Friday, November 20, 2009

Grand Old Pest

Ugh, what is this annoying itch? Ahh, it won't go away! I can't stand it! It must be a bad rash. Oh,'s... SARAH PALIN.

Her book is being dismissed as nonsense and scoffed at, even by Republicans. I caught part of her Oprah interview, but had to turn it off because I was so uncomfortable. I almost felt bad for her...almost. She's dense, deluded, and deceptive.

Alright, I'm sick of talking about this goon. This post was written for the sole purpose of posting this hilarious clip:

Friday, November 13, 2009

It's The Little Things...

Hey, I just found something even more entertaining than Mormons to come out of Utah- University of Utah's zoomable window that allows you to zoom and compare the size of a coffee bean to things like sperm, mitochondria, and a carbon atom.

I think it's pretty neat-o.

Puts things in perspective, doesn't it?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Viva La RevoluciĆ³n

I just read The Nation's Reflections on a Decade of Civic Revolutions in Latin America and found it to be an informative summation of the recent political happenings in Latin America. It has become apparent to me in the last few months how imperative it is for us North Americans to know what is REALLY going on just to the south of us. We have had and still do have a HUGE presence there, and unfortunately, we have not used our powers for much good at all.

Here are some blurbs:




I remember hearing about how Obama and Chavez briefly met a few months back, and how the media reported that Obama was "cordial" and exchanged a few words with Chavez. It's not that the West sees Chavez as a mean, scary man, but rather as a threat to their self-serving capitalistic approach to Latin America...and it IS unfortunate that Obama seems to be coloring within the same old lines.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

40 Years of Sunny Days

Happy 40th birthday, Sesame Street!

This morning, as I got ready for work, I listened to a segment on the radio all about the history of Sesame Street and they, of course, played the theme song. I hadn't realized that it's been ages since I heard that song and when I did, a wave of happy nostalgic feelings hit me.

Most of the very familiar things I grew up with (Disney, Coca-Cola, McDonald's, Oprah, etc.) have soured over the years; the reality of their big, corporate, hypocritical actions have tainted my pre-conceived notions of what I thought I knew so well...but not Sesame Street. Sesame Street is still its quirky, lovable self in my mind.

I'm sure my mother was unendingly thankful for the PBS line-up back in the late 80's; I remember her ironing in the basement before she had to leave for work, while I played and was happily entertained by my favorite monsters and their human friends. What I didn't know then is that I was learning- not just about numbers, letters, colors and grouchy creatures living in garbage cans, but about diversity and acceptance. (Yes, I realize that sounds cheesy, but it's true.) I was a little white girl in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago, so seeing a variety of different looking people from different backgrounds everyday on TV was a good thing.

I was talking about this with a friend of mine this morning, and we both noted what a unique show it was- the almost gritty, urban set seemed real (it has since cleaned up a bit, apparently to coincide with the "clean up" of New York) and the monsters were unlike anything else we'd seen before. It was innovative and it was ours. They spoke to kids in a language we understood, never condescending, but almost with respect; they knew how smart and capable we really were.

While searching for Sesame Street related articles, I came across How Sesame Street Changed The World, a Newsweek article from earlier this year, about (obviously) the show's influence, where it's been, where it is and its future. Here's a blurb:

It is, arguably, the most important children's program in the history of television. No show has affected the way we think about education, parenting, childhood development and cultural diversity, both in the United States and abroad, more than Big Bird and friends. You might even say that Sesame Street changed the world, one letter at a time.

When I was four, I could have cared less about the show's cultural influence (I didn't even know the what the words cultural and influence meant) and I certainly was unaware about how much I was actually learning. I just knew I loved it and that it was a very special show about a bunch of silly monsters and their friendly neighbors, inviting us to "come and play where everything's A-okay..."
I was more than happy to oblige...and chances are, you were too ;)

Here's one of my all-time favorite clips of Smokey Robinson and the letter U, putting a new spin on "You've Really Got a Hold On Me":

Monday, November 9, 2009

Noah's Christmas

A friend sent me this info. this morning. If this doesn't give your heartstrings a tug, you are a heartless demon.

Take a few minutes to check out the video...

Diana Harrison Biorkman has a 5-year-old son in his last stages of a 2 1/2 year battle with Neuroblastoma Cancer. They are celebrating Christmas next weekend because doctors are predicting that he won't make it to December. Noah loves Christmas cards-

Please take a minute to send a card to:

Noah Biorkman
1141 Fountain View Circle
South Lyon, MI 48178

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

You May All Go To Hell, But I Went To Texas*

This is at The Oasis in Austin, TX- by far the coolest place I've ever had a cocktail.

Just last weekend, my sister and I went out to visit my Uncle and his fam just outside of Austin. How lovely it was to wear shorts and SEE the sun! I was surprised at how beautiful it was! Hills, greenery, etc. And although we only spent a few hours actually IN Austin itself, I loved the city and really want to get back there. Maybe there's an Austin City Limits in my future...

Oh, and I came to the realization that Texas is the most American place in America- I'm being general here, of course, but I mean the whole patriotism thing. In many parts of the world, it's rare to have a flag hanging on every other house like here in the states. We are notoriously SUPER patriotic and Texans are SUPER into Texas. Most cars I saw in the greater Austin area either had a long horn or state shape decal on their car. Go big or go home, I guess! Anyway, I couldn't help but chuckle at the thought of having the shape of good ole Illinois on the back of my car or slapping my chest and saying, "You wanna mess with me?! I'm from ILLINOIS! Don't mess with ILLINOIS!" Okay, you get the joke.

Oh, one more thing- did you know there is a Laura Bush Elementary School? Well, there is. I have no real beef with Laura as person, so I'm not trying to be a hater when I wonder why she has a school at all, let alone ALREADY. There's no Hillary Clinton Elementary School in her home state of ILLINOIS. Then again, we're not Texas.

*My subject line is a take off of the quote, "You may all go to hell, but I will go to Texas", allegedly said by Davy Crockett (y'know, King of the Wild Frontier?) when declaring if he lost his run for congress in Tennessee, he'd move to Texas. He did lose and he did move to Texas- only to die at the Alamo a year later. You BETTER believe that quote is ALL over mugs and
t-shirts down in TX!