Sunday, January 27, 2008

state of the union survival kit



Ah...here's an excellent way to get through George W.'s last state of the union address.

thanks to Matt for sending this along to me!


"He shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient." -- U.S. Constitution, Article II, Section III

"Madame Speaker, the President of the United States..."

The general rules of this game are no different from any other drinking game. A drink is either a shot or a good gulp from a beer (or cider). Different events call for different numbers of drinks and all you do is watch the speech and play along. If all goes well, you'll be unconscious by the time they show the other party's response.


Click here for the rules...fabulous.

there was this girl...

the best springsteen song ever, and one of my favorite versions of it, with melissa and the boss.

always puts a lump in my throat.

for deborah t.

...wherever you are...


Saturday, January 26, 2008

saving allison $3.99 at videoport

WARNING: if you just now changed your queue on netflix, or you're about to run out to your local vid store to rent six feet under, all based, of course, on my shining recommendation because, let's face it, i have exquisitely good taste, then do not watch the following you tube video.

i'm posting it for al, so that she can have a good cry.

the last 10 minutes, ever, of six feet under.
enjoy sister friend:

breathe me

so i am a HUGE fan of the HBO series Six Feet Under. if you've never watched it, go out and rent the first season. now. you'll quickly become addicted because, well, it's goddamn brilliant. i never felt like i was watching a television show...it was more like...hmmm...an out-of-freaking-body-experience. the final minutes of its last episode were absolute genius, just an extraordinary way to end an impeccably written series that achieved perfection with a truly sensational cast. (i know, i know, that's a shitload of adjectives, but like i said, i am a serious fan. ) halfway through those final minutes i stood up in the middle of my livingroom and clapped and cheered and cried like a damn fool. seriously, my cats were certain i had finally and totally and utterly lost my only mind.

the song that was playing during those last breathtaking moments has haunted me and i finally, FINALLY found it on youtube. gotta love youtube.

sia...breathe me.

Be my friend
Hold me, wrap me up
Unfold me
I am small
and needy
Warm me up
And breathe me

wow.

check it out:




Thursday, January 24, 2008

it's just a little crush

kt tunstall.

oh. my. gawd.

she's just wickedly talented.
and um, unbelievably cute, too.

and the boots?
well, they sealed the deal for me.


a killer version of a Jackson Five classic:

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

president gore endorses marriage equality

okay.
fine.

so he isn't our president. but he should have been.

i don't know why he came out with this video today...except maybe to give those Dem candidates a swift kick in the buttocks about being so flaky on marriage. I don't know why he did it...but I love him for it.

oh Al...the things we coulda done:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/evan-wolfson/al-gore-endorses-the-free_b_82913.html

Sunday, January 20, 2008

oops. it's a leap year. 366 days & counting.

a fairly remarkable impression of Bush (and Clinton) that I just had to share:

365 and counting

so one year from today, we will say goodbye to the regime of George W., a man with the intellect of a seven year-old, and who suffers from frequent bouts of um, what's the best way to put this...diarrhea of the mouth? some examples from the last six months:

"I heard somebody say, 'Where's (Nelson) Mandela?' Well, Mandela's dead. Because Saddam killed all the Mandelas." --George W. Bush, on the former South African president, who is still very much alive, Washington, D.C., Sept. 20, 2007

"I don't particularly like it when people put words in my mouth, either, by the way, unless I say it." --George W. Bush, Crawford, Texas, Nov. 10, 2007

"The decisions we make in Washington have a direct impact on the people in our country, obviously." --George W. Bush, New Albany, Ind., Nov. 13, 2007

"I can press when there needs to be pressed; I can hold hands when there needs to be -- hold hands." --George W. Bush, on how he can contribute to the Middle East peace process, Washington, D.C., Jan. 4, 2008

Eh. That we have managed to survive (barely) 7 years of this fool in office is a minor miracle.

A village in Texas is about to get its idiot back...

Friday, January 18, 2008

wind chimes

i remember.

"i don't want to imagine this world without you. i can't. i won't know how to do it."

"oh darlena, i will always be in this world. in your world. i will be the voice in your head, in your heart, i will be sitting there, holding you, helping you, loving you."

"but how will i know it's you?"

"remember our thursdays? remember all of us, sitting on your deck in scarborough, in the warm sun, with the ocean breeze brushing our skin, the wind chimes singing? listen for the chimes darlena. that will be me, coming to visit you, you'll hear them and you'll know i'm right beside you."

and then you were gone.

W. and I drove home early that morning, 2:00 am, to sleep a few hours in our own bed after days of being away. and then up early to pack for the trip to Caribou...to bring you home. I went outside to the deck, just after dawn, just as the sun was coming up over the trees, just before the tide was turning, the river calm, quiet, motionless. i went outside and just stood there, letting the sting of the cold january air jolt my body awake. letting my heart feel the sharp, blinding newness of missing you, feeling it hit me deep inside to my bones.

and then the tide began to turn inward. the air began to move, the wind shifted across the river. I felt W. come up behind me, felt her head rest on my shoulder. "do you hear them? ringing?"

all around us, everywhere, every house along the river.

chimes. blowing wildly in the wind.

"yeah. she didn't wait too long, did she..."



Thursday, January 17, 2008

requiem, for betty

...give me these moments back, give them back to me,
give me that little kiss, give me your hands...


When a Friend Dies

When a friend dies
the salmon run no fatter.
The wheat harvest will feed no more bellies.
Nothing is won by endurance
but endurance.
A hunger sucks at the mind
for gone color after the last bronze
chysanthenum is withered by frost.
A hunger drains the day,
a homely sore gap
after a tooth is pulled,
a red giant gone nova,
an empty place in the sky
sliding down the arch
after Orion in night as wide
as a sleepless staring eye.
When pain and fatigue wrestle
fatigue wins. The eye shuts.
Then the pain rises again at dawn.
At first you can stare at it,
Then it blinds you.

Marge Piercy


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

terrifying quote of the day

Mike Huckabee, in a stump speech prior to Tuesday's primary in Michigan:


"[Some of my opponents] do not want to change the Constitution, but I believe it's a lot easier to change the constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God, and that's what we need to do is to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards rather than try to change God's standards," Huckabee said, referring to the need for a constitutional human life amendment and an amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

If that doesn't make you throw up in your mouth a little bit, I don't know what will.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

sweet darkness

a poem found me today and unlocked me, in a place wholly unexpected.

i was sitting in a church, biding my time through the morning service, waiting for an after-service forum i'd been invited to participate in about marriage equality.

i was just...sitting there. half paying attention. my thoughts wandering as they so often do, just barely touching the present moment. staring out the window, planning the rest of my day, thinking ahead to the week, the month, my mind in a million other places.

and then, as if she were in a tunnel, i heard a woman say these words: "when your eyes are tired, the world is tired also." and something about those words caught me...pulled me back...

and so i listened to her. i could not move. could not breathe until she finished the poem. i was surprised to feel my eyes fill up with water, i was surprised to feel my heart, aching. i was most surprised to feel my mind, aware.

those words wrapped themselves around me like an embrace, like a friend, telling me how to calm the restlessness in my head, and in my heart.

and now, i am home. there is shifting in the air, in the atmosphere. a storm is coming.

i know the world is moving, the world is moving so damn fast and sometimes i feel as though i will never keep up, i will trip and fall and get left behind somehow. am i strong enough? am i good enough? sometimes i feel...so unsure. and so. alone.

but for tonight at least, my head and my heart are still and quiet. and that poem is singing inside me.

i'm going outside, to my back porch.

and i'm just going to sit there.

in the sweet darkness.




----------------------------------------------------------------
Sweet Darkness

When your eyes are tired
the world is tired also.

When your vision has gone
no part of the world can find you.

Time to go into the dark
where the night has eyes
to recognize its own.

There you can be sure
you are not beyond love.

The dark will be your womb
tonight.

The night will give you a horizon
further than you can see.

You must learn one thing,
The world was made to be free in.

Give up all the other worlds
except the one to which you belong.

Sometimes it takes darkness and
the sweet confinement of your
aloneness to learn this:

anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive

is too small for you.

David Whyte
From "The House of Belonging"

Friday, January 11, 2008

oh jon stewart, how i love thee

i have been on a steady rant about the media and the political pundits and their pathetic (and i mean pathetic at epic proportions) coverage of the presidential primaries. they drive me, as i love to say, bat-shit crazy.

they drive jon stewart bat-shit crazy too. and i just can't get enough of his slant on all-things political. gotta have my daily dose of The Daily Show. jon stewart is just. plain. brilliant.

if you've got seven minutes, you simply must watch his take on the ridiculous punditry following clinton's surprise victory in new hampshire.

as a teaser, jon stewart says of chris matthews, "that guy is insane."

fabulous. he just totally rocks my world.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

cj cregg, the sequel

with all this serious political talk, i'm feelin' the need to lighten it up a bit with my All Time Favorite Fictional Political Goddess, CJ Cregg.

the root canal scene.

priceless.


new hamp-shah

so clinton wins new hampshire and continues on in spite of polling and punditry all predicting doom and gloom for her in the granite state. i have to say, i was rooting for her. i want these conversations to continue. seems to me that the Democratic candidates are just now finding their voices, are just now trying to articulate and make the case of what truly separates them from each other. i hope future debates are formatted like the one in new hampshire...none of these 2 minutes to respond, 30 seconds to rebut, 12.87343 seconds to rebut the rebuttal. eh. get us beyond canned answers and sound bites. get us to the bone of the matter. let's have a lively, healthy debate about how we can recover from the Bush Regime and 8 years of horrific...ahem..."governing." quite frankly, we are desperate for such a debate. we need to listen. we need to ask questions. we need to educate ourselves about these candidates. most importantly, we need to understand that our very identity as Americans rests on this election. we simply cannot sit this one out, people. it is just too freaking important.

as far as the GOP goes, all i know for certain is that they all scare the living shit out of me and that Mickey (or Minnie) Mouse would get my vote before any of these characters would. McCain wins in New Hampshire. look, i respect the guy and appreciate what he went through in vietnam so let's not even go there. but yikes. if he is not The Establishment in 3 dimension and technicolor, then no one is. and please don't call him The Comeback Kid. eh. he's a tired old man who has actually been quoted saying that if elected, it's possible he wouldn't seek a second term because he would be, like, 97 years old. more of the same, more of the same. if the thought of a McCain/Hucakabee ticket didn't terrify me so much it would be laughable.

i can't even talk about huckabee. he gives me the heebie jeebies and the Gay Shivers and if this man gets anywhere NEAR the White House then my new favorite song will be Oh Canada. Serious.

and romney. oh. my. gawd. this guy is so a Game Show Host. every time he steps up to a microphone I expect him to yell out "JOKER JOKER JOKER!" or "and the survey SAYS...!!!" so plastic. no substance whatsoever. guiliani? pah-leeeeze. he was an inept mayor in NYC and just happened to be roaming the streets on 9-11 and so used that whole tragedy to elevate himself to presidential candidate status. it's just plain shameful. plus he's a yankees fan, which really tells me all i need to know.

so yeah. the train moves out of new hampshire and we get to watch it roll along a bit more. i'm sorta starting to enjoy it a little bit. some serious history in the making here on what i believe will be THE most important presidential election in my lifetime. i've popped some corn, cracked a cold beer, and intend to sit back and pay close attention.

and i'll tell you this much. whoEVER wins the Democratic nomination is gonna have my full support. we gotta roll up our sleeves and git 'er done. ya think it doesn't matter much? then think Supreme Court justices for just a second or two. um. yeah. you really want a republican administration nominating a few more of those?

we just cannot. have. another. republican. for. four. more. years. it's as simple as that.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

update: this is what i'm talking about

from Think Progress, adequately titled "Braindead Media."

Exactly.

Media Torn Over Whether To Cast Clinton As ‘Weak’ Or ‘Calculating’ For ‘Emotional’ Display

Today at a campaign event in New Hampshire, Sen. Hillary Clinton’s (D-NY) “eyes welled up with tears” as she spoke about why she was running for president. “It’s not easy, and I couldn’t do it if I didn’t passionately believe it was the right thing to do,” she said.

In a piece entitled, “
Can Clinton’s Emotions Get The Best Of Her?,” ABC News wrote, “Whether Clinton has appeared too emotional, too sensitive or too weak in her recent public appearances is still up for debate.”

Many in the media have been quick to compare Clinton’s emotions to former
1972 Democratic presidential candidate Ed Muskie, who was taunted as weak and unpresidential after he became emotional on the campaign trail. Fox News pundits Michelle Malkin and Bill Kristol, however, took a different tact, calling Clinton’s emotions a “calculated” moment.

You can, and should, read the entire article here.

primarily, a ramble

new hampshire primaries are today. woo-hoo. what this means to me is that we're one step closer to the end of this primary/caucus madness which feels like it's been going on since, um, i don't know, the introduction of the 8-track tape player. and that we're also one step closer to getting rid of the George W. Regime.

i still haven't completely made up my mind about which candidate i'd like to see become the democratic nominee...which for me is sort of amazing since i normally have very strong opinions on everything and am pretty adept at picking a candidate and sticking with them. honestly, i wish we could magically combine four of them together and come up with The Perfect Candidate. Someone with Clinton's public policy expertise and living-life-as-a-woman-in-the-male-dominated-world-of-politics experience. Mix that with Obama's extraordinary charisma and message-of-change-and-healing-and-all-things-anti-status-quo. Put in a healthy dose of Edwards' populist world view, and then top it all off with Kucinich's liberal (that's right, liberal) stances on social issues. That would be My Candidate.

But alas, this is not possible, any more than it's possible that I'm going to find The Perfect Woman who fulfills every qualification I am looking for in a partner. It ain't gonna happen, and so you need to priortize and compromise and find other people to help balance things. Yadda yadda yadda. Bottom line for me...I'm not going to have the opportunity to voice my choice since I'll be in Detroit when Maine finally caucuses in February. And the fact is, the nominee will be in the can by then anyway. Which says a whole lot about media manipulation and voter value dependent on where you live and the way we decide who gets to represent us at the highest level in this country. I think we should have presidential caucuses and primaries on the same exact day in every state. Maybe then people would cast their vote for the candidate that best represents their values and beliefs rather than the candidate that the media tells them has the best chance of winning.

Maybe.

But no matter who ends up on the top of the democratic ticket, i will say that Hillary Clinton has now moved from somewhere in the middle of my top ten list of women i admire to the absolute number one spot. I always knew she was tough as nails and i've always believed her to be a true patriot who serves because she loves the idea of the country she is a citizen of. and watching her navigate the minefields of this presidential primary race has been extraordinary. anyone who thinks that the media has not obsessed over her gender is not. paying. attention. at. all. i could do a google search right now and in 10 seconds find hundreds of articles where sexism is on full display.

just yesterday you could not land on any web page discussing the new hampshire primary without seeing the video of an "emotional Clinton" talking to a group of undecided voters about her experience in this race. "hillary weeps." in my mind, that video only convinced me more that this is a three-dimensional candidate who is very, very human and very, very tired and who has been kicked around pretty good by the male-dominated press and the male-dominated field of candidates. and who has handled it just fine in my book. but the headlines? all too reminiscent of the way Geraldine Ferraro was covered a couple of decades ago when she ran as the vice-presidential candidate. slanted in way that made it look like "emotion" was a strictly feminine characteristic and not at all what we should have in a political leader. kinda that what-if-she's-having-a-PMS-attack-and-launches-us-into-world-war-three. give me a break. it just makes my blood boil.

and let's not forget about the two guys protesting her in salem yesterday by screaming "iron my shirt." and how much coverage THAT little gem is getting. makes me sick. makes me ashamed. and just adds to my list of reasons why i would never want to live in new hampshire. eh.

i don't have one one-millionth of the intestinal fortitude that Hillary Clinton has shown in all her years of public service, and particularly in these past months on the campaign trail. and as the first-ever viable woman presidential candidate, she's an inspiration to little girls everywhere who want to dream big. and she's secured a place in my heart that i save for women who have the courage to blaze trails in spite of immeasurable odds and obstacles. she is a true blue feminist and i just know, that years from now, i will look back and say "i remember when Hillary Clinton changed the face of politics forever. i was there. and it was incredible."

period. the end.

Friday, January 04, 2008

let it ring

thanks to KP for an especially supportive email this morning, and for reminding me about this song by Amy Ray. Good stuff.

we can do better. and we will. and i don't plan to stop working until there is no work left to do.


Thursday, January 03, 2008

strimling for congress

Rarely, if ever, have I discussed political candidates on the slant...it's pretty clear that i'm an issues kinda wonk, and it's even clearer that MY issue is all things LGBT. But today I'm giving an unapologetic and shameless plug to my friend State Senator Ethan Strimling, who is hoping to be the Democratic nominee for the First Congressional District in Maine. There are a million...no, there are a baZILLION reasons why this man is not just getting my vote but also getting some of my time and energy volunteering on his campaign.

Others have done a great job of spelling out Ethan's politics: a good friend of mine wrote a terrific post about Ethan on the Daily Kos and you can read it here. You can also go to Ethan's website for more information...www.ethan08.com If you want to know about Ethan's politics, those are two great places to start.

For me...well. It's definitely his politics. And the fact that our world views are essentially identical. But it's also personal. We have a history, Ethan and I. I know him well. And seeing him serve us in Washington...well, there aren't too many other things that would be more fabulous than that.

I met Ethan in 2004—it was a quick handshake in the Maine Senate chamber after being introduced to him by my friend Corey Hascall. (Corey is now Ethan's campaign director; she's a rockstar in her own right and one of the most extraordinarily beautiful creatures I've ever known. The fact that she supports Ethan is, for me, a ringing endorsement about the kind of great man Ethan truly is. ) Ethan & I literally spoke that day for about 2 ½ minutes. Three days later, there was a handwritten note from Ethan in my mailbox telling me how much it meant to him that Corey had found such a supportive friend, and that he looked forward to working with me on LGBT civil rights issues in the future.

That note was the beginning of a terrific friendship and professional relationship.

I’ve been a full-time LGBT activist for four and a half years now, doing grassroots organizing and working on public policy; I spent 6 months as a field organizer for the successful Maine Won’t Discriminate campaign. In that time I’ve been lucky enough to work with Ethan in the statehouse and on the campaign trail, and there just isn’t a more passionate supporter of full LGBT equality than him. He has been my loudest and most faithful cheerleader. And he’s not just talked the talk. He has rolled up his sleeves and worked tirelessly on virtually every civil rights issue that’s made its way to Augusta. He has been our most vocal supporter, and his leadership in Augusta on civil rights issues has been remarkable.

As a leader inside Maine Won't Discriminate, Ethan spent endless hours helping us defeat hate and promote tolerance. As a Board member of the NAACP, he challenged his own community to recognize the changing face of Maine.And as a State Senator he led battles behind the scenes to pass the Civil Rights Act of 2005. He led the charge to provide Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) benefits to domestic partners, and because of his strong support we saw that important bill signed into law this year. He also had the courage to propose that Maine finally repeal our discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the law that prevents us from recognizing legal marriages from Massachusetts.

What I appreciate most about Ethan is his absolute willingness to speak out about LGBT issues, and to stand beside the LGBT community, inside Augusta and outside of it. He stood beside a handful of us as we silently protested an anti-LGBT rally in Augusta when no other legislator would. It’s a moment I will never ever forget, and one I will always be grateful for. I’ve marched beside him at Pride Parades. I’ve listened to him speak at rallies to promote LGBT equality and acceptance. He has never been afraid to stand with us. In fact, he is proud to do it. You just have to look at his face at these events to know that is true.

I was asked to speak at Ethan's exploratory announcement back in June...and while I don't necessarily like posting a youtube video of ME on the Slant (hate my voice, hate my hair, yadda yadda yadda), I think it captures in 4 minutes why I will stand beside this man through thick and thin. 'Cause it means everything to me to have a Representative in Washington who won’t just vote the right way, but who will fight the good fight for ALL of us, and who will be unafraid to take the lead on civil rights.

And because he has always stood behind me when I needed him, I'm proud to stand behind him.

He's my guy.