCAA Photos)

Block of Words

Bryce sat down with a beer and chips to write something. Anything. He has had a bit of writer’s block lately, but he felt like getting something out. Maybe it would help with the block.

I have to say first that beer and chips aren’t Bryce’s snack preference for writing. He prefers a warm drink, but I think he was just too lazy to prepare one at home or go out into the ever colder weather of Milwaukee today. If you really want to know…he is drinking a Stella Artois (from the bottle) and eating Mission tortilla chips (from a bowl) and since it is after 12, he feels okay about drinking one beer right now…even if he is by himself.

Bryce is mulling over several blog ideas right now. He feels he should post something about the primaries tomorrow since his blog has been increasingly political in the last couple of months. He is not going to post something long though because he told me he would rather just wait until after tomorrow to talk about what happens. He can’t help telling me that he has read somewhere that if Hillary only wins Ohio tomorrow that the Clintons will act like they have “regained the presidency.” Bryce told me he agrees with that statement. He thinks Hillary will win Ohio tomorrow and perhaps other states that she is now not favored to win. Either way, Bryce wants to say that tomorrow will be another overall victory for Obama, but the race will go on. This is a very easy prediction to make. Bryce is no expert, only the master of the obvious in the political realm.

There is the issue of health. Bryce doesn’t recall recently sharing about his health on his blog. Unlike politics, that is a separate post, but one that will be good to write. It should be up within a week.

Last week, Bryce begged Kate to see There Will Be Blood with him. There wasn’t much convincing needed. They rushed to the theater and smuggled in some Jimmie Johns subs. There will be a post on the movie later, but if you haven’t seen it, Bryce recommends it. Even if you don’t like the movie, Daniel Day-Lewis’ performance is worth seeing.

He tells me he is tired of writing this way. Maybe his writing block is gone. We will see.