Saturday, April 28, 2007

a lot to say, a lot to do.

ok. first. my book list .
1. Chasing Ghosts: Failures and Facades in Iraq: A Soldier’s Perspective by Paul Rieckhoff
2. In an Instant: A Family's Journey of Love and Healing by Lee Woodruff and Bob Woodruff
3. Against All Enemies by Richard A. Clarke
4. Jemez Spring by Rudolfo Anaya
5. Alburquerque by Rudolfo Anaya
6. Pistol: the life of Pete Maravich by Mark Kriegel
7. Between Worlds: the making of an american life by Bill Richardson
8. Butterfly Boy: memories of a Chicano mariposa by Rigoberto González
9. The Best and the Brightest by David Halberstam
10. The Naming of the Dead by Ian Rankin
11. The Slynx by Tatyana Tolstaya
12. Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

a few words about a few of these titles -
Infidel. go read it. it's the story of a Somali woman who became so politically involved that she now lives under armed guard because everyone and their mother want her dead.
Alburquerque was one of the finest books i've read in a long while. there's politics, boxing, love, healing and roots searching. what more do you want?
Chasing Ghosts - a revealing, non-fictional account of Paul Rieckhoff's tour in Iraq. he's now the founder of what used to be called Operation Truth and is now IAVA. (Iraq and Afganistan Veterans of America) he's on Countdown and Hardball a lot. smart man.

here's the news...

the bush administration will not try to assess whether the troop increase in Iraq is producing signs of political progress or greater security until september. AND officials made clear that the White House is now gradually scaling back its expectations for the government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

american military commanders in bagdad are building a 12-foot-high, three-mile-long wall separating an historic Sunni enclave from Shiite neighborhoods. is it working? hmm, not so much.

Marilee Jones, the dean of admissions at MIT resigned amid a bit of a scandal. seems Ms Jones fabricated her own educational credentials. Officials of the institute said she did not have even an undergraduate degree.

Roberto Bolaño featured in The International Herald Tribune. if you've never read him, pick up By Night in Chile. it's truly amazing.

certifying coffee in Chiapas
Trader Joe's sells Fair Trade Coffee. just FYI.

watching The Simpsons can reduce the stigma attached to mental illness. i knew there was a good reason...

did anyone watch the 'debate' on thursday? i thought Obama and Clinton both said a whole lot of nothing. i wasn't impressed. Richardson obviously doesn't understand the meaning of one sentence answers or 60 second responses. he has the most all around experience, and actually answered some of the questions though. John Edwards, who i really wanted to like, did not impress me at all. he didn't seem able to think nimbly on his feet - and i don't mean that in the knee-jerk politico-spin kind of way either. Dennis Kucinich acted like that embarrassing relative you have - the one everyone rolls their eyes at, you know? he said some strong things that no one would come close to saying though. i found that i liked Joe Biden more than i thought i would. he got the only laugh by answering a long winded (which is funny in this context) question from Brian Williams about his verbosity with one word. HA! (as Chris Matthews kept saying) Chris Dodd was decent when he had the time to speak. but Mike Gravel was the show stopper. he said that some of his colleagues at the debate scared him. yup. that's what he said. he also said that he felt like a "potted plant" up there since hardly any questions came his way. we'll see...

so june is coming up fast and i have a lot to do. sell the stuff i don't want to take to florida, toss out what i don't want be reminded of, donate books and music - if anyone has any ideas about that, please let me know. i'm trying to donate some stuff to prisons, but that's slow going. oh yeah, i have to find a place to live and a job. nothing serious, really.
i'm having kind of a hard time thinking about being so far away from my kids - i mean they're grown, but still. i can't believe i'm going to be living in florida.
my dad is going through some alternative therapies since he stopped the chemo for the tumors in his lungs and adrenal gland and is doing radiation for the ones in his head. he sounds alright some days, but i know he's in a fair amount of pain. he still makes jokes though, thank goodness.

i'm off to price rental vans vs. moving vans and see what i can afford. enjoy the day, people. it's gorgeous out.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

books, news and whatnot

1. God Grew Tired of Us by John Bul Dau
2. Stealing Buddha's Dinner by Bich Minh Nguyen
3. The Falls by Ian Rankin
4. The Supreme Court: the personalities and rivalries that defined America by Jeffrey Rosen
5. Maravich by Wayne Federman and Marshall Terrill.
6. Flight by Sherman Alexie
7. Klail City by Rolando Hinojosa
8. The Occupation of Iraq: winning the war, losing the peace by Ali A. Allawi

178 killed in Iraq by 4 separate bombings. not getting better - much worse, i'd say.

soldiers tours extended again. 3 more months.

john mccain's new song to iran.

the marine corps times says that a draft may be necessary.

are cell phones killing bees?

Bill Moyers new show on PBS called Buying the War starts 4/25 at 9pm.

pres. bush stands by ‘i don’t recall’ gonzales.

an alternate take on the gonzales testimony. food for thought, son.

a moscow university has ordered its foreign students to remain in their dormitories for the weekend because of fears of ethnic violence ahead of adolph hitler’s birthday April 20.

dickens world a theme park based on charles dickens. 'cause he was SUCH a fun guy...

stephen colbert vs. sean penn in the meta-free-phor-all. mediated by robert pinsky. yup. watch it, it's funny. thanks to crooks & liars.

jedi mind tricks at the gramercy theater tomorrow night.

i almost forgot to mention the Ozomatli show on tuesday night. it was the best one i've ever seen. the energy was SO high, the new stuff was great, the old stuff was great. the guys could do no wrong. let's see, we talked to Shef, (it was his birthday and there was cake AND singing) we talked to Raul - he's the nicest guy, and we spoke to Asdru and Uli and Wil-dog. Michelle got them all to sign her CD insert and boy was she over the moon! i wish sometimes that i lived in LA so i could see them like every other month or so...!

thank goodness it's spring-like. a beautiful day today. the doggie is in a coma now with all the cavorting (yeah, i said it!) around she did at the dog park.
well, enjoy the rest of your weekend, people. i know i will.

Friday, April 13, 2007

little bits of news and a few oddities

Happy Friday the 13th everyone!!

welcome to Ikeatown. these pre-fab 'houses' are pretty popular across Scandanavia, and are now migrating to the UK.

this is for the person who is tired of making pancakes on a griddle and happens to have heroin works handy.

sandals with a false bottom? the better to sneak booze into places you aren't allowed to.

a delicious sauce from Ghana with an unfortunate name (for english speakers, that is).

the DNC appoints Jenni Engebretsen, the Director of Communications for the Recording Industry Association of America - commonly known as the RIAA - CEO for public affairs!!

Neil Gaiman reads his short story 'How to Talk to Girls'. from his (fantastic) website.

Kurt Vonnegut passed away wednesday at the age of 84. this is a text article plus audio from NPR.

you can now use Google Maps to view all the devastated villages in and around Darfur. is this a good thing?

"Iraqi Parliment bombing. from it's a great site, you should check it out.

a quote from Tim O'Brien's amazing book 'The Things They Carried'; about being a soldier in Vietnam: "If you don’t care for obscenity, you don’t care for the truth; if you don’t care for the truth, watch how you vote. Send guys to war, they come home talking dirty."