Wednesday, January 28, 2009

No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!

On the anniversary of the day that the Soviet army liberated Auschwitz in 1945 (see video below), I was treated to a story on NPR this morning about the Bishop that was "un-excommunicated" by the Pope this week. Bishop Richard Williamson has been -- recently, not just in the past -- quoted as saying there's no historical evidence that 6 million Jews died in WWII.

Bishop Williamson, who has said that the Vatican is controlled by Satan and that the Jews are bent on world domination, reiterated in a broadcast last week on Swedish television that the historical evidence was “hugely against six million having been deliberately gassed in gas chambers as a deliberate policy of Adolf Hitler. I believe there were no gas chambers”.
I'm sorry, WHAT?!? and he gets to be a Bishop in the Catholic Church? The way the current pope is reversing Vatican II, I'd say the "heretics" in Europe had better watch out - the Spanish Inquisition may be poised for a comeback!

But in the meantime, a moment of reflection on the horrors that took place at Auschwitz, and how grateful we are that Hitler and the Nazis were defeated.

I think it's time for the Shehecheyanu:

Monday, January 19, 2009

My 15 minutes of fame is officially up

This afternoon, I did seven interviews with Canadian Broadcasting Corp stations all over Canada - from British Columbia to Saskatchewan to Manitoba to Ontario to New Brunswick to Yukon (not geographically in any particular order). They asked me questions about collecting political memorabilia -- how I got started, why people collect, what's valuable, and what's out there for Obama. I talked about my flasher collection, Cox-Roosevelt buttons, and the Obama Chapter of the APIC.

The station in Victoria, BC (6th go-round) sent me an MP3 recording of the interview. I've asked for recordings of the other ones, but I actually think this one was the best. One of the producers I spoke with likened the experience to "Groundhog Day", and she was right! The station in New Brunswick also offered to send me a bobblehead doll of one of the DJs. :)

If I can figure out how to post it here, I will. Otherwise, if you want to hear it, email me and I'll send you the 6MB file. I sound kinda squeaky - who was it who suggested that I speak in a lower voice so I didn't sound nasal? oh well! It was fun.

And that's enough for my 15 minutes.... I'm sure they're sick of me in Canada. ;)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I never "liveblog" ...

...but the "We Are One" concert is on, and it's amazing!

1:30pm (CST) Starting with Copeland's Fanfare for the Common Man was genius - it was symbolic, as an announcement of a new beginning. It's one of my favorite pieces. I was in tears almost immediately.

(starting to regret staying in Austin for the weekend...)

Watching the Obama girls see themselves on tv was so cute! (Sasha made her mother move out of the way!)

1:40pm Bruce. Wow. The newscasters kept saying that the musicians weren't going to be singing their own music, but singing "The Rising" with a huge choir in the background was fabulous.

1:50pm Hmm... maybe Mary J. Blige should have worn something other than white/off-white so she'd stand out a little more against the steps? Oh well. Lean On Me, another great uplifting song. You go Mary J! and Michelle is singing along! :)

[and, not having saved this post often enough, my Firefox crashed and I lost almost an hour's worth of commentary. doh!]

I may try to reconstruct, using my trusty DVR, but for the time being, let's watch Garth Brooks singing American Pie!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

More on Israel

For your reading pleasure (or discomfort, in this case), here's a post detailing the various actions going on in other parts of Israel, instigated by the same Arab countries who won't admit to directly helping Hamas, and won't help the Palestinian civilians in Gaza.
If you are inclined to 'poo poo' the seriousness of these attacks or downplay their impact on Israeli morale, just think back to 2002 when the 'Beltway Sniper' was able to terrorize the entire eastern seaboard of the United states into immobility with nothing more than a hunting rifle and an old Chevy Caprice. Also, with Israel at war on one front, just how much restraint are we really expected to practice with all the other belligerents in the neighborhood?
A fair question, I think. Americans have never been exposed to this kind of constant barrage -- Beltway Sniper notwithstanding -- he could only fire in one place at a time. How can we be expected to understand the mentality of the Israeli people? We can't tell them not to fight back. It's ludicrous.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

eat more, not less

I went to the nutritionist tonight for a "check-up" -- this is the same woman who put me on a mostly-organic diet in January 2008, and with whose help I lost about 15 lbs last year. We talked about what I've been eating, which has been far more sensible since I've been back from DC. I showed her my last 10 days of Weight Watchers food tracking. Other than the fact that it is sorely lacking in vegetables, it looked pretty good. But then she did the math, and apparently I'm not getting enough calories!

The way WW does things, I get to eat food that adds up to 25 points per day (a point is 60 calories or 6 grams of fat), plus an extra 35 pts to use throughout the week. Ergo, 25 x 60 = 1500 calories. And if you evenly split the 'extra' pts, that's an extra 300 calories per day. But I hardly use those - the program makes it sound like those are for "emergencies" only.

But according to the tests that Nancy did last year when I signed up for my Lean 'n Fit program, I should get about 1900 calories, or 31+ points. So that means I get to eat more! As long as it's healthy, of course.

She recommended all kinds of interesting foods, including "Dark Chocolate Dreams" peanut butter from PB&Co! Seriously!

Friday, January 09, 2009

another goofy list, a less serious post

Yet another "about me" list that I've stolen from Phyl:

The things I have done are in bold.

1. Started my own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band

4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than I can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain (Not sure if hiking counts but it was a moutain)
10. Sung a solo

11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched lightening at sea
14. Taught myself art from scratch (does knitting count?)
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown my own vegetables

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill

24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person (I was ... 3? I don't remember it much)
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community

36. Taught myself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing (indoor)
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had my portrait painted

48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater

55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class

59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma

65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square

74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (fish count yes?)
88. Had chickenpox

89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one

94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Rode an elephant

Some of the things I want to do are on this list - particularly the international travel ones. :)

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Israel, Gaza... the whole thing

I have (until now) refrained from posting any rants here about the situation in Gaza -- how Hamas is getting their own people killed; Israel's right to defend herself... etc. I mean, seriously, if crazies in Cuba or Mexico or Canada were indiscriminately dropping rockets on New York or Miami or Houston -- TRYING to kill civilians -- wouldn't we fight back? Damn right we would!

But now apparently all Jewish children are targets, no matter where we live -- as Jeffrey Goldberg points out on his blog:
Put aside Zahar's chutzpah -- Hamas has been happily killing Jewish children for years. What's important is that he is making an explicit plea to jihadists everywhere to take matters into their own hands and kill Jews. Any Jewish school or synagogue or JCC anywhere in the world that doesn't take this seriously is beyond negligent. This is not a time for panic, just preparation.
But if you read further down in that article, French President Sarkozy points out that the miserable living conditions of the Palestinian people in Gaza are actually Hamas' fault. Unfortunately, that strategy works -- keep them in poverty, and blame the Israelis, and it takes very little to incite violence. [see also: Nazi Germany, 1938 for that familiar refrain: blame the Jews!]

Maybe the Palestinians in Gaza will realize that they need to get rid of Hamas so they can live peacefully. On that very subject, there was an interesting post on HuffPo yesterday.
It is Hamas, by using civilians to act as human shields for its military operations, that has put the Palestinian civilians in jeopardy, and the blood of the injured and dead civilians is on Hamas's hands.
There was another post about the difference in media strategy between Hamas and the Israelis. Ever notice that you only hear about suicide bombers in Israel if they're successful? You never hear about the dozens of would-be bombers who are stopped before they can carry out their horrible assignments. The Palestinians, on the other hand, play the victim very well, showing off their casualties -- which wouldn't happen if the militants didn't hide in schools and churches, knowing full well that the people around them will die.

It makes me so angry!

ok, rant over, for now. Can't wait to see how the Obama Administration handles this whole thing, in TWO WEEKS! (Lord knows what the situation in Gaza will be by then...)

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Happy New Year!

It's 2009! How did that happen? 2008 was a fun year, and I can only wonder at what 2009 holds for all of us. Hope y'all have a happy, healthy year, full of pleasant surprises. :)

And now, for a trip down memory lane: I found this on Phyl's blog, and I love it!

1. You had that Fisher Price Doctor's Kit with a stethoscope that actually worked. Hmmm. Don't remember this.

2 You owned a bicycle with a banana seat and a plastic basket with flowers on it. Uhhh, Nope. I didn't learn to ride a bike until I was 13. By then, it was the mid-80's.

3. You learned to skate with actual skates (not roller blades) that had metal wheels. Oh yes, and skated through some dogsh*t the first time my dad took me out on them.

4 You thought Gopher from Love Boat was cute (admit it!) Sigh. ok, I admit it.

5. You had nightmares after watching Fantasy Island. EEEK!! I thought Scooby Doo was too scary. I didn't even watch Fantasy Island!

6. You had either a 'bowl cut' or 'pixie', not to mention the 'Dorothy Hamill' People sometimes thought you were a boy. Oh yes, Dorothy and I looked so cute with our little bowl cuts.

7. You had rubber boots for rainy days and Moon boots for snowy days. yep. Little red boots with an elastic thingy that went over a button to hold them together.

8. You owned a 'Slip-n-Slide' , on which you injured yourself on a sprinkler head more than once. No, sad to say, I didn't have a backyard, so that didn't happen.

9. You owned 'Klick-Klacks' and smacked yourself in the face more than once! What the heck is a Klick-Klack?

10. Your Holly Hobbie sleeping bag was your most prized possession. Nope. I had a Star Wars sleeping bag from the very beginning!

11. You wore a poncho, gauchos, and knickers. My mom made the poncho. I'm sure I wore gauchos... I don't remember knickers.

12. You begged Santa for the electronic game, Simon. LOVED Simon, and Merlin, and the Little Professor.

13. You had the Donnie and Marie dolls with those pink and purple satiny shredded outfits, or the Sunshine Family. I did have Donnie and Marie. Or maybe Molly had them and I just adopted them?

14. You spent hours in your backyard on your metal swing set with the trapeze. Nope, no backyard.

15. The swing set tipped over at least once. (see above)

16. You had homemade ribbon barrettes in every imaginable color. Mine were mostly red-white-and-blue -- I'm sure that's shocking to everyone. :)

17. You had a pair of Doctor Scholl's sandals (the ones with hard sole & the buckle). Yep.

18. You also had a pair of salt-water sandals. What's that? Jellies?

19. You wanted to be Laura Ingalls Wilder really bad; you wore that Little House on the Prairie-inspired plaid, ruffle shirt with the high neck in at least one school picture;and you despised Nellie Oleson! Oy. My mom dressed me in florals and ruffles and LH-inspired brown corduroy outfits. It wasn't by choice!

20. You wanted your first kiss to be at a roller rink! Didn't have a roller-rink nearby.

21. Your hairstyle was described as having 'wings' or 'feathers' and you kept it 'pretty'with the comb you kept in your back pocket.When you walked, the 'wings' flapped up and down, looked like you were gonna 'take off'. Of course!

21. You know who Strawberry Shortcake is, as well as her friends, Blueberry Muffin and Huckleberry Pie. Knew of them but never owned.

22. You carried a Muppets lunch box to school and it was metal, not plastic.It had a thermos inside. Some were glass and broke the first time you dropped them. I had a Dukes of Hazzard lunchbox. Which my dad has since sold on eBay.

23. You and your girlfriends would fight over which of the Dukes of Hazzard was your boyfriend. Bo Duke was my guy. I liked blondes when I was younger. I've changed my mind since then. ;)

24. YOU had Star Wars action figures, too! Absolutely. I wore a Darth Vader costume for Halloween one year!

25. It was a big event in your household each year when the 'Wizard of Oz' would come on TV.Your mom would break out the popcorn and sleeping bags! I remember watching "the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" more than the Wizard of Oz.

26. You often asked your Magic-8 ball the question: 'Who will I marry.Shaun Cassidy, Leif Garrett, or David Cassidy? Or John Schneider... or Scott Baio...

27. You completely wore out your Grease, Saturday Night Fever, and Fame soundtrack record albums. I wasn't allowed to have my own records at that age. I had 8-tracks instead!

28. You tried to do lots of arts and crafts, like yarn and Popsicle-stick God's eyes, decoupage,or those weird potholders made on a plastic loom. Oh definitely. I was queen of the crafts!

29. You made Shrinky-Dinks and put iron-on kittens on your t-shirts! Shrinky dinks - once, I think. I remember putting the glitter-puffy-paint on my t-shirts!

30. You used to tape record songs off the radio by holding your portable tape player up to the speaker. I was so excited when I got a tape-recorder/radio so I could record directly... I had so many tapes where you could hear the DJ at the beginning or the end of the song.

31. You had subscriptions to Dynamite and Tiger Beat. No, my friends bought them at the store. But I cut out the pictures of Scott Baio or John Stamos.

32. You thought Olivia Newton John's song 'Physical' was about aerobics. You mean it's not?