Saturday, May 16, 2009

Setting the record straight

Obama commencement speech I haven't written a whole lot lately about the controversy concerning President Obama's commencement speech tomorrow at Notre Dame. I'm sure you're all getting an earful, because that seems to be the main story on CNN today, and the media circus seems to have reached the point of fullblown frenzy this weekend. Ken is off tomorrow, and I think we'll be watching the proceedings peacefully in our own home!

I'm disturbed by much of the coverage I'm seeing, because I don't believe it's giving a true picture of what is happening, or of our community. South Bend has its problems, just like every other town, but it's still a pretty good place to live, and it's my home, dammit. The impression being given is that we're a bunch of intolerant, hateful people who don't want the President here. That couldn't be further from the truth, and our county actually went to the President in last fall's election. Of course, there are people who didn't vote for him and don't like him, and probably are pissed off that we're spending money on security. But the majority of people here support his visit, and are excited that he's speaking at Notre Dame. (No, I didn't attend Notre Dame, but since I was born and raised here, I'm a fan of the university in many ways--sports, academics, research, and what they contribute to our city.)

The protesters who are being arrested are people coming in from out of town. They're shipping in busloads of people from Chicago, St. Louis, and Detroit, and I think Randall Terry and Alan Keyes aren't just from out of town...I think they live on another planet. The Notre Dame students who disagree with the invitation are protesting peacefully and respectfully, with alternative speakers and a prayer vigil at the Grotto. Terry and Keyes and their minions are the ones fueling the fires of the controversy, by flying banners over campus and hiring trucks to drive around town showing offensive pictures that are seen by children. Their most recent efforts included a truck with a large photograph of a black man in chains, and the truck drove through several black neighborhoods. They were supposedly equating abortion with slavery, but I think they were just using outrageous tactics designed to generate anger and dissent. Not cool, people, not cool at all.

Father Jenkins In the meantime, the graduating seniors have honored Father Jenkins (the President of Notre Dame and the one who issued the invitation) by choosing him as their Senior Class Fellow. One senior said that at the ceremony, Father Jenkins received a standing ovation. Although he turned down requests for an interview from the AP, Father Theodore Hesburgh, one of the most beloved and well-respected figures associated with Notre Dame, talked to one of our local TV stations and said that he approves of our new President's visit. He spoke of the various Presidents that have spoken at Notre Dame over the years.

None of them have agreed with us on all issues, but I think just coming here and seeing another point of view...that will have an effect on them. We're not a place that hides out in the corner and says we believe this and that's that and we're not going to talk to anybody that doesn't agree with us. We say, 'Hey, we know we disagree on things. Let's get together and talk.'

He also spoke about universities in general:

It's like a common place where people who disagree can get together, instead of throwing bricks at one another, they can discuss the problem and they can see different solutions to difficult problems and those solutions are going to come out of people from universities. They aren't going to come from people running around with signs.

Yay, Father Ted!

Golden Dome In the meantime, South Bend passed a new emergency ordinance that took effect on Thursday that anyone being arrested a second time on a misdemeanor cannot post bond and get out of jail; they must stay in jail until a judge can hear their case. This was announced on Friday. Alan Keyes was arrested for the second time on Friday, for trespassing on campus (private property, and they can enforce no trespassing if they choose to), and will spend the weekend in jail until a judge can hear his case on Monday, and decided if the bond needs to be raised. The Chief Judge said this has nothing to do with Notre Dame, and it's something they've been thinking about for a long time. I think the Judge is being a tiny bit disingenuous! But I don't care, because Keyes is not a representative of our community, cares nothing about it, and only wants to disrupt a peaceful commencement tomorrow. He has been duly charged, and I'm sure he's well-represented. His rights have not been violated.

It's very irritating--in fact, it's irritating as hell--to think that there are those around the country who think that these nutjobs are representative of our community. I may not have a huge audience here, but at least I can make sure a few people know that they don't speak for me. I hope if you watch any of this coverage tomorrow (apparently all the major networks will be here), you'll keep that in mind and not think too badly of South Bend...or its inhabitants!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Go Ask Alice

First things first! Pop over and tell Deb congrats on her 100th post! She's a fun gal, and why do I have the sneaking suspicion that we could stir up a little trouble together? Just a hunch. She's celebrating her 100th post with a giveaway, including Borders gift cards. What I think is neat, though, is that the grand prize winner gets to name a character in the book she's working on. How cool is that?


There was an article in this afternoon's online updates from our local paper. No, it wasn't about Notre Dame and Obama's visit...but there were a few of those. [sigh] Is it Monday yet?

Michigan police shock cougar — a toy one — with Taser

Associated Press Report

WARREN, Mich. (AP) — Police responding to a 911 caller reporting a cougar on the prowl in a suburban Detroit park saw what looked like the big cat hiding in a discarded section of cement drain pipe.

So Warren police on Monday shot a Taser electroshock weapon — hitting what turned out to be a large toy cougar right in the stuffing.

The Detroit Free Press reports the toy apparently was placed in the pipe as a hoax. About 10 officers responded to Bates Park. The Macomb Daily of Mount Clemens reports the caller said it was a 150-pound cat. Warren Police Commissioner William Dwyer says the department is "out there to keep the community safe."

I realize that this isn't all that funny. Someone diverted police officers from doing official police stuff. You know...policin' and junk. If they were ever able to find out who pulled this prank, I'm sure there would be charges brought, something akin to using 911 for non-emergencies.

But I can't help but laugh at this poor stuffed animal getting the crap zapped out of it. Something about it made me think of The Wildcat's Lair! Maybe because Frank is often getting flamed by the house dragons, or getting scalped by a Jedi light saber, leaving his fur crispy and smoking. (I guess you'd have to read it to understand...and if you aren't reading it, why not?! Get over there!)


I set my alarm this morning and got up at the crack of...well, 9:30. Hey, I was up until 3 AM, so give me a break! I was still up when Ken got up. These are some nutty hours, but I'm sure we'll adjust at some point. Anyhoo, I wanted to be up so I could get presale tickets for Alice Cooper! Yippee! He's coming here August 9th. I've always loved Alice, but never had a chance to see him, so I really wanted to go. Blue Öyster Cult is opening, and I always liked them, too, but didn't dig them as much as I did Alice. I was hoping to get really close, but the eleventh row will have to do. In this venue, the Morris Center, those will be some kickass seats.

Alice Cooper I don't know why I always liked Alice so much. I'm sure part of it is my love of horror movies, and Alice pretty much is a living, breathing, singing horror movie! If you didn't know, Alice is a character (literally and figuratively), and the real person is Vincent Furnier, who is apparently as nice a guy as you'd ever want to meet. His dad was a preacher, and Vincent loves golf. Mild-mannered golfer by day, shock rocker by night! He also has a very popular radio show, which I've heard is great, but I rarely listen to the radio anymore. Besides, he made some great music that still holds up. I dare you to listen to "School's Out" and not rock out at least a little bit!

When I was in high school, I had a poster in my bedroom of Alice in all his mascaraed glory. It wasn't exactly the same as this photo, but it was close. I remember it became a battle of wills between me and my Mom. I'd come home from school, and she'd have taken it down and rolled it up. I'd put it back up. When I got home from school the next day, she'd have taken it down again. I'd put it back up. I don't know how long this went on, but if I recall, we finally came to a truce, and I put it up on the inside of my closet door, so she didn't have to look at it when she came into my room. Ha ha! Who would want a poster of Alice Cooper in their bedroom, you ask? THIS gal!

So I'm really excited about the show! I doubt if he puts on the elaborate stage show that he used to (I don't think that we'll see the guillotine or the noose...but I wouldn't be surprised if the straight-jacket makes an appearance.), but he still sounds pretty good. I always liked this song! Here's Alice on Letterman, singing "No More Mr. Nice Guy."

You keep it copacetic, gotta learn to accept it

Daisy Colored pencil It was a beautiful, sunny day, filled with many good things, including hanging out with Mr. Lounge Chair, and a good conversation with my Mom and Dad. But there were some downsides, and I'll get those out of the way first.

I didn't spend a ton of time on the computer, and I should probably give fair warning that with the approach of nice weather, I don't think I'll be commenting as much. (I might not even post as much...! I know!) If I'm following you, I'm still reading, but I have a feeling that comments are going to go way down this summer. I would also like to remind people to put up the "followers" list on your page, because on the rare occasion that I've wished to stop following a blog, and that list isn't available, it's next to impossible to stop following. We've all stopped following various blogs at some point, so please make it possible for people to opt out if they choose!

For the past two days, I've been unable to get into Twitter. I'm still not sold on it, but I'm trying to work with it and give it a chance, and there definitely are some things I like about it. But I could not get into the site until I used a different browser. What the blankety blank blank?? I'd like to thank my pal Dan (Milwaukee Dan #2) for giving me some good advice and putting up with my profanity-laden emails. The bottom line comes down to what I've been feeling for a while now...time to get away from AOL and go with IE or maybe Chrome for my browser. I'll still keep my AOL email for now, but I'm not a happy girl when it comes to AOL lately. Ugh. It meant a couple of hours of major frustration this afternoon, and I'm not very forgiving of anyone or anything that irritates me that much. Tell me that thing about how irritation is what makes an oyster form a pearl. Go ahead. I dare you.

Oriole9 Watercolor I was also very irritated to hear about a situation in which someone decided they didn't want something that was used...what was offered did not meet their requirements. I feel this is a situation where, as Queen said, "I want it all, I want it all...and I want it now!" What happened to the concept, and the sound fiscal plan, of saving up for something, and buying it when you have enough money? Or putting money away for a rainy day, putting money aside for life's inevitable emergencies, like when the furnace goes out or the roof needs replacing? I assure you, dear conservative readers (I know I still have a few!), that I am a firm believer in saving and planning for such things, and I am extremely frustrated when I see people that do not do so, and instead choose to borrow money from those who agree to loan it. I believe there is a broader lesson here, and I think we need classes in high school to teach money management and economics. I had an Econ class in high school, and a personal finance class in college. Heck, in sixth freakin' grade, we had a project in which we "bought" stocks, and followed them in the local paper. Is that no longer taught? Arrrr, I am SO irritated by what I heard today, and all I can say is don't come cryin' to me!

Happy thoughts, happy thoughts....

I bought a buttload of CDs from BMG today for ultra cheap, and about half of them were gifts! Some cool obscure stuff. It worked out to less than $6 per CD. Oh yeah, babe!

Robin Williams rescheduled for an October date at our local theater (after a delay because of his heart surgery), and I was able to get floor seats, about nine rows back, as opposed to our previous seats in the third balcony. I need to take those balcony tickets back for a refund. Hopefully news tomorrow on a kickass concert in August...!

Windflower2 watercolor For dinner tonight, I made Shrimp Fra Diavolo, and it was quite tasty. After my Ahi Tuna at Tippecanoe Place, I've had a craving for seafood. I got the shrimp on sale, and also bought some tuna steaks on sale. I'm looking forward to some blackened tuna soon.

I've become friends with a person who has been through a similar bad experience with a mutual someone in our past, and exchanging "war stories" has been very therapeutic. I'm happy this has happened, and perhaps we'll tip a few in the future!

One of Ken's coworkers, who got us Notre Dame basketball and hockey tickets, asked Ken today about what football games he'd like tickets to. SWEEEET! We're going to try for Michigan State, Washington, Boston College (grrrr), and Navy. We're hoping that Cousin Shane and my Dad can come with us to the Washington game, and we'll do some tailgating for every game we go to.

It was an absolutely gorgeous day.

Okay, let's look at the totals!

  • Less time for comments 1
  • Stupid AOL 1
  • Lack of fiscal planning 1
  • BAD total 3
  • El Cheapo CDs 1
  • Great seats for RW 1
  • Shrimp Fra Diavolo 1
  • A new friend 1
  • ND football tickets 1
  • A kickass sunny day 1
  • GOOD total 6

There is no question! Despite the day's frustration, the grand total shows a net of 3+ good!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Baby Boomer Edition, revisited

Baby Boomers Thanks everyone, for your very thoughtful and thought-provoking comments on my previous entry about generational differences in the workplace. In fact, you all got me to thinking so much (My God, people...what have you done?!) that I wanted to write a little bit more about this.

First of all, I don't want anyone to think that I was generalizing and saying that anyone who belongs to any of these generations is always a certain way. I've worked with many different people of all ages, and I realize that there are always exceptions to any rule.

Mark wonders what Gen X and Millennials (referred to in the article I read as Millenials...there should be an extra n) have left to strive for, after the Greatest Generation pretty much did it all. I have to disagree with you there, Mark, because while I do believe our Greatests paved the way for what was to come, and helped to make our country a prosperous, vital, strong nation (and remember, my parents are Greatests!), there is always more to be done, more to be discovered. I believe we are currently facing a crisis of epic proportions, one that encompasses energy, the economy, terrorism, the environment, healthcare reform...did I forget anything? The crisis has changed from that of my parents' generation, but we have our own set of challenges to face and overcome. Can it be done? I believe so. Will it be done? That remains to be seen. That's one of the reasons I'm such a strong advocate of science education--we still need the best and brightest working on solutions to our current problems.

Gen X Charley had a great point about whether the blame for Gen X and Millennial attitudes lies squarely upon the shoulders of those who raised them: the Baby Boomers. That may very well be, because the loose attitude of Boomers surely contributed to any feelings of entitlement in subsequent generations. The Boomers were also a big part of the rampant greed of recent decades, which is ironic considering the peace, love, and understanding movement of the sixties. (And really, what's so funny 'bout peace, love, and understanding?) The article I read referred to the T-ball generations, and I think that's a perfect way to put it: everyone's a winner, no one's a loser, and nobody keeps score. What kind of game is that?

Does anyone remember the episode of "How I Met Your Mother," in which Marshall coaches a little kids' basketball team? His wife informs him that they don't keep score, it's just a matter of playing, and everyone feeling good about themselves. Marshall almost implodes, because that concept is just so alien to him. I'm the same way, and so is Ken. When we play games, there is no such thing as letting the other one win. We were that way with the kids when they came to visit, too. Part of becoming an adult is learning that there are rules, and if you want to win, you have to play to win. My folks were the same way with Mom would always beat me at Chinese Checkers. Come to think of it, she still does.

Millennials I think I've gotten off-topic. Charley also wondered if the younger generations aren't onto something about a better balance between work and home life. I actually agree with that, and as I wrote to him this morning, I was definitely feeling that the last few years of my work life. When I was working in Indianapolis, I was involved in several committees, really into it, wanting to have a hand in things (without really wanting to be a supervisor). I remember my Dad telling me, "Just remember, honey...there's more to life than work." When I was single and living in an apartment, work definitely filled a gap. When I got married again and we moved into a house with property, I had a priority shift, and realized that I didn't want to spend long hours at work, and I wanted to walk out of there at the end of the day and leave it behind me. Maybe it's because I'm getting older, and I want to enjoy time with family rather than saying, "No, I can't make it, I have to work that weekend." Maybe the younger generations have already figured that out, and are to be commended for teaching the rest of us that there is more to life than work. (My Dad said it first, though, so there.) But they need to keep in mind that the job still needs to get done, and that there are many things they can learn from those who have a bit more experience.

Is there a way to balance work and home life? Can we rethink our way of working and become more flexible in how we handle staffing? High speed Internet certainly allows for more work being done at home, and for many professions, that can be very helpful (not so much with healthcare). Technology has improved our efficiency; how can we use that to our advantage to get the work done and still find time to play and actually enjoy our lives? How do we achieve that balance?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Nutwood Baby Boomer Edition

I recently started subscribing to a site called Politics Daily, and I'm really enjoying it. It's many of the writers that posted on AOL's Political Machine, plus a few new faces, and I like the quick analyses and perspectives. Earlier today, I read my favorite piece of the day, and I think it will be one of my all-time favorites.

Gary Sinise For President?

Dylan and Ethan Ris

Posted: 05/12/09

Over at the Daily Beast, columnist Nicolle Wallace figures that the GOP needs a Reaganesque figure to lead the party out of the wilderness. That means finding someone with Reagan's most important attribute: mid-level moviedom fame.

So after parsing the four Republicans in Hollywood, Wallace settled on Gary Sinise as the GOP nominee for president in 2012.

... Gary Sinise might be our savior. According to news reports, he's part of an underground group of conservatives in Hollywood-an act of bravery in itself. His stated belief in American exceptionalism might end up being a powerful contrast to Obama's "American apologist" mantra. The natural strengths that an actor brings to politics would come in handy to anyone going up against Obama in 2012. We will need an effective communicator who can stand toe to toe with Obama's eloquence.

We agree to support Sinise's candidacy, but only if Tom Hanks commits to following him around on the campaign trail shouting "President Dan! You got new legs!" at regular intervals.

Lieutenant Dan

I'm glad I wasn't taking a drink when I read that, because I would have done a spit take!


It was nice and sunny today, so I sat out on the deck for a while. Ken was off today, so we got to spend some quality time with Mr. and Mrs. Lounge Chair! After I read Time's 100 most influential people issue, I finished a Ladies' Home Journal. This wasn't the same magazine that had the silly slumber party for adults blurb, and there was actually a very interesting article about generational conflicts in the workplace. I've talked about that with former coworkers, Ken and I have talked about it, and I believe he wrote an entry about it at some point. (I don't know where to start looking for it, or I'd link to it.)

It addressed three main groups: Baby Boomers, who make up 40% of today's workforce; Generation X, who comprise 36%; and the youngest group, the Millenials, who are 16% of the workforce, but growing. (The Matures are the other 8%, and that number is falling.) Ken and I are on the tail end of the Baby Boom (born in 1962), as are many of my former coworkers, and we've both experienced some of the conflicts mentioned in the article. I think the thing that got to me the most was the sense of entitlement that many young workers seem to have now--a feeling that they should get everything they ask for, that they don't want to work weekends or holidays, and that they should never have to work overtime.

Disclaimer: I'm coming at this from a healthcare perspective, so your results may vary. I was also privileged to work with many fine younger people who didn't feel that way, but I've also worked with some who did.

This was especially hard for some of us who had been in healthcare for a long time. We felt that we had "paid our dues" by working multiple shifts, plenty of weekends, lots of holidays, long hours, etc. After over 20 years of working, I was still working every other weekend when I stopped working. You can imagine how maddening it was to hear some younger people come in and say, "I'm not working every other weekend" or "I can't work those hours."

The article goes on to talk about the things that the various generations can learn from each other, and there are some good lessons there. Us Baby Boomers can be a little on the rigid side, and have a feeling of "Hey, I had to do this, so you do, too." I think we need to get beyond that, because technology and attitudes are changing, and younger people don't necessarily want to be defined by their jobs. They have many outside interests and value their leisure time. Perhaps workplaces need to be a little more flexible when it comes to accommodating hours, flex time, etc. This doesn't always work in healthcare, because so much of it is hands-on, and round-the-clock.

I also think that Gen X-ers and Millenials need to recognize that there are some things that they can't just walk in and do. Sometimes experience is necessary, and can take years to develop. Respect the knowledge of those who have been doing the job for years; there is much they can teach you, and they usually have a pretty strong work ethic worth emulating. I would also suggest that they reconsider multiple piercings in the workplace, especially in a healthcare setting--the less hardware and fewer holes you have, the less your chance of infection, or passing an infection on to others. Clothing itself can be a problem, as older workers sometimes don't approve of more casual attire. When I worked in Indianapolis in the 90's, my favorite attire was leggings and a long T-shirt. A group of older workers put together a new dress code, and decided that leggings shouldn't be worn. That was silly, and leggings and long shirts or tunics are very common now.

It's definitely an interesting dynamic. We would all do well to recognize our differences, but try to understand each others' strengths. As goes the workplace, so goes life, eh?

I’m thrilled…honest!

I was very pleased to receive an award from the fabulous Miss Ginger Grant: the Honest Blogger award.

Award Honest Blogger This one means a lot to me, because I really do try to remain honest and true, and to live my life with a sense of integrity. I don't always many of us do? There is a fine line between being 100% honest and understanding the art of diplomacy. I hope that most of us try our best to be honest with ourselves and others, but we also have to realize that there are times when we have to hold our tongues in order to preserve others' feelings. I try to do both, but as with most things in life, it's a work in progress.

The requirements of this award are twofold: first, to pass it on to others, choosing seven blogs on which to bestow the award. I always have a hard time with that, and dislike trying to pick a few. I usually say that if I read you, to take the award for yourself. In this case, I'll say that if you believe that you are truly an honest writer, that you embody those attributes I wrote about above, snag this award. But be honest with yourself! If you do choose to snag the Honest Blogger award, you have to do this next part, too. I know you won't cheat, because you're honest.

The other thing is to write ten honest things about myself. Oh someone who keeps things close to the vest, this could be difficult...but I'm a trooper, and I'll give it a try!

1. I tend to keep things close to the vest. I don't share extremely personal things easily or willingly, and you could know me for years before hearing about certain things.

2. I would love to learn to play the drums. I haven't given up on this yet.

3. I once called a Ball State football player an asshole. He didn't seem to feel overly threatened.

4. I dated a minor TV/movie personality for a while. It ended badly, but I got the satisfaction of getting an apology and a request to be friends again. :D

5. TEN things? Jeez, you're killin' me here. Let's see...I've danced onstage with a local band.

6. I didn't get invited to any high school proms. I was very much the bookworm in high school!

7. I once got so angry, I kicked a closet door and broke it. (This was way back in college days. I've mellowed.)

8. I can't back my car up worth shit. I can handle a few yards, but if I have to go much further, I end up driving all wonky. I have successfully parallel parked, though!

9. I'm angry at myself for not reading more books these days, but can't quite seem to get into anything. Maybe I need to set aside an hour a day for nothing but reading, and explore some of the fun books I have waiting for me.

10. OH, thank goodness. This is excruciating for me. No, I'm not going to count that as an item, because it's related to #1., I don't want to tell you that...and not that, either. Oh man, that was really bad...okay, here's one. I've snuck in and stolen grabbed a couple of a few bricks from a couple of local buildings that were torn down, buildings that held significance for me, and were part of a company and a history in which I am very interested. And that's all I'm sayin' about it.

[wiping sweat from her brow] You have no idea how hard that was for me, and there are many things I didn't--and won't--share. Some things really don't need to be shared, I'm not Catholic, and this isn't a confessional. Besides, a gal has to have some secrets in order to keep things mysterious, right?

This entry made me think of Lucy Ricardo and her bet with Ricky and the Mertzes to tell nothing but the truth for 24 hours. She manages to make it through a bridge game with the girls, although it results in some rather hurt feelings. She gets into real trouble, though, when she wants to audition for a show. Imagine that!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Semi-productive day

Nutwood Early June3 As opposed to a semi-conductive day. Or a semi-charmed life.

Ken is off today and tomorrow before he starts his new duties, and we had a lazy morning as he waited for the grass to dry enough to mow. As he's been out mowing, I've been doing some odds and ends around the house. It's getting nice and green outside, and the sun has been shining all afternoon, but it's still not exactly warm. I'm ready for some heat! I got my Vidalia onions all tarted up by putting them into stockings. Ha! I know I've mentioned this before, but I order a 25-pound box of Vidalias from a place in Georgia, and then put them into nylons and tie them up to store in the basement. They stay cool and dry that way, and will last through the summer. I gave Mom and Dad a half dozen of them, because they love them, too. There really is nothing like a Vidalia. Sweet, yummy goodness! Who else loves Vidalias? I sure wish we could grow them here, but the growing season isn't long enough. True Vidalias only come from Vidalia County, Georgia, and a couple of surrounding counties, though.

Thanks for all the comments on "Star Trek." If you haven't seen it yet, I hope you'll let me know what you thought of it if you decide to go. I haven't heard anyone say yet that they disliked it, and the opening weekend box office was $76.5 million. Not too shabby for a franchise that some felt was either dead or on its last legs. I remember when "Casino Royale" came out, and discussing it with our friend Steve. He said, "Wow...way to save the franchise!" I don't think anyone would disagree that Daniel Craig and the new "killer Bond" style has definitely been a hit, and injected new life into the Bond brand. It made me wonder if this new Trek (and the new actors, should they reprise their roles) has saved that franchise? I suppose only time will tell, but it sure looks like it's going to be a huge summer hit. It's only just come out, and I'm ready for more!

Celebrity Apprentice We enjoy watching "Celebrity Apprentice," and the three-hour finale was last night. We were both quite disgusted when Joan Rivers beat Annie Duke (the poker player) and won the whole thing. I'm happy for her charity, which sounds like a great cause, but we both got so irritated by Joan and Melissa Rivers' behavior that we really wanted to see them go down in flames. Annie is a poker player, so yeah, there was strategy there, and I don't know if there were some underhanded tactics or not (as was alleged). But Joan sat there in the board room and compared Annie to Hitler at Buchenwald. (I'm not sure how much time Hitler spent at Buchenwald--I'm guessing very little--but that's beside the point.) She also said that Annie's poker friends were in the Mafia. That is not cool and it is not true. Try and haul your ass out of the 1960's, okay, Joan? Not everyone who goes to Vegas or gambles is in the Mafia. When Melissa Rivers got fired, she went on an epic tirade and called Annie and her remaining teammate "pit viper whores," among other things.

Now I have to give credit where credit is due. "Pit viper whore" is one inventive and interesting insult. But such insults spewed by Melissa and her mother (Man, how would you like to marry into that family?) have no place in a professional setting. If someone at work called me a pit viper whore, I'd be all over that. That is just unacceptable behavior.

Interesting TV, but unacceptable behavior.

What do you think? How would you react to being called a pit viper whore? It's making me laugh at the moment, but if I were called that, I have to say that it would be interesting to see how I'd react. I think I might actually laugh, for real, because if someone called me that to my face...well, that's just damn funny. How could you not laugh at that, especially if the person was totally serious and really trying to insult you? I think I'd be like, "Pit viper whore? Are you serious? Really?” Ha!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

It would be highly illogical to dislike this movie

We're back from "Star Trek." I'm still trying to get a handle on it, and process it. As I wrote on Facebook, I loved it so much I want to marry it.

If you're planning on seeing the movie, feel free to skip this entry (maybe you'll come back after you've seen it) so I don't color your opinion. I tried to hear as little about it as possible, other than just hearing that people liked it (and I have yet to hear anyone say they didn't like it). I'm weird that way...I prefer not to hear any plot details about a movie I'm really excited about seeing, so I'd hate it if I spoiled it for anyone else. So just consider this entire entry...

One Big Spoiler

Star Trek cast Probably the strongest plus in this movie is the cast. They did such a great job picking these young actors to play iconic characters, and Zachary Quinto as the young Spock was especially dead on. Chris Pine also did a great job as Kirk, and it was interesting to see him develop more of the Kirk swagger. (Also cool to see the actual Kobayashi Maru test.) I really can't fault a single one of them, though, as they all did a wonderful job. It was fun to be introduced to each of these characters and to quickly realize who they were: the beautiful young Uhura in the bar, the gruff Bones on the transport shuttle, Sulu screwing up trying to get the Enterprise to warp speed when coming out of space dock (but quickly redeeming himself by saving Jim's life in a cool sword fight with a Romulan), the good-natured but ready-for-a-fight Scotty, and a very young Pavel Chekov talking about "Planet Wulcan." Speaking of Vulcans, everyone's favorite makes a significant appearance in this movie, which results in some very nifty interaction with the crew.

Nancy Crater(This “motivational” poster made me laugh.) They struck a nice balance between trying to show the characters' development and staying true to some of their more well-known phrases and mannerisms. We got to hear a "Fascinating" from Spock, and an "I'm a doctor not an [insert other occupation here]" from Bones.

One of the best concepts in all science fiction is that of time travel and the possible paradoxes that could result. I think we all indulge in a little of that in our own lives, when we ask questions like, "What if I had done that differently?" Well, what if you had? Would your life have worked out the same? Or would it have changed significantly? Would it be worth taking a chance to change things, if you had no idea if they'd turn out better...or worse? This movie utilizes that concept and paradox fully and well, and with some surprising (at least for me) results. For example, early on I was certain that someone wouldn't die, because they survived into the later years of the characters. I was wrong, and that established that history had already been altered, so anything can happen. Nothing can be assumed.

At some point, I'm sure I've written here about my love of Star Trek. For me, it is about the joy of's fascinating enough to discover new adventures in the here and now. What would it be like to travel to distant planets and galaxies and discover new species and new civilizations? That was their job. Then there's the fine line between diplomacy and encountering a hostile species that doesn't want to talk, they just want to kill you. Fun stuff. The original Star Trek series has always been my favorite because I loved the interaction between the crew, and I loved the characters. It was wonderful to see them revisited.

I'm sure that those who have already passed on (DeForest Kelley and James Doohan) would be pleased that their characters live on in movie franchise history. As Spock would say, "I have been and always shall be your friend."

Captain Kirk Star Trek inspirational posters courtesy of The Great Geek Manual.