Friday, November 21, 2008

Obama's Use of Complete Sentences Stirs Controversy

A little bit o'Friday humor:

Obama's Use of Complete Sentences Stirs Controversy
Andy Borowitz

In the first two weeks since the election, President-elect Barack Obama has broken with a tradition established over the past eight years through his controversial use of complete sentences, political observers say.

Millions of Americans who watched Mr. Obama's appearance on CBS's 60 Minutes on Sunday witnessed the president-elect's unorthodox verbal tic, which had Mr. Obama employing grammatically correct sentences virtually every time he opened his mouth.

But Mr. Obama's decision to use complete sentences in his public pronouncements carries with it certain risks, since after the last eight years many Americans may find his odd speaking style jarring.

According to presidential historian Davis Logsdon of the University of Minnesota, some Americans might find it "alienating" to have a president who speaks English as if it were his first language.

"Every time Obama opens his mouth, his subjects and verbs are in agreement," says Mr. Logsdon. "If he keeps it up, he is running the risk of sounding like an elitist."

The historian said that if Mr. Obama insists on using complete sentences in his speeches, the public may find itself saying, "Okay, subject, predicate, subject predicate -- we get it, stop showing off."

The president-elect's stubborn insistence on using complete sentences has already attracted a rebuke from one of his harshest critics, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska.

"Talking with complete sentences there and also too talking in a way that ordinary Americans like Joe the Plumber and Tito the Builder can't really do there, I think needing to do that isn't tapping into what Americans are needing also," she said.

Andy Borowitz is a comedian and writer whose work appears in The New Yorker and The New York Times, and at his award-winning humor site,

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

We Remember November 18, 1999

Nine years ago today, the Texas A&M Bonfire collapsed, killing 12 students and injuring more than two dozen others. I can’t believe so many years have passed.

I was a freshman living on-campus November 18, 1999 at 2:42 am. It was push week, and students were working round the clock leading up to the night before the t.u. game when Bonfire would burn. I was actually supposed to be out there working on the stack the night it fell. I remember planning to go, but then something else came up. It’s strange, but I can’t remember exactly what I did that night instead…I have an excellent memory (which is both a blessing and a curse) and can recall quite a bit about my days in College Station, but this night escapes me. I think I went to watch an intramural game and then hung out with friends. What I do remember is getting home around 2 am and walking down my dorm hallway, thinking that I should have gone to work on Bonfire and wondering if I could squeeze it in another night that week.

The next thing I remember is the phone waking me up around 5 am. It was a friend from back home who lived a few buildings over, and she was calling to tell me there had been some kind of Bonfire accident and another friend of ours from home was scheduled to be working there overnight with his squadron and we didn’t know where he was or if he was alright. Luckily, within a few hours we had located him and he was fine. The same could not be said for 12 others that morning.

I—like the rest of Bryan-College Station—spent the morning on the phone. I didn’t have a cell phone back then and so my dorm phone was jammed all day with calls from friends and family from around the country.

This incredibly sad time was my introduction to the amazing spirit of the Aggie Family. As the days went on and we learned the final number of casualties and started to come to grips with what had happened, my parents urged me to come home. Didn’t I want to get away from all the death and sadness? Didn’t I want to rest at home with my family? No. The honest truth was that the only place I wanted to be in the world at that time was College Station, TX. I wanted to be with my Aggie Family. With people who understood what I was feeling and could comfort me without even having to say a word. I remember going to the first memorial service on-campus at Reed Arena that week. Even after the official service had ended, people just stayed and linked arms and sang “Amazing Grace” a ccapella for what felt like hours.

We Aggies have a saying about our traditions and spirit: “From the outside looking in you can’t understand...from the inside looking out you can’t explain it.” And that’s exactly how I felt during this tragedy. I have never been more proud to be a part of the Aggie Family and I still have that pride today every time someone notices my ring, or asks me where I went to school, or mentions “that school with that Bonfire.”

Today we remember those 12 fallen Aggies: Miranda Denise Adams; Christopher D. Breen; Michael Stephen Ebanks; Jeremy Richard Frampton; Jamie Lynn Hand; Christopher Lee Heard; Timothy Doran Kerlee, Jr; Lucas John Kimmel; Bryan A. McClain; Chad A. Powell; Jerry Don Self; and Nathan Scott West.

There's a spirit can ne'er be told and it's the Spirit of Aggieland.

Monday, November 3, 2008

1 Fish, 2 Fish, Red Sex, Blue Sex

This week's New Yorker features a piece on why so many evangelical teens become pregnant. As someone who participated in the "True Love Waits" campaign in high school and now works for a national pro-choice group, I found this article particularly interesting.

A few quick things that stood out from Dept. of Disputation: Red Sex, Blue Sex that I don't have time to comment on tonight:

  • "Social liberals in the country’s “blue states” tend to support sex education and are not particularly troubled by the idea that many teen-agers have sex before marriage, but would regard a teen-age daughter’s pregnancy as devastating news. And the social conservatives in “red states” generally advocate abstinence-only education and denounce sex before marriage, but are relatively unruffled if a teen-ager becomes pregnant, as long as she doesn’t choose to have an abortion."
  • "During the campaign, the media has largely respected calls to treat Bristol Palin’s pregnancy as a private matter." Funny how it's a private matter only if a woman carries a pregnancy to term...

  • "Bearman and Br├╝ckner have also identified a peculiar dilemma: in some schools, if too many teens pledge [to remain abstinent until marriage], the effort basically collapses. Pledgers apparently gather strength from the sense that they are an embattled minority; once their numbers exceed thirty per cent, and proclaimed chastity becomes the norm, that special identity is lost."

Friday, October 31, 2008

You can't use an elliptical machine with a martini in your hand...or else I would love the gym!

My DC partner in crime drug me to the gym last night. Unfortunately, I'm not the biggest fan of working out. I walk a lot around DC...usually in heels so I consider that my cardio. I know I should do more, and I know you feel better after it's over...blah, blah, blah.

I did manage to do twice the cardio I normally do and did feel great afterward. Plus, it made me so tired that I actually fell asleep at a decent hour, which hasn't been happening the last few months.

Is it bad though, that for the first 15 minutes I was there, all I could think about was how much I wanted a dirty martini and a cigarette??? I have issues...

T-minus 3 hours til I get this weekend started with champagne at my office to celebrate 2 years on the job...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy 2-year Anniversary to DC and me!

Today marks my two-year anniversary at my job and living in DC. In some ways it seems like so much longer than that, and in others, like I just loaded up my U-haul truck and drove halfway across the country.

After months of phone interviews, follow-up calls, and shameless self promotion, I traveled to Washington, DC at the beginning of October 2006 for a face-to-face interview. I accepted the job on the spot, then went back to Texas and made preparations to move within three weeks. Although I was excited, I actually wasn’t sure I would like DC. I’ve had a lifelong infatuation with Manhattan and was even fortunate enough to work there in 2005, and I just wasn’t sure how our nation’s capital would compare. But looking back over the last two years, I know moving here was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

Still, it’s been a surprising journey…one that continues to shock the hell out of me. If you had told me two years ago all that was ahead of me, I would have told you that you were crazy. I would never have believed that I would:

  • be promoted to Communications Director;
  • end a six-year relationship…and this time for good;
  • move in with two total strangers (who would both end up having a Texas connection) and one of them would end up becoming one of my closest friends;
  • be single, living on my own, and ok with that;
  • actually get rid of my storage unit and make a real home in DC; and that I would
  • have met so many intriguing people from across the nation who would challenge and change me.

All this makes me wonder how different my life will be in the next two years, or five years, or 10 years. I’m a bit impatient so of course I want to know now, but I guess I have to just settle in and enjoy the ride.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Palin can't name her 'vast variety of sources' for news...

I don't know whether I'm more entertained or scared by this video. Seriously! When pressed, couldn't she just throw out The New York Times? Oh, I can't wait until the debate tomorrow!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Yes we can...see Obama!

Driving downtown this evening in search of a parking space, I noticed a crowd gathered outside the back entrance to The Mayflower Hotel. After circling many blocks, and finally finding a space down the street, I joined the assembled onlookers and learned that some of them had been waiting over an hour to catch a glimpse of none other than Barack Obama. So I stood in the rain and luckily only had to wait about five more minutes before he emerged from the side door in an alley, walked past his car and waved to us. The crowd went wild and I found myself cheering and clapping like I was at a football game. Then he drove by and I was about 10 feet away from him. It was great. After the motorcade had left, the crowd of excited strangers was still going, screaming and celebrating and reveling. I know we live in DC and we should all be used to seeing politicians. And I have seen politicians. I have come to ignore all the motorcades here. I have even seen a former president up close and personal, and I wasn’t as excited as I was tonight.

All this and a new Grey’s tonight! Whoop!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Only I can arrive 7 hours early and still miss my flight...

It’s no secret I am habitually late. I really don’t mean to be, and believe it or not, I have actually improved as I have gotten older. Yet, I still tend to run about 10 minutes late to everything. Maybe it’s a lack of planning or maybe as my stepmother says, I just piddle.

In any case, despite arriving at SFO seven (yes, count ‘em seven) hours before my flight home from Cali on Sunday, I actually managed to miss my flight!!! I didn’t fall asleep, I wasn’t drunk; I wasn’t impaired or understandably occupied in any way. I missed my flight because I was running my damn mouth. Insanity! Only me. My friend Kinsey works at the airport and I was standing outside security talking to her instead of getting in line and going to the gate.

When I got to my gate, the plane was still there, but they had closed the doors and there were no airline personnel in sight. I was freaking out and visibly upset. This was actually the first flight I have ever missed. Most people who have heard this story are quite surprised by this fact given my history of tardiness, but usually I am quite prompt when my plans involve a departing aircraft. After the shock wore off and I resigned myself to the fact that I was not getting out of town until the morning, I actually started laughing and couldn’t stop. Who sits at an airport for seven hours and misses their flight?!?!?!? It’s just funny.

I guess if it HAD to happen, this was the perfect situation. I was able to spend one more night with Kinsey, I had a free place to stay and free ride to the airport the next morning, and I didn’t really have any pressing plans in DC the next afternoon...except having my gas turned on in my apt, which I had to reschedule again so no cooking or heat for week number four! Good thing it’s summer and I love takeout.

Oh well, lesson learned!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

My journey west

I’m slouching in a chair at the International Terminal of SFO looking like a hot mess, but I really don’t care. My luggage is all around me because I’m about four hours too early to check my bags according to AirTran and I am stuck at the airport all day waiting for my redeye home tonight. Yes, I could take BART into the city, but what a hassle with the massive bags I have—one of which I had to purchase at the airport because once again I am bringing back way more stuff than will fit in the bags I made the journey with. But this time it isn’t my fault; I have loads of binders, books, and crap from the communications conference that facilitated my visit to the west coast. Plus, I am tired and I feel like I’m getting sick, and I’m a great big whiner today.

It’s been a pretty cool week. I headed into the trip utterly exhausted from pulling two of my latest nights at work to date right before I left DC. I got all of 3 hours of sleep before I had to hustle the dog out to BFE Maryland to the kennel and then BARELY made my Super Shuttle to Dulles. But alas, I arrived. By the way, Virgin America is the way flying should be—just a great experience.

One of the best parts of this entire visit was that work was footing the bill for me to spend a few days with my dear friend Kinsey. She trekked out to DC in March so I promised to return the favor. Aside from the fact that I was lame and stayed glued to my damn Blackberry most of the time, we had a lovely time. We visited Gloria Ferrer and sipped bubbly on the patio, met the mini-burroughs at Cline Cellars, unsuccessfully sought out a tattoo parlor to get our noses pierced, had fantastic foot massages, and were ladies who lunched in Walnut Creek.

I drank endless glasses of wine and champagne, talked about relationships and the meaning of life with Kinsey’s family, got a sunburn from cruising along the Golden Gate Bridge in a convertible, and even scored some authentic Buddhas from Thailand (hence the need for an extra bag…well, that and the wine…).

Before I made it to my conference, I met up with a friend in Oakland and had THE most amazing chicken sandwich of my life. If you ever find yourself in Oakland, check out Bakesale Betty’s. It’s a no-frills-eat-on-painted-ironing-boards-outside-type of joint, and simply fabulous. I was introduced to all this deliciousness by my friend Josh, a fellow Texan who calls Cali home, and is an amazing communicator/consultant/musician. Check out his band:

The actual conference was really great as well. I attended the SPIN Academy, a media training conference held in beautiful Petaluma, CA. All the conference materials clearly explained we would be staying on a ranch and would not have cell phone service, but I have to admit, I really didn’t believe them. How could this be possible? Of course there would be some way to get a signal. Well guess what? There wasn’t! Let me tell you (as sad as it might be) four days with no cell phone is no joke. There was wireless internet, but in my haste to depart DC, I didn’t have a chance to have my IT administrator at work reconfigure my laptop, and even though I (and others) seemingly had everything setup correctly, I could not get my computer to connect. Damn Dell…should have brought my Mac. So I really went the four days with almost no interaction with the outside world. This wouldn’t have been so bad, except that I am nearing the deadline of a major project at work that has been owning my ass, and requires me to reply to countless emails and issues that seem to arise every day.

On one hand it was liberating to be unreachable. After accepting defeat with the wireless connection, and using my old school phone card to call the office, I settled into the fact that I was going to have to let go, trust the team filling in at work, and focus on resting and learning and strategizing.

Since I assumed a new position at work in April, I have been feeling a little overwhelmed. There hasn’t been a moment to sit-down and re-evaluate things and make the department my own. I feel like I am running around like crazy on someone else’s course, and just reacting to the latest mess of the day instead of actually executing any plans or really excelling. Luckily, I am leaving this conference with a lot of tools and a better grasp on what I need to do when I get back to work.

The training also showed me that I know more than I think I know. From talking with other participants, I think that many of us are searching for something that doesn’t exist—we are looking for answers that aren’t there in any of the trainings we keep attending. While many of the sessions at this conference were full of great information, I still didn’t find some of them to be advanced enough to tackle what I seem to be looking for. But maybe there is no perfect formula or presentation or magic-pill; maybe there is no answer other than that I need to be confident and take comfort in the knowledge I already possess.

It was great to interact with so many amazing, interesting people who are doing social justice work all over the world. I regretfully haven’t always been as open to meeting new people as I am now. I have always been pretty outgoing and social, but I never really saw the value in meeting people unless I was going to have deep, lasting relationships with them. As a result of this attitude, I have lots of very close friends and that is a wonderful blessing, but in the last year I have really been relishing in all the new people I have met and connections I have made all over the country.

Five more hours til my plane…

Monday, May 26, 2008

If I weren’t so tired, I’d think of a title for this post…

It’s the classic “be careful what you wish for” scenario. I am a little more than two weeks into my new position at work and my head is still spinning. I spent most of my holiday weekend at work moving offices and preparing for my replacement's first day tomorrow. I don’t feel like I am ever going to catch up. I am already so behind and I feel like my brain has reached capacity. I seriously have lost the ability to retain information. I keep trying to get a handle on things, but I feel so crazed. Hopefully this week I will gain some ground and start feeling a little bit more in control.

I don’t feel like I had much of a weekend. Yesterday, I did take a little time off, but it just made me think more about all the lovely chaos and transition in my life. Last night was one of those nights like I used to have in college when I would get in my car with a stack of Dave Matthews CDs and a pack of cigarettes and drive up and down Highway 6 with the windows down and the radio blaring. But in a city where street parking is such a hot commodity and facing another day at the office, I just stayed home.

Not sure why I have been so restless lately, but things may be looking up. Yesterday—no, wait that was just this morning, although it feels like days ago—as I was opening my security door to exit my house, a bird pooped on my arm. According to my roommate and the omniscience that is Google, this is supposed to be good luck. Let’s hope so!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

My Tour O'Texas

So the last three weeks have been an amazing journey emotionally, professionally, and physically. I spent five days in Minneapolis for my biggest work event of the year and I have to say I kicked a little ass. This year I wrote four speeches for the president of our organization and was basically running around like a wild woman dealing with other communications issues that came up during the meeting, but it was completely satisfying and enjoyable.

Then I traveled to Texas, and for once a canceled flight enhanced my trip. Since I couldn’t make it to Austin due to my grounded MD-80, I was able to have an unscheduled night in Dallas with my adorable sister Haley. I stayed in her dorm and everything. To top it off, she made me a fabulous tour o’Texas CD (playlist included below), which was the PERFECT soundtrack for all the driving I did across the Lone Star State.

My Texas tour was pretty great. I don’t know if it was the fact that I had my own rental car or that I was triple booked most of the time or just that I got to see so many amazing people, but the trip rocked! Unlike other visits home, I would do every bit of it again. Within five days I visited Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, and Houston. I barely drive in DC so it was really nice to get behind the wheel with the windows down and nothing in front of me but beautiful music and Texas highways.

The whole purpose of the trip was to be in my friend’s wedding and it was such a lovely night. I made it through my toast without crying and stuttering (maybe that shot of Jack did help?) and danced into the night with two of my closest girlfriends. I met some really cool people and had a really fun after party.

I spent a little time with the fam in Houston and then cruised back to Austin and finally back home to DC.

My first day back in the office, I found out my supervisor had given her notice and I am being promoted to Director of Communications!!! I have to say, this was unexpected. I thought I had at least another year before she would leave and this would be an option. While I am completely excited, I am honestly a bit freaked out! It’s all official May 8th. In the meantime, I have to hire my replacement, learn all I can before she leaves, and pack to move into my new office. I am sure I will have more to say on this in the future, but for now it is all just a little surreal.

Thanks to all of you who made my trip so wonderful!

Tour O’Texas 2008
1. Capitol City – Matt Wertz
2. I Will Not Take My Love Away – Matt Wertz
3. Counting to 100 – Matt Wertz
4. Nothing Fancy – Dave Barnes
5. Until You – Dave Barnes
6. The Sweetest Goodbye – Brian Douglas Phillips
7. Gravity – Sara Bareilles
8. Where I Stood – Missy Higgins
9. Bottom of the Barrel – Amos Lee
10. Colors – Amos Lee
11. Better Together – Jack Johnson
12. 5:19 – Matt Wertz
13. Sweetness in Starlight – Matt Wertz
14. World Spins Madly On – The Weepies
15. Stand Still, Look Pretty – The Wreckers
16. The Good Kind – The Wreckers
17. Love Song – Sara Bareilles

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Preparing for my Travels

I should be writing four speeches for work, but I am so not motivated...

There is just too much to do and not enough time. The next two weeks have the potential to be amazing but also the potential to run me ragged. I went to Boston last weekend for work, and now I leave Friday for Minneapolis for five days, before I head to Austin and begin my tour o'Texas.

The fun begins in Austin, then moves to San Antonio where I will be the Maid of Honor in a wedding for my dear friend Shawna Lenee'. Still working on my toast for that is not one of the four speeches I should be writing this second, but I'm waiting to be inspired just the same. I'm a true procrastinator so I imagine it will come to me at the last second. Then I'm off to Houston to see the fam and as many friends as I can.

Hopefully it will all be fabulous. If I weren't so freakin' stressed about all that has to be done before I leave, I would be really excited. Ahhh...back to checking things off my to do list...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Senate Candidate Legally Changes Name to "Pro-Life"

This is ridiculous.

Via Daily Women’s Health Policy Report:

Idaho U.S. Senate Candidate Changes Name to Pro-Life

An Idaho candidate for the U.S. Senate has legally changed his name to Pro-Life, the AP/CBS News reports. The man attempted to appear on a 2006 ballot as Marvin Pro-Life Richardson when he unsuccessfully ran for governor, but the state’s policy prohibits slogans from appearing on the ballot. However, officials in the Idaho Office of the Secretary of State have said they have no choice but to allow Pro-Life to be on the 2008 ballot because it is now the candidate’s full legal name (AP/CBS News, 3/18).

Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa (R) at a state Senate committee hearing Monday advocated for legislation (S 1514) that would require candidates who change their name to a political slogan to have a parenthetical note after the name on the ballot that states "A person formerly known as ..." Ysursa noted that other states have sought to remove slogan-names from the ballot, adding that the Idaho Supreme Court has ruled that the "ballot is not to be used to try to express a particularized political message." Ysursa said including Pro-Life on the ballot could cause some voters to be confused and vote for both Pro-Life and the candidate of their choice. The measure passed the Senate by a 33-0 vote Tuesday and is headed to the House.

Pro-Life, who is running for the seat of retiring Sen. Larry Craig (R), said the qualifier measure is being pushed by Lt. Gov. Jim Risch (R), who also opposes abortion rights and is running for the seat. "It’s pretty stupid, really, to say that a voter doesn’t know what he’s doing," Pro-Life said. Risch said that he does not have "input on this matter" and is referring questions to the Legislature.

Thirteen candidates are running for the U.S. Senate seat -- eight Republicans, two Democrats, one Libertarian and two independents (Russell, Spokane Spokesman-Review, 3/25). Pro-Life has said he will run for the highest state office as an independent every two years and will advocate murder charges for physicians who perform abortion, as well as for women who undergo the procedure (AP/CBS News, 3/18).

Monday, March 17, 2008

Lovely Day

Sometimes you can just tell it’s going to be a good day. Sometimes the little things like walking up to the platform as the metro is arriving just set your day on the right track and you know it’s gonna be a lovely day. Today is one of those days. I have lots to smile about:

--one of my closest friends came to visit me over the weekend from San Francisco;
--the weather was absolutely gorgeous all weekend and there was no rain at Shamrock Fest;
--I got to enjoy Bloody Marys and Sunday brunch with good friends;
--my Aggies made it to the Big Dance;
--the Rockets continued their 22 game winning streak and advanced to first place in the Western Conference;
--it’s St. Patrick’s Day and I have an excuse to booze on a Monday (like I need one?); and
--I am having a pretty rockin’ hair day.

All in all life is good.

This weekend I had my first out of town guest: my friend Kinsey who recently moved to SF. She arrived Thursday night and I took her to the airport (and Dulles at that!) today at 5:30am. For those of you who know me well, it is amazing that I am in such a good mood after getting up so early, but I am!

It can really be nice when different spheres of your life collide. I am truly lucky to have such wonderful people in my life and even luckier that they all seem to get along. It was an amazing weekend and I think I can safely say a good time was had by all that joined us on our tour o’DC. To those of you that joined us for any or all of this weekend, thank you for showing my friend such a great time.

Now it’s time to get geared up for March Madness! Gig’em Aggies!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Stuff White People Like

Thanks to my friend Angie for passing along this hilarious blog:

So what do white people like? According to this blog, so far 70 things including: difficult breakups, Mos Def, sushi, the movie Juno, recycling, living by the water, irony, Apple products, breakfast places, David Sedaris, wine, yoga, tea, Barack Obama, and film festivals. No argument from this white person on any of the above.

As someone commented: "this site is only funny to white people. White people love to think they are cute and funny in some way." Well, I think the blog is freakin' funny, and yes I love to think I am cute and funny in some way too.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Barack the Vote

So last night, I decided to not be lame and brave the ice to meet a friend for a networking happy hour. The event was nice, at a fairly new bar that I had been to before and liked, and I met some cool people. In the true spirit of networking, I ended up leaving and going with a friend of a friend to the Obama for America party to celebrate his sweeping victory in the Potomac Primary.

Even though Obama himself was not there (he was already in Wisconsin), Mayor Fenty spoke and it was a great and different event. In addition to basically being at a huge political pep rally and getting all caught up in the momentum and unity of this historic campaign (who could get tired of watching the "Yes we Can" video...not me!), my friend and I were on the news! It was just the local NBC newscast, but you could tell it was me. Not my typical Tuesday night, nor what I had planned when I set out for “just 1 drink”…I love this city!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Six-Word Memoirs

I am very intrigued by this new book: Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure. While it does seem pretty daunting to sum up one’s life in six words, I am fascinated with this project, and want to try it myself. I guess I can blame the same part of me that enjoyed writing haiku as a child.

I really want to take a few minutes and craft one for my own life…although knowing me, I will not be able to settle on just one, and given that I’m still at the office, it will have to wait. You can submit your own six-word life story at and be considered for SMITH Mag's next book. If you are feeling so inspired, I would be interested to read your story as well!

View their trailer below showing some of the highlights from bestselling authors and ordinary people. I like these two: “Quietly cultivating my inner Linda Carter,” and “Brought it to a boil, often.”

Via AlterNet:

When Ernest Hemingway famously wrote, "For Sale: baby shoes, never worn," he proved that an entire story can be told using a half dozen words. When the online storytelling magazine SMITH asked readers to submit six-word memoirs, it proved that a whole, real life can be told this way too.

Six-Word Memoir book preview from SMITHmag on Vimeo.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Celebrating 35 years

After a fabulous weekend followed by a much-needed extra day to recover, my week has gotten off to a great start. As you can imagine, my work day was a little hectic since today was the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, but it's days like today that remind me how lucky I am to have a job I love.

Here are a few highlights from Roe day 2008:

--As usual I stayed up too late, but once I got my ass out of bed, I was very pleased to see my boss quoted in a front-page story in the Post.

--Last week I worked with one of our members in Pennsylvania to write an op/ed and have it placed in their local paper. Not only was the member thrilled, but also the paper liked it and agreed to print it today as part of their Roe coverage.

--In addition to handling press calls, I was able to break up my day by accompanying my boss to FOX News to tape a segment for their evening news broadcast. Usually my boss goes on these calls alone so it was a really unexpected outing, but a lovely learning experience.

--I wrapped up my night catching up with friends and toasting each other and the day at a happy hour in Adams Morgan. Walking home, I couldn't help but be thankful for all the blessings in my life and the wonderful week ahead.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Don't drink and dial...or text...or email...

So true.


Thursday, January 10, 2008

Grace is Gone

I went to a screening of the new John Cusack film “Grace is Gone” last night, and I have to say, I wasn’t wowed. These days, I’m really looking to be wowed.

I had high hopes. This event was at the National Press Club and sponsored by TAPS, a nonprofit organization offering assistance and support to survivors who have lost loved ones in military service. At the beginning of the night, they asked all the people who had lost a loved one in the military to stand, and the number of people was astounding. Before the film, we were addressed by Warren Pellegrin, a father of four who lost his wife and had consulted with Cusack as he researched the role. With all this in mind I was expecting to be moved. I was expecting to not just cry, but sob. I was expecting to not just see a fictional family, but a personification of Pellegrin and the other families sitting around me. I had an image in my head of the real people who have answered the door and heard that their loved ones were truly gone.

Throughout the relatively short film (running time: 85 minutes) I kept waiting for it to hit me. We had each been given a goody bag complete with popcorn, snacks, and tissues so I expected I would need them. It didn’t take long for people around me to start sobbing. I have to say, I am a pretty emotional person and it doesn’t take much to make me tear up, but it just wasn’t happening. I started to wonder if something was wrong with me. Am I jaded and bitter to the human experience? Does death—the death of a beloved wife and mother no less—not move me? Out of guilt I started to think about my own mother (who has never served in the military, but is still my mom…I was reaching here to relate and experience the pain!) and then it dawned on me: if it really took all that effort, it wasn’t worth it.

I wanted a real experience. I wanted to leave with renewed frustration about the war and heartbroken over the loss of life. Don’t get me wrong, I am truly humbled and devastated by the brave men and women who serve, and in some cases give their lives for our country. I attended a military funeral at Arlington National Cemetery last week and was impressed with the honor and ceremony, and perhaps I hoped to see something similar onscreen. But, maybe that wasn’t the purpose of the film. What “Grace” does do is portray pure blinding, immobilizing grief. It depicts the type of sorrow that renders you helpless, irrational, and unable to function. In that capacity, Cusack shines.

Thursday, January 3, 2008


In honor of Mike Huckabee's victory in Iowa, this is a few weeks old, but still made me chuckle.

Via The Huffington Post:

Huckabee Chooses Jesus as Running Mate

In a bold move that could dramatically alter the playing field of the 2008 G.O.P. presidential race, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee today named Jesus Christ as his vice presidential running mate.

Governor Huckabee has made an increasing number of comments about his relationship with Jesus in recent debates, but few Republican insiders expected him to announce that he was anointing Christ as his vice presidential pick.

"This could be huge for Huckabee," said Stenson Partridge, a veteran G.O.P. consultant. "Among Republican voters, Jesus Christ is even more popular than Ronald Reagan."

The Reverend Pat Robertson, a supporter of former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani, said he was "blindsided" by the news of Huckabee's decision: "I talked to Jesus last night and He didn't mention anything about it."

At a raucous Huckabee rally in Davenport, Iowa today, supporters of the former Arkansas governor could be seen holding signs reading "HUCKABEE/CHRIST '08."

It is "highly unorthodox" for a presidential candidate to select a vice presidential running mate who is a prominent figure in the Holy Bible, says Davis Logsdon, dean of the School of Divinity at the University of Minnesota.

But according to Mr. Logsdon, if the Huckabee-Christ ticket makes it all the way to the White House, it could be historic in more ways than one: "If Huckabee is elected and then something happens to him while in office, we would be looking at our first Jewish president."