from my state – literally and figuratively – and other places. i'm not in florida any more, but i haven't given up the sunshine.

9.28.2005

the chinstrap (patent pending)

a multitude of gadgets and gizmos are out there claiming to make air travel more comfortable, more productive, more … not like being packed into a flying tin can. there are semi-circle shaped pillows to wrap around the neck; noise canceling headphones; meds to keep you from getting sick while breathing everyone else’s recycled air.

here’s the thing: the second i sit down on an airplane – i don’t know, maybe it’s the air – i get sleepy. i can sleep on a plane like nobody’s business. no eye mask, no pillow, no earplugs … just out. and, i don’t care who you are, when you’re sitting virtually upright in a seat snoozing, it is nearly impossible for your mouth not to fall open. for some it’s just a little gap. for others it’s a fly-catching canyon of a mouth hang.

so i propose an addition to the travel gadget arsenal: the chinstrap. a simple, adjustable strap that hangs on each ear and fits snug under the chin to prevent hang. designer colors. monogrammed. or complete with a sign reading ‘please don’t wake me, just leave me a water.’

who wants in?

9.27.2005

is geena campaigning for hillary?

any opinions on whether or not “commander-in-chief" is a not-so-under-the-radar ploy to prepare america for a female president?

here's what some are saying::

"Hillary must have friends at ABC," says Bob Kunst, of hillarynow.com, a grassroots effort to "draft" Clinton to be the next president. "This is just too much of a coincidence." (village voice)

... said Less Than Perfect's Sara Rue, summing up the opinions of the mostly Democratic Hollywood crowd. "We all thought of Hillary Clinton when we heard they were making this show. I hope it takes off!" (usa today)

(Series creator Rod Lurie acknowledged he is a partisan Democrat and an unabashed Hillary Clinton proponent, who would love it if his series encourages Americans to think more positively about a woman in the White House. "If Hillary Clinton should get the nomination, we're all taking credit," he told TV critics.) (sun-sentinel)
apparently the right wingers have caught on, too::

James Dobson's Focus on the Family, in its daily alert to supporters, said yesterday that Geena Davis's character name, Mackenzie Allen, "sounds remarkably, poetically like" Hillary Clinton, which apparently is proof that the show is conspiring to help HRC in 2008. (washington monthly)

commander-in-chief debuts tonight.

9.23.2005

storms, war and the pump

as rita barrels toward more oil refineries and florida’s governor called on residents to conserve fuel, republicans are finding major ways to slice the budget – at the expense of four renewable/alternative fuel development programs.

well of course we can’t pull out of iraq … we’re going to end up needing their oil more than ever. this article from michael t. klare provides more (as if we needed it) compelling evidence that securing oil is a primary goal of the was in iraq.
"For any oil company," one oil executive told the New York Times in February 2003, "being in Iraq is like being a kid in F.A.O. Schwarz."

Clearly, gaining control of what Wolfowitz once described as a country that “floats on a sea of oil” was one of the Pentagon's highest priorities in the early days of the invasion. As part of its planning for the assault, the Department of Defense established detailed plans to seize Iraqi oil fields and installations during the first days of the war.
klare also contends that the u.s. has effectively shot ourselves in the foot. anyone want to place bets on how long it will take before we find another oil-rich country to invade?

Lacking sufficient troops to protect the oil facilities and all the other infrastructure in Baghdad and other key cities, the military chose to protect the oil alone - allowing desperate and rapacious Iraqis to go a rampage of looting that fatally undermined the authority of the military occupation and the US-backed interim government. To make matters worse, the very visible American emphasis on protecting oil facilities while ignoring other infrastructure gave the distinct - and not completely inaccurate - impression that the United States had invaded Iraq less to liberate it from a tyrannical regime than to steal, or at least control, its oil. And from this perception came part of the anger and resentment that constituted the essential raw materials for the outbreak of an armed insurgency against the American occupation and everything associated with it.

Iraqi oil output has actually declined since the United States invaded Iraq and overthrew Saddam Hussein. According to the DoE, total production stood at 1.9 million barrels per day in May 2005, compared to 2.6 million barrels in January 2003, just before the American invasion. Quite the opposite of paying for the American occupation, as promised by administration officials, Iraqi production is costing US taxpayers billions of dollars per year.
not to mention lives.

9.21.2005

confessions of a marketing whore

i make no bones about being utterly, disgustingly susceptible to good marketing tactics. it really doesn’t matter that i can spot them a mile away. i still fall … hard. sad but true.

a recent trip to the lucky brand jeans store (you know, the ones with “lucky you” printed on the inside of the fly – how great is tHaT?!) proved no different … now, because i kNoW i'm a sucker, i generally don’t even speak to sales people. nevertheless, my shopping buddies and i made friends with a particularly perky little salesperson who convinced not one, but all three of us to buy. there was just no getting around it… who could resist:

1* 50 percent off (that’s right - half)
2* the jeans are hand cut. so one pair of 28s might be a little long. the next pair perfect… like your own one-of-a-kind piece of art.
3* they cut the jeans along the grain, rather than against it… what? denim has a grain? i don’t even remember what the benefit is, but it sounded great at the time.
4* lucky jeans have a higher denim thread count. so they fit better/feel better … like buying 500 threadcount sheets versus 150. but of course.
5* and last but not least (though, i’m sure i’m missing something) who can resist a vision statement like this? for a clothing company no less?

9.20.2005

two for tuesday

1* i’m sure this has been around the mill, but i just learned of it today… and if you haven’t seen it, it’s new to you: search the word “failure” on google and see what pops up first on the results page. according to msnbc it’s called a google bomb.

2* today’s mlb.com marketing email is titled: vote for the mlb comeback player of the year presented by viagra. in all likelihood my humor is a little off, but i laughed out loud.

9.19.2005

not my south

traveling through florida can, at times, be just like traveling through the deep south … or like traveling through a demented time warp. on the way home from tampa yesterday i stopped in a town just north of naples. while in line at the gas station, this guy starts talking to me. it was one of those times when one stereotype begets another - he had a heavy drawl, was missing a front tooth, wearing dirty jeans and purchasing a busch tall boy.

“you live out at the cape?” he asked. i had not a clue what or where 'the cape' is, but figured it didn’t matter.

“no. ft. lauderdale.”

“oh, yeah. i used to live up there. right up there off 95? in dania beach?”

“it’s a great place to live.” one of those things you say not just because you believe it, but also because well … what else do you say?

“huhhuh. no it ain’t. it ain’t nothin’ but n@**&# city over there.”

and the only words i could muster as i picked my jaw off the floor and walked away was, “you have got to be kidding.”

9.15.2005

counter intelligence

reading dooce’s public education post (15 sept) reminded me …

during a recent football jersey purchase, there appeared a little dilemma: college football. numbers only – 1 or 8. no idea who wears either.

okay it’s possible, though not necessarily ideal, to get by with #1.you know, ‘i chose #1 because my team IS number one.’ a thinly veiled rationale, but it could do in a pinch. ideally though, it’s good to know exactly who on the field will be wearing that number – mostly so you know when to duck and run vs. stand proud while watching the game at the local bar. so i asked.

me:: do you know who wears the numbers 8 and 1? or do you have a roster so that we could look it up?

girl at the counter:: ummm … nn-no, i don’t know. but anyway, they aren’t allowed to print names on the jerseys. so the number isn’t really meant to be any one player.

me:: sure, but there are players on the field wearing these numbers and it would be nice to at least …

girl:: well it really doesn’t matter because it’s just not meant to stand for a particular player, because they don’t print the names on the jerseys.

me:: right. great. thank you so much for your help.

pink inquisition

vatican-appointed investigators have been deployed to seek out “evidence of homosexuality” in u.s. seminaries, because - according to the ny times - “a study commissioned by the church found last year that about 80 percent of the young people victimized by priests were boys.”

so, they hide/protect their pedophiles for years and determine to resolve the issue by smoking out all the fags. and to think we humans are supposedly still evolving.

9.14.2005

coffee – water & healthcare – for every one

much attention is paid to globalization when americans are concerned about 'our' jobs shipped overseas, or when the trade agreement of the americas was being debated. but, what about something as simple as watching what we drink. according to oxfam, coffee is second only to petroleum in the list of highest traded commodities. for just a few cents more, coffee drinkers can support fair trade every morning.

that’s right, we can help farmers and their families keep their land, educate their children and access decent healthcare… just by getting the right caffeine fix.

9.13.2005

penguin passion

march of the penguins’ is a documentary about emperor penguins’ miraculous journey deep into antarctica to reproduce. some conservatives are lauding the film as a proving point for intelligent design and affirmation of “traditional norms like monogamy, sacrifice and child rearing".

these folks may want to be careful of what they’re peddling. monogamy, sacrifice, childrearing? sure … even for homosexual penguin pairs like the boys at manhattan’s central park zoo who scoffed at female companionship and raised their own little chick.

9.08.2005

away we go

when monday is tuesday and thursday is friday ... that's a three day week, just the way i like it. i'm on my way to north florida - despite the hurricane a brewin' off the coast - to the place where florida was first settled.

when the spanish set out to colonize this little piece of land, don pedro menendez de aviles came ashore on the feast day of st. augustine, 1565. he founded st. augustine 42 years before the english set up camp in jamestown and 55 years before the pilgrims hit plymouth. so, it's the oldest permanent european settlement on this continent. a quaint little town, still.

happy friday everyone.

9.07.2005

crush

my love for sting notwithstanding, i have a little crush on chris martin. and despite mixed reviews, i’m already giddy about the coldplay show here on tuesday.

a few of martin’s crush-able qualities: great accent; married to gwyneth paltrow; sexy, melancholy voice; curious lyrics; fair trade advocacy; criticism of w and war in iraq

go on … confess your crush. you’ll feel better to get it off your chest.

photo credit: answers.com

9.06.2005

consumed

so many columnists and bloggers have written informed, thoughtful and thought-provoking pieces about the tragedy on the gulf coast. i simply don’t feel qualified to add commentary to the many ways this heartbreak has further exposed how inept we are at taking are of our own people. as the water is pumped out of the basin, the horrors will only grow more obvious.

for this and other reasons, i’ve felt disinclined to post much lately. everything else seems so mundane in comparison. fortunately, the optimistic spirits (thanks, shanna) of new orleans are starting to see “rays of light”. so, while we cannot forget to do anything we can to help, tomorrow is, yet again, a new day.