Monday, December 31, 2007

Should Old Aquaintence Be Forgot...bah da de bah da da da...

We all do it...blame in on the champagne but who honestly knows the words to our new year's mantra? As the country stumbles through the lyrics at midnight, and 9, 10 and 11 pm in California (we're cheaters- no shame), ever wonder why we keep singing it?

The Origins of Tradition Bring Sense to New Year's Festivities


Dec. 30, 2006 —

We toast. We kiss at midnight. We even stumble through the lyrics of a song we're not sure we know the words to. But why?

This year, as millions of Americans finalize New Year's celebration plans, the traditions of the holiday season are never far from thoughts and actions. The origin of why we do what we do sometimes reveals good reasons to hold onto the old while ushering in the new year.

The Midnight Kiss

Perhaps the most iconic image of a New Year's Eve celebration is the highly anticipated midnight kiss. And according to German and English folklore, there is reason to plan ahead for the smooch.

Legend emphasizes that the first person you come in contact with in the New Year -- be it a friendly face or an unfavorable acquaintance -- is indicative of the luck that awaits you in the coming year.

In more recent times, the midnight kiss has been thought of as a telling sign of the year to come in matters of the heart.

For those serious about scheduling their luck, online communities like Craigslist have been filling up with posts for those partygoers looking to book a kiss on the big night.

A recently single 25-year-old Manhattanite posted: "Looking for a romantic girl to kiss New Year's Eve in Times Square."

A Craigslister in Chicago waxes nostalgic, "Of all the holiday relationship joys, that is the one that I miss the most, as the countdown winds itself to 1."

A search term like "New Year's Eve kiss" can lead you to a countless number of others looking to find the same.

"I've never been kissed on New Year's Eve," says one user. "I'm crossing my fingers for this year."

What's That Song?

Often described as the world's most popular song no one knows the words to, "Auld Lang Syne" has become something of a soundtrack for midnight on New Year's Eve.

The title of the Scottish tune translates to "times gone by" and is about remembering friends from the past and not letting them be forgotten.

Despite its strong association with New Year's Eve, "Auld Lang Syne," written by Robert Burns in the 1700s, was never intended to be a holiday song. Guy Lombardo is credited with popularizing the song when his band used it as a segue between two radio programs during a live performance at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York in 1929. By mere coincidence, they played "Auld Lang Syne" just after the clock hit midnight, and a New Year's tradition was born.

Offering a Toast

Americans consumed over 20.6 million bottles of champagne over the course of the calendar year, with 40 percent purchased in the last six weeks. It's an indication that it would be unimaginable to toast 2007 with anything other than bubbly, as good food and drink have long been auspicious signs for welcoming the new year across the globe.

The Office of Champagne, USA, based in Washington, D.C., says they get hundreds of inquiries about champagne etiquette in the month of December.

"This is by far our busiest month of the year," said a spokesman for the organization. "We get a lot of people asking about how to serve champagne and what the best way is to store it."

A wine lover's Web site warns that when it's time for the toast, it's important to proceed with caution when popping the cork. On average, it leaves the bottle at a speed of 42 feet-per-second.

Ending the Night with a Bang

Fireworks and noisemakers at the moment of the New Year date back 2,000 years to China, where they believed the revelry would frighten away evil spirits.

Perhaps the best known (and least favorite) of all New Year's traditions is the New Year's resolution, which first started with the Babylonians. Though the tradition remains, the resolutions have changed over time. Four thousand years ago, Babylonians most likely pledged to return borrowed farm equipment once the new year dawned. In 2006, the majority of Americans resolved to lose weight.

There's one part of the ancient Babylonian tradition that has not changed over time -- habitually breaking the resolution before the year's end.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I like to sing....

Particularly about items of the obvious. Aly and I back in middle school invented a sing-a-long for our plane rides: (to the tune of a taco bell a taco bell) A fed ex plane a fed ex plane.

Well last weekend we had our annual obnoxious sweater party and I donned my red holiday skirt. Keep in mind this bad boy only comes out once a year. I am sure by now if you are reading this, you've heard me sing at and perform the accompanying dance so here we go - You wish you had a skirt like this Kacha Kacha! (response: you wish you had a sweater like this kacha kacha!)

Friday, December 14, 2007

Back By Popular Demand

OBNX Sweater Party Is HERE!

Take a break from those boring Holiday Parties and come have a beer! But first let me tell the tale of said festivus.

In the wee formative years of the social institution Pink Cashmere, a young leader emerged to initiate an event so perfect, so brilliant, many have described it as Legen……wait for it…..dary! That’s right Legendary!

It was one single evening above the rest, where those with classic puffy paint sweaters could mingle along side snowflake skiing pullovers, Ralph Lauren knits, along side 3-D Christmas tributes.

Well that party master has exported his talents this year to teach English in France leaving the ladies of Chez Copacabana to pick up the slack (typical Jon Tollefson right?)

So what is this grand gala you may be asking about that has Jen gushing (you all know it doesn’t take much). It’s the annual Obnoxious Sweater party!

Lets clarify, this is NOT your average holiday party oh no, nor is it an…..Ugly Sweater Party, those are so cliché! And it is NOT one of those insider parties where everyone-knows-everyone-else type deals and you feel like the schmuck making small talk at the punch bowl full of Santa’s Sangria!

This is the legendary come one-come-all from all walks of life and a social network, even the most seasoned bureaucrat couldn’t keep straight. It’s the cool kids clubs of the chez copa network.

Time to cut the crap: The stats-
We have basic supplies, but in never hurts to bring your favorite brew or vintage.
Call time – 8pm Saturday 12/15
Chez Copa
(2000 S. Eads #1227, Arlington VA 22202)

Parking – anywhere and theirs plenty, just avoid the actual building’s lot, they are nasty little elves who tow.

Metro – Crystal City on the blue and orange line. Take the only escalators available to the surface and walk to 18th street (on your left hand side.) Hang a right and walk in the direction of the Sheraton (under the bridge). Then hang a left and walk to 20th. We are the huge building Crystal House II on your right hand side. Just buzz in and come upstairs.

Don’t worry if you need to crash at copa, we have plenty of space!

Cell Phone #s
Jen 202 431 9063
Linds 516.459.3089
Katie 202.431.9749

Monday, December 10, 2007

Your Copa Holiday Report

As of last night, the shomosh slid across the menorah, lighting 6 candles, we sung ourselves halfway around the advent wreath, the tree continues to glow from the copa windows at night (longer when we throw our carbon footprint over the balcony) and the girls huddled around Auntie Jo's kitchen last Saturday to crank out over 15 different recipes.

You wish you were there but you can enjoy the fruits of their labor ... just need to find one of the cookie bags!

Next week.....obnoxious sweater party!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Keeping Things In Perspective

Today is the anniversary of Pearl Harbor and there are things to be said, unfortunately my soap box is in the shop so I am going to borrow from others who said it better. At 23 and with an opinion on everything, I would like to think I fully understand what it means to sacrifice and defend. Many of the soldiers at Pearl Harbor then and in the middle east now are practicing what they preach. There is no message more powerful than that of action and no political party or posture that can negate it. Regardless of the premise that lead us to war in Iraq, men and women are both civilian and armed services are making a difference away from home, as did our Hawaiian Heroes.

It is the VETERAN , not the preacher,who has given us freedom of religion.
It is the VETERAN , not the reporter,who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the VETERAN , not the poet,who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the VETERAN , not the campus organizer,who has given us freedom to assemble.
It is the VETERAN , not the lawyer,who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the VETERAN , not the politician,Who has given us the right to vote.
It is the VETERAN ,who salutes the Flag and who serves under the Flag.

As we make our lists, check them twice, and dash between festivities take a second to appreciate what they sacrifice so we can celebrate.

This is from my boss here at Innovatech and it was articulated beautifully. This hits particularly close to home as our step brother Jeff is also serving. We are lucky enough to have him home this year, but not all families are as fortunate. Thank you Jeff and your colleagues for the sacrifices you have made and the work that you do.

As you know Matt has had a big brother, Howard 'Chip" for some time now. Today, Pearl Harbor Day, is their 9 year anniversary!! What a difference Chip has made in Matt's life. He is a wonderful, kind and generous man who has helped Matt develop and grow over the years. Regardless of where Chip was living he always stayed in touch. Today Chip is in town and he and Matt are going out to celebrate at Old Ebbit Grill which is which is where they had their first official 'date'! That is the happy part, the sad part is, Chip is here to celebrate Christmas, Matt's 18th birthday and Matt's graduation also, as he is being deployed to Iraq, for the third time, for 14 months. This is going to be a very emotional day for us both as we celebrate, but also have to say goodbye. I am writing this just as a reminder during this holiday season as we celebrate with friends and family, that not everyone gets to be home for the holidays, and regardless of your feelings on the war, just take a moment to keep all of our Military personnel in your thoughts and prayers for a safe return! I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Just Do It Already (Corn the Wave of the Future)

Tom, you know I love you, but the money is there already for research. Regardless of your opinion on the war, we should be considering alternative fuel sources. Period. And not just considering, we should have implemented and started transitioning yesterday. We don't need a tax, we need leadership. And this one I am going to hand off yep you guessed it to the Feds. Folks the research is done, we found alternatives, let getter done. (obviously I understand its not a direct swap but I only have so much time to make my point today, tune in later for more brazen politico-babble)

Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda

Two dates — two numbers. Read them and weep for what could have, and should have, been. On Sept. 11, 2001, the OPEC basket oil price was $25.50 a barrel. On Nov. 13, 2007, the OPEC basket price was around $90 a barrel.

In the wake of 9/11, some of us pleaded for a “patriot tax” on gasoline of $1 or more a gallon to diminish the transfers of wealth we were making to the very countries who were indirectly financing the ideologies of intolerance that were killing Americans and in order to spur innovation in energy efficiency by U.S. manufacturers.

But no, George Bush and Dick Cheney had a better idea. And the Democrats went along for the ride. They were all going to let the market work and not let our government shape that market — like OPEC does.

You’d think that one person, just one, running for Congress or the Senate would take a flier and say: “Oh, what the heck. I’m going to lose anyway. Why not tell the truth? I’ll support a gasoline tax.”

Not one. Everyone just runs away from the “T-word” and watches our wealth run away to Russia, Venezuela and Iran.

I can’t believe that someone could not win the following debate:

REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE: “My Democratic opponent, true to form, wants to raise your taxes. Yes, now he wants to raise your taxes at the gasoline pump by $1 a gallon. Another tax-and-spend liberal who wants to get into your pocket.”

DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE: “Yes, my opponent is right. I do favor a gasoline tax phased in over 12 months. But let’s get one thing straight: My opponent and I are both for a tax. I just prefer that my taxes go to the U.S. Treasury, and he’s ready to see his go to the Russian, Venezuelan, Saudi and Iranian treasuries. His tax finances people who hate us. Mine would offset some of our payroll taxes, pay down our deficit, strengthen our dollar, stimulate energy efficiency and shore up Social Security. It’s called win-win-win-win-win for America. My opponent’s strategy is sit back, let the market work and watch America lose-lose-lose-lose-lose.” If you can’t win that debate, you don’t belong in politics.

“Think about it,” says Phil Verleger, an energy economist. “We could have replaced the current payroll tax with a gasoline tax. Middle-class consumers would have seen increased take-home pay of between six and nine percent, even though they would have had to pay more at the pump. A stronger foundation for future economic growth would have been laid by keeping more oil revenue home, and we might not now be facing a recession.”

As a higher gas tax discouraged oil consumption, the Harvard University economist and former Bush adviser N. Gregory Mankiw has argued: “the price of oil would fall in world markets. As a result, the price of gas to [U.S.] consumers would rise by less than the increase in the tax. Some of the tax would in effect be paid by Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.”

But U.S. consumers would have known that, with a higher gasoline tax locked in for good, pump prices would never be going back to the old days, adds Mr. Verleger, so they would have a much stronger incentive to switch to more fuel-efficient vehicles and Detroit would have had to make more hybrids to survive. This would have put Detroit five years ahead of where it is now. “It’s called the America wins program,” said Mr. Verleger, “instead of the petro-states win program.”

We simply cannot go on being as dumb as we wanna be. If you hate the war in Iraq, then you want a gasoline tax so you can argue that we can pull out of there without remaining dependent on an even more unstable region. If you want to see us negotiate with Iran, not bomb it, you want a gasoline tax that will give us some real leverage by helping to reduce the income of the ayatollahs.

If you’re a conservative and you believed that the Iraq war was necessary to drive reform in the Middle East, but the war has failed to do that and we need “Plan B” for the same objective, you want a gasoline tax that will reduce the flow of wealth to petrolist leaders who will never change if all they have to do is drill well holes rather than educate and empower their people.

If you want to see America thrive by becoming the most energy productive economy in the world — a title that now belongs to Japan, which doesn’t have a drop of oil in its soil — you want a gasoline tax, which will only spur U.S. innovation in energy efficiency.

President Bush squandered a historic opportunity to put America on a radically different energy course after 9/11. But considering how few Democrats or Republicans are ready to tell the people the truth on this issue, maybe we have the president we deserve. I refuse to believe that, but I’m starting to doubt myself.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

From The Mouth Of Babes

Here's a real glimpse of Brilliance! If you haven't been tipped of yet who I'm marking in on my absentee ballot, you will find both my and Madeline Albright's chad completely absent next to the Clinton Box. But I am always interested in what the other jibber-jabbers have to say before they are shut down by the orator extraordinare.

Setting himself up for a sure-fire shut down, Barak Obama makes a swipe for the youth vote to flesh out his slowly dwindling fan base as he sticks it to the political "geezers." In his carefully crafted rhetoric, the sophomoric Senator slams the baby boomers:

"There's no doubt that we represent the kind of change Senator Clinton can't deliver on. And part of it's generational," Obama told FOX News." Senator Clinton and others have been fighting some of the same fights since the '60s. It makes it very difficult for them to bring the country together to get things done. And I think that's what people hunger for."

Way to marginalize the vote Barack, that's how your going to cross those party lines...sounds like audacious hope, or fantastical ignorance. It's clear he's going 'youth is advantagous' argument. I'm sorry Obama - you are no Bill or Kennedy.

Are you going to use that same argument when addressing Israel and Palestine? Iran and Syria? Korea? China? How about stabilizing the economy, funding education, and streamlining social programs like social security. Call me silly, but I think we should approach those issues with the whole team at the table. The older generation may actually know what they're talking about, I mean they've been dealing with these problems since the sixties.

Barack, stop bumbling and get back to your job.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Snapshot of Brilliance

This is a great shot from the Post with Annie Leibovitz as she took us through her exhibition at the Corcoran. As a journalist, she does through photography what I can only dream to do with a microphone, capture the very core of a person or story in a single moment.

Annie Leibovitz @ the Corcoran Gallery of Art

Let's get this out of the way: Whether you like it or not, Annie Leibovitz is an American Icon. Her intimate portrait photographs of the famous are so pervasive that even if you don't know the name, you're guaranteed to have seen her work, and lots of it. She began her career with Rolling Stone magazine when it was in its infancy, photographing the musically talented, and quickly became known for her deconstruction of human facades. A portrait of famed dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov, whose knees had not suffered well the brutality of decades of leaps and pirouettes, shows him being lifted high into the air by a colleague, imitating the peak to which he had brought his artform and the level of respect he continued to earn, even if his body could no longer prove it.
This photo, taken in 1990, marks the historical beginning of the exhibition A Photographer's Life: 1990-2005, opening at the Corcoran Gallery of Art tomorrow. Its conceptualization began a few years prior, when in a very short period of time, both Leibovitz's father and her decade-long lover, Susan Sontag, died, and her three children were born. Leibovitz is candid about the raw emotions that preceded this show, even going so far as to say that if she had the chance to do it over again, she wouldn't.
The answer isn't surprising, given the volume of personal moments included in the exhibit. While half the gallery contains the images by which we know her -- a nude and very pregnant Demi Moore, a cinematically brooding Al Pacino, a stately General Schwarzkopf in spic 'n span whites -- the other half is filled with personal snapshots, from a day at the beach to Sontag's last days as she battled and lost her fight with cancer.
The snapshots could, by themselves, be about as exciting as flipping through your great Aunt's photo album -- unspectacular images of people you don't know, doing mundane activities ("And here's the sandcastle Jimmy made. Isn't it great? A born architect, that one."). But here, nailed to the wall between Brad Pitt and Scarlett Johansson, both of whom are posed laying prostrate in elaborate get-ups and looking at us in some unverifiable degree of uncomfortableness, the snapshots turn her exposing lens around. It's not that we get an inside peek into the life of this American Icon (well, maybe a little), it's that this precisely is her talent, so it's almost a you-got-what's-comin'-to-ya moment, and the fact that it pains her makes it all the more important. If it didn't, the balance would be shattered, and the exhibit would be one of Vanity Fair covers with inexplicable Kodak Moments wedged between, interrupting our superficial feast of the rich and famous.
The exhibit also shows her skill as "one of the foremost documenters of our generation," in her own words. Her portraits and her snapshots capture moments in a timeline, in two different ways. First, let's take the portraits: while the friends and families of these famous people may disagree, their true cultural importance is the moment in time in which they are a celebrity. Marilyn Monroe may still be famous, but pictures of her invoke the 50s and 60s: a moment in time. So Leibovitz has the enviable duty of capturing these culturally relevant moments that mark 1990 (Stormin' Norman), that mark 2005 (The White Stripes). She gives us the sleek, beautiful people in sleek, beautiful photographs on the covers of magazines so we can buy them and take them home and be a part of the whole culture ourselves.
And yet her talent lies in not just checking off dates on the calendar, but enriching the timeline with depth, because she is able to capture the intimate nature of a persona in one, elegant photograph. Leonardo DiCaprio is shown smiling into the camera in a black turtleneck, holding a swan whose neck has curled around his own, entwined with the animal the way he views his life as a whole entwined with all of nature. A portrait of Pres. Bush and his cabinet taken in December 2001 shows the group, not in the Oval Office, as they'd suggested, but in the less formal Cabinet Room. Gathered around the front of the corner of the long table, Condoleezza Rice sits in the center, like the unsure matriarch of the men looming over her from all sides, while Pres. Bush takes up the most space, standing with shoulders squarely to the lens, hands on hips to push his coat back so his Presidential Seal belt buckle glints in the light, cocky grin firmly in place. It looks like a portrait of the Sopranos family. (Oh right, she did that, too.)
Leibovitz's snapshots, on the other hand, are the flip-side. They capture only a fraction of a second in a life. In them we see nothing more than a hiking trip or a lazy afternoon, but displayed together they create her life. Unlike the formal portraits, these must be numerous to show depth, to show the series of events that make up our real, complicated lives that don't fit nicely into a celebrity persona peg made to fit into the culture hole.
A highlight of the exhibit is the series of portraits of the Queen of England, taken just before her sojourn in the States earlier this year for the 400th anniversary of the Jamestown settlement. Since they're so recent, this is the first leg of the exhibit's tour in which they've been displayed. In a rare moment, Leibovitz encouraged the Queen to remove her crown (a nude?) and the result is still a noble woman standing calm and regal on the land she rules, no matter the somewhat tumultuous sky behind her.
The Corcoran Gallery of Art is located at 500 17th Street NW and is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday through Monday, with extended hours until 9 p.m. on Thursdays. See the web site for admission information. A Photographer's Life is currently exhibited alongside the work of another iconic photographer, Ansel Adams.
Top image by Heather Goss. Brad Pitt, Las Vegas, 1994 and Susan at the House on Hedges Lane, Wainscott, Long Island, 1988, chromogenic prints, courtesy the Corcoran Gallery and copyright Annie Leibovitz.

Crystal Clear Evening

You may know him as Mike Wyzowski or the shrink that can analyze this.... but Tuesday night, we all met the Billy (not to be confused with my billy as in Clinton). It was notable how well he captured the nuances of the campus; getting a chance to speak with him one-on-one off stage, this was a result of several days research of his own. The end product: In just a brief one hour performance, he had the students giggling, the parents rolling, and the administrators blushing as they nodded in acquiescence. Oh Billy!

Crystal-clear comedy
By: Emily CahnHatchet ReporterPosted: 10/15/07
Phlegm and sex do not usually mix, but for Billy Crystal it was a perfect match during this year's Colonials Weekend headline performances at Smith Center.
Crystal, the actor and frequent Oscar host, joked about sex and drugs and played with racial and cultural stereotypes throughout his performances."What happens at the Smith Center stays at the Smith Center," Crystal said during the nearly sold-out show on Friday night.The comedian included many jokes about GW in his act which drew heavy laughter from the crowd. Crystal joked about GW's mascot, the school's colors and the student body composition.

"This is a great school," he said. "I did a lot of research there's 9,700 undergrads here from 130 countries, so it's like dinner time at Angelina Jolie's house."
Crystal said Colonials Weekend is a great tradition at GW, noting that this was the first time many parents had seen their children in five weeks.
"It's hard for your parents when you leave…they're thinking, 'That's the last time I'll see my baby!' and you're thinking, 'I'll move home in about two to three years,'" he said.
Political jokes were also weaved into his act. Crystal joked about how times have not changed much since he went to college in 1965.
"Back then we had a president from Texas who we really didn't like and were involved in a war we really couldn't win," he said.
Crystal, who has hosted the Oscars on eight separate occasions, played a video clip of the opening monologue to the last event he hosted. The clip, a parody of classic movies, was played on Thursday night when he received the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, a prestigious comedy honor awarded at the Kennedy Center.
Crystal ended the Friday night show with an interactive scene, where he brought on stage a GW parent, two students and University President Steven Knapp and asked them to make animal noises as if they were in the jungle.
"Dr. Knapp is the greatest sport ever," Crystal said in an interview after the Friday night show. "We had a great time together. The students got to see him in a different way and I think that was really important."
Crystal said he had not done a college show in a while. "Its refreshing, really keeps you on your toes," he said.
Junior Blake Baron said Crystal picked the right jokes for his audience. "I'm Jewish, so the Jewish jokes were hilarious," he said. "Billy Crystal really appealed to students and parents as well. It was fun to watch and I was enthralled the entire time."
Peter Konwerski, assistant vice president of Student and Academic Support Services, said the performances were a success. Friday night's show was nearly sold out, and Saturday's was sold out.The ability to purchase tickets to the performances was opened to the general public this year, which Konwerski said has happened in the past.
About 200 seats were opened to the public so that those who came to see Crystal for the Mark Twain Awards would be able to see his performance at Smith Center, Konwerski said.
"I think people seemed like they were having a great time," he said. "That was the most important thing for all of us."

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Media Bias? Never!

Just today, the two major media outlets in DC covered the Clinton Fumble of the Tuesday Dem Debates. The washington post, typically considered to have a lib slant headlined: Clinton Regroups As Rivals Pounce, while the Washington Times, tending to be more conservative, slapped this headline on its front page above the fold: Hillary draws fire for aliens answer! Interesting comparison, no?!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Verbal Dysentery

The things that spill out of one's mouth, when one is not putting food into it.........

Conservative author Ann Coulter finds herself in the middle of a firestorm once again after remarks on a CNBC television show in which she said Jews need "to be perfected" and suggested the nation would be better off if it were all-Christian.

The whole story:

Thursday, September 27, 2007

History Will Judge

As we wind up for the elections of 2008 and the political slap fest it entails, I can't but wonder: when the dust settles, how will we judge the Bush II presidency. How will we jot him down in history books, and how will we explain these past 8 years to our children? Because of my age and political experience, this is the first administration I thought critically about from start to finish. This will be the white house standard I will hold all future administrations to (with the exception of my beloved Bill of course, but that was because he was hands down one of the greats. It was not until I started studying his policies that I later realized why.)

In the Washington Post, I ran across an article that addressed this very issue. I don't know how history will judge him, but I feel as though it is my responsibility as a journalist, and more importantly as a citizen to judge his work, his decisions, because it is his decisions that ultimately ripple down to me.

I like most, agree that Mr. Bush has made some poor choices, but I also know after studying those decisions and their effects, he truly believes he is doing the best thing for all of us. But why did he make those choices. I am trying to understand, because his path is not the one I would have chosen. So where is he coming from? Is he really that ignorant, that oblivious to the repercussions of his actions as we in the media have pegged him? I don't think so.

Some of the excepts that stuck me:

"It's a marked difference in his physical appearance," Rep K Michael Conaway (R-Tx.) said. "It's an incredibly heavy load. When you ask men and women to take risks, to send them into war knowing they might not come home, that's got to be an incredible burden to have on your shoulders."

"You don't get any feeling of somebody crouching down in the bunker," said Irwin M. Seltzer, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute who was part of one group of scholars who met with Bush. "this is either extraordinary self-confidence or out of touch with reality. I can't tell you which."

"He has a terrific knack of not looking through the review mirror." Conaway said

"There is nobody there who can stand up to him and tell him,"Mr. President, you've got to do this. you're wrong on this.' There's no adult supervision. It's like he's oblivious. Maybe that's a defense mechanism." an ex-aide said.

As great of an ethical excersize as this article was for me, the heart of the issue is someone voted for him. In fact quite a few 'someones' voted for him - agian. If I can't figure out where he is coming from, how will I ever figure out where they are. Looks like I have some research to do. It's not so much how will I personally judge him, I already have; more importantly how will they - the "someones."

That's My Gerry

In an earlier post on our group blog Copa Cabana - I spoke of my triumph of leading Gerry back to WMAL. But I'm not sure I mentioned just how much I admire Mr. Conolly, not just as a politician, but as a genuine person, committed to his consitiuents. I'm sure a bit of this is rhetoric but for the most part, Gerry is a true statesman: He sets his sites on the fights he can win and finishes the projects he starts.

I have been interviewing quite a few local delegates from the neighboring 13 northern virginian counties over the past couple of months. Of those counties 11 of them have to some degree jumped on the anti-illegal immegration band wagon. They are bound and determined to route out every last illegal so they say. How?

They have been proposing everything from separate detention centers, closing day labor centers, barring them from college, right down to revoking a business licence from anyone who hires them. Bottom Line: Grab a pitchfork and make a racket but in the end ICE does't have time nor the funds to deport anyone. Sounds like an expensive clatter to me.

And thankfully Fairfax county is keeping their fingers, and thier checkbooks, out of this mess. Thank you Gerry.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Straight from the Desk

As a desk assistant for a morning news program, my job basically is to do as much of the leg work for a story as possible so the anchor can cover a story for the morning drive. That includes getting tape of news makers, writing, pitching etc. Well because the morning drive time runs from 5 am to 9 am, getting tape for the morning often involves waking up a few people, and if they are consistently making news.....then I am consistently waking them up.

What is interesting is not only the relationship you build with the news maker overtime, but also with their family. In my case, care of marvels of modern technology like caller id - the families know "that Jen" is calling again and it's time to stir daddy from his slumber. In honor of my preceding reputation - Bill, morning news editor extraordinaire, created this iconic manifestation for the caller experience!

Also highly comical is the propensity for high levels of absurdity! Especially from those FM station folk, whereas we AM news junkies are all serious all the time...just see!

Mile High Adventures

My mom used to tease me, well I thought it was teasing, but she may have been serious but that's another story, that I could anyone to death, and when no one was left, I would start talking to the walls. Over the years, that theory has time and again validated itself, says the blogger - now I don't even need a real wall - a virtual one suites me just fine.

There is of course one exception to this rule, and if you know me well, you are keyed into my one anti-social zone; one that literally tracends space and time - that is my flying time. It is the one space I shut down completely and am usually chapters deep in the story of slumber before the plane as finished boarding, let alone take-off. Whether its the idol chit-chat, the much needed sleep time, or the fact that you are cemented in your seat, and your seatmates for that matter, for a min. of 5 hours for my typical transcontinental flights, I go into cacoon mode.

So when my seatmate solicited polite conversation on my last flight from San Diego to DC, I entertained the a brief exchange as I dug through my extremely oversized tote to find the headphones that mysteriously (and yet consistently) are amputated from my beloved Lilly (ipod). Once those two were reunited, the conversation would be curbed. Well in this particular instance I was again informed that my petite duffel I was slightly overweight, and rather than cough up $25 for my prized possessions I found room in my carry on! (I'll show you united!)

Needless to say my coveted sleep time was inching away as I grappled for my ipod - I clear flag marking my path to isolation! Well my aforementioned seatmate was actually quite pleasant as we chatted about his interest in science and his admiration for his wife and grandchildren. The convo continued to a cruising altitude of 35,000 feet when a gentleman on his way to the mile high Porto-potty interrupted.

He jumped into gush about a speech my seatmate had given a few years back and how much it changed the path of his career. Sold. I was immediately interested - how could this sweet older man have impacted so greatly another passenger. Keep in mind we're in coach.

Relieved from my dialogue duties I started to hear some buzz in the cabin about my seatmate. Well the starstruck Porto-pottier took the vacant seat in our row - soon to take up permanent residency. They went back and forth as I eavesdropped. Unfortunately the specifics of their identity were never reveled except for their names.

Being the obnoxiously curious Google freak that I am I looked them up and sure-as-you're-born the sky-way celeb was none other than the Nobel prize winning physicist who developed the big bang theory! Whoa! Needless to say - I did not sleep on that flight a wink!

Women Inherit the Earth

"God creates Dinosaurs, God destroys Dinosaurs, God Creates Man, Man Destroys God, Man Creates Dinosaurs.......Dinosaurs eat man, women inherit the earth"

Well it seems through a freak accident, women may be able to create life without men!

An analysis of a now-discredited South Korean stem cell line suggests the scientists may have inadvertently created the first human embryonic stem cells derived from human eggs alone, researchers said.

Using a new genetic sleuthing method he derived with colleagues, he said they have determined that the South Korean cell line was derived from parthenogenesis, a type of asexual reproduction in which an egg develops into an embryo without sperm.

Full article

Monday, August 13, 2007

Just Another Day at the Office

I am still waiting for the day when I come into InnovaTech only to find a camera crew filming the next episode of the office - because you just can't write this into a script!

This is our Network Manager Brian! He may be the next label for Jones Soda!

Well, Well, Well

Here's to the crew who hits the station before you have a chance to hit the snooze! Go team AM - o'dark hundred!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

That's Our Jim!

It is said the greatest understanding one can have is of one's self, and after interviewing Jim about twice a week I can confirm his chatty charm!

Moran's Q&A and Then Some

Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) was spotted at Landmark's E Street Cinema on Friday taking in the 7:30 p.m. screening of "No End in Sight," Charles Ferguson's new film that documents the U.S. occupation of Iraq from an insider's perspective. A Q&a followed the movie, and an audience member asked Moran to offer his impressions. He spent five minutes praising the film's integrity and also held forth on war profiteering in Iraq, reports Style's Allison Wolfe. After the Q& A, Moran continued fielding questions from several people who stuck around. Before leaving, the congressman walked over to one of the film's producers to give her his card and muttered, "I know, I talk too much!"

Friday, July 27, 2007

Bite Your Tongue

National St. Hotties Day - The day dedicated by the ladies of pink cashmere to honor the hotties of the world kicked off three years ago. The patron saint - who else - Val Kilmer or ICE MAN! On this holy day of worship followers watch at least one film starring the stud!

Well some of our confused worshipers has wondered from our saint, and blasphomously espoused doubt. To you I say...big boys need love too! See below.

Linds: National St. Hottey, Val Kilmer has put on a little weight. We may need a new idol. (I know jen, its blasphemy)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


After President Bush's speech yesterday in Cleveland, the White House distributed talking points titled "Iraq Fact Check: Responding to Key Myths." The following are e xcerpts from the document's 13 "myths" regarding the war -- without specifying who is spreading them -- and the administration's "facts" that rebut them:

MYTH: The war "is lost."
FACT: Our commanders and ambassador do not believe that. . . . The surge of operations is just beginning. . . . We have seen promising indicators since the President announced the new strategy in January.

MYTH: The U.S. is playing "whack-a-mole" in Iraq.
FACT: U.S. and Iraqi forces are conducting offensive operations against terrorists while simultaneously providing security in neighborhoods with joint security stations and patrols. . . . The primary reason for the "surge" in troops was to give U.S. and Iraqi forces the ability and flexibility to conduct such offensive operations in and outside of Baghdad without having to shift troops out of so many areas where
they were needed for security. This is why commanders held off on many of them
until the brigades were in place -- to avoid the problems of past offensives.

MYTH: Setting a timeline and pulling troops out of Iraq regardless of conditions on the ground would be a responsible end to the conflict and/or would put needed pressure on Iraq's government.
FACT: The collective judgment of our intelligence community is that this would increase, not decrease, the violence and hinder national reconciliation.

MYTH: Gen. [David H.] Petraeus does not believe the U.S. military can make a difference in Iraq.
FACT: Democrats sometimes quote Gen. Petraeus when arguing that the U.S. should give up in Iraq, but they completely misrepresent the General's views. While Gen. Petraeus has indeed said the ultimate solution to Iraq's problems is a political one, he has consistently argued that such a solution can only come with the improvements in security he is trying to achieve.

MYTH: Iraqis are going on a two-month holiday and are not defending their own country.
FACT: Iraq's Parliament decided not to take a two-month recess and instead will continue working on legislation critical for Iraq's future.

Golden Age of Pixar

Growing up in the Golden Age of Disney, we have become conditioned to the greatness. I of course am referring to the brilliance of classics like Little Mermaid, Lion King, Aladdin my personal favorite, Beauty and the Beast; grand stories of ordinaries living the extraordinary. However, after the oratory faceplant of films like Hercules, Hunchback, and the painful serious of obnoxious sequals signaled the demise of Disney, the Company made one solid move - the accosting of Pixar, Inc. Thank god - just in time for the next generation of rugrats - particularly Katie Santos!

Old School, Inc.: Beneath Pixar's digital dazzle lies reverence for the past

NEW YORK (AP) - The films of Pixar are radical in their advanced animation techniques and digital rendering. The studio has topped even itself in the shadowy Paris quays, the bright, bustling kitchens and the humanistic expressions of its furry star in its new ``Ratatouille.''

Yet the visual splendor of Pixar (owned by the Walt Disney Co.) again has obscured its most essential characteristic: old-fashionedness.

Beneath the eye-catching CGI sheen of Pixar's dazzle lies a nostalgia and style indebted to classic filmmaking.

``People in Hollywood, the press always fixates on technology because it's easier to quantify,'' Brad Bird, director of ``Ratatouille'' and 2004's ``The Incredibles,'' recently told The Associated Press. ``The truth of the matter is the technology has never been the answer. The same answers to making a good movie are the answers that were around 80 years ago.''

The short films that precede Pixar features, for example, offer sound effects and music, but little dialogue. Instead, shorts such as ``One Man Band'' (where two street musicians duel for a child's coin) and ``Knick Knack'' (in which a snowman tries to escape his snow globe) rely on clever storytelling, timing and perspective - what Buster Keaton might make if he were alive today and handed the reins of a giant animation company.

The short playing before ``Ratatouille'' - ``Lifted'' - centers on why a sleeping farmer is hovering over his bed: an alien spaceship driving lesson is to blame.

``Those short films get at the notion of telling a story without words, which is what silent film was about in the first place,'' says Steven Higgins, curator of film and media at the Museum of Modern Art, where he last year curated an exhibit on Pixar.

The studio showed its reverence for Japanese filmmaking legend Akira Kurosawa in ``A Bug's Life'' (1998). Like the Western remake ``The Magnificent Seven,'' the plot of ``A Bug's Life'' was based on Kurosawa's ``Seven Samurai.''

Though Pixar head and co-founder John Lasseter directed ``A Bug's Life,'' Bird perhaps best summarized their backward-looking perspective in a piece he wrote for Animation World Magazine in 1998 about drawing for ``The Simpsons.''

``I started pushing the storyboard artists, many of whom had trained on Saturday morning animation, to think of each episode as a movie, and to look toward Hitchcock, Welles, Kubrick and Scorsese for inspiration rather than other animation,'' wrote Bird.

But Pixar's reverence for the past goes deeper than homage to classic filmmakers. (Spoiler alert: skip the next paragraph if you don't want to know how ``Ratatouille'' ends.)

``Ratatouille,'' which has earned more than $109.5 million at the box office in its first 10 days in theaters, concludes with Remy the rat and his human friends losing their bloated, commercial restaurant, Gusteau's - but then happily starting a cozy mom-and-pop bistro.

This is a typically nostalgic ending for Pixar, which regularly finishes a film with some reconciliation to The New.

In ``Toy Story'' (1995), cowboy Woody's status as a boy's favorite toy is threatened by the arrival of spaceman Buzz Lightyear. In the end, they become pals; the past learns to live with the future.

``Cars'' (2006) centers on the town Radiator Springs, which is nearly knocked off the map after a superhighway replaces Route 66. After being waylaid there, the young, flashy race car Lightning McQueen is converted to the small town's old-time ways. He gets outfitted with white wall tires and makes Radiator Springs his new home.

Likewise, in 2001's ``Monsters Inc.'' the drama begins with the company of monsters that makes energy from the screams of children in decline because of a scream shortage. Kids are becoming increasingly callous and apathetic, and that's bad business for monsters.

A TV commercial in Monster World announces: ``The window of innocence is shrinking. Human kids are harder to scare.'' Eventually, a new system is created when laughter is found to be better fuel than screams.

In ``The Incredibles,'' superheros give up their death-defying duties because of excessive litigation. Mr. Incredible saves a train, but is nevertheless sued by its passengers. Pixar, it turns out, is pro tort reform.

Mr. Incredible and wife Elastigirl teach their children to hide their special powers - a dig at modern parents run amok. Elastigirl tells her son: ``Everyone's special, Dash,'' to which Dash replies: ``Which is another way of saying nobody is.''

MoMA's Higgins wonders if Lasseter and Bird are beginning to show an authorial stamp to their work like Scorsese or Hitchcock.

``What they're really trying to get at in Pixar films is: technology is simply the tool,'' Higgins says. ``What they're really all about is classic storytelling.''

When the superhero family of ``The Incredibles'' finally embraces its powers and triumphs in a battle against the robot Omnidroid, an elderly bystander gawks with delight.

``That's the way to do it,'' he says. ``That's old-school.''
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Covering Your Assets

Covering your assets with two of my favorites - hot jeans and a hot boy! Yum!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Something in the Water

If you thought the monkey lady kicker was good, these are hilarious! Only in Virginia...there must be something in the water!

First surprise: Woman driving U-Haul van slams into Culpeper home. Next surprise: She's nude

She told officers she was just hurrying to get home.

That's the story the 33-year-old naked woman accused of ramming a U-Haul van into the bedroom of a South East Street house early Sunday afternoon gave Culpeper town police.

Will Green was sitting on the porch of the home he was visiting when he saw the van coming around a wide turn at what he said was a high rate of speed.

"I thought it was going to hit the neighbor's house," Green said yesterday. "I couldn't believe it when I saw it coming."

The van missed the neighbor's house but struck an SUV parked out front. It then careened into the yard and took out much of the railing and furniture on the patio there, Green said.

That may have slowed the van, but it didn't stop until it hit the side of Gilbert and Rosita Nelson's home next door, buckling the floor and pushing in the bedroom wall.

"It's a miracle that the lady next door, who is elderly, wasn't on the patio at the time," Rosita Nelson said. "She usually sits out there."

At that point Green, who admitted he was stunned, heard screaming.

"At first, I thought it was the neighbor lady. But when I got to the van, I found out it was the driver, who was trying to get out," he said.

"At first, I tried to help her. But when I saw she was completely naked, I just went back in the house and called 911," he added.

"After that, I got a sheet and took it out so she could put it around her."

Rosita Nelson said she was at work at the Dollar Store when her daughter called and told her what had happened.

"At first, I thought she said there was a van at the house," Nelson recalled. "She said, 'No, Mama! There's a van IN the house.' At that point, I ran the whole mile home."

Luckily, Gilbert Nelson, who is recovering from a heart attack and stroke, wasn't home at the time. He was out picking up his granddaughter.

"Usually, he's in the bed about that time," Green said.

Fearful the small house might collapse, police left the U-Haul, which Jenkins said the woman had rented a few days earlier, in the side of the building until it could be shored up. After about 24 hours, it was towed away.

Joyce Ann Herbert of Culpeper was charged with indecent exposure, driving with a suspended license, not wearing a seatbelt and driving without liability insurance, police Sgt. Scott Jenkins said. She was not injured.

Jenkins said Herbert had been discharged from Culpeper Regional Hospital that morning.
"She said she was in a hurry to get home," said investigating Officer Tony Sisk, who noted that Herbert had just left home before the accident happened.

Sisk said he had no idea why Herbert was nude at the time.

He said police officers had gone to Herbert's home to interview her on another occasion and she came to the door without clothes.

The van sustained front-end damage. Nelson said the SUV parked on South East Street was totaled.

The extent of the damage to the house, which Jenkins said is owned by Ronnie Frazier, was still being determined.

Stafford Dominatrix Released From Jail

A self-proclaimed dominatrix who spent nearly six years on the run after being indicted in Stafford County is free once again.

Patricia Helen Meehan, 57, who was picked up May 8 at her home in Hagerstown, Md., recently pleaded guilty to two charges in Stafford. She was released after spending several weeks in jail.

Meehan pleaded guilty in Stafford Circuit Court earlier this month to keeping a bawdy place and manufacturing marijuana. She received a total of six years in prison, all of which was suspended.

Two other charges, prostitution and crimes against nature, were dropped.

According to court records, Meehan lived in Aquia Harbour in 2001 when Stafford detectives raided her home and seized numerous bondage devices, whips, sexual aids, client databases and marijuana plants.

Police were notified about Meehan's activities by a family who was considering buying a home on her street.

Detectives learned that Meehan was advertising on the Internet and using the moniker, "Mistress Jesse."

On the Web site, Mistress Jesse said she "loves to control, manipulate and play with submissive men. This is a private home, fully equipped for most kinks and fetishes, can accommodate anything from novice to masochist."

She supposedly charged $275 per hour for each client, the affidavit for a search warrant states.

Meehan was released on a $1,000 bond following her arrest in 2001 and never showed up for trial.

Stafford Detective Dave Wood recently learned that Meehan was living in Maryland under the name of Patricia Noonan.

She was arrested last month and brought to the Rappahannock Regional Jail.

Prosecutor Jim Peterson said he felt justice was served by Meehan's felony conviction.

He said his case had been weakened over the years because authorities no longer had contact with some key witnesses.

Battle of the Anchor Gods

Truth: Media Mavens are hungry: Hungry for the story, hungry for names, and hungry for the exclusive. In recent weeks as the news in Iraq seems to have ceased peaking the public interest, and the biggest national catastrophe revolves around boiling up the next big strategy to export our undocumented population, broadcast giants are turning inward for the a prime time martyr. With dying ratings on the CBS Evening News, it looks like Katie is the next victim.

The Washington Post covered a statement made by Dan Rather, calling CBS out on their anchor-lite version of evening news with Katie Couric. But what is missing from every headline I have seen so far is context. Rather was asked candidly during a radio interview with Chuck Scarborough what he thought of the new evening format. Rather answered equally as candid.

Rather said that he never planned an attack on the "Evening News" or on
Couric,but that he was asked about it by Chuck Scarborough, who has replaced the
deposed Don Imus on morning radio and MSNBC-TV. "He asked me directly what I thought," Rather said. "It is my wont to answer a question directly. It was not planned."
And is he so wrong? In an effort to reformat the evening news

Rather -- who anchored CBS's evening newscast for nearly a quarter-century -- thinks the failure of the "CBS Evening News With Katie Couric" isn't really Couric's fault but Moonves's. The CBS chief decided that to get younger viewers to watch the news, it has to be more fun, more upbeat, more entertaining. In
other words: The news had to stop being the news.
As a young woman involved in media I did not find his tart reference too particularly offensive because the statement was directed toward the production descision to lighten the news format, not Katie herself. However the AWRT, an organisation both Katie and I belong to issued this statement following the Rather comment.

AWRT Statement on Remarks Made by Dan Rather Regarding "CBS Evening News with Katie Couric"

June 13, 2007 (McLean, VA) – American Women in Radio and
Television expresses its deep disappointment in former "CBS Evening News" anchor
Dan Rather's remarks that CBS is "dumbing it down and tarting it up,” referring
to the current "CBS Evening News with Katie Couric."

Stated AWRT President Maria E. Brennan, “It’s surprising – to say the least – to have someone with Mr. Rather’s experience make such deliberately inflammatory remarks about a professional colleague – particularly one with the credibility and
accomplishment of Katie Couric. While Mr. Rather may wish to backtrack on the
sexist nature of his remarks, I can only note that never have I heard the word
'tart' in reference to the male gender."

Concluded Brennan, "Unfortunately Mr. Rather’s views seem far more personal and pejorative in nature than those of a media professional offering an informed analytical view of the content of 'CBS Nightly News.'”

Couric is a lifetime member of AWRT and has been awarded multiple AWRT Gracie Awards in recognition of her significant contributions to electronic media.
But Rather underscores the real atrocity here: (soap box alert) As members of the journalistic community, we should be living up to our role as public educators, we are the one of the final filters for information affecting the public dialogue, and these producers are looking to wage war over a little ego bruising? Seriously!

"We have enormous life-or-death issues and challenges facing us in this country
and the world today," he said. "Everything from the dismantling of civil rights
enforcement within the Justice Department to the war in Iraq to news of secret prisons in Europe and, of course, the next presidential election.

When we have such extensive access to the Internet, to filter our own information, why would our generation turn on the television or read the newspaper to feed into this? I think it says a lot about a generation who proactively seeks to be informed, to become their own editor, and even contribute back to the informational community. Whereas the previously information was absorbed through more passive channels like television or radio. This is not to say that one medium is better than another, but when they are saturated with nonsense, how is a public not turned off by "tarty" news?

"Young people will never watch the news" is as sacrosanct a bromide as "Young people will never read a newspaper."
Is this really a sign-off for evening news?

Broadcast news, and journalism generally, should not be a sedative," Rather said. "It should be a wake-up call."

Friday, June 15, 2007


Here it is folks! It was driving me nuts but I had my breakthrough synapse moment - neurons connected- (rare I know!) I remembered the song! Ugh and what a classic it is! Doesn't it just make you wanna grab someone and dance!?!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Those Who Cannot Do, Teach

Former Officer Robs Bank, Caught Easily

WALDORF, Md. (AP) - As bank robbers go, police say this guy was almost as dumb as they come -- and he should have known better.

A man accused of holding up a bank less than a mile from his home, then running out to his own green Honda is a former Prince George's County police officer -- who once worked robbery cases.

Charles County authorities say 43-year-old Vernon Thrift is being held in the county jail pending a bail review hearing Friday. A Prince George's police spokesman says Thrift is no longer employed by the department. Maryland court records show an officer by that name working on Prince George's cases at least as far back as 1992.

Asked to rank the caper on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most well-planned, a Charles sheriff's spokesman gave it ``maybe a 2.''

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Afternoon Delight

Just to make you smile

And Cut

Hailing to the Green and Gold of Patrick Henry High School, it still amazes me what a fantastic education we had, all for the low low price of free as a public school. Among the steller teachers I had, one of the most profound, and energetic was Mrs. Mary Baldwin.

Known to be one of the most passionate educators I have ever seen, she would take us on her daily caffinated adventures inside the ages of art, from a cave painting in Lascoux to reprodcutions of urnails cleverly renamed fountain as per Marcel Duchamp. Her lectures were performances. Every one of them. But these were not performances to entertain, although it was one of the many side effects. These performances engaged us, pulled us inside the world of the visual image.

On her lecturn, desk rather, she had her prepared lecture, which amounted to her handwritten notes, her typed notes, and three six-inch volumes of the leading art history texts: Gardner, Janson, and Stockstad, rotating them hapazardly to weave together the most inclusive, tightly written script. Each peice was alloted 5 minutes between one of two screens, for which to describe itself to the class. While she narrated her fifty minute production, you tried to write and simultaniously massage your hand to negotiate the information onto your notebook.

On occasion, although very rarely, the word smith found herself speachless. One such lecture involved a misunderstood manic depressive who found his emotions too powerful for this world. He attempted to describe them with a brush and palatte. Baldwin lassoed those raw expressions into a slide show. She did so with the archaic tools she had, two 1950's slide projectors and a tape recorder. But it remains one of the most powerful lectures. I have since tried to recreate it but never found the time. With the help of Youtube I found something similar.

Thank you Mrs. Baldwin.

Woman Whoa-Man

Men have their perks, don't get me wrong. But it's refreshing to pay homage to the cool-kids club every once and awhile!

WASHINGTON (AP) - Nancy Pelosi and Condoleezza Rice have plenty of company.

When it comes to high-powered women, the Washington region leads the country's major metro areas by at least one measure.

A report from the Greater Washington Initiative says the region has the country's highest concentration of female executives.

The region has 14-thousand women in a category that includes chief executives, chief financial officers and executive directors at nonprofits and top government jobs.

The report also predicts that job growth in the private sector will far surpass that of the federal work force by 2012.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved)

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

As you already know

My little syntax petpeeve....

There is nothing more patrionizing and absurd than prefacing information with "as you already know." I hate it! If I already know then why are you telling me.

More than likely you are telling me because I don't already know, hense the preface is uneccary.
What is behind that preface is "What I should already know," often accompnied with a tone of arrogance.

This attitude is completely in tote with the humble thanking of "each and every" often employed in speeches. Yet the audience is not null of common sense in that each and everyone can not be thanked on the individual exchange, thus it is absolutely obnoxious to assume that

Splendor in the Grass

Jen Richer, 630 WMAL News

Fairfax Co – The search for greener pastures may be clipped for Fairfax residents as they watch the grass grow chest high inside the medians of their thoroughfares.

With the grass growing as high as five feet in some spots, residents are putting pressure on county officials to hedge the medians. Yet the responsibility to tame the lawn lies with Virginia Department of Transportation.

“It’s really unacceptable; it not only looks bad, but it’s also dangerous.” Gerald E. Connolly (D), chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, told 630 WMAL News.

Wedged in the middle of budget crises, VDOT has curbed the maintenance to three times a year to conserve funds. “In the past two years or so, VDOT has been limited the amount of money it has available for maintenance.” Connolly explained.

Many residents are voicing their concern that the county then should step up to the landscaping responsibility.

Gearing up for reelection this fall, Connolly agrees that “something has to be done,” as he has initiated discussions with VDOT, headquartered in Richmond, Va. to resolve the unruly blades.

But when asked if the county should take over the task, Connolly noted, “I suppose the responsibility could be shifted, but again that is a question of money.”

He went on to say, “When it is a state responsibility, let’s make sure the state goes after that responsibility. We already send a lot of money to Richmond.”

But if the lawn is not clipped by September, it may be dangerous for the politicians as well, if the voters are unable to see the campaign posters.

Friday, May 25, 2007

To The Graduates!

This Month has provided cause for celebration for two of my closest friends. Both Aly and Mandy celebrated their graduations.

Some advice -ish from the truthsayer Aaron Karo

-Congratulations, Class of 2007, you're about to get your college degrees! It's been two years since I last offered words of wisdom to our nation's graduating seniors (sorry, Class of 2006, I kinda forgot about you guys). But, as a proud member of the Class of 2001, I now have six years of post-college experience under my belt – and I'm about to drop some knowledge. Your days of frat parties and Facebook are over, and your days of martinis and MySpace are just beginning. Here's what you need to know.

-No matter what amount per month you were originally planning to spend on rent, any apartment you actually like will always cost $200 more than that

-No one in the "real world" has any clue what they're talking about. Seriously, about 99.9% of people are talking completely out of their asses at all times. The successful ones are those that just fake it better than others.

-The more hours your friends work, the more they'll lie about how much they love their job.

-Twenty-two-year-old girls and twenty-eight-year-old guys are roughly equivalent in maturity level.

-A college degree doesn't carry as many expectations as it used to. For example, Bank of America's CampusEdge Checking program offers free checking while you're a student for five years – ostensibly implying that most of us are too fucking stupid to graduate in four.

-It turns out that attempting to cleanse ping-pong balls by repeatedly dipping them into the same cup of tepid water is not hygienic.

-If you plan to rage during the week like you used to in college, try to remember that the people partying alongside you now are actors, comedians, and the unemployed. They don't have to get up in the morning. You'll be the one vomiting in the office bathroom then trying to play it off to your boss by saying, "I'm fine… must have had a bad spreadsheet or something."

-No matter how old you are, if you're at a party and two of your friends start hooking up in another room, knocking on the door and/or listening in are both always completely acceptable.

-I believe that the transition from college to actual society takes about a year. The first six months are the hardest, at least until you stop thinking your roommate is playing a prank on you every morning when your alarm goes off at 7am for work. The second six months, you start to get your bearings – you figure out how often you can realistically rage and become resigned to the fact that, in the real world, your monthly cable and Internet bill will always cost way more than seems reasonable. And by the time the class above you graduates, and you realize in talking with them how much you've learned over the past year, that's when the transition is officially complete. So, Class of 2007, the clock is ticking. Your one-year grace period is about to begin. Be dumb. Waste money. Get drunk. Slack off. Have fun. All the graduates that came before you are watching. Make us proud.

-First show of the summer! I'm performing this Thursday in Los Angeles. Click here for details.

-As always, here are some random things I've been ruminating about lately…

-How come on TV when the character wants to conceal a gun, he always either puts it down the back of his pants or down the front of his pants? I'm no Jack Bauer, but those two spots definitely make my list of "Last places I would ever put a gun."

-Also, do you think that when a show requires there to be pictures of one of the characters when they're younger, they use actual baby pictures of the actor? Can you imagine showing up at your parents' house like, "Maaaaa, where's my Bar Mitzvah album? In the next episode of 'Heroes' they need a picture of me when I'm thirteen. Don't worry Mom, I'll bring it back."?

-I've noticed lately that on TV they'll not only bleep out a curse word, but also blur out the person's mouth who's saying it. Though when the gun that the character is carrying in his pants accidentally goes off, I can pretty much deduce what he's screaming anyway.

-At the same time that censorship of TV shows is growing, it seems as if TV commercials can pretty much say whatever the hell they want. Some of my favorites: the Puffs commercial that claims their tissues have a "magical layer" (misleading); the Glad commercial that shows plastic bags dropping from the ceiling in an airplane instead of oxygen masks (unsafe); the Coors Light commercial that shows track and field superstar Michael Johnson racing to a bar to hit on chicks (inappropriate); the commercial for Southern California casino Pechanga that shows a guy stuck in traffic daydreaming and then being served a cocktail while driving (illegal); and, probably my favorite, the commercial for car-buying web site where a bunch of teenagers stop at a light, get out of the car while it's still running, do a Chinese fire drill, get back in, then make a left into the intersection without even signaling (just plain ridiculous).
-At this point, most college seniors have been through rounds of job interviews that often feature brain teasers about hypothetical situations that are meant to test critical thinking. To me, there's only one brain teaser that counts: if the cops or the administration are about to discover your fraternity hazing its pledges – who are half-naked and covered in dog food – what to do you do? Think about it… Answer: Tell every brother present to quickly get half-naked and cover themselves in dog food, too. Then you can pass the festivities off as a house-wide event and not hazing. Foolproof, right? And to think I only had four years of CampusEdge Checking.
-And, finally, this is also the time of year for grad school graduation. For business students, it is a bittersweet time, as two years of sitting on their asses doing jack shit is coming to a close. For law students, it is more of an exciting time, as three years of torture have hopefully resulted in a high-paying job (and usually the first real job they've ever had). And for med students, four years of being shit on and crushed with debt gives way to, well, four more years of pretty much the same thing. But the difference between college graduates and grad school graduates is that the latter don't get a grace period. If you're an MBA, you should know how much rent and cable is gonna run you. If you're a JD, you should know that showing up half-drunk and vomiting in the office could get you disbarred. And if you're an MD, you should know that dipping ping-pong balls into a cup of tepid water is not hygienic (though you probably shouldn't be playing beirut anyway). Then again, what do I know? After all, 99.9% of people in the world talk completely out of their asses – I could just be faking it. Fuck me.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

As we gear up for a tribute to American Soldiers - and an excuse to kick back, bar-b-que and guzzle beer remember to sleep safely! I love it!

W.Va. man sleeps through gunshot to head, notices blood when he wakes

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Michael Lusher apparently is a sound sleeper.

A small-caliber bullet struck the 37-year-old Huntington man in the head as he slept Sunday morning, but he didn't realize it until he awoke nearly four hours later and noticed blood coming from his head, said Cpl. R.H. McQuaid of the Cabell County Sheriff's Department.

The bullet that struck him was one of five that someone sprayed across his mobile home and truck in Huntington's Altizer neighborhood at about 4:20 a.m.

Sunday, McQuaid said. The one the struck Lusher apparently lost velocity as it traveled through two walls."We're just glad he didn't suffer any life-threatening injuries with a head wound, " he said.Lusher came home from a night on the town about an hour before he was shot while lying in bed, McQuaid said.

It's in the stars

Its a guilty pleasure, I know! But how can you resist the allure of an astrological expert!

I love horoscopes! There it is - stick that in your box and shake it!

In my self absorbed sensibility I was under the impression that regardless of your faith in their advisories, we all still indulge in a little harmless generalized speculation.

So it surprised me when I found an ardent opposer.

My personal favorite: Susan Miller

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

A True San Diegan

With all-star, knock-it-out-of-the-park talent like Tony Gwynn, he could have played anywhere. He started, played, and ended his baseball career for the Padres.
Last week, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame. Today, Tony coaches the Aztecs at San Diego State!
It's cliche, but if you look up San Diegan in the dictionary, you will see this photo. (Or my dad!)